Spotify 2021 Wrapped: Launch, crash, technical elitism, and no solution for disappointed users

After weeks of anticipatory promotion, Spotify unleashed its annual “Wrapped” feature yesterday. Unfortunately, the package is available only in the mobile app, and the video presentation requires memory and operating system resources that are unavailable on some phones. The result is a wave of social media complaints that the Wrapped experience crashes quickly, and closes the Spotify app. We present Spotify’s tech requirements, without providing a universally accessible format. We also review the Wrapped personalized playlists, which are quite enjoyable and don’t have special requirements. Continue Reading


Earned media agency Critical Mention signs Podchaser analytics

In a sign of podcasting’s influencer power, Critical Mention — an agency which tracks and measures earned media (unpaid publicity) — has announced a partnership with podcast database platform Podchaser. The arrangement will allow Critical Mention agency clients to track and measure brand mentions across podcasting, as Podchaser’s internal dataset is built internally into Critical Mention’s toolset. Continue Reading


Veritonic adds brand lift measurement to its AI stack; podcast case study

Veritonic has sent around notice of an addition to the analytics company’s audio advertising effectiveness reporting — it is brand lift, the recollection and perception of a brand and its messaging. Launch partner Katz Digital Audio used the new technology in a podcast campaign purchased by a U.S. state to increase Covid vaccination favorability. Click through for the case study. Continue Reading


Cirrus Streaming introduces complete podcasting toolkit; special features for broadcasters

Cirrus Streaming, which provides many kinds of enterprise streaming services from cloud streaming to Alexa service, has built and released a comprehensive podcasting solution. The single-dashboard solution suite includes hosting, editing, monetization, and distribution. There are special instant-podcast tools for broadcasters.
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Audacy acquires a portion of WideOrbit for streaming audio tech

Audacy, the largest commercial radio group in the U.S. and a major podcast network, has acquired WO Streaming — the digital audio streaming technology of media tech solutions company WideOrbit. This action probably (but without confirmation at this time) explains the $45-million mystery investment announced last week by Audacy. Click through for details and history. Continue Reading


Smart speaker market grows double digits YoY; Apple gains; Amazon leads

The global smart speaker market is surging to record levels, according to research firm Strategy Analytics, which frames its recent report as a “market recovery.” The data are from Q2 of this year, compared to Q2 2020, and represent the highest-ever Q2 growth. Click for an illustrative table which tells the whole story. Continue Reading