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Expand chart
Data: Vivid Seats; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The number of events that have sold based on podcasts has increased by over 2000% in the past six years, according to ticket sales data from Vivid Seats, one of the largest independent ticket vendors in North America.

Why it matters: Live events offer podcasts the opportunity to monetize outside of audio ad revenue, which is growing but still pretty small compared to radio ad revenue.

The big picture: Many of the most expensive tickets sell to shows that are personality-driven.

  • "What’s even more interesting is what we’re not seeing: narrative podcasts, which tends to more of the critical attention," says Nicholas Quah, the founder and writer of Hot Pod, a leading industry newsletter about podcasts.
  • "This probably has to do with adaptation — seems like the way you’d build good live podcast shows isn’t too far from the way you’d think about booking bands," Quah notes.

The bottom line: Live events are often very community-driven, and podcasts, due to the more personalized nature of speaking to an audience versus writing to one, have been able develop very strong personal relationships with readers.

"At Vivid Seats, we've seen the enormous growth of fans looking to see their favorite podcast hosts in person. Certainly, huge summer concerts, traditional sporting events and theater shows remain popular, but fans are clearly enjoying more tailored forms of live entertainment that hardly even existed a decade ago."
— Michael O'Neil, Head of Public Policy and Community Engagement at Vivid Seats

Go deeper: Spotify's podcasting dreams

Go deeper

Home confinees face imminent return to prison

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Thousands of prisoners who've been in home confinement for as long as a year because of the pandemic face returning to prison when it's over — unless President Biden rescinds a last-minute Trump Justice Department memo.

Why it matters: Most prisoners were told they would not have to come back as they were released early with ankle bracelets. Now, their lives are on hold while they wait to see whether or when they may be forced back behind bars. Advocates say about 4,500 people are affected.

The "essential" committee that still doesn't exist

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Nearly five months after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced the creation of the bipartisan Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth, it's not been formed much less met.

Why it matters: Select committees are designed to address urgent matters, but the 117th Congress is now nearly one-quarter complete without this panel assembling. When she announced this committee, Pelosi described it as an "essential force" to "combat the crisis of income and wealth disparity in America."

Biden's ethics end-around for labor

President Biden surveys a water treatment plant during a visit to New Orleans today. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration is excusing top officials from ethics rules that would otherwise restrict their work with large labor unions that previously employed them, federal records show.

Why it matters: Labor's sizable personnel presence in the administration is driving policy, and the president's appointment of top union officials to senior posts gives those unions powerful voices in the federal bureaucracy — even at the cost of strictly adhering to his own stringent ethics standards.