Pink's Bottom Line on Media, Money and Sports

Podcasting consolidation, the US economy and US swimmer Katie Ledecky

In today’s newsletter, I discuss consolidation in the podcasting industry, the US economic recovery and US swimmer Katie Ledecky.

MEDIA: Podcasting Consolidation

There’s more consolidation in the podcasting industry as The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Vox Media is buying Cafe Studios, home to the podcast of Preet Bharara, a former US attorney.

Bharara’s podcast, which is the most popular of all podcasts from Cafe Studios according to this The Wall Street Journal story, will add to a growing number of podcasts that Vox already produces.

For those who aren’t familiar with Vox, it is an independent media company with brands including Vox, The Verge, SB Nation, Eater and many others.

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As the podcasting industry has matured in the past two years, there has been plenty of mergers and acquisitions activity by large companies including Spotify, iHeartMedia, SiriusXM and others.

Amazon even jumped into the fray, purchasing Wondery, a podcasting production company, last December.

As such, look for that trend of consolidation to continue in the podcasting industry as big tech, big media and now smaller, independent media appear ready to make deals.

MONEY: Fed Chair Powell

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told television show 60 Minutes last night that he expects the US economy to be “very strong” this year. (Click here to read a transcript of Powell’s interview.)

Powell said that thanks to fiscal and monetary measures as well as increasing vaccinations, the economy appears on good footing.

He said, “The principal risk to our economy right now really is that the disease would spread again. It's going to be smart if people can continue to socially distance and wear masks.”

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Powell’s interview reinforces the notion that the US economy might be on the cusp of a very strong recovery, provided that the coronavirus remains under control.

Look for economic indicators later this spring or early this summer for more signs to confirm hat the economy is indeed poised for substantial growth.

Look also for signs that inflation could derail some of that recovery as we saw a report last week that showed producer prices jumped sharply last month, and we will get a report on consumer prices tomorrow.

SPORTS: Katie Ledecky

Perhaps the most dominant athlete in any sport these days is US swimmer Katie Ledecky.

On Sunday in Mission Viejo, California, Ledecky won the 1500 meter freestyle at the Pro Swim Series fully 17 seconds ahead of the second place finisher. That is an astonishing time difference for an elite swimming event.

Ledecky won four gold medals in the 2016 Olympics, one in the 2012 games and she is poised to add to her Olympic gold medal haul in this year considering that the 1500 freestyle will now be an Olympic event for the first time.

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The Olympics will begin in Tokyo this summer after a one year postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic.

I expect Ledecky to emerge as the star of this year’s games, as she appears to be hitting her top form just at the right time.

Look for multiple golds from Ledecky — an potentially multiple world records — in what could be one of the top Olympic performances by an American athlete in a number of years.

Jeremy Pink is currently COO of Geniecast, a leading virtual content and experience company. He is the former CEO of private-equity backed Broadcast Sports International where he helped lead the company to a successful sale and exit during his tenure there. He is also a former CNBC television executive in New York, London and Singapore.

The information contained in this communication is strictly for general informational and entertainment purposes and is not meant to be construed as financial, investment, tax, or legal advice. This communication is not a solicitation to buy or sell any securities. I am not a financial advisor or offering professional advice of any kind. Users should not act upon the content or information found within this communication without first seeking professional advice appropriate for their individual situation. Decisions based on information contained in this communication are the sole responsibility of the user, and use of this communication and its contents constitutes an explicit understanding and acceptance of the foregoing disclaimers.

(Newsletter Editor: Karina Pink)