Are esports a growing market with a huge amount of future potential? Yes. Did investors get too far out ahead of their skis with assuming that esports would quickly overtake traditional pro sports in market value? Definitely yes.

Sports-business billionaires and gaming executives had hopes that esports could one day could scale into an organization like the National Basketball Association. But after a boom five years ago, several prominent esports teams and organizations, particularly in the US, are contracting, the result of a broad economic downturn, a venture capital industry that’s no longer willing to accept growth without profits and a crypto meltdown that has undercut a significant source of backing.

--

--

Bloomberg predicts a pullback in brand advertising could do just that:

At some level, podcast shops might actually be in a stronger position than other media organizations to weather this storm. Though the networks have sought big brand dollars, they haven’t yet completely shaken free of the advertisers that helped build the space: direct response brands, such as mattress companies, meal kits and health supplements like Athletic Greens.

In recent years, as more and more popular programs locked themselves up in exclusive distribution deals and their new parent companies demanded higher prices from advertisers, many of these early adopter podcast sponsors were almost priced out of their most effective shows.

--

--

Passionfruit wrote about the processes that some influencers undertake to vet brands before agreeing to work with them:

Sarah Hickam, head of talent at influencer relations and talent management company Shine Talent Group … has worked with creator specialists like doctors, dermatologists, and nutritionists, but also has a large roster of lifestyle, fashion, and food creators. Many of the influencers she works with ask questions to brands before they sign, such as: What responsibility do you take with the waste from your products? What is in these ingredients?“You would probably be surprised at how many creators say no to partnerships,” Hickam said.

--

--

This seems pretty significant:

Edison Research announces the Top Podcast Networks in the U.S. for total network reach in Q3 2022, as SXM Media, Spotify, and iHeartRadio take the top three spots, respectively. After falling behind Spotify by a narrow margin in the Q2 report, SXM edges back ahead this time. Each are well out ahead of third place iHeartRadio, which in turn is comfortably head of the fourth spot on the chart, Audioboom. The list ranks the most listened-to podcast networks based on total audience reach from Edison Podcast Metrics.

--

--

For years, Ken Doctor was a go-to resource on the economics of news, and he was well-known for his deep dives into the balance sheets of major media companies. Then in 2020, he decided to put his money where his mouth is and launch a local news venture in Santa Cruz. He’s now resurfaced to give an update on how that venture is going:

We’re on track to meet our goal of sustainable recurring revenue by next summer. We’re not declaring success yet, but we’re tangibly close, even as we ready ourselves for expansion into other communities. The work is tough and painstaking. We’ve made mistakes; fixing them costs us time and money — the two pressure points for all new ventures. We’ll undoubtedly make more.

--

--