Happy Tuesday everyone. I had to stop working on today’s Wordle to finish this newsletter. My stats are completely undecided when it comes to 3, 4, and 5 guess solutions, so I’m taking these seriously in hopes of pushing things in the right direction. I’ve got three yellows and one green and I have three more to guess, so wish me luck.
Now for the news.
The Substack of Podcasts
Substack wants you all to know that it’s not just a newsletter platform, it’s also a podcasting platform. Or at least that’s how it wants to be thought of.
The company announced this morning that three successful podcasts are jumping off Patreon to join Substack: The fifth pillarwhich has more than 4,100 subscribers paying at least $5 per month; American prestige, which has more than 2,200 subscribers for at least $3 per month; and spoken tangentially, which has around 300 subscribers for at least $1 a month. Those first two are a sizeable audience to switch platforms on, and I suppose Substack offered the creators an upfront deal to make the risk worth it, like many writers and comic artists do. (Substack declined to tell me if they got a deal.) The company also turned itself in a couple blog entries Today he shares his pitch on why you should consider it as your next podcasting platform.
At the moment, however, I still don’t see a good reason why a podcaster would choose Substack over Patreon as a platform to build a community. Both platforms allow roughly the same thing — for creators to put written updates, podcasts, videos, and more behind a paywall — but Patreon lets creators do this with more flexibility. Patreon charges a smaller fee cut (8 percent on the standard plan vs. 10 percent on Substack), and Patreon allows developers to offer different subscription tiers, while Substack only allows a single flat price.
There’s another big benefit to Substack: if you get tired of the platform, you can take your subscribers’ email addresses and payment info and go. But if you’re an aspiring podcaster, you’re really going to choose your platform based on… your future desire leaving it?
Spotify CEO has to sit down for dismissal thanks to Eminem
Daniel Ek must make time to speak to lawyers about Spotify’s music licensing practices, a judge ordered last week. as reported by billboardSpotify is sued from Eminem’s Eight Mile Style over allegations that it didn’t pay out properly mechanical licenses – Mandatory fees paid to songwriters to reproduce their work – on a number of his songs.
Spotify argued that Ek was not needed for the lawsuit because he was “not directly involved in Spotify’s day-to-day licensing practices” and the filing “[cause] trouble him [result] to inconvenience for him and Spotify and [subject] unduly burden him and the company.” The judge said, well, too bad.
“No doubt Mr. Ek has a busy schedule.” wrote the judge. But added: “Nevertheless, the issue of proper licensing relationships with the artists, whose work encompasses Spotify’s entire business and its sole product, is certainly also relevant to Spotify and deserves some of Mr. Ek’s time and attention.”
The trial is scheduled for September 2023. There is no time for Ek’s testimony yet.
Explained today Hits Radio, yesterday
Vox.com’s flagship podcast, Explained todayis Extension to the radio. As of Monday, the show began airing on 13 public networks across dozens of stations through a partnership with WNYC Studios. vox writes that it’s expanding its show to the airwaves because “not everyone is a podcast listener (yet) and we want to reach as wide an audience as possible.” (Big disclosure on this topic: Vox is part of Vox Media, the owner The edge and hot pod.)
Rooster Teeth launches mentoring program
Rooster Teeth and WarnerMedia Access are partnering to launch a Digital Creators program focused on supporting “historically underrepresented digital talent.” The program, which will host eight creatives, runs for three months and includes a stipend and one month of lodging for a residency in Austin.
The program isn’t just for podcasters, but includes a focus on podcast development and production, as well as hosting and media training. Applications are now opened until May 8th.
Parcast threatens to strike
Members of the Parcast Union told Spotify on Monday they are ready to strike if they can’t reach an agreement in the “final days” of negotiations. The union says 96 percent of its members do signed a pledge to support a strike if necessary. The two sides still bicker over language related to diversity, minimum wages and intellectual property rights. accordingly Bloomberg. (Another revelation here: Parcast Union organizes with Writers Guild of America, East; the Vox Media Union, to which I belong, is also organized at the WGAE.)
Spotify three-year agreements with the Gimlet Union and the Ringer Union in April 2021. Gimlet staff announced plans to unionize in March 2019, just a month after Spotify acquired the company, and Ringer employees were already unionizing when the company was acquired. Parcast’s negotiations have not been particularly lengthy by these standards, but some of the most sensitive and important issues are often discussed in the final days of negotiations. That threat doesn’t necessarily mean Parcast will strike, but it’s one of many pressure tactics a union can use when working towards a better deal for members in these late discussions.
That’s all for today. On Thursday and Friday I have more for Insider members.
https://www.theverge.com/2022/4/5/23011365/substack-podcasts-daniel-ek-spotify-parcast-union-negotiations Substack pitches your podcasts