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Number of new podcasts drops by 80%
It’s a very dramatic headline, but the reality is more nuanced. In 2020, 1,109,000 podcasts were launched – but last year only 219,000 shows debuted. Now, would I like to believe that’s a result of people recognising how difficult producing a podcast is? And coming to heft me on their shoulders and carry me through the streets in celebration of Media Voices? Absolutely. Is that going to happen? No.
Instead, the research suggests that the fall is probably due to a confluence of different long-term trends. “Glynn and Taylor both detect another contradictory trend, undercutting this move towards popular, established podcasts. Deeper, better researched, even ‘niche content’, is still in demand. These shows may reach small audiences but they still help commercial sponsors and advertisers to reach specific consumers.”
A smaller number of podcast launches (if 3m ongoing podcasts globally can be considered ‘small’) is no bad thing, honestly. For one thing, vanishingly few podcasts ever get beyond their seventh episode and the majority are just lying fallow. The bigger ones will continue to be valuable and attractive to advertisers, sponsors – and more importantly audiences.
Microsoft to incorporate ChatGPT into Bing very shortly
This was always the end goal of Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI. What’s interesting here is the implication this has for the future of search – with Google likely to follow suit with Apprentice Bard. Lots of shaking up to happen in this space, and as ever it’ll be on the publishers to adapt to change imposed from above.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism launches community pilot project
This is a fun way to look at bringing communities into the reporting process, right from the start. It builds upon the work that the Bureau undertook in 2020 called Change the Story, where it worked collaboratively with a group of people from across the UK to re-imagine local news that could serve marginalised communities. More, please!
Twitter API nonsense continues
‘Chaos’ is too cool a word for anything to do with Elon Musk, so instead I’ll just say ‘nonsense’. How are publishers supposed to be planning their Twitter strategy if it keeps doing these flip-flops and increasing ambiguity: ‘Elon Musk said that after getting feedback from developers, Twitter will provide a write-only API for “bots providing good content that is free.”’ What counts as ‘good content’, who decides that… etc.?
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