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 weâ€™re going back to our roots, as our very first podcast as a couple back in 2005 was to show off Jenâ€™s pop culture prowess,” says Ryan, whoÂ also runsHawaii Blog,Â Hawaii Threads, Hawaii Star,Â and other Hawaii websites. “After being so focused on one thing, weâ€™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 wonâ€™t happen againÂ â€” the successful part, I mean,” Ryan jokes. “Thankfully we made it back for the last two years of â€˜LOST,â€™ and with â€˜Popspotting,â€™ 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 formatÂ â€” movies on Monday, TV on Tuesday, “Wildcard Wednesday,” guests and trivia on Thursday and listener feedback on FridayÂ â€” 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.”