Good day once more, welcome to the primary week of October. I’m loving the spooky vibes and powerful pumpkin vitality the autumn has wrought, though it was a bit of steamy right here in NYC this previous weekend. Summer time’s final gasp. However I’m not complaining! I put the warmth on in my automotive for about three minutes final week and was unhappy.
Sufficient about my SAD, although, and extra on audio. In at present’s e-newsletter we talk about the fan response to Spotify’s newest unique transfer, together with Patreon trying to make its personal authentic podcasts, and extra. Off we go.
Gimlet’s Heavyweight is changing into a Spotify unique, and the followers are mad
Heavyweight, one of many longest-running Gimlet Media exhibits, is changing into a Spotify unique subsequent month, 5 years after it started and two years after the Spotify / Gimlet acquisition. Host Jonathan Goldstein made the announcement (by a dynamically inserted advert for folks listening outdoors the app) inside the first couple minutes of the brand new season premiere.
“I get that when you find something working for you, you don’t want to rethink it,” he says. “But that said, I’ve also made the change over to Spotify, and it’s super intuitive, it’s easy to use, and I really like it. So if you enjoy the show and you want to support us and the work that we do, I truly do hope that you’ll join us on Spotify.”
As is typically the story with these strikes, the followers are upset, and maybe due to the seemingly Very On-line listenership for this particular present, they’re tweeting.
I’m embedding a pair tweets right here, so you may gauge the response for yourselves, however broadly talking, they aren’t so heat and fuzzy.
Considered one of favourite podcasts (Heavyweight) goes @Spotify unique. I assumed I may lastly simply swap all my podcasts there. However seems they don’t assist personal RSS feeds like patreon or slate plus. So staying with Pocketcasts. Very annoying.
— Paola (@Paopalinaa) October 3, 2021
Love Heavyweight, however do know that the unique factor isn’t just a matter of utilizing a distinct app. @Spotify podcasts usually are not out there in lots of international locations (Ukraine in my case), so Heavyweight will basically disappear in a month for me. Hope the cash’s value it.
— Vladimir Agafonkin (@mourner) October 1, 2021
The @heavyweight podcast is, in my opinion, excellent. It’s the dictionary definition of podcasting. @J_Goldstein is a genius and his staff are so gifted. It’s my favorite podcast.
However, now making it unique to Spotify? Sorry, however that’s a dealbreaker.
— KDP (@kerrydupont) October 1, 2021
There’s a lot extra — be happy to examine them out here. I reached out to Spotify for clarification on why Heavyweight goes unique and what the purpose is with this transfer, and a spokesperson referred me to this August blog post, which posits to supply an evidence however says mainly nothing. The clearest sentence that might cross as an evidence is perhaps this one: “We believe that streaming is the future of all audio listening and that our technology can provide the opportunity for the podcast ecosystem to grow, innovate, and ultimately create more opportunities for creators across the globe.”
Studying between the traces right here: Spotify doesn’t need you to obtain episodes and subsequently obtain both baked-in podcast adverts or dynamically inserted ones. As a substitute, it needs to personal all the promoting pipeline, which it might solely do in the event you stream on Spotify. I assume you readers are accustomed to its Streaming Advert Insertion tech, which you’ll learn extra about right here, however basically, it targets adverts on the fly as particular person listeners stream, and this advert focusing on depends on Spotify information about listeners. Subsequently, in the event you’re listening on Apple Podcasts or Pocket Casts or anyplace else, Spotify misses its alternative to leverage the info it collects to not solely serve higher adverts, however within the case of Gimlet exhibits, additionally promote extra of them. Plus, you listening on Spotify means it additionally has a greater probability of changing you right into a paying subscriber, or on the very least, it begins your private information path.
The open query is whether or not angering some followers is well worth the tradeoff, and for Spotify, the reply seems to be sure. I’m certain Heavyweight will lose some listenership — even Joe Rogan, who was by no means on the platform earlier than going unique and thereby may have stood to achieve some viewers from his deal, might need misplaced a considerable chunk of his listenership. On this case, Spotify’s buying and selling in a few of Heavyweight’s listeners for the chance to make some money. Unlucky for individuals who don’t wish to swap, however that is simply how the trade operates proper now.
Talking of Spotify…
Twitch and Warner Music Group will launch unique music channels
This bit of reports occurred final week, however I wished to be sure you point out it right here. Warner Music Group and Twitch reached an agreement that’ll convey a number of the music big’s artists to Twitch by new channels, in addition to unique authentic programming on the livestreaming platform. Per Oana Ruxandra, chief digital officer and EVP of enterprise growth at WMG, within the press launch: “It’s clear that Twitch is an indispensable space for all types of creators to connect with their fan communities. Our partnership creates an on-ramp for artists to come onto the service with strong support from Twitch, opening up an entirely new source of incremental revenue.”
After all, music is audio, however why can we care about this transfer right here? Nicely, for one, a number of platforms see livestreaming audio as a enterprise alternative. Amazon itself is reportedly engaged on some type of stay audio product other than Twitch, whereas Greenroom, Spotify’s stay social audio app, was billed at launch as a spot for musicians, podcasters, and creators extra broadly to attach with followers for unique experiences. This Twitch offers journeys up Spotify’s entire dream.
Not solely does Twitch attraction to a much-desired demographic — younger folks — nevertheless it’s a large, international platform. A lot of this audio battle is about being the principle place folks spend their time, whether or not it’s listening to a podcast, having a dialog with a revered skilled, or streaming music. Spotify may, in fact, nonetheless have WMG musicians on Greenroom, which I assume will finally be an in-app expertise, however an unique content material cope with Twitch doesn’t make that as simple.
I’ll additionally level out right here simply how important it’s that these platforms work out monetization. Twitch creators promote subscriptions to their channels, gather ideas, and distribute adverts, in fact whereas getting a minimize of all of it. In the meantime, Spotify’s nonetheless determining learn how to assist creators monetize at each degree. It’s trying to promote extra podcast adverts for extra folks, and Greenroom seems to issue into this technique, too. All of which is to say, I’ve a sense Spotify wasn’t comfortable to see this deal introduced, and I’ll be watching the way it and different platforms react to the information.
After all, after we’re speaking in regards to the creator financial system now we have to say Patreon, and it additionally has a bit of reports this week.
Patreon seeks authentic podcasting content material
Bloomberg reported late final week that Patreon, which has traditionally allowed creators to promote subscriptions to their work, is outwardly now trying to finance its personal authentic content material. The technique seems to be windowing the content material for an unique time period to Patreon itself. Now, sadly, that is all now we have in the best way of particulars, so I’ll go away this one brief and hope we hear extra within the coming weeks.
I acquired a number of extra brief ones after which we’ll wrap up!
NPR employees negotiate a brand new contract
NPR staffers have ratified a brand new collective bargaining settlement with the corporate. The union tweeted the highlights, however amongst them are the assure that NPR will promote the wage for in-union jobs on listings; elevated wage minimums; and an settlement to enhance its insurance policies in the case of addressing on-line harassment. I look ahead to seeing the complete contract! I think about it’ll function a reference level for future podcast / audio unions’ negotiations.
The Athletic has been burning by money
We’ve been monitoring The Athletic right here at Sizzling Pod given its ambitious podcast strategy that entails a number of localized and nationwide exhibits. In accordance to The Information yesterday, nevertheless, the corporate burned by $95 million between 2019 and 2020. This, the publication says, surpassed its $73 million in income throughout that point interval. It apparently has sufficient money to cowl its prices for the subsequent eight months, which may clarify why it’s been trying to find an acquirer at a value of greater than $750 million. Better of luck, and I hope these podcasters land on their ft.
Now, lastly, I don’t usually cowl content material offers however typically the extraordinary occurs…
Lindsay Lohan is changing into a podcaster
The early aughts are again, and apparently, it comes with a podcasting twist. First, Paris Hilton invested within the sadly named Podz, which offered to Spotify, and now, right here comes Lindsay Lohan with a Studio71-made podcast. The unnamed present shall be launched in late 2021 or early 2022, and Studio71 says it’ll be the place she shares her “authentic voice” whereas listeners will “get a chance to experience a never-before-seen side of the megastar.” I assumed I heard her genuine voice on Converse, her debut album, however I suppose I can settle for a podcast, too.
Alright, a little bit of a protracted one at present, however I’ll be again on Thursday for our paying subscribers. As all the time, in the event you’d wish to sustain with all of the audio and podcasting information, scoops, and evaluation, click here. See you quickly!