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Tracking: March 22, 2019

(1) This is interesting. From The Big Lead: “The Athletic is acquiring the NBA-focused Count the Dings podcasts, The Big Lead has learned. The Daily Ding and Back to Back pods will both air behind The Athletic’s paywall, and are expected to debut there in April.” Talk about paywalls and specificity.

(2) Shouts to podcasts about… watches, yep, which got the New York Times treatment on Tuesday. Speaking of which, I wrote about about the Hodinkee Radio podcast, within the context of niche stuff, last summer, which pairs well.

(3) Not directly podcast related, but it is union-related: here’s a fascinating look into the union organizing battle going over at Kickstarter, from Gizmodo.

(4) This is cool. From NPR: “Meet Q, The Gender-Neutral Voice Assistant.” Pair it with this, from AdWeek: “As consumers grow more comfortable with talking to voice-activated devices, media organizations want to say something back. From The Washington Post to NPR, publishers have been lining up to partner with smart speakers to entice viewers and create a new revenue stream.”

(5) Just wanted to say, three readers of yesterday’s Insider wrote me to point out the same ancillary fact in the Variety article about Subscription Fatigue that I linked yesterday: “One-third of U.S. consumers watch esports at least once a week”… while only 22% of Americans listen to podcasts weekly. I see the point you’re trying to make, but also, apples-oranges, Sonic-Mario.