Section: Distribution and Technology

Section: Distribution and Technology
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Festivus, for the Rest of Us

Over the past month, we’ve been running a call for opinions built around a fairly straightforward question: “What are you most frustrated by?” (With respect to the podcast industry, of course.) To put it mildly, folks obliged. Let me start by establishing what I tried to do this with this piece. Editorially, the goal was […]

November 5, 2019
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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
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Stitcher begins hosting platform switchover

Last week, the EW Scripps-owned podcast company sent out an email informing its Midroll clients — a.k.a. podcasters who Stitcher reps for advertising sales — that it is officially starting to move all its represented shows onto the Omny hosting platform. We first reported on Stitcher’s plans to do so back in July. The company’s […]

October 15, 2019
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Luminary Exec-Level Shuffle

For your intelligence dossier purposes: The Verge is reporting that Joe Purzycki, who co-founded the startup with Matt Sacks, is no longer the company’s Chief Strategy Officer. He was replaced by Jeff Saunders, former VP of product and technology at Jet.com, who holds the title of Luminary’s Chief Product Officer. According to the report, the […]

October 8, 2019
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Education Market?

This isn’t explicitly a podcast story, but you can sort it under the broader on-demand audio bucket… Last week, an “audio-first online education” startup called Knowable initiated a press push announcing that it has raised $3.75 million seed round. Product-wise, Knowable is structured as a platform that sells users long-form courses around a series of […]

October 8, 2019
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This Week in Spotify: October 1, 2019

This Week in Spotify. Yesterday, the company released a feature that lets users “build playlists of podcasts, or add podcasts to existing playlists for a mixed-media experience.” The feature is said to be frequently requested. Playlists are crucial for Spotify, serving as the underlying construct for many of its discovery mechanisms. Think the popular Rap […]

October 1, 2019
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Options for Everyone Else

If you squint, you might notice a quiet arms race forming around an increasingly apparent gap: monetization opportunities for podcasters who are finding conventional podcast advertising revenue progressively harder to access. Existing players in this space include Slate’s Supporting Cast (which I wrote about in February); a new startup called Supercast (which Caroline wrote about […]

September 24, 2019
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What is a Private Feed Worth?

There’s a podcasting tech problem that you’ll be well aware of if you’ve ever tried to distribute or listen to a premium podcast feed. Indeed, it’s a problem that gets right to the heart of the medium’s DNA: RSS feeds, and the podcast apps that listeners use to access them, require openness — adding a login or […]

September 17, 2019
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Platisher, Ye Cometh

Spotify has made two interesting personnel moves to bolster its podcast development pipeline around two key genres, sports and news, according to a report by The Information that dropped on Friday. Firstly, the company has hired Amy Hudson, most recently the sports media partnerships lead at Facebook, to oversee its sports programming assets. Secondly, David […]

September 10, 2019
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Closed Captioning

Back in July, Audible announced a new feature called “Captions,” which uses automated transcription to produce read-along text that appears on a smartphone screen while an audiobook as playing. The company pitched this very much as an “educational” resource, pledging to offer free access to students and schools as well as providing the option to […]

A legal skirmish between Audible and book publishers over text captioning is a harbinger for future audio world conflicts.

September 3, 2019