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Right now, I’ll dive into Spotify’s second quarter earnings name this morning. Regardless of layoffs and the shutdown of quite a lot of podcasts, it’ll be some time till we see the advantages from a thriftier firm. I even have an replace on actor-hosted rewatch podcasts — and information of a brand new podcast coming to public radio.
Your favourite TV rewatch podcast is right here to remain — however don’t count on any new ones
Gossip Queens and Pod Meets World aren’t going anyplace throughout the Hollywood strike. After quite a lot of TV rewatch podcasts halted their programming because of confusion over whether or not they break the Hollywood strike’s guidelines, the SAG-AFTRA union clarified its guidelines to Sizzling Pod. As first reported in NYT, the union nonetheless considers present TV rewatch podcasts below a contract to be a type of selling struck work — they will proceed to publish new episodes throughout the strike.
However don’t count on out-of-work actors to launch any new podcasts — the union says each signing new contracts for rewatch podcasts and rewatch podcasts not below a SAG-AFTRA contract are off-limits.
“Rewatch Podcasts are thought-about promotional. Hosts ought to honor any pre-existing contracts however, if a contract shouldn’t be concerned, they need to not promote struck work, previous or present. Visitors showing on podcasts mustn’t promote struck work below any circumstances,” the union’s nationwide director of contract initiatives and podcasts, Sue-Anne Morrow, wrote in an electronic mail to Sizzling Pod.
Given the timing of when the contracts have been signed, this steering very probably offers the inexperienced mild for brand spanking new rewatch podcasts on Full Home and Bones to launch their first episodes. However the union is giving quite a bit much less leeway to any future tasks.
The union posted a brand new FAQ on how the strike impacts podcasts, with extra tips for rewatch and companion podcasts. It instructs members who’re approached by a producer to seem in a companion, rewatch, or different entertainment-focused podcast to keep away from such work. “Members mustn’t settle for any new contract to host a present that promotes struck work whereas the union is on strike,” says the FAQ.
Listeners may see their favourite rewatch podcasts make some programming modifications. In response to the FAQ, the union is asking hosts of such podcasts to think about altering up their content material throughout the strike’s length: “You’re free to proceed internet hosting your podcast that’s signed to one among our agreements, but when you’ll be able to pivot your present away from the promotion of struck work, we strongly encourage you to take action. We’re all on this battle collectively.”
Spotify’s gross revenue margin dips in second quarter, however podcast advert income sees positive aspects
There’s excellent news and unhealthy information for the Swedish audio big. Spotify posted second quarter earnings this morning, displaying that each premium customers (220 million) and podcast advert income (30 % improve) are up from final 12 months. However a web lack of €302 million this quarter suggests it will likely be a while till we see a optimistic impact from the corporate’s efforts to streamline operations.
In its quest to scale back losses, the corporate this 12 months took some drastic steps: it laid off round 800 staff (together with 200 workers from its podcast operations), merged the Gimlet and Parcast podcast studios, and made a number of high-profile programming cuts — together with not renewing its take care of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s manufacturing firm, Archewell Audio. It additionally introduced plans to sublease its Manhattan places of work at 4 World Commerce Heart by the tip of the 12 months.
Curiously sufficient, web costs of €44 million linked principally to the shutting down of podcasts, severance for layoffs, and extra actual property put a slight dent in its gross revenue margins this quarter. Margins are 24.1 % this quarter, in comparison with 25.2 % final quarter (and 24.6 % YoY). The corporate is capturing for revenue margins of anyplace from 30 to 35 % in the long run. And common income per person dipped as effectively, to €4.27 (round $4.72), a 6 % decline from final 12 months and a lower from final quarter’s €4.32 (round $4.79).
However firm leaders instructed buyers at as we speak’s earnings name that they’re optimistic about the remainder of the 12 months because of an anticipated acquire in customers and income because of value will increase. The corporate not too long ago introduced a $1 hike within the value of its Premium subscription within the US and has elevated subscription costs in additional than 50 markets worldwide.
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek stated that the value improve was one of many methods the corporate was planning to develop its income sooner or later. However he additionally added that rising the variety of ad-supported and Premium customers was the platform’s most popular route for income development.
“There are 3 ways to drive our income development. We are able to develop our customers, we will create new enterprise with new income streams, and we will improve income per person. Our desire amongst them is to concentrate on rising the general variety of customers on our platform, as this offers us scale benefits and retains optionality for the longer term. Nonetheless, we’ve additionally been clear that there’ll come a time when value will increase develop into a extra essential software within the toolbox,” Ek stated.
Spotify is within the early levels of its experiments with AI, and the corporate is taking a look at bringing extra AI options to the platform. Chief monetary officer Paul Vogel purchased up AI in podcast discovery for example.
“So if you concentrate on podcasting as we speak, it’s actually high-quality content material, however it requires rather a lot so that you can get into new podcasting. So one very simple factor we will do with these new AI developments is in fact summarize what these podcasts are about, and by doing so, you possibly can think about it turning into quite a bit simpler to merchandise new podcasts for customers, which drives in greater engagement and extra development for creators — which is a extremely optimistic factor,” Vogel stated.
The Ezra Klein Present is coming to public radio
One other podcast is coming to public radio. The Ezra Klein Present will come to public radio stations in November as a part of a brand new partnership between PRX and The New York Occasions. The podcast model of the one-hour weekly present will nonetheless be distributed by the Occasions, however PRX will function the distributor of the general public radio program, in accordance with a press launch considered by Sizzling Pod. PRX will announce a full listing of stations that can air this system later this 12 months.
The favored podcast hosted by the founding father of Vox is just the newest to make the transition to public airwaves. (Disclosure: The Verge and Vox are each a part of Vox Media.) PRX can be the general public radio distributor for The Moth Radio Hour, The Heart for Investigative Reporting’s Reveal, Futuro Media’s Latino USA, and others.
“Our objective is to convey stations within the U.S. programming that delivers listeners readability on the world round them and enrichment to their lives. The Ezra Klein Present is a good instance of a present that can do each,” PRX’s chief of enterprise improvement and content material, Jason Saldanha, stated in an announcement to Sizzling Pod.$100 free cash app money $100 free cash app money