Quick Hits: Podcast advertising; more Infinite Dial recap; curation by chatbot

Brief news items and worthy reads from around the web:

“First, a Word From Our Celebrity” The New York Times ran a feature about podcast advertising, specifically the trend of hosts reading off the pitches over the course of a show. “One way or another, I’m involved in selling products,” said Joshua Malina, actor and co-host of The West Wing Weekly, describing the role of commercials in both podcasts and TV shows. “This is cutting out the middleman — I’m selling you soap. It’s unlike what I usually do, which is sell soap by acting like I’m the attorney general of the United States.”

More recap from the Infinite Dial: Westwood One’s Pierre Bouvard penned a blog post recapping his key takeaways from the Infinite Dial. He pointed to the changes for Pandora and Spotify, as well as the shifts for podcast audience, as the most notable media trends from the research report.

Brazilian startup exploring musical chatbots: We see lots of startups hoping to be a Spotify-killer or Pandora-killer. Most don’t get too far toward that goal, but often the upstarts do have some intriguing ideas. SuperPlayer, a streaming service based in Brazil, is one such example. The platform is using chatbots to deliver music recommendations to listeners and to help artists connect with their fans.

Anna Washenko