Monday, February 13, 2023

I Want My Monkey Show

I realize I don't actually know anything about Spotify's revenues, but the whole "let's spend absurd amounts of money on rich famous people to do podcasts while paying nothing for the musicians that are the real business" concept seems like it could have only come from someone who owned a bunch of NFTs.
Ostroff’s biggest editorial bet, however, was on Hollywood talent, and on a podcast industry that has increasingly centered on packages created by talent agencies.The former executive had focused on signing big name celebrity talent, courting A-Listers and making overtures to non-podcasting celebs like Kerry Washington, Gigi Hadid, Bill Maher, and Jennifer Aniston.

She appeared to deliver on the promise: Spotify signed deals with the Obamas, Kim Kardashian, and Prince Harry and Megan Markle. But others at the company saw her as inexperienced in audio, and focused on big names over quality content. People familiar with Spotify’s numbers said Michelle Obama, TikTok star Addison Rae, and Kardashian’s podcasts were initially successful, but churned users quickly after the first few episodes, rather than developing loyal audiences. A Spotify source disputed this claim, saying that the shows were “successful series in terms of audience size, advertising, and ongoing listenership.” Ostroff, the owner of several NFTs, was also intent on creating an expensive Bored Apes Yacht Club podcast.
I recognize that Evil Corp isn't going to do anything to undermine it's fundamental "pay nothing per song to stream them" business model, but doing things like "paying those same artists money for things like exclusive live tracks" or similar would seem to be a smarter move than their podcast strategy.