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  • Taylor Swift and the music industry's next $20
    I have this theory that music is usually about five years ahead of the rest of media in terms of its relationship to tech—whether that’s new formats based on new tech, like vinyl to CDs; new business models like streaming; or simply being disrupted by new kinds of artists who use new forms of promotion like TikTok in unexpected ways. I’ve always thought that if you can wrap your head around what’s happening to the music industry, you can pretty much see the future of TV or movies or the news or whatever it is, because the music industry just moves that fast. I was talking about this with my friend Charlie Harding, the co-host of Switched on Pop, and he said that he thinks the upcoming Taylor Swift Eras Tour is itself the end of an era in music — that the age of cheap streaming services is coming to an inevitable conclusion, and that something has to change in order for industry to sustain itself in the future.  So, in this episode, Charlie and I walk through a brief history of the music business—which, despite its ever-changing business models, is permanently trying to find something to sell you for $20 whether that’s the music itself, all-access streaming, merch, and even NFTs—using Taylor Swift as a case study. We map her big moves against the business of music over time to try to see if this really is the end of an era. And maybe more importantly, to try and figure out if the music industry can sustain and support artists who are not Taylor Swift, because streaming, all by itself, definitely cannot. Links: Switched on Pop Charlie’s first appearance on Decoder: Good 4 who? How music copyright has gone too far - The Verge  Why Amazon VP Steve Boom just made the entire music catalog free with Prime - The Verge  Spotify launching in the US at 8AM tomorrow, open to all pre-registered users - The Verge Metallica sued Napster 15 years ago today - The Verge Taylor Swift calls Apple Music free trial 'shocking, disappointing' in open letter - The Verge Taylor Swift versus Ticketmaster: the latest on the tour that may break up a giant - The Verge The DOJ has reportedly opened an antitrust investigation into Ticketmaster's owner      How fandom built the internet as we know it, with Kaitlyn Tiffany - The Verge Steve Aoki on the blockchain, the metaverse, and the business of music - The Verge Transcript: https://www.theverge.com/e/23322720 Credits: Decoder is a production of The Verge, and part of the Vox Media Podcast Network. Today’s episode was produced by Hadley Robinson, Creighton DeSimone and Jackie McDermott and it was edited by Callie Wright. The Decoder music is by Breakmaster Cylinder. Our Editorial Director is Brooke Minters. Our Sr. Audio Director is Andrew Marino and our Executive Producer is Eleanor Donovan.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
    1/17/2023
    1:23:33
  • Breaking free from big tech and big content with authors Cory Doctorow and Rebecca Giblin
    Last year I spoke with Cory Doctorow and Rebecca Giblin about their new book, Chokepoint Capitalism. It’s a book about artists and technology and platforms, and how different kinds of distribution and creations tools create chokepoints for different companies to capture value that might otherwise go to artists and creators.. In other words, it’s a lot of Decoder stuff. As we were prepping this episode, the Decoder team realized it previews a lot of things we’re going to talk about in 2023: antitrust law. Ticketmaster. Spotify and the future of the music industry. Amazon and the book industry. And, of course, being a creator trying to make a living on all these platforms. This episode is longer than normal, but it was a really great conversation and I'm glad we are sharing it with you. Links: What is Mixer, Ninja’s new exclusive streaming home? Ninja returns to Twitch This was Sony Music's contract with Spotify Transcript: https://www.theverge.com/e/23311918 Credits: Decoder is a production of The Verge and part of the Vox Media Podcast Network. It was produced by Creighton DeSimone and Jackie McDermott and it was edited by Callie Wright.  The Decoder music is by Breakmaster Cylinder. Our Editorial Director is Brooke Minters and our Executive Director is Eleanor Donovan. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
    1/10/2023
    1:30:20
  • ‘We might be wrong, but we’re not confused’: how Tomer Cohen, chief product officer at LinkedIn, figures out what works best
    Tomer Cohen is the chief product officer at LinkedIn, and actually, I talked to Tomer twice. Here’s a little secret about Decoder: we do the interviews, and then often, the guest and I just keep chatting for a while. So after my first interview with Tomer, we were hanging out, talking about the perpetual battles between engineers, product managers, and designers. And he said something that completely jumped out at me: “We might be wrong, but we’re not fucking confused.”  This isn’t a totally new line — it’s been floating around for a while, you can Google it — but you know I love an f-bomb, and honestly, it’s one of the most simple and clarifying things a manager can say, especially when managing across large teams. So I asked Tomer to come back and really dig in on that idea. On top of that, we’ve been talking a lot about running social networks lately, and LinkedIn is a fascinating social network because it doesn’t have the same engagement-based success metrics as other social platforms like Twitter and Instagram. Tomer doesn’t care about time spent on LinkedIn; the platform is designed to be successful when people get new jobs. That means his ideas for features and user experiences are just really different. Links: Employment Situation Summary (Jobs Report) December Workforce Report 2022 (LinkedIn) Vision to values flowchart ChatGPT proves AI is finally mainstream — and things are only going to get weirder LinkedIn buys California-based SaaS learning platform How big companies kill ideas — and how to fight back, with Tony Fadell RAPID decision making Transcript: https://www.theverge.com/e/23281360  Credits: Decoder is a production of The Verge and part of the Vox Media Podcast Network. It was produced by Creighton DeSimone and Jackie McDermott and it was edited by Callie Wright.  The Decoder music is by Breakmaster Cylinder. Our Editorial Director is Brooke Minters and our Executive Director is Eleanor Donovan. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
    12/20/2022
    1:18:24
  • How to buy a social network, with Tumblr CEO Matt Mullenweg
    We have to talk about Twitter, right? Elon Musk bought it. He’s making all these changes, and he’s realizing that content moderation decisions are quite complicated, especially when the stakes are high. But talking about Twitter in a vacuum seems wrong. There are lots of other social networks and community-based products, and they all have basically the same problems: some technical (you have to run the service), some political (you have to comply with various laws and platform regulations around the world), and some social (you have to get millions of users to post for free while making sure what they post is good stuff and not bad stuff). So, we’re doing something a little different this week. First, I’m talking to Matt Mullenweg, who is the CEO of Automattic, which owns WordPress, the blog hosting platform, and Tumblr, the social network, which he purchased from Verizon in 2019. Then, Verge deputy editor Alex Heath and I are going to break down a bunch of what Matt told me and apply it to Twitter to see what we can learn. Okay, Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Tumblr, followed by Alex Heath. Here we go. Links: How WordPress and Tumblr are keeping the internet weird GPL - General Public License Verizon is selling Tumblr to WordPress’ owner Kanye West suspended from Twitter after posting a swastika ‘Martin Scorsese’s lost film’ Goncharov (1973), explained Yahoo acquires Tumblr in $1.1 billion cash deal, promises 'not to screw it up' Verizon is selling Tumblr to WordPress’ owner Turnaround Definition Welcome to Tumblr. Now Go Away. Work With Us / Twitter – Automattic Tumblr will sell you two useless blue check marks for $8 Elon Musk is laying off even more Twitter workers Welcome to hell, Elon Why “Go Nuts, Show Nuts” Doesn't Work in 2022 How America turned against the First Amendment  About – SHOSHANA ZUBOFF A Framework for Moderation First Amendment - Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, and Petition | Constitution Center America’s Favorite Flimsy Pretext for Limiting Free Speech  Brandenburg v. Ohio Elon Musk says Tim Cook told him Apple ‘never considered’ removing Twitter - The Verge The Twitter Files - Matt Taibbi Elon Musk’s promised Twitter exposé on the Hunter Biden story is a flop that doxxed multiple people Twitter Blue is back, letting you buy a blue checkmark again Transcript: https://www.theverge.com/e/23270126 Credits: Decoder is a production of The Verge and part of the Vox Media Podcast Network. It was produced by Creighton DeSimone and Jackie McDermott and it was edited by Callie Wright.  The Decoder music is by Breakmaster Cylinder. Our Editorial Director is Brooke Minters and our Executive Director is Eleanor Donovan. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
    12/13/2022
    1:42:40
  • Disney’s CEO drama explained, with Julia Alexander
    Today, we need to talk about Bob. Two Bobs, actually: Bob Iger, the former and now current CEO of Disney, and Bob Chapek, the man Iger handpicked as his replacement, who flamed out and was fired by the board, and then, on November 20th, was replaced by Bob Iger. Bobs, man. The heart of this whole thing is total Decoder bait. It’s a story about how to structure a company like Disney. Then you add in the complexity of the shift to streaming, the future of TV and movies generally, and the gigantic reputation of a character like Bob Iger, who many people think could plausibly run for president. There’s just a lot going on here. Whenever I need to talk Disney, media, and Bobs, I call one person: Julia Alexander, director of strategy at Parrot Analytics and a former reporter at The Verge. Julia pays a lot of attention to the streaming giants, she’s sourced inside all the companies battling for our attention, and she has a lot to say about the Bobs. Links: Bob Iger steps back in as Disney CEO, replacing Bob Chapek  Reed Hastings on Twitter Disney+ launch lineup: Every movie and TV show available to stream on day one - The Verge Bob Iger steps down as Disney CEO, replaced by Bob Chapek - The Verge Disney streaming chief Kevin Mayer resigns to become TikTok CEO - The Verge Disney Plus surpasses 100 million subscribers - The Verge Meta announces huge job cuts affecting 11,000 employees - The Verge Netflix's $6.99 per month ad tier is now live Stranger Things - The Verge Disney’s major reorganization is good news for anyone who loves Disney Plus - The Verge Functional Structure: Advantages and Disadvantages | Indeed.com Pros and Cons of Implementing a Divisional Structure | Indeed.com Disney Proposal to Restructure, on McKinsey’s Advice, Triggered Uproar From Creative Executives - WSJ Disney Shows the Limits of Streaming - WSJ Disney Erases Almost All Its Pandemic Gains After Earnings Miss ‘Strange World’: Beautiful to look at, but not much below the surface - The Washington Post Watch The Future Of | Netflix Official Site Kevin Mayer quits as TikTok CEO due to ongoing political turmoil - The Verge Kevin Mayer Says His Firm Is In Deal Mode After Buying Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar announces exit as Discovery deal nears close - The Verge  Transcript: https://www.theverge.com/e/23259187 Credits: Decoder is a production of The Verge and part of the Vox Media Podcast Network. It was produced by Creighton DeSimone and Jackie McDermott and it was edited by Callie Wright. The Decoder music is by Breakmaster Cylinder. Our Editorial Director is Brooke Minters and our Executive Director is Eleanor Donovan. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
    12/6/2022
    1:02:15

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