Empty clubhouse? Is Clubhouse, the shiny new jewel in the audio world, losing a little of its sheen? Along with no shortage of controversies – c'mon it’s live, what did you expect! – it has been reported that user numbers have fallen off a cliff from a high of 9.6 million downloads to 900,000 in April. Perhaps unrelated, the previously iPhone-only app has now moved to Android and the company has hired Aarthi Ramamurthy, formerly of Facebook; Kelly Stoetzel, formerly of TED; and Justin Uberti, formerly of Google, amid talk that it will ditch its invite-only status.
Still haven't had their fill: Advertisers remain smitten with podcasts – and that doesn’t look likely to change any time soon. Ad revenue grew 19% to $842million last year according to figures from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). The report prepared by PriceWaterhouseCoopers predicts that spending will exceed $1billion this year and reach $2billion in 2022. "Podcasting will grow in the next two years by leaps and bounds," said Eric John, Vice President, IAB Media Center. "Podcast listeners have shown that – even when working from home – podcasts are a preferred medium. Advertisers are benefiting from new technologies developed to serve these marketplaces, to make podcast advertising more dynamic and measurable than ever before." Host-read adverts continue to be the most appealing but podcasting platforms investing in advertising technology are opening up the range of options available and increasing the appeal of the medium to advertisers.
Feeling the crunch: Apple pushed back the launch of its paid subscriptions podcasting service from May to June. The company says it has been getting hundreds of submissions every day from users wanting to use the new functionality but wants to ensure it is "delivering the best experience to creators and listeners," which is probably the closest it will come to admitting there have been some teething troubles.
Discovery channel: Podchaser is attempting to provide an answer to the thorny issue of podcast discoverability. It has released a new API “specifically to power podcast discovery”. The company is allowing developers to tap into its database listing “all podcasts past present and future” to build “powerful new products”.