2021 was the year platforms came for our ears

2021 was the year platforms came for our ears

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

In 2017, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings infamously told investors his streaming platform not only competes with its counterparts for attention but also with sleep. Now almost five years later, and as the pandemic continues on, our visual attention is maxed out. If you’re not streaming a show, maybe you’re playing a video game, or working, or on a Zoom call. The tech and content platforms of the world realize this, so instead, in 2021, they focused on something other than capturing whatever’s in front of our eyeballs: they came for our ears.

Look at who got into audio and podcasting this year. Meta, formerly known as Facebook, a company known for copying any service that takes time away from its own, started supporting podcasts on its main…

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