2020 Election Moves Online; Amazon’s Audible Makes Podcast Push

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The Digital Election 

The 2020 campaign is happening online. Trump has recreated the appeal of his rallies on the “Trump 2020” app, which highlights programming from right-leaning news organizations. His team also hosts nightly webcasts on Facebook and Twitter. Trump’s outlandishness and media dominance favor him in a virtual campaign over Biden, who is campaigning from his Delaware basement while building his online presence. Biden is holding meetings and fundraisers over Zoom, hosting roundtables with governors that address the pandemic, doing local newscasts in swing states and collaborating on Instagram with activists such as Megan Rapinoe. But Biden’s videos lack the snazzy production value and massive following of Trump’s livecasts, NPR reports. Trump is outspending Biden on Facebook two to one, and his campaign videos have far outpaced Biden’s.

Amazon’s Audio Play 

Amazon’s Audible is making a push into podcasts. The audiobook company has been meeting with talent agencies and producers with an eye toward acquiring new projects, dubbed “Audible Originals,” Bloomberg reports. Audible is preparing to outspend Spotify to expand its podcast library, offering between a few hundred thousand to a few million dollars for shows from talent such as Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart. “People aren’t listening to podcasts on Audible, and Amazon wants them to,” said Donald Albright, CEO of podcast company Tenderfoot TV. Audible may offer podcasts for free so people who don’t subscribe to the $14.95 monthly service can still listen. Meanwhile, Amazon Music is also ramping up its investment in podcasts, creating a potentially duplicative offer.

Work From Home … Forever

Facebook recently laid out plans to reopen its offices, but is anticipating more remote work in the future. In a livestream, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said as many as half of Facebook’s 48,000 employees would work from home in the next decade. The company will start letting new senior engineers work remotely and allow employees with positive performance reviews to apply for permission to do so. But compensation will also be adjusted depending on where people live, as remote employees don’t have the same costs of living as those in New York or San Francisco, The New York Times reports. Twitter also recently said it will let its people work from home indefinitely.

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