The 2021 Pop Convergence: A Virtual Pop Conference, April 22-25th
Artwork by Alex Nero; Design by The Art Dictator
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Saturday, April 24 • 2:30pm - 3:45pm
Pod Out the Jams: Podcasting and the Changing Mediums for Music Writing (Room A: Sky Church)

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Pod Out the Jams: Podcasting and the Changing Mediums for Music Writing (Room A: Sky Church)

Over the course of the 2010s, podcasting went from being dominated by informal, conversational/testimonial-style content to encompassing a wide range of formats, with varying levels of production quality, not to mention profit potential. As an inherently auditory medium, it’s unsurprising that music-oriented podcasts would arise and even within this specific subset, the range of styles has encompassed everything from song/album analysis to critic roundtables to history-driven storytelling to investigative journalism. This comes at a time where opportunities for print-based music writing continues to contract and web-based outlets have struggled to maintain long-term economic stability. Podcasting, for certain, is faced by similar challenges in navigating this mercurial landscape but the medium is still young enough where both the creative and financial potential is still under-explored. Our roundtable discussion brings together active podcast creators and hosts to discuss the possibilities – and liabilities – involved in turning to podcasting as a medium for music writing in all its diversity. Some of the key questions that our panel would be engaging in include:

-How is podcasting similar or different from other music writing mediums? What are some of its unexpected benefits or shortcomings?

-How challenging has it been to adapt to the medium for those used to text-based forms of music writing, whether creatively, technologically, etc.?

-What is the potential that has yet to be realized, whether creatively, financially or otherwise?

-How may the ongoing consolidation amongst podcast networks, combined with the threat of network-exclusive access, alter our expectations of music podcasting into the 2020s? Do similar consolidations in the print/web-world offer lessons or cautionary tales to learn for podcasters?

avatar for Oliver Wang

Oliver Wang

Professor of Sociology, CSU-Long Beach
Oliver Wang is a professor of sociology at CSU-Long Beach and the author of Legions of Boom: Filipino American Mobile DJ Crews of the San Francisco Bay Area (Duke Univ. Press, 2015). He is a founding member of the Pop Conference Executive Committee, chair of the 2021 Pop Convergence... Read More →

avatar for Sidney Madden

Sidney Madden

NPR Music
Sidney Madden is a host, reporter, and editor for NPR Music. Originally from Boston, Madden graduated from Hofstra University in New York with a bachelor's degree in journalism and sociology. As a freelancer, she earned bylines at MTV, People's Choice, Nylon Magazine and more before... Read More →

Jon Caramanica

New York Times
Jon Caramanica is a pop music critic at the New York Times and the host of their Popcast podcast.
avatar for Chris Molanphy

Chris Molanphy

Chart Columnist/Pop Critic, Slate/Hit Parade
Chris Molanphy is a chart analyst and pop critic who writes about the intersection of culture and commerce in popular music. For Slate, he hosts the Hit Parade podcast and writes their “Why Is This Song No. 1?” series. His work has also appeared in Rolling StonePitchf... Read More →
avatar for Puja Patel

Puja Patel

Editor-in-Chief; host of The Pitchfork Review, Pitchfork
Puja Patel is the editor-in-chief of Pitchfork and hosts The Pitchfork Review. She was previously the editor of SPIN, a senior editor at Deadspin, and has contributed to the Village Voice, MTV, Rolling Stone, and Fader among others. 

Saturday April 24, 2021 2:30pm - 3:45pm PDT
Room A: Sky Church