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Big Revolution - Podcasting grows up

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Hello and welcome to Thursday's Big Revolution. The biggest news of the past 24 hours broke just afte
 
February 7 · Issue #341 · View online
Big Revolution
Hello and welcome to Thursday’s Big Revolution. The biggest news of the past 24 hours broke just after I sent yesterday’s edition. Read on for that an more…
– Martin from Big Revolution

Big things you need to know today
  • Spotify is going big on podcasts. It has acquired podcast maker Gimlet Media and podcast production software Anchor. The news broke just after I hit ‘send’ on yesterday’s newsletter. Meanwhile Spotify turned a quarterly profit for the first time ever.
  • Facebook is getting more transparent about ad targeting. It’s ‘why am I seeing this?’ feature “will start to show when your contact info was uploaded, if it was by the brand or one of their agency/developer partners and when access was shared between partners,” TechCrunch reports.
The big thought
Credit: Remy_Loz on Unsplash
Podcasting grows up
I’ve been listening to podcasts the same way for over a decade: subscribe to them, download them, and listen to them in order from oldest to most recent. Whether I was listening on an iPod or via a smartphone app, the process has always been the same.
To me, that’s what you do with podcasts – subscribe to a bunch and listen to them all in order. If you’re lucky, you might catch up and reach ‘podcast zero’ occasionally and get to listen to some music on your commute instead.
So, it’s jarring to me that many people prefer a more lightweight approach. And the tech industry is keen to address this market. Listening to podcasts via streaming means it’s easier to just dip into a bit of what you fancy . Conversely, a 'subscribe’ button makes you feel like you have listen to every episode.
Podcasts are becoming more like TV shows, radio, or music – something you consume via streaming, on-demand, whenever you choose. And Spotify’s big new podcast-related acquisitions reflect that.
Google’s streaming-only podcast app is another reflection of this more casual approach, as is BBC Sounds. The BBC’s app and website lets you dip into a wealth of podcasts without subscribing to any of them.
And the Spotify deal is an easy win for the company. The ad and sponsorship revenue you can get from owning podcasts is attractive, as is capturing more user time in-app. That said, it does need to revamp its app to stop podcasts being a second-class citizen.
And for users, it means they only have to open one app to access most of the music and podcasts they might want to listen to.
It’s great to see the medium mature. And there’s nothing stopping me continuing to listen to podcasts the 'old fashioned’ way. But I can’t help but worry that makes me… old fashioned.
One big read
Fortnite Is the Future, but Probably Not for the Reasons You Think Fortnite Is the Future, but Probably Not for the Reasons You Think
An in-depth look at what really makes Fortnite’s success so remarkable, and what its maker, Epic Games’ ultimate goal might be. That goal is way bigger than ‘make a successful game.’
One big tweet
Agreed. 👇
rat king
im not sure why im viscerally opposed to ads on amazon boxes, but i am https://t.co/1VfaJSIbRN
8:27 PM - 6 Feb 2019
That’s all for today...
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