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Tracking: January 26, 2021

Selected Notes…

  • Apple’s latest original audio content… takes the form of a new “audio walking experience on Apple Watch for Fitness+ subscribers.” As it turns out, Detour was way ahead of its time.
  • Three Spotify blurbs. The first: Spotify signed yet another of those shiny Hollywood deals, this time with the filmmaker Ava DuVernay. Here’s the Variety write-up.
  • The second: public domain audiobooks?
  • The third: The company has opened up its Streaming Ad Insertion offering to the UK and Germany. The advertising tool still seems contained to Spotify original and exclusive shows. There’s one other Spotify story to consider, but I’m breaking it out as a standalone item further down the newsletter.
  • From Axios: “As is the case with most new technologies, when it comes to podcasts, consumer adoption has outpaced monetization. Only a few big players make meaningful revenue from podcasts today, but that’s expected to change as the industry matures.” The gap between engagement and monetization persists.

In tomorrow’s Servant of Pod Speaking of Futuro Studios, Maria Garcia joins the show this week to talk about Anything For Selena.

I wrote up the show recently for 1.5x Speed, and I’m recommitting to that recommendation. In addition to being a compelling blend of documentary and first-person narrative that revisits the legacy of Selena as a cultural icon, Anything For Selena is just also a really interesting argument for the power of celebrity — at least, celebrity of a specific kind. Anyway, our conversation covers a fair bit of ground: We talk about why she decided to embark on this project, why Selena’s cultural iconography persists to this day, and about that sequence with Howard Stern.

You can find Servant of Pod on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or the great assortment of third-party podcast apps that are hooked up to the open publishing ecosystem. Desktop listening is also recommended. Share, leave a review, so on.