LinkedIn is doubling down on podcasts with the launch of the LinkedIn Podcast Network: a slate of new podcasts covering a range of topics, from Big Tech to company diversity and mental health in the workplace.
The LinkedIn Podcast Network, launching on Wednesday, will debut with 12 podcasts hosted by notable creators on the platform including LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman; tech reporter and author Alex Kantrowitz; Diverse & Engaged CEO Dee C. Marshall; and Rufus Griscom, the CEO and cofounder of the Next Big Idea Club.  
LinkedIn’s podcast push follows the success of “Hello Monday,” a podcast hosted by LinkedIn senior editor-at-large Jessi Hempel that launched in March 2019. More than 4 million listeners have downloaded “Hello Monday” to date, according to LinkedIn.
“What Jessi did was something unique, which is she started building a community out of her audience,” LinkedIn News Editor in Chief Dan Roth told Insider. “And as we looked around, one of the other things that happened was that we started getting sponsorship interest in Jessi’s podcast. There were LinkedIn advertisers that were saying, ‘Hey, can I buy time on this podcast?’ So we had two markets that were formed.”
The decision to offer more podcasts on LinkedIn was also spurred by their rising popularity. Today’s landscape of more than 2.4 million podcasts runs the gamut from business news to true crime and music commentary. Audio giants like Spotify and iHeartMedia have invested heavily in the medium.
In developing the LinkedIn Podcast Network’s initial batch of podcasts, the social network focused on topics that would likely resonate with its users, including career advice, diversity, and mental health in the workplace. 
“Mental health is a great example of a topic that has absolutely gone from a non-topic or a very small topic on LinkedIn three years ago to being a huge topic around the world for professionals,” Roth said. 
Podcasts in the LinkedIn Podcast Network will include ads from Verizon, the podcast network’s first sponsor. Podcast episodes, which are stored on the podcast hosting platform Megaphone and playable on LinkedIn through a widget, or embedded player, will be discoverable by following the podcast hosts or perusing newsletters in which podcast episodes will be embedded. The podcast episodes will also be made available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
LinkedIn hopes podcasts can boost user engagement, but its short-term ambitions don’t include becoming a vast podcast hub the way Spotify and Apple Podcasts are. Podcast creators who want to become part of the LinkedIn Podcast Network — and therefore have a podcast on the social network — will have to fill out an application for consideration.  
The LinkedIn Podcast Network fits into the company’s ambitions to expand as a creator platform.
Last year, the social network began offering more features for creators, acquired the how-to-video startup Jumprope, and hired Andrei Santalo, who previously worked at Instagram on product partnerships, to lead a global team of creator managers to coach and support creators on the platform. In January, LinkedIn announced the first 100 US-based creators selected for its accelerator program.
“Having professionals talk to each other, sharing ideas, and sharing what they’re uniquely qualified to talk about, what they want to learn more of, or how to get better at what they do … that’s the core of everything that we do with LinkedIn,” Roth said.  
Here’s a partial list of podcasts debuting with the LinkedIn Podcast Network: 
“The Start-Up of You”
Hosted by LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman and Village Global cofounder and partner Ben Casnocha, this podcast will offer advice on applying best practices from Silicon Valley startups to professional careers.
“Big Technology”
Hosted by Alex Kantrowitz, a longtime tech reporter, author, and founder of the Big Technology newsletter, this podcast promises to take listeners “behind the scenes in the tech world.”
“Brown Table Talk”
Diverse & Engaged CEO Dee C. Marshall and Mita Mallick, head of inclusion, equity, and impact at Carta, discuss lessons learned and offer practical advice on how women of color can succeed in the workplace.
“The Anxious Achiever”
This podcast from Gebben Communication EVP of social impact Morra Aarons Mele aims to change how society views anxiety and mental health at work with stories from people “who’ve been there,” as well as expert advice.
“Yes Factor”
Sun Group Wealth Partners managing director Winnie Sun explores the question: “What separates those who win and those who get passed by?”
Disclosure: The Insider reporter previously worked with Hempel and Roth at Fortune Magazine more than eight years ago.
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