Facebook bows out of Apple and Spotify’s podcast market after one year

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A year after announcing podcasts and other audio initiatives literally everywhere on its platform, Facebook is now pulling out of the business, according to a report by Bloomberg. Starting June 3, podcasts will no longer be available on Zuckerberg’s social media channels.

Bloomberg’s story says that starting this week, Facebook will stop letting people add podcasts to the service. Not only is the company removing its central audio hub, but also the abbreviated audio product called Soundbites, says a memo sent to partners.

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It was in April 2021 that Facebook announced a bunch of audio efforts; In the rise of Spotify, securing deals for exclusive podcasts, Apple finally announced subscriptions to existing shows as well as the addition of original content on top of the early success of Clubhouse.

Now, Facebook is another player in the audio market, as it continues to push its Reels feature, alongside live streams and other audio-visual efforts.

“We are constantly evaluating the features we offer so that we can focus on the most meaningful experiences,” a Meta spokesperson said in an email. The person added that they don’t have a specific date for when Soundbites and the audio hub will be shut down, but it will be in the “coming weeks”.

In the note to partners, Facebook said it has no plans to alert users that the podcasts will no longer be available, leaving publishers to decide how they want to disclose that information. Live Audio Rooms will be integrated with Facebook Live, meaning users can choose to go live with only audio or audio and video.

Have you ever used Facebook to listen to podcasts or even try the Soundbites feature? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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