Good morning! I’m back in New York after a whirlwind few days in Dallas last week. It was really great to meet so many people from the industry in person. What I take away the most from the week of the Podcast Movement is how much the podcast format has evolved (for better or for worse). Video podcasts were the hot topic, with plenty of discussion about how to switch to video and why it was necessary to do so. As one executive told me, video is not for everyone! It’s much easier to produce professional-quality audio than video, and many genres of podcasts don’t really lend themselves to video. I’ll be curious to see if it’s such a big topic next year – maybe by then creators will have tried and given up on the practice.
After a big week of news last week, with the Twitter app launching its podcast function and a lot of ~~ talk around Ben Shapiro’s surprise appearance at the Podcast Movement, it’s a little quieter this week. Everyone is in late summer lazy mode, and I’m not mad about it – except for James Van Der Beek, who feels contentious. Let’s go.
James Van Der Beek sues Stitcher after podcast talks break down
James Van Der Beek Isn’t Happy With His Podcast Deal With SiriusXM’s Stitcher Ending; the Dawson’s Creek star is suing the network for breach of contract. the explosion first reported the lawsuit, which was filed Friday. The lawsuit alleges his deal would have been worth a minimum of $700,000 for 40 episodes, plus 50% of net advertising revenue.
“[Van Der Beek] had other offers and potential partners to choose from in order to develop this project,” the filing states. “However, relying on the contractual agreement with Defendants, Plaintiff ceased to negotiate with other purchasers and affirmatively rejected these other offers (as well as other opportunities to act).”
According to the file, it does not appear that there was a formal contract. Van Der Beek is suing on the basis of the terms agreed by telephone and e-mail. It’s unclear what led to the deal falling through, but I’m sure details (hopefully juicy!) will emerge as the case unfolds. SiriusXM declined to comment.
Van Der Beek revenge aside, I personally love being able to get a number on a regular celebrity podcast deal (even if they’re becoming less common in today’s economic climate).
Deadline launch subscription on Apple Podcasts
NBC Deadlinewho committed a real crime before it was cool, launches a subscription on Apple Podcasts. Premium Deadlinewhich costs $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year, offers subscribers ad-free listening, early access to new episodes, and exclusive bonus content.
It’s no surprise that Deadline chose Apple for its premium service since its podcast is doing particularly well on the platform (it is currently ranked number 10, against number 40 on Spotify). Last year, Apple introduced podcast subscriptions (which you have to cut by 30% in the first year), and they’re becoming increasingly common. The company reports that more than a quarter of the platform’s top 100 shows now offer subscriptions.
We have a whole slew of new shows from Podcast Movement, and I wanted to highlight some of the brightest:
- The Hideo Kojima-designed video game, which has quite a massive following, is Spotify’s latest podcast star. Structure of the brain will be available in English and Japanese and will not affect the game itself. The talk show will run the gamut from movies and games to “art, philosophy and the social landscape.”
- NPR is also launching a new bilingual podcast. In partnership with Futuro Media, the studio that just won the Pulitzer audio for Sweetsoccer oriented The last cut will debut later this fall ahead of the FIFA World Cup in English and Spanish. NPR host Jasmine Garsd will use football to explore themes such as identity, race and class.
- Crooked Media is making a leap into lifestyle content. Dare we saywhich debuted earlier this month, is hosted by Gen Z actresses Josie Totah, Alycia Pascual Peña and Yasmine Hamady, who will look at 20-something life, social media, LGBTQ issues and a bit of politics (it’s always twisted, after all).
- Pushkin Industries and Sony Music‘s Somethin’ Else team up for a brainy take on the art world versus true crime with Death of an artist, which will debut on September 8. The show is an exploration of the mysterious 1985 death of buzzing Cuban-born artist Ana Mendieta. It’s not for me, but I’m sure it’s for someone.
- Another true crime pod! (Again, not for me). Tenderfoot and iHeart have teamed up to The monster, a 10-episode series about Belgian serial killer Marc Dutroux. The first two episodes are out now.
- Björk having a podcast isn’t that surprising, but I admit I didn’t expect it to be sponsored by Mailchimp. She really zigzags when you think she’s gonna zag. Björk: sonic symbolism will be released on Thursday.
It’s all about me! Have a great holiday weekend, and I’ll see you next week.