Wyd Grammys??

When Ariana Grande pulled out of Sunday's Grammys ceremony, the show's producer mischaracterized how the talks fell apart, and was subsequently roasted on Twitter. We'll still probably watch.

Spotify's Big Bet On Podcasts

On Wednesday, Spotify announced the acquisition of Gimlet Media, a podcast production studio, for a reported $230 million, plus plans to spend up to $500 million this year on other podcast acquisitions. For context, podcasts generated about $300 million in revenue in the US in 2017. Clearly, Spotify sees room for growth, and Spotify’s data on listener habits likely paint the same picture as a recent Edison report on US podcasting habits: 73 million people listen monthly and 48 million weekly.  Those are huge numbers, but podcasts are difficult to advertise on (any regular listener is familiar with the clumsy coupon code model in podcast ads). Spotify already figured out audio-based ad distribution, and they project podcasts will eventually make up 20% of listening time spent on the platform. Podcasts have another key advantage for Spotify – no record labels to pay.

Twitter Jokes

One of the more memorable Super Bowl ads this year, by T-Mobile, followed a funny text thread between a Lyft driver and their pickup. That premise was based on a viral tweet by @decentbirthday. Twitter users, as they do, jumped to condemn T-Mobile for joke stealing. T-Mobile, of course, paid for the joke, as both T-Mobile’s CEO and @decentbirthday quickly confirmed. The spot was a win for T-Mobile and just reward for @decentbirthday’s original content. Contrast T-Mobile to @fuckjerry, a viral meme account turned social agency Jerry Media, and former partner of Fyre Festival, who repost the best internet jokes to their 14 million Instagram followers without compensation or even proper attribution, sometimes going so far as to incorporate other people’s content into ads run on their account. The pent-up resentment burst into all-out war when a few comedians started an unfollow campaign with #FuckFuckJerry, which quickly went viral. Now would be a good time to check and make sure to unfollow @fuckjerry.

It's Facebook's Birthday! Send Them A Wish On Their Timeline

Fifteen years ago, Facebook launched at Harvard. Within two weeks, most of the student body was on it. Within months, the rest of the Ivy League followed by endless other colleges. Within four years, 100 million people used Facebook, four years later, 1 billion, today, 2 billion, all of us volunteering all sorts of personal information to accurately represent ourselves on the platform. Here’s a visualization of that growth to provide a sense of scale. Anniversaries tend to spark moments of reflection. On this anniversary, the overriding question is, “Has Facebook been good for the world?” You can argue both sides, but the best answer remains: we’ll see.




Cass McCombs
Meek Mill
Going Bad ft Drake
Gimlet Media
StartUp Season One
Ralph Ziman


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This WeekMatt Pennington