Spotify loses one other high podcast exec

Spotify loses another top podcast exec

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Whats up, audiophiles!

I’m very excited to convey you my first public version of Scorching Pod. Following the path blazed by Nick and Ashley, I’ll be in your inbox each Tuesday with scoops, information, evaluation, and japes (high quality of the latter not assured). And, the closest I’ll ever get to being in a makeover montage, in the present day I additionally get to introduce a recent new search for Scorching Pod courtesy of the ace design groups at The Verge and Vox Media. Readers will discover that now we have an up to date brand and format with some hotter colours to accompany the Scorching Pod title.

So, what’s my deal? Like everybody else in fashionable media, I hopped round a bit earlier than touchdown at The Verge. I’ve performed stints at MSNBC, Paramount Plus, and, most related to you, protecting media and leisure at Forbes. In my former life as a cataloger of capitalist machinations, I used to be placing collectively the 2019 record of highest-paid comedians after I began getting ideas that Joe Rogan — “you recognize, the NewsRadio man” — was making a silly sum of money from his podcast. So I pitched (and pitched, and pitched) the journal’s first highest-earning podcaster record. Though no person was making Kylie cash, it was clear that the enterprise was greater and rising at a sooner tempo than any of us exterior the business might have anticipated.

Reduce to: acquisition frenzies, nine-figure licensing offers, and tech giants bending and molding the beforehand DIY podcasting business to their will. And in some way in spite of everything that, issues are not any much less messy — most likely extra so. For me, that makes it a dream beat. I sit up for exploring the sources of stress inside the business: fits attempting to wring advert {dollars} out of unwieldy creators, streamers bulking up on podcasting to ease the burden of expensive music royalties, and celebrities beginning a podcast as a result of, why not, solely to be taught it’s much more concerned than speaking right into a microphone.

Plus, cash. Podcasting is projected to be a $2 billion business by subsequent yr, and I intend to determine the place that’s flowing. (It may possibly’t all go to Rogan.)

I additionally sit up for listening to from you, expensive reader! The good things at all times comes from conversations with folks within the business, moderately than press releases. That type of forwards and backwards makes my job extra enjoyable and this text a greater learn. So be happy to hit me up at ariel.shapiro@theverge.com with ideas, recs, and normal ideas.

As for exhibits, I don’t play favorites. Sorry, that’s a lie — I’m Brian Lehrer experience or die.


SCOOP: Anchor co-founder Michael Mignano to depart Spotify

One other one bites the mud. As I reported yesterday, Spotify’s podcast tech czar Michael Mignano will go away the corporate on the finish of June, the corporate confirmed. He’s the third high podcasting government on the streamer to depart up to now month.

In April, Spotify misplaced two main figures on the editorial facet. First was Lydia Polgreen, a longtime New York Instances journalist and former editor-in-chief of HuffPost, who turned managing director of Gimlet in 2020. She introduced that she shall be heading again to the Instances as an opinion columnist. Then got here the announcement that Courtney Holt, Spotify’s head of studios and video who lower blockbuster offers with Joe Rogan and the Obamas and helped make the streamer a real power in podcasting when Apple was the default, could be leaving as nicely.

Mignano has left a distinct type of mark on the corporate. After co-founding DIY podcast platform Anchor with Nir Zicherman in 2015, Mignano offered the app to Spotify for $150 million in 2019 and got here aboard to guide the tech on podcasts, video, and every little thing not having to do with music. Video podcasts, which launched in 2020 and expanded to extra creators this yr, fall in his purview. In 2021, he oversaw the corporate’s growth into reside audio when it purchased Locker Room final yr, which has since been rebranded Spotify Dwell.

However Mignano’s unique app has confirmed to be his most consequential contribution to Spotify, bulking up the service’s library to 4 million podcasts, up from 1 million podcasts in 2020. The corporate just lately disclosed that 85 % of its new podcasts are uploaded by way of Anchor.

It’s not that Anchor has created any Joe Rogan or Alex Cooper-esque stars for Spotify (it hasn’t). However the largely unmoderated quantity of content material it produces has helped shift the corporate’s perspective on itself: that it’s a platform for creators, not a writer. It’s the argument the corporate used for defending its hands-off strategy to Rogan’s COVID misinformation, a stance that pushed away offended subscribers and folk-rock legends alike.

Whereas Spotify makes an attempt to handle that stress, Mignano is stepping away from day-to-day administration of creator platforms. He’s heading to an early-stage enterprise capital agency, with particulars to be introduced nearer to his departure. Zicherman stays on the firm as the pinnacle of audiobooks and gated content material.

Fb ditches the entire podcasting factor

After lower than a yr within the podcast recreation, Fb is out. Beginning this week, customers will now not be capable to add new podcasts, and all exhibits shall be faraway from the platform beginning June third, Bloomberg first reported.

The social community introduced a slew of audio options final spring, together with a central audio hub, shareable clips, and Sound Bites, which allowed customers to create short-form audio clips a la TikTok. The hub and Sound Bites will shut down within the subsequent few weeks, the corporate confirmed. The one actual vestige of Fb’s audio infrastructure that can stay shall be its Dwell Audio Rooms, which shall be built-in into Fb Dwell.

“After a yr of studying and iterating on audio-first experiences, we’ve determined to simplify our suite of audio instruments on Fb,” a Meta spokesperson instructed Scorching Pod. “We’re consistently evaluating the options we provide so we are able to concentrate on essentially the most significant experiences.”

Fb tried to go concerning the shutdown quietly. It reportedly knowledgeable its audio companions of the choice by e-mail. It won’t be informing customers of the change and can go away it as much as publishers to interrupt the information to their listeners.

There may be nonetheless one Zuckerberg who believes in podcasting, nonetheless. On Monday, SiriusXM introduced that Mark Zuckerberg’s sister Randi, a radio character, Web3 advocate, and former Fb spokesperson, will host a brand new podcast known as Crypto Café With Randi Zuckerberg. Let’s hope it’s as unhinged as her Eighties throwback crypto feminism music video.

Extra massive hiring information

As a result of there wasn’t sufficient information on Monday, iHeartMedia and Freakonomics Radio Community each made massive hires.

Freakonomics Radio Community has employed NPR podcast head Neal Carruth as its new normal supervisor. He’ll lead editorial technique for the community, which has expanded to 5 common exhibits and has a devoted channel on SiriusXM. Carruth spent 23 years at NPR, the place he helped create the morning information podcast Up First and oversaw the event of exhibits like Planet Cash and The NPR Politics Podcast.

And iHeartMedia has tapped former Stitcher chief income officer Sarah van Mosel to guide its ad-buying service, the iHeart Viewers Community. She may also have a hand in podcast partnerships, gross sales, and writer improvement. Van Mosel labored at Stitcher throughout its acquisition by SiriusXM, after which she oversaw podcast income technique throughout the corporate.


That’s it for me! Carpe your crypto diem, friends.

Correction Might third, 6PM ET: A earlier model of this story stated that Megaphone is in Mignano’s purview. Megaphone truly falls underneath Spotify’s promoting enterprise.



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