Previously Audio was on Nobody’s Radar — In 2020 it was on Everyone’s Radar

Steven Goldstein - Amplifi Media
5 min readDec 16, 2020

When I started Amplifi Media five years ago I met with large and small companies, who had no audio strategy. Audio? Strategy? In a digital media world, audio was an analog relic, a wooden cathedral box radio with people sitting in their living rooms listening to FDR’s fireside chats. Podcasting had some digital chops but was primarily a public radio phenomenon.

Just a few years later, audio is an essential element of the media mix and on the mind of executives in C-Suites everywhere.

This Year’s Audio Story Extends Beyond The Roll-Up Of Spotify And SiriusXM

Even in this pandemic year, or maybe because of it, the growth of podcasting and smart speaker audio is worth reflecting on for a moment. While the mergers and acquisitions from Spotify and SiriusXM are fascinating, this year’s audio story extends beyond the roll-up of those two giants. It’s about companies that had no audio agenda, and a myriad of start-ups showing up at the party.

New entrepreneurial companies seem to pop up weekly, chasing some corner of the podcast world — so many it’s hard to keep track of who they are and what they do. Meanwhile, the next wave of big companies opened up their pocketbooks to stake a claim in the podcast space.

Here are a few worth noting:

Amazon gets into podcasting — This move is a no-brainer with Amazon Alexa speakers everywhere and a fast-growing streaming music service. We spent a good deal of time working with Amazon when the Alexa gold rush started a few years back and radio companies and audio producers were creating custom “skills.” For most, that was fleeting, and Amazon moved on from audio content creators to sexier areas like gaming. Now they’re back — Amazon is embracing audio and this time with more focused energy.


Audible jumps in — again — Several years ago Amazon’s Audible division spun up some intriguing and smart original podcast-like content, but it was buried inside the Audible app. As quickly as it started, this effort was dismantled by August of 2018. Now, along with…

Steven Goldstein - Amplifi Media

CEO Amplifi Media —We work with companies optimizing podcast strategy, content development, audience retention, and organizational design.