NYT And Spotify Prohibit Luminary From Using Open RSS Feeds For ‘The Daily’ And ‘Reply All’

Isheka N. Harrison
Written by Isheka N. Harrison
Luminary Launches
[Images: courtesy of Luminary]

Luminary launched today. But the $100 million-backed premium podcast venture did so without top shows such as New York Times’ (NYT) “The Daily” and Spotify’s “Reply All,” The Verge reported. The media giants’ decisions to restrict Luminary from using open RSS feeds for their crème de la crème content may have the future of podcasting hanging in the balance.

The decision came after a Luminary committed a major marketing faux pas last month. The well-funded start-up tweeted, “Podcasts don’t need ads.” Since many podcast creators make their livings on ad revenue, the message was not well received.

Luminary CEO and co-founder Matt Sacks acknowledges the tweet was poorly delivered. He insists he only meant people should have options between subscribing to a premium, ad-free podcast service like Luminary’s or listening to podcasts for free and dealing with ads.

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Sacks is still optimistic about their ability to do well in the market, however.

“We’re focused on building a great product experience and having great content, and if we do those two things, we’re very confident that we’ll be able to find our best market,” he told The Verge.

Some of Sacks’ enthusiasm rests on offerings of original, exclusive and current podcasts with popular hosts like Trevor Noah and Karamo Brown. On its website, the company has branded itself as “a premium podcast app that offers access to shows from top creators you won’t find anywhere else, plus the ones you already love.”

The $8-per-month subscription service is hoping to change the game, despite the podcast industry being hesitant to charge users for its content, according to Forbes.

But with NYT and Spotify withholding premier shows and the latter building its own podcast conglomerate, some are skeptical whether Luminary can live up to its goal to be the Netflix of podcasting.

Time will tell. The world will just have to watch – or rather listen – and see.