Issue 299,  published March 30, 2021

Tracking: March 30, 2021

Today, Entercom is announcing a big ol’ rebrand where it will be known from here on out as… *squints* Audacy? Sure! Anyway, this new name will encompass its legacy broadcast radio business, its podcasts businesses — which comprises Cadence13, Pineapple Street, and Podcorn — plus its digital audio platform, RADIO.COM.

Speaking of Pineapple Street: I hear Max Linsky is working on a new solo creative project where he interviews a wide range of people over the age of seventy about the way they look at their lives. In other words, it’s basically Longform, but about the twilight of your existence. I think that’ll be out within a few weeks.

Also today: Acast is launching Acast+, which the company describes as a suite of subscription tools meant to help podcast creators offer ad-free streams, exclusive content, and early-access options to their paying subscribers. This rollout comes not long after Acast announced its partnership with Patreon, and all seems to be organized around an intent to provide more direct revenue options for creators. I’m told that Acast+ tools will easily plug into open ecosystem platforms like Apple Podcasts and the myriad third-party apps that rely on it, but it won’t be compatible with distribution over Spotify, since that platform exercises a closed approach.

Sony Music Entertainment has announced a new distribution partnership with Tinkercast, the children’s media company that houses Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz’s Wow in the World, which sees the former pushing into the kids podcast category.

I’m very sorry to hear that Jason Smith, CEO of Starburns Audio, died unexpectedly last Friday. He leaves behind a wife and a daughter, and his friends has set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds to support his family and help his daughter go to college, which you can find here.

I run this thing.