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To: JohnM who wrote (41)4/13/2019 3:18:21 PM
From: Sam
   of 85
 
I just finished listening the Preet's interview with Caro. It just keeps getting better and better. Now I want to read about Belle Moskowitz.

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To: Sun Tzu who wrote (42)4/13/2019 4:53:03 PM
From: JohnM
   of 85
 
Don't know if there is a link. Best way I know to access it is to subscribe to his podcast, Stay Tuned. I do it on my iphone. I assume there are apps on other phone brands.

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To: Sam who wrote (45)4/13/2019 4:55:47 PM
From: JohnM
   of 85
 
And Al Smith. Did not know the FDR quote, that 90% of the New Deal came from programs he put in place in NYS. And did not know he was that big a Tammany Hall guy. I read the Moses book many, many years ago but now can no longer say just how he was able to gain and exercise power. Might be time to consider rereading it.

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To: JohnM who wrote (47)4/13/2019 6:36:55 PM
From: Sam
   of 85
 
He made it sound like Smith got his real policies from Moskowitz. He just used Tammany Hall to get into position to put policies in place.

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To: Sam who wrote (48)4/13/2019 9:18:23 PM
From: JohnM
   of 85
 
Yep, same I heard. But Caro has said, on some occasion, that he would like to do a bio of Smith. I suspect Smith is more complicated than that, close to Johnson--an ugly side working his way up Tammany Hall and then the side that shows up improving the lot of the Irish. And by the way a lot of others.

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From: Glenn Petersen4/15/2019 9:56:49 PM
1 Recommendation   of 85
 
For hard core techies: Exponent

exponent.fm

Exponent is a podcast about tech and society hosted by Ben Thompson and James Allworth

Ben Thompson is the author and founder of Stratechery, a blog about the business and strategy of technology. You can follow him on Twitter @benthompson.

James Allworth is the co-author with Clay Christensen of How Will You Measure Your Life and a writer for the Harvard Business Review. You can follow him on Twitter @jamesallworth.
_______________________________

Also, check out Ben Thompson's blog (Stratechery: stratechery.com

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From: Glenn Petersen4/20/2019 8:51:12 PM
   of 85
 
HipChat founders launch Swoot, a social podcast app

Anthony Ha @anthonyha
TechCrunch
April 18, 2019



Pete Curley and Garret Heaton, who previously co-founded team chat app HipChat and sold it to Atlassian, are officially launching their new product, Swoot, today. The app makes it easy for users to recommend podcasts and see what their friends are listening to.

This might seem like a big leap from selling enterprise software — and indeed, Curley said the company was initially focused on creating another set of team collaboration tools.

What they realized, however, was that HipChat is “actually a consumer product that the company just happens to pay for, because the employees demand it” — and he said they weren’t terribly interested in trying to build a business around a more traditional “top-down sales process.”

Meanwhile, Curley said he’d injured his back while lowering one of his children into a crib, which meant that for months, his only form of exercise was walking. He recalled walking around for hours each day and, for the first time, keeping himself entertained by listening to podcasts.

“I was actually way behind the times,” he said. “I didn’t know this, that everyone else was listening to them … This is like the dark web of content.”



The startup has already raised a $3 million seed funding round led by True Ventures .

“Pete and Garret both have incredible product and entrepreneurial experience, plus they have built successful businesses together in the past,” said True Ventures co-founder Jon Callaghan in a statement. “Their focus of solving the disjointed podcast listening experience through Swoot’s elegant design fills a clear gap in media discovery.”

Discovery — namely, finding new podcasts beyond the handful that you already subscribe to — is one of the biggest issues in podcasting right now. It’s something a number of companies are trying to solve, but in Curley’s view, the key is to make the listening experience more social.

He noted that social sharing features are getting added to “literally everything,” including your bathroom scale, except “the one thing that I actually wanted it for.”

Curley also contrasted the podcast listening experience with YouTube: “We don’t realize how big [podcasting] is because there is no social thing where you see that Gangnam Style has 8 billion views, and you realize that the entire world is watching. There’s no view count, no anything that tells you what’s popular.”

So he’s trying to provide that view with Swoot. Instead of focusing on overall listen counts (which might not be that impressive in a new app), Swoot gives you two main ways to track what’s popular among your friends.



There’s a feed that shows you everything that your friends are listening to or recommending, plus a list of episodes that are currently trending, with little icons showing you the friends who have listened to at least 20 percent of an episode.

Curley said the team has been beta testing the app by simply releasing it on the App Store and telling friends about it, then letting it spread by word of mouth until it was in the hands of around 1,000 users. During that test, it found that 25 percent of the podcasts that users listened to were coming from friends.

Curley also noted that this approach is “episode-centric” rather than “show-centric.” In other words, it’s not just helping you find the next podcast that you want to subscribe to and listen to for years — it also helps surface the specific episode that everyone’s listening to right now.

“In the 700,000 shows that exist, if you’re the 690,000 worst-ranked show, but you have one great episode that should be able to go viral, that’s basically impossible to do right now, because audio is crazy hard to share,” Curley said.

In the course of our conversation, I brought up my experience with Spotify — I like knowing what’s popular, but when a friend recently mentioned specific songs that they could see I’d been listening to on the service, I was a bit creeped out.

“It’s funny, I actually thought, how ironic that Spotify is getting into podcasting now [through the acquisitions of Gimlet and Anchor],” Curley replied. “They actually had this correct mechanism applied to the wrong thing. Music is a deeply personal thing.”

Which isn’t to say that podcast listening isn’t personal, but there’s more of an opportunity to discover overlapping interests, say the fact that you and your friends all listen to true crime podcasts.

Curley also said that the app is deliberately designed to ensure that “the service does not get worse because a ton of people follow you” — so they see what you are listening to, but they can’t comment on it or tell you that you’re an idiot for listening.

At the same time, he also said the team will be adding a mode to only share podcasts you actively recommend, rather than posting everything you listen to.

As for making money, Curley suggested that he’s interested in exploring a variety of possibilities, whether that’s integrating with other subscription or tipping services, or in creating ad opportunities around promoting podcasts.

“My actual answer is, there are a bunch of people trying to monetize right now, but I don’t think there’s a platform even close to mature enough to even try to monetize podcasting yet, other than podcasters doing their own advertising,” he said. “I think the endgame, where the real money is made in podcasting, actually hasn’t been come up with yet.”

techcrunch.com

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From: Glenn Petersen4/20/2019 9:07:06 PM
   of 85
 
Can Luminary entice podcast listeners to pay to listen?

E ric Zorn
Chicago Tribune
April 19, 2019

Tuesday may mark the beginning of the end of the free ride for podcast listeners.

That’s launch day for Luminary, a heavily capitalized startup that for $8 a month will offer a package of more than three dozen exclusive audio programs starring such notables as Conan O’Brien, Lena Dunham, Trevor Noah and Chicago’s own David Axelrod.

Pay-to-listen podcasts have been around since the dawn of the medium roughly 15 years ago, but for the most part they’ve been niche products aimed at devoted fan bases. The popular, buzzy podcasts atop the iTunes charts have been free and, increasingly, so plentiful that even devoted listeners can’t keep up.

Attempts to erect paywalls and cash in on the appetite for quality programs have been unimpressive.

Certain producers are able to sell “bonus” content, extra segments, for a modest fee, and others are sustained through crowdfunding sites such as Patreon. But most pay the bills with commercials.

Those bills can be small. Many podcasts are just people yakking into a microphone.

Or they can be considerable. The most ambitious offerings feature extensive shoe-leather reporting and take months to produce.

There’s a reason dollar signs are in the eyes of entrepreneurs. Survey data released last month by Edison Research and Triton Digital showed that 51 percent of Americans ages 12 and older have listened to a podcast, up from just 30 percent five years ago, and that 32 percent listen at least monthly, more than double the rate of five years ago.



Lena Dunham has signed up be on podcast provider Luminary. (Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)
___________________________

These trends are driven by record-high ownership of podcast-enabling devices — smart speakers, now in 23 percent of homes, and smartphones, now carried by 86 percent of Americans.

They’re also driven by the stunning range and quality of these on-demand shows. I now subscribe to 77 podcasts. The topics covered include local, state and national news, pop culture, the law, philosophy, science language, old-time music and University of Michigan sports. Some are weekly, others daily. And I’m lucky if I get through 20 of them a week, even listening at double speed as is my wont.

When someone offers me a must-listen recommendation, I immediately start trying to figure which show I’ll have to bump out of my regular rotation.

Which is why I wonder if Tuesday might instead mark the beginning of the end of the idea that consumers in great number will pay for podcasts.

Luminary reportedly is starting with nearly $100 million in funding and the stated goal of becoming the Netflix of podcasting.

The potential analogy is apt — for a monthly fee, Netflix offers TV viewers a range of exclusive, high-quality content as well as conventional movie and TV programs.

But Nicholas Quah, who writes the Hot Pod newsletter that covers the industry in depth, is skeptical.

“Netflix didn’t build an initial sustainable user base off the strength of exclusives,” he wrote last month. “It build that audience through film and television products that had already been tested in the marketplace, but were inefficiently monetized, insufficiently monetized, and/or hard for people to access.

“To put it another way: Netflix’s early success was rooted in giving users products they already knew they wanted, that they were already habituated into paying for,” Quah wrote. “That allowed them to expand into a different kind of business while being backed by the stability of the older one. Netflix’s original content journey was gradual.”

He asked the critical question: “What specifically about Luminary’s portfolio should convince me … to pay $8 a month instead of turning to the enormous universe of free alternatives?”

“Enormous” doesn’t even say it. The podcast directory site Blubrry estimates there are more than 130,000 active podcasts (and many times that number of discontinued podcasts).

So the question for Luminary is, how can it succeed where others have not? How can it persuade customers already overwhelmed with podcast choices and feeling inundated by video providers rattling their tin cups to put yet another monthly subscription fee on their charge cards?

What’s our limit? Last month, Apple announced Apple TV Plus, yet another pay platform that will offer streamed original or exclusive video content. Although the company didn’t disclose its exact offerings and the pricing model, I instinctively recoiled.

Just to participate in dinner party conversations anymore you have to subscribe to Netflix, HBO and Amazon Prime Video. Maybe also CBS All Access, Showtime and Starz, if your social circle consists of engaged viewers.

And yes, I know, TV has never been better. Subscription models drive quality and consistency. They’ve inspired commercial-supported networks to up their game considerably.

Who knows? We may someday look back on the pre-subscription days of podcasting with the same patronizing disdain with which we now look back on the days of antenna TV.

Will Luminary be the breakthrough product? Or — my guess — will it be Spotify, Pandora, Audible or SiriusXM, established streaming-audio giants that are integrating on-demand programming into a much broader range of offerings? Either way, to change the fundamentals of this medium, some subscription service will have to corner the market on at least one critically hailed “it” podcast that everyone’s talking about, the audio equivalent of “House of Cards,” “Game of Thrones” or “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Subscribe or miss out. It’s a powerful incentive.

Not yet powerful enough for me, but when it comes to possibilities, I’m all ears.

chicagotribune.com


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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (52)4/22/2019 8:48:41 PM
From: Sam
   of 85
 
The web seems to be trying to nickel and dime people to death. Personally, I can't see how that will be a long term winning strategy. There are just too many options out there and too little time, money and energy to deal with them all.

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To: Sam who wrote (53)4/22/2019 9:28:42 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 85
 
It is going to be hard to set up a paywall with over 600,000 available podcasts. Individual podcasters may be able to charge a subscription fee, but the vast majority of podcasters are going to be dependent on advertising revenues.

Netflix only has 6,000 movies and series available for streaming and approximately 100,000 DVDs (movies and series) available for rental.

There are a lot of entertainment and educational options to choose from.

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