Hi, Welcome to BIG, a newsletter about the politics of monopoly. If you’d like to sign up, you can do so here. Or just read on… Today I’m going to write about podcasting, with some observations on how a media market that is far healthier than online publishing functions. But first, a quick update on
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There was good discussion on the "facebooking" of podcasting when Luminary was rolling out on the Accidental Tech Podcast, Epsiode 323. https://atp.fm/episodes/323
The general hope has been that as long as there are a) podcasters who want to stay independent, b) podcast apps that want to stay independent (or stay aloof to monetization like Apple Podcasts), and c) advertisers who want to advertise on the podcasts made by a) then the podcast work should be fine. Maybe the big media podcasts like Ringer and/or maid by celebrities go exclusively to Spotify or Luminary lured in by some big upfront paycheck. But presumably indie podcasts stay with RSS, and someone makes apps that play those, and things should stay ok. Hopefully.
But yes for sure, I oppose all mergers, including this one.
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Want to draw your attention to a Army Captains letter to the FCC regarding the “right to repair” challenges our troops are facing when they attempt to maintain or repair military equipment in the field. Apparently contracts are designed to prevent army mechanics from repairing their own equipment and they often have to forego having equipment on missions while they wait on OEM mechanics to be flown to the location. Link below.
The CVS story is misleading. He was getting too good of a deal by having his deductible maxed out for the year for only $5. Deductible represents the amount you've paid out of pocket, so having it maxed out with only a $5 payment is objectively not how the system should work. Plus, he implies that this change forces him to pay $5000 out of pocket for the drug, but that doesn't follow. He can still use his co-pay assistance card to get the price down to $5 but he just has to pay for other medical expenses out of pocket until he hits his deductible, just like it's supposed to work. Lots of health insurers have made changes in recent years to insure that these copay assistance cards don't count toward deductibles, and many of them don't have anything to do with consolidation in the industry.
urgh I categorically refuse to listen to podcasts that I can't find an rss feed for. I don't have the attention span to listen to things at less than 2.5X so if I can't download it and use my own player I won't listen. Soundcloud has been the worst offender in that regard, but if spotify turns gimlet into a walled garden with no rss I'll be pissed.
Spotify makes another questionable move - bringing in a new take on Paola:
Would love to hear your thoughts on whether this actually better for everyone involved (users get to listen to the content that wouldn't otherwise have existed (because monetization was worse), podcasters monetize better, advertisers get to sell more/better ads)? Is that why this ultimately happens in every industry? And is regulation the only way to stop something like this? What would be the open ended solution? I think the key is that the monetization inside of podcasts can be significantly improved, the question is how it's to be improved (closed off versus open). Thanks in advance! Great read :)
I stopped listening to some of my favorite podcasts that went to Luminary so I'll be doing the same when some of my other favorites move to Spotify (Sorry LPOTL). I am sure I'm not alone in that...very curious how this will all turn out.
Thanks for that Matt. I've been dismayed at Spotify's moves for awhile, and your article crystallised it into something resembling rage. Time to shitcan my Spotify account, I reckon.