Nick Quah Brings Podcasting Prowess to Yale

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Nick Quah inadvertently found himself an expert in all things podcast during graduate school at the University of Chicago where, he says, “Podcasts kept me sane.” There was a gap, he realized, between the skyrocketing popularity of the medium and a comprehensive source of information about the industry and rising trends. So three years ago Quah launched Hot Pod, a digital newsletter all about podcasts that became – after just a year - his full-time job.

Quah’s podcasting dissections are thorough and detailed, full of insider knowledge – everything from listener analytics (note: podcasts are really popular and the audiences hyper-loyal), to staff shakeups, to technical insights in managing a podcast, to an analysis of a McDonald’s branded podcast about a particular Szechuan sauce-related incident in its corporate history called The Sauce (really).

Now Quah has brought his podcasting expertise to Yale, as the Podcast and Digital Media Fellow at Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale (Tsai CITY). He’ll be leading a Podcasting Intensive (applications due March 27) for interested students, where he’ll invite in experts, dig into what makes a podcast successful and get students working on launching a podcast of their own.

“When it comes to podcasting,” says Quah, “the barrier to entry is love but the barrier to skills is high. It’s very hard to be good.”

Quah calls true crime “the beating heart of podcasting right now,” adding “if it has a dead body it will probably do well.” Other genres that are having a podcast moment include narrative storytelling, sports and politics.

Students face the same dilemmas as anyone looking to build an audience, Quah says. The stories are there but you have to find a way to tell them well and consistently. “There are so many stories about New Haven, Yale and Connecticut that are not being told,” he says.

The Intensive will give students an opportunity to explore these topics and to learn about the industry from a variety of different perspectives – from that of a producer to an entrepreneur. Later in the spring, Quah will announce the university’s first Podcasting Conference at Yale School of Management.

CONTACT: Brita Belli, Communications Officer, Tsai CITY, (203)804-1911, brita.belli@yale.edu.

 

Brita Belli