PodMov Daily: Tuesday, April 19
Episode 628: Testing, One Two-sday
Parcast Union Scores in New Contract with Spotify
The Parcast Union has ratified its contract, becoming the third union under Spotify to do so. The deal was announced on April 6, two days after 97% of members pledged to strike. 15 months of bargaining led to some significant wins in the three-year contract, including pay raises across the board.
Terms set the effective minimum annual salary at $70,000, the annual diversity committee budget is $100,000, and health benefits can’t be changed during the contract. However, Spotify refused to budge where the real money is: IP and derivative rights. The Ringer and Gimlet Unions don’t have them either.
All of Spotify’s unions are organized with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE). Standards are powerful, said Executive Director Lowell Peterson. “More and more audiences listen to well-crafted podcasts, and this agreement demonstrates that collective bargaining works in this critical sector.”
Podcast Apps vs. “Lawful But Awful” Content
The Brookings Institution is not impressed with moderation attempts so far. A new post overviews how Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other apps handle ‘borderline content.’ What can or should be done about podcasts that are close to violating an application’s guidelines without explicitly doing so?
An good (unfortunately real) example is that of a podcast that claims vaccines lead to infertility. Because Spotify’s official policy only prohibits claims that vaccines cause death, anything short of that may be recommended to listeners. As it turns out, Spotify quietly rolled out a new policy for ‘hiding’ shows just in time.
Joshua Benton of Nieman Lab discovered the evidence, posted yesterday. Experimenting with searches for controversial content “strongly suggest Spotify is following the lead of other platforms and reducing misinformation’s reach and discoverability.” It’s still there, just a bit harder to find and share.
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Here's what else is going on:
- Right on: This Thursday at 8:00 pm ET is “Pod-vocacy: How To Advocate For Yourself and Your Work.” The WGA Audio Alliance panel will dig into the art of contracts, organizing, and knowing your worth through the experience of five accomplished creators and industry experts. Free registration.
- Monkey wrench: Why would iHeart jump into podcasts based on NFTs? What does any of this mean? Non-Fun Squad non-fan Tom Webster breaks down iHeart’s crypto moment for the rest of us. To the Edison Research SVP, “There are signs that this entire venture has mistimed the ‘excitement curve.’”
- Account balance: This Friday at 2:00 pm ET is “Podcast Budgeting” from Dustlight Productions. Founder and CEO Misha Euceph (Tell Them, I Am) will lead a practical workshop on building fair and standard budgets, including best practices and exercises based on attendee budgets. $75 registration.
- Comedy club: The Stitcher Breakthrough Fellowship will accept applications until April 28. The 6-month paid role (July-December) is open to podcasters with 3+ years of experience. Under the LA-based Earwolf team, the fellow will learn audio engineering, Pro Tools, script editing, and more.