Thursday, September 21, 2023

Spotify takes a closer look at video

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It’s big old Spotify day on here Hot Pod† The company is making strides, acquiring Wordle-inspired music trivia game Heardle, expanding its reach of video podcasts into new countries, and taking another exclusive podcast hit.

Plus an overview of the best Prime Day audio deals. Let’s get into it.

Spotify acquires trivia music game Heardle

Spotify announced Tuesday that it has acquired Heardle, one of several themed trivia games that have sprung up in the wake of Wordle’s blockbuster success. Heardle is Spotify’s first game acquisition, and the company hopes it will play a dual role: in addition to keeping music geeks engaged, it can also act as a music discovery tool. You can read all about it here.

Spotify expands video podcasts to six more countries

As the preference for video podcasts grows, Spotify is expanding the feature to six new markets. The company announced today that podcasters in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Brazil and Mexico can now upload video podcasts to the platform. Previously, video podcasts were only available in English-speaking countries, including the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Spotify is looking to expand its global presence in podcasts in general, having recently announced new playlists for podcasts in countries such as Japan, the Philippines and Argentina. But it also tries to fend off a challenge from YouTube, which already has a huge global presence. As the lines between podcasts and videos are blurring, YouTube is becoming a bigger player in the podcast industry and, according to a study, is already the largest podcast platform in the U.S.

Hit Australian podcast Toni and Ryan goes exclusively to Spotify

This is the last Spotify entry, I promise. The streamer has signed popular Australian podcasters Ryan Jon Dunn and Toni Lodge to a multi-year exclusive deal. The comedy chat show, which launched less than a year ago, is at number 26 on Spotify’s Australian podcast chart and is reportedly getting over 1 million downloads per month† The podcast will be a Spotify exclusive starting August 8.

Prime Day Audio Deals: Headphones, Speakers, and Subscriptions

It’s Prime Day! And don’t shy away from a trillion dollar company (it doesn’t need my help!), but there are some good bargains on audio gadgets if you’re looking for new headphones or speakers. The edge‘s stellar review team rounded up some of the best deals:

  • The Beats Fit Pro goes for $159.95. The model usually costs $199.99 and this is the first major discount to be offered. The team previously gave the earbuds a great review for their design and audio quality.
  • Sony’s WH-1000XM4 wireless noise-cancelling over-ear headphones are available for $228, down from the original price of $348. The edge says these are some of the best noise canceling headphones on the market.
  • The stylish Marshall Stanmore II Bluetooth speaker retails for $249.99, down from its retail price of $379.99.
  • Audible has renewed its Premium Plus membership free trial up to three months (normally it’s 30 days), after which the audiobook and podcast subscription costs $15 per month. Again, I hate to shill, but I’m kind of an Audible addict and it’s a great gift for a dad if you don’t know what else to get. The offer runs until after Prime Day and is available until the end of the month.
  • Amazon Music Unlimited offers a four-month free trial, an increase from the usual month. After the trial period expires, AMU starts at $9 per month.

ICYMI: Lewis Black Is Suing Pandora For $10 Million For Copyright Infringement

Insiders got a peek at my scoop on Lewis Black’s lawsuit against Pandora last week. Black joins Andrew Dice Clay and Robin Williams’ estate to sue SiriusXM’s audio streamer for copyright infringement. Like the other comedians who are suing Pandora, Black claims that his comedy albums are copyrighted to the written material (not just the recording) that Pandora was never copyrighted. He is suing the company for more than $10 million. If Pandora loses, it could be on the hook for more than $70 million, and the case could set a precedent that would pave the way for more comedians (and maybe even podcasters) to claim copyright infringement.

That’s all for today! See you next week.

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