Facebook introduced a slew of new audio products in April, including podcast support and a Clubhouse live audio competitor, indicating that it was taking the threat from other audio platforms more seriously. According to a source, Facebook’s interest in podcasting and audio services has begun to wane just a year after it launched its push into the field.
According to a new Bloomberg story, Facebook is pulling back from its podcasting endeavor and instead focusing on other initiatives in partnership with its podcast partners.
Facebook, according to its sources, is now focusing on other prospects with podcast partners, such as metaverse events and e-commerce.
Due to increased competition from popular short-form video app TikTok, Facebook’s parent corporation Meta is also rumored to be emphasizing short-video projects above other ventures.
A Meta spokeswoman told TechCrunch in an email that the firm’s audio capabilities are getting a lot of use and that the company feels audio is a vital medium for expression.
The company also stated that it has received input from creators on what is functioning well and what may be improved. Meta didn’t go into any more detail about the situation.
According to Bloomberg, Facebook considered launching a training program to attract creators to its platform at one point but decided against it. Furthermore, after supporting the Podcast Movement conference in August, Facebook did not fund the conference’s spinoff event last month and did not send a Meta employee to the event.
According to Bloomberg, several of Facebook’s early Live Audio Room contracts haven’t been extended.
However, considering its parent company’s recent corporate rebranding and choice to prioritize the metaverse over certain other things, Meta’s tilt to the metaverse in terms of its relationship with its podcast partners isn’t exactly surprising.
For instance, Meta recently announced that it will not hold its F8 developer conference this year in order to concentrate on the metaverse.
A year ago, when Clubhouse was valued at $4 billion and Spotify and Apple dominated the podcasting business, Facebook’s debut into audio was a competitive move. Even if Facebook has a lot of money to spend on podcasting, it would take a lot for the firm to compete with Spotify and Apple.
The metaverse will also be costly – it’s unclear how long Meta can afford to fund its investment, given that it disclosed earlier this year that it had already spent roughly $10 billion on the project. And it’s only the beginning.
The live audio industry is still mostly dominated by Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, both of which are continually adding new features. As individuals around the world were confined to their homes due to the pandemic, live audio became increasingly popular.
Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces have been revising and expanding their systems to keep users as limitations have been relaxed for the most part over the world and in-person events have resumed.
Clubhouse, for example, has begun testing a new in-room gaming element aimed to encourage interaction and enable individuals to get to know one another better.
Twitter, on the other hand, is working to make Spaces more accessible, with new features including ticketed Spaces and the option for anybody to host a Space.