Audiobooks on Spotify: Celebrities Read the Classics


PodMov Daily: Tuesday, January 26

Episode 358: Testing, One Two-sday

Audiobooks on Spotify: Celebrities Read the Classics

Spotify has picked up its experiment with audiobooks. Yesterday the platform released a pilot collection of exclusive recordings narrated by celebrities. All nine books are part of the public domain. According to Natalie Jarvey of The Hollywood Reporter, the initiative could provide Spotify a “roadmap” against Audible.

As described on Twitter by a library in British Columbia, the “currently modest collection of classics” is in the podcast category. Titles include The Awakening by Kate Chopin, read by Hilary Swank; Persuasion by Jane Austen, read by Cynthia Erivo; and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, read by YouTube personality David Dobrik.

“Audible, which calls itself the largest producer of audiobooks in the world, has faced relatively little competition in the U.S.,” Jarvey notes. There’s plenty of cash to tussle over: In 2019 the domestic audiobook market was valued at nearly $2.7 billion. For Spotify, this is a low-risk investment in a high-stakes battle.

A Free Tool to Find ‘Really Good Podcast Ads’

The podcast advertising technology company Magellan AI has launched a website to share its ‘best of’ collection. Really Good Podcast Ads “allows people to search hundreds of podcast ads by industry name, podcast genres, podcast titles and brand names.” The new tool is free and open to explore without a login.

Magellan puts it simply: “We combed through our database of ads and advertisers to hand-pick some of the ads we thought were really good.” Picks are to be updated weekly “to be sure you’re listening to the really good ones.” As of today, the ‘History’ podcast genre has eight brands over seven shows. (Spirits makes it a double.)

Creators as well as marketers have a lot to gain. Magellan suggests examples be used “as a source of inspiration or [to] see what your competitors are offering.” Well, Milano Cookies clearly charmed the listeners of Stuff You Missed in History Class. If you have a history show and 44 seconds, why not find out how?

Get Paid to Podcast: Take the Quiz, Turn a Profit

How do podcasters know if their shows are ready for monetization? A new quiz from Stacey Simms is the best way to find out — and get started with confidence. Stacey has been turning a profit from her podcast, Diabetes Connections, for five years.

As an expert guest speaker at She Podcasts Live! and the Charlotte Podcast Festival, Stacey is a trusted voice on monetization. She’s cracked the code to sustainable revenue. Now, she’s sharing some of her secrets to success.

No matter how long you’ve been podcasting, this quiz is for you. Just seven questions will reveal if it’s time to jump-start your profits. Follow Stacey on social for can’t-miss updates, like her free webinar coming up in February. Ready to take the first step?

The most talented, thought-provoking, game-changing people are never normal.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Gear shift: This Thursday at 1:00 pm CT, Libsyn and Shure Sound will host the free webinar “Podcast Microphone Upgrades & Options 2021.” Elsie Escobar and Laura Davidson will cover topics like choosing a mic, usage skills, research tips, and widely used brands. Followed by a Q&A.
  • Surprise me: Axios reports that the top 1% of podcasts receive 99% of downloads. The industry’s traditional ad model tends to reward high-exposure shows, says Podcorn’s Agnes Kozera. Those that “have the potential to drive conversions through great content”? Not quite yet.
  • Sale rack: Buzzsprout’s 2021 podcast advertising guide offers a high-level overview for creators, brands, and small businesses. Topics for podcasters include ad types, cost structures, CPM vs CPA models, and selling space. (For insights from the other side, check the brand-facing tips.)
  • Tour bus: Apple’s new Time to Walk series blends celebrities into its Fitness+ subscription service. “The idea sounds like a hybrid of the meditative podcasts and experiences that already exist, and location-based audio ‘podplays,’” says Scott Stein of CNET. Step one: Own an Apple Watch.

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