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Digital Hollywood: Podcasters, Influencers & Lettuce Growers

Jeff Hall

Posted on November 18, 2019 12:41

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The digital world continues to evolve rapidly. Justin Hochberg of Just Entertainment quoted martial artist Bruce Lee: “You need to be like water.”

Twice a year, digital leaders, visionaries, companies and entrepreneurs meet up at Digital Hollywood in Los Angeles.

The venue is The Skirball Center, near The Getty, just off the 405.  If you heard of “The Skirball Fire” that took place recently, that’s where we gathered.

Though the real fire now seems a distant memory, the whole topic of podcasting was on fire, metaphorically speaking.

Kimberly King-Burns moderates a panel on “Platforms and Partnerships.”


The field is exploding and attendees were pretty much told to jump in before it was too late.

It's important to have a “really, really good show” first, cautioned speakers. There are plenty of shows that get posted online – and that nobody cares about.

On the other hand, speakers could all point to examples of podcasts that proved it’s still possible to come out of nowhere and produce a show that attracts a big following quickly.

“America 2.0” – a political drama, a podcast-version that feels a bit like West Wing – was mentioned several times as a breakout star.  David Carlyle, co-writer and co-producer, was there to describe the show.

Women leaders in podcasting.


Podcasts having to do with “true crimes” can grab serious attention, according to multiple speakers.

Maybe there is some overlap here – crime and politics!

“Authenticity” is critical to achieving success in any content-related venture, agreed many – we live in an age of spin and people have their antennae out for anything that seems the slightest bit phony.

That said, these same speakers quickly noted that the word “authenticity” gets used too often these days, and that the word has become something of a cliche.

Dr. Drew Pinsky (“Doctor Drew”) put it this way: “Your audience has to want to hang out with you.”

Podcasting pioneers.

There was a lot of talk about how to put the power of social media to work for good causes – practically a requirement for today’s influencers.

Nancy Yoon of Yooniq Media noted how social movements like #MeToo are made possible by Twitter; Lina Renzina of the Ad Council said the Ad Council – creator of the original “Smokey the Bear” campaign – was now working to minimize cyberbullying. 

Cannabis and food-related startups were noticeably present.  One company, LettuceGrow, sells a “grow it yourself” system for growing several varieties of lettuce, all in one space-saving location.

You can now grow lettuce on your deck or roof. 

Colby Smith, a senior VP at Disney, said people will always be interested in anything that’s local.  Disney’s ABC has television stations in several cities.

One thing is for sure: The digital space will keep changing – and at a faster and faster pace.  Digital Hollywood organizer Victor Harwood does an excellent job making sure attendees stay a few steps ahead.

Justin Hochberg of Just Entertainment quoted martial artist Bruce Lee: “You need to be like water,” said Hochberg – ready to flow into those places where opportunities present themselves. 

Networking is always a big deal at Digital Hollywood. 



Jeff Hall

Posted on November 18, 2019 12:41


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