PodMov Daily: Friday, September 18
Episode 288: Week Download Complete
Hot Pod: Amazon's New Leverage Over Podcast Distribution
As Amazon Music rolled out podcasts this week, Hot Pod noted some “strategic framing” by The Wall Street Journal. Nicholas Quah considers the implications: “The Journal report seems to primarily frame Amazon Music’s elbowing into podcasting around its dominant position in the smart speaker space.”
Amazon leads the US smart speaker market by a wide margin. Why does this matter? “The Journal piece reported that, from here on out, whenever an Alexa device-owning user requests for a podcast to be played, the Alexa platform will draw the feed from Amazon Music by default if the podcast is present on the service.”
Per Quah's analysis, this is a B.F.D. for distribution. “Now we seem to be looking at a situation where Amazon is laying down the fundamentals of enforcement over its structural gatekeeping position,” he points out. Recently a semi-afterthought, the industry’s relationship with Alexa may get complicated.
An Idea to Humanize Your Podcast Marketing
Dan Misener of Pacific Content has advice for branded podcasts that every creator would be wise to consider: “Show humans in your podcast marketing.” Podcasting is often praised for its connective qualities, person to person. Humans are wired to respond to faces, so why not give a face to the name (or voice)?
“At their best, podcasts use human voices to tell human-scale stories to an audience of human listeners. For brands, this is an enormous opportunity,” Misener says. “A well-executed podcast is an amazing way to humanize a brand.” In the same way, well-executed humanization could be an effective way to brand a podcast.
“If your podcast includes “people talking to people about people,” it’s worth asking yourself how those people are represented in your podcast’s packaging,” Misener suggests. Listeners may ‘bond’ visually with the individuals behind the audio, no matter the size of the show. Billboard-famous features not required.
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Here's what else is going on:
- Check please: “All you need to know: podcasts in Amazon Music” from James Cridland of Podnews is full of useful information. Surprising, too: “The app is bare-bones: there is no ‘skip silences’, ‘voice boost’ or playback speed controls. You cannot subscribe to an RSS feed using it.”
- You're invited: NPR is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with special podcast programming, including special episodes of Radio Ambulante and Alt.Latino. Curated stories on a ‘deep-dive’ playlist “show there are many different ways to be Hispanic, Latino, or Latinx.”
- Homeward sound: Deezer has added ‘Country Selector,’ a feature that lets users explore content by country. Once a country is selected, the platform will tailor its music, podcasts, and audiobooks to content from that region. Language settings conveniently stay the same.
- Voter card: Spotify for Podcasters has launched Play Your Part, an initiative to boost engagement in the 2020 US elections. The civic engagement toolkit for podcasters includes examples of host-read PSAs, motivating calls to action, and key national dates to highlight.