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Insider: December 4, 2020 — The Daily’s Next Step, Joe Rogan Goes Exclusive, Public Media For All

The Daily Season Two.There’s an interesting write up over at CNN about what Biden’s win means for The Daily and New York Times Audio more generally (which quotes one Nick Quah). This bit especially stood out to me:

“I really see election night 2016 as the beginning of season one of The New York Times audio team, and I think of election night 2020 as kind of like the season finale,” said Lisa Tobin, executive producer of Times audio.

The Daily was trailed mid January 2017 and the first daily episode dropped on 1 February that year, as a follow on from the show that Michael Barbaro hosted during the 2016 campaign, The Run Up. The Daily was definitely designed for the Trump news cycle, in which the policy agenda pinged about all over the place and a single tweet from the president could upend everything reporters had been working on for weeks.

So, what happens after Inauguration Day 2020? Well, Barbaro’s staying in the host’s chair for now, and apparently we can expect more international news as well as US domestic affairs. The pandemic has brought in new listeners, too: the show is apparently now averaging four million a day. Four years is a really long time in today’s podcasting world: the daily news show is now a default format for a lot of publishers and could well do with some tweaks as the media landscape changes, although with an audience of that size there’s not likely to be any radical adjustments I would wager. Anyway, go read the whole piece.

Joe Rogan goes exclusive. The Joe Rogan Experience is, as of 1 December, exclusive to Spotify. The artwork has updated:

Joe Rogan goes exclusive. The Joe Rogan Experience is, as of 1 December, exclusive to Spotify. The artwork has updated:

Joe Rogan goes exclusive. The Joe Rogan Experience is, as of 1 December, exclusive to Spotify. The artwork has updated:

And the archive seems to have been pulled from the open podcast ecosystem. At the time of writing, the only episode available in Apple Podcasts and elsewhere is one from 27 November 2020.Public Media for All.This organisation has been running for a while already, but I wanted to highlight it particularly at the moment as the industry’s year winds down into best of lists and prediction season. It’s a coalition of workers from within US public media, led by people of colour, that has organised around eleven action items to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in the public media system. From their manifesto explainer:

Organizations and stations that sign up are committing to do 1 of the 11 action items below within 30 days, 5 of the items within 1 year, and 10 of the items within 3 years. We reserve the right to publish the names of organizations and stations that sign up in order to hold them accountable.

The action items include calls for better reporting of internal diversity, an acknowledgement of the unpaid work done on this front by workers of colour, a commitment to independent diversity audits, and more. Organisations that were early to sign up include NPR, KALW and AIR. For those interested in learning more, there’s a lot more resources on their website and quotes from participants in this write up from Current about the initiative.Google Podcasts opens up. As both an Android user and a regular supporter of shows via Patreon and similar, I was personally very interested to see that Google Podcasts has just added support for manually added RSS feeds, such as those generated by a premium podcast offering. Ashley Carman has the full write up over at The Verge.

The app has had an interesting evolution, having initially seemed like an extension of the Google layer in the operating system (like search) and gradually adding more recognisable podcatcher features, such as the ability for podcasters to submit their feeds rather than having to rely on Google’s crawlers to (eventually) find them.

For me, and I suspect for at least some others, the inability to add custom feeds is a deal breaker on a podcast app — it’s an issue with Spotify, for instance — so by now including it Google Podcasts will be looking for more users to shift their listening there. I also think it’s worth underlining that older podcast markets like the US and UK aren’t necessarily the headline of the story here, as Kenya-based industry analyst Paula Rogo pointed out to me when we spoke back in October. Africa is an Android continent, and the free Google Podcasts app is an important aspect of the ecosystem there.Rupert Murdoch’s new media empire. I started this year by covering Rupert Murdoch’s next act, which seemed to be aimed at exploiting the new UK right wing Conservative government’s animosity towards the BBC. To this end, he launched a new radio station in the form of Times Radio and poached some fairly big name talent to do it, as well as pushing more aggressively into podcasting through some of his existing properties like The Times newspaper and the talkSPORT radio network.

I thought those interested in how this enterprise has fared might like to know that he’s about to do it with television, too. His new “opinionated” television news channel, currently known as News UK TV, has just been cleared by the UK’s broadcasting regulator Ofcom to go on air as soon as it is ready.Archive work. This piece about how the Las Vegas Review-Journal made a narrative podcast series about the mob intrigued me, especially with regards to how their partnership with the Smithsonian-affiliated Mob Museum deepened the show with archival audio. The point about how the project was successful but they failed to convert print subscribers is also a good one: I still wonder about this every time I see a podcast url printed at the bottom of an article in a magazine. Does anyone ever type those in? And how would we know if they did?Transmitter time. It’s been a big week for fans of British broadcasting infrastructure news. Arqiva, the company which operates all of the TV and most of the radio transmitters in the UK, has announced that it is extending its original pandemic support for local and community radio stations by giving them a further 50% discount on transmission fees until the end of January 2021. And in a move that seems indicative of the way media is moving more generally (ie streaming), the company is pulling out of digital terrestrial TV initiative Freeview.