What Amazon’s Wondery Deal Means for Podcasters


Well hello there! Welcome to the first issue of 2021. Its a brand-new year for news, notes, and stories from the podverse. Thanks so much for your support.

PodMov Daily: Tuesday, January 5

Episode 343: Testing, One Two-sday

What Amazon’s Wondery Deal Means for Podcasters

Amazon’s acquisition of Wondery was the last major podcast buy of 2020. Reports have largely focused on Amazon’s play for market dominance, as well as the rumored $300 million price tag. In Evo Terra’s Podcast Pontifications, the podcaster, author, and radio broadcaster offers a more relevant take for creators.

“At some point in our very near future, there will be no single dominant player in podcasting,” Terra predicts. The throne long occupied by Apple “will be destroyed in the process we’re seeing play out right now” — the continued fracturing of consumption across apps. For podcasters, distribution and discovery will change.

“With that, the digital presence of your shows outside of the various podcasting apps and directories becomes hugely important,” Terra says. “That means your website can’t suck anymore.” (Nor can any part of a podcast’s presentation.) “Let people listen where they want to listen,” but be sure to meet them.

Pirated Music ‘Podcasts' Persist on Spotify

Unlicensed music tracks are still being repackaged as podcasts on Spotify. Last week, Kristin Robinson of Variety reported that “copyright holders are left to discern whether or not they warrant action, legal or otherwise.” New story, same loophole: Spotify (and everyone else) has been aware of the problem for nearly a year.

Despite requests from copyright holders, it remains difficult to get the material removed. However, a spokesperson told Variety about Spotify’s efforts to “detect, investigate and deal with such activity.” Pitchfork got the same statement last February, though “mislabeled content” is now “intellectual property infringement.” 

These cases are rarely litigated for several reasons, Robinson explains. Many ‘podcast’ tracks are remixes and mashups, so “‘fair use’ is often used to bolster [the] argument that such musical reimagining is legal.” There’s also the fact that royalties aren’t paid out for podcasts. Pirates aren’t making money, and Spotify isn’t losing it.

Memberful: Smarter Podcast Memberships

For podcasters, a strong community and stronger revenue are the dream. Memberful makes it easier than ever to have both. Used by the web’s biggest creators, Memberful is the convenient, safe, and intuitive way to sell memberships to your audience.

There are no hidden steps with Memberful: Just connect your Stripe account, add your podcast, and your listeners can subscribe immediately. Plus, Memberful integrates seamlessly with your favorite tools and works with your existing podcast hosting, so there's no need to change your workflow.

Your listeners already love your content. With Memberful’s features, like custom branding, gift subscriptions, Apple Pay, and free trials, you have even more tools to keep them tuned in. Ready for deeper connections and revenue to match? Get started for free — no credit card required.

You can’t have people listen to you unless you come to their world and then bring them to yours.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Pitch perfect: How do you know if a story is worthy of a podcast series? With an expert pitch to KPCC-FM in Los Angeles, journalist Emily Guerin turned a short feature into a 9-part podcast from LAist Studios. Transom has published Guerin’s entire pitch to help others earn that green light.
  • Public service: Users of Clubhouse, a new audio-only social platform, cannot post links in their bios. According to Edison Research SVP Tom Webster, Clubhouse should outright ban them. Fewer sales-funnel schemes would make “more room for the rest of us to have actual conversations.”
  • Track practice: Apple Podcasts is poorly built for listener privacy due to its RSS polling practices, explains Podnews editor James Cridland. “Apple could do a lot to make its podcast app better: but not letting podcast hosts spy on their listeners, every hour of every day, would be a good first step.”
  • Chart topper: Asana is an ideal platform for podcast management, says Kristi Jacobsen of DIY Podcasts. She outlines how the tool can be used to plan episodes, editing, promotion, and timelines. Not an Asana user? The templates can be adapted to any project-tracking platform.

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