Whoa. This is huge.
With all the money in politics, it’s easy to be cynical about what happens inside the halls of Congress, but this morning, the House of Representatives actually stuck up for the little guy with an incredible new piece of legislation. After a long floor fight, the House narrowly passed a landmark antitrust bill designed to break up America’s biggest podcast networks and to limit the power of the “growing podcast oligopoly” in the United States.
Finally, government working the way it’s supposed to!
The bill, officially titled The Preserving Fairness And Opportunity In Podcasting Act Of 2016, but more commonly known as the Podbust Bill, places strict regulations on any podcast network that hosts over 20 properties. House minority leader and bill co-sponsor Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) addressed the media shortly after votes were tallied.
“At present, the podcast game is rigged in the favor of a powerful few, but we are now doing everything in our power to open up the playing field and ensure that everyone has a chance to make their 90-minute Walking Dead recaps heard,” said Pelosi. “How is a hardworking, creative young podcaster ever supposed to get their off-the-cuff pop-culture hot takes noticed if the greedy individuals behind Earwolf, Maximum Fun, and Panoply are hogging all the Audible.com ad dollars and has-been celebrity guests? It’s time everyone played fair.”
If you’ve ever tried to start up a podcast where you review different kinds of 1980s snacks and it never gained traction, you know just how big today’s new is. Talk about power to the people!
Supporters of the bill were slightly disheartened to learn that the opposition was able to strike a clause that would have limited all podcasts to three Paul F. Tompkins appearances per year, but overall, this is still a major victory for everyone who has a little section of their den they call their “podcast studio” and bought the best-reviewed under-$70 condenser mic on Amazon.
“We need to ensure that every American with a microphone and an internet connection has the same chance at making money from Squarespace or Stamps.com as the podcast elites at Nerdist Industries,” said bill co-sponsor Pete Aguilar (D-CA), speaking after Pelosi. “Variety is critical to a healthy economy, and it’s time to end the parasitic media reign of the Bill Simmonses and Scott Aukermans of the world.”
Only time will tell whether this new bill will succeed in leveling the playing field, but it’s nonetheless a hugely important first step toward equal opportunity for podcasting in the United States. So cool!