November 19th, 2019
Sandy Girard is the Co-Founder & Chief Content Officer at Spkr., a 24-hour podcasting curation platform and app. As one of the original members of XM Radio, she stayed on through the merger with Sirius as the VP of Programming of Talk & Entertainment at newly formed SiriusXM.
What Is Spkr.?
Launching November 7th of 2019, Spkr. is a fascinating platform that uses human-curation to bring fresh and fascinating podcast content to its users. People love their podcasts, but finding great content is remarkably difficult due to the decentralized and platform-agnostic nature of the medium.
In the same way iTunes overwhelmed users with music choice, leading to curation platforms like Pandora and Spotify, Spkr. brings this idea to the world of podcasting, linking to original podcasts sources for users to subscribe. It turns out people really do like the traditional radio model of 24-hour curated content, and it makes sense why a digital radio titan decided to apply this model to the world of podcasting.
Spkr. To Bring Live Content
Girard hinted that in the future Spkr. will be including live content as well. She explained the appeal of live content is undeniable. Listening to podcasts is more of an educational activity done in isolation, but live content is dynamically different. Listening to live content provides a sense of connection that podcasts simply don’t provide. In addition, listeners are given the opportunity to interact on call-in lines and text-lines.
Girard is dead-on. A friend of mine, in her thirties, explained to me why she listeners to live radio. “I like the idea that thousands of others are listening with me at the same time. It’s kind of a group experience that connects us all.”
Sandy Girard, COO of Spkr.
The name Sandy Girard is well-known in the radio and podcasting industry. During her time at SiriusXM, reaching over 60 million listeners she led programming and talent development and partnerships launching shows with Andy Cohen, Entertainment Weekly, Comedy Central, Jenny McCarthy, Today Show and more. In addition, she was in charge of SiriusXM’s Town Hall series for the entertainment division with guests including George Clooney, Matt Damon, Hugh Jackman, Will Smith, Carol Burnett, Betty White, Tina Fey and many more.
I also asked Girard what will improve most people’s podcasting game and the things they should be focusing on to make a great show. But, you’ll have to listen to learn that.
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If you enjoyed this interview with Sandy Girard, you will also enjoy my interview with Katie Byers, CEO of HomeDitty; movie score writer, Shawn Lee or NYC Symphony Conductor, Maestro Roger Nierenberg.