Interview

Telum Talks To: ST Podcasts

By Sam Jo Yeo

The Straits Times (ST) recently celebrated five years of podcasting. We sit down with Podcast Editor Ernest Luis and Podcast Hosts Tan Tam Mei, Jan Lee and Tay Hong Yi, to find out more about what goes into their shows.

Here are some highlights from the discussion:
  • Since ST Podcasts was launched in June 2018, there have been about four million downloads of the shows, with a million alone in 2022.
  • As at 2023, ST has about 10 podcast channels pushing out episodes every week covering health, social and eco-issues, geopolitics from an Asian perspective, money and career tips, and sports and pop culture talking points.
  • The top countries listening are: 70% Singapore, 5% United States, 3% Japan, 3% Malaysia and 2% Australia.
  • The advent of bluetooth, the uninterrupted listening experience without ads, and the ease of being able to multitask are some factors contributing to the success of podcasts.
  • Listeners like practical tips that they can use and relate to. They are discerning and do not want to waste their time with fluff.
  • In Your Opinion is trying to get more youth voices on the show, particularly those in their early 20s to 35.
  • ST's podcasts are helmed by reliable journalists and guests with strong subject knowledge, and who do their homework.
  • True Crimes of Asia delves deep into societal issues and is voiced by ST's foreign correspondents.
  • Career Talk explains job market numbers, looks at unheralded sectors with good prospects, and deals with questions about real life workplace scenarios.
  • #PopVultures produces two types of content: Can I Tell You Something Crazy?, a scripted series on major entertainment events, and non-scripted episodes on the latest pop culture happenings.
Ernest, Tam Mei, Hong Yi and Jan also shared some tips for pitches:
  • Check out the podcast synopses here before reaching out
  • ST Podcasts is on the lookout for youths with views
  • Have a sharp angle that relates to the podcast
  • Strong preference for guests who can come down to the studio instead of dialling in
  • Academics and subject-matter experts are appreciated
  • Feel free to suggest topics from a listener perspective, not just as a PR practitioner
  • Be patient and keep sending your pitches through in case they are missed
  • Pitches sent to podcast@sph.com.sg will reach both ST and The Business Times

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Telum Media

Database

Journalists
Ernest Luis

Podcast Editor

Tan Tam Mei

Assistant Foreign Editor

Jan Lee

Journalist

Tay Hong Yi

Journalist

Media
The Straits Times ST Podcasts

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The Straits Times

52 contacts, 99 media requests

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