These days, “no one is taking any creative risk,” said Laura Mayer, a veteran podcast executive and producer who’s worked at several large publishers. “We’re seeing plenty of efforts to reverse-engineer what were successes in podcasting, and as a result, we get a lot of watered-down karaoke attempts at what worked out in the past.”

The more budget and production values a podcast has, generally the less it’s worth listening to.

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