Paris Hilton Has a Podcast, With a Twist

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Podcasting holds a strong allure for would-be media disrupters and visionaries. In the still-developing medium, they see wet clay, capable of being molded into an ideal vessel for long-form narrative journalism or fiction or game shows or musicals or memoir.

Add Paris Hilton to their ranks. Hilton, master of an earlier mass-communications era in the tabloid-fueled early aughts, is getting into the podcast business with a new company, her own show and an unusual spin on a form that will seek to create an audio equivalent to social media.

“This Is Paris” will debut on Feb. 22 in partnership with iHeartMedia, the radio giant that has become one of the largest distributors of podcasts, with more than 750 shows collecting more than 250 million downloads per month. Aimed at Hilton’s over 40 million followers across social media platforms, the new show will offer a mix of personal content and conversations with her family, friends and other celebrities. It will be the flagship of a planned slate of seven shows to be produced by Hilton’s company, London Audio, and the iHeartPodcast Network. The other programs, featuring different hosts, will be released over the next three years.

“I’ve always been an innovator and first mover when it comes to reality TV, social, D.J.ing, and now I really believe that voice and audio is the next frontier,” she said in an interview.

A key feature of her podcast will be its use of a format that Hilton is calling “Podposts”: short (between one and three minutes), stripped-down dispatches meant to mimic the cadence and tone of posts on social media. The “This Is Paris” podcast feed will host longer (around 45 minutes), more traditionally produced episodes weekly, with intermittent Podposts filling in the gap several times per week.

“I really believe that it is like another form of social media,” Hilton explained. “I do so many things — being a D.J., a businesswoman, a designer and an author — so there will be a lot for me to talk about.”

Preplanned categories of Podposts will be inspired by Hilton’s famous catchphrases, including “That’s Hot” for product recommendations, “Loves It” for culture recommendations and “This Is my Hotline,” in which Hilton will respond to voice mail messages sent in by listeners. Conal Byrne, president of the iHeartPodcast Network, said the company is currently looking to partner with brands for sponsorship at different levels.

“Her power to recommend products to her fans that she believes in is just about unrivaled,” Byrne said.

“She talks in a way that’s very relaxed and accessible, as opposed to someone who is putting on a performance,” Byrne said. “Right away she was a natural at making it feel like a one-on-one phone call and not a one-to-many media asset.”

For Hilton, recording the pilot for the show did feel uncomfortable at first — unlike on social media, there were no glamorous photos or videos to hide behind. “It’s only about the knowledge you’re bringing and what you’re saying with your voice,” she said.

But soon she fell into a groove. After a lifetime of being the subject of interviews, she’s been enjoying “turning the tables” as the one asking questions. Compared with her old jobs, the commute isn’t bad either.

“I love being a homebody,” she said, reflecting on her new chapter. “I’ve worked so incredibly hard to build my empire — now I get to finally enjoy it.”

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Sahred From Source link Technology