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The business of podcasting

The Download Before Xmas

We got such good feedback a few days ago that we decided to test the waters again with another pilot (co-pilot?) episode of The Download. Just in time for Christmas! If you love it, send us a note!

Matt Deegan examines Global's acquisition of podcast hosting platform Captivate In particular, he notes how Captiave's hosting solution fills a much-needed gap in Global's offering, and how their audio advertising business—DAX—should integrate nicely, giving the company "full-stack" capabilities., comparing and contrasting that acquisition to the other podcasting-related business and services Global has acquired.

Quoting from the piece:

Captivate definitely fills a hole, as Global have lacked their own platform for managing the hosting of their podcasts. Up to now they mainly seem to have been using Spreaker, which was acquired by Voxnest, which was snaffled by iHeartMedia last year.

DAX has been spending some time over the past couple of years owning the end-to-end technology around digital audio. Its streaming ad platform was originally built on top of Adswizz’s server, that’s now been replaced by their own in-house tech and Captivate gives them another chunk of the tech stack.

Expect to see more as Global's integration of Captivate, DAX, and Remixd continues in the coming months.

Full disclosure, Evo was an advisor to Captivate up until their acquisition by Global.

Spotify opened Pod City, an on-location recording and production facility as part of their newly opened LA campus.The company's choice to invest in on-site capabilities for an industry that continues to rely on remote work and distributed teams seems odd.

Quoting from Wendy Lee's article in the Los Angeles Times:

Beyond centralizing its podcasting business in one place, the new Los Angeles operation allows Spotify to reduce the costs of paying outside vendors, attract and nurture new talent, and produce more original shows that it can own and distribute.

At least two production houses owned by Spotify, The Ringer and Parcast, are located in Los Angeles.

In late November 2021, Spotify's CEO Paul Vogel said the company had earmarked $3.5 billion to spend on expansion, with an emphasis on podcasting. Will a shiny new building attract higher-profile shows to join Spotify? And if more podcast studios are built by other powerhouses, does this signal a shift away from the remote-work nature we've grown accustomed to in podcasting?

The Verge The article which we’ve linked in the episode description is still being updated, but outside of major companies with a podcasting presence like Amazon, Google, Meta, and iHeartRadio confirming they won’t be attending, a substantial portion of the tech media has also decided to opt out as well, including The Verge. Before you hop on your flight to Vegas in just under two weeks, you might want to make sure any meetings you've scheduled are still on.Sean Hollister of provided extensive coverage of cancellations from major companies for CES 2022.

they made the unpopular decision to cancel lifetime accounts for their serviceBut then on Tuesday, Podnews reported an abrupt about-face.Podcast hosting company bCast found themselves in hot water of their own making this week, when purchased via AppSumo, according to Podnews on Monday.

Quoting from founder Tom Hunt's social media post:

After further discussion and feedback... we have decided to cancel the "cut off" and will continue to support all lifetime accounts as per the original terms. I understand that our original note from Thursday was misguided, irresponsible, and in short: a mistake. We will look to boost revenue from new subscribers, cut costs, and look for other routes of funding."

Podcasters are notoriously cash-conscious. And they tend to have long memories. Keep that in mind before you start looking for creative ways to increase your MRR.

Marketing BrewIn , Ryan Barwick covers the digital ad industry's inability to hire fast enough.

Barwick notes that as of December 17th, Roku had 750 openings, The Trade Desk had 572 openings, Criteo had 319 openings and Google had 10,224 openings on LinkedIn.

With advertising and adtech continuing to grow in the podcast industry as well, almost all companies are actively hiring for nearly all positions to cover both new growth and attrition. Reading the People category in Podnews every day shines a spotlight on an incredibly painful issue we’re facing; we keep poaching from within the space instead of hiring from outside and training up.

The easiest thing to teach while onboarding someone into the podcast industry is the podcast industry itself. As an industry, we need to do better, and if you’re interested in collaborating on a project to fix that, reach out to me.

The Download is brought to you by Bryan Barletta and Evo Terra.

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