Facebook, the Meta-owned social media outlet will restrict users from adding podcasts on Facebook starting from June 3, 2022. It has also sent a note regarding the same to its partners. Facebook is going to discontinue both its central audio hub as well as its short-form audio product Soundbites. Live Audio Rooms will be available on Facebook Live. Users will be able to choose to go live with just audio or audio and video.
“We’re constantly evaluating the features we offer so we can focus on the most meaningful experiences,” a Meta spokesperson said an email to Bloomberg. The person added that they didn’t have a specific date on when Soundbites and the audio hub would shut down but it will be in the “coming weeks.”
In April 2021, Facebook introduced multiple audio efforts for its platform when podcasting and audio products were trending in the market. However, last month’s report suggested that the company’s interest in its audio products has waned. Now, Facebook is looking to focus on other initiatives.
Interestingly, KPMG’s Media and Entertainment Report 2020 found that India recorded a 29.3 % increase in podcast consumption. This was the time of the first year of the pandemic. According to PwC’s Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2020 report, India is the third largest consumer of podcasts. After the US and China, with 57.6 million monthly listeners, India stood at number three in the global podcast market.
Recently, the podcast market became crowded as several known and big players wanted a portion of this market. The products like Clubhouse valuation was at about $4 Billion in 2021. Spotify and Amazon acquired many companies in between. Finally, Facebook also ventured into the podcast industry in Apr, 2021. After a year now, Facebook questioned its step and pulls the plug on podcast business.