Daily Updates, Future Ear Radio

Future Ear Daily Update: 3-26-19

To listen to the broadcast with your Alexa device, enable the skill here: https://www.amazon.com/Witlingo-Future-Ear-Radio/dp/B07PL9X5WK/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=future+ear+radio&qid=1552337687&s=digital-skills&sr=1-1-catcorr

and then say, “Alexa, launch Future Ear Radio.”

Spotify to Acquire another Podcasting Company: Parcast


In a press release issued today, Spotify announced that it would be acquiring Parcast, a premium podcast storytelling company. The Parcast acquisition will mark the third  podcasting-based company Spotify has purchased in 2019, following the Gimlet Media and Anchor acquisitions in early February. Similar to Gimlet Media, Parcast provides Spotify with another arm into content creation, as Parcast has launched 18 podcasts since its founding in 2016, with another 20 slated for this year.

Last month, I wrote a two-part series (part 1; part 2) for Voicebot.ai about an impending, “Cambrian explosion of audio content creation.” As I outlined in those articles, there are a multitude of reasons why Spotify is investing heavily in podcasting. Look at the “attention economy” companies that emerged as mobile became the dominant computing platform: Facebook, YouTube (Alphabet), Netflix, Twitter, Snapchat. (not all were hits on Wall St., but they all have come to dominate various demographics’ attention spans.)

Spotify CEO, Daniel Ek, seems to think that our ears are undervalued and that’s about to change. Here’s what he had to say in a blog post he wrote after the Gimlet and Anchor acquisitions:

“Consumers spend roughly the same amount of time on video as they do on audio. Video is about a trillion dollar market. And the music and radio industry is worth around a hundred billion dollars. I always come back to the same question: Are our eyes really worth 10 times more than our ears? I firmly believe this is not the case. For example, people still spend over two hours a day listening to radio — and we want to bring that radio listening to Spotify, where we can deepen engagement and create value in new ways. With the world focused on trying to reduce screen time, it opens up a massive audio opportunity.”

Given the rise of AirPods, and the broader trend of in-the-ear devices becoming computerized, I think that audio content consumption will become more viable and conducive for increasing amounts of time. Coupled with the rising intelligence of smart assistants to serve as an audio-based UI (Voice First), I think the stage is set for a lot more audio content creation and consumption. I believe that this content will be created across the full spectrum, in the same capacity video content is created (think Netflix down to high-end YouTubers all the way down to Snapchat).

The audio content spectrum will range from premium studios, like Gimlet and Parcast, to independent and small studios, which will be financially compensated more effectively through Spotify’s Anchor sponsorships, all the way down to individuals who have access to free tools like Castlingo. While the attention economy for our eyes has been the battleground for the past ten years, the aural attention economy is setting up to be the next battleground site. Expect a lot more jockeying by all the attention economy companies, so that each is in position to capture our attention via our ears as hearables and the voice tech space continue to mature.

-Thanks for Reading-


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