web_digital spoken word

This article is from today’s FT Opinion email. Sign up to receive a daily digest of the big issues straight to your inbox.

Wireless mania is back, as John Gapper writes in this week's business column, in which he explores the podcast boom and what it means for the future of the media industry.

Audio is the fastest increasing revenue stream in publishing. And according to John, two recent deals say more about the future of media than the sale of Time magazine this week to Marc Benioff, founder of Salesforce.com, for $190m. The biggest US radio chain, iHeartMedia, has acquired the podcasting group Stuff Media for $55m, and Malcolm Gladwell, the New Yorker magazine writer, is forming a podcasting company with Jacob Weisberg, editor-in-chief of Slate Group. A prominent Hollywood agent has started an audio division — these people are not fools.

But how long will it last as a charmingly peer-to-peer version of broadcasting, with an emphasis on the niche, the “narrow-casting”, before the consolidation weeds out bit players? If and when it happens, John hopes the mainstream will acknowledge, and keep the informality of the podcast tone of voice.

Janan Ganesh argues that the US can no longer be relied on to carry the rest of the free world on its shoulders.

Jamil Anderlini warns that the Belt and Road Initiative is turning China into a colonialist power.

Anjana Ahuja rounds up the laboratory mice whose weight gain offers a warning on human health and brain power.

Roula Khalaf writes that the Palestinians are being marginalised as Israel and the Arab states make eyes at each other.

David Gardner says that Erdogan needs the IMF to rescue Turkey from economic disaster

What you’ve been saying

Carbon pricing can fix the broken food supply: letter from Craig Sams, East Sussex, UK

Rajiv Shah identifies problems with our food supply, the degradation of farmland, and the impact of livestock on climate and soil. There is only one thing that is close to a magic bullet for these problems: carbon pricing. As long as the farming and food production industries do not have to pay for their emissions, there is no motivation to change. Farmers who rebuild soil carbon or plant trees are not rewarded for their contribution to greenhouse gas removal, and so only a conscientious few farm organically or ecologically.

In response to “The risk of a UK recession is growing”, Enderby says:

One only needs to look at the food sector to see what's happening. Waitrose, Sainsbury's and Tesco's market share is shrinking, while discounters like Lidl and Aldi are growing. Few people shop at Lidl simply because they love a bargain. They shop there because they're skint.

Politicising the crime agency is a risky game: letter from William Salomon, London, UK

I thought Britain’s National Crime Agency was supposed to be an independent body, not an instrument of government targeting individuals for political reasons (“UK crime agency steps up assault on Russian dirty money”). We may all well want rid of the “dirty money” flooding London but this is not the way to do it. It leads to the only inevitable question; who will the government target next?

Today’s opinion

Obese rodents give scientists some food for thought
A study in mice links high-fat diets with impaired reasoning and memory

America can no longer carry the world on its shoulders
Relative decline and domestic exhaustion create an opening for realpolitik

Brexit: the importance of the Salzburg summit
The UK and EU are on course for an exit agreement and an orderly process

Israel and the Arab states make eyes at each other
Meanwhile, the Palestinians are increasingly being marginalised or ignored

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s financial and strategic dilemmas
Only the IMF can come up with the sorts of sums Turkey desperately needs

China is at risk of becoming a colonialist power
Heavy lending to Pakistan as part of the Belt and Road Initiative could backfire

Free Lunch: A diminished role looms for the IMF
Rival mechanisms for crisis management are emerging

The FT View: A dose of common sense on UK immigration
An independent report offers some welcome policy recommendations

FT Alphaville: The broken conversation about financial regulation 

Opinion today: Rising distrust will exact an economic price
Fraying relations could be bad news for EU’s smaller and less developed members

FT View

The FT View: A dose of common sense on UK immigration
An independent report offers some welcome policy recommendations

The Big Read

The Big Read: How the biggest private equity firms became the new banks
After the crisis the largest groups launched huge lending arms. But will they falter when interest rates rise?

Get alerts on Opinion when a new story is published

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2022. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window) CommentsJump to comments section

Follow the topics in this article