Why Facebook has decided to discontinue its Podcast business after nearly a year

Facebook has decided to end its support for the Podcast business as the company plans to remove the audio products from its social media platform starting June 3. According to a Bloomberg report, the Meta-owned social media outlet will restrict users from adding podcasts on Facebook starting this week. The company has also sent a note regarding the same to its partners. Facebook is going to discontinue both its central audio hub as well as its short-form audio product Soundbites.
In April 2021, Facebook introduced multiple audio efforts for its platform when podcasting and audio products were trending in the market. However, last month’s report suggested that the company’s interest in its audio products has diminished. Now, Facebook is looking to focus on other initiatives leaving some providers disappointed.
As per the report, a Meta spokesperson shared an email which said, “We’re constantly evaluating the features we offer so we can focus on the most meaningful experiences.” However, the source could not confirm the exact date on when Soundbites and the audio hub will shut down but it is expected to happen in the “coming weeks”.
Facebook also mentioned that it has no plans to alert users about the fact that podcasts won’t be available on the platform anymore, in its note to partners. The company will allow the publishers to decide how they want to disclose that information. Meanwhile, users can choose to go live on Facebook with just audio or both audio and video, as Live Audio Rooms will be integrated into Facebook Live.
Recently, the podcast market got crowded as several big players wanted a portion of this market. Spotify has acquired companies and even has licensed hit shows while Amazon bought the podcast network Wondery and also offers a hosting platform. Moreover, other tech companies wanted to copy the product of the live audio platform Clubhouse, which was valued at about $4 billion in 2021. Facebook also ventured into the podcast industry in 2021, however, a year later the platform and its owner Meta will discontinue the service.

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