Good morning! Today’s newsletter is brought to you by Chris.
P.S. new podcast episode out today…
It’s always hard to read the inside stories of companies let down by their owners. This one hits harder than most, as it speaks to the mendacity with which companies like Spotify can act, saying one thing about supporting podcasts while acting very differently behind the scenes. And as this oral history demonstrates, the issues between Spotify and its 2019 acquisition Gimlet seem fairly fundamental:
“Then we started getting requests from on high — it would be like, we want to increase the number of Spotify listeners on your show, so we need you to make some bonus content, okay? It had a huge impact on our production. It was obvious that they didn’t really understand how making podcasts worked or what our relationship with our audience was like at all.”
If you think of podcasts being purely about listener numbers, then almost everything unique about them gets stripped away. It’s a hard read because you really sense that the creators and podcasters loved creating them for their audiences – but their ability to do so was taken away by the money men.
It feels like a while since the last time we wrote about Meta going back on its word on a product for publishers! And yet, with damning regularity, Meta (formerly Facebook) has decided that Instant Articles aren’t worth its time any more. Publishers can like it or lump it.
We’ve had this chat before, but Nesrine Malik makes the same points for the Guardian and is less sweary than we were. The argument – that GB News and TalkTV are doomed because the sort of riven and disgusting commentary they thrive on is readily available elsewhere.
I honestly didn’t mean to fill this newsletter with the scum of the earth (see above story), but the squeakiest wheels get the grease. Disinformation is a business, one that a lot of individuals and organisations thrive on. To curtail it, the business of attention and reward needs to be reimagined.
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Our latest episode looks at how publishers with subscription and membership schemes are handling increasing pressure on consumer budgets, and subscription trends going into 2023 and beyond. To discuss this year’s subscription trends, we’re joined by Anthony Ribeiro, Audience Conversion Consultant at Poool.
We’re approaching our 6th birthday, would you believe! But this year has been our make or break year, and we’re pleased to say it’s looking really good thanks to your support and some much-needed advice. If you’d like to support us on a monthly basis or just buy us a virtual coffee, every donation is very much apprecitaed.