Oprah took to Clubhouse, the platform says 40,000 people have logged in
Good Tuesday, kisses. We’re so close to Thanksgiving that I can taste the cornbread casserole. Yes, this is my dish, and yes, I am from the Midwest. No further questions, please! We have a relatively light one today, which seems to be due to the fact that many companies let go the rest of the year. Social audio companies, however, continue to land deals and make the news. No rest for startups. While I have a lot to say about acquiring the audiobook company from Spotify starting Thursday, I’m saving it for, hopefully, later this week. (If you work in the literary world and have some ideas on the audiobook market, please don’t hesitate to contact us!) Otherwise, let’s go.
The New York Times says COVID misinformation is rampant in audio
The New York Times intervened how podcast and radio hosts are dealing with the pandemic – they spread misinformation, heed their own advice, and die because of it. Dark. The article names and shames the who’s who of radio and podcasting companies, including iHeart Media, Spotify and Apple, which have allowed some of these shows to distribute their programming on their respective platforms. (Surprisingly, Cumulus does not appear in the article despite being where a star podcaster and radio host protests against a corporate vaccine warrant.) The article specifically focuses on l where these podcasts are distributed, not who makes or monetizes them.
To give you an idea of ââwhat we’re working with in this story, among the quotes is one from a pastor and podcaster who says the vaccine is “an egg that hatches into a synthetic parasite and grows out of it. ‘inside your body’. (Her show is available through the iHeart app, the newspaper reports.) Someone’s Watched Too Much Extraterrestrial and I didn’t know it was fiction, I guess. This is the same person who apparently also said that a “Jewish coup” was behind efforts to impeach former President Donald Trump.
I feel like I’ve read this same story a bunch before, but the thing that I watch and wonder is that the Times“The piece mentions,” This is why the moderation policies of tech companies are probably stricter than those of many companies specializing in audio. It connects iHeart’s content policy, as good as Spotify and Apples, but the one that doesn’t come back – and I’m curious if it even exists – is the one from Cumulus. iHeart also refused to tell the Times if he had any policy regarding COVID disinformation. I’m interested in part because I think as listening time increases on tech platforms, including Facebook, there might be a world in which a podcast cannot be published on major tech platforms. , and podcast companies must distribute their shows through other means. (Also, moderation of these podcasts will be difficult, if not impossible, which I discussed at length here in February and is probably the most pressing concern.) I sense drama looming and I’m ready.
Now, let’s move on to the tech world.
Spotify keeps trying to make Greenroom a reality
Spotify announced yesterday it has a new list of live social audio shows, as well as the announcement that people no longer need to log in to listen, which is great. They can do this from their browser or their phone, which means that promoting the programming will be much easier. The less friction the better. Among the shows, one on being a fan of Taylor Swift and deepening her music and another from Lauren Simmons, host of the Spotify Original podcast, where she will answer questions from Generation Z. I DON’T KNOW! Spotify made promises to make its audio and product all about the fans, and it seems to fulfill that promise quite specifically. Will this be enough to compete with Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces?
The clubhouse welcomes Oprah, only 40,000 people have logged in
On Sunday evening, Clubhouse’s Global Marketing Manager Maya Watson walked into the app and with her, Oprah Winfrey and her best friend Gayle King. The group, along with other Clubhouse members, discussed Winfrey’s Adele interview and how it turned out. This is a major asset for any platform; an exclusive conversation with Winfrey immediately following the premiere of a much-anticipated two-hour interview? I want to say.
A recording of the show says only 22.7,000 people have logged in, including people who may even have come briefly before they left. A spokesperson for the Clubhouse, however, said a “problem” prevented the entire venue and its entire audience from showing up in one recording. A second recording, of which Oprah is part of about 15 minutes, shows 18.6,000 people listening. Spokesman Gray Munford says those numbers are a cumulative number of unique listeners, so, he says, 41.5,000 people in total.
Here’s the thing, though: at CBS, where the special premiered, 10 million people listening. We could interpret this in several ways. It could be that if the app can’t attract a big audience for the Queen of TV, then why even give it a try? The other is Winfrey and the Clubhouse team suffered from a lack of marketing. If CBS had simultaneously promoted the Clubhouse special and post-event, this might have had a better chance of succeeding. But alas, here we are. I will say, by the way, that this is the first Clubhouse rerun that I have watched, and the experience is well built. You can jump in, see who’s talking, and essentially relive the event as if you were in the app when it happened.
Okay, just a few more things and we’ll finish.
Snapchat continues to sign music deals for its TikTok copy, Spotlight
I wanted to check with Snapchat’s Spotlight TikTok clone and finally get the opportunity for an update. Now you might be wondering why here in this audio centric newsletter? What I would say these short videos are, yes, visual experiences, but highly dependent on audio, especially audio with the potential to go viral. So in this context, Snapchat announced it yesterday signed an agreement with Sony Music Entertainment to bring their artists’ tracks to the platform. It is now tied with TikTok, having signed deals with the big three labels – Sony, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group.
More interesting to me, however, is the deal Snap signed earlier this month with NBCUniversal to bring audio from Office, Bridesmaids, Parks and recreation, and Saturday Night Live to the application. It feels like the start of something big – the dialogue and the scripts having the chance to go viral, which is much more in the vein of podcasting. It also comes with the idea that companies could make real deals to access this audio? Maybe there is something here for comedy podcasts.
One last thing before you go.
Twitch launches incubator program for musicians
The worlds, they converge. Twitch, best known for its game livestreams, is eyeing the music space. He already signed a deal with Warner Music Group to bring his musicians to the app for exclusive channels, but now it’s launch of an incubation program for artists called The Collective. Selected attendees will receive practical advice from the Twitch team, as well as âpriority discoveries, promotions and activationsâ from partners, such as Amazon Music and Rolling stone. The idea seems to be to make Twitch a place where you spend more time, even if you don’t stream a video game, and the payoff for musicians is reaching a young demographic and learning from the Twitch team. herself. All tech companies want to own not only your visual attention span, but your ears and Twitch as well. offers an audio-only mode.
Alright, we get out of here. I’m back on Thursday for you paid subscribers, and if you’re interested in signing up, you can do so here. We deliver scoops, exclusives and more analysis. If you care about audio, you should read it, just saying. Talk to you later!
Correction Nov. 16, 10:30 a.m.ET: An earlier version of this article and headline indicated that Clubhouse’s Oprah room only had 23,000 listeners, but a Clubhouse spokesperson said his public measurements for the room were not entirely accurate. He claims 40,000 people listened, on two tapes, because there was a room “problem” that split him into two different recordings with two different audience numbers which he said are cumulative.