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Insider February 17, 2023 — Hot Pod Lite

Little bites on Spotify, Acast, and Apple.

Still deep in the Hot Pod Summit hole, so it’s a little lightning round for you guys today. Also flagging that next week, we will only be publishing on Tuesday. I promise some juicy podcast news when we return!


Acast earnings: the Swedish podcast company reported a 36 percent growth in net sales during 2022. That is by no means bad, but the company reported a 73 percent increase in net sales in 2021. It reflects the consensus that while podcasting is still growing, it is starting to level off a bit.

Religion of Sports layoffs: In its piece this week about the podcast industry under strain, The New York Times reports that Religion of Sports has laid off its audio staff and shuttered the podcast division altogether. Reggie Ugwu called the layoffs “the latest sign of frost settling over the once sizzling podcast industry.” Religion of Sports did not respond to Hot Pod’s request for comment.

Apple Podcast updates: A software update for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS later this spring will include some new features for podcasts. Apple will add a “Channels” tab to your library (I would definitely appreciate that!), give users better control over your podcast queue, and add Up Next and Recently played queues to CarPlay. The company is also promising “even more precise analytics” and encourages app-makers to use a more detailed user agent for download reporting.

Spotify’s next move?: Bloomberg reports that Spotify is working on a new TikTok-esque feature that will allow users to swipe through content vertically instead of picking podcasts and albums from a carousel of cover art. The company will reportedly announce the feature at its Stream On event next month.

NPR News Now is #1: Sort of! Triton Digital released its podcast rankings for January and had NPR’s shortform news show in the top spot, overtaking Crime Junkie. However, this ranking does not include Spotify’s podcasts, notably The Joe Rogan Experience, the actual most-listened-to show. 

Thanks for bearing with Hot Pod Lite, and I look forward to seeing many of you at the summit next week!