Students present their ideas for podcasts to a panel of industry experts ahead of the launch of a new programme in the Department of Journalism.

By Hamish Armstrong(Senior Communications Officer), Published

Quirky trivia, political discussion, sexual health and bereavement advice were among the variety of podcast ideas pitched by students to experts at City, University of London’s ‘Podpitch’ event – ahead of the first cohort of the Department of Journalism’s Podcasting MA course in September.

The audio content market has boomed in recent years and continues to grow. Popular podcasts inform, educate, amuse, entertain and even horrify their audiences, and can be lucrative if successful with increased advertising and subscription options. However, the art of producing and monetising a successful, unique show with longevity remains a difficult hurdle to overcome for many aspiring podcasters.

Student pitches podcast idea to three panellists

Following in the format of ‘Dragons’ Den’, 13 student teams shared their podcast ideas – or in some cases, early productions – with three highly experienced leaders in podcast production:

  • Matt Hill, Founder of Rethink Audio and co-founder of British Podcasting Awards.
  • Elena Guthrie, Senior Producer at History Hit, radio producer and City alumna (Broadcast Journalism MA, 2021).
  • Darby Dorras, Director of Content at Listen.

The panel was impressed by the entrepreneurialism and creativity on display, and provided valuable individual feedback on each of the ideas presented – which ranged from marketing and cultivating an audience, to sustainability and serialisation of episodes. Top tips included short snappy titles, a clear concept that could be consistently serialised, and clear identification of an audience.

City launched the new Podcasting MA in January, in response to industry demand for highly trained creatives. The programme will run alongside the new Centre for Podcasting Excellence at City that will hold regular podcasting industry events with expert guest speakers as well as short courses.

Students pitch their podcast idea to three panellists

Sandy Warr, Course Director for the Podcasting MA, said the event and quality of creative imagination showed the importance of embracing different forms of broadcasting education.

“Podpitch gave our students the opportunity to show off an exceptional group of podcast inventions and grill the experts for tips on how fine tune them.

“The event was a perfect example of the way we plan to ensure our new students can get the best possible support to start a career.

Podcasting MA students will have regular contact with people driving the industry who are doing the job every day. We have already had strong contact with industry for support, coaching and even work experience for prospective students.

“The MA will enable students to develop audio production, storytelling and editing, but also the business skills required to succeed in a competitive market including monetisation, advertising and branding, audience strategy and even talent management.

“We are really interested in hearing from prospective applicants who are keen to hone their skills in these areas.”

Brett Spencer, Lecturer at City and Director of the Centre for Podcasting Excellence, said the event offered a glimpse into what students could expect on the new programme.

“Podcasting is such a major part of modern media consumption.

“The Centre will continue providing opportunities for students to develop their skills and knowledge of the podcasting world, alongside the Podcasting MA programme which launches in September.

We were delighted to welcome Matt, Elena and Darby – three highly successful podcasters with years of experience between them – which demonstrates the unrivalled level of exposure our students are able to get to industry leaders.


Related schools, departments and centres