Podcasts Can Be Prepared for a Downturn: Why Maybe Few Jobs are Cut? A Comment from Harrigan on the Challenges of Digital Advertising in 2022
Billions of dollars were invested by companies in podcast technology and content with the expectation that it would continue to grow. Even if investors are not thrilled with how much they spent (and their current podcast profit margins), they are in a better place to capture what ad dollars are flowing into the market. With the biggest podcasts on the market (Spotify and Joe Rogan, Wondery and SmartLess, SiriusXM and Crime Junkie) and most sophisticated tech stacks, they are in a better position to weather a downturn. The creators who were left to pick up the scraps will be having a harder time breaking out than they did a few years ago.
Advertising is susceptible to economic disruption and is going to sound very basic, even though a lot of you already know how this works. And there have been quite a few disruptions in 2022: the war in Ukraine pushing up energy costs; high inflation making everything from vegetables to auto insurance more expensive; and rising interest rates pushing stock prices down. The factors make it more expensive to run a business. It also could force consumers to spend less on goods and services, and although that has not really happened yet, it is something that easily could if these economic conditions continue.
Probably. Even as layoffs have been avoided in many sectors of the economy, that has not been the case in tech and media. Like I mentioned up top, businesses will cut ad budgets before cutting workers. But those ad cuts just end up resulting in layoffs in ad-based businesses. Lucky us!
Matthew Harrigan, an analyst at The Benchmark Company, said he wouldn’t be surprised if a few jobs were cut. He pointed out that Witz commented about using a “disciplined approach to cost management” as an example of how some roles could be cut. Even so, he does not expect widespread cuts. “I don’t think there’s any ‘oh, gosh’ moment where they looked at the business model and really wish that they had done all that much differently,” he said. “It’s just a matter of trimming a little bit.”
But even a handful of layoffs can rattle people working in the industry, and not all companies are in the same position. When the economy isn’t doing as well as hoped, businesses cut another line item for NPR. With an expected $20 million decline in such sponsorships, the network took the drastic move of cutting its summer internship program. Audacy has a lot of debt that it needs to manage and possibly sell off Cadence 13 to do that. Job security could be at risk if it lands somewhere else.
Happy Holidays! Final Highlights of Hot Pod Summit, with a New Headliner and a Post-Superbowl Spike
On that light note, I wish you a very happy holiday. Don’t despair! Things go in cycles. Bruce Springsteen said that everything that dies eventually comes back.
I hope you all had a great weekend. Today, we have the final lineup for Hot Pod Summit next week, including a new headliner. There is a new activist investor and a post-Super Bowl spike in streaming. Let’s get into it!
The pressure is on for the company to be lean. Activist investor ValueAct had bought a stake in the streamer. Mason Morfit, who leads the firm, disclosed the new position at a private conference at Columbia University and indicated that he was on board with the cuts Spotify has been making.
Morfit said that the economic model that benefited everyone was created by the combination of engineering breakthrough and organizational abilities. During the boom, these powers were applied to new markets such as live chat rooms. The funding for content exploded as operating expenses exploded. It is now sorting out what was built to last and what was built for the bubble.”
Content and ad business will now fall under Stockholm-based subscriptions chief Alex Norstrom, who is now chief business officer. In a letter to employees, Ek stressed that Ostroff chose to leave her position and will stay on as a senior advisor. However, Semafor reported this week that Ostroff was pushed out. Spotify spokesperson Rosa Oh told Hot Pod that Semafor’s claim is incorrect. An extra layer of business oversight is likely due to the fact that the department now falls under Norstrom.
In the morning, we will have a few panels, including the blurring line between audiobook and audio-only programs with head of audiobooks at Spotify, as well as author andPodcaster Gretchen Rubin and Dan Zitt, senior vice president of content production at Penguin Random House Audio. The show will be hosted by Nick Quah, the founder of hot Pod and author of 1.5x Speed.
In the afternoon, we’ll be talking about some of the most talked about topics of the day, such as sustainable podcast revenue, the current podcasting job market, showrunning challenges, shrinking ad budgets, and the difficulties and opportunities of video.
And finally, we’ll cap off the day with a live recording of Decoder, where editor-in-chief of The Verge, Nilay Patel, will interview Conal Byrne, CEO of iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group.
Superbowl Halftime: Why she is a Billionaire and why she’s a good singer. The surprising rise of her perfumed lipstick
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No kidding! The tradition of Super Bowl halftime shows is that the performers don’t get paid. There is a financial benefit that doesn’t seem to have been ruled out. Variety stated that the streaming of the star’s catalog increased sixfold, with featured songs seeing even bigger spikes. There was a 1,400 percent and 1,170 percent increase to the prices ofDiamonds and Rude Boy, respectively. Plus, she used the show as an opportunity to flaunt her newest lipstick. That’s why she’s a billionaire.