Spotify Cancels Two Acclaimed Podcasts: ‘Heavyweight’ and ‘Stolen’

Spotify, the audio streaming platform, stated on Tuesday that it could not renew its contracts for 2 critically acclaimed podcasts, “Heavyweight” and “Stolen,” the newest signal of the corporate curbing its podcasting ambitions because it struggles to turn out to be persistently worthwhile.

The reveals, that are produced by Gimlet Media, the podcast studio Spotify acquired in 2019, will conclude their seasons after which have the choice to buy their reveals elsewhere.

“We’re extraordinarily happy with the groups who’ve supported these gifted storytellers throughout every of the unbelievable episodes of ‘Heavyweight’ and ‘Stolen,’” a Spotify spokeswoman stated, including that the corporate will “work with the present creators to make sure a easy transition for wherever these collection go subsequent.”

“Heavyweight” was hosted by Jonathan Goldstein and for seven seasons delved into the tales that form folks’s lives, in search of to assist them create higher endings. The present’s creators said on social media, “We’re so happy with all the pieces we’ve made, and we’re hoping the present finds a brand new house sooner or later.”

“Stolen,” which obtained the Pulitzer Prize for audio reporting this 12 months, was created by Connie Walker, a journalist who investigated her late father’s life and his expertise and that of a whole bunch of different Indigenous kids in Canada’s residential college system.

The choice got here a day after Spotify introduced that it could cut nearly a fifth of its work force, its third spherical of layoffs up to now this 12 months, because it seeks constant profitability. The layoffs and discount in podcast choices comes because the know-how trade contends with the tip of a decade of low rates of interest that fueled progress.

Media corporations have additionally suffered from a shortfall of promoting income, partly fueled by leaner promoting budgets and financial anxieties a few attainable recession that never quite happened.

These forces have led some massive know-how and media corporations to take care of their investments in so-called “all the time on” reveals that publish every day or weekly, and scale back their investments in restricted run or seasonal collection, that are more durable to make worthwhile, stated Nick Quah, the author of HotPod, a preferred e-newsletter about podcasts.

“All of that is taking place, this financial instability, however the reality of the matter is, there’s nonetheless tons of podcast audiences,” Mr. Quah stated. “There’s an existential means during which we’re speaking in regards to the podcast trade at this level, however audiences have continued to develop.”

A 2023 report from Edison analysis about podcast customers discovered that podcasts have extra mainstream listeners than ever who’re receptive to podcast advertisements.

About 64 p.c of the U.S. inhabitants older than 12 years previous have listened to a podcast, and roughly 120 million folks in the identical demographic had lately listened to a podcast, the report discovered.

Spotify, like different tech corporations, was principally pushed through the pandemic by the pursuit of potential progress, Mr. Quah stated.

The corporate paid $230 million for Gimlet Media in 2019 and round $200 million extra for The Ringer, Invoice Simmons’s sports activities media firm, in 2020. Later that 12 months, as customers spent much more time listening to podcasts through the pandemic, Amazon bought the popular podcast studio Wondery for $300 million, whereas SiriusXM paid $325 million for the platform and writer Stitcher.

However then the increase, or no less than the obvious potential to capitalize on that increase, pale, and Spotify was left with a whole bunch of thousands and thousands of {dollars} price of product.

Eric Nuzum, a podcast strategist and co-founder of the impartial studio Magnificent Noise, stated that “it’s important to separate Spotify away from the remainder of the podcast trade” as a result of the corporate has a unique enterprise mannequin with two predominant income streams: subscriptions and promoting. And for years, the corporate was making an attempt to determine which one podcasting was alleged to serve, Mr. Nuzum added.

Spotify made these huge investments and have become “the 800-pound gorilla,” Mr. Nuzum stated.

It rapidly turned clear that whereas a lot of the tech trade likes to “fail quick” and “transfer rapidly,” that doesn’t work with journalism that may take months or years to create, and must construct an viewers or model, Mr. Nuzum stated.

Spotify’s previous determination to maintain some podcasts unique on the platform — somewhat than overtly accessible on the web and basic podcasting apps — additionally killed a lot of the potential for reaching and rising audiences, Mr. Nuzum stated.

Now, Spotify seems to be homing in on a technique that they imagine will make a podcast profitable: bringing in celebrities with built-in fan bases, similar to Bruce Springsteen, Barack Obama, Meghan Markle and Joe Rogan, whose deal was stated to be worth more than $200 million.

“The issue is you pay all the cash to amass the expertise and put no funding into making the product good,” Mr. Nuzum stated. “And I believe that they received burned by that point and time and time once more.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *