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Episode 554 of 639

Podcasting and the Future of Audio

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station description The a16z Podcast discusses tech and culture trends...
a16z Podcast
Duration: 01:06:51
This podcast (first recorded in 2019, now being rerun) -- is a podcast about podcasting: But it's really all about audio. A lot's changed... and a lot hasn't. How do we define "podcasts"; how does the feeds ecosystem currently work; what content and entertainment experiments might change how people
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This podcast (first recorded in 2019, now being rerun) -- is a podcast about podcasting: But it's really all about audio. A lot's changed... and a lot hasn't. How do we define "podcasts"; how does the feeds ecosystem currently work; what content and entertainment experiments might change how people not just consume, but create, in the medium? Not to mention monetize, discover, etc... Nick Quah, writer and publisher of Hot Pod (also at Vulture) joins a16z general partner Connie Chan -- and editor in chief (and showrunner of the a16z Podcast) Sonal Chokshi -- to talk about all this and more in this hallway-style jam.  The views expressed here are those of the individual AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“a16z”) personnel quoted and are not the views of a16z or its affiliates.This content is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities or digital assets are for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investor or prospective investor, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by a16z. (An offering to invest in an a16z fund will be made only by the private placement memorandum, subscription agreement, and other relevant documentation of any such fund which should be read in their entirety.)Past performance is not indicative of future results. Any charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Please see https://a16z.com/disclosures for additional important information.
Snippet Transcripts
first time because we have such an intimacy. Ah, slipperiness a connection with podcasting. That's visceral, That's I I mean, personally, I think it's unlike any other medium I've ever seen. I feel like I found my voice on this medium quite honestly. But so I do think that we have an opportunity here because we're so stuck on the legacy. And in fact, this goes back to something we started with, which is what is the definition of a podcast. So I think the thing to revisit here is that the underlying pipes and infrastructure and I know people don't expect this when we're talking about an episode about podcasts. But I think it's really important because it informs this conversation. It is RSS feeds. It is literally an ecosystem of pipes that are connected by feeds, talking to feed, talking to feeds. This is both a structural huge limitation, causing major fragmentation in the industry. Major limitations on what's possible with what creators could do to even connect the dots because the unit of analysis is limit to what you can actually extend in a feed and that has certain trade offs to it. And this actually reminds me of container ships like physical large shipping ships like Merck, etcetera you see in the ocean. And one of the novel things about container ships is about what they did to creating trade across the world and because they're multimodal, they go from airplane to ship tow truck tow yard. They allowed so much collaboration and connection it around the world. That's what feeds air doing for the podcast ecosystem. What's missing, however, is just like a container ship containers or rectangular boxes that are very limited, what you can actually fit into them. And people therefore need toe fit the shape of their goods to fit in those boxes. And the entire ecosystem for physical container ships is architected around, being able to lift things out, and in That is the same thing that's happening in podcasting right now. The containers air connecting all of us and this feed ecosystem, But they're also dictating what information travels where and in what form. And I just want to point this out, no matter how wonky it seems, because that structure about dictates so much of what the current batch of tools can and can't do when it comes to analytics a discovery and more all across the board. And it's where platforms and tool builders have a huge opportunity to cleverly address or even bypass those containers. Once we get past this phase of where the podcasting industry is structurally right now, I just think we are in such early early early innings of what podcasts can be. Because if you think about it again, this is not using the technical definition of a podcast, but using this cultural definition of like, audio recorded content, right? Most of the time, you're consuming that kind of content on an Internet enabled device. It's not like you're downloading it onto your computer and then like using a USB stick to transfer it to your phone, right? And so, therefore, like we are not monetizing this stuff or even creating features on top of it that are Internet native. There's just so much stuff we're not even tapping into. And it's such a shame because we're consuming these things on Internet enabled devices. And yet we're using the same business model as televisions, where you can't even do anything which you, which is not meant to be interactive, and there's like right now very little interaction with the podcast, which I think it's such a shame. So I wanna ask you guys kind of lightning round style on a couple of meat, things that air artifacts of the existing world of content and how we think they're going to play out with podcasting. So let's just you should give your take because you have more expertise on podcast than anyone in this. All right, I forget to do that as the host sometimes. Okay, so I want
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