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Quick Hits: Podcast review bombs, Audible deals, and Ximalaya growth

Brief news items and worthy reads from around the web:

Podcast review bombs at Apple: Apple is still holding on to its crown as the top source for podcast listening, but its system has posed some challenges to the sector. Most recently, The Verge explored review bombs. The practice of a community leaving negative reviews in response to a creator’s actions or personal views isn’t a new one in an online culture often fueled by outrage, but it’s causing very real problems for podcasters who need positive ratings in order to stand out in Apple’s difficult discovery system.

Audible landing blockbuster development deals: Audible has been tapping into the wave of interest in original audio content. The Amazon-owned company has been expanding beyond audiobooks and is inking deals with major Hollywood talents for projects centered on audio storytelling. “We’re definitely interested in working with more Hollywood talent, knowing that there’s a lot of amazing creative talent there,” Rachel Ghiazza, Audible’s senior vice president of content acquisition and development, told Variety. “We’re really eager to see what they can do in the format. It’s definitely an area we’re investing more in.”

Growth for Ximalaya and China’s podcast audience: Ximalaya is a major podcast outlet in China and a lead investor in the Himalaya podcast app that recently launched stateside. While Himalaya’s business model has been drawing attention, Ximalaya is doing well in its home market. The company recently announced that it has about 500 million users in China, and the average user is spending a boggling 150 minutes a day in the app.

Anna Washenko

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