If Then

Reshuffling the Podcasting Deck

Hot Pod’s Nick Quah says the industry is on the precipice of big changes.

Listen to If Then by clicking the arrow on the audio player below, or get the show via Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.

On this week’s If Then, Will Oremus and April Glaser talk about the recent announcement that Instagram’s founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger are leaving the company—partly due to clashes with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over the app’s future.

They also discuss tech talks on Capitol Hill this week between the justice department and federal and state law enforcement on political bias, antitrust, and privacy on social media. And they critique the semantics of “privacy” ahead of this week’s Senate hearing on how technology companies use and misuse consumer data.


Then, the hosts spend the rest of the podcast talking about … podcasts. Recent weeks have witnessed some dramatic changes in the podcast industry—including here at the Slate Group. Last week BuzzFeed axed its entire podcast department, a popular and groundbreaking arm of the media company. Meanwhile, Vox Media did the opposite, announcing they’d be doubling their podcast output this fall. To help make sense of all of this, April and Will are joined by media writer Nick Quah, who pens the weekly Hot Pod newsletter, which is considered required reading for many in the podcast industry.


15:41 - Interview with Nick Quah

34:36 - Don’t Close My Tabs

Stories discussed on the show:


Don’t Close My Tabs:

okayplayer: The Secret History of Outkast’s ‘Speakerboxxx/The Love Below:’ the Last Truly Great Double Album

The New Yorker: How Russia Helped Swing the Election for Trump

The Guardian: “ ‘Sorry I’m Scuba Diving’ ” Salesforce CEO Criticized Over Response to Border Contract Backlash

Podcast production by Max Jacobs.

If Then plugs:

You can get updates about what’s coming up next by following us on Twitter @ifthenpod. You can follow Will @WillOremus and April @Aprilaser. If you have a question or comment, you can email us at ifthen@slate.com.

If Then is presented by Slate and Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State University, New America, and Slate. Future Tense explores the ways emerging technologies affect society, policy, and culture. To read more, follow us on Twitter and sign up for our weekly newsletter.