The Group Warning Advertisers of “Polarizing” Podcasts


PodMov Daily: Thursday, March 18

Episode 393: Your Thursday Podthoughts

The Group Warning Advertisers of “Polarizing” Podcasts

The Media Roundtable group is charting its picks for the most and least biased podcasts, reports Brian Steinberg of Variety. The goal “is to help advertisers find a way to monitor content and avoid boycotts launched by activists and consumers, who often call out sponsors on Twitter” and other social platforms.

For advertisers, the top performing programs are often the most polarizing. “It’s very alluring,” says media buying agency CEO Dan Granger. “Then you wake up one day and you see something trending on Twitter because the host of one of these shows said something controversial and all of a sudden, everyone freaks out.”

The chart was prepared by Ad Fontes Media, which has analysts of varying political viewpoints listen for “dehumanizing, vilifying,” rhetoric. Founder and CEO Vanessa Otero explains, “We are trying to make noise saying advertisers have to be more responsible about the money that’s flowing to certain news sources.”

France Opens Privacy Investigation into Clubhouse

Clubhouse is being investigated by France’s privacy watchdog, reports Natasha Lomas of TechCrunch. The CNIL has cited a complaint and a petition in France with 10,000 signatures calling for regulatory action. The petition also claims that the app’s “secret database” of users’ contacts may be sold to third parties.

The petition’s authors allege “blatant violation” of their private information, identifying “an opportunity to send a strong message to the tech giants: our data is ours and no one else’s.” Last month the German regulator raised similar concerns that Clubhouse is violating the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.

It’s about more than ‘sharing’ data, Lomas says: “[Clubhouse] uploads users’ phone book contacts — using the harvested phone numbers to build a usage graph so it can display how many ‘friends’ a non-user has on the service at the point when the user is being asked to select which of their contacts to invite to the service.” It’s Free to Find the Perfect Guest

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Sound is the vocabulary of nature.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Copy that: Vox Media is testing spinoffs of single episodes as standalone, evergreen shows. Unexplainable, a science podcast launched last week, is based on a hit 2020 episode of Today, Explained. According to Sara Guaglione of Digiday, Vox is banking on content “not tied to the news.”
  • Library card: Independent podcast media is thriving, says Erik Jones of Bello Collective. Their collection of 45 publications has something for everyone, from industry news and analysis (why, hello there!) to cultural criticism. The search for expert recommendations is over at last.
  • Hire ground: On Wednesday, March 31, The Knight Foundation's Public Media Career Fair will gather organizations like NPR, Current, PBS, and local stations. Registered attendees will be able to meet recruiters seeking to attract diverse talent. A complete profile and résumé are required. 
  • Mix tapes: Sonic branding is just as important as the visual logo, says Voices CEO David Ciccarelli. Podcasters’ marketing strategies can benefit from perspectives outside the audio field. He recommends four books on the topic, including a guide by podcast consultant Amanda Cupido.

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