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Tracking: December 17, 2019

  • On Thursday, PRX announced that it will soon be launching a podcast network focused on listeners between the ages of 9 and 13. (I believe they’re called tweens, but one such human recently told me they do not appreciate the term “tween.” Ah well.) Anyway, the network will be called TRAX, and it will roll out next year with shows from Gen-Z Media, the CBC, Cocotazo Media, and folks from Night Vale Presents, among others.
  • Speaking of public media, NPR is updating its fee model, i.e. the system by which how much a given station needs to pay for programming and other services. The change will kick in 2021, and will be gradually implemented over three years. This is a pretty consequential development, and you should read the Current piece on it. I will probably revisit this story in the new year.
  • Meanwhile, Sony Music has announced a strategic investment in Neon Hum Media, the Los Angeles-based studio founded by Jonathan Hirsch. Here’s the Hollywood Reporter on the deal. This extends Sony’s growing adventures in podcasting, and shifts Neon Hum away from being an independent outfit, presumably positioning it for scale.
  • From CNBC: “Hundreds of freelance writers at Vox Media, primarily those covering sports for the SB Nation site, will lose their jobs in the coming months as the company prepares for a California law to go into effect that will force companies to reclassify contractors in the state as employees.”
  • Triton Digital is expanding its Podcast Report service to cover Latin America. Here’s the press release.
  • Tom Webster taketh away, but Tom Webster also giveth. Edison Research has a new blog post up on the reach/popularity of various genres, based on data collected through their new Podcast Consumer Tracker service.
  • Finally: Curtis Flower, the figure at the center of In The Dark’s second season, has been granted bail after six murder trials and over two decades in prison.