Podcasting Is Still a Growing Medium [Content Made Simple]

Issue #221: The peril of dating apps, facial recognition issues, and more.

Podcasting Is Still a Massive, Untapped Market Opportunity



For at least the past five years, most experts would tell you the podcast market was saturated. Everyone has a podcast, they’d say, and the window of opportunity to break in was closed. Podcasting technology had some room to grow, but an RSS feed and a Play button mostly did the trick. Apple, the company that put the ‘pod’ in ‘podcasts,’ even seemed to forget the genre existed. It updated its podcasting app about as often as Tim Cook praised Mark Zuckerberg.

But recently, and seemingly out of nowhere, some of the world’s largest tech companies have made podcasting a priority. Apple rediscovered its app, updating it with paid subscriptions and better discovery. Spotify built podcasting into its core product and signed deals for exclusive shows (the latest of which it announced this week). Facebook decided it wanted to be the home of podcast discovery. And Twitter waded in with audio tweets and Spaces.


There are a laughable number of podcasts out there, but this is a great article on why that isn’t a bad thing, and the market is still ripe!


The State of Social Media in 2021

Social media has changed a great deal in the past five years. We give our thoughts on the state of social media and try to decide whether cryptocurrency is overrated or underrated.


Link #1: Facebook debuts ‘Live Shopping Fridays’ featuring beauty, fashion and skincare brands

Facebook leaning more into the shopping space.

Facebook wants to whet consumers’ appetite for live streamed shopping with this week’s launch of “Live Shopping Fridays” event series, which will see larger brands live streaming beauty, skincare, and fashion content on a weekly basis. The event begins Friday, May 22nd and runs through mid-July, with streams from brands like Abercrombie and Fitch, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Sephora, Dermalogica, Alleyoop, and Zox.

The events are meant to encourage larger brands to try out live shopping as a medium, as well as generally raise awareness about live shopping on Facebook among consumers.

Link #2: Online Dating Apps Are Actually Kind of a Disaster

Important piece here.

When it came to talking about the harmful effects of social media on kids, I used to feel like the Will Smith character in I, Robot: “Why won’t anyone listen to me?” After I wrote a book about girls and social media in 2016, I got a lot of pushback from people accusing me of being a Luddite or raising a moral panic. That changed over time, once a deluge of studies sadly connected social media use in girls with rising rates of anxiety and depression, the loss of self-esteem, even suicide. Today, I don't think anyone would argue that social media is without significant dangers for children and teens.

Link #3: Should Facial Recognition Be Used in Policing?

Helpful writing from Jason Thacker on the problems with facial recognition.

Using facial recognition technology in policing—especially amid an environment of deep distrust—is unwise and dangerous at best, and deadly at worst. We need more public debate about both how we plan to use facial recognition, and the ethical issues at stake. There will come a time when a beneficial, vetted use of this technology can truly make the world a safer and more just place. But that time is not yet here, so patience and caution—for the sake of the neighbors we’re called to love—is necessary.


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