Like any burgeoning art form, podcasts have a complicated relationship with corporate America. The form’s appeal has long been its accessibility; for years, it’s been open to anyone with an idea, a little free time and a computer. The results haven’t always been stellar, but the medium’s potential is seemingly limitless. The exact beginnings of podcasting are difficult to pinpoint — that, naturally, has been the nature of plenty of IP lawsuits, as those involved early on lay claim to the rapidly expanding industry. For the sake of brevity, let’s call 2004 the birth of podcasting, as that’s when the…

Joe Procopio Contributor Share on Twitter Joe Procopio is a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. Joe is currently building Spiffy, and previously sold Automated Insights, sold ExitEvent and built Intrepid Media. More posts by this contributor Here’s what happens when you decide to sell your startup When to ditch that nightmare customer (before they kill your startup) No matter what your startup sells or who you’re selling it to, companies that survive — and grow — need big customers and lots of them. But how do you land million-dollar deals with limited resources and no credibility? In more than 20 years of…

The beauty of podcasting is that anyone can do it. It’s a rare medium that’s nearly as easy to make as it is to consume. And as such, no two people do it exactly the same way. There are a wealth of hardware and software solutions open to potential podcasters, so setups run the gamut from NPR studios to USB Skype rigs. We’ve asked some of our favorite podcast hosts and producers to highlight their workflows — the equipment and software they use to get the job done. The list so far includes: I’m Listening’s Anita Flores Let’s Talk About Cats’ Mary…

Plenty of the ocean remains unexplored, even though it’s a huge trove of potentially valuable information. Current methods for mapping and gathering ocean data, especially deep-ocean data, generally require humans in the mix (even if controlling vehicles remotely), are immensely expensive and are not designed for long periods of operation. Startup Terradepth, founded by two ex-Navy SEALs and based in Austin, Texas, is aiming to change all that using autonomous submersible vehicles that can, if deployed as a fleet with adequate scale, provide access to deep-ocean information on a data-as-a-service basis. The startup has raised $8 million in funding in…

Instagram is giving politicians the same free rein to spread misinformation as its parent company Facebook. Instagram is expanding its limited fact-checking test in the U.S. from May and will now work with 45 third-party organizations to assess the truthfulness of photo and video content on its app. Material rated as false will be hidden from the Explore and hashtag pages, and covered with an interstitial warning blocking the content in the feed or Stories until users tap again to see the post. This goes an important step further than Facebook’s early attempts to append warnings on links alongside content…

Today the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite closed at an all-time record high of 8,814.23, up 0.91% on the day. The Nasdaq is up more than 32% on the year. Turning the clock back, the Nasdaq Composite is up around 60% from the end of 2016. Compared to the anti-records set in 2009 during the doldrums that followed the 2008 crisis, the Nasdaq is up a staggering 594%. The huge run in value of technology stocks since the last recession is historic. And, given the length of the current global economic expansion, somewhat lost on regular folks. Times are good, and it’s worth…

David Friend Contributor Share on Twitter David Friend is the CEO of cloud storage company Wasabi, and co-founder of cyber security company Carbonite, recently bought for $1.4 billion. Wasabi is his sixth startup. Most tech companies — particularly B2B companies — either don’t understand the power of a brand, or do a really poor job of creating one. An informal survey of a dozen of my young CEO friends showed that, given the choice, 10 out of 12 — 83% — would rather spend an extra dollar on product development than brand-building. It is dangerous (or at least foolish) to…

Carbon today announced the expansion of its partnership with Lamborghini. The white-hot 3D-printing startup will manufacture central and lateral dashboard air vents for the carmaker’s Sián FKP hybrid sports car. The move follows the deal announced earlier this year that found Carbon printing a fuel cap and an air duct clip for Lamborghini’s Urus SVU. Baby steps, honestly, but important ones nonetheless. Lamborghini follows in Ford’s footsteps with the Carbon partnership. It’s clear that automotive companies are interested in introducing custom 3D-printed parts, and Carbon has proven a degree of scalability with partnerships with companies like Adidas. It was clear…

Listen. Spotify’s tired of screwing around here. The company spent a lot of money on podcasts. Like, a lot, a lot. And it really needs you to start listening to things, because it’s almost certainly going to spend even more in the coming years. I mean, music is good, too, don’t get it wrong, but with between $400 and $500 million spent on the format in 2019 alone, the service is really going to need you to hold up your end of the deal here and just, pretty please start streaming the things. This week, Spotify is introducing a new…

Here’s a nice little surprise for Android users this weekend. It seems that Google’s pans to roll out Rich Communication Services (RCS) messaging is slightly ahead of schedule. The company announced in November that it would be making the feature available for all Android users in the country by year-end. A tweet from Android Messages product manager Sanaz Ahari confirms that the SMS-successor has been made available to users in the States as of this week. The new protocol brings with it some key advances over messaging stalwart, SMS. Hi everyone! RCS is now available to all users in US…

Uber is in advanced stages of talks to sell its food delivery service UberEats’ India business to local rival Zomato, as the American ride-hailing giant looks to cut its spending globally, three people familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. The deal currently values UberEats’ India business at around $400 million, one of the sources said. As part of the deal, Uber may invest between $150 to $200 million in Zomato and get a sizable stake in the 11-year-old Indian firm, people said. A spokesperson for Uber declined to comment on Saturday. A text to Zomato founder and chief executive Deepinder…

Max Q is a new weekly newsletter all about space from TechCrunch. Sign up here to receive it weekly on Sundays in your inbox. This is it – the very first edition of Max Q: TechCrunch’s space newsletter. Despite approaching the end of the year, it’s been a really busy week in the space industry, too. Between launches real and metaphorical, there’s plenty of activity to catch up on. And if you’ve got any space stuff you want to share for future newsletters, feel free to email me at [email protected] or let me know on Twitter @etherington. Space enters a…

Neo-Pentecostal gangs in Brazil, driving out other faiths at gunpoint. A mob of 100 lawyers attacking a hospital in Pakistan to revenge themselves on violent doctors there. Anti-vaxxers, neo-Nazis, and red-pillers. Sometimes it seems like the world has fragmented into a jagged kaleidoscope of countless mobs and subcultures, each more disconcerting than the last. Much of this is selection bias: if it bleeds, it leads, in both mass media and social-media algorithms. But it does seem plausible that the Internet is contributing to this kaleidoscope, to this growth in worrisome fringe subcultures, in three separate ways: complexity, information, and connectivity….

The final installment of the sequel trilogy is getting a lot of creative promotion — even by Star Wars standards. With The Rise of Skywalker out in just under a week, J.J. Abrams (and some spotty server issues) paid a visit to Fortnite. The director showed off an exclusive clip from the upcoming film featuring the familiar trio of Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron. That and watching a bunch of stormtroopers dance around is all well and good, but the real fun came next. Darth Galactic Empire Lord Palpatine-Sidious kicked off a final segment that found players rushing to grab…

Volkswagen Group and Qatar have agreed to develop a public transit system of autonomous shuttles and buses by 2022 for the capital city of Doha. The agreement signed Saturday by VW Group and the Qatar Investment Authority is an expansive project that will involve four brands under VW Group, including Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Scania, its shared ride service MOIA and Audi subsidiary Autonomous Intelligent Driving, or AID. The aim is to develop the entire transport system, including the electric autonomous shuttles and buses, legal framework, city infrastructure and ride-hailing software required to deploy a commercial service there. The autonomous vehicles…

Founded in 2012, Nomiku became a plucky Silicon Valley darling by bringing affordable sous vide cooking to home kitchens. A Kickstarter project that same year generated $750,000, several times its $200,000 goal. The company scored a glowing TechCrunch profile the following year, as well, thanks in part to a great backstory. Today, however, the company noted on its site and various social media channels that it is winding down operations: Well, I am sorry to say that we have reached the end of the road. It is with a heavy heart (and deep-felt gratitude for your patronage) that we are…

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the Extra Crunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all. The app industry is as hot as ever, with 194 billion downloads last year and more than $100 billion in consumer spending. People spend 90% of their mobile time in apps and more time using their mobile devices than watching TV. Apps aren’t just a way to waste idle hours — they’re big business, and one that often seems to change overnight. In this Extra Crunch series, we help you to keep up with the latest news…

As the holiday slowdown looms, the final U.S.-listed technology IPOs have come in and begun to trade. Three tech, tech-ish or venture-backed companies went public this week: Bill.com, Sprout Social and EHang. Let’s quickly review how each has performed thus far. These are, bear in mind, the last IPOs of the year that we care about, pending something incredible happening. 2020 will bring all sorts of fun, but, for this time ’round the sun, we’re done. Pricing Our three companies managed to each price differently. So, we have some variety to discuss. Here’s how each managed during their IPO run:…

Amazon Alexa can now play podcasts from Apple, making Amazon’s line of Echo devices the first third-party clients to support the Apple Podcasts service without using AirPlay. Before, this level of support was limited to Apple’s HomePod. According to Amazon, the addition brings to Alexa devices Apple’s library of more than 800,000 podcasts. It also allows customers to set Apple Podcasts as their preferred podcast service. The move is the latest in a series of partnerships between the two rivals, which also included the launch of the Apple TV app on Amazon’s Fire TV platform, as well as the launch…

Pandora has begun to test a new type of advertising format that allows listeners to respond to the ad by speaking aloud. In the new ads, listeners are prompted to say “yes” after the ad asks a question and a tone plays. The ads will then offer more information about the product or brand in question. Debut advertisers testing the new format include Doritos, Ashley HomeStores, Unilever, Wendy’s, Turner Broadcasting, Comcast and Nestlé. The ads begin by explaining what they are and how they’ll work. They then play a short and simple message followed by a question to which listeners…