Quick Hits: Playlist promotion; podcast diversity; value perception

Brief news items and worthy reads from around the web:

More angles on playlist promotion: Billboard recently published an investigation into the role of playola in streaming services. In a follow-up article, the outlet gave some further examples of how the industry works to promote artists and their specific tracks on those platforms. Since placement on a successful playlist can mean lots of exposure (and thus more plays), it’s likely that these practices will continue.

A call for podcast diversity: Podcasting has never been bigger, but Wired reviewed one of the remaining obstacles for the audio format. While many of the top podcast producers successfully cross-promote each other, the article noted that many of those popular shows have similar host demographics (white and male). That means cross-promotion is furthering a more narrower set of perspectives than the audio format could support. “Podcasts are still a young medium, and with the ease of recording, networks have enormous potential for promoting otherwise unheard voices,” Wired said. “So let’s go for breadth of listenership, rather than depth.”

Streaming needs value perception: Forbes columnist Hugh McIntyre’s latest column addressed the the problem of perceived value in the music industry. He pointed to the proliferation of illegal sites for free downloads as setting an expectation among many listeners that music should always be free, an attitude that he says is further enforced by free, ad-supported access to today’s streaming services.

Anna Washenko