Facebook is making headlines with its new decision of shutting down its podcasts. Facebook aims to pull out of the podcast business effective from June 3rd, 2022.
According to reliable sources, Meta Platforms Inc, Facebook has already sent its partners a message regarding this discontinuation of the podcast business. Moreover, it also allowed its podcast partners the liberty to inform their listeners about the same.
Meta Platform Inc. Facebook pursues to discontinue short-form audio product Soundbites and even remove its Central Audio Hub. And as per recent reports, the Live Audio Rooms will integrate with Facebook Live. That means social media users can go live with just audio or else with both audio and video.
Facebook's Podcast Services Competes Hard With Other Audio Offerings
Meta spokesperson Adelaide Coronado points out that shutting down the podcast service would allow the company to simplify its audio offerings. He adds, "After a year of learning and iterating on audio-first experiences, we’ve decided to simplify our suite of audio tools on Facebook. We’re constantly evaluating the features we offer so we can focus on the most meaningful experiences."
Since the podcast industry has grown really popular, companies like Spotify and Clubhouse are the real threat to Facebook, especially in the podcast business. Not only Spotify has hit audio shows in its kitty but it also acquired some companies. Interestingly, Amazon.com also acquired the podcast network Wondery along with a hosting platform. Besides Spotify and Amazon, Clubhouse, the live audio platform, was worth nearly $4B last year. And almost every other tech company wished to own such a product.
Meta's entrance into this podcast business turned out more like an attempt to stand out in this competition. So, its entry was quite predictable. However, sustenance seemed difficult. So, Meta announced its exit just a year after. And now it's focusing more on the Reels feature to compete with TikTok. Its earning report highlights that Reels constitute 20% of the time spent on Instagram. And this has helped Facebook to get a rebound after its stocks tumbled in February.
Facebook's Message to Podcast Partners
When Meta announced its exit from the podcast business, it clearly indicated its interest in Reels. And this claim is quite evident in the email sent to its partners about shutting down the podcast service, as it urged them to indulge more in short videos/Reels.
The email sent to partners states, "Your voices and stories have inspired us and we remain committed to helping you reach and grow your audiences. For example, we are seeing podcast-related content being developed in video, Reels, and Live to engage and grow audiences." So, it is clear that Facebook has definitely changed its course of action to attract more users through Reels.
Despite Facebook's exit from the podcast business, Clubhouse and Twitter Space continue to dominate the live audio market. Both the companies strive to introduce more interesting features. Even though the podcast or live audio services were quite popular during the pandemic times but this buzz is quite fading away. In this post-pandemic phase, more and more companies are switching to short video formats like Reels. So, it's quite ambiguous to position the podcast business now. Nevertheless, we hope that Facebook continues its Reels short-form videos to bring in more interesting stuff.
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