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Spotify’s Voice AI, Ads on Prime Video, Behind the Minimum Guarantee Numbers & More

Spotify’s Voice AI, Ads on Prime Video, Behind the Minimum Guarantee Numbers & More

September 25, 2023

Today in the Business of Podcasting

Spotify Announces Voice Translation

Earlier today Spotify CEO Daniel Ek tweeted a short video demonstrating an upcoming feature for Spotify: artificial voice translation. According to Ek, the tech translates podcast episodes into alternate languages using AI to imitate the podcaster’s original voice. No further details were provided regarding whether the feature is exclusive to the Spotify app. It’s a safe assumption that the earliest full episodes available with AI translation will likely be Spotify-exclusive podcasts. [Source]

Podcast Executives Say the Industry Has a Fraud Problem by Ashley Carman

Continuing coverage of a profile on Oren Rosenbaum, Ashley Carman focuses on a conversation about minimum guarantees and the issues that can arise from false reporting. With a lack of consistent processes for sharing podcast data, it’s difficult for outside companies to get a full, healthy understanding of a podcast’s performance and growth when negotiating a minimum guarantee. A problem that can be solved with strong third party analytics solutions, or improved hosting platform data export options. [Source]

Making the case for investing in audio ads in 2024 by Alexandra Samet

New eMarketer forecasts break down five reasons one should think about audio advertising, including the expectation that nearly 75% of US internet users will listen to digital audio this year. Podcasting is expected to grow 4.6% faster than overall digital audio. Streaming audio and run-of-network ad buys on podcasts also prove effective in multi-channel ad buys, as further reinforced by Sounds Profitable’s study The Medium Moves the Message earlier this year. [Source]

Hollywood isn’t letting go of audio any time soon by Amrita Khalid

As covered last week: part of Sony’s podcast downsizing last week was canceling High Low with EmRata, citing that the show didn’t have enough of a U.S.-based audience to sell ads. While yet another celebrity podcast has been canceled, it’s not an indicator Hollywood (or audiences) are done with celebrity-hosted podcasts. Even filtering to just podcasts with celebrities in hosting positions announced this week, Khalid pulls 14 names ranging from a Will Smith interview podcast to Academy Award-winning actors headlining an audio fiction series. [Source]

And before we move on: The Download would like to extend a special congratulations to Amrita Khalid for her stellar job writing Hot Pod over the past few months while Ariel Shapiro was on sabbatical. We’re excited to hear more from both of them going forward.

Amazon is sticking ads in Prime Video shows and movies unless you pay more by Jess Weatherbed.

The streaming giant is following in the footsteps of similar companies and introducing ads to Prime Video sometime in early 2024. The initial rollout will happen in the US, UK, Germany, and Canada, with plans to extend to several more countries later in the year. Amazon is taking the move cautiously, stressing the ad-supported tier will have ‘meaningfully fewer ads’ than linear TV or even their streaming competitors. The ad-free version of Prime Video will cost $2.99 USD more per month than the current $14.99/month subscription that will have ads. [Source]

as for the rest of the news… Audacia Audio’s Kym Treasure breaks down why audio should be in your multi-channel marketing strategy, Adweek finds Americans don’t like advertisers using AI marketing on them unless it comes with a price discount, Edison Research has published their chart of the top 25 UK podcasts, and takeaways from Digiday’s Publishing Summit focusing on attention metrics, engagement, and the importance of proving advertiser’s return on investment.

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Sound You Can See: Podcasting’s Video Dilemma

For the first time, more podcast listeners say that they have watched a podcast in the last 30 days than have listened to one. Yet, simply popping your pod on YouTube is likely to fail. So, what are podcasters to do? Sound You Can See dives into consumer perceptions of podcasts on video — and how they continue to drive the future of this medium. The study examines differences in perceptions between video primaries and audio primaries, from preferred topics and genres to the surprising demographic that “listens” to more than half of their podcasts on YouTube. We will also look at when podcast consumers choose one over the other.

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