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Opportunities in audio for publishers: The Media Roundup

Very short or very long – the evolving audio landscape

According to its recent quarterly earnings report, Spotify is now the top platform for podcast consumption in the US and more than 60 other countries. It’s also just announced two deals to enable it to expand properly into audiobooks.

As David Tvrdon points out for The Fix, “If you are serious about audio, it’s worth following what Spotify is doing”. The platform has helped propel podcasts into the mainstream, so if it’s eyeing up briefings, articles and audiobooks, publishers should take note.

He thinks there’s a real opportunity for publishers with podcast studios to add audiobooks to a premium subscription offering as a way of boosting engagement. He also addresses the issue of short-form audio’s failure to take off. Again, Spotify is one to watch here with their vision for their Daily Drive playlists. The short-form audio space is not conquered yet.

The end of “click to subscribe, call to cancel”? One of the news industry’s favourite retention tactics is illegal, FTC says

Only 41% of US publications make it easy for people to cancel subscriptions online. The rest make you call, and have trained customer service reps who try and dissuade you from cancelling. The Federal Trade Commission has now made it clear that it sees this as illegal and will ramp up enforcement. This is good: obtuse cancellation journeys are not a retention tactic for publishers looking to build trust.

Minority-owned media businesses face a big funding gap

A mixed story, this one. On the one hand, funding for Black entrepreneurs in the US has increased fourfold over the past year, and there are a lot of opportunities for startups to fill gaps. Agencies and brands are also turning their attention to opportunities to advertise with minority-owned media businesses. But startups owned by people of colour are still struggling to secure investment from VC and private equity funds.

Trust, transparency and ROI: the benefits of zero-party data for business

With the death of the third-party cookie rapidly approaching, businesses are scrambling for more privacy-safe, effective means by which to access consumer data. But first-party data isn’t the only option. A new kind of information – zero-party data – could be the answer. I hate the name for this (marketing bollocks) but the idea that there’s a use for data ‘which a customer intentionally and proactively shares with a brand’ is an interesting one.


This content originally appeared in The Media Roundup, a daily newsletter from Media Voices. Subscribe here: