Casual Friday: The “$27 and Four Twinkies” Edition


Welcome to the third edition of Casual Friday. We've got podcast payola solutions, Clubhouse's new ‘split' structure, a TikTok sanity check, and a generous offer of cash and snack cakes.

PodMov Daily: Friday, August 5

Episode 695: Week Download Complete

Casual Friday: The “$27 and Four Twinkies” Edition

The practice of guests paying thousands for a podcast appearance is out in the open, thanks to Ashley Carman’s terrific reporting in Bloomberg. While some of the individuals were previously transparent-ish about their business models, others would have sold a lot more minerals* if it weren’t for that pesky reporter. 

Reactions have been mixed. Some expressed on Twitter that undisclosed podcast payola is misleading, and some have no issue with it because ‘of course’ it’s part of influencer marketing. A few podcasters just dropped irrelevant links to their own shows. They cannot be stopped.

Our favorite, by far: “You can be a guest on our podcast for $27 and four Twinkies.” (The show has a semi-adult theme. Sorry for the missing credit.) Another pointed out that podcasters often use guest appearances to promote their own shows, and so on – multi-level podcasting, or “podception.”

Darknet Diaries creator Jack Rhysider is a voice of reason: “If your guests pay you, you should tell your audience up front that they are paying to be here and how much influence they have over the final output.” Seems like a fair solution. Listeners just need honesty, not a dollar amount.

Of course, most podcast guests aren’t paying for appearances. But the allure of an invitation makes them easy targets. We recommend “Is This a Scam? The Podcasting Edition” by Bobbie Carlton, the founder of Innovation Women. She breaks down common red flags to keep you out of Sketchville.

*No one appreciates minerals like Breaking Bad fans.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Speaking of scams: Podnews reports that a company is fraudulently claiming to sell conference attendee email lists for Podcast Movement, Radiodays Europe, and others. Initial emails are sent from domains without websites, which is a pretty Scooby Doo-villain move if you ask us.
  • Clubhouse is splitting up “into many clubhouses.” Co-founder and CEO Paul Davison says the platform became too big and that “noise causes churn.” In beta, the update will allow “any person, group, or community to create its own House — with its own personality, culture and content moderation rules.”
  • We can’t stop thinking about that TikTok deep-dive conversation between The Verge Editor-in-chief Nilay Patel and Hank Green. It’s a fascinating look at the attention economy, the evolution of YouTube, and how social platforms stabilize over time. Hank Green with a sanity check:

I think that right now the vast majority of people who use TikTok still picture them as an upstart, without having any idea of how big ByteDance is…It’s like an underdog story, and that feels really good. They think, “Well, give them time and some slack. TikTok is a tiny, little company.

How Does Tomorrow Sound? Bright Ideas for Podcasting’s Future

How will new tech shape our audio stories? Are interactive podcasts the future? How will content moderation evolve? The creative team at Podfly is venturing ahead of the curve. How Does Tomorrow Sound? will tackle blue-sky topics on the future of podcasting, from AI to social psychology.

Hosted by writer and teacher Neleigh Olson, this six-episode series draws on fresh ideas from leaders across the industry. Conversations project 10 years out on technology, audience demands, and cultural shifts, then work back to the question: What can we do today to prepare for what’s ahead?

How Does Tomorrow Sound? is for forward thinkers ready to adapt. When it comes to areas like AI, natural language processing, and spatial audio, understanding is our strongest asset. Launch is just ahead of PM22 next month – follow Podfly to hear what’s new.

The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.

What's coming up:

  • “The Next Five Podcast Listener Trends” from Podcasting, Seriously is this Wednesday at 4:00 pm ET. Gabriel Soto, Senior Director at Edison Research, will discuss trends emerging from recent podcast listener research, and what they mean for you as a creator. No account needed.
  • “Podcast Networks: Everything You Need to Know” from the Black Podcasters Association is on August 15 at 8:00 ET. Denese Duran and Ann Smith (Podcasters Unlimited) will discuss network structures, pros and cons, monetization, advertising, and more. $10 registration for non-members.
  • “A Primer on Podcast Legal Issues” from Radio Boot Camp is Tuesday, August 16. Media lawyer Jonathan Lyons will discuss and demystify key concepts for podcasters: copyright law, IP protection, contract negotiation, fair use, publicity rights, and more. $100 registration.
  • Speaker applications for the Afros & Audio Podcast Festival are due by August 14. On October 22-23 in Philadelphia and virtually, the fourth annual event will gather Black creators and audio professionals to support the community with networking, brand visibility, and skill-building.
  • Entries for the third annual Black Podcasting Awards will be open until August 15. Shows across 29 categories will be honored in a live, virtual ceremony on September 25. Submissions must be in “reel” format, under five minutes long.

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