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Don’t anticipate any new TV rewatch podcasts throughout the Hollywood strike

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That is Scorching PodThe Verge’s publication about podcasting and the audio business. Join here for extra.

At present, I’ll dive into Spotify’s second quarter earnings name this morning. Regardless of layoffs and the shutdown of plenty 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 anticipate any new ones

Gossip Queens and Pod Meets World aren’t going anyplace throughout the Hollywood strike. After plenty of TV rewatch podcasts halted their programming resulting from confusion over whether or not they break the Hollywood strike’s guidelines, the SAG-AFTRA union clarified its guidelines to Scorching Pod. As first reported in NYT, the union nonetheless considers present TV rewatch podcasts underneath a contract to be a type of selling struck work — they’ll proceed to publish new episodes throughout the strike. 

However don’t anticipate out-of-work actors to launch any new podcasts — the union says each signing new contracts for rewatch podcasts and rewatch podcasts not underneath a SAG-AFTRA contract are off-limits. 

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“Rewatch Podcasts are thought-about promotional. Hosts ought to honor any pre-existing contracts however, if a contract is just not concerned, they need to not promote struck work, previous or present. Friends showing on podcasts shouldn’t promote struck work underneath any circumstances,” the union’s nationwide director of contract initiatives and podcasts, Sue-Anne Morrow, wrote in an electronic mail to Scorching Pod

Given the timing of when the contracts have been signed, this steerage very possible offers the inexperienced mild for brand 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 new FAQ on how the strike impacts podcasts, with further pointers 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 shouldn’t settle for any new contract to host a present that promotes struck work whereas the union is on strike,” says the FAQ. 

Listeners can also see their favourite rewatch podcasts make some programming adjustments. In accordance with the FAQ, the union is asking hosts of such podcasts to think about altering up their content material throughout the strike’s period: “You might be free to proceed internet hosting your podcast that’s signed to one in all 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 beneficial properties

There’s excellent news and dangerous information for the Swedish audio big. Spotify posted second quarter earnings this morning, exhibiting that each premium customers (220 million) and podcast advert income (30 % enhance) are up from final yr. However a web lack of €302 million this quarter suggests it will likely be a while till we see a Positive impact from the corporate’s efforts to streamline operations. 

In its quest to cut back losses, the corporate this yr took some drastic steps: it laid off round 800 staff (together with 200 staff 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 Middle by the tip of the yr. 

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 percent in the long run. And common income per consumer dipped as nicely, to €4.27 (round $4.72), a 6 % decline from final yr and a lower from final quarter’s €4.32 (round $4.79). 

However firm leaders advised traders at right this moment’s earnings name that they’re optimistic about the remainder of the yr resulting from an anticipated acquire in customers and income resulting from worth will increase. The corporate lately introduced a $1 hike within the worth of its Premium subscription within the US and has elevated subscription costs in additional than 50 markets worldwide. 

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek mentioned that the worth enhance 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 progress. 

“There are 3 ways to drive our income progress. We are able to develop our customers, we will create new enterprise with new income streams, and we will enhance income per consumer. 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 long run. Nevertheless, we’ve additionally been clear that there’ll come a time when worth will increase grow to be a extra essential device within the toolbox,” Ek mentioned. 

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 right this moment, it’s actually high-quality content material, nevertheless it requires quite a bit so that you can get into new podcasting. So one very straightforward factor we will do with these new AI developments is after all summarize what these podcasts are about, and by doing so, you’ll be able to think about it turning into quite a bit simpler to merchandise new podcasts for customers, which drives in increased engagement and extra progress for creators — which is a very Positive factor,” Vogel mentioned. 

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, based on a press launch seen by Scorching Pod. PRX will announce a full listing of stations that may air this system later this yr. 

The favored podcast hosted by the founding father of Vox is simply 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 Middle 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 superb instance of a present that may do each,” PRX’s chief of enterprise improvement and content material, Jason Saldanha, mentioned in an announcement to Scorching Pod



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