N’Jeri Eaton, a veteran of Apple and NPR, has been hired by Netflix to lead the company’s growing podcast business. “I'm thrilled to join Netflix as the Head of Podcasts,” she said in a Twitter announcement, adding, “Sixteen years ago, I watched three DVDs from Netflix a day while working the late night lab shift at a university. My obsession for storytelling has taken me all kinds of places but this is truly a dream.” Eaton will guide Netflix’s podcasting efforts, including hiring hosts and producers and working with outside creators.
Los Angeles-based Eaton jumps to Netflix from Apple Podcasts where she was Head of Content since last August. “I’ve spent the last year working with incredible colleagues. I had a front row seat to the launch of Apple Podcasts Subscriptions which allows creators of all sizes to monetize their content,” she wrote on social media last week, announcing her exit. Prior to Apple, Eaton spent four years at NPR as Senior Manager of Program Acquisitions and Director of Programming. She earlier worked in content development at the Independent Television Service (ITVS).
Two of the last projects Eaton worked on at Apple Podcasts were companion podcasts for the television series “For All Mankind” and “The Line.” It is that promotional link between TV and podcast that has also brought Netflix into the audio business. The company confirmed in May that it planned to release more podcasts as it competes against rivals Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime. “Podcasts are an excellent way for fans to connect with our stories and talent, and our marketing team plans to make more of them,” a Netflix rep told the Los Angeles Times.
Netflix has already created companion podcasts for the Martin Scorsese film “The Irishman” called Behind the Irishman and for several TV series such as The Crown: The Official Podcast. It also has other podcasts not tied to shows or movies such as Because I Watched, Call Sheet, and You Can’t Make This Up.
Netflix says to date it has had 4.2 million downloads. “Netflix Podcasts explore the world of Netflix through audio,” its website says. “We go behind the scenes of series and films, dig deeper with your favorite stars, and explore the most exciting projects on the platform. We also develop in-world content and other supplemental audio programs to help fans discover new favorites and learn more about the shows and films they already love.”