Hello everybody. Ariel and Jake are here for a combined problem this beautiful Tuesday morning / afternoon / evening, depending on the time zone. We enjoyed preparing for the Hot Pod Summit, mocking political podcast launches, and wondering if the future of metaverse audio has legs.
Today we have rumors about Spotify’s long-awaited HiFi plan, big advertising moves from YouTube, and some headphone jack sentiments. But first, speaking of Hot Pod Summit, Ariel has some interesting news to share …
Hot Pod Summit LA is coming fast
We are only two weeks away from Hot Pod Summit LA (!) And we have some excellent additional speakers to announce. Joining us will be:
- Crooked Media EVP programming and production Sandy Girard and political director Shaniqua McClendon
- Wondery + product boss Neel Ketkar
- Patreon head of partnerships with creators Sara Penna
- UTA partner and head of audio Oren Rosenbaum
- Associate Professor of Communications at the University of San Diego Bradley Bond
I’m excited to see you all very soon for a day of conversations about IP, politics, subscriptions, and some of the other biggest podcasting topics of the moment. Tickets are nearly sold out, so if you have a pending invitation, act early if you want to come.
The LA Hot Pod Summit will be held as part of the LA Annex of the On Air Fest, a three-day event that celebrates the Los Angeles audio storytelling scene. On Air Fest will be held from 3 to 5 November and will be present Inside host Sam Sanders, the creators of Welcome to Night Valethe world premiere event for ESPN 30 by 30‘S Pink card with Shima Oliaee and more. You can find out about the On Air LA Annex schedule and get tickets here.
Is Spotify Platinum Coming?
It certainly seems like a strong possibility. Last week, a Reddit user who had just canceled their Spotify subscription posted a screenshot of a survey they received from the company. The survey asked if they’d be interested in upgrading to a $ 19.99 / month Platinum plan, which includes all kinds of new features: limited podcast ads, better library management, and, finally, HiFi.
Spotify Platinum isn’t an option in streamer’s plans yet, and the screenshot around may not even be the final version (or price). My colleague Chris Welch a The border spoke to user Reddit, who said several variations of the Platinum plan were included in the survey, including one that would involve access to audiobooks (at a higher price). Spotify declined to comment.
Whatever Platinum will end up looking like if / when it debuts, HiFi will almost certainly be part of the plan. Spotify first announced a HiFi level in February 2021, and users have been wondering what exactly is taking so long. Last year, Apple Music debuted lossless audio at no extra cost, and Amazon Music and Tidal have long made audio quality a priority. Charging extra for what is an advantage over other services may not be enough to get users to pay double, so I’ll be interested to see what the new tools look like (what exactly are “Library Pro” and “Playlist Pro “?).
Andrew Cuomo has a new podcast and his first guest is Anthony Scaramucci
I’ve said this before, but it’s worth reiterating in this particular case: the best thing about podcasting is its low barrier to entry, and the worst thing about podcasting is its low barrier to entry as well. Sara Fischer a Ace I talked to the disgraced former New York governor, so I don’t have to.
Okay, now move on to Jake for a couple more updates.
The latest YouTube podcast move: more audio ads
YouTube is making a big game for podcast ads. The company announced this week that it will remove audio ads from beta and allow advertisers to start targeting specific segments of podcast listeners. Audio ads of up to 30 seconds are also now available, compared to commercials of just 15 seconds today.
The launch shows YouTube approaching its role as one of the best destinations for listening to podcasts. The company has finally begun to embrace that position over the past year, launching a podcast hub (albeit an essential one), funding creators who want to film their shows, and hiring a leader for its podcast endeavors.
The audio ads first launched in late 2020, but YouTube called them a beta and the options were limited. With today’s expansion, advertisers in the United States will be able to connect with specific podcast audiences, such as those listening to comedy, news, sports, or cultural shows, YouTube spokesperson Oluwa Falodun said. Hot pod.
Controlling advertising is largely the name of the game in the larger podcast business – see: the countless exclusivity deals that ignore platform blocking in favor of ad selling deals – and I think YouTube’s moves here could be the beginning of something great. YouTube is already an advertising behemoth, and its control of the platform means it is at the forefront when it comes to targeting and ad insertion. The technology is there. Now, it just needs to involve advertisers and podcasters.
The latest iPad drops the headphone jack
We’ve all seen it coming, but I think it’s still worth saying: Apple unveiled a new iPad this morning and has no option to plug in wired headphones. The lack of a headphone jack isn’t entirely new to the iPad; the more expensive Air and Pro models have already left the door some time ago. But this new model will ultimately be the entry-level version of the device and I think that makes it more notable.
Traveling around New York, I regularly see parents who have handed their children an iPad and a pair of wired headphones to entertain them while they are out for dinner, in line or sitting on the subway. For now, Apple is still selling last year’s iPad with a headphone jack. But I suspect we’re a couple of years away from parents having to find a new way to create entertainment for their kids, or keep track of fussy wireless headphones and Bluetooth connections. For anyone who creates audio content for kids, this could make the iPad a more difficult platform to use for those shows.
That’s it for today – Insider, see you on Thursday.