RAIN Notes: Friday, May 24

Jottings of note:



At The Podcast Show in London this week, Sounds Profitable conducted a series of Q&A interviews with representatives of companies attending the event. Eighteen of these leaders put on a collar mic and answered questions in micro-interviews. The production of this feature is streamlined by presenting the questions in text, so the focus is squarely on expertise from the guests. Those guests include Susan Leland and Megan Perry (NPR), Cameron Hendrix (Magellan AI), Cathy Csukas (AdLarge Media), Donald Albright (Tenderfoot TV), Matt Kellog (Soundstack), Chris Bruderle and Matt Shapo (IAB), Gary Coichy (Pod Digital Media), Jed Baker (Starglow Media), Pat LaCroix (Seekr), Pierre Bouvard (Cumulus Media & Westwood One). Start watching HERE.



In a Billboard column, music consultant Adam Parness accuses Spotify of a “blatantly dishonest scheme to deny songwriters their fair share.” The argument is over Spotify’s recent reclassification of its subscription services that could reduce the streaming giant’s revenue-share agreement with songwriters and publishers. Parness estimates a drop from 15.2% to 12%, depending on various factors. He cites one estimate of losses to creators of $15-million a year. “Spotify has an unfortunate and documented history of punching down at songwriters and music publishers,” he says. The reasoning is complex and detailed, and characterized by Parness as a “genuine and respectful appeal.” READ


Up North Ranking

Triton Digital has released its Canada Podcast Ranker for April. The list includes shows originating from anywhere, and also breaks out success stories among podcasts originating in Canada. They include Front Burner and the Current, the top two shows, both produced by CBC/Radio-Canada. Overall, the top-ranked podcast is Dateline NBC from NBCUniversal News Group. The top network represented on this list is SiriusXM Podcast Network. Peruse the ranker HERE. (As always with Triton, it is delightfully interactive and sortable.)


Starbucks P1

Fred Jacobs (Jacobs Media) calls himself a “Starbucks P1” — a designation we can relate to. He claims that 80 percent of his daily blog posts have been composed in his local Starbucks. We are impressed. Then he compares the coffee giant’s business problems (“a highly challenged environment”) to radio financials issued in recent quarterly reports. Extensive quoting of Starbucks ex-CEO Howard Schultz, who recently diagnosed problems with the Starbucks operation spells out a potential lesson for American radio. He says a bad quarter is “virtually inevitable, even at the best managed, fastest growing firms.” Solution? One of them is, “maniacal focus on the customer experience.” And this: “Focus on being experiential, not transactional.” Jacobs dives deep into Schultz’s business principles and connects them to radio. READ

May 24, 2024

Brad Hill