Welcome To The JAG Show Podcast!
Oct. 7, 2022

Audacy's Problems Spread to Radio and Podcasting

Audacy's Problems Spread to Radio and Podcasting

I really don't want this to be a podcast where I talk about radio, an industry I left in 2017 after almost 20 years.  But for the second straight week, we've got a radio company who's trying to break podcasting.

Last week it was iHeartRadio, and their sketchy practice of buying podcast downloads as ads in video games.  How sketchy was that? Well depends on who you ask.   This week, it's Audacy, formerly Entercom, and CBS Radio before that.  They're the company that saw how badly ClearChannel and iHeart screwed up the radio business, and said, effectively, "Hold my beer."

Most radio companies have invested heavily in the digital space, specifically in podcasting.  Audacy is no exception, having purchased Cadence13, and Pineapple Street Media, two leading podcast studios.  Well flash forward to late 2022, and Audacy's stock price is in the crapper, below $1, and facing de-listing from the New York Stock Exchange.  So in a desperate move, they're selling off...you guessed it, Cadence13.  It's the classic "company is in deep trouble, so we need to sell something valuable to save our butts today, future be damned."  Mortgaging the future to save the present.  

Now we've seen this before, and it's what happens when companies - radio or otherwise - get too big.  They've got to satisfy bean counters and stock-holders, and they get away from their core missions and what they do well.   That's what happened to ClearChannel when they went public, sold to private equity, declared bankruptcy, and seemingly had layoffs every step along the way.  That's why in a market like Syracuse, New York, there may be more radio stations than live DJ's.

The more I think about it, I'm actually kinda glad Audacy is selling off Cadence13.  Maybe it will end up in the hands of someone who can invest in the product, not rob Peter to pay Paul.  Keep screwing up radio, Audacy.  Stay out of podcasting.

Onto other podcast news this week.  Kara Swisher is leaving her New York Times podcast and returning exclusively to Vox Media.   But there are reports that the New York Times, who owns all rights to the show, has repurposed her feed to do a new show.   On the surface, it seems like a good idea for marketing and downloads.  Start a show standing on third base, with an already dedicated number of listeners to a certain feed.   Nothing illegal, either.  But what I don't like here is the idea of eroding trust with your audience.   They expect certain content from a show they subscribe to.   Maybe they'll give the NEW content a chance, but I've got to think they'll unsubscribe.  A story to keep an eye on for sure.  The lesson: always be sure who owns your content before you start a show.   For a deeper dive on that, you can check out this months Podcast Superfriends episode, which I cohost.  Link in the show notes. https://www.soundoff.network/show/the-podcast-super-friends/podcast-married/

Twitter is rolling out its premium features within Twitter Blue, including podcasts, to Android users.  It had previously been available on just iOS devices.  Personally, it's not enough to get me to pay for Twitter, which I guess differentiates me from Elon Musk.

Finally, if you're looking for a higher-end podcast microphone, Logitech has unveiled the Blue Sona Dynamic mic.  It's designed to compete with the microphone I use, the Shure SM7B.  Now the Shure has been used in many radio stations, and by artists from Michael Jackson to Eminem.  I love it.  The Blue Sona is about $50 less ($350 instead of $400), and is designed not to need a signal booster, like a Cloudlifter or a Fethead.  For me, I'm going with the tried and true mic that's been used for 40 years.  Plus, I already have it.  But if you're watching your budget as you build your podcasting setup, the Blue Sona might be worth looking into.  Link in the show notes: https://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Blue-Sona-XLR-Microphone/dp/B09MRSQDJ7

Finally, I'm not one for shoutouts in my podcast, but do have to give one to my colleague Johnny Peterson, aka Johnny Podcasts. He does what I do, based out of Fort Worth, Texas.  He's getting married this weekend,  and Johnny, looking forward to celebrating with you.  His podcast is called Pod Logic, and that he's a great follow on Twitter at Johnny Podcasts. 

Until next week, stay healthy and stay safe. Lata!

Johnny on Twitter: https://twitter.com/johnnypodcasts

Pod Logic Podcast on Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/in/podcast/pod-logic/id1469902956

Pod Logic on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1PtfPZDon9qB9yfWuQvlE9

JAG in Detroit Website: https://jagindetroit.com/

Transcript

I really don't want this to be a podcast where I talk about radio, an industry I left in 2017 after almost 20 years.  But for the second straight week, we've got a radio company who's trying to break podcasting.

Last week it was iHeartRadio, and their sketchy practice of buying podcast downloads as ads in video games.  How sketchy was that? Well depends on who you ask.   This week, it's Audacy, formerly Entercom, and CBS Radio before that.  They're the company that saw how badly ClearChannel and iHeart screwed up the radio business, and said, effectively, "Hold my beer."

Most radio companies have invested heavily in the digital space, specifically in podcasting.  Audacy is no exception, having purchased Cadence13, and Pineapple Street Media, two leading podcast studios.  Well flash forward to late 2022, and Audacy's stock price is in the crapper, below $1, and facing de-listing from the New York Stock Exchange.  So in a desperate move, they're selling off...you guessed it, Cadence13.  It's the classic "company is in deep trouble, so we need to sell something valuable to save our butts today, future be damned."  Mortgaging the future to save the present.  

Now we've seen this before, and it's what happens when companies - radio or otherwise - get too big.  They've got to satisfy bean counters and stock-holders, and they get away from their core missions and what they do well.   That's what happened to ClearChannel when they went public, sold to private equity, declared bankruptcy, and seemingly had layoffs every step along the way.  That's why in a market like Syracuse, New York, there may be more radio stations than live DJ's.

The more I think about it, I'm actually kinda glad Audacy is selling off Cadence13.  Maybe it will end up in the hands of someone who can invest in the product, not rob Peter to pay Paul.  Keep screwing up radio, Audacy.  Stay out of podcasting.

Onto other podcast news this week.  Kara Swisher is leaving her New York Times podcast and returning exclusively to Vox Media.   But there are reports that the New York Times, who owns all rights to the show, has repurposed her feed to do a new show.   On the surface, it seems like a good idea for marketing and downloads.  Start a show standing on third base, with an already dedicated number of listeners to a certain feed.   Nothing illegal, either.  But what I don't like here is the idea of eroding trust with your audience.   They expect certain content from a show they subscribe to.   Maybe they'll give the NEW content a chance, but I've got to think they'll unsubscribe.  A story to keep an eye on for sure.  The lesson: always be sure who owns your content before you start a show.   For a deeper dive on that, you can check out this months Podcast Superfriends episode, which I cohost.  Link in the show notes. https://www.soundoff.network/show/the-podcast-super-friends/podcast-married/

Twitter is rolling out its premium features within Twitter Blue, including podcasts, to Android users.  It had previously been available on just iOS devices.  Personally, it's not enough to get me to pay for Twitter, which I guess differentiates me from Elon Musk.

Finally, if you're looking for a higher-end podcast microphone, Logitech has unveiled the Blue Sona Dynamic mic.  It's designed to compete with the microphone I use, the Shure SM7B.  Now the Shure has been used in many radio stations, and by artists from Michael Jackson to Eminem.  I love it.  The Blue Sona is about $50 less ($350 instead of $400), and is designed not to need a signal booster, like a Cloudlifter or a Fethead.  For me, I'm going with the tried and true mic that's been used for 40 years.  Plus, I already have it.  But if you're watching your budget as you build your podcasting setup, the Blue Sona might be worth looking into.  Link in the show notes: https://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Blue-Sona-XLR-Microphone/dp/B09MRSQDJ7

Finally, I'm not one for shoutouts in my podcast, but do have to give one to my colleague Johnny Peterson, aka Johnny Podcasts. He does what I do, based out of Fort Worth, Texas.  He's getting married this weekend,  and Johnny, looking forward to celebrating with you.  His podcast is called Pod Logic, and that he's a great follow on Twitter at Johnny Podcasts. 

Until next week, stay healthy and stay safe. Lata!

Johnny on Twitter: https://twitter.com/johnnypodcasts

Pod Logic Podcast on Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/in/podcast/pod-logic/id1469902956

Pod Logic on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1PtfPZDon9qB9yfWuQvlE9

JAG in Detroit Website: https://jagindetroit.com/