Luminary Launches App Lacking Features, Content

Luminary image advertising at least one podcast that isn’t available on launch day.

[This review has been edited to incorporate new information that has come to light re: Luminary. Edited/added content will be appropriately tagged.]

The venture-capitalist funded podcast company Luminary launched their app this morning, capping weeks of hype and controversy with a podcasting app sporting fewer features than its free competitors. Launching two months earlier than originally proposed, Luminary lacks some basic quality-of-life functions one has come to expect from a podcatcher after years of just having these features for free. It feels like Luminary the Company put all of their power into establishing themselves as The Company With 40 Exclusive Podcasts You Have to Pay For they never stopped to ask the question “how do we also make Luminary a good podcast app.”

Luminary is the only place you can go to listen to certain shows, namely Lauren Shippen’s The AM Archives, set in the Bright Sessions universe. While the boutique content is a large selling point of the app, this review will specifically focus on the app itself. Plenty of Twitter debate and column inches have already been dedicated to how much Content the company has promised to deliver (and failed, as of this writing, but we’ll get to that) but it seems nobody wants to dig into discussing the fact Luminary’s app is, first and foremost, a podcatcher. It has a gated-off community of paid shows exclusive to the app, but it also can listen to freely available podcasts.

Continue reading

How not to cover podcasts: An open letter.

We approach the end of 2018 and I’ve yet to see a big pop culture site (that isn’t Polygon) post an article pertaining to podcasting that hasn’t brought down the fury of podcast fans. Like packs of ravenous wolves, tweets from TIME and the New Yorker alike are ratioed to death within hours. The harsh truth is these articles getting bombed isn’t the fault of the author. The real blame lies squarely on the editorial staff of said website. In this one rare instance, the fans are doing the good work. I’m here to point out what is going wrong in a lot of mainstream coverage of podcasting, why perfectly good writers are getting beef from Twitter, and how editors could not only fix these problems but generate a LOT more traffic.

Continue reading

Three Awesome Episodes: A Newsletter Excerpt

podreport monthly header.jpg

For the two of you who haven’t seen me running around hat in hand on Twitter, I’ve started a monthly newsletter! All the other cool kids are putting out newsletters, it felt like just the kind of thing to motivate me to get some writing done on a regular basis. What follows is a fun section from last month’s publication!  Continue reading

Taking the time to listen.

Similarities in art do not always denote theft, but it takes time to find that difference.

As the internet shrinks our world by the minute podcasting as an art form grows exponentially. As my consumption of audio media continues its infinite march onward I find myself constantly wondering a tough question: Is this podcast original?

This weekend I loaded up Magic Folk (a show you should be listening to) to binge-listen during some downtime. Within a few minutes I had fired off several snarky messages to a friend poking fun at the similarities between this new indie podcast and The Adventure Zone. Put simply, this was a dick move and here’s why: Continue reading