Networked Podcasts: How Users Interact with Two Podcast Shows on Twitter
thesisposted on 2022-10-05, 17:37 authored by Sarah Pratt
In the past 15 years, the podcast industry continues to evolve as media companies assemble podcast shows into networks characterized by advertising business models, while other shows remain independently produced. In both cases, audiences can connect to the shows directly via social media. Studies on the phenomenon of podcasting (McClung & Johnson, 2010; Perks & Turner, 2018) found that podcast users continue to seek interaction and gratification from their favourite podcasts online. Nevertheless, it is unclear whether differences in business models have an impact on the level of users' gratification and their interaction with the content. A thematic analysis of Twitter data compares the networked storytelling podcast, Criminal, a show from the network Radiotopia, and the independently produced audio storytelling podcast, Lore, to determine the similarities and differences in interaction that occur in Twitter. Observed themes suggest that Twitter audiences support host-led narratives and the promotional activities of a podcast network, though interactions are limited to discussion of the podcast episodes and result in fewer reciprocated interactions with the host. Twitter audiences of the independently produced podcast seek a strong sense of community when interacting with the host and contributed praise and critique to the creative process of the podcast. These key distinctions provide new insights for the podcast industry as the integration for podcast networks and social media both benefit and limit the potential of meaningful engagement between podcasters and their audiences.