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Max, the family-friendly rebrand of HBO Max, released a trailer for upcoming six-part series SmartLess: On the Road. The docuseries will go behind the scenes of the popular (if toothless) podcast hosted by Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Sean Hayes. And it’s shot in black and white, so you know they mean business.
Pandora is involved in a messy suit with comedians like Lewis Black and George Lopez in which the company is accused of streaming comedy albums without paying publishing royalties. The streamer struck back, claiming the comedians (and the rights management organizations that represent them) were attempting to form a “cartel.” This week, a federal judge dismissed Pandora’s countersuit, potentially paving the way for the comedians to get millions in back-royalties.
We’re still waiting for podcasts to drop on YouTube Music, but the streamer continues to take baby steps to support podcasts on the main platform. Now that you can designate playlists as podcasts on YouTube, creators can also file them under an official Podcasts tab on their channels, reports 9to5Google.
NPR is in the midst of deep layoffs amid a $30 million budget shortfall, and a number of its podcasts are getting the axe. Invisibilia, Rough Translation, Louder Than a Riot, and Everyone and Their Mom are stopping production, though network spokesperson Isabel Lara said that “we are exploring ways this work can continue in other forms.”
In the wake of the Joe Rogan controversy last year, Spotify tried to smooth things over with a $100 million diversity fund. According to Bloomberg, the company has fulfilled less than 10% of that commitment so far.
After the company laid off 8 percent of staff earlier this week, SiriusXM has named Team Coco president Adam Sachs as its new head of podcasting and entertainment. I have more on the appointment and Sachs’ programming philosophy in today’s Hot Pod Insider.
And CEO Daniel Ek is already teasing the news: a “completely redesigned” home feed. Maybe this is the rumored TikTok-style approach we keep hearing about.
The event kicks off at 1PM ET / 10AM PT. We’ll be reporting back with all the news.
You want to say something really insightful, and you want to get people excited for the next episode of your podcast. You do not, generally, want to be dealing with what these two dealt with. I’m just impressed they got the audio they needed.
The company has announced its next “Stream On” event, where it plans to share updates on “creator tools, features, and programming.” The last event, in 2021, was used to lay out Spotify’s business vision in podcasting, music, and other arenas.
As my colleague Chris Welch reminded me, “This is where they announced HiFi!” Here’s hoping it actually arrives this time.