YouTube’s most important podcast
Hello everyone. Ariel and Jake here for a combo number this beautiful Tuesday morning/afternoon/evening, depending on the timezone. We’ve had a great time preparing for the Hot Pod Summit, poking fun at political podcast launches, and wondering if the future of audio in the metaverse has legs.
Today we have rumors of Spotify’s long-awaited HiFi plan, big ad moves from YouTube and headphone jack thrills. But first, speaking of Hot Pod Summit, Ariel has some exciting news to share…
Hot Pod Summit LA is just around the corner
The Hot Pod Summit LA is only two weeks away (!), and we have some great additional panelists to announce. We will join:
- Crooked Media EVP of Programming and Production Sandy Girard and political director Shaniqua McClendon
- Wondery+ product manager Neel Ketkar
- Patreon Responsible for Creator Partnerships Sarah Penna
- UTA partner and audio manager Oren Rosenbaum
- Associate Professor of Communication at the University of San Diego Bradley Bond
I look forward to seeing you all very soon for a day of conversations around intellectual property, politics, subscriptions, and some of the other most important topics in podcasting right now. Tickets are nearly sold out, so if you have an invite pending, act fast if you want to come.
The Hot Pod Summit LA is held as part of the LA annex of On Air Fest, a three-day event celebrating the Los Angeles audio storytelling scene. On Air Fest runs from November 3-5 and will feature In it host Sam Sanders, the creators of Welcome to Night Valethe world premiere event for ESPN 30 for 30it is pink card with Shima Oliaee, and more. You can learn more about the On Air LA Annex lineup and get tickets here.
Is Spotify Platinum on the way?
It certainly seems like a strong possibility. Last week, a Reddit user who had just canceled his Spotify subscription posted a screenshot of a survey he received from the company. The survey asked them if they would be interested in upgrading to a Platinum plan at $19.99 per month, which includes all sorts of new features: limited podcast ads, better library management and, finally, HiFi.
Spotify Platinum isn’t an option in the streamer’s plans yet, and floating screenshot might not even be the final version (or price). My colleague Chris Welch from The edge spoke to the Reddit user, who said that several variations of the Platinum plan were included in the survey, including one that would involve access to audiobooks (for a higher price). Spotify declined to comment.
Whatever Platinum ends 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 are wondering exactly what is taking so long. Last year, Apple Music launched lossless audio at no extra cost, and Amazon Music and Tidal have long made audio quality a priority. Charging extra for what’s an advantage over other services may not be enough to convince users to pay double, so I’ll be interested to see what the new tools look like (what exactly “Library Pro” looks like and “Playlist Pro”?).
Andrew Cuomo has a new podcast, and his first guest is Anthony Scaramucci
I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating in this particular case: the best thing about podcasting is its low barrier to entry, and the worst thing about podcasting is also its low barrier to the entrance. Sara Fischer at Axios talked to the disgraced former governor of New York so I wouldn’t have to.
Alright, now Jake’s turn for some more updates.
YouTube’s latest podcast move: More audio ads
YouTube makes a big play for podcast ads. The company announced this week that it is pulling audio ads out of beta and allowing advertisers to start targeting specific segments of podcast listeners. Audio ads up to 30 seconds are also deployed, compared to only 15 seconds today.
The launch shows that YouTube is leaning into its role as one of the top destinations for listening to podcasts. The company has finally started to take that stance over the past year, launching a (albeit rudimentary) podcast hub, funding creators who want to film their shows, and hiring a leader for its podcast efforts.
Audio ads first launched in late 2020, but YouTube called them beta and options were limited. With today’s expansion, advertisers in the United States will be able to connect with specific podcast audiences, such as those who listen to comedy, news, sports or culture programming, the carrier said. Word from YouTube, Oluwa Falodun. hot capsule.
Controlling advertising is really the name of the game in the broader podcast business – see: the countless exclusivity deals that bypass platform lockdown in favor of ad sales deals – and I think the moves to YouTube here could be the start of something big. YouTube is already an advertising juggernaut, and its control of the platform means it’s ahead of the game when it comes to targeting and ad insertion. The technology is there. Now all he has to do is get advertisers and podcasters on board.
The latest iPad ditches the headphone jack
We’ve all seen it coming, but I think it’s still worth the call: Apple showed off a new iPad this morning, and it doesn’t have the option to plug in wired headphones. The lack of a headphone jack is not entirely new for the iPad; the more expensive Air and Pro models already dropped the port some time ago. But this new model will end up being the entry-level version of the device, and I think that makes it all the more remarkable.
Around New York, I regularly see parents who have handed their kids an iPad and a pair of wired headphones to keep them entertained while they dine, wait in line, or sit on the subway. Apple still sells last year’s iPad with a headphone jack at the moment. But I suspect we’re a few years away from parents needing to find a new way to provide entertainment for their children – or else keep track of wireless headphones and finicky Bluetooth connections. For anyone creating children’s audio content, this could make the iPad a more difficult platform for consuming those shows.
That’s all for today — Insiders, see you on Thursday.