Issue 188,  published December 4, 2018

Tracking: December 4, 2018

  • Serial‘s third season is its biggest ever. The season surpassed 50 million downloads after just two months to become the show’s biggest to date—and all three seasons have brought in 420 million downloads collectively. I dig into the numbers for Vulture.
  • Malcolm Gladwell and Jacob Weisberg’s Pushkin Industries have signed an exclusive representation partnership with Cadence13. According to the press release, the deal was brokered by WME, and it seems that the upcoming Michael Lewis podcast, previously developed at Slate, have followed Gladwell and Weisberg to their new company.
  • Voxnest, the parent organization of the hosting platform Spreaker, strikes up a distribution partnership with Deezer. The move is being pitched as part of the latter’s international efforts, particularly in Latin America.
  • ICYMI: Anchor launched an in-platform advertising marketplace, called Anchor Sponsorships, finally giving itself a business model. I gave my analysis in last Thursday’s Insider.
  • The Verge published a look at the Apple Podcast Chart scam story, and there’s an incremental finding in the mix: the tech giant “monitors its international and domestic charts and relies on a combination of humans and software to detect signs of fraud. It bans shows after they’re caught attempting fraud multiple times, Apple confirmed to The Verge.”
  • Just a reminder: the Washington Post’s daily news podcast, Post Reports, debuted yesterday.
  • If you, like me, have been keeping a third eye on the issue of podcasting and platform bans on hate speech: the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard’s Cyberlaw Clinic published a nifty memo on content regulation policy for the podcasting community last week.
  • On a related note: “Rep. Steve King appeared on podcast frequented by white nationalists.” (CNN)
  • Exactly Right, the new podcast imprint cultivated by My Favorite Murder’s Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark in partnership with Stitcher, officially launched last week with four shows in the starting portfolio.
  • Meanwhile, iHeartRadio and Funny or Die are co-producing a podcast featuring Ron Burgundy, Will Ferrell’s fictional anchorman from the wildly popular (and meme-generating) 2004 comedy known as, well, Anchorman. The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but you know I’d love to find out how much iHeartRadio paid for the project. One assumes it’s quite a bit.
  • Fun fact: Love+Radio has a cameo in Steve McQueen and Gillian Flynn’s Widows, which hit movie theaters last month.