So why is a coalition of public radio giants buying a podcast app, exactly?

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic. The view was a little different back in the summer of 2016, when I first started poking around on the podcast scene in the U.K. I wrote a short column on the subject then, finding the ecosystem there to be relatively underdeveloped on the consumption and advertising ends — a condition that, I thought, may have had something to do with the outsized shadow that the BBC casts over all things radio in the region. I can’t quite tell if much has changed in U.K. podcasting writ large since then, but I can say that a good deal seems to be shifting at the BBC’s podcasting operations. In the past month alone, the BBC appointed its first commissioning editor for podcasts, Jason Phipps, and announced a partnership with Acast to monetize its podcast downloads outside of the U.K. Continue reading "So why is a coalition of public radio giants buying a podcast app, exactly?"

Google wants to do for podcasts on Android what Apple did for podcasts on iOS

Googly eyed. You might have already heard about Google’s new strategy around podcast servicing on Android devices — I briefly linked to it last week after my whole spiel on the Apple HomePod — that the search giant announced through the content marketing blog of Pacific Content, the Canadian branded podcast studio. The announcement was broken out into five parts, and if you haven’t read them already, you absolutely should. You can find the first entry here, and then work outward from there.

But if you need a TLDR: Google’s apparent mission statement is “to help double the amount of podcast listening in the world over the next couple years,” and by that they mean to do to the untapped masses of potential podcast-consuming Android users what Apple did to potential podcast-consuming iOS users back in 2015 when it started distributing the stuff through iTunes. Of course, Google will Continue reading “Google wants to do for podcasts on Android what Apple did for podcasts on iOS”

How do HomePod’s meh sales affect Apple’s place in the podcast ecosystem?

Further reading. This is the point where I customarily plug my previous columns on smart speakers and podcasting here, here, and here. And I quite liked this piece from Christina Bonnington, writing for Slate: What happens next is up to Apple. It can open up HomePod to integration with third-party streaming music players — and improve Siri integration with those services — or it can keep the HomePod tightly locked into the iTunes and Apple Music ecosystem. While the iPod saw tremendous popularity in its heyday, it was a different time with far fewer players in the digital music space. Apple can’t ignore apps like Spotify and hope that its speaker will see the same level of success as its cheaper, more fully featured competitors. The HomePod needs to embrace today’s leading audio services rather than shut them out, or it’ll never grow beyond a niche product. Continue reading "How do HomePod’s meh sales affect Apple’s place in the podcast ecosystem?"

True podcast love, in all of us command: This is how Canada listens to podcasts

Welcome to Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts. This is issue 158, published April 10, 2018. Infinite Dial Canada. The Great North gets its own report from Edison Research and Triton Digital for the first time, and it’s long overdue. You can read the whole thing here, but I’m going to break out the most interesting data points with some comparisons to the U.S.: Podcasting:
  • The share of Canadians that listened to podcasts within the last month — the key track I follow — is 28 percent, which is three percentage points higher than the U.S. Keep in mind of the absolutes: Canada’s population is a fraction of the United States’.
  • However, familiarity with the term “podcasting” is slightly lower: 61 percent of Canadians, three percentage points lower than the U.S.
  • For weekly Canadian podcast listeners, the average number of podcasts consumed per week is Continue reading "True podcast love, in all of us command: This is how Canada listens to podcasts"

NPR brags about its ratings (and its podcast-to-broadcast crossovers)

Editor’s note: Hot Pod is a weekly newsletter on the podcasting industry written by Nick Quah; we happily share it with Nieman Lab readers each Tuesday.

Welcome to Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts. This is issue 157, published April 3, 2018. Wondery raises $5 million in Series A. The round was led by Greycroft, Lerer Hippeau Ventures and Advancit Capital, with the participation of BAM Ventures, Watertower Ventures, BDMI, and Fox Networks Group. It’s worth a reminder that Hernan Lopez, Wondery’s CEO, is the former head of Fox International Channels, and Fox invested in the initial rollout of the company. The Hollywood Reporter was given the exclusive. Note the following line: “Los Angeles-based Wondery has focused on building a pipeline of projects that can be adapted into film and television projects. It has optioned four of its series, including Sword and Scale and Tides of History, which are Continue reading "NPR brags about its ratings (and its podcast-to-broadcast crossovers)"

Homepages may be dead, but are daily news podcasts the new front page?

  • As my buddies at Nieman Lab pointed out, there exists a counter-example: “Slate has experimented successfully with urging listeners to subscribe to Slate Plus within its own podcasts.” However, it’s worth noting that Slate’s strategy there is largely built around additional podcast content for paid members, which isn’t a move that’s all that present in the way public radio stations operate their membership models.
  • Better counter-examples can be found with the fine folks at Maximum Fun and Radiotopia. The former enjoyed a particularly successful drive last year, which I wrote about. That campaign, which took place over two weeks, led to the conversion of 24,181 new and upgrading members. Which is to say: ways to do it well have been done before.
  • Ken Freedman’s perspective here highlights, in precise terms, the audience relationship challenge that comes with the shift toward on-demand: as a publisher, you are now in a Continue reading "Homepages may be dead, but are daily news podcasts the new front page?"