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Insider: July 15, 2021 — The US Latino Podcast Listener Report, Clubhouse launches DM feature, Misc News

The US Latino Podcast Listener Report. Edison Research released its second annual edition of the study earlier this week, and as usual, there’s a lot to chew on. Note that the survey was conducted in May, with its data collection approach focusing on US Latinos over the age of 18.

Here are the top-line stuff:

  • 36% of US Latinos report having listened to a podcast in the last month. Notably, this marks a 44% increase from last year, which came in around 25%.
  • That’s the monthly listener number. Here’s the weekly: 29% of US Latinos report having listened to a podcast in the last week. 
  • There was also an increase in daily listening. From the summary page: “21% of the U.S. Latino population are reached by podcasts each day, up from only 11% in Q1 2020.” 

Now, here’s a set of findings that really stood out to me. The report emphasized how the pandemic may have driven more podcast listenership among the demographic, with the key data points being:

  • 54% of US Latino monthly listeners started listening to podcasts during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Designated as March 2020 or after.) 
  • You can see a version of this in the finding on “How long have US Latino monthly listeners been listening to podcasts?” On this question, the “Six months to a year” segment came in at 20%, while the “Less than six months” segment came in at 28%. 
  • Another finding that caught my eye: more than half of US Latino monthly listeners considered “Spanish-dominant” have been listening to podcasts only over the past twelve months, suggesting the past year’s major gains in this demographic. My initial guess is that this has something to do with an increase in supply of Spanish-language podcasts over the past year, but I couldn’t find a solid consolidation of related information to validate this hypothesis beyond anecdotal experience. I do know that I received more press releases about new Spanish language projects over the past year than ever before, which, again, is an imperfect measure.

A few other things to highlight:

  • 49% of US Latino weekly listeners who listen at home do so while spending time with family and friends, versus 22% of US weekly listeners overall. 
  • 77% of US Latino monthly listeners have ever listened to a podcast with a video component, though 8% listen exclusively to podcasts with a video aspect that they actively watch while listening. 
  • 38% of US Latino monthly listeners listen to podcasts to stay connected to their family’s country or territory of origin. This one really sticks to me, as I do very much the same thing with my own home country, Malaysia. (Shout out to the BFM radio-segment repackage pods.)

These are but a few snapshots of the report, which is definitely worth sifting through in full. You can find the whole thing here.

Parcast has apparently launched their 100th international feed earlier this week, with the rollout of an Australia/New Zealand-specific feed for Horoscope Today. According to the press release that’s being circulated about this, “Parcast has reached (56) adaptations across (5) continents to date across their numerous titles, including ‘Daily Quote,’ ‘Serial Killers,’ ‘Conspiracy Theories,’ and ‘Mythology.’”

As always, it’s worth never forgetting that Spotify is continuing to build out a truly global podcast presence — in some instances laying down, and serving as, the foundation for whole new industries in those markets.

Also: ah, Parcast. Sweet, procedurally-generated Parcast.

Clubhouse launches direct messaging feature, calls it “Backchannel.” My primary metaphor for Clubhouse rooms has always been — and continues to be — the Conference Panel, and what better way to continue evoking the metaphor than by replicating the experience of texting your colleague on the other side of the room to talk shit about a panelist? Well, maybe that’s just me, An Asshole.

In any case: yesterday, the social audio app announced that it’s adding direct messaging to its platform, which allows users to communicate with other users either on a one-on-one or group chat basis. Also worth noting: the company’s blog post on the release highlighted the feature’s capacity to facilitate questions and answers between hosts and audience members — therefore injecting a new layer of interaction to the mix.

This, of course, reads as a lot more interesting when taken against Spotify’s Green Room, its own take on Clubhouse, where that company has expressed a stated design interest in developing greater interactivity, expressed through stuff like polls… and, well, a Q&A feature. I’m sure other takes on the idea will be cooked up eventually. Hopefully.

Anyway, it’s my understanding that Clubhouse’s new DM feature comes as the app added more than 8 million users since rolling out its Android version in May, and as the number of new rooms created daily has risen to over 500,000, with the average user said to be spending more than an hour a day on the platform. (The latter metric seems more meaningful to me over the former, but the story they tell in tandem is pretty striking.)

It was also noted that last weekend was a pretty busy one on the app, with the Copa finals, Euro finals, and the Black Widow opening converging on the same stretch of days. The emphasis on these events is interesting to me, as it suggests a strong relationship between Clubhouse activity and newsy events. Then again, I suppose this is also true for many other platforms…

From the New York Times: “Facebook plans to pay creators $1 billion to use its products.” This is pegged to the company’s big push into… well, a bunch of shit, from newsletters to IGTV, all of which are efforts to tap into the increasing heat around the “creator economy.” This, of course, is nothing new: Remember Pivot to Video? Remember Facebook Live? Remember… well, you get it. The list goes on.

My memory’s a little fuzzy: has there been an instance in the past where one platform has poached a native-grown talent from another platform with a fuck-ton of money to pump a cloned feature and succeeded in accelerating the growth of that clone? Hmm.

Anyway, flagging this because of the Facebook Audio stuff. And also because…

Popular Information’s Judd Legum points out over Twitter: “Malcolm Gladwell, the featured writer on Facebook’s new newsletter platform, Bulletin, hasn’t written a newsletter since the platform launched on June 29. (It was a partial transcription of a podcast episode.)”

Good shit, everyone.

Netflix makes video game push official, hiring Mike Verdu, a former executive at Electronic Arts and Facebook’s Oculus unit, to head up the effort. Bloomberg broke the news, and noted:

The idea is to offer video games on Netflix’s streaming platform within the next year, according to a person familiar with the situation. The games will appear alongside current fare as a new programming genre — similar to what Netflix did with documentaries or stand-up specials. 

As the writer of Hot Pod, this is chiefly interesting because a Netflix that’s seriously committing to publishing lines beyond film and television is a Netflix that could seriously commit to audio publishing, whatever that means.

But as a casual gamer, I’m skeptical, though it could be interesting if they functioned as a pure publisher.

Who? Weekly is hiring a part-time researcher and editorial assistant. A dream job for the right soul, I tell ya. 

This is pretty cool: WYSO and Dave Chappelle partnered up to build a new station for the former.