The Spotify layoffs: “it didn’t have to be this way”
The Gimlet Union and Parcast Union have tweeted a statement about the 38 layoffs across Spotify. They say that some shows lost as much as three-quarters of their audience when going exclusive; and that employees were given as little as an hour to close out their work and leave. Parcast Union has tweeted some of its members who are now available for hire.
- “Spotify invested zero in building the show’s audience, then forced us to go exclusive to Spotify, and then cancelled it because it didn’t build a big enough audience…” - a tweet from Dr Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, former co-host of the now-cancelled How To Save A Planet
Spotify has responded to our story on Friday about a Spotify Original being made without the original hosts. (We’ve added it to the original story).
“Nos vamos de Spotify”, says popular Argentinian podcast El Método Rebord. The podcast is leaving Spotify because “Spotify does not pay us - but YouTube does … Spotify pays for playback in the case of musical content, but does not pay the creators of podcast content” /via Via Podcast
Podcast Commercials: Effective or Skippable? Nuvoodoo spoke to 1,700 people, half of whom feel there are too many commercials in podcasts, but 68% listen to many of them, and most have taken action because of an ad they heard.
Dave Winer points out that there is no indication on the New York Times’s site about the RSS feed address for their new podcast, Hard Fork. “What’s the problem in supporting the open standard?” he asks.
- Pro-tip: Podnews podcast pages list the RSS feed.
Further Reading: Adam Bowie on why podcasters should read their contracts carefully, and why RSS feeds are valuable … Danny Brown on where next for exclusive podcasts after the Spotify news … and Vanessa Pacheo has written about How a Rave Podcast has Built an Engaged Community by Understanding Its Audience, focusing on the I’m Peaking Podcast
Moves and hires
- LaFontaine Oliver is the new CEO at New York Public Radio, the owners of WNYC. He will move from WYPR in Baltimore in January.
The Tech Stuff - with RSS.com
Phase 6 of the new podcast namespace proposes a number of new tags. Among them:
- podcast:txt is for freeform content, to replace email addresses as feed verification.
- An enhancement to podcast:chapters allows for an indication that “chapters are coming soon”
- Podnews’s Editor has proposed podcast:hasGuests, mainly to stop people vainly trying to propose guests for the three-minute Podnews Daily podcast
- podcast:events allows for real-time communication back to the podcaster (where 'events’ are secure webhooks like “you’ve got a new review”, or “someone made a clip of this”, or “someone has pressed play on your podcast”)
- podcast:state helps directories know what “state” a podcast account is in, like a free trial period or a lapsed feed.
Podgraph is publishing transcripts of podcasts. It’s powered by OpenAI Whisper.
Snipd is now also powered by OpenAI Whisper
Though widely criticised in the comments, Marco Arment’s recommendation to turn off Cloudflare’s protection for your RSS feed highlights a mismatch between anti-DDOS protection and RSS. We’d recommend a) setting a separate firewall rule for your RSS feed, rather than the whole site; and b) writing that RSS feed to a static host like S3 or R2. The RSS feed for our podcast trailers podcast is served directly from S3.
How many “unknown”s do you see in your host’s podcast stats? Using live data from OP3, the OPAWG useragent list is less than 5%…
The Podcast Index now has a “only search shows in Apple” parameter.
Tips and tricks
Podcast News - with Lemonada Media
Podcast data for Oct 10
- #1 in Apple Podcasts: US: Rachel Maddow Presents: Ultra (Rachel Maddow, MSNBC) GB: The Rest Is Politics (Goalhanger Podcasts)
- #1 in Spotify: US: Kim Kardashian's The System: The Case of Kevin Keith (Spotify Studios) GB: The Diary Of A CEO with Steven Bartlett (Steven Bartlett)
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