“People are willing to do almost anything other than read at length. It requires patience: an atrophied muscle in the smartphone age. At the same time, no one relishes being ignorant or incurious. The desire for self-improvement out there is real. The podcast boom shows that we want erudition without effort: the palm without the dust.Financial Times.
Podcasts are seemingly a quick fix for those who don’t want to read books. That is why we have so many authors on the podcast circuit. It is a virtuous cycle of self-promotion and self-improvement. Like most pandemic trends that saw us embrace new technologies and behaviors, podcasting has entered the “digestion” phase. It is time to absorb the excessive growth of the pandemic years. And be as it might be, it seems that the go-go days for podcasting might be behind the sector, which is getting a sanity check thanks to Spotify reigning in its ambitions.
Spotify’s podcasting ambitions started with a desire to escape the record companies’ stranglehold on the company. It had to figure out how to increase the time spent on the platform without forking over all the money to the record labels. It bought Gimlet, Anchor, and Parcast. It bought Bill Simmons’ The Ringer for $200 million. It signed Joe Rogan to a $100 million exclusive. It signed up the Obamas, Prince Harry, and Megan Markle. It went from nothing to becoming bigger than Apple in podcasting. It was an expensive expansion (Read more...)