Year in Review: Platforms and the Shape of Programming

It’s fitting for this year-end column that one of the very last events I attended in person before everything locked down was the Hot Pod Summit, which took place in early March. Packed in the main hall of a Brooklyn hostel, around two hundred people and myself — politely asking each other whether we wanted […]

December 15, 2020

How Today’s Podcast Deals Look A Lot Like Yesterday’s Music Deals

A growing group of podcasters — primarily women of color — are spearheading a reckoning in the podcast industry about systemic power imbalances between creators and the corporations who are increasingly interested in funding and marketing their work. There is, of course, the Another Round story, covered above. But then there’s also the case of […]

June 23, 2020

The New Hot Way to Promote Your Album: Make a Podcast

The ongoing blending of the music and podcast worlds — thanks to aggressive podcast investments from both Spotify and Sony Music Entertainment — has led to an interesting new hybrid marketing tactic: artists, from all genres and at all career stages, are now creating podcasts to promote their albums. In June 2019, rock band Pixies […]

February 25, 2020

The Economics of 24/7 Lo-Fi Hip-Hop YouTube Livestreams

With their instantly recognizable combination of nostalgic, mellow, boombap beats and colorful, anime-inspired looping GIFs, 24/7 lo-fi hip-hop livestreams on YouTube have won the hearts and studious minds of millions of listeners. Much ink has been spilled on the scene’s swift rise, dynamic community and perhaps problematically leanback nature over the past several years. Today, […]

January 28, 2020

Will podcast playlists elevate the microcast?

While digging through my Spotify profile this past weekend, I came across an intriguing discovery: Gimlet had been republishing five- to seven-minute excerpts of its podcast Science Vs as new, standalone episodes, made specifically to fit into the algorithmic playlist Your Daily Drive on Spotify. These shorter episodes are set aside as an entirely different […]

October 15, 2019

Apple Music and Exclusive Podcasts: a primer

The podcast industry is buzzing in the midst of a Bloomberg report stating that Apple is in preliminary talks to finance original, exclusive podcasts for its platform. To better understand how Apple thinks about exclusive content and how this effort might maybe play out within podcasting, however, it’s worth examining the company’s current position in […]

July 23, 2019