9 Things We Learned from Ofcom’s 2021 Podcast Survey

Any podcast nerds out there may have seen Ofcom recently published their 2021 Podcast Survey. This survey collected responses from thousands of individual via online, covering a nationally representative sample across the UK.

The aim of this survey, in their words, is “to obtain a better understanding of the in-the-moment needs, behaviours,
and usage” of podcast listeners.

Sounds like jibberish, right? We hear you, but we still trawled through the thousands of lines of results published, because among the predictable responses (i.e. people like to listen to podcasts on the go) there are also some useful insights which may help us improve the content we make, and what we do with it.

Here are 9 things we can all take from the results.

6 Film & TV Podcasts You Must Follow

We think we produce two pretty awesome podcasts (and you can listen to 2 Minute Movies and 2 Minute Telly now), but there are tons of great shows out there from our friends across the podverse.

There’s nothing we love more than discovering a new show we immediately add to our playlist. Something which becomes a must-listen, and you never really know how you got through the day without it.

So we thought we’d put a list together with some of our favourite podcasts about film & TV for you to enjoy. Give them a listen and share some your own picks in the comments below.


1. W-Rated

Launched at the start of 2021, W-Rated is a fortnightly podcast hosted by Daisy Edwards and Clare Hope reviewing the worst films of all time, inspired by IMDB’s worst 100 list. With only a handful of episodes, this is still in its infancy, but with each episode the show goes from strength to strength as the two continue to hone their style, tone and delivery. It won’t be the best production value you’ve ever heard, but fundamentally it’s a show which reels you in with the concept and keeps you there with tons of personality.


2. The Sci-Fi Wise Guys

If you like a bit of science fiction then this is the podcast for you. The Sci-Fi Wise Guys are two American friends discussing a different movie or theme each week, covering everything from The Justice League to Mortal Kombat. They launched the show in mid-2020, but their polished delivery, excellent radio voices and well-produced shows would make you think they have been broadcasting for far longer. It’s the little audio sweeps between segments, the lack of “urms” and “ahs” and the crisp, clear audio – that attention to detail really shines through; though they could do with a shorter intro (anyone who speaks to me knows an overly long theme is a huge pet peeve). The great thing about this show is that you don’t need to love the genre; like any great niche podcast, all it takes is one episode and even the most anti-sci-fi of you will be hooked.


3. Fantasy Reboot Podcast

The Fantasy Reboot Podcast is produced and hosted by Simon, and you can tell this is a guy who knows a thing or two about radio. Getting a bunch of friends and family together to record a podcast sounds very simple, but he makes it look pretty effortless. The concept is also very compelling – each episode sees the group attempt to recast a different classic movie, and in the next episode they reveal listener suggestions. It’s a highly effective idea, but also benefits from not time-stamping itself – you can listen back to the whole first series at any point and it would still be as funny as the day they launched. Having a younger member of the family record little voiceover bits is also a brilliant touch which wraps the show with a real homeliness. You feel like you’re an invited guest to a big family dinner, in the best way possible, and I cannot wait for the next series.


4. Bingewatch

Really good TV review podcasts are few and far between, which is why I’ve tried to include two of the best in this list (but of course I think 2 Minute Telly is the best of them all!!). One of them is Bingewatch, a show hosted by established journalists and TV critics Hannah Fernando and Ian MacEwan, who have teamed up to bring a weekly roundup of all the new shows to hit our screens in the last seven days. Interspersing clips from the shows creates a light-hearted magazine sense, punctuated by their casual but clearly knowledgeable style. Additionally, the <30min episodes make it an easy listen from people you can trust. They really understand their audience, and that is the core strength of this show. This should be a staple part of everyone’s podcast diet.


5. The Daily Reel

Van Connor is one of the best damn film critics in the universe, and you can also hear him review movies in rapid fashion over at 2 Minute Movies. Okay, shameless plug out of the way. The Daily Reel is genuinely a great show for a quick daily fix of movie news. Van’s five minute bulletin is released every weekday at 6am, which makes it the perfect addition to Alexa’s daily flash briefing. With none of the fluff, you can stay completely up to date with everything you need to know about Hollywood before you even get out of bed.


6. Tea-V-Time

This is the newest podcast on the list, but an equally worthy listen. Film critic and blogger Lucy Buglass takes full advantage of her growing social media gravitas to pull in some excellent co-hosts each week, discussing both new and classic shows with a nice brew in hand. The show is truly excellent and shows off Lucy’s innate ability to make her guests feel comfortable and conversational. She has an incredible subject matter expertise which would hold its own on even the snobbiest podcasts, but you wouldn’t know because she reigns it in and holds focus on the guest. It is one of the best interview podcasts around, and I would not be surprised to see Lucy make her way to radio & TV with her very own chat show one day.


So there you go. Six podcasts you should absolutely go and follow. You can thank me later. What are you listening to at the moment? Besides 2 Minute Movies & 2 Minute Telly, obviously 🙂

Comment below with your own suggestions – we love to hear about those hidden gems you can’t stop listening to!

Speak soon

Liam

What Podcast Subscriptions Mean to You

In the last week, both Apple and Spotify – the two biggest podcast streaming platforms – have announced subscription services for premium podcast content. This decision may just be a way to further monetise a booming industry, but the consequences could be far reaching, both in terms of how you discover and stream content.

The introduction of a subscription service is not a surprise. Most of us were expecting a move like this, and it feels pretty natural, particularly as companies like Spotify invest heavily in original content – just look at the mega money deal for The Joe Rogan Experience, plus original content from Harry & Meghan and the Obamas. In order for these investments to be sustainable, additional monetisation and the rolling out of premium/subscription only content was inevitable.

But what does this new model mean for you, the listener?


Well, I guess we can compare the evolution of podcast consumption to what Netflix did for video content ten years ago, and it’s called vertical integration. In other words, when one entity has complete end-to-end control. Netflix finance, produce and distribute their own content, and it’s the exclusivity you pay for. Spotify and Apple and others will begin competing in the same way Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max and Disney Plus currently do.

Now I don’t believe podcasts will ever become quite as segregated as film & TV. A majority of podcasts will still be available on a free RSS feed, distributed across all major podcast players, including Spotify and Apple. This is because podcasting is a more accessible, community driven medium and there really is nothing to suggest people will stop creating podcasts, which means podcast hosts and all associated distribution channels will still exist. That in itself is still a big industry, and that means you will still have hundreds of thousands of free podcasts to consume at your leisure.

The unfortunate catch you may find yourself in is that the more popular your favourite shows become, the more likely they’ll be snapped up exclusively by the big players.

I also think the individual show deal such as Joe Rogan will be the exception rather than the rule. I expect a lot of the distribution deals will potentially be made on a network basis. For example, a big network such as Evergreen may sign a deal with Spotify for some or all of their shows. This is cheaper for Spotify – the cost of bulk-buying is less than the sum of paying individually for each show – and much simpler for Evergreen – who get to make a lot of money on one deal rather than negotiating many ads and sponsors. On this scale, for the businesses at least, it’s a win-win.

You may end up needing to pay a monthly fee to a number of different apps for the privilege of watching your favourite shows.

There is an upside of course – with more premium subscribers comes less of a dependency on advertisers, so those shows you like could eventually do away with the ad breaks or sponsored pre-rolls, and let’s face it you don’t tune in for those.

There is an additional long-term benefit to you, the listener, of paying for content, which is actually very simple – if you don’t like the content you won’t pay for it. This puts pressure on the streaming services to provide content not only consistently, but to a high standard. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that this modern golden age of television we’re enjoying has run parallel to this shift in consumption habits. This raises the bar across the entire industry, which ultimately gives you, the listener, far more choice.

I said this was a long-term benefit, because these services rely on having a strong subscriber base to invest in more content. Initially, you may find even a small fee may not seem worth it, as Spotify and Apple play catch up – rapidly tying big shows into exclusive deals and pushing through development of a slate of new original content. You won’t see the benefits of this for a while, until that catalogue of premium content has grown. But these services can only become financially viable if people back it, if subscribers grow, and that initial investment can be repaid.

Now here’s the cynic in me, because although your subscription holds streaming platforms to account and forces them to provide value for money, with this comes a huge threat to the independent podcasters out there, and it’s all about choice. Specifically, how these services may leverage their ability to drive the choices you make about what you listen to. With vertical integration comes a conflict of interest, where the producers of content are also the ones distributing the content. This means your recommended shows may not be totally selflessly calculated. I fully expect algorithms to place a bias on premium content. This in turn will drive more traffic to the shows your paying for, but it’s kind of unfairly doing so, and you could be missing other great independent shows purely because it’s no longer as easy to find them.

The catch 22 with the above is that in order for shows to catch the attention of Spotify or Apple commissioners, they must already have a pretty sizable audience, or (as mentioned above) they’re part of a network, which generally means they already meet a minimum audience threshold.

So it could be that these new subscription services could squeeze out many small and independent podcasts because those shows become increasingly difficult to discover, so stats go down and fatigue sets in.

It is true that anyone can start a podcast, and I continue to maintain that this will always be the case, but when nobody is listening it’s very hard for a podcaster to stay motivated and continue creating content. So the market shrinks seemingly organically, which then gives subscription services more credence. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy which limits barriers to entry and ultimately makes you feel you have more choice when in reality there’s far less.


Heff Corp. launched last year to create original and networked podcasts specialising in film & TV coverage, and so I’m not going to try and pretend that if Spotify or Apple came knocking we wouldn’t hear them out. We have people who work hard to bring you our shows, and we think they deserve to get paid for it. But so do the thousands of other creators out there who make great content. We need to ensure there are still opportunities for creators to get heard, and for you to find them.

There’s no point in making a show if you can’t or won’t listen. So we are curious in this next era for the podcast industry. I believe it can work – the TV & film industries have proved it can – but podcasting is still in its infancy. We are all learning, but we have to put you first. We exist because you listen to us, and over the next few years we, as an industry, need to make sure we still listen to you, or else we’ll all lose in the end.

Speak soon

Liam

2 Minute Movies Wins at the Podcasting for Business Awards

Heff Corp. has won the Best Arts Podcast at the first national Podcasting for Business Awards.

2 Minute Movies was selected from hundreds of entries to become an award winner in the inaugural Podcasting for Business Awards. The awards were announced in a fun, virtual online ceremony on the 26th of January, 2021.

“We are delighted to win this fantastic podcasting award,” said show producer Liam Heffernan. 

“Since launching 2 Minute Movies and 2 Minute Telly last year, we have gone from strength to strength and really found our stride. It’s such a different concept from your usual film review podcast that we had little precedence, so to get this kind of recognition is incredible. I hope this win will inspire others to take up podcasting, and not be afraid to think outside the box.”

The awards are the brainchild of Lynsay Anne Gould, who is a top-rated podcaster, podcast agency owner and business coach. The Podcasting for Business Awards’ main aim is to celebrate the creativity of new and seasoned podcasters and help them reach a wider audience. Podcasting has taken off globally with Apple currently hosting over 1.68 million podcasts and there are over 10 million weekly podcast listeners here in the UK.

Founder of the Awards, Lynsay Anne says, “A big congratulations to all the winners. The PFB Awards are a celebration of all independent podcasting and we love sharing the amazing achievements of podcasters across many different genres. A big thank you to all our judges and sponsors who made the 2021 awards a massive success.”

“We absolutely love showcasing indie podcasters and their shows in the awards and we will be hosting the event annually. I am passionate about getting more diverse voices and ideas heard via the marvellous medium of podcasting.”

To find out more go to https://www.lynsayanne.com/pfbawards


Notes to editors:

For interview enquiries, please contact

Lynsay Gould on 07515 036470 or email info@lynsayanne.com.

Liam Heffernan on 07806 944115 or email liam@heffcorp.com

About the Awards:

The Podcasting for Business Awards inspires and motivates new and seasoned podcasters. The awards aim to champion the people behind the podcast – the indie podcasters and their teams, who are the heart and soul of the industry. We also want to  inspire new podcasters and more diverse voices in the industry. The PFB Awards are an annual celebration of all independent podcasting and we cater to the diverse and rapidly expanding podcast industry by awarding achievement in a set of podcast categories using an expert-Led judging process.

Sponsors: Ruth Kudzi Coaching Academy, Shaa Wasmund MBE, Sarah Moseley, BookPrintingUK, Toni Martin & Align Life.

Award Categories:

Podcasting for Business Student of the year Award

Best Health & Wellbeing Podcast

Best Marketing Podcast

Best Entrepreneurship Podcast

Best New Podcast

Best Diversity & Inclusion Podcast

Best Comedy Podcast

Best Interview Podcast

Best Lockdown Podcast

Best Family Podcast

Best Entertainment Podcast

Best Education Podcast

Best Arts Podcast

Listener’s Choice Award

Join the Editorial Team of a Brand New Review Site

Heff Corp. is a new media company bringing together the best critics from the UK and beyond to build a family of brands delivering unique, specialist film and television coverage. Our brands currently include the 2 Minute Podcasts – launched in May 2020 – and the in development Film Awards Database, which aims to be the default destination for film awards insight.

The latest brand to be announced by Heff Corp. is a new review, feature and news hub covering the world of film and TV, and we are putting together an editorial team to join from day one. This is the perfect opportunity for those with some experience, looking to make a name for themselves and build something from the ground up.

The site will cover all of the biggest and newest released across film & TV, but also look to fill some of the gaps currently underserved by other sites including, for example, children’s TV, reality, documentaries and foreign language films. We want to be the place everyone thinks of because they know it’ll cover that thing nobody else does, and while there they can also check out the latest Netflix or Disney reviews.

Make no mistake, this is a venture with big dreams. As part of Heff Corp. it will be central to the group’s growth as a go-to destination for film and television coverage, and we want you to help us make it a big player. That means if you have tons of ambition, some previous writing and/or editorial experience and a huge interest in movies, you could be the perfect fit. We will all be unpaid at first, which is why a love of film is essential, but we also want to keep the good ones (like you) around for the long game, and that means working together to transform our interests into an income.

So if you’re up for a challenge then keep reading, because we’re after a number of key roles.

Editor-In-Chief

From news, reviews and features to interviews, video and audio, the Editor-in-Chief is responsible for all content on the site. It’s down to you to decide what’s needed, and ensure the highest standards are met. Ultimately, you get to steer the direction of the site and decide what needs to be covered.

If you have been running your own successful blog or review site, or you’ve been part of the editorial team of another site and want to take the next step, then this could be the perfect opportunity. You get to shape the editorial strategy from day one and make a lasting impression. A challenging role suited to a confident, opinionated and ambitious movie lover with a good eye for detail.

Social Media Editors

Helping to tell the world about us, our social media team will be responsible for managing all social channels and making sure the right stuff gets seen by the right people. If you love film & TV and you have an interest in social media, then this could be a great opportunity for you. A proven track record in building followers and engagement would be awesome, but is not essential; we just want someone passionate about sharing our content and engaging with our audience.

The role offers some valuable experience in social media management, and you should want to learn how to use analytics to understand our audience and shape the marketing strategy. This will be a great platform to hone your social skills with a lot of creative freedom.

Contributors

So you already write for some great sites and publications and you don’t want to give that up – we totally get it. However, you could still be a valuable member of the team by writing reviews, covering news and events, or researching longer editorial pieces. We want to give you an outlet to broaden your portfolio and cover the things you may not have the scope to do elsewhere, so get in touch and tell us what you want to write about.

Contributors are the soul of the site, but we don’t care if you’re the best writer in the world or you’ve never written a review before. If you have an interest in film & TV, and particularly if you have a particular area of interest, we would love to hear from you. We guarantee you a platform where your work will be seen and appreciated, and one day we hope we can incentivise you to stick around!

So if you’re interested in joining a new team and being part of an exciting new site from day one, then email liam@heffcorp.com now with a little bit about yourself, a link to any previous work or any questions you might have.

2 Minute Podcasts Celebrate Black History Month

Throughout October, guest reviewers are highlighting films and series which address black history, in support of #BHM and #BlackLivesMatter

To celebrate Black History Month in the UK, ‘2 Minute’ podcasts are proud to invite a number of guest critics from non-white backgrounds to review culturally significant films, all with the common theme of shining a light on black history.

From documentaries to dramas, comedy series to Sundance success stories, the podcast will feature a number of reviews of significant films and series to keep conversations of race, equality and inclusion alive at a time of heightened political uncertainty.

“2020 has been a unique year, not least because of how George Floyd has ignited the Black Lives Matter movement, and forced the world into action” Heff Corp. founder Liam Heffernan said. “Black History Month in the UK comes just before the election, so we all need to do our bit to keep the conversation not just alive, but front and centre.”

“The whole team cares enormously about doing what we can to make a difference, which is why we believe it was critically important that every review is not only about black history, but delivered through a non-white gaze. Our guests represent some of the best film critics on both sides of the pond.”


Our Guest Reviewers

JOSH PARHAM

Josh is a writer and podcaster for Next Best Picture, and a member of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle. I love all kinds of films, from hard hitting dramas with good characters to cheesy horror thrillers. Also, my favourite franchise is the James Bond series.

ROZ TRY-HANE

Roz is an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic who writes for Battle Royale With Cheese, FOPP and on a monthly basis she runs Subversive Sundays film club @sundayfilmday. As a self confessed scaredy cat she’s a horror free zone, more indie than blockbuster film.

NEIL RAMJEE

Neil is a freelance print & radio film critic, disc jockey and podcaster for FilmSeekers.


Reviews will be posted throughout October, in addition to the usual reviews of all the latest films and series from Van Connor and Zehra Phelan.

Find 2 Minute Movies and 2 Minute Telly on your favourite podcast player and subscribe now!

Additionally, if you would like to get involved in our #BHM reviews, simply contact us here – we’d love to hear from you.

Heff Corp. Rolls Out New Branding

Heff Corp. has today launched bold new branding, as it gears up for a big second year.

The specialist film & TV producer launched two podcasts in May – 2 Minute Movies and 2 Minute Telly – and recently brought The Film Awards Database under its roof, with an expected beta launch within the next year. However, Heff Corp. founder Liam Heffernan has even bigger plans.

“Our vision for Heff Corp. is to be a collaboration of brands, all with the single goal of informing, entertaining and inspiring audiences with market leading film and TV coverage” said Liam. “Our brand image reflects this boldness with a big smack of retro Hollywood signage. Now, when you see Heff Corp. you know exactly what we’re about.”

The producer also has ambitious plans to grow their brands over the next few years, in order to establish itself as a true market disrupter, harnessing the expertise of the industry’s best journalists, critics and filmmakers to build something truly unique.

“Just like our new branding, Heff Corp. is loud, and we’re going to start shouting, so the rest of the industry better start listening…”

The Film Awards Database Joins Heff Corp.

Heff Corp. has announced it is bringing The Film Awards Database under its banner – its first non-audio brand, as the startup media producer expands its specialist content offering.

The Film Awards Database has been under construction since 2017, also founded by Heff Corp.’s Liam Heffernan. Once complete, it will be the primary destination for film awards season coverage and a definitive resource for industry, press and film fans alike. Heff Corp. already produce two film and television review podcasts – 2 Minute Movies and 2 Minute Telly, both launched in May 2020.

“Heff Corp. was launched as a podcast and radio production house” said Liam, “but The Film Awards Database is a natural companion to our existing content, and takes us one step further towards disrupting the industry with market leading specialist film and TV coverage.”

A beta version of the database is planned to launch to a limited number of users before the end of 2020. A full launch is currently scheduled for late 2021. For more information, or if you’re interested in being invited to test the site, email alan.smithee@filmawardsdb.com

Heff Corp. Launches ‘2 Minute’ PODCASTS

Heff Corp. has launched the first podcasts in its new network, and the first in a new strand of 2 Minute shows to be streamed online and broadcast on Podcast Radio.

Billed as the biggest little podcasts in the world, 2 Minute Movies and 2 Minute Telly offers straight-to-the-point reviews of the latest films and series, in exactly 120 seconds. They are the first in what Heff Corp. hopes to be an innovative family of shows capturing the needs of listeners in an increasingly fast-paced and content rich world.

“These podcasts will be everyone’s first stop when deciding what to watch” says Heff Corp. founder Liam Heffernan. “It’s exactly what it says on the tin, and you can listen as you browse. Nobody really streams hours of movie podcasts end-to-end, and that’s why these shows are perfect – we take the boring stuff out so you don’t need to skip it.”


“We love challenging the status quo.  We know podcasts entertain, inform, inspire and engage listeners.  A podcast like 2 Minute Movies proves all of the above can be achieved in just two minutes, once again bending the rules of audio.”

Gerard Edwards, CEO Podcast Radio

2 Minute Movies features weekly reviews of the latest releases in the cinema and on your favourite streaming platforms, hosted by Van Connor – a film critic, writer, presenter, and all-round movie fanatic you can typically hear giving the week’s film reviews on BBC Radio’s Drivetime with Adam Ball, along with his picks of the weekend’s best on TV for talkSPORT’s Extra Time with Paul Ross.

As well as working as a producer, Van also hosts the ultimate seven day movie guide in the form of the OffScreen podcast with Rebecca Perfect, and can otherwise be found dotted throughout broadcast media wheresoever he’ll be allowed to discuss some good ol’ popcorn thrills.

2 Minute Telly is the companion show for the small screen, proving size doesn’t matter with snappy two-minute reviews of all the latest and biggest series. Host Zehra Phelan worked in the music industry for 15 years, but made the leap into the world of film and TV reporting and becoming disillusioned with life as an extra.

From TV and Film reviews and features to interviewing some of the top actors in the game, her work credits include HeyUGuys, Flavourmag, Yahoo, The Voice (Newspaper) and TV’s London Film Club on London Live. She says “2 Minute Telly will provide audiences with bite-sized, no-nonsense reviews of the newest and hottest TV shows”


“All the film review, non of the bumph. 2 Minute Movies is the perfect bite-sized dose of cinematic feedback, perfect for that frenzied last-minute queue at the box office. For my money, a minute with either Zehra or producer Liam is more often than not a delight, and – in this case – I get two of them!”

Van Connor, 2 Minute Movies Host

Both podcasts are available to stream now via Spotify, Acast or your favourite podcast provider. Meanwhile, 2 Minute Movies can also be heard on Podcast Radio via DAB and online. It “proves [what] can be achieved in just two minutes, once again bending the rules of audio” says its CEO Gerard Edwards.

You can also follow 2 Minute podcasts and Heff Corp on social media:

Follow 2 Minute Podcasts on Twitter

Follow Heff Corp. on Twitter

Follow Heff Corp. on Facebook


Image assets below are available for use. For any other media enquiries contact liam@heffcorp.com

Heff Corp. Demo Scoops Gold at 2020 National Hospital Radio Awards

In a virtual awards ceremony held on Monday 13th April 2020, Shannon Griffin at Hospital Radio Medway picked up Gold for Best Newcomer at the 2020 National Hospital Radio Awards. Heff Corp. worked with Shannon to produce her award-winning demo.

Peter Finch’s smooth jazz show Coolaxing, another Heff Corp. demo, was also shortlisted for the Best Specialist Music Programme award.

The awards were originally due to take place in Bolton on the 28th March 2020, but the Hospital Broadcasting Association, which represents hospital, health and wellbeing broadcasters across the UK, took the decision to cancel the ceremony due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Hospital radio stations are playing a pivotal role in the current Coronavirus pandemic, with many stations broadcasting remotely with presenters hosting programmes from their own homes. While many patients in hospitals aren’t able to have visitors, hospital radio is always there to be a friend at the bedside, providing entertainment, information and relaying messages from family and friends. 

Hospital Radio Medway broadcasts to the patients, visitors and staff across the Medway Maritime Hospital, and online at hospitalradiomedway.co.uk

The Hospital Broadcasting Association is celebrating fifty years since its inception in 1970 when it was formed out of the Federation of Yorkshire Tape Recording Clubs as the National Association of Hospital Broadcasting Organisations (NAHBO).

Today, it represents 170 hospital, health and wellbeing stations across the UK and the National Hospital Radio Awards is an annual celebration, recognising some of the incredible talent and diversity amongst volunteers in a number of categories from presenting, speech and innovation.