James Cridland's PodNews: Your Daily Podcast & On-Demand Briefing

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06/14/2022
๐Ÿ‘‰Spotify has acquired Sonantic, a “a dynamic AI voice platform that creates compelling, nuanced, and stunningly realistic voices from text” (hear a clip in our podcast today). No terms were given.


๐Ÿ‘‰Media and entertainment group Global has made a strategic investment in audio ad company Odeeo, which puts audio ads in mobile games. Global’s DAX will become exclusive sales partner in the UK and US. Global also owns podcast hosting company Captivate, as well as a significant radio and outdoor business in the UK.


๐Ÿ‘‰Acast has announced a “virtual audio pride parade” to celebrate LGBTQIA+ events over the next three months, according to an email from the company. Acast has also announced a partnership with Spring (formerly Teespring) to allow podcasters to create their own merch.

Acast has been misleadingly claiming that one of its companies has Public Benefit Corporation status: that means legally-defined goals for positive impact on society, workers, the community and the environment. The website for RadioPublic, a company Acast bought in February 2021, includes a seal claiming it’s a “public benefit corporation”, while its privacy policy starts with a similar claim. Yet, RadioPublic PBC ceased to exist on Dec 31 2021 when its registration was revoked after failing to file; and RadioPublic’s new owner, Acast, has no such legal status. Acast used the RadioPublic user database in February this year to send unsolicited commercial emails.


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06/13/2022
๐Ÿ‘‰New podcast app Fathom, designed for better podcast discovery, has been launched on iOS and in-browser. We’re listed. Jason Calacanis is one of the seed investors. It promises you can “ask any question and hear answers from your favorite podcasters and their guests.”


๐Ÿ‘‰Auphonic, a popular noise-reduction and audio-levelling solution, has released a set of new noise reduction algorithms in beta. There are some examples of audio on their blog post (and one in our podcast).


๐Ÿ‘‰Brad Tirpak, Libsyn’s CEO, will be speaking at the Credit Suisse 24th Annual Communications Conference on Wednesday. He’ll be taking part in a virtual panel discussion on podcasting from 8.45am. Tomorrow, SiriusXM’s Jennifer Witz at 12.45pm (listen).


๐Ÿ‘‰A prisoner on the run has appeared on a podcast. Fugitive Greggor Grey appears in the latest episode of The Chop Shop Podcast. Tip: harbouring an escapee is a criminal offence with a maximum ten years in prison, even if you’re harbouring them in a comfy podcast studio.


๐Ÿ‘‰Uncut.fm is a new podcast platform that lets you “mint, share and sell your content as NFTs”.


๐Ÿ‘‰The new version of watchOS 9 will let you search for podcasts directly on your Apple watch.


๐Ÿ‘‰Ira Glass was interviewed in PodBible a while ago; the magazine has just republished the interview.


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06/10/2022
๐Ÿ‘‰What were “X, Y and Z” - the new content areas mentioned in Spotify’s Investor Day briefings? Just listen to Alex Norstrรถm, as Audiobooks, then “X, Y and Z” appear on-screen: “There are additional markets and verticals that we believe are natural fits for our platform and audience. There’s Audiobooks. There’s News, Sports and Education. Those are vast markets.”


๐Ÿ‘‰Another two pieces of detail from the Spotify investor day from CFO Paul Vogel:“30% of our monthly active users engage with podcast content”. That figure hasn’t been disclosed for some time, and grew from 16% (Feb 20) to 22% (Oct 20).
Only a minority of podcast time spent was monetized by us in 2021 … approximately 14% [is] currently monetized by us on a global basis.”


๐Ÿ‘‰iHeart’s Conal Byrne writes for Forbes, promoting the benefit of RSS, which was soundly denigrated by Spotify in their presentation. (More on this on Monday).


๐Ÿ‘‰“Every new Anchor show brings 2.5 additional monthly active users to Spotify”, said Maya Prohovnik. The company also unveiled that Anchor powers 3m podcasts on Spotify - so, “these figures suggest that Anchor has been responsible, singlehandedly, for 7.5m new users to Spotify. Given a majority of people do not listen to podcasts, the majority will be new podcast listeners. This is good,” said our Editor on Twitter.


๐Ÿ‘‰Evergreen Podcasts and Big Whig Media have announced a partnership to make podcasts and vodcasts for government agencies and DC-based corporate and advocacy groups.


๐Ÿ‘‰Substack has announced Summer of Sound, a month-long workshop for podcasters and audio-based publications on the platform, with mentorship, guidance and a stipend. You have until Jun 21 to apply.


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06/09/2022
๐Ÿ‘‰Spotify held a virtual Investors Day, with speakers from the company including Maya Prohovnik, above. The company said it brought in around €200m ($215m) in podcast revenue last year. Podcasting lost the company €103m ($110m), though is expected to turn a profit within two years.Bloomberg’s Ashley Carman noted in an entertaining Twitter thread that Joe Rogan was missing from their presentation, and that the company has three more businesses to come (X, Y and Z).


๐Ÿ‘‰In her comments, Maya Prohovnik, who oversees Spotify’s creator tools across podcasting, described RSS as “outdated technology”, and said they have been able to replace it for their on-platform distribution. She also claimed that every new Anchor show brings 2.5 new monthly active users to the Spotify platform.


๐Ÿ‘‰Crooked Media and Adobe have partnered to add closed captions to their podcasts on video platforms.


๐Ÿ‘‰The Infinite Dial 2022 Australia will be announced at the end of this month in a free webinar. It’s the first new set of Infinite Dial data since the surprise drop for podcast consumption in the Infinite Dial US.


๐Ÿ‘‰Pod Break is an event for African podcasters to take a break, live with other podcast creatives in Chicago IL, USA, in early July, and learn from each other.


๐Ÿ‘‰Podtrics, the podcast host, has launched a feed importer in beta.


๐Ÿ‘‰Acast has signed the Second Captains Podcast, which they say is Ireland’s most popular show. AdLarge has signed an ad sales deal with the Ask Lisa podcast. TV-themed after-show podcast company CompanionCast has added two new shows to its roster.


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06/08/2022
๐Ÿ‘‰In Sounds Profitable this week with Podsights, Tom Webster discusses the three different podcast rankers out there: and whether the calculation of total audience from them is accurate.


๐Ÿ‘‰Talking of which, Podtrac published its latest podcast rankers. iHeartRadio is still #1 network, though the company doesn’t measure SXM Media. The Daily is still #1 podcast. There is no change in the top 5 of either ranker.


๐Ÿ‘‰Spotify is taking a number of podcast hosts and producers to the Cannes Lions Festival later this month.


๐Ÿ‘‰Tascam has released the Mixcast 4 Podcast Station, a product that will inevitably be compared to the Rร˜DECaster Pro II.


๐Ÿ‘‰Quartz look at the past, present and future of podcasting.


๐Ÿ‘‰Read More Now

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