Podcast startup Luminary roiled the podcasting trade when it debuted in April this yr, and it has since maintained a low profile. The Verge confirmed immediately, nevertheless, that two months or so after its launch, co-founder Joe Purzycki stepped down as chief technique officer. He stays near CEO Matt Sacks, a Luminary spokesperson says, and nonetheless holds shares. The firm changed Purzycki with Jeff Saunders, a former VP of product and expertise at Jet.com who’s now Luminary’s chief product officer. Since taking up the function, Saunders has elevated the engineering group from 20 to 30 individuals, a spokesperson says. The firm didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon why Purzycki left or what number of subscribers the service has.
It’s unclear what’s occurring at Luminary or how its subscription mannequin is panning out. The firm provides preliminary customers a free trial to its premium content material, however some individuals reported a confusing cancellation process. Instead of outright deleting their accounts, Luminary requires them to modify to a free account, which implies individuals nonetheless technically have accounts, they simply can’t entry Luminary’s unique exhibits.
Meanwhile, the corporate has continued to battle to courtroom the broader podcasting trade. At launch, and nonetheless, the app is lacking a few of podcasting’s greatest exhibits, together with The New York Times’ The Daily, Joe Rogan’s present, and Gimlet Media exhibits like Reply All, amongst others. At the app’s launch time, the Times stated it intends to be “judicious” about the place The Daily is positioned. Other New York Times exhibits, like Caliphate and Modern Love, can be found on Luminary, however the Times nonetheless hasn’t opted to incorporate The Daily.
Luminary additionally initially relied on a proxy server to serve listeners exhibits from public RSS feeds, which disadvantaged hosts of precious listener knowledge. It additionally stripped hosts’ present notes, which are sometimes used to share sponsored hyperlinks or related info. Both these points have been fastened, however they converse to the Luminary’s broader challenges as a podcasting startup and one which may not have absolutely understood the trade it entered.