- Insider is launching The Refresh from Insider, a new audio news show.
- The show combines the immediacy of radio with the convenience of podcasts and is built on a new platform.
- Insider’s head of audio, Andy Bowers, explains what listeners can expect.
What makes The Refresh from Insider different from other audio news out there, like radio shows or podcasts?
The technology of podcasting is not built to refresh things — it’s built to create what’s essentially a radio show episode and stick it in a reverse chronological list and then have it live there forever as if it’s frozen in amber. Radio is very good at keeping up-to-date on news, however, radio presents news on its schedule, generally at the top of the hour, and it is very easy to miss.
So if you want what people generally want now in the on-demand generation, which is, “I want to know the headlines now,” there’s nothing you can push that starts from the beginning as a podcast does, but is also guaranteed to be the latest news. We have a system that does both of those things that can update within seconds and still be ready for someone to hit play.
Can you tell me about Spooler? How does that technology work?
Spooler was developed in conjunction with The Refresh. Its founders are me, the former head of Apple podcasts, James Boggs, and someone who I think you might know, [Insider CEO] Henry Blodget. It has investment from [Insider parent company] Axel Springer.
The fundamental thing to understand about Spooler is that it’s using a technology that’s been around for a while, but has been developed almost exclusively for ads in podcasts. We give the tools of stitching and modularity to content creators rather than just ad makers.
What can people expect to hear when they tune in?
They can expect to hear a beginning of the show that is like a newscast with short versions of important breaking stories, leaning toward business and technology as Insider does, but not exclusively. And we plan to talk regularly to Insider reporters and editors who have done stories that we think will be of particular interest to the audience.
We are paying attention to what’s going on right now so you don’t have to, and when you’re ready for us to tell you about it, we will.
The hosts on traditional podcast or radio shows are such an important part of the experience. Who will we be hearing from on The Refresh from Insider?
We’re really happy with the hosts. Rebeca Ibarra comes from the world of public radio. She was a host and a reporter at WNYC in New York for quite a while and has really strong interviewing chops. She’s comfortable on the mic, she’s good at putting interviewees at ease, and she has a real fun side.
Dave Smith does not have a long broadcasting background, but he was the homepage editor of Insider for a long time. He has a very keen sense of what kinds of stories listeners respond to, which ones they don’t so much, and what makes an Insider story an Insider story. So we were very excited to have someone with that sort of institutional knowledge join us.
I think, not to pat myself on the back, but, we nailed it.
Where can listeners find The Refresh from Insider?
They’ll be able to find it in whatever podcast apps they’re already using. And the web player has the functionality that you can see upcoming stories, you can skip between them if you want.
Who should listen to it?
Anyone who is plugged into the world of ongoing news and current affairs on social media, but who has not discovered the pleasure of learning about that stuff while you do other things. Audio is the one part of the internet that you don’t need your eyes for.