Live touring is a real business for some podcasts (and you don’t need huge downloads for it to work)

Radiotopia’s Ear Hustle breaks 1.5 million downloads in its first month, qualifying the show as a “runaway hit” for the podcast collective, as the press release puts it. Also interesting from the release: the podcast, which emerged as the winner of Radiotopia’s first Podquest competition that wrapped last November, has doubled the number of advertisers that will be running spots throughout the first season. Chalk that up, perhaps, to the Today Show bump. (By the way: Ear Hustle is very, very good, in case that’s not already clear.) The New York Times adds a new show to its portfolio: “Dear Sugars,” formerly known as “Dear Sugar Radio,” the advice column-turned-advice podcast featuring Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond from WBUR. This deepens the Times’ relationship with WBUR; the two organizations already collaborate on the Modern Love podcast, which itself is another column-turned-podcast initiative, and long-time observers already know Continue reading "Live touring is a real business for some podcasts (and you don’t need huge downloads for it to work)"

Newsonomics: For the newspaper industry’s next feat, can it get Donald Trump to give it antitrust protection?

Sounds like a John Oliver segment, doesn’t it? As we all know from checking our favorite news apps, the line between satire and news has all but vanished anyhow. Last week, in the friendly confines of the Wall Street Journal op-ed page, the News Media Alliance initiative to gain an antitrust exemption lit many fuses. Media Alliance CEO David Chavern (see my Q&A with him here) made a singular point: The news(paper) needs legal protection so it can collectively negotiate with Google and Facebook, the dominant duopoly of this digital age. In his op-ed, “How antitrust undermines press freedom,” Chavern called on Congress to provide a safe haven — essentially an exemption — from antitrust law so that the Department of Justice wouldn’t charge the daily newspaper group with illegal activity. The proposal has reignited a panoply of pleas, broadsides, two-decade-old arguments, and even a reasoned analysis or Continue reading "Newsonomics: For the newspaper industry’s next feat, can it get Donald Trump to give it antitrust protection?"

How will we know when we’ve hit Peak Podcast? And are we there yet?

The IAB has announced the lineup for its third-annual podcast upfront, and it boasts some changes. Gimlet, Public Media Marketing, and iHeartRadio are added to the mix, while CBS and AdLarge appear to be sitting this one out. This year’s festivities will take place on September 7 at Time Inc.’s Henry R. Luce Auditorium in New York. As you might recall, I wasn’t much of a fan of last year’s proceedings. Details here. Gimlet’s diversity report. The company revisited the issue in a recent AMA-style episode of StartUp — after its first dive into the topic back in December 2015 — and the big picture is more or less what you’d expect: still not great, but better than the last time. Poynter has a good summary of the segment, and I’d like to state here that it’s interesting how you can basically evaluate the company based on two public Continue reading "How will we know when we’ve hit Peak Podcast? And are we there yet?"

Here’s what happened the last time audio producers got better data

Podcasting is about to become more like radio. Nothing will change with the actual mechanics of podcasts — how they’re produced, how they’re distributed, or who listens. The change will come in what producers know about who listens, and when they stop listening. This fall, Apple will release new analytics for podcasts that will show producers how many people listen to episodes, how long they listen, and whether they skip ads. Previously, producers relied largely on the number of downloads to try to determine their show’s popularity, not knowing whether anyone listened to the files they downloaded. Some advanced data is available through other listening apps already, but since the majority of listening passes through Apple, the detail and scope of the new metrics will be unprecedented for podcasting. But it won’t be unprecedented for audio. This isn’t the first time audience measurements for audio have become more sophisticated. And Continue reading "Here’s what happened the last time audio producers got better data"

TBT: Ten Years Ago TechCrunch Predicted That the ‘iPhone Will Bomb’

On this day 10 years ago, the world was introduced to Steve Job‘s iPhone 1. It was unlike anything on the market at the time and debuted to mostly positive reviews — but like all things — it had its haters. And that hate really hasn’t aged very well. Of all the critics, few were more vociferous than Seth Porges. Porges penned a review for TechCrunch literally titled, “We Predict The iPhone Will Bomb.’ We predict he likely regrets that call. Porges started off his critique by saying the iPhone was doomed from the start, literally his first problem was with the release date. He believed “the product was almost certainly rushed to market before Apple’s engineers would have liked” and would result in multiple bugs. He then listed his problems individually, starting with the glass screen. The front of the phone being all glass was a new Continue reading "TBT: Ten Years Ago TechCrunch Predicted That the ‘iPhone Will Bomb’"

“A step in the right direction,” but “I want more…”: The industry reacts to Apple’s podcast changes

Welcome to Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts. This is issue 124, published June 20, 2017. Industry responses to the Apple analytics news. Last week’s newsletter was super heavy on my own analysis on the matter, and to balance things out, I’m course-correcting this week with a handy-dandy roundup of some of the more interesting (and, in some cases, telling) reactions from various notable industry folk. Let’s jump in: (1) “A lot of indie podcasts already speak to a highly targeted audience, so having this better data gives them more ways to pursue advertising,” Call Your Girlfriend’s Gina Delvac tells Wired. “It’s for people who can’t yet afford the middleman.” (2) “Analytics. Finally. Industry should embrace, not run from this. Podcast tech is exploding: dynamic ads, data, streaming, scale,” tweeted HowStuffWorks’ Jason Hoch. He adds: “Exciting times to be in the podcast space. From a consumer perspective, Podcasts Continue reading "“A step in the right direction,” but “I want more…”: The industry reacts to Apple’s podcast changes"

Media Metrics Roundup for June 14, 2017

Apple Opening Up In-Episode Analytics of Podcasts 

Jason Snell / Six Colors 
The biggest thing to happen to the podcast business since Serial first went nuclear, says Gimlet Media co-founder Matt Lieber.

The Ugly Media Truths I Always Share with My Audience

Chelsea Fagan / Medium
Sorting through the financial metrics of funding a media start-up can be complicated.

Guardian US Raises More Than $50,000 in 31 Hours

Lucia Moses / Digiday
More than 1,000 readers pledge to fund an editorial series on the threat to public lands in America.

Why a NASCAR Reporter Left USA Today and Launched a Patreon Account

Simons Owens /
“With my business model it does not matter if I get one click or 10,000 clicks on a story,” saysJeff Gluck.

At ‘Washington Post,’ Tech Is Increasingly Boosting Financial Performance

Yuki Noguchi / NPR
Monthly Web traffic has grown 56 percent, to 78.7 million over the Continue reading "Media Metrics Roundup for June 14, 2017"