Netflix & Podcasts: Video is Loving the Radio Star


Netflix Podcast: Strong Black Leads – Tracy Clayton(L) interviews Hollywood celeb Jason Weaver

The phrase, “Video Killed the Radio Star” is often cited as a metaphor with respect to the domination of video over audio.  It’s also a song by a British New-Wave band and one-hit wonder, Buggles and the first selection played by MTV 40 years ago this month, August 1, 1981 to be exact, that sparked the birth of the music video revolution.

One wonders if that metaphor a premonition of things to come. Did that nail get further spiked into that coffin in 1997 by Netflix spinning out DVD rentals by mail? Or YouTube hitting the scene 2005 followed two years later with Netflix rolling out streaming subscriptions over the Internet?

Video continues to gobble up bandwidth, more so with the likes of Instagram and Tik-Tok. At the same time, podcast titles have literally doubled since April 2020 when Apple announced their one millionth entry in Apple’s Podcast directory.

I’m not suggesting the tides have turned. Audio is certainly a less intrusive medium, i.e., you can indulge safely, while walking, driving and even working. Additionally, we also now have the likes of audio streaming services like Spotify, audio chatrooms like Clubhouse, and major players like Facebook quickly doubling-down on new audio offerings.  

Now rather than a monopoly or single dominator, it seems that not only are audio and video existing together in peace and harmony, but the latter, the 900-pound gorilla has seemingly befriended and is embracing its nemesis, becoming its companion rather than annihilator.

Perhaps that friendship between video and audio – more specifically podcasts could blossom into a beneficial marriage or a profitable business arrangement. 

Perhaps it already has.

Streaming services have already turned audio podcasts into videos. Streaming leader Netflix for example has already taken the True Crime podcast, Dirty John – based on a true story and turned it into a series. Another, Sound Exploder, a podcast about how music gets made has become a docuseries showing how musicians dig deep into the creative process of songwriting and reveal their intimate thoughts. Both have now have, not one, but two seasons under their belts.

There’s more.

Netflix Original – Official Podcast for The Crown

Original Podcast Programming

Netflix has created over a dozen audio original podcasts designed to explore their Netflix landscape of original programming. Shows range from official podcasts for a specific series like The Crown, to titles like Behind the Scenes of the Irishman

More than just creating companion podcasts that revolve around particular show, other podcasts involve stories about real people. Because I Watched, tells stories from real people and how shows have impacted them. 

Netflix employees bring themselves into view with We Are Netflix. Another, Watch With…, provides commentaries right from show’s Directors.

Work & Life at Netflix as told by employees

Netflix has also dug deeper, creating podcasts supporting important topics of today and culture and giving a voice to many that has been long overdue. 

The Strong Black Lead podcast features interviews by Tracy Clayton, writer and co-host of BuzzFeed’s Another Round podcast. The company says it was created to hear from foundational people in black pop culture that amplifies their amazing work with the goal creating sharable and uniquely relatable content that contributes to the culture. In one episode, Clayton chats up Hollywood celeb Jason Weaver who shares how he was selected by Sir Elton John to sing in the original Lion King.

Prism: Tales of Your City – location-based LGBTQ+ focused

Location Based LGBTQ+ Focused

Prism is LGBTQ+ focused with Season 1 entitled Tales of Your City which tells stories of queer place and community. It’s produced by six independent queer podcast and radio producers in partnership with Netflix and told by queer people from six locations: Minneapolis, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Orleans and New York. 

These podcasts are certainly worth checking out and you don’t need a Netflix subscription to do so – although you’ll get better mileage from the shows if you do. They’re available through your favourite distributor like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify. 

If that isn’t enough to convince you how serious Netflix is about the future of podcasts, Bloomberg reported recently, that Netflix has lured away N’Jeri Eaton, former executive and Head of Content, Apple Podcasts to lead their podcasting operations, overseeing content related to Netflix’s original offerings. 

You may also want to consider podcasts are not only another outlet for content, promotions and marketing spots, it’s a Wild West for new advertising opportunities and other possible sources of revenue.

As for video killing the radio star, I think we better go way back to the late 19th century and Mark Twain, who reported his death to be a mere exaggeration.

A syndicated version of the article also appears at Troy Media and affiliated syndicated sites.

Greg Gazin, also known as the Gadget Guy and Gadget Greg, is a syndicated veteran tech columnist, communication, leadership and technology speaker, facilitator at Crestcom International, blogger, podcaster and author. Reach him @gadgetgreg or at

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