On Monday, Facebook announced they were shutting down Audio Hub. This was a hub for podcasting. It was launched in April of 2021. Facebook launched this after they noticed the success of Spotify and Apple in the podcast arena. When Facebook originally released Audio Hub, their selling point was users would be able to load their own podcast on the site and aggregate their content from other platforms. The platform did not catch on as Facebook had hoped and now it’s shutting down.  Facebook created Audio Hub because they were concerned about how their audience’s time was being divided amongst other platforms.

Many companies live by a similar ethic when it comes to their customer base. They want either all a customer’s time or money. This is why companies stretch themselves too thin. For example a company can specializes in selling potatoes and up the road another company sells potato sacks; the two can co-exist in harmony without competing against each other. It is even possible for the potato or potato sack seller to direct their customers to one another. However many companies think the opposite; if a company is having success with a particular product or field they want to cut into that market.

Instead of thinking of ways they can co-exist and cross promote, companies would rather pivot into a market that they had no original interest or expertise in for a piece of the market share. More often than not, they fail.  Facebook was so focused on Apple and Spotify having users time instead of concentrating on creating attributes within the platform to promote the audience’s favorite podcast from those sites to Facebook. They could have created a feature to allow users to do a “listen live group” on Facebook to chat about the podcast they are listening to. There was a host of things that could have been done as a form of strategic positioning, which would have resulted in a win-win. Instead, they choose to do a form of direct competition.

TikTok is an example of a company who partnered with Instacart as a form of win-win. TikTok has users that show off food they created on their platform. Instacart has a function that allows you to scroll to TikTok recipes on their app. When you click on the video, all the ingredients from a particular TikTok video recipe will go into the cart for the audience to create a similar dish. Instacart didn’t try to compete with TikTok and develop a social media platform, nor did TikTok try to compete against Instacart and create an online grocery delivery service. They decided to work together and it’s a success.

Some companies need to invest more in strategic positioning and less in just outright mirroring their competition which in the end results into a waste of time and resources.