Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is ready to get her voice to the masses again, and in the most 2020 way of doing so, she’s looking to podcasts. Her still-untitled show will be co-produced by iHeartMedia, a radio station conglomerate that has leaned heavily into podcasts, and it will be released this spring. Details on the show format weren’t readily available, but Politico suggests it’ll be interviews with “newsmakers.” Apparently both Conan O’Brien, who also makes a podcast with iHeart, and radio legend Howard Stern inspired her decision.
Of course, Clinton isn’t the first politician to turn to podcasts. Ted Cruz most recently launched his show — first to cover President Trump’s impeachment trial and then to discuss politics more broadly. The Obama family’s production company Higher Ground also signed an exclusive deal with Spotify last year to produce shows, although it isn’t clear whether Barack or Michelle will be hosts. Looking even further back, presidents have addressed the nation in radio-broadcasted State of the Union addresses for decades, and multiple presidents also issued a weekly address over the radio. President George W. Bush issued his weekly speeches over an RSS feed, too.
Podcasts give politicians the unique ability to control their message and discuss the topics they want on their own terms. And the cost to make a show is relatively low, meaning, even if many people don’t listen, the losses aren’t monumental. For those who do listen, the politician has a direct line to their ears and attention.