Audience Engagement Digital Publishing
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What’s the next great podcast investment? — The Media Roundup

Reasons for optimism: Podcasts and profit

There were a fair few bits of podcast news and analysis relevant to publishers out yesterday, so I’ve collected them here for you. That’s convenience itself! First off James Breiner, writing for The Fix, asks whether podcasting for publishers is being overblown, particularly when it comes to profitability. Happily, he argues that it is a worthwhile investment financially and in terms of engagement:

“I’ve rediscovered the power of the human voice in podcasts and audiobooks. I have found myself sympathetic to politicians I disagree with when I heard them explain their positions in a podcast interview. I find them more credible, more trustworthy. The podcast interview lends itself to a conversation rather than a confrontation interview or debate. It’s far more human.”

Outside that hopeful outlook, I rounded up where the next great podcast investment is likely to be. Given the glut of spending from platforms like Spotify I argue we should be looking at successful web players that exist outside walled gardens more closely. Finally, is the easiest solution to court Hollywood rather than play by the platforms’ rules?

Desert Island metrics, for publishers

When I was in J-school, mi maestro Adam Tinworth told my class that ‘hits’ stood for ‘how idiots tell success’. A bit blunt, maybe, but it’s stuck with me as a reminder that publishers’ approach to metrics should be nuanced. This piece examines the mutability of metrics and asks which are most important (most of the time).

The New York Times pulls its news staff from Russia

Other news organizations, like the BBC and Bloomberg, have suspended their operations in Russia in response to a new law that effectively criminalises independent reporting. Now the NYT is also pulling its staff in an effort to protect them. I can’t imagine having to be the person to make that call.

Amazon launches a ‘live radio’ app, Amp, which lets you play DJ with the Amazon Music catalog

I’m genuinely invested in this idea, despite knowing that it’s solely a play to sell Prime. Amazon is effectively launching a licensed pirate radio platform in a belated attempt to improve upon Twitter Spaces, Clubhouse, etc.

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