Hello, hello and welcome to the working week. Hope everyone had a good weekend, and kudos to those of you who attended On The Verge. It was so nice to see IRL people and meet face to face. Hope we can do it again soon! Anyway, today is loaded with some scoops and analysis. Let’s go.
SCOOP: Amazon Creates Top Secret Live Audio App
Earlier today, I posted a story about Amazon’s work on a live audio app called Project Mic. The app takes tracks from Anchor and tracks from Clubhouse – users can host DJ sets, like they would for a radio show, and intersperse songs with chats. The idea is to reinvent radio. (I feel like I should have put a trigger warning on that sentence for some of you – sorry!)
The other highlights of my article: the app will simultaneously stream content to devices equipped with Twitch, Amazon Music and Alexa. Amazon is looking to bring top talent on board to help launch the app, as well as ordinary people to keep programming constant, and the app will be interactive, especially through Alexa. The app will also be optimized for the car, whatever that means. Amazon did not comment on my story.
I think of this primarily in relation to the wave of tech companies that are currently creating and distributing radio station-like content – Apple Music, Sonos, Spotify, and, soon, Amazon. Apple and Spotify, in particular, are thinking about how their platforms can dominate the car, whether through partnerships with automakers or hardware manufacturers, just like Amazon, which will be essential if they want to eventually. spoof the radio. I own a 2009 Honda Fit with an aux cable, and personally the ease of turning on the radio is something I would be hard-pressed to give up. I can currently listen through Spotify or any of these other apps, but instead pressing the power button and clicking my presets is my default. It is difficult behavior to change! We’ll see if Amazon or someone else can take it down.
SCOOP: YouTube Finally Has Someone Leading Podcasting Efforts
Another one exclusively for you Hot pod readers: Google has hired someone to lead its podcasting efforts. A company spokesperson confirms to me that Kai Chuk has been hired to “handle the high volume of podcasts and existing relationships on the YouTube platform.” I heard that Chuk’s title is Podcast Lead, but Google didn’t respond to my request for confirmation about it. Per Chuk’s LinkedIn, he’s been working on YouTube for almost 10 years, mainly focusing on media partnerships, so I can see why the podcaster role was appropriate.
We here at Hot pod have followed the evolution of YouTube to podcasting, or at least it plans to play a bigger role in the industry. Bloomberg reported the YouTube team was looking to hire a podcast manager, which appears to be Chuk’s role, while the YouTube Music app in Canada will support background music listening for free users. The songs line up and we’ll probably hear more.
What I don’t fully understand about YouTube’s possible podcast plans is what exactly will be changed or handled – podcasters are already uploading and hosting videos to Google’s servers, and Google is monetizing those videos for them by based on user data. Yes, YouTube could also start hosting audio and doing different ads there, but again I have to ask if podcasters want to either migrate hosting providers completely or start using multiple hosting providers at the same time just to take advantage of the platforms. (YouTube also already sells audio ad when listeners are playing videos in the background.)
As for the listeners themselves, in 2020, Google noted 15% of people listening to music on the platform have done so in the background, so I’m wondering how much that percentage might increase when YouTube starts allowing background listening for free.
Speaking of announcements, we have a few offers to cover.
SiriusXM will be the exclusive ad seller for Addicted to crime and Audiochuck
It’s right now: SiriusXM is teaming up with Audiochuck, Ashley Flowers’ podcast company and maker of Addicted to crime, as the exclusive worldwide advertising seller. Along with this, Audiochuck and Sirius will coordinate to develop new programming. The press release notes that all programming will continue to be widely available and not exclusive to any property owned by Sirius. (UTA negotiated the deal, representing Flowers and Audiochuck.)
âWith three audio platforms as marketing vehicles that can reach the widest and most diverse audiences possible, [Audiochuck] can serve their most loyal fans and build new ones, âsaid Scott Greenstein, president and chief content officer at SiriusXM, in the release.
I am flagging this quote because he notes that marketing is an apparent selling point for Flowers’ decision to partner up – Sirius of course owns his satellite radio business, as well as Stitcher and Pandora, where Audiochuck’s shows will get. presumably a little love.
Audiochuck already partner with Cabana and the AdLarge Media team, which, in particular, does not have a podcast player.
On the next …
Acast and BBC renew monetization agreement
Acast and the BBC renew themselves an agreement which gives Acast the exclusive rights to sell advertisements for BBC broadcasts outside the UK. So the BBC is covering the UK, but everywhere else it’s a fair game for Acast for the next three years. Sounds pretty convenient – the BBC doesn’t have to worry about staffing and trying to sell ads for the global market, but still benefits from its massive catalog and name recognition. The fight for advertising money continues to march …
Data from your Kroger grocery store helps launch a programmatic advertising market
It’s probably not podcast or audio related, at least not yet, but I had to share because, dammit, grocery stores sucking up all the data to start an ad network makes me sad! Last week Kroger announcement its plan to launch a private programmatic advertising marketplace where brands can buy ads and target them to consumers based on their buying habits. Kroger collects this information through its loyalty program and claims it captures data on 96% of sales. Right now, it looks like this market is specifically for display advertising, but how long before a tech company tries to buy or use this kind of data for podcast advertising? (Ehem, Amazon, and Whole Foods.)
Okay, I’ll end this one on a small note …
Clubhouse Launches Pinned Links, Hints To Monetization Features
I interviewed Clubhouse CEO and Co-Founder Paul Davison and Clubhouse Global Marketing Manager Maya Watson this weekend at the On The Verge event, and they announced a new feature on stage: Pinned Links.
Davison sees this as a way for creators to monetize – now they can link to their podcast, the book’s landing page, Patreon, and more. – but it does not yet help Clubhouse to generate money. Davison told me that was the reason the company raised private funds, so they didn’t have to worry about it. He also said that we will likely hear more about the ways the platform itself will be monetized, such as through paid subscriptions and events, over the next few months. Now, for what it’s worth, Twitter already allows people to pin tweets on Spaces, and also, for what it’s worth, OnlyFans links aren’t allowed on Clubhouse. Will this feature move the needle for Clubhouse? I do not think so.
Okay, we’re in and out today, and I’ll let you catch up on content from Facebook Papers that you haven’t read yet. As always, my DMs and emails are open and accepting messages, as is Signal, if you ask nicely. See you Thursday!