iHeart Media‘s purchase of design podcast 99% Invisible means that the canary in the coalmine just died.
In the past couple of years, two high-profile acquisitions of podcast companies have produced a whirlwind of think pieces from the media press. Forbes (12/4/20) prophesied that Amazon’s 2020 purchase of podcast publisher Wondery put the industry “on a Path to a Crossroads.” And a Poynter headline (2/7/19) proclaimed Spotify’s 2019 purchase of celebrated commercial podcast network Gimlet Media “could change podcasting’s future.”
But that future has already arrived. In a largely ignored story last year, Liberty Media, a conglomerate that already owns SiriusXM radio and the audio streaming and podcast platform Pandora, secured the right to a 50% stake in…