Subscription podcast startup Luminary, on the very week of its heralded app launch, found itself facing angry podcasters, some of which already bolted the service, over a hosting process that publishers allege robs them of crucial listener data.
The publishers say Luminary was serving shows to its audience through a linking system that does not provide analytics and listener data to content creators who provide their product to Luminary. This means the podcasters can’t see where their listeners are located and how they are receiving the content.
Among those yanking content from Luminary are Barstool Sports, Gimlet Media (owned by competitor Spotify) and the New York Times. According to The Verge, smaller podcasters like Owen Williams, Federico Viticci and Ben Thompson are also pulling their content. “The Joe Rogan Expirence”, one of the most popular podcasts available, has also been pulled.
— Luminary (@hearluminary) April 25, 2019
To keep podcasters happy and stem further defections, Luminary says it implemented “changes” to give podcasters the data they rely on. Those changes are already on the iOS and Android apps, and they are working on the web version of the player.
Luminary’s troubles with podcasters couldn’t have come at a worse time for the startup. The company is not only trying to get users to listen to their favorite podcasts for free on the app, but also pay a monthly fee of $7.99 to hear exclusive podcasts that Luminary offers.