There have been some significant developments in the world of podcasts this week. Spotify is shutting down its live audio app, as live audio continues to see a decline in popularity after peaking during the pandemic. While Clubhouse, which was one of the first live audio platforms, is still struggling, other companies like Facebook and Reddit have already abandoned their pursuit of it. Twitter Spaces is the most successful live audio product currently, but it’s on shaky ground since Elon Musk took over and threw out the idea of incorporating podcasts.
The Obamas’ audio production company, Higher Ground, has signed a deal with Acast for ad and distribution rights. This is a significant move for the former First couple, who reportedly were unhappy with Spotify’s exclusivity model for podcasts. With the new arrangement, advertisers can now buy spots through Acast on Higher Ground’s podcasts, including Renegades: Born in the USA, The Sum Of Us, and The Big Hit Show with Alex Pappademas. Acast will also handle ads and distribution for Higher Ground’s current and future projects produced originally for Audible.
Finally, iHeartMedia’s digital audio group has signed On Purpose with Jay Shetty, a popular wellness podcast hosted by author and life coach Jay Shetty. Unlike some other audio giants that play the exclusivity game, iHeart does not try to corral people into their app. Rather, they distribute their shows as widely as possible to attract more listeners. With iHeart’s massive broadcast network, Jay Shetty may find it appealing to reach even more audiences.