Spotify is testing a podcast discovery feed

Hello, dear readers! Temperature went from 55 to 25 overnight, and my sinuses are in so much pain that I hung upside down in the dark for relief. Like a bat.

Why podcasts appear to cover Ukraine

New this morning, I reported a room for The edge why so much coverage of Ukraine has taken the form of pop-up podcasts. The work required to report and produce a show is not easily condensed to match the breakneck speed of the news cycle, but NPR, The telegraphindependent teams and many others have mobilized resources towards the media.

Many of these teams have reason to believe that this commitment is worth it – and many of them have the same reason to think so. Many, after all, have quickly started new podcasts before, and some have even been able to reuse streams once they end to help boost future efforts.

I would like you to consult the article on the site. It’s an interesting trend, with historical precedents and forward-looking predictions.

Spotify closes all services in Russia

On Friday night, Spotify announced it would suspend its service in Russia due to the country’s new law aimed at stifling accurate coverage of its invasion of Ukraine. Spotify expects to complete the shutdown in early April.

“Unfortunately, recently enacted legislation further restricting access to information, eliminating freedom of expression and criminalizing certain types of information puts the safety of Spotify employees and possibly even our listeners at risk,” said said a Spotify spokesperson, who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the situation.

Spotify previously suspended paid access to its service in Russia, thereby losing about 1.5 million paying subscribers. But he had kept the wider service online until now, in the name of the free flow of information for residents.

The move is the latest made by Spotify in response to the invasion, mirroring the general actions of other big tech companies like YouTube and Apple. In early March, Spotify closed its local offices in the country (a move with potential long-term consequences) and removed Russian public outlets RT and Sputnik from the platform.

Spotify is testing a podcast discovery feed

On Friday afternoon, I spotted a change in the Spotify app: a full podcast tab added to the bottom of the screen. A Spotify spokesperson said the company regularly tests these types of updates – some sticking and some not – but “have no further news to share at this time.”

Well, you’re in luck, because I am.

This tab, as it currently stands, is not a place to consolidate your subscribed shows or downloaded episodes, but rather a fairly sparse page intended to introduce you to new ones. The page allows you to vertically scroll through cards of different shows, with no clear order for what appears next. When an episode is centered on the screen, a snippet of its audio begins to play, and the page seems to recommend a mix of episodes from shows you subscribe to and those you don’t. here is a screen recording as captured by hashtag inventor Chris Messina, who aptly describes this interface as “TikTok-style”.

As far as actual discovery goes, the episodes featured, at least for me, are mostly from shows I’m currently listening to. Otherwise, those are already in the “Popular with ____ listeners” section of the Home tab.

The feature appears to stem from Spotify’s acquisition of Podz, a podcast discovery app, which it bought for around $50 million last year, as noted Tech Crunch.

Given that Spotify doesn’t have that kind of TikTok-like counterpart for music discovery – and given the real estate value of the main navigation bar – this is a big move, consistent with the company’s pursuit of podcast prominence. It’s also a preview of what real-time transcripts might look like on the platform.

As the audio plays, dynamic transcripts flash on screen, which Spotify hasn’t made available to all shows yet – and is hopefully a preview of a wider feature to come. . The streaming companies, however, have given us reason to expect the transcripts to be less than stellar when they appear, and that’s certainly do not an exception.

The caption in the screenshot above, which reads: “It’s kinda hot to watch”, is taken from audio from two speakers. It should read “That’s a lot of viewing”, as said by one person, and “It is”, as said by the other. Instead, it looks like Yoda.

iHeart and Sirius move away from the radio

Yesterday we had two more podcast developments from companies that have made a name for themselves doing more than just podcasts: SiriusXM just announced its first dedicated podcast streaming channel, and iHeartMedia announced a brand new company. of podcasts. Both companies continue to push the boundaries of their radio reputations, and these two decisions support that.

SiriusXM’s new channel, “Freakonomics Radio Network”, will air the two new episodes of the podcast Radio Freakonomics and those from his archive, like a podcast stream but mixed and… always on. The channel will also feature episodes of other shows on the Freakonomics podcast slate, like The people I admire (mostly) and No stupid questions. This differs from other SiriusXM offerings which, yes, involve podcast hosts but entrust them with entirely new shows with more traditional live radio formats.

iHeartMedia is entering its own recent non-radio venture with Collab, launching a separate podcast studio called Curativity that is said to be “creator-centric”; it’s going to start with family-friendly material, led by an established creator. Two existing series, Animal stories for children and short stories for childrenare the first to be named in the Curativity network, with a third, the new Spyology Squad, which premieres next week. All three are from the kids’ audio personality, Mr. Jim, who I don’t know, but these kids seem to know.

to be become independant

And last week, Krista Tippett announced that she and her longtime show to be would leave public radio, switch to an independent model and slow down its weekly cadence. The ability to keep a program, take it elsewhere and modify it is akin to the freedom that many public radio employees have expressed in the field; although this should not be considered a representative experience, it is at least an example.

In a letter to stations that broadcast to be (nearly 400 in total), Tippett wrote that public radio has been intrinsic to the show’s existence and growth since it began under a different name nearly 20 years ago. “We will always understand each other as colleagues and family to you,” she wrote. “Indeed, we would like to find ways to partner with you and your communities through our work beyond this time, and we will communicate about that in detail later this year.”

Despite radio’s respect, sometimes people need to get creative — or just take a break. “After hosting 52 weeks of programming a year for nearly 20 years, I’m ready to shift to a more sustainable pace and open up space and time for writing, audience engagement, and new extensions of our content in the emerging world,” Tippett wrote. I’ve heard that.

Googling “pirate lingo for goodbye” didn’t really yield anything, so I’m guessing that’s not how Aria will sign off today.