…Global digital ad spending is projected to grow 2.4% this year according to eMarketer, which says that growth rate is the lowest on record and the first time the worldwide digital ad spending growth rate has been in the single digits. “Google will see its first ever contraction in digital ad revenues, as search advertising will struggle compared with display, “it said. Overall global digital ad revenue is forecast to hit $332.84 billion. Overall ad spending will decline by 4.9% worldwide this year to $614.73 billion according to eMarketer, a significant drop from last year’s 6.3% growth and from its pre-pandemic 2020 forecast of 7% growth. 

…Audioboom will focus on core markets like the U.S., Australia, Canada and the U.K, announcing it is closing its office in India. “To succeed in India, we would need to operate there with an entirely different strategy than we do in our other regions as the market is very nuanced. We’re too small to give it the attention it deserves,” CEO Stuart Last wrote on Twitter. He said podcasters in the country would still have access to Audioboom’s hosting platform and toolset but added, “We won’t have employees on the ground there.” Last said Audioboom is still focused on global business, but it will do that by “being smarter than before.” 

…Phoebe Robinson, creator of the 2 Dope Queens podcast has leveraged her show into an HBO series and now she will become a book publisher. Penguin Random House’s Plume has struck a deal with Robinson to launch the Tiny Reparations Books imprint. The unit will publish books that are both fiction and nonfiction that will showcase “unique and diverse voices,” according to the announcement. “We all know there is a lack of diversity in publishing,” Robinson said in a statement. “Tiny Reparations Books recognizes that the publishing landscape isn’t going to change until the actual work starts behind the scenes. I am thrilled to partner with Plume to help take this important step.” Plume also announced the purchase of world rights to Robinson’s next book, Six Feet Apart, which is set for publication in late-2021.

ABC Audio’s Truth and Lies: Jeffrey Epstein podcast was among the many shows that explored the seedy story of the businessman accused of sexually abusing young women. The arrest of his former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, who authorities allege helped Estpein commit the crimes, has led ABC to release a bonus episode of the podcast. It is hosted by ABC News correspondent Mark Remillard, who speaks with ABC News Senior Producer James Hill and ABC News Senior Investigative Reporter Aaron Katersky to break down the charges and what is known about the investigation into Maxwell. The podcast is produced by the ABC News Investigative Unit and ABC Audio.

… As part of its growth strategy, Evergreen Podcasts is adding several movie-based podcasts to its ever-growing podcast network during July. The latest is Movie Marathoners, a podcast with a quick-witted take on modern movie making. The podcast was created and is hosted by Matti Groll, a doctoral student in biomedical engineering who spends his free time watching movies and running marathons. The podcast joins a growing list of movie-based content being distributed by Evergreen, including Behind the Doc, Greenlight Reviews and The Sound of Movies

…Spotify is said to be working on a new feature that will help make podcasts more social-media friendly in a move aimed at helping show discovery. Tech sleuth Jane Manchun Wong says her digging intothe app’s inner workings finds that Spotify is developing shareable “quotes from podcast episodes. Wong also discovers that Spotify is redesigning the desktop app, basing the design on the web player. The update will also include a Settings page that will allow users to adjust music quality.