a16z Podcast: A Podcast About Podcasting

    It’s a podcast about podcasting! About the state of the industry, that is. Because a lot has changed since we recorded “a podcast about podcasts” about four years ago: podcasts, and interest in podcasting — listening, making, building — is growing. But by how much, exactly? (since various stats are constantly floating around and often out of context); and what do we even know (given that no one really knows what a download is)?

    And in fact, how do we define “podcasts”: Should the definition include audio books… why not music, too, then? So much of the podcasting ecosystem — from editing tools to the notion of a “CD phase” to music companies like Spotify doing more audio deals — stems from the legacy of the music industry. But other analogies — like that of the web and of blogging! — may be more useful for understanding the podcasting ecosystem, too. Heck, we even throw in an analogy of container ships (yes, the ocean kind!) to help out there.

    If we really think medium-native — and borrow from other mediums and entertainment models, like TV and streaming and even terrestrial radio — what may or may not apply to podcasting as experiments evolve? In this hallway-style jam of an episode, Nick Quah (writer and publisher of Hot Pod) joins a16z general partner Connie Chan (who covers consumer startups among other things) in conversation with Sonal Chokshi (who is also showrunner of the a16z Podcast) to talk about all this and more. We also discuss the obvious and the not-so-obvious aspects of monetization, discovery, search, platforms… and where are we in the cycles of industry fragmentation vs. consolidation, bundling vs. unbundling, more? And where might opportunities for entrepreneurs, toolmakers, and creators lie?


    The views expressed here are those of the individual AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“a16z”) personnel quoted and are not the views of a16z or its affiliates.

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