Radio & Podcast News In Brief – Spotify acquiring Gimlet Media and Anchor

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Spotify has announced its acquiring podcast companies Gimlet Media and Anchor as part an aggressive push to position the streaming service as both the premier producer of podcasts and leading platform for podcast creators. Gimlet, is a Brooklyn-based independent producer of podcast content like series Reply All and Homecoming, founded in 2014, in addition to its creative agency which produces branded podcast content for the likes of Mastercard and Gatorade, and its film and television arm which develops its content for the big and small screen. Anchor is a free, end-to-end podcast creation, publishing and monetization platform. The terms of the transactions, expected to close in the first quarter, have not been disclosed. In its most recent earnings announcement, Spotify indicated it plans to spend up to $500 million on acquisitions in 2019, with CEO Daniel Ek affirming the streaming giant’s mission to expand from just being about music to being the go-to destination for all audio. In a blog post Wednesday, Ek expanded on the company’s “Audio-First” strategy writing that podcast listeners spend twice as much time on the platform than other users. Read the full story here.

The CRTC has launched consultations on the radio market capacity of Vernon, BC, Grande Prairie, AB, and Scarborough, ON. In Scarborough, International Harvesters for Christ Evangelistic Association has applied for a licence for an FM Christian music station. Vista has applied for a new station licence in Grande Prairie, while the Vernon Community Radio Society is proposing a 1,000 watt community station to serve Greater Vernon. The deadline for receipt of interventions is Mar. 1.

The CRTC has denied an application by community station CKAR-FM Huntsville, ON, for a retransmitter that would boost its signal in Bracebridge, Gravenhurst and Muskoka Lakes, saying the area not part of its licensed market. The commission had concerns that doing so would negatively impact the two stations currently serving Bracebridge – CFBG-FM (Vista) and CJMU-FM (Bayshore).

Peach City Community Radio Society in Penticton, BC has started broadcasting Peach City Radio at 92.9 FM (CFUZ-FM). The station’s studio is located in the Okanagan community’s Cannery Trade Centre. Volunteers have been operating the not-for-profit station as an online stream since 2014, which will continue in tandem with the FM signal.

JAZZ.FM91 is appealing to its donor members for proxies to defeat Brian Hemming and the Save Jazz.FM91 Group, who have successfully requisitioned a general meeting of members in an effort to replace the station’s current board of directors. The requisition, signed by over 220 eligible voting members of the Toronto not-for-profit station, means JAZZ.FM91 is obligated to call and hold a general meeting within 21 days. Ten alternate nominees are being proposed, including Pat Holiday, former VP of Programming for Astral.

Audience Insights Inc. conducted a late January survey that indicates holiday gift-giving spiked smart speakers penetration in Canada to 19 per cent. That’s up from just four per cent in a little over a year. The survey indicates Google-brand speakers were, by far, the most commonly-received smart speaker gift, while low price points for smaller smart speakers made mini options three times as likely to be received as a gift. The email survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,512 Canadians was collected between Jan. 21-22. Read the full story here.

The Allan Waters Young Broadcaster of the Year Award in Honour of Steve Young, recognizing outstanding young broadcasters, is open for nominations. Awarded at Canadian Music Week in May, the winning recipient’s travel, accommodation and registration are covered. Anyone working in the industry can nominate any worthy broadcaster so long as they: are under the age of 30 as of Apr.19, 2019; work in programming, on-air, programming, promotion, production or creative; are a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant; and have made a significant, documented contribution to the community they serve, the radio industry or their craft. The deadline for entries is Monday, Mar. 11 at midnight EST time. Click here to access the submission form.


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