You’ve Got to Hear This: Funding a New Health Policy Podcast
This article was first published on January 15, 2020, on the Health Affairs Blog.
If it seems like everyone you know is recommending that you listen to their favorite podcast, you’re not alone. With more than half a million podcasts to choose from, the podcasting world is bursting with content.
Podcasts, which emulate the on-demand content model perfected by Netflix, enable you to listen wherever and whenever you want and binge on multiple episodes in a sitting. As a result, they are becoming a larger and larger part of Americans’ “media diet.” According to industry analyst Infinite Dial, an estimated 62 million people (see slide 17), or more than one-fifth of the US population, listened to a podcast in the past week.
Formats vary, but the most captivating podcasts employ a combination of journalism, classic character-driven storytelling, and a heaping teaspoon of entertainment. While health care was slow out of the gate compared to topics like true crime, sports, and investing, there are an increasing number of health policy podcasts to choose from. Among them: The Dose, produced by The Commonwealth Fund; Health Affairs podcasts, including Newsmakers, Narrative Matters, and Events; What the Health? from Kaiser Health News (KHN); and An Arm and a Leg, which receives financial support from KHN and got a grant from Chicago AWESOME Foundation.
As foundation communications professionals and avid podcast listeners, we are excited that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) are supporting a new podcast at the intersection of economics and health policy. Created by veteran health care journalist Dan Gorenstein (formerly with the American Public Media program Marketplace), Tradeoffs is modeled after other successful informational podcasts, such as Planet Money and Freakonomics, that make research and data relevant and accessible. Tradeoffs is intended to help “people on Main Street, Wall Street, and Capitol Hill have smarter health policy conversations.”
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