Podcasting's New Era

“The Best One Yet” hosts share their take on the industry’s shift from celebrity to career creator

Good morning. Roughly 11,500 members of the Writers Guild of America who work across TV, film, streaming, and podcasts went on strike this week in an effort to lock in better pay and job security, putting a halt to a number of show and movie productions. Tell us: How has the writers’ strike affected you as a creator?

Are Podcasts Dead? These Hosts Don’t Think So

Nick Martell and Jack Crivici-Kramer / Deadline

Over the last several months, multiple outlets have suggested that the podcast industry is facing a significant downturn after a pandemic-induced boom time. There’s been a slowdown in listener growth after years of double-digit percentage increases, and there was an 80% drop in new podcasts created from 2021 to 2022.

But according to Nick Martell and Jack Crivici-Kramer, the hosts of daily business podcast “The Best One Yet,” there’s a way for the podcast industry to carve out a sustainable future for creators.

  • Their take? The era of big investment in celebrity-hosted podcasts from platforms like Spotify (see here and here) is over.

  • Now, independent media companies that treat podcasting as their core product can thrive, Martell and Crivici-Kramer told us.

FYI: Last week marked one year since the duo spun their podcast off from former parent company Robinhood—and they think their show’s 50 million downloads in 2022 are a sign that the industry is entering a new era.

“[Our download growth] confirms what we believe—podcasting is a [full-time] career, and we believe we’re successful because we treat it as such,” Martell and Crivici-Kramer told us.

Looking ahead: The hosts are focused on shipping three products this year—improved video, shareable social media graphics, and a collection of evergreen deep dive episodes to complement their quick-hitting daily show.

And regarding video, the topic on every podcast creator’s mind: Martell and Crivici-Kramer told us that they used to keep video low-lift because they considered podcasting a “multi-tasking medium”—listeners put the show on in the background while doing other things.

But they’ve learned that YouTube podcast viewers demand more “commanding” video, and they’re now experimenting with a revamped visual package to further engage their audience and improve discoverability on YouTube.

Ilyas Elmaliki Becomes Most-Watched YouTube Streamer

Ilyas Elmaliki / Le360

Moroccan gaming creator Ilyas Elmaliki surpassed iShowSpeed and TimTheTatman to become the most-watched gaming streamer on YouTube in Q1, according to recent data from Streams Charts.

Elmaliki’s highlight reel:

  • Elmaliki has been active on his namesake YouTube channel since 2021, and his content ranges from video game livestreams to vlogs.

  • Despite having a quarter of his competitors’ subscribers (Elmaliki has 733,000 subscribers to iShowSpeed’s 16 million), the Arabic-speaking creator’s streams have earned high view numbers.

  • From January through March of this year, Elmaliki racked up more than 8.9 million hours watched, topping iShowSpeed’s 8.6 million and TimTheTatman’s 7.5 million.

Big picture: Even as gaming undergoes a significant shift with streamers migrating from Twitch to YouTube Gaming, the category’s international appeal has remained consistent. Other creators from Japan, Indonesia, and America, including Kuzuhua, Windah Basudara, and DrDisRespect, rounded out the top 10 YouTube streamers for Q1.

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How This Comedy Creator Found Balance

In 2021, he created Meme Brah, an Instagram account posting on-the-street style comedy content. The account generated over 120 million views in its first six months.

That massive growth came at a cost to the creator behind the account, Nic Adenau.

Earlier this year, he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. He believes this was a consequence of burnout, pouring an unsustainable amount of energy into his content.

Since then, Nic’s prioritized finding balance in his work. We spoke to Nic about his approach—he shared his practical tips to provide boundaries that still allow him to be creative, as well as the tools he uses to make his process more manageable. Go here to read Nic’s story.

Creators Star on Sesame Street

MKBHD on Sesame Street / YouTube

This week, Spanish-speaking creator Juanpa Zurita hosted a YouTube special on Sesame Street along with fellow creators MKBHD, LaurDIY, and The Fitness Marshall, plus actor Jenny Slate.

Context: Sesame Street is one of the longest-running TV shows in the U.S. (it’s been on PBS for 54 years). Guests have run the gamut, from Maya Angelou to Jason Derulo.

The special was uploaded to Sesame Street’s YouTube channel, which has 23 million subscribers. Just one day in, the creator-driven special has received over 390,000 views, nearly 100,000 more than Sesame Street’s last three uploads.

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The content we’re looking forward to reading, watching, and listening to this weekend.

  • The biggest story in Hollywood right now? The writers’ strike. The Town podcast host Matthew Felloni brings on a Writers Guild of America insider to discuss the issues driving the strike, such as data transparency and the use of AI in screenwriting.

  • This documentary currently playing in NYC theaters wonderfully blends storytelling with ASMR.

  • How did The Super Mario Bros. Movie become a runaway megahit? Kyle Chayka breaks it down for The New Yorker.

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