If the first stop in fixing a problem is admitting you have one, then Anchor.fm co-founder Mike Mignano is halfway there to fixing the problem of fake podcasts being created using his company’s platform. He told The Verge that Anchor is working to update its automated copycat detection system and it is putting additional checks in place to help crack down on what has been a growing problem for podcasters this year. “This is definitely a new type of attack for Anchor,” said Mignano.
Podcasters have been complaining for months that Spotify’s podcast lineup has become clogged with counterfeit shows created by Anchor’s podcast hosting platform. That is because the company allows anyone to create shows with names already being used by popular shows—and then gain distribution across Spotify as part of a money-making scheme.
The goal of the perpetrators is to fool people into listening to them so the producers of the fake shows can pocket money from the ads automatically inserted into their shows using Anchor technology.
Mignano said Anchor is making it harder for the counterfeit shows to be cleared for monetization on its platform, explaining to The Verge that they have “doubled down” on approvals for new shows that want to monetize. He also said that once it learned that Anchor was being used to create the bogus podcasts, it stepped up quickly to put new safeguards into place while taking down the fake episodes.
“With any rapidly growing platform, that has brought on some growing pains and we need to do a better job of anticipating things like this,” said Mignano. “We’re working right now to ensure that our copycat detection and creator outreach continues to improve to keep pace.” He said additional safeguards will be added in the coming weeks.
Spotify bought Anchor for $160 million last year as a way to funnel more podcast content into its app. The company said at the time that the platform of tools for podcast creators powered more than 40% of the podcasts now being published.