California here I come: Oral histories and tales of arrival in Pop Up Archive

A radio history of California immigration

Listen to firsthand accounts of arrival, detention and otherness. We gather audio from the collections of four great California radio stations — KALW, KCRW, KQED, and KPFA — to hear about the Chinese poems on Angel island detention center walls, the internment of the Japanese, the battle for San Francisco’s International Hotel and the drama of being undocumented.
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Audio news round-up!

Hillary Clinton, #PubRadioVoice, and the podcast metrics debate


This week, we rounded up recent news from the radio and podcasting world. See what people have been writing — and podcasting — about topics like politics, diversity, and who’s listening to broadcast vs. podcast audio.

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What does the next decade of podcasting look like?

Ten years ago, Apple dropped the first batch of 3,000 podcasts into the iTunes store. In honor of this anniversary, they’re celebrating #10YearsOfPodcasts.

In the past decade, podcasting has transformed from an obscure medium for hyper-tech insiders into a media format that even your grandma can tune in to. They’ve come a long way, but podcasts have even further to go. What’s in store for the next decade of podcasting and radio? Read our 10 predictions for the next 10 years of podcasting.


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Discovering audio through trends and tastemakers

Back in January we asked: What are the biggest challenges facing digital audio? Nick van Der Kolk, host of Radiotopia’s Love + Radio said: “The biggest vacuum right now is curatorial.” He wasn’t the only one: lots of people have noted the barriers that keep great audio from being discovered.

The conversation around audio storytelling can be diffuse. So how do you keep track of the threads? Through our project, we’ve been experimenting with new ways to discover audio.


Our “trending” feature takes podcast topics and matches them with what people are talking about on social media. The picks aren’t limited to new audio: by searching across content, we can find the whole audio history of a topic. For example, by identifying all the audio related to the release of the new Apple Music app, shows you the evolution of the conversation, from early discussions of its technology, to Taylor Swift’s game-changing tweets about Apple.


In an informal survey earlier this year, we asked how people discovered podcasts. We were unsurprised to see that good old “word of mouth” is still the most frequent way listeners get turned on to new audio shows. Our “tastemaker” feature captures that human judgement about what’s good by pairing audio stories with quotes from the people who recommend them.

So where are people recommending audio online? We’ve found that podcast power-listeners take to Twitter, Reddit, and email newsletters to talk about what they’ve been listening to.

By using trending topics to guide listeners to topical audio, and aggregating social recommendations into one place, we’re chipping away at the challenges of audio discovery. It’s a work in progress: check out trending and tastemaker audio on — and let us know what we’re missing!

Happy birthday to radio and oral history legend Studs Terkel! Pop Up Archive is proud to support his incredible archive, representing 45 years on air at WFMT, where he talked to everyone from Maya Angelou and Jacques Cousteau to civil rights protesters and housewives.

Browse over 400 interviews available on Pop Up Archive:

Get listening.

Happy birthday to radio and oral history legend Studs Terkel! Pop Up Archive is proud to support his incredible archive, representing 45 years on air at WFMT, where he talked to everyone from Maya Angelou and Jacques Cousteau to civil rights protesters and housewives.

Browse over 400 interviews available on Pop Up Archive:

Get listening.

How people listen to, save, and discover new podcasts

As part of research for Pop Up Archive’s latest project,, we shared a survey on Twitter from March 18-26 asking people how they listen to and save podcast episodes. We received 102 responses. 

What service(s) do you use to listen to podcasts?

Note: respondents could check multiple boxes in response to this question. 


“Other” responses included: Distributor-specific apps e.g. the NPR news app, Audioboom, TuneIn, Knomad, Doggcatcher, ICatcher, Instacast, Windows Phone Podcasts app, BeyondPod, Podcast Addict, “Android-specific app.”

How do you save podcasts to listen to later?

Of the 102 people who responded to the survey, 95 answered the question “how do you save podcasts to listen later?”  


“Other” responses included: Podcast Addict, BeyondPod, Podcatcher, Huffduffer, add it to a SoundCloud playlist, “add to playlist on knomad,” “subscribe on my android app,” “grab one episode without subscribing,” “email it to myself,” “subscribe in Windows Phone Podcasts app,” “download MP3 file via Feedly RSS reader for saving in case file isn’t available from the source indefinitely,” and “ICatcher lets me download a specific episode from a non-subscribed feed.”

Last week, we also shared a follow-up question with our Twitter followers: 

Where do you read about/get recommendations for podcasts?

We solicited qualitative responses to this question, since a big complaint we hear about podcast discovery is that there aren’t many great resources for finding new shows. 

Of about 30 responses, the most popular sources for podcast recommendations were word of mouth, other podcasts, the Apple podcast app, the Hot Pod newsletter, and Twitter. Other responses included Google, Facebook, and Reddit. More than one person mentioned using Overcast’s Twitter integration. Read more for a sampling from the responses:

“I get recs from people I follow on Twitter. When podcasts recommend other shows, I usually check them out.“

“I browse through new stuff and top charts in iTunes… check, and follow podcast people on Twitter.”

I subscribe to the Hot Pod newsletter. I sometimes check what people I follow on Twitter recommend via the Overcast app.

“Usually from other podcasts. I’ll listen to just about anything Radiotopia or TAL-endorsed, and most of what NPR and Slate offer is at least worth a try. Top ranked on iTunes occasionally yields hits, though most of those I either already know about or aren’t interested in.”

“I trust those who are my friends. Friends are human beings, like myself, whom I know. Know means human-to-human contact, speech and some emotional interface.”

“My friends. I live in a fairly active podcast culture, so we’re always swapping ‘what do you listen to?’ answers. That’s how I learned about podcasts like 99% or even Serial.”

“I read end of the year lists, scan by popularity in iTunes, browse recommended podcasts in Stitcher, talk with friends about what they’re listening to and occasionally try finding podcasts by searching for keywords or subjects.”

“I read The Timbre… I read Ryan’s Podcast Reviews. I read Podmass. I am in a podcast group on Facebook. I follow podcasters I listen to on Twitter.”

“I usually find recommendations shared on podcasts, or by radio/podcast folks on Twitter.”

Current, The NY Times, other podcasts, word of mouth.”