Podnews and Podcast Business Journal Merger: What Does This Mean for BIPOC Voices?
A BPA Insider Op-Ed
This Post Is Sponsored By Press N Sow
Welcome to Press N' Sow – your ultimate Custom Retail Design and Promotional Products paradise! Are you ready to level up your brand game? Look no further! We're experts in screen printing, embroidery, and direct-to-garment printing, catering to all your promotional needs! » Grab your Podcaster Deal Today! - Get 24 Shirts for $240 Contact Sylvia Today! «
Note: This is an editorial piece presented by Corey Gumbs, BPA & BlkPodNews Founder
Last week in an announcement, Podnews, a leading podcast industry newsletter, acquired Podcast Business Journal, another well-regarded newsletter in the podcasting space. The move has sparked a variety of opinions, with some praising the decision and others expressing concerns.
After some thought, I decided to briefly explore my thoughts on the pros and cons of this acquisition, focusing on its implications for the already limited independent media sources in the podcasting industry and its possible impact on the diversity of BIPOC voices.
Being concerned about changes in the podcast industry and what it will mean for BIPOC creators is and will always be valid concern for us, and truthfully, is not without merit.
The industry still struggles to promote BIPOC voices (especially those whom are independent), fulfil promises, and address the discrepancies in how BIPOC content creators are paid in relation to our White counterparts.
Many of us are getting tired of expressing how exhausting these repetitive conversations have become.
BlkPodNews.com was created not only the need to inform about the Black Podcasters Association, but also from the motivation of “fuck them and fuck this” and that it is imperative for us to control our own narratives and content.
That the only way to get the respect we deserve as contributors to this industry is to take it… to set our own rules.
Here we are.
This post is not an attack on the merger or the entities themselves, as I do not have any relationships with them nor privy to their inner workings.
These are my my views and feelings from my own experiences.
I want to also acknowledge that Podnews does have a policy about covering diverse voices, you can read it on their submissions and disclosures page. You can read it for yourself and make your own observations.
Despite all of these feelings, I still want to try my best to look at both the pros and cons of this recent acquisition.
Note: The impact and outcomes of this acquisition will take some time to develop and understand. So there is plenty of room for my opinions to be wrong, but the inverse of this also applies.
Synergy and collaboration: Together, these two reputable sources in the podcasting industry, could lead to better collaboration, synergies, and information sharing. Their combined resources could potentially provide a more comprehensive and insightful source of podcast industry news.
Expansion of content offerings: Podcast Business Journal will transition into a weekly newsletter, that will offer “in-depth interviews with podcast business leaders, and will carry an overview of the week’s podcast business headlines and news”, providing readers with valuable insights and perspectives. This change may contribute to better opportunities of creating more well-rounded understanding of the industry.
Spurring growth of alternative publications and BIPOC-focused news: The acquisition of Podcast Business Journal by Podnews should motivate new or existing publications to enter the market, seeking to fill any perceived gaps or cater to niche audiences. Its proof we need to create opportunities for BIPOC-focused news sources and more diverse representation in the podcast industry. Creating our own platforms will allow for unique perspectives, while driving greater diversity and inclusivity in the podcasting landscape.
Reduction in media sources: The reduction of the number of major/independent sources of news and information for podcasters, may lead to a lack of diverse opinions and viewpoints. This consolidation could result in a more homogeneous narrative, potentially creating a biased, slanted view of news.
Potential impact on diversity and BIPOC voices: The underrepresentation of BIPOC voices in the podcasting industry is already a concern. The acquisition might inadvertently contribute to the problem if the combined entity does not prioritize promoting diversity and amplifying BIPOC voices, especially as more BIPOC markets are targeted for growth by the industry.
Market dominance: History has given us many reasons to be cautions when we see “consolidation” within an industry. The joining of these two major sources of podcast news for most of the industry into a single entity can limit competition, perspectives, hinder innovation, and potentially lead to biases (See cons #1).
As noted above, only time can tell us what this will mean for the podcast industry. However, as the podcast industry continues to evolve, the consolidation of major news sources like Podnews and Podcast Business Journal underscores the need for a diverse range of alternative publications to ensure a balanced representation of voices, opinions, and perspectives.
I want you to remember this, there will ALWAYS BE opportunities for new or existing media outlets, including those that focus on BIPOC representation, to step in and address the gaps in the market, ultimately fostering a more inclusive and dynamic podcast landscape.
I encourage each one of us to be vigilant in exploring these opportunities, and take charge for ourselves… for us not to wait for someone else to do it.
For the podcast industry to thrive, it is crucial that all current and upcoming news sources not only adopt policies but to include BIPOC advisors in helping to shape those policies, so that they ensure fair representation of BIPOC voices as well as prioritize diversity in their content. By doing so, they can help to create a stronger, collaborative ecosystem that supports and amplifies underrepresented voices.
Lastly, it is important to recognize that the podcast industry is not immune to the same accusations of media and corporate biases that have plagued other industries. It is a cautionary tale that when consolidation of news sources happen, this can lead to biased agendas and the slow eroding of journalistic integrity and opportunities for inaccurate information to their readers.
Please feel free to comment below your views, feelings, and opinions on this piece. I always welcome and encourage dialogue on these types of conversations.
Corey Gumbs, The Black Podcasters Association & Blk Pod News Founder
Great post! It's a very important conversation and think touches on a broader issue which is understanding the podcasting eco-system from a broader perspective.