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SXSW 2019

Podcasts in the Age of Interactive Voice

The rise of smart speakers and voice assistants is creating new user expectations and needs around audio programming. For years, both radio and podcasts have centered around the idea of shows -- packaged, branded, often led by personalities. But what happens as voice assistants and other new platforms take audio in new directions, ones that may require different types of content? What does that mean for the entire booming industry of people dedicated to making the best podcasts they can? How will some of these new developments change what we think an audio product can and should be? This panel will explore how the rise of smart speakers, voice assistants and other new platforms is changing audio, and what that could mean for both listeners and creators.

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  1. Smart speakers are beginning to emphasize atomized information and video components in addition to branded, packaged audio shows.
  2. That creates an entirely new way to create, present and deliver audio information and stories to listeners, even as podcasts are booming.
  3. Podcast creators will have to decide where to position themselves. Will this end the podcast boom? Or create more opportunities in the industry?


  • Jessica Stahl, Director of Audio, The Washington Post
  • Sarah Gilbert, Acting Vice President for News Programming, NPR


Jessica Stahl, Director of Audio, The Washington Post

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Media & Journalism
  • Level: Intermediate
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