Happy Thursday! Today is newsletter day! Every Thursday at 9:50 Pacific Time, our weekly issue is sent to your inbox. It’s filled with my commentaries of the best of the week and stuff I find interesting even if it didn’t make mainstream media in conversational interfaces, voice technologies and voice strategy and branding. If you haven’t subscribed yet do so at voicefirstweekly.com.
Alright, moving on to today’s business.
Buzzfeed is cutting their podcast unit to focus on shows. The news came fast with some Twitter on layovers the same day last week. According to an article by The Wall Street Journal. Buzzfeed decision to cut its original podcasting staff comes in conjunction with the decision made the previous week, by the audio company Panoply. Audible Originals, the podcasting unit run by Amazon.com Inc.’s Audible audiobooks division, also laid off several employees earlier this year.
Apparently Buzzfeed is having problems keeping up with investors expectations in the advertising torment the industry is suffering from now. The Vice-President of News and Programming Shani Hilton said in a memo to stuff also reported by the Wall Street Journal:
We’ve decided to move to a production model that is more like our TV projects — that is, treating shows as individual projects, with teams brought on as needed.
These developments come as Audible and Buzzfeed reshapes its original programming strategy, alleging for more short-term programming or more Netflix-style shows.
As contrast the NYT Voyages issue will feature stories told through audio that correspond with full images without captions in the magazine”:
For the first time, the Times has produced a bonus crossword puzzle in which more than half the clues will feature audio clues.
Noting the company is experimenting with audio, not podcasts per se.
The founders of Gimlet Media, the narrative podcasting company, said in an episode by Recode Podcast that is expanding beyond original audio shows and into two newer businesses: Film and TV adaptations of their podcasts, such as a TV series reworking of the show Homecoming, now starring Julia Roberts, that will hit Amazon this fall; and branded podcasts, which are completely underwritten by a single sponsor.
Does this means that the podcast media is dying in favor of short-style stories or shows? What does this tell us about the state of podcast monetization at scale? Today I’ll leave you with more questions than answers. Partly because then I can come back and do another episode with the answers!
The truth is that the podcast industry is shifting and we need to watch how that plays out with content being created for smart assistants platforms.
Here are more resources to complement this subject:
You have a great day and we will talk tomorrow!