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Audible Looks to Cultivate Diverse Storytelling Talent with Podcast Development Program

An look at Audible's recent investments in the podcasting space and the launch of it's new Podcast Development Program

Everyone is looking for the next big thing in podcasts, and in recent weeks Audible has sought to stake its claim in the growing space. In doing so, the audio platform has recently minted new partnerships with stars like LeBron James and Common in an attempt to bring an influx of diverse voices to its ranks. The basketball star’s Springhill Company just launched a development deal with Audible, which includes “More Than A Vote: Our Voices. Our Vote,” a political podcast with Tiffany D. Cross and 60 Minutes host Wesley Lowery. Common is bringing his talent to the audio content provider with a new interview series “Mind Power Mixtape,” which will feature intimate, soulful conversations and Steph Curry has also launched a partnership to produce podcasts on the platform, as has Keegan-Michael Key.

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But you don’t have to be a superstar to bring your next big idea to Audible. The platform is doubling down on its investment in the next generation of talented audio storytellers with the launch of the Audible Podcast Development Program. The new initiative will commission undiscovered creators and highlights Audible’s desire to bring increased diversity and accessibility to the podcasting space.

Audible is committed to creating world-class listening experiences, and through their interest in diverse storytellers the brand is ensuring that every narrative can be told, no matter who you are or where you’re from. The program’s goal is to develop a new crop of podcasts and give emerging creators unparalleled access to mentorship, funding, and resources to bring their stories to life.

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Audible has assembled a cross-generational array of creators, podcasters and writers including stars like Lena Waithe, Malcolm Gladwell and T Bone Burnett to form its Emerging Voices Advisory Board. Some from this multi-disciplinary group of creators will help cultivate new storytelling opportunities with the podcast development program’s emerging artists, ensuring that Audible is attracting the best talent in the field to bring their creative visions to life. Some of these top artists will also lend their voices and talents to Audible’s programming as well.

The podcast topics can span a wide range, from scripted narrative series to investigative journalism though interview-based programming is off the table. The Audible Podcast Development Program will source creators in three ways: through direct outreach, the collective network of their advisory board, and through a portal on the website. Podcasters can apply at any stage of development, whether there’s just a concept or they’re mid-way through production, and members of the program will receive an array of support in various forms. Some artists may produce with little oversight from Audible, while others will benefit from a more hands-on approach.

Aspiring creators can head to Audible.com/PodcastPitch to submit their ideas for the Podcast Development Program. Audible will be reviewing applications with the goal of rolling out the new original podcasts in summer 2021.

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