Quick Hits: Missing kidcasts; Kanye might be a genius; data is good for musicians

Brief news items and worthy reads from around the web:

Were are the kidcasts?: We’ve asked the same question: Why aren’t there more podcasts targeted to teens and younger? Is there a perception that video has grabbed the hearts, minds, and imaginations of young people, and audio has no room to squeeze in? Parents would probably feed trusted, kid-friendly audio content into their kids’ ears — that’s what Gimlet’s Matt Lieber thinks in this Atlantic column on the subject. “One argument we’ve heard is that kids won’t sit through podcasts if they’re not being engaged visually,” said Molly Bloom, who does produce a kidcast called Brains On! “But kids are used to hearing stories all the time.”

Kanye West knows exactly what he’s doing, contrary to appearance: Author Ian Kar characterizes the release of Kanye’s controversial album, The Life of Pablo, a “stuttering rollout.” First exclusive “forever” on Tidal, then unexpectedly released to other music services, the product liquidly undergoing changes and revisions every day, making it less like an album and more like bulletins from the recording studio. This Quartz piece spills some numbers: “West seems to have taken over Apple Music: He has 10 of the top 15 songs, seven of the top 10, and three of the top five. And The Life of Pablo is the number one album on Apple.,” and calls the release plan “genius.” The success has also lifted the metrics of artists whom Kanye sampled on Pablo. Conclusion? The seemingly haphazard process might be a well-executed strategy.

1st-party data in Spotify: Business Insider talked to Jim Lucchese, CEO of Spotify-owned The Echo Nest. Lucchesi’s company has long been known as a music intelligence layer that once was used by most of the major music services. As a wholly-owned operation in Spotify, the data machinery isturned both toward the music, and toward user behavior. The result can be of benefit to everyone in the value chain — users, advertisers, and musicians. that last group is the focus of this article. In it, Jim Lucchesi identifies fan categories — “Streakers” (listening to a band every day for a week), “Loyalists” (people who listen to one artist more than any other over time), and “Regulars” (listening to an artist or band a majority of days in a month. More here.


Brad Hill