BBC’s podcast exclusivity angers listeners; Spotify plans more

BBC’s podcast exclusivity angers listeners; Spotify plans more

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Thank you to 2019's new subscribers, including folk from Luminary, Himalaya, iHeart Media, RTBF, Audioboom, Pandora, Panoply, and ABC Australia.

  • There’s widespread anger at an announcement that a popular BBC podcast, Fortunately, is going to be made exclusive to BBC Sounds, the broadcaster’s new audio app. It means that the podcast, which isn’t aired on radio, will no longer be available on other services like Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts. There’s concern that because the BBC Sounds app is unavailable outside the UK, overseas listeners may be unable to listen.

    • Fortunately (…) it’s not as bad as it seems. The BBC tells us that this is part of an “exclusivity trial” for BBC Sounds, and only affects the first four episodes this season. The programme will also be released on the BBC iPlayer Radio app, which is available worldwide. All four episodes will be released on all platforms after a 30-day window.
    • Notwithstanding this, listener reaction is predictably fierce. Responses include “the arrogance of the BBC is breathtaking”, and that the decision is "bonkers - not good bonkers, bad bonkers". The app has also been poorly-reviewed. As a side note: the BBC monetises its podcast listens outside the UK with Acast, so exclusivity also removes revenue for the corporation. Podnews estimates the BBC is the world’s second-largest podcaster, after NPR.
  • Meanwhile, Spotify is planning more exclusive podcasts on their platform, reports TechCrunch at CES. According to the company, “podcasters who joined Spotify exclusively were actually able to grow their audience, despite leaving other distribution platforms. For example, the Joe Budden podcast had its highest streaming day ever after joining Spotify.”

    We’re seeing increased engagement; there’s great commercial opportunities from podcasting that we’ve never seen on the platform…And, obviously, exclusives are to give us something that makes the platform truly unique – to have people come to Spotify for something you can’t get anywhere else is the sort of cherry on top of that entire strategy - Courtney Holt, Head of Spotify Studios

  • The On Air Fest - Feb 28 to Mar 3, Brooklyn NY, USA - is inviting artists and storytellers experimenting with audio to apply to spend five nights at Wythe Hotel as part of the On Air Fest Residency. The four-day festival explores the future of sound, audio, and podcasting. The deadline to apply is January 17.

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  • Earlier this week, we reported that Apple’s AirPlay 2, which is vaguely similar to Google’s Chromecast, is coming to new Samsung televisions. It’s also going to be seen on televisions from Sony, LG and Vizio.

  • Podchaser have posted a 2019 roadmap and 2018 review. The plans include better discovery, integrations with other platforms, and revenue, including merch.


    This link is no longer available, as at Aug 9 2023
  • Yesterday, we linked to US radio’s top advertisers, on Inside Radio. That website doesn’t work in Europe, for which our apologies. Here’s what you missed, Europe.

  • Vocalkast is a new podcast aggregator helping to organise sports podcasts. They tell Podnews: “Our process allows us to comb through thousands of podcast episodes every day to identify and rank those belonging to the major sports disciplines: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NCAA Football, NCAA Basketball, Football, Golf, Tennis, Rugby, Cricket, Cycling, F1 and Nascar.” Apple Podcasts has four, US-leaning, sports subcategories.

  • The first six teams have been picked for the Google Podcasts and PRX Creator Program. Congratulations to them.


    Aug 9 2023: This broken link now points to the Internet Archive.
  • Free podcast host ZCast have announced they’re to close. They’ve given podcasters three weeks to find alternative hosts.

  • Is there an issue with podcast discoverability? This survey says: yes. This survey was conducted by The Podcast Host, and got 212 responses.

  • The New York Festivals, an award ceremony, is now open for entries. 2019 includes more podcasting categories.

  • Spreaker has released a new version of its newsletter, which promises “bitesize” news that’ll take “less than 3 minutes” of your time. Sounds great. (We thank their parent company, Voxnest, for their support!)

  • Job: Ear Hustle is looking for a part-time content producer, based in Emeryville CA, USA, and also San Quentin State Prison, in San Quentin CA.

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