Welcome to Hot Pod, the newsletter that keeps you updated on everything happening in the podcasting and audio industry. Happy Thanksgiving Week! As we head into the holiday season, I’ll be taking some time off making twice baked potatoes and putting together holiday outfits for my little one. It’s going to be a busy time, and as a result, there will be no Hot Pod Insider this week. However, I’ll be back next week with all the latest news.
If you missed it, I recently wrote a piece for Insiders on the feud between Ben Shapiro and Candace Owens that is shaking up the conservative podcast space. It’s definitely worth a read if you want to be in the know at your Thanksgiving gathering.
Now, let’s dig into what’s been happening in the industry. Spotify is making headlines with its revamped royalty model. After reports surfaced a few weeks ago about changes to the streaming platform’s revenue model, Spotify has confirmed its plans in a blog post. Starting early next year, Spotify will charge labels and distributors a fee when streaming fraud is detected. “Noise” tracks, which consist of non-music audio, will only be monetized after two minutes of listening, and the company will only monetize tracks that have amassed 1,000 plays in the past 12 months.
While the first two changes have been well-received, the third change has sparked controversy. Many long-tail creators are voicing their concerns, arguing that it puts them at a disadvantage. Spotify, however, argues that these changes are necessary to funnel more revenue to emerging and professional artists.
Another development at Spotify is the company’s search for a new ad agency. The streamer has been with UM since 2017 but is reportedly considering other agencies, including Publicis, as it reduces its marketing spend. This shift in the company’s marketing strategy could have implications for podcast marketing, particularly for original shows on the platform.
In other news, Pushkin Industries, co-founded by Malcolm Gladwell, has seen significant changes this year, including a major leadership shift and multiple rounds of layoffs. A group of the company’s producers, editors, and engineers have unionized with the Writers Guild of America, East. This move comes after a series of business challenges and internal discussions about leadership and diversity goals at the company.
As we head into the holiday season and wrap up the year, it’s clear that the podcasting and audio industry is evolving rapidly. With changes at major platforms like Spotify and developments at production companies like Pushkin Industries, it will be interesting to see how these shifts impact the industry as a whole.
So, as you prepare for Thanksgiving, whether you’re making twice baked potatoes, putting together holiday outfits, or gearing up for a night drive to Long Island, take a moment to reflect on all the changes and developments happening in the podcasting space. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I’ll be back next week with more insider news and updates.