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Tracking: November 17, 2020

Quick thing… Apple Podcasts has rolled out a new web embed player feature, which has been a long time coming for the dominant podcast distribution platform.Also: Content creators John and Hank Green, best known together for their Vlogbrothers YouTube channel among a plethora of other projects, seem to have parted podcasting ways with WNYC. On the latest episode of their joint weekly show Dear Hank and John they note that the show is once more an independent production. John Green was also making a solo show with WNYC until recently, The Anthropocene Reviewed, which went on an indefinite hiatus in September while Green works on a book of the same name.Podfund changes hands. Podfund, the slightly-hard-to-explain company that invests in podcast creators with creator-friendly terms, is now managed by TechNexus, a significantly more straightforward tech investment firm.

According to a Medium post by Andrew Annacone, who now takes over as President of Podfund, the intent is to build on Podfund’s original model while expanding out to tackle investments that are deeper into the “intersection of content and technology.” We’ll see what that shakes out to be.

Podfund was founded last summer by Jake Shapiro, who was already serving as the CEO and co-founder of RadioPublic. Shapiro left both teams when he joined the Apple Podcasts team as the Head of Creative Partnerships in September. Nicola Korzenko, the general manager of Podfund, also left the company in September to rejoin Amazon, where she now works in content acquisition for Prime Video channels.In tomorrow’s Servant of Pod… Lauren Shippen is on the show this week.

So, we’ve written about Lauren’s various works a few times before, but to briefly recap: back in 2015, she created a fiction podcast called The Bright Sessions, which went on to carve out a strong following and community online, and several years later, she would become one of the busiest creators in the podcast business, in large part owing to the strength of that original production that she worked to pull together on her own dime.

In many ways, Lauren’s career so far is the kind of stuff that podcasting should be able to offer a wide number of people — coming out of nowhere, with no real credits to their name — if the ecosystem is working the way it should. It’s unclear to me whether we’ve drifted away from that kind of possibility now, and part of why I wanted to interview Lauren about her arc to this point is get a better sense of this question. We also talk about a bunch of other stuff as well, like Stephen Sondheim and her dream to make a queer cowboy rom-com, which would rule.

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.