Coming to Google Podcasts: Personalized Audio News Playlists


PodMov Daily: Thursday, September 3

Episode 278: Your Thursday Podthoughts

Coming to Google Podcasts: Personalized Audio News Playlists

“Your News Update” is coming to Google Podcasts. Google’s news aggregation service had previously been accessible only through Google Assistant. It’s still a continuous feed of news clips, now tweaked to mimic the public-radio experience. New features include a less-robotic “newscaster voice” for text-to-speech.

According to Boone Ashworth of Wired, the goal of each personalized playlist “is to create a seamless 90-minute broadcast — a mix of radio, podcast snippets, and text-to-speech article translations — tailored to an audience of one.” Content is based on Google’s vast wealth of user data, like location, interests, and search history.

“We want to expand what podcasting is to include more newsy content that you have to work less hard to find,” said Liz Gannes, product manager for Google News. “People want to listen where it's convenient to them. That's why podcasting is blowing up.” It’s worth mentioning, though, that these aren’t podcasts.

Parcast is the Third Spotify-Owned Podcast Company to Unionize

Parcast has become the third Spotify-owned podcast company to start a union. According to Ashley Carman of The Verge, Parcast “wants to see Spotify commit to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as maintain a reasonable workload and overtime compensation.” The Writers Guild of America, East announced the news in a letter.

“Parcast is also seeking clear job descriptions, equitable pay, transparent salary bands, and movement around creative and IP,” Carman says. “From here, Spotify now can either recognize the union voluntarily, which would set it up to begin contract negotiations, or request a vote from union members to prove they have support.”

Both The Ringer and Gimlet Media have been in negotiations since last year, “with The Ringer unionizing prior to Spotify’s acquisition and Gimlet doing so only a month after Spotify bought the company.” For more on the topic of collective bargaining, check out Nick Quah’s recent conversation with WGAE executive director Lowell Peterson.

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If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Lone ranger: Directly and indirectly, the BBC influences much of the UK podcast industry. Hot Pod’s Caroline Crampton takes a look at a new podcast company, Crowd Network. The Manchester-based outfit claims “intent to exist completely outside of the BBC’s ecosystem.”
  • Blank check: The Joe Rogan Experience has arrived on Spotify, but it’s not quite “the entire JRE library” as promised. Missing are dozens of episodes with controversial guests, including conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, white nationalist Gavin McInnes, and (weirdly) Tommy Chong.
  • The narwhal: After recent fundraising, Patreon is valued at over $1 billion. (In venture capital, it’s become a “unicorn.”) Podcasts have long been the subscription platform’s top earners. Chapo Trap House, second only to True Crime Obsessed, makes $153,947 per month.
  • Remote control: Chris Zaldúa of Descript covers how to prepare for and record a remote interview. Beyond the basics, Zaldúa explains how execute a “double-ender” for lossless audio quality. The post also recommends tools that allow users to route audio between apps.

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