Category: Podcasts

Podcast Overload

This post is by Om Malik from On my Om

"Free to use license. Please attribute source back to """"========================Rode Rodecaster pro podcast setup in a podcast studio, microphone Rode podmic, Shure SM7B, audio recording, voiceover, sound panels, podcast channel"
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“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...)

04.06.2022 Musings

This post is by Om Malik from On my Om

Hidden by Om Malik.

“If you hurry to get to the future, you always get a punishment for it. For example, instant coffee.”

Alan Watts

Fast paid too little attention to burn rate because it just assumed the VC gravy train would keep rolling. It’s not the only one, so don’t be surprised to see similar stories in the near future. It’s a startup strategy that’s mostly paid off for the past decade but, as we first discussed in January, things have changed. It’s like the longest-ever game of musical chairs has finally ended. It’s been a long time since these morning missives have needed a dedicated section to track VC-backed startup layoffs and closures. We’re not quite there yet, but I’m sensing it on the horizon.

Dan Primack, Axios Pro Rata Newsletter.

Dan Primack outlines the more significant implications of the news that Fast, an online commerce-focused company, will shut down. The company, which employed 450, raised $120 million (at a valuation of over $500 million) from Stripe, Index Ventures, and Addition. Fast Founder Domm Holland has a colorful past, and those in his native Australia aren’t big fans.

VC backing. Web3 backing. Well, there is a third way of funding innovation. Web’s big winners fund the future with their dollars and with open source ethos at its core. And doing so with little fanfare. Tom Preston-Warner, founder and former CEO of GitHub, has put a million dollars into a web framework, RedwoodJS. Instead of turning (Read more...)

A knock against bootstrapping

Natasha and Mary Ann and Alex were all aboard this week under the guidance of Chris and Grace, which meant we had the full team. And speaking of teams, Mary Ann is joining the Friday show on a weekly basis now. She’s been a friend for years, and a colleague now twice-over for Natasha and Alex and we could not be more excited.

That personal news aside, here’s the rundown for today’s show!

Politico sells, Forbes SPACs and Vice cuts

The Equity crew felt that there was enough media news out recently that we simply had no choice but to fire up a Twitter Space and have a chat. The above episode is a discussion of a few things, in a loose and relaxed manner, so don’t take any of the Verizon jokes too seriously, Verizon, as we still work for you. For a few more days.

Regardless, here’s what Danny and Alex got into:

  • Politico sells for $1 billion: Its new parent company Axel Springer is also buying the rest of Politico Europe and all of Protocol at the same time. This deal exploded everyone’s Twitter feed due to its scale, and the fact that it was one heck of an exit for a media company. One billion dollars? For media? In this economy? Yes!
  • Forbes is going public via a SPAC: Yep, the venerable Forbes magazing and its enormous digital arm are taking the blank-check route to the public markets, which means that we got its numbers and time to stroll through them. Our take is that Forbes has done massive work to take its IRL brand and extend it into the digital world. The company has big plans to boot, and will be worth more than $800 million when it combines.
  • Layoffs hit Vice: As Vice turns its focus to video content — you’ve heard this story before — it is shedding some of its editorial staff. The layoffs were a stinkbomb (Read more...)

Hacking the U.S. News College Rankings Algorithm

This post is by Jo Tango from

I was surprised but not surprised when a very successful alumnus who had gone to an Old Ivy told me that 1/4 of his alma mater’s freshman seats each year are now “bought” (his word, not mine). I was surprised but not surprised when Harvard College admissions data released during a lawsuit showed that most

The post Hacking the U.S. News College Rankings Algorithm appeared first on

Robinhood is going public and we’re very excited

It’s a sweltering day here in New York City, and that means Wall Street is on fire, and so is Robinhood, apparently. The popular stock trading app officially filed its Form S-1 with the SEC a few hours ago to go public, where it will trade under the ticker “HOOD.”

The Equity crew has been yammering about Robinhood for years now, and we have been chomping on the bit to see those S-1 results for what feels like ages. Well, we finally got the numbers, we chomped that bit (or at least Alex and Danny did, since Natasha went on vacation about 15 minutes before the IPO hit the wires), and so here’s a special Equity Shot to talk about all the highlights.

We talked about so much in an itsy-bitsy 15-minute episode: crazy revenue growth, crazy revenue concentration from two major sources, regulatory hurdles that the company has been clearing up, better financials with a bit of nuance on the company’s Q1 finances, and the company’s special plan for its IPO.


Here’s what we got up to:

  • Historical growth and profitability.
  • Revenue mix and revenue concentration, along with constituent concerns.
  • The importance of options-related incomes for the company.
  • Dogecoin.
  • Why the company’s adjusted income may help it assuage investors who have their eyes pop out of their skulls when they see its GAAP Q1 2021 results.

And a lot more. Of course, if you hate Robinhood, (Read more...)

Revolution Ventures backs Casted in B2B-focused podcast play

Historically, podcasts have been aimed at consumers. The value to be gained in the B2B world is something that has been largely untapped.

For Lindsay Tjepkema — who has been entrenched in the world of B2B marketing for more than 15 years — the opportunity was massive. So in 2019, she founded Casted, an audio and video podcast product aimed at B2B marketers.

And now Casted has raised $7 million in Series A funding led by Revolution Ventures

Existing backers High Alpha Capital, Elevate Ventures and Tappan Hill Ventures also participated in the financing, which brings Indianapolis-based Casted’s total raised to about $9.3 million since its inception.

2020 was a good year for Casted. The startup quadrupled its revenue, tripled its customer base and doubled the size of its team during the course of the 12-month period. It has an impressive list of customers, including PayPal, HubSpot, Drift and ZoomInfo. Casted’s platform is also “the system of record” for Salesforce’s 25+ podcasting shows.

And to make things even more impressive, that revenue growth looks more like 8x year over year, according to Tjepkema.

She believes the company’s value prop goes beyond just giving companies a way to get their podcasts out there. Its ability to analyze data and turn that into intelligence for sales and marketing is what really sets it apart, she said.

“If you’re a podcaster, and you’re doing it to grow a large audience, monetize and sell advertising, the number of (Read more...)

Clubhouse will create billions in value and capture none of it

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

Natasha and Danny and Alex and Grace were all here to chat through the week’s biggest tech happenings. It was a busy week on the IPO front, Danny was buried in getting the Tonal EC-1 out, and Natasha took some time off. But the host trio managed to prep and record a show that was honestly a kick to record, and we think, a pleasure to listen to!

So, for your morning walk, here’s what we have for you:

It was a mix of laughs, ‘aha’ moments, and honest conversations about how complex ambition in startups should be. One listener the (Read more...)

Forget medicine, in the future you might get prescribed apps

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

Natasha and Danny and Alex and Grace were all here to chat through the week’s biggest tech happenings. This time around we had whatever passes for a quiet week as far as news volume. But that still meant we had to cut stuff and move the rest around. But, once we got done editing the notes doc down, here’s what was left over:

Acast acquires podcasting startup RadioPublic

Podcast advertising company Acast is announcing that it has acquired RadioPublic, the startup that spun out of public radio marketplace PRX in 2016.

At first, RadioPublic’s main product was a mobile app for podcast listening, and it still supports the app. But co-founder and Chief Product Officer Matt MacDonald said that over time, the team’s focus shifted to products for podcasters, specifically its Listener Relationship Management Platform, which includes an embeddable web player, custom websites called Podsites and more.

“We had a whole roadmap of things we wanted to build, but we recognized that at our scale, we could be better served by partnering up with bigger organizations,” MacDonald said.

And ultimately, they decided Acast made sense as not just a partner, but an owner. Acast’s business still revolves around podcast advertising, but it’s also expanded with new tools like the Acast Open hosting platform, and it says it now hosts 20,000 podcasts, collectively reaching 300 million monthly listeners.

“The acquisition of RadioPublic is fundamentally a partnership of values,” said Acast’s chief business and strategy officer Leandro Saucedo in a statement. “We both firmly believe in the open ecosystem of podcasting and have a shared commitment to aid listener discovery and support all creators. We’re impressed by what RadioPublic has achieved and we believe that now — as podcasting is gaining more momentum than ever before — is the ideal time to bring RadioPublic’s talented team and company missions (Read more...)