Luminary, the $100 million podcast startup, is fixing one of podcasters’ biggest gripes with the subscriber-oriented platform: the lack of show notes. The company is updating its iOS, Android, and web app to allow creators to include links in their show notes, which are often used to provide related information or links to sponsors, Luminary co-founder Joe Purzycki writes in a blog post. The links don’t appear to be live in the iOS player yet, and Purzycki says the web app update will initially require links to be copied and pasted into the URL bar; clickable links will be coming in the future.
Luminary fumbled its launch with poor messaging and product limitations that hurt small creators. Not only did the app strip out show notes, but it was also discovered to be using a proxy server when requesting show downloads, which obfuscated important listener data from creators. The team has since resolved the issue, but those two situations added up to what podcasters deemed an unfriendly approach to creators.
Its standoffish stance on advertising also turned off many podcasters. Luminary has made it clear that it thinks there’s a better way for the industry to support itself instead of ads, which is why it’s focusing on a subscription model that gives users access to exclusive shows. But most shows rely on ad money to make a living, and for those podcasts, show notes and data can be essential to their business.
Other major creators and shows asked to be removed from the platform for various reasons. But maybe with its two biggest creator-oriented gaffs behind it, Luminary will be able to move forward.
By Ashley Carman