Ryan and Jen Ozawa, hosts of “The Transmission,” launched “Popspotting” on May 23, exactly one year after “LOST” left the airwaves. But instead of devoting over an hour of conversation a week to a single show, “Popspotting” serves up a bite-sized chat every weekday, and covers movies, television, music, books, and much more.
“Popspotting” also adds guests into the mix, with regular trivia challenges and special interviews planned.
“In a way we’re going back to our roots, as our very first podcast as a couple back in 2005 was to show off Jen’s pop culture prowess,” says Ryan, who also runsHawaii Blog, Hawaii Threads, Hawaii Star, and other Hawaii websites. “After being so focused on one thing, we’re enjoying the freedom to talk about everything.”
Reaching over 20,000 weekly listeners at its peak, “The Transmission” earned the couple a feature in the New York Times, and interviews and mentions from media as diverse as the Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Nightline.
Yet Ryan and Jen infamously took a break from podcasting in 2006 when their show, which had climbed as high as #7 among all podcasts in iTunes, grew too big to handle. Wired magazine declared it a high-profile case of “podfading.”
“That won’t happen again — the successful part, I mean,” Ryan jokes. “Thankfully we made it back for the last two years of ‘LOST,’ and with ‘Popspotting,’ we are definitely going to be a little more loose and casual.”
The shift to a daily show is a big one, as “The Transmission” was known for its strictly structured, multi-segment weekly episodes that could sometimes run over 90 minutes long. And the current format — movies on Monday, TV on Tuesday, “Wildcard Wednesday,” guests and trivia on Thursday and listener feedback on Friday — is still described as an experiment.
“We are still getting a feel for what fits, as some listeners want more, while others want less,” Ryan says. “But as a podcast listener, I find I prefer short daily shows that I can mix and match, and am finding I sometimes never get through two-hour talkfests.”
Recent “Popspotting” shows have covered “X-Men: First Class,” the CBS reboot of “Hawaii Five-0,” new releases from the Foo Fighters and Lady Gaga, and bestselling books from Chelsea Handler, Jonathan Safran Foer, and Suzanne Collins. In its first week, “Popspotting” climbed as high as #5 among “TV & Film” audio podcasts in iTunes.
“Ryan and Jen make an outstanding podcasting duo,” writes Stephen Lewis in a five-star iTunes review. “If you enjoy listening to an adorable couple adroitly review pop culture and help you navigate he murky seas of entertainment, then Popspotting is for you.”