Selena Gomez is reportedly developing one working girl Rebooting and I don’t know what to think about it. As the daughter of a Staten Island girl who worked on Wall Street in the ’80s, I’m just too fond of the original.
Anyway, let the flow flow — Audacy and Snap are trying to be more like TikTok, TikTok is trying to be more like Spotify, and Spotify is trying to make you pay extra for a play button.
Audacy’s new podcast discovery app takes a page out of TikTok’s playbook
According to the app’s founder, Paul English, radio giant Audacy has acquired podcast discovery app Moonbeam. The discovery was a huge challenge for the industry, and Moonbeam addresses it by operating less like a traditional podcast player and more like a social platform.
“We developed a feature called ‘Beam’ that started playing an episode immediately. If you didn’t like it, you swiped up and we played another show,” English wrote in a blog post. “This approach was heavily inspired by TikTok, the best video discovery app.”
Audacy has previously acquired top production companies like Pineapple Street Studios and Cadence13 and has its own podcasting and radio streaming app. Audacy hasn’t said if Moonbeam will continue to operate as a standalone app or if its functionality will be integrated into the Audacy app.
English declined to disclose the terms of the acquisition The Boston Globeand Audacy did not return immediately hot pod‘s request for confirmation of the deal. Perhaps Audacy will announce the details during his earnings presentation on Friday.
Spotify’s latest premium feature is a play button
Premium subscribers now have access to separate play and shuffle buttons throughout the app. Spotify’s shuffle standard has been the bane of artists and highly reputable playlist makers everywhere, so the development is probably to be welcomed. The company introduced a dedicated play button for albums last year, with some persuasion from Adele, who said: “We don’t create albums with that much care and think about our tracklist for no reason.”
I’m all about the shuffle, but mine edge Colleague Chris Welch has a point that an app-wide play button is an odd choice only for premium subscribers. “It seems a bit ridiculous that Spotify is now using buttons and its UI as a differentiator between the service’s free and paid offerings, but here we are,” he wrote.
Acast’s investment frenzy is coming to an end
Swedish podcast distribution and advertising company Acast has recently made some big moves in the American market, announcing a $34 million acquisition of podcast database Podchaser and a three-year advertising sales deal last month WTF with Marc Maron in May. As the economy weighs on ad revenue, Acast will cool its rush, executives said during their mid-year investor presentation on Tuesday.
Acast CFO Emily Villatte said on a call with investors that the company will “slow down that pace of investment.” But it appears that Acast’s expansion strategy is already paying off, as in the second quarter the company posted 72 percent growth in North America, about 2.5 times its growth rate in Europe. It will also add podcasts in one clip, representing 66,000 shows, up from about 40,000 at the end of 2021.
But even with the addition of new shows and tools, the weakened advertising market forced the company to lower its forecast for annual revenue growth through 2025 from 60 percent to 40-45 percent. Acast’s stock is down nearly 5 percent on the news, and that could be a red flag for the industry at large. When the Interactive Advertising Bureau predicted the market would be worth $4 billion by 2024, that was dependent on a healthy advertising market. If things continue like this, that number could be unattainable.
Snap launches Creator Fund for indie artists
It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Snap, so the company is making a play for TikTok’s music artists. Last week, the company announced the Snapchat Sounds Creator Fund in partnership with DIY music distributor DistroKid.
Snap is offering enticing grants of up to $100,000 to top music creators who distribute their songs on the platform through DistroKid. Also, featured artists are placed in more visible places on the platform, like Snapchat Lens or in the Spotlight. Eligible participants must be US residents and be at least 16 years of age.
“We want to support the independent and emerging artists who are fueling creation on Snapchat,” said Ted Suh, Snap’s global head of music partnerships, in a statement. “By providing meaningful funding and creative support, our goal is for artists to feel empowered to continue creating music and pursuing a career in music.”
Snap introduced sounds in 2020, allowing users to insert music clips into their posts. However, the impact on the music industry has been fairly small so far. TikTok remains the most influential music discovery tool, and it might not stop there…
TikTok Music could be the next big podcast app
TikTok parent ByteDance may join Spotify for lunch As first discovered by insiderthe Chinese company filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office for “TikTok Music” in May. In addition to music and videos, the new app will also support podcasts and digital radio content.
If a TikTok music app comes to fruition, it wouldn’t be ByteDance’s first streamer. In 2020, Resso launched it, available in India, Brazil, and Indonesia (aka exactly where Spotify is looking to expand). In June, Resso added podcasts to its library thanks to a partnership with Acast.
Despite warnings from Senators like Mark Warner and Joe Rogan about TikTok’s data practices, it seems basically unstoppable. Perhaps Rogan will change his mindset once it becomes a major podcast platform and his Spotify deal expires.
That’s all for today! On Friday I’m going to Scandinavia, the land of the
audio engineering Fjords and open-faced sandwiches, so you’ll be hearing from Jake over the next few Tuesdays. See you on the other side.