Talk about your niche programming. Business-focused Atlantic magazine spin-off Quartz has joined forces with American Public Media’s Marketplace to capitalize on the post-“Serial” audio fever (fervor?).
Their new podcast, dubbed “Actuality,” takes listeners behind the scenes of the gritty world of … financial reporting. This probably doesn't have the same appeal as Sarah Koenig’s sleuthing, err, crime reporting had for the average listener.
But as an admitted Marketplace devotee, journalist and financially illiterate girlfriend to an economics policy guy, my first reaction was “I’d listen to that!” That’s the beauty of a podcast like this — the aim is not mass-market appeal, but to be a deep dive, supplementing existing content that current readers/listeners might want.
Hosted by Quartz’s Tim Fernhotz and Marketplace’s Sabri Ben-Achour (so that’s how you spell his name!), the introductory article explains:
“And for us, the real lesson of the post-Serial boomlet isn’t that podcasts are great — they’ve been great for awhile! — but that people actually care what reporters do before the story gets written or recorded. Which is to say, we always knew you cared about the murder mystery, but we didn’t know that you cared about how we try to report it. It’s with this in mind that we’re excited to bring you ‘Actuality,’ a twice-monthly podcast jointly produced with our friends at Marketplace. We’re friends because, frankly, we like to come at stories in some similar ways — finding the accessible and conversational in those stories that used to wither and die on the business pages.”
The podcast is only available via iTunes at this juncture, but I suspect they may offer it via other platforms soon.
“Actuality”’s genesis seems to be summed up in this sentence: “Quartz and Marketplace are committed to finding new ways to bring news about the changing world to our followers in whatever medium you prefer.”
Good for you, Quartz and Marketplace. This is a smart reaction to a trend — engaging your core audience while expanding your horizons, while using existing resources.