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Out of Scope Issue #127: When the Podcast Well Runs Dry
Plus: College essays and Burning Man
Happy Friday! This was a big week for news and an even bigger week for manhunts. But first…
📡ON OUR RADAR
September 5th marked the end of an era. That’s when NYC began enforcing a 2022 law requiring all short-term rental (STR) hosts to register and reside on-site when guests stay—oh, and with a maximum of two guests allowed. While some STR operators see an opportunity, many see a loss of income and livelihood. How does Airbnb regain the trust it once had? Airbnb, having built a fiercely loyal host community, now faces the challenge of rebuilding brand trust in a vastly changed market.
The Cut this week delivered an excellent profile of the activist Gisele Fetterman, wife of PA Senator John Fetterman. Between being a mother, stepping in for the occasional victory speech, and now fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a firefighter, she’s done it all. Fetterman stands (figuratively) shoulder-to-shoulder with her husband, the towering, popular lawmaker, and when she's not, she's likely putting out fires elsewhere.
Heavy rains found Burning Man attendees stranded in the Black Rock Desert, turning the utopian festival grounds into mud. The weather drama churned a rumor mill of a false Ebola outbreak. It all started on X when a verified user shared a fake screenshot from the CDC confirming the outbreak. In its past life, X would be the platform users would normally flock to for information about an occurrence like this. With verified accounts no longer needing actual verification and the amount of money it takes to buy ½-⅔ of a salad at most lunch spots in NYC, distinguishing misinformation becomes more challenging for users and news consumers.
💡ON OUR MINDS: When the Podcast Well Runs Dry
Spotify, in their quest to find stories that draw eyes (and dollars), may have found their most compelling tale yet: their own.
Despite investing substantial resources into a billion-dollar venture, Spotify's relentless pursuit of retaining subscribers and advertisers has yet to yield the anticipated results.
The lead-up looked promising - a mostly young, wealthy, tech savvy audience spurred the need to snag content from the Obamas, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and other household names.
But, by and large, these multimillion-dollar content ventures haven't produced the results Spotify had hoped for. This has led them to reshape how they communicate expectations with talent (ensuring revenue from the podcast covers their investment) and how they engage their audience with content.
While Spotify expects profitability for its podcast business in 2024, it will be interesting to see how the brand communicates a cohesive vision amidst the revamps and upheavals of the past few years.
In case you missed these reads.
As useful as AI might be, it won’t be able to write a solid college essay for you anytime soon, according to a New York Times investigation.
In a heavyweight showdown between Disney and Charter Communications (Spectrum TV), it looks like 14.7 million Americans might be the sole losers.
United Airlines flights resumed, after a nationwide computer issue led to an equally nationwide groundstop, highlighting the critical need for effective airline communications during crises.
Thanks for reading,
This week’s newsletter is brought to you by the ballad of Tinder's Tabi thief.