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Snippet: Podcast Startup Luminary’s Launch Week Keeps Getting Worse ☇

Shared on April 25, 2019

Ashley Carman for The Verge:

Major creators are continuing to remove their shows from Luminary, the $100 million subscription podcast startup, over its business model, and even more are leaving after the company was exposed for using a proxy server that hides listener data from creators. […]

Now, smaller creators, including Ben Thompson, Owen Williams, and Federico Viticci, are pulling their podcasts, too. Their withdrawal comes after podcasters noticed that Luminary was serving shows to listeners through a complicated linking system, depriving them of important listener data. The platform also stripped their shows notes, which can be used to share sponsored links or other relevant information.

When a podcast player serves a show, listeners’ requests are usually sent directly to the server that hosts it. Luminary said today that it’s added an extra step to that process. Instead of directing listeners to the original podcast server, it’s routing the requests through its own servers first.

While there are certainly good-intentioned reasons for doing what Luminary is doing, it generally goes against the conventions and business model of the entire podcast industry. Besides feeling slimy, there’s plenty of legal ramifications that a newly-created company probably shouldn’t want to deal with.

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