Spotify’s “Inclusive” Argument for Exclusive Podcasts


PodMov Daily: Friday, August 20

Episode 488: Week Download Complete

Spotify’s “Inclusive” Argument for Exclusive Podcasts

Yesterday Spotify gave a strange explanation for why it’s made more of its podcasts exclusive to the platform: Somehow, making content exclusive is an “inclusive” act. In the last few months, Spotify-produced shows like Serial Killers, Motherhacker, and How to Save a Planet have been removed from RSS podcast feeds.

“Although this may require a shift in listening habits, we want to share more about why we are doing this,” the company said. Based on the rest of the post, here’s a clearer version of that statement: “Although this may require a shift in listening habits, we want to share more about [which is] why we are doing this.” 

Spotify frames its belief that “streaming is the future of all audio listening” as one in the interest of the podcast ecosystem. (Creators benefit from the analytics, and listeners benefit from the recommendation algorithm.) The company hopes this brings “clarity and a window into our podcasting strategy.” It does.

Podcasts Don’t “Haunt” People. Their Words Do.

Thanks to reporting by The Ringer’s Claire McNear, the newly appointed host of “Jeopardy!” is in hot water. In 2013 and 2014, Mike Richards made misogynist and anti-Semitic comments on his podcast, aptly named The Randumb Show. Unfortunately, coverage of these (many) incidents tends to focus on the medium.

“Hosting a podcast is a dangerous business,” wrote Adrienne Westenfeld of Esquire, opening a piece published yesterday. “Sure, it might bring you fame and fortune, but it also might torch your career, because just like Tweets, YouTube videos, or your college Tumblr, old podcasts can come back to haunt people.” 

No. Hosting a podcast doesn’t “torch your career.” Old podcasts don’t haunt people. Voicing your misogynist and anti-Semitic opinions into a microphone and putting them on the internet is what torches your career. Leaving them there for years, assuming they’d go unquestioned, is not the same as being haunted.

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Here's what else is going on:

  • Social hour: This Saturday is Podcast Share Day by Podcasts in Color. From 11:00 am to noon CT, Berry will be resharing shows from podcasters of color anywhere in the world. Twitter posts and Instagram stories must include a description, link, the creator’s city/state, and #PodsInColor.
  • Ropes course: The last day to apply for BBC Sounds’ Audio Lab is Sunday, August 29. The new paid development program for podcasters. Potential participants must have 1-5 years of podcasting experience and be authorized to live and work in the UK. Submission guidelines here.
  • Swap meet: The podcast hosting platform Captivate has added a “feed drop” feature specifically for cross-promotion. Creators can publish episodes of one podcast to the feeds of other shows in their network, an effective technique used by major producers upon release of a new podcast.‍
  • Only you: has released V2 of its remote recording platform. A new feature, AI Speaker View, “scans the audio tracks of a video to determine which contributor is speaking” and switches the video to the speaker before they begin. This avoids the ‘Zoom sneeze’ spotlight.

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