Brief news items and worthy reads from around the web:
Deezer CEO interview: Hans-Holger Albrecht spoke with Music Ally about the latest plans and strategies for Deezer. He shared how the streaming service’s revenue streams have changed dramatically since he joined the company in 2014, with a shift away from local bundle deals with telecoms in favor of international growth and self-paying subscribers. “You have to approach these kinds of markets and regions with a certain degree of humbleness,” he said of the recent investment bringing Deezer into the Middle East and North Africa. “You need to do this country by country, be very local, and try to adapt to local needs.”
The year of the DIY podcast network: Eric Nuzum, a former Audible and NPR exec, has penned an article about podcast networks and marketing. He anticipates seeing many more independent and do-it-yourself podcast networks as more people get involved in the audio format. “As the networks grow, they have less in common with and have less to offer almost every new podcaster,” he writes. Nuzum goes on to explore the role of marketing at a network versus for an unaffiliated show.
“Audio is going to be titanically important”: In the a16z podcast (produced by the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz), legendary speculator Marc Andreessen holds forth on the importance of audio — “titanically” important in his words. Part of his emphasis is based on Apple’s air pods, the lightweight Bluetooth ear buds. He imagines 12-hour shift workers listening to podcasts all day with them. TechCrunch quotes from the podcast: “The really big one right now is audio. Audio is on the rise just generally and particularly with Apple and the AirPods, which has been an absolute home run [for Apple]. It’s one of the most deceptive things because it’s just like this little product, and how important could it be? And I think it’s tremendously important, because it’s basically a voice in your ear any time you want.”
Spotify’s plan to beat Apple: An interesting and well sourced article in Financial Times boils it down as: “Sign the rest of the world.” You might think “rest of the world” means countries outside the U.S. But the piece is mostly about Spotify’s immense, and arguably accidental, success in Latin America. with a tiny office and what Spotify execs describe as nearly zero effort, the service has attained dominance in several South American countries. Did you know that Adele’s number one market is Mexico City?