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Hearing Voices - Issue #66, or "Spotify. It's not just for music anymore."


Hearing Voices

February 8 · Issue #66 · View online

This week's news about voice computing apps, delivered directly to your inbox.

“[In Spotify, t]here was no 15-second skip. In spite of that, we saw a lot of users listening to podcasts. It was kind of unexpected and we didn’t really understand why.” – Spotify’s Chief R&D Officer Gustav Söderström, in Techcrunch
“It’s because Podcasts are awesome, Gustav.” – Anonymous. But probably me.

Spotify broke the Internet Wednesday when it announced its acquisitions of both Anchor and Gimlet. A few years ago, this would have been niche podcast news, but in 2019, it was covered literally everywhere. In addition to the usual suspects Techcrunch, VentureBeat, PEHub, etc, it was also covered by Fortune and WSJ, which are more mainstream than the tech press, but then it amplified even further and was written about in NYTimes, USA Today, Guardian, LA Times, even Variety (which actually makes a lot of sense now that there are Netflix shows based on Gimlet podcasts).
**As a reminder, I’m not a journalist, but if I were I’d probably give you the disclosure that Betaworks is an investor in both Anchor and Gimlet**
What (else) is Up in Audio
> Read about why Spotify’s Gimlet and Anchor acquisitions mark the ‘third wave’ of podcasting. TLDR: Phase 1 was podcasting in your garage, phase 2 (today) is about great content, internet & streaming, & infrastructure. Phase 3 is just beginning: discovery and new monetization models go mainstream.
> Read about Michelob’s ASMR-like superbowl ad in the WSJ “Tap. Tap. Scraaatch. Introducing the Michelob Super Bowl Ad That’s a Meditation Technique.”
> Check out SurveyLine‘s voice-based customer service surveys
> read an interesting thought experiment about whether Twitter Should Make A Podcast App
What's up in Synthetic Reality
> Check out this massive 2018 NLP Highlights report. I love that it’s hosted on Github
> read Deep Fakes: Let’s Not Go Off The Deep End where @jeffreywestling argues that Photoshop didn’t break human discourse and neither will deep fakes.
Have a great weekend!
– Matt
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