Photo: Apple The past week was bookended by two major developments pertaining to the rise of podcast subscriptions on the platform level, between Apple’s head-turning announcement last week and Spotify’s big detail push this morning. There’s a lot baked into each piece on its own and in relation to each other — too much for me to go over comprehensively — so I’m only going to go over what I think are the most important beats. During its spring event last Tuesday, Apple announced Apple Podcasts Subscriptions, a new set of features that will give podcast creators the opportunity to create premium or freemium subscription products for their shows over the Apple Podcasts platform, still widely understood to be a major driver of all consumption in the medium even as Spotify cranks up the competition for listen share. Creators can set their own pricing, and they’ll be able to sell subscriptions to individual shows or a group of shows. Those tools are expected to roll out to the general public next month. No beating around the bush here: This is a potentially tectonic development, given Apple’s historical status as a highly influential though fairly hands-off ward of the podcast ecosystem. From a platform standpoint, the story of the last few years was defined by Spotify actively taking a hatchet to Apple’s position as the default center of the podcast universe while Apple mostly stood still. Strategically, Apple Podcasts was thought to be in a tricky in-between space: Podcasting wasn’t big enough to warrant much focus from the trillion-dollar corporation housed in a spaceship, but the notion of Apple potentially losing its dominant position over an increasingly hot media category — one that it had inadvertently cultivated — is certainly troublesome. The way I see it, Apple Podcasts’ push towards facilitating subscriptions is both a smart hedge and perhaps one of the few things the platform could do without directly distorting the balance of the … [Read more...] about Apple and Spotify Are Ready to Take Your Podcast Money
April 27, 2021 - 17:33 BST Bridie Wilkins A look at Loose Women star Ruth Langsford's daily diet – how the TV presenter includes a variety of healthy food groups to help manage her menopause and keep fit. This Morning 's Ruth Langsford has an army of fans who love tuning in to watch her presenting on our favourite daytime TV programmes – but how does the star juggle her busy schedule and keep her mental and physical health in check? RELATED: Ruth Langsford rocks a Zara pastel suit - and Loose Women viewers are swooning The TV presenter has spoken openly about her menopause in the past, admitting to struggling with the new phase in her life. Ruth has since incorporated healthy eating and exercise habits into her lifestyle. Loading the player... WATCH: Ruth Langsford reveals her breakfast and snacks for the day In lockdown , the wife of fellow TV host Eamonn Holmes took up a daily skipping challenge and committed to completing 10k steps a day – which has recently turned into the couch to 5k challenge! Inspired by friend and fashion guru Gok Wan to start running, Ruth said: "I'm so excited that I've done it and I've finished. My legs felt very heavy at the end of my last run, but then you have a nice cool down walk and I feel great! I might reward myself with a frothy coffee…" MORE: Kate Middleton on the sweet way Prince William cooks for her at home The star also loves to cook and get creative in the kitchen, often sharing snaps of her meals with her Instagram followers. What does Ruth Langsford eat for breakfast? Ruth is super-organised when it comes to pre-preparing her meals. In a video shared on Instagram before lockdown, she revealed what she would be eating for breakfast and snacks, including hard-boiled eggs, ham, tomatoes, avocado, carrots and houmous, apple and cheese slices, and a green juice. She strikes the perfect balance between healthy … [Read more...] about Ruth Langsford’s daily diet: What the Loose Women star eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner
This year’s $205,000 consolation prize. Photo: Courtesy of Distinctive Assets Last weekend’s Oscars left us all with a few gifts — Daniel Kaluuya’s homage to sex , Youn Yuh-jung being Youn Yuh-jung , and that clip of Glenn Close dancing to “Da Butt ” — but some of stars went home with literal presents via an “Everybody Wins” gift bag from Distinctive Assets, a company that is unaffiliated with the Academy and in its 19th year of giving. While stars often receive gifts at other awards shows, the Oscars bags tend to attract special attention for their sheer opulence. Forbes estimated that this year’s freebies — which include celebrity-trainer workout sessions, a liposuction procedure, a three-night retreat on a Swedish island, and a card for a commemorative gold NFT of Chadwick Boseman’s head — total $205,000 a bag. For a chance at the exposure that a celebrity’s name can bring (and the annual fascination over what expensive things the rich people got this year), brands pay thousands to donate their products and services if they are chosen to be featured in the bag. While the Academy is no longer involved with the annual gift-giving, that wasn’t always the case. In fact, up until 2006, the organization played a key role in the gift-giving on Hollywood’s biggest night. Here’s the full history of the lavish gifting tradition, including a tax dispute with the IRS, a Bette Midler award loss, a lawsuit over trademark infringement, and a man known as the “Sultan of Swag.” In 1989, Taylor Swift was born, George H.W. Bush was sworn in as the 41st president, and, according to Reuters , the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences was quietly beginning to give out thank-you gifts to the presenters and performers at its annual Oscars awards show. The practice continued for years, becoming increasingly competitive as brands (who were not charged a fee to donate) realized the power of celebrity exposure. One company told the LA Business Journal … [Read more...] about The 2021 Oscars Gift Bag Was Worth $205,000. How Did We Get Here?
American Horror Story Massacres and Matinees Season 4 Episode 2 Editor’s Rating 3 stars * * * « Previous Next » Photo: Michele K. Short/FX Oh, I get it. So this is a thing now. This year, we’re doing a “songs from the future performed at a freak show in 1951” theme. See, it only took until episode two, when our favorite two-headed warbler Bette and Dot launched into a very faithful version of “Criminal” by Fiona Apple (featuring the Mosh Pit from Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Video). It was a pretty good cover of the song, I gotta say, but it’s hard to mess up “Criminal.” It’s sort of like the pizza of the karaoke world: Even when it’s bad, it is still reading Prozac Nation in your room and listening to Throwing Muses over and over and over again and hating your mother and dying, just dying , to get out of this town forever. Things are getting a little complicated for Bette and Dot. They needed an act other than just standing onstage two heads and shoulders above everyone else. Their options were (a) shooting ping-pong balls out of their one vagina or (b) singing ‘90s alternative-radio classics. They chose b. (Tune in next week for “You Oughta Know.”) But it wasn’t Bette, the one with the Hollywood aspirations who can sing. No, it was her sister Dot who channeled her love for Edward Dildohands and unleashed the voice of a meadowlark and the jealousy of both her sister and Elsa Mars, who still considers the twins the opening act to her headliner. For the record, I am still #TeamBette, and when she stabs her sister with that knife Elsa gave her, things are gonna get real creepy. This terrible twosome wasn’t the star of this episode, however. That honor probably belongs to Del Toledo, the “strong male presence” that Elsa hires as her new strongman and barker. You know that Michael Chiklis won’t be a regular in this anthology series because he lacks the dedication to daffy accents that all the other … [Read more...] about Episode 2 Recap: Smooth Criminal
Last modified on Mar 30, 2021 08:57 BST Leanne Bayley If you're bored in isolation at home, here are some fun suggestions of what you can do while at home during lockdown. From learning new skills to Marie-Kondo-ing your space, downloading Disney, getting outside, and even erotica books for women, we've got your COVID-19 free time covered Well, 2021 is a bit dismal amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and as we continue to navigate the country's final lockdown, it can feel a bit like Groundhog Day. But staying in can be just as fun and productive as going out, with HELLO! 's tips to keep boredom at bay. From learning new skills to embracing your inner DIY guru, we've got you covered… RELATED: Bored at home? 35 productive things you can do to keep yourself entertained 1. Clear out your wardrobe Dedicate your time and attention to sorting out your clothes, declutter your home , ditching items you haven't worn for six months and co-ordinating clothes into sections so it's easier to browse in the mornings. This is a great opportunity to get inspired by new outfits or rediscover an old favourite. What you'll need: Good music on, some vacuum storage bags and a 'does it spark joy?' mindset BUY STORAGE ON AMAZON 2. Hone your cooking skills If you didn't quite master cooking skills during the first coronavirus lockdown, maybe it's time you try again and start with the basics. If you can't be bothered, and just want convenience, check out our list of the best meal delivery services in the UK . What you'll need: Basic skills. HOW TO COOK FOR BEGINNERS 3. Give yourself a manicure Sometimes it's the small things in life that make us feel better, with a fresh manicure being up there. Take some time for yourself, push your cuticles down, slather on some hand cream and choose a shade that makes you smile from ear to ear. If you love your gels, you might want to … [Read more...] about Self-isolating: 51 things to do if you’re bored at home during lockdown
“I’m proud of that girl that’s been able to put her shoulders back and stand a little bit taller and look people in the eye and own the gift that I do feel like I’ve been given.” Photo: Ashley Monroe/YouTube Ashley Monroe doesn’t do radio promotion anymore. She wouldn’t even if she were still on a major label; she’d previously told her former team at Warner Bros. Nashville — who later dropped her in 2019 — she wanted to bypass that particular industry standard because it was “wasting everyone’s time and money.” Monroe still remembers one of her last radio gigs: After she finished singing “Has Anybody Ever Told You,” the love song off her 2015 album The Blade , someone at a radio station she won’t name began to talk to the regional manager who came with her. “What we need is more bro country,” he said, and showed the regional manager some other example albums. “I was like, I’m too old, I’m too tired, I’m too good,” Monroe remembers. “I’m not doing this anymore.” Monroe has never fully played by Nashville’s rules. For the first years of her singing career, in the mid-aughts, Columbia sat on her debut, Satisfied , allegedly because the singles didn’t get radio play. As country went bigger and poppier, she was making stripped-down ballads and jaunty honky-tonk jams. After she got a deal with Warner Bros. for her 2013 album Like a Rose , she released a string of stunning records rooted in classic country sounds. To a wider audience, she may be best known as a member of the Pistol Annies , the supergroup with Miranda Lambert and Angaleena Presley that stared country music’s sexism right in the face from their 2011 debut. Yet nothing Monroe has done has broken the rules quite like Rosegold , her just-released fifth studio album. Beyond releasing it without major-label backing ( it’s now being distributed by Nashville company Thirty Tigers ) , it’s a confident pop record, drawing more from Kanye than Dolly. Monroe wasn’t in a rut before … [Read more...] about Ashley Monroe Listened to Her Gut (and Old Kanye) to Make