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Monday, April 22, 2024

Podcasting’s information guidelines get a refresh

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That is Sizzling PodThe Verge’s e-newsletter about podcasting and the audio trade. Enroll here for extra.

Hiya! I’m very excited to see so lots of you at Hot Pod Summit and On Air Fest this week. I’ll be again on Tuesday with a recap of the occasions. However first, I’ve received a take a look at the layoffs at WAMU, the IAB’s new podcast pointers, and the ticking clock on union contract negotiations at Spotify.

WAMU shuts down DCist and lays off 15 staffers

One other NPR member station has carried out layoffs, this time at WAMU in Washington, DC. Whereas some public radio organizations have addressed finances shortfalls by reducing podcasts (NPR, WNYC), WAMU is leaving its audio operation intact as it lays off 15 staffers and shuts down DCist, the native information web site it purchased 5 years in the past.

“With the renewed concentrate on delivering audio-first storytelling, WAMU made the choice to sundown the location and social channels. An archive of the web site is being made out there to employees to help their skilled pursuits,” reads an announcement from the group.

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Though the choice is being framed as a part of a new strategy that doubles down on dwell occasions and audio, it’s unclear whether or not any new audio roles are being added. At present, the one WAMU job out there is for a director of growth. 

As is going on throughout the digital media trade, DCist is not out there to the general public. If you go to the web site, a pop-up seems that mechanically directs you to WAMU, and DC residents are understandably sad that the archive has been faraway from the general public report. A spokesperson from WAMU didn’t reply to Sizzling Pod’s request for remark.

The IAB points new podcast measurement pointers

The group that units podcast measurement requirements has issued new pointers, which handle a number of the information points which have cropped up prior to now few years. The brand new guidelines, which aren’t ultimate but, would require licensed firms to be extra clear about their measurement methodologies than prior to now.

Advert firms, which have shied away from podcasting prior to now 12 months, “need transparency in how these calculations are performed,” Shailley Singh, EVP of product and COO of the IAB Tech Lab, informed Sizzling Pod. “So we attempt to obtain that by giving increasingly detailed steering.”

Podcast firms licensed by the IAB, which embody NPR, Acast, and Megaphone, amongst two dozen others, shall be anticipated to take steps comparable to filtering out duplicate podcast downloads from Apple Watches, specifying whether or not they measure on a set or rolling 24-hour interval, and having practices in place to account for giant technological shifts. That final guideline has explicit relevance given the massive decrease in downloads throughout the trade ensuing from a change in the way in which Apple iOS 17 handles automated downloads. 

The IAB Tech Lab is accepting public touch upon the brand new pointers till March twenty third. You may view the document here

Gimlet and The Ringer’s union contracts expire on Thursday

Two of Spotify’s three podcasting unions are working up towards contract deadlines this week. Gimlet and The Ringer, that are each unionized with the Writers Guild of America, East (which additionally represents Vox Media’s union, of which I’m an element), are butting heads with Spotify administration over contract particulars comparable to pay and severance. The negotiations come at a time following widespread layoffs in Spotify’s podcast enterprise and when the corporate is being far more conservative about spending.

Members of the union for Gimlet, which has been hollowed out via employees cuts, have pledged to strike if they can’t come to an settlement with Spotify administration. In an announcement, the union demanded “compensation that retains tempo with inflation, and in gentle of a number of layoffs at Spotify Studios, a extra clear and dignified strategy to employees reductions.” Yesterday, Gimlet’s union posted on X that they haven’t seen motion on both challenge. 

The a lot bigger Ringer Union has not but issued a strike pledge, however the group can also be struggling to get Spotify to conform to its requests on AI use, layoff notices, and pay will increase. The union posted on X yesterday that Spotify administration provided a 2.7 % enhance for the primary 12 months of the contract, adopted by 2 % annual raises for the next years. “We received’t settle for under inflation pay rises from an organization that’s value as a lot as @Spotify,” the union mentioned.

Neither Spotify nor the WGAE responded to request for remark.

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