656 episodes

Decoder is a show from The Verge about big ideas — and other problems. Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel talks to a diverse cast of innovators and policymakers at the frontiers of business and technology to reveal how they’re navigating an ever-changing landscape, what keeps them up at night, and what it all means for our shared future.

Decoder with Nilay Patel The Verge

    • Business
    • 4.1 • 2.7K Ratings

Decoder is a show from The Verge about big ideas — and other problems. Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel talks to a diverse cast of innovators and policymakers at the frontiers of business and technology to reveal how they’re navigating an ever-changing landscape, what keeps them up at night, and what it all means for our shared future.

    How Bose compete with AirPods — and why it’s in more cars than ever, with CEO Lila Snyder

    How Bose compete with AirPods — and why it’s in more cars than ever, with CEO Lila Snyder

    Bose is one of the most recognizable audio brands in the world: it was famous for the Wave radio in the 80s, it invented noise cancellation, you can see its logo on NFL sidelines every Sunday, and of course there are the popular consumer products like the QuietComfort headphones that reviewers like Chris Welch here at The Verge rate as some of the best in the game. Bose is in tons of cars as well: audio systems in GM, Honda, Hyundai, Porsche, and more are developed and tuned by Bose.
    Bose was founded in 1964 by Dr. Amar Bose, who donated a majority of the shares of the company to MIT, where he was a professor. That means to this day, Bose is a private company with no pressure to go public. However, Bose still has to compete against big tech in talent, products, and compatibility.
    So today I’m talking to Bose CEO Lila Snyder about Bose’s dependence on platform vendors like Apple and Google, how she thinks about standards like Bluetooth, and where she thinks she can compete and win against AirPods and other products that get preferential treatment on phones.

    Links:
    Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II review: noise cancellation domination
    How Amar Bose used research to build better speakers
    List of Bose shelf stereos
    Hearing Aids | FDA
    Digital signal processor
    Functional organization
    Bose names its first female CEO as wait continues for new products
    Amar Bose ’51 makes stock donation to MIT
    Meta announces huge job cuts affecting 11,000 employees
    Amazon mass layoffs will reportedly ax 10,000 people this week
    Elon Musk demands Twitter employees commit to ‘extremely hardcore’ culture or leave
    The iPhone 7 has no headphone jack
    Bluetooth Special Interest Group
    Qualcomm Partners with Meta and Bose
    Bose gets into hearing aid business with new FDA-cleared SoundControl hearing aids
    Over-the-counter hearing aids could blur the line with headphones
    New Bose-Lexie Hearing Aid to Enter the Over-the-Counter Market
    Lexie Partners with Bose to Offer Lexie B1 Powered by Bose Hearing Aids
    Bose Frames Tempo review: the specs to beat
    Bose discontinues its niche Sport Open Earbuds
    BMW starts selling heated seat subscriptions for $18 a month
    Seven CEOs and one secretary of transportation on the future of cars
    Why Amazon VP Steve Boom just made the entire music catalog free with Prime                 

    Transcript:
    https://www.theverge.com/e/23246668 

    Credits:
    Decoder is a production of The Verge and part of the Vox Media Podcast Network.
    It was produced by Creighton DeSimone and Jackie McDermott and it was edited by Callie Wright. 
    The Decoder music is by Breakmaster Cylinder. Our Editorial Director is Brooke Minters and our Executive Director is Eleanor Donovan.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 18 min
    On with Kara Swisher: Can Chris Licht Turn CNN Around?

    On with Kara Swisher: Can Chris Licht Turn CNN Around?

    Chris Licht faces an uphill battle at CNN. He got the CEO gig in the midst of a prickly merger between Warner Bros. and Discovery and right after the shocking exit of beloved long-time boss, Jeff Zucker. In his first six months, he’s shut down CNN+, ousted Brian Stelter, and shuffled anchors around, including Don Lemon and Jake Tapper. This week, the network chief held an internal town hall meeting where he faced a staff of thousands and discussed upcoming layoffs. Shortly afterwards, he sat down with Kara — who grilled him, of course.
    She asks Licht whether he has any real actual power or if he’s simply executing orders from Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav — who is in search of cuts, as the company stares down the barrel at $50 billion in debt — and billionaire board member, John Malone, who has said he’d like to see more “centrist” programming from CNN. They discuss Licht’s vision for the newsroom, his plan to build trust with journalists who fear losing jobs, and how CNN will cover Donald Trump during the 2024 election.
    Before the interview, Kara and Nayeema discuss the challenges facing journalism in an era of disinformation. Stay tuned for Kara’s closing rant on “citizen journalism” and Elon’s latest broadside against the press.
    You can find Kara and Nayeema on Twitter @karaswisher and @nayeema.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Phil Spencer really wants you to know that native Call of Duty will stay on PlayStation

    Phil Spencer really wants you to know that native Call of Duty will stay on PlayStation

    Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, is in charge of Xbox and all the game studios that Microsoft has acquired over the years. Phil came to talk to us hours before the European Commission announced an in-depth investigation into Microsoft’s proposed 68.7 billion dollar acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which makes the enormous Call of Duty series, as well as Candy Crush on phones. 
    So I had the chance to ask Phil: Will he make the concessions that regulators want in order to close this deal? And is the deal really just about Call of Duty, or something else? Is Microsoft committed to keep Call of Duty available on Playstation?
    Phil’s a candid guy. He’s been on Decoder before. I always enjoy talking to him, and this was a fun one.

    Links:
    Microsoft’s Phil Spencer on the new Xbox launch - The Verge
    Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion - The Verge
    Why Microsoft bought Bethesda for $7.5 billion
    Microsoft announces big, multistudio push to create more Xbox exclusives
    Bethesda’s Starfield and Redfall have been delayed to 2023
    Tech antitrust pioneer Lina Khan will officially lead the FTC
    Sony says Microsoft’s Call of Duty offer was ‘inadequate on many levels’
    Microsoft: Xbox game streaming console is ‘years away'
    This is Microsoft’s Xbox game streaming device
    Google is shutting down Stadia in January 2023 - The Verge
    Razer’s Edge is one sharp-looking cloud gaming Android handheld
    Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld review: terminally online
    Steam Deck review: it’s not ready
    Steam Deck, one month later
    Tech Leaders Discuss the Metaverse’s Future | WSJ Tech Live 2022
    Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on the business of Windows
    Microsoft partners with Meta to bring Teams, Office, Windows, and Xbox to VR
    EU opens ‘in-depth investigation’ into Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition

    Transcript:
    https://www.theverge.com/e/23223230

    Credits:
    Decoder is a production of The Verge and part of the Vox Media Podcast Network.
    It was produced by Creighton DeSimone and Jackie McDermott and it was edited by Callie Wright.
    The Decoder music is by Breakmaster Cylinder. Our Editorial Director is Brooke Minters and our Executive Director is Eleanor Donovan.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Why Figma is selling to Adobe for $20 billion, with CEO Dylan Field

    Why Figma is selling to Adobe for $20 billion, with CEO Dylan Field

    Dylan Field is the co-founder and CEO of Figma, which makes a very popular design tool that allows designers and their collaborators to all work together right in a web browser. You know how multiple people can edit together in Google Docs? Figma is that for design work. We just redesigned The Verge; we used Figma extensively throughout that process.
    So for years, people have been waiting on the inevitable Figma vs. Adobe standoff since Figma was such a clear upstart competitor to Photoshop and Illustrator and the rest. Well, buckle up because in September, Adobe announced that it was buying Figma for $20 billion. Figma is going to remain independent inside Adobe, but you know, it’s a little weird.
    So I wanted to talk to Dylan about the deal, why he’s doing it, how he made the decision to sell, and what things he can do as part of Adobe that he couldn’t do as an independent company.
    Dylan’s also a pretty expansive thinker, so after we talked about his company getting the “f**k you” money from Adobe, we talked about making VR Figma for the metaverse and AGI, which is artificial general intelligence, or the kind of AI that can fully think for itself. This episode takes a turn. I think you’re going to like it.
    Okay, Dylan Field, CEO of Figma. Here we go.

    Links:
    Welcome to the new Verge
    Adobe to acquire Figma in a deal worth $20 billion
    A New Collaboration with Adobe
    Designers worry Adobe won't let Figma flourish
    WebGL - Wikipedia
    How big companies kill ideas — and how to fight back, with Tony Fadell - Decoder
    Dylan Field on Twitter: "Our goal is to be Figma not Adobe"
    College Dropout Turns Thiel Fellowship Into a $2 Billion Figma Fortune
    Generative adversarial network (GAN) - Wikipedia      
    GPT-3 - Wikipedia
    Is VR the next frontier in fitness? - Decoder
    Artificial general intelligence - Wikipedia  

    Transcript:
    https://www.theverge.com/e/23209862

    Credits:
    Decoder is a production of The Verge and part of the Vox Media Podcast Network.
    It was produced by Creighton DeSimone and Jackie McDermott and it was edited by Jackson Bierfeldt.
    The Decoder music is by Breakmaster Cylinder. Our Editorial Director is Brooke Minters and our Executive Director is Eleanor Donovan.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 9 min
    The mystery of Biden’s deadlocked FCC

    The mystery of Biden’s deadlocked FCC

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is currently short a commissioner, and the Biden Administration and Senate Democrats just can't seem to get that seat filled despite having nominated an amazingly qualified person. Her name is Gigi Sohn. The inability to get Gigi confirmed at the FCC has left the commission deadlocked with two Democrats and two Republicans. That means the commission in charge of regulating all telecom in the United States, including how you get your internet service, is unable to get much done. The Biden administration can't accomplish some of its biggest policy priorities like rural broadband and restoring net neutrality. President Biden first nominated Gigi Sohn to the FCC over a year ago, but the full Senate vote to confirm her just hasn't happened. We’ve been digging into the story for a few months now, trying to figure out what's going on here, and we found a simple but really frustrating answer…

    Links:
    Gigi Sohn Author Profile - The Verge 
    Comcast trying to “torpedo” Biden FCC pick Gigi Sohn, advocacy group says
    The Slime Machine Targeting Dozens of Biden Nominees
    Attempted acquisition of Tribune Media by Sinclair Broadcast Group
    The Vergecast: Net neutrality was repealed a year ago. Gigi Sohn explains what’s happened since 
    Confirmation Hearing for FCC and Commerce Department Nominees
    Biden signs $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act
     Biden Signs Bill to Help Veterans Exposed to Toxic Burn Pits
    With the Inflation Reduction Act, the US brings climate goals within reach 
    Federal Communications Commission v. Pacifica Foundation 
    Federal Communications Commission v. Pacifica Foundation 
    A Media Censor for the FCC? 
    Hyperpartisan Gigi Sohn Doesn’t Belong at the FCC
    Gigi Sohn and the Police
    Gigi Sohn Facebook Tweet
    Tech antitrust pioneer Lina Khan will officially lead the FTC
    Confirmation Hearing For FCC Nominee
    FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel on staying connected during a pandemic

    Transcript:
    https://www.theverge.com/e/23201559

    Credits:
    Decoder is a production of The Verge and part of the Vox Media Podcast Network.
    Today’s episode was written and reported by Jackie McDermott.
    It was produced by Creighton DeSimone and Jackie McDermott and it was edited by Callie Wright. Additional mixing by Andrew Marino.
    The Decoder music is by Breakmaster Cylinder. Our Editorial Director is Brooke Minters and our Executive Director is Eleanor Donovan.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 41 min
    Why Amazon VP Steve Boom just made the entire music catalog free with Prime

    Why Amazon VP Steve Boom just made the entire music catalog free with Prime

    I love covering the music industry, but over the past 10 years I’ve found that it’s one of the most challenging things to make accessible to a wide audience. See, my theory is that the music industry is like five years ahead of everything else when it comes to being disrupted by tech: whatever happens to the music industry because of technology eventually happens to everything else.

    Today I'm talking to Steve Boom, the VP of Amazon Music. Amazon just announced that they are upgrading the music service that Prime members get as part of their subscription. Starting today, one of the benefits for Amazon Prime members is that you now get access to the entire Amazon Music catalog, about 100 million songs, to play in shuffle mode. That service used to only contain 2 million songs. And they are removing ads from a large selection of podcasts including the entire Wondery catalog.
    I wanted to ask Steve: what’s it like to negotiate with the record labels for a service like this? What can streaming services do to make artists more money? And where do podcasts fit into the overall strategy? Amazon and Spotify both spend a lot of money buying podcast studios. Is it paying off?

    Links:
    Amazon buys Wondery, setting itself up to compete against Spotify for podcast domination
    Apple’s Anti-Competitive Behavior Hurts Everyone—Including Audiobook Listeners, Publishers, and Authors
    Why Rdio died
    Why it makes sense for Amazon to buy Twitch
    Amazon Launches Audio App Amp Combining Music and Live Conversation 
    The days of cheap music streaming may be numbered
    Why did Jack Dorsey’s Square buy Tidal, Jay-Z’s failed music service?
    Amazon Music rolls out a lossless streaming tier that Spotify and Apple can’t match
    How Amazon runs Alexa, with Dave Limp
    Apple’s new podcast charts show Amazon at the top
    Spotify gets serious about podcasts with two acquisitions
     Vox Media acquires Cafe Studios, Preet Bharara’s podcast-first company
    Vox Media Acquires Criminal Productions, Leading Narrative Podcast Studio
    Time to Play Fair - Spotify
    Apple’s New App Store Rules a Big Boon for Netflix, Hulu & Co.
    MusiCares

    Transcript:
    https://www.theverge.com/e/23197384


    Credits:
    Decoder is a production of The Verge, and part of the Vox Media Podcast Network.
    Today’s episode was produced by Creighton DeSimone and Jackie McDermott and it was edited by Callie Wright.
    The Decoder music is by Breakmaster Cylinder. Our Sr Audio Director is Andrew Marino and our Executive Producer is Eleanor Donovan.  

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 9 min

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5
2.7K Ratings

2.7K Ratings

Andelpink ,

Great Podcast but…

Nilay is a great host, he does a superb job interviewing people. Decoder has some of of the most interesting people in the tech and business worlds on regularly. Im excited to see who they have an each week. Having said that, it’s evident that this show is heavily influenced by liberal ideology. I question if Nilay truly believes in some of the principles he advocates for on the show. I have a feeling that the people writing his checks are influencing that aspect of the show. That’s why I only give it four stars.

jswhitney7 ,

Decoder is essential for staying aware in almost all industries

Nilay is an excellent host, and hearing such a variety of personalities and perspectives is so important to stay aware and informed on what is happening across many industries. Hearing the insights from leaders in these companies gives you such an understanding on why things are. Nilay does such a great job at pushing these folks and asking right questions. Probably the only podcast I try to push on my coworkers and colleagues.

pantlu1591 ,

Below average show with predictable boring content

Sorry Nilay. The content has been trending downhill for months.

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