Buzzcast

2021 Podcast Predictions + Visual Soundbites Just Got a Whole Lot Better

November 06, 2020 Episode 38
Buzzcast
2021 Podcast Predictions + Visual Soundbites Just Got a Whole Lot Better
Chapters
0:00
Bruce Willis will save us!
0:26
Podcast Index “one click” submission
17:43
Visual Soundbites Update
19:32
Custom Domains in Buzzsprout
23:23
Buzzsprout now sells merch!
25:14
Guest release forms
31:46
Listener duration stats?
36:33
2021 Podcast Predictions
Buzzcast
2021 Podcast Predictions + Visual Soundbites Just Got a Whole Lot Better
Nov 06, 2020 Episode 38

In this episode, we discuss our new "one click" Podcast Index submission, custom artwork for Visual Soundbites, an easier way to use custom domains for your Buzzsprout podcast website, and answer listener questions about everything from guest release forms to predicting what will happen in podcasting in 2021.

Click here to download a simple guest release form if you want to start using one for your podcast guests.

Check out our new Buzzsprout merch store on Cotton Bureau.

Subscribe to the Buzzsprout YouTube channel to watch gear reviews, software tutorials, and podcast strategy videos.

Review Buzzcast in Podchaser to let us know what you think of the show.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode, we discuss our new "one click" Podcast Index submission, custom artwork for Visual Soundbites, an easier way to use custom domains for your Buzzsprout podcast website, and answer listener questions about everything from guest release forms to predicting what will happen in podcasting in 2021.

Click here to download a simple guest release form if you want to start using one for your podcast guests.

Check out our new Buzzsprout merch store on Cotton Bureau.

Subscribe to the Buzzsprout YouTube channel to watch gear reviews, software tutorials, and podcast strategy videos.

Review Buzzcast in Podchaser to let us know what you think of the show.

Travis:

It's like the asteroid that comes near Earth every once in a while and you got to have a backup plan. You know, it's like the existential threat. that'll probably not happen. You would

Kevin:

have to plan for the asteroid.

Alban:

I don't think we have a backup. That's the best.

Travis:

I'm putting all my stock in SpaceX, Bruce Willis, Bruce Willis gonna save us from the asteroid. I hope so. We

Alban:

don't have time. We just we got to get the oil drillers we need to get up into space to go take out this asteroid.

Kevin:

Did you guys see the new podcast index submission within Buzzsprout?

Travis:

Yes, I did. I actually went through and submitted all of our shows.

Kevin:

Oh, yeah. Was it easy? It was like one.

Travis:

Yeah, it's like, I think it's technically two clicks. Yes. I think it's funny

Alban:

that we call everything one click submission. But it's like if the last click is a click isn't everything on one click submission?

Kevin:

I don't think you can say one click then Amazon trademark that.

Alban:

I think there was like one click Checkout, right?

Kevin:

I don't know. I think just like to

Alban:

pause the podcast. So we can look up the trademark raffle for Amazon's one click purchase. That, by the way, has burned me so many times.

Kevin:

What you buy things accidentally?

Alban:

No, I, you go, Hey, that looks like a really cool Lego set. And then you just buy it. And then like the next day, it's there. And you're like, Well, why did I buy that Lego set?

Kevin:

That's an excuse, man, you would have bought it even if it was like 11 clicks.

Travis:

Yeah, so we now have, we now have to click submission to the podcast index, you click on the little button that says get listed as the podcast index icon. And then on that page, we tell you all the things that you need to have in your feed in order to get in, and you click Submit and then you're you're in Easy peasy.

Alban:

The whole purpose of this podcast index. It's founded by Adam curry, who I guess everyone heard about last episode. But the main, the main point is, a lot of apps are finding all the podcasts through the apple podcast API. And there is a possibility, though, we don't have any direct evidence of this. But there's a possibility at some point, Apple would say, Hey, you know what, we're not going to have this openly available for people just to grab all the new podcasts, add them to their apps, it's totally would be a reasonable thing for Apple to do. And so the podcast index is a group of people that are going, Hey, we kind of need a backup plan, if that were to ever happen, you know, kind of an open decentralized way for podcast apps to find new podcasts.

Kevin:

Right? Well, the mission of the podcast index is to preserve the pod podcasting as a platform for free speech. And this becomes a very real scenario, because this is happening today, like the idea that a podcast could be censored off of certain platforms. That just makes sense. And it becomes a certain point, it becomes the responsibility of platforms to do so. And you can see different platforms that are struggling with that in our world right now. So Facebook is struggling with what is censorship look like? What is responsible content moderation look like? And how do we implement that. And the same things happening in other platforms like YouTube. And Apple's probably going to have to figure this out for themselves as well in their distribution platform, which is Apple podcasts. So it's a huge directory. As all that stuff happens. The podcast index is saying, We need something that's platform agnostic, that there's not a company and a brand and advertising dollars behind that they have to, you know, moderate and protect and make sure that everything is fact checked. Again, like Twitter's putting factchecking badges on things, podcasting right now is open to preserve that openness. The podcast index has said, Hey, we're just going to be an open community by developers. And we will be a directory which podcast creators can submit their podcasts to that we don't have advertisers, and we don't have a brand to protect them and have anything. So it just protects the free speech of podcasting and open distribution that is made available by open podcasting. So if you think about people who have been d platformed, whether it be not D platform, but like D monetized on YouTube, whether it be PewDiePie, when he went through that, or somebody like more controversial, like an Alex Jones, they have had trouble keeping their content on certain platforms or being able to monetize it on platforms, this would be the solution, this would be you can put your podcast here, third party apps can choose whether they want to pull from it or not. And then you could go find a third party podcasting app and find that content if you want. Now, this is not an endorsement of that content. It's just a way to protect the open free speech opportunity that podcasting currently provides.

Travis:

Well, and we're seeing it play out on Spotify right now with Joe Rogan, where it's been documented multiple times how Joe Rogan will have a guest on his show that a lot of Spotify employees don't like or like don't agree with their stance or what they talk about. And they're having these huge internal discussions about, like, should Spotify have editorial control over Joe Rogan's content, and that's like an active fight between the C level executives and the rest of the Spotify team. Right. So So Just the fact that that is a conversation that is happening shows that it's not even just like, you know, you have to be a, you know, a conspiracy theorist in order to kind of fall into one of these categories, it could very easily get to the point where like social media is currently trying to figure out, what do we censor? What do we not censor? If we're not careful that can happen with podcasting apps as well.

Kevin:

I was like, trying to think this through the NC is Brian.

Alban:

Well, I see it is like, the actual thing that I'd be worried about if I was a podcast app would be, hey, I'm totally reliant on a platform of Apple podcasts, who is a direct competitor. And that would be my big fear is like a app developer, I'd be like, you know, man, this is crazy that I'm relying entirely on a competitor to tell me when new podcasts to come out. And Apple is doing all the work they're going through and making sure that there's a real podcast, it's labeled correctly, they actually have real people doing this. And so I see the much bigger threat is being apple at some point says, Hey, we're going in a different direction. And no longer are we going to foot the bill for everybody else. by figuring out which podcasts are good, which are explicit, which are not all that you that's now back to you guys, you figure it out on your own. And if Apple were to turn that off one day, then all the app developers are totally in the dark. And we either have to go to some would podcast launch, they just don't get into apps, and it becomes very painful. or they'd have to be like, you have to submit your podcast to like 50 apps. And that's a painful process. And so what the podcast index is doing is providing kind of an insurance plan on that and saying, hey, submit everything here, we will get all the data from the podcast hosts will aggregate it all together. And so all of the directories or all the the apps can go ahead and say and pull from us. And there's a lot of benefits that are there. Like they can do a lot of things that Apple has not done, saying like, hey, new episodes up. I mean, one of the most common questions we get in support is, why am I not? Why is my latest episode not showing up in Apple yet? Because Apple's never innovated in that way.

Kevin:

I totally agree with that. Let me say this, though, not not to discount anything that you're saying. But to agree with it further, like what Apple is doing is extraordinary, because podcasters have to submit directly to Spotify, just like we have to submit directly to Apple. But Spotify doesn't provide us an open API to be able to pull all the podcasts that they have indexed. Right. And we don't really assume that they would. Like we're like, that's kind of weird. So what Apple is doing is going above and beyond by making this available. And they have been doing that for a very long time. The question is, like, are they really just that kind hearted to the podcasting community? Or, like, like, what was their motivation outside of being generous? The same thing with Amazon, Amazon is, you know, they have a new way to submit podcasts into Amazon to get into amazon music and now audible. But at the same time, they're not opening their catalogue, for others to be able to pull an index and like drive third party apps. So what Apple's doing is absolutely extraordinary and different than what anybody else in the industry is doing. And the question has to be like, we have to try to figure out or protect ourselves from like, why are they doing it? How long are they going to do it? And exactly what helping said, this could really all go away tomorrow, they could shut it down. If Apple says, Hey, our podcasting app used to get 60 or 70% of plays, and now it's only getting 40 or 50. We don't like that. How about we just stopped letting people use our directory that would drive our traffic way back up to where we like it. They could absolutely do that. I don't think they would, I don't know if they would, but I don't work there. I don't know, what they're thinking or why they're doing what they're doing. Good.

Alban:

I honestly think that this has been an incredible service that Apple has provided the podcasting ecosystem for 14 odd years or whatever, they launched the API. And it's a lot and they've been, I mean, nobody else has done this or is interested in doing this work into actually figuring out what's going on with each podcast figuring out if they're explicit, or not figuring out if they're pirated, or they're acceptable content, approving them, and then allowing all their competitors to pull it. And as podcasting gets bigger and bigger, it as an industry gets on the radars of people at higher up at Apple or people at Google or Amazon, like more companies are going, Hey, maybe I need to start figuring out you know how we are going to make we're going to make money off of it. And just like the incentives are there for Apple at some point to say, Hey, we are going in a different direction. And no longer are we going to provide this absolutely free, very kind service to all of our competitors. You know, our competitive app. We don't, you know, we don't actually make any money. And so it's not, we don't have to imagine Apple is going to do some terrible censorship or they're going to screw everyone, we'd have to say, hey, if we do this thing for us for free, at some point, you can't just rely on other people that take care of you. You want to make sure you can take care of yourself. And that's I can't think what podcasts index is providing. It's like the asteroid

Travis:

that comes near Earth every once in a while, you got to have a backup plan. You know, it's like the existential threat, that'll probably not happen.

Kevin:

You would have to plan for that asteroid.

Alban:

I don't think we have a backup that's the best. I'm

Travis:

putting all my snuck in SpaceX, Bruce Willis, Bruce Willis, gonna save us from the asteroid.

Alban:

I hope so we don't have time. We just we got to get the oil drillers we need to get them up into space to go take out this asteroid.

Kevin:

But that is a good summary of why Buzzsprout is so into what the podcast index is doing. Like it's really important, like what Alban said is like the idea of a company continuing to do this for free forever, that's not a really good. I wouldn't say it's naive, but like, it absolutely could end at any day. And so building something that can serve as a replacement, or stand in or a backup, or would you help me with words here, guys, it's an

Alban:

insurance policy?

Kevin:

Well, I was gonna say, like, augment, like it can work in conjunction with. Yeah, that was what I was looking for. No, thanks to you, Alvin. The the power of it is it's being developed by open source, like methodologies. And so it's not one company that's doing all the work and carrying the load for free podcast index has set up themselves up, and are developing in the open on GitHub. So anybody can log in and create an account and contribute code. And they're, they're being funded by donations, people who like what they're doing are sending in money. And Buzzsprout is doing that as well. And we think this is a really good plan and needed in the podcasting industry. So I would do this like a call to whoever's listening to this show. If you if you're a fan of Buzzsprout, if you're a fan of what we're talking about, if you're a fan of independent podcasts, and then remaining open and free and having less reliance on platforms that are run by for profit companies, then I would suggest you have these conversations with other people in your circle of influence. So like if you're in other podcasting groups on Facebook, or if you meet at local meetups with other podcasters look into what the podcast index is doing. look into how Buzzsprout is supporting them, not just with directory submissions, but also the new podcast namespace, the tags that we're supporting, and we're building out UI within Buzzsprout, to be able to push those tags into your feed. So that we can be able to, if you choose to stay open and independent and not relies specifically on a platform, you can have the same feature parody, whether you're locked into a Spotify platform or not, or whether you're locked into Apple platform or not. So let me give you an example of a tag that we're working on, we're working on a person tag that would be within your Buzzsprout feed well and would be within your RSS feed. Again, if you're hunting on Buzzsprout, it would be your Buzzsprout feed. But the what the person tag allows you to do is list the people who appear in your episode. So you would always be in your own podcast. So you'd be the host, you might have a co host. And then you could add other additional tags for guests that are on your podcast, you'll be able to get the person's name, the role that they played like host or guest or producer or whatever, you can give a link to where that person's profile lives or their Wikipedia page or pod chaser, profile, whatever you want to link to. And then you could also give an image. Now third party apps will be able to pull that information and display it in the app. So if you're listening in hyper capture, or pocket casts or overcast, and you're listening to a podcast that has these tags, that app could display your image and the image of your guests. And if you tap on the face of the image of your guest, it might link might open up their Wikipedia page, or it might open up their pod chaser page. This is stuff that like Apple has been able to do an apple podcast, if you look at any of the top, what is it 200 or something podcast, I think that they started doing it in go go look up Conan O'Brien needs a friend and Apple podcasts, and then scroll under the show notes. And you'll see a picture of Conan and a picture of his associate producer and a picture of their guests. And if you tap on those things, you get more information about those people that has not been open to the world of podcasters. You know, the million plus podcasters that are out there, that's only been available to the select few that Apple has invited into that program.

Alban:

This is another argument for the podcast index as a whole because this is a feature Apple rolled out. And Apple said you know, it's so much easier for us just implement this for ourselves rather than trying to go through this entire podcasting ecosystem. And the downside is it unless you are a top 200 podcaster or you and you listen inside of Apple podcasts that doesn't show up. Right. And the hope of the podcast index is hey, let's democratize this a little bit. Now everybody if they want can specify these are the people on my podcast. Here's their photo, here's your interest information. And now that can be available. We'll in all the podcast apps.

Kevin:

Yeah. And I'll just go on since we're on a roll, there's another tag that we're working on, which you're familiar with, if you're a Buzzsprout customer, you can create sound bites. sound bites have traditionally been videos that you say, Hey, you know, here's an hour long podcast, but at minute 20 to 30. There's an interesting 45. second bit that I think would serve as a good promo for the episode. So you create this video, you download it, and you can post it on different social sites, we want to take that, like the data behind that not necessarily the video, but the data, that in this episode at 20 to 30, there's 45 seconds of interesting content. And we want to add that to your RSS feed. That allows third party apps like overcast pocket casts hyper chaser podcast attic, to then read that information, because now they have it as well. And so now when you go to like the Browse or discover section of those apps to find new podcasts, they might have like a scan feature. And they might say, Hey, I know that Kevin listens to podcasts in the business category in the sports category in the comedy category. So I'm going to look through all the podcasts that we have listed in our directory. And I'm going to find any podcasts that match those categories that have sound bites, and I'm going to start playing the sound bites like thank you like a FM radio driving around your car in the 90s or 2000s. And you go into scan mode, right? You drive into a new town, you're like I'm gonna scan the stations and try to find a song that I like that could happen within podcasts, apps, and it could help discoverability of new podcasts help you find new shows that you want to listen to. But right now, third party apps can't do that. Because the data doesn't exist in the RSS feed. So when you go to discover the Discover section of any podcast app, what do you see charts, and where's the chart data come from primarily apple. And so that's not good. Like, we have to be able to figure out new ways for people to discover podcasts and solve this without relying on algorithms, who builds good algorithms, big tech companies. And we note that I'm not going to go into the whole tirade of why algorithms are dangerous. But there is a way to solve discoverability or improve discoverability without a reliance on algorithms and things like soundbites might be a step in that direction. And so again, we need a group of people working together to solve these problems. And this, this means that competitors have to work together. So us as a hosting company, we have to work with other hosting companies to figure this out and agree on terms of what we're going to put in the feed. And then we also need apps that compete against each other for market share, to agree this is good for the industry overall. And we're both gonna implement it our own way. That's what's happening at podcasts index, in this open source, software development group. And it's a great way for us to move forward as an open community without an lessening our dependence and without the dependence on these closed platforms like Apple podcasts, Spotify, Amazon, one day, whoever else.

Travis:

So to speak. Speaking of sound bites, we recently rolled out a new update to our visual soundbite tool, which is probably one of the more more popular features as far as being able to share your episodes on social media, you can create this little video that you can, you know, upload, that's a teaser for your episode. And before, we only had it where you would have your podcast artwork, and like a text space, and you could adjust some colors. But then we rolled out the ability for you to you know, either introduce episode specific artwork, and now custom artwork images. So Kevin, you want to talk about the the changes that we made the upgrades and then how someone might use the new visual sound bites.

Kevin:

Yeah, it's it's super simple on the like interface. When you log in and you go to create a visual soundbite for your episode, it looks very similar, you still have the two options between like a text and then our work only. But now when you go into artwork, only you can upload custom artwork. So if you don't want to use your podcast artwork, if you don't want to use episode specific artwork, you can make artwork just for this specific soundbite. Which is a really interesting opportunity. Because you know, with a graphic, you can do all sorts of things. You could have your artwork, or you could have an image of the person who's talking, you could put text over it, you could kind of you know, they come up with what how do I want to title this soundbite and put that text on the image, you still get the little waveform animated waveform graphic that you can move around as appropriate. So it opens up a whole lot of possibilities. And there's still all three formats. There's square, there's landscape, there's portrait format, and there's different size dimensions, depending on which one you choose which size graphic you should use. But give it a shot, open up your image editing application, come up with a cool graphic, and upload it try it out.

Travis:

Yeah, if you end up creating a custom digital soundbite with a custom image, posted in the Buzzsprout Facebook community and tag the three of us, we'd love to see the kind of stuff that you're doing with it. Now when it comes to your podcast website. Whenever you create a podcast with Buzzsprout. We give you a website that you can use when you're first getting started when you're first starting your show. And not a lot of people know that you can do this but you can actually use your own domain and map it to the Buzzsprout website. So when someone goes to my podcast.com they just see your podcast. They don't even necessarily know that it's affiliated with Buzzsprout and we just lost overhauled and upgraded that whole dashboard, where you go through the different options of things you can do with your podcast website. So Kevin, what are what are the new things when someone goes to website and then website URL, kind of walk through the different options that people have and which ones might fit best for which podcasters

Kevin:

Sure, by default, every podcast is gets a URL for their podcast website, which is buzzsprout.com slash something. And it's a number, it's an ID, it's not super beautiful. There is a way that the first customization ops option is super simple. And it's something that everybody should do day one. And if you haven't done it already, just log in today and do it. And that's just, you know, personalized. So it's not just a number, a random number, at the end, you can actually put the name of your show or a catchphrase or whatever you want. And you can have that, that buzzsprout.com, bring up your podcasts website. So for Buzzcast, for example, we have buzzcast.buzzsprout.com, if anybody opens a web browser and goes to buzzcast.buzzsprout.com, they land on our podcasts website for the show. So that's that's like the no brainer, you don't have to have go buy a custom domain or anything to do that. And it's a, it's a super friendly way for you to be able to mention the website within your, your podcast episodes. In a way that like, like you're mentioning a URL now that people can remember, because again, most people are listening on mobile devices. So when they're out walking or driving or something, they're not going to remember buzzsprout.com slash 1234569. like no one's gonna remember that, but they might remember buzzcast.buzzsprout.com to find your your website. So I would suggest that number one, but if you want to go to the next level, and you have a custom domain for your site, and you still want to use the Buzzsprout website, you don't want to create your own WordPress site, or what are some of the other ones like a Squarespace or Wix site, or even your own custom coded website, you can do that you can use the Buzzsprout website that you get with your account, and you can use it with your own domain. And so that's the third option where it says use your custom domain. The reason one of the main reasons that we revamped This is because we needed to get good data. So this stuff isn't working with domains is not super simple thing, especially for people who aren't familiar haven't done it before. There's DNS records and see names and names and all this stuff that's super complex. So with the revamp of the interface, what we're trying to do is make it simpler to be able to get the correct information into Buzzsprout. So that we will be able to point people who come in from your domain to your website properly. And getting good data is a big part of the process for us to be able to innovate and go beyond where we are right now as well. So that's the motivation behind this new domain, make it easier for you to set up your custom domains. And it also sets us up that once we start getting good data, and people are using this more and more that we'll be able to take your website that we give you with your Buzzsprout account to the next level. So I don't want to go too much into the things and the features that we want to build out on those websites. But we want to make them more and more robust for you make them work better for you as podcasts websites. And that's not saying they don't work right now. But we've got some big ideas that we want to implement. But it's reliant on making sure that people can hook up their custom domains successfully, before we can roll out some of these new features.

Travis:

Yeah, we can't tell you about the new holograms feature that we're rolling out in the near future. So that's good that we're going to stay tight lipped about that. I don't know you could have you know, visual sound by playing in the air above your phone, that'd be pretty cool. add it to the list added to the list. Not necessarily Buzzsprout dashboard UI related. But something cool. Something that people have asked us about for a while, is Hey, you guys wear Buzzsprout shirts on all your YouTube videos. Where can I get one? And for the longest time? The answer was well go to a podcast conference, we'll give you one for free if you come by the booth. But Kevin, you just did some great work hooking us up with some high quality t shirts that it's like a store. Now it's a store where you can buy Buzzsprout Mart right?

Kevin:

It is. And I don't know how to tell people to get there because they don't have friendly URLs like we do

Alban:

like the link in the show notes with but we have a cotton bureau store. We got super nice shirts, and you can like what's really nice is that they're all custom printed. So we've got a bunch of designs that Kevin put up and you can kind of go through and you can pick out like which color you want which fit you want which design you want. And kind of make a one of a kind shirt so a lot of people who've shared images on Twitter that we've been retweeting like, I have not seen the same shirt ever show up twice because everyone kind of has the option to design something themselves. I just tested it and it works great if you go to cotton bureau.com and they have a search function in the top left. So click up there, type Buzzsprout and you'll see all the different shirt designs. Just for the record my entire wardrobe is Buzzsprout t shirts.

Kevin:

I what I wear every day.

Alban:

Kevin is not a load of that. I think that john pretty much wears them all the time. My wife has some I've got of I feel like it's like kind of the wardrobe for almost everybody in our office and all the spouses. I'm just I'm holding out for that Buzzsprout hoodie to show up. At the office, I am so excited about

Kevin:

get sweatshirts from cotton Bureau. But we did order some specific hoodies for people that work in the office. Because it's getting cold in Florida dropped to 80 this week.

Travis:

So we asked you guys in the Facebook group, what you wanted us to talk about in Buzzcast this week, because the last time we did it a couple episodes ago, you guys really liked it. So we'll keep doing it. As long as you guys keep sending us questions. The first question comes from Brad and Brad's question is, is it necessary to have your guests sign a release form? This is actually a question that comes up pretty frequently in the Facebook group. So it'll be good thing for us to talk about, because depending on who you ask, you'll get conflicting answers. There's not like a consensus answer that you'll hear in the podcasting space.

Alban:

All right, so I'll jump on this one. As our resident lawyer, yeah, I am a lawyer, but I am not your lawyer. And I'm not giving you legal advice. But let me give you my take on it. What you get, when you ask lawyers or people who work in the legal profession about like whether or not you should take some additional precaution, you will always get the answer. Yes. They'll always be like, yeah, sign a release form, get it double notarize do all this stuff, so that nothing bad could ever ever happen to you in your life. But the downside to that is you put in all this work, you put in a ton of work, getting people to sign release forms, everyone gets a little bit tight when they see like, why am I signing a form again? Like, wait, what am I doing, maybe I need to get someone to look at this for me. And you could just add a lot of work to your plate for something that not really pay off. You know, the only time that a release form is going to be super important is if there's a super contentious interview, or they want you to take it down Well, in most times, you probably would just take it down anyway, even if you have the legal right to keep it up, you probably be like, yeah, if you don't feel comfortable with what you said, why don't I just take it down. Um, one benefit I could see to getting a release is sometimes when you're contracting, the main benefit is getting everybody on the same page. And to get everybody onto that same page, you actually write out exactly what's going to happen. Um, what we've actually done, Travis and I did a video interview, that'll probably come out on the YouTube channel. We did last week, just after we start recording. That's when I say, so we're recording this video, here's how we're going to use it. Here's how we will incorporate your answers into future videos. Is that okay? And then they say yes. And we cover all the bases with just a very simple, normal human person question of, Hey, this is what I plan to do. Are you okay with that? And then when they say yes, that there's no confusion. And so now we've gotten on the same page. And I think that that's probably what I would recommend for most podcasters. If you're going to have a conversation with somebody, and you're a little bit afraid that they may ask you to take it down, or you just want to cover your basis. Once you hit record, just say so we're recording this, here's how to go out. Is that sound cool to you? And they'll say yes. And you're done.

Kevin:

Yeah, the majority of podcasts that I'm on, we have some sort of exchange like that either at the beginning, usually at the beginning, but sometimes at the tail end, if if the person whose show I'm on doesn't do at the beginning, then I'll usually instigate it at the end. And it's very much like you said, Robin, it's like, let's just be clear, this conversation is being recorded. Let's be clear of who owns the content. So I'm a guest on your show, I don't own or claim, right, or copyright to any of the content that I'm giving to you right now, for no monetary exchange, it's yours. What you do with it is completely up to you whether you publish episode or not, like I don't go into any interview with an expectation that, I mean, just being a podcaster. I know sometimes we do, you know, a great hour, and it's amazing, and you want to publish it, sometimes you do about hour and we weren't on today. So we might reschedule and try for another time. Or you might just say, hey, this person might not be a great fit for my show. I love giving people the flexibility to do it's their show, do what you want with it when I sign up and say, Yes, I'll be on your podcast, I'm giving you an hour. And at the end of that hour, hopefully you love it and it serves you well and meets your goals and you publish it and loving it helps your podcast grow. But if it doesn't, I don't want you to feel forced to have to figure out how to work this in or how to fix all the dumb things that I said, don't feel that pressure. And I tell people that all the time when I agree to be a guest on their show. So I would ask anybody who came on our show, we try to ask them the same thing. Like we got an hour scheduled today. Let's have a great conversation, we'll do our best. But hey, if it doesn't work out, we might not publish, I want you to know that up front. I can't guarantee that we're gonna publish it or use it. I want you understand that this is our contents our show. So you're donating your time to us. And the conversations being recorded. Are we clear on all those things? Are you comfortable with all those things? They say yes, we go into the session. And it's just it's just nice and friendly. Now that doesn't mean that a month from now, somebody might not say you know, I wish I didn't say that. It's actually blowing up. It's causing me a lot of time. trouble when you take it down, I'll have that conversation with anybody at any time, because I'm a friendly person and respectful of them. But I don't want the legal obligation to have to take it down. Like it also might turn out, that's one of my most popular episodes. And I could explain that to them, we could have a conversation about I don't want to be in a situation where they're gonna bring a lawsuit against me. But again, 99.9% of these times, these things can be worked out by being a nice person and being reasonable and listening to both sides and having a conversation. And I will also say this, if I ever asked if I agreed to be on somebody's show, and they sent me a legal form design, I would not sign it. Now, that's just me personally, I will not do it. Because like, I'm already donating you an hour or so of my time to be on your show, I just don't want to jump through any additional hoops, I don't want to read your agreement, I don't want to have to send your agreement to Alvin, my legal friend, and have him read it and take up his time, I don't want to make sure I'm not agreeing to something that I didn't realize I was agreeing to. So my rule is just I won't sign it. So if you go ahead and take that step of getting an agreement drawn up, you might have to realize also, the flip side of that is that there might be a lot of people who you want to have in your show, who just aren't willing to go through the burden of analyzing your agreement, make sure they're comfortable signing it,

Travis:

not to beat a dead horse. But one other thing to consider is just the kind of podcast you have and the kind of guests that you have. So if you know that the people that you're having on your podcast, can be kind of flippant in that way of like, well, I like that I'm on your podcast now. But two weeks from now, I might change my mind. You know, use some discretion, use some wisdom. And you know, there are very simple podcast guests release forms. I'll link to one in the show notes, where it is written in plain English, but it does cover your bases. And you're going to send it Some say, hey, just sign this before you jump on. And, you know, we'll be we'll be ready to rock and roll.

Alban:

Don't send it to Kevin as he will not sign it

Kevin:

will not be your Yeah.

Alban:

All right, What other questions do we have?

Travis:

Another question that we have is from Donna. Donna asks, How can we get more feedback or analytics on how long listeners Listen, like, where do they typically drop if they do stop listening in the middle of the episode, and I feel like the best place to find this information is inside of Apple's podcast Connect analytics. So Apple podcasts has their own analytics platform that shows you how your podcast and your episodes are performing on their app. There's some funky filters that they put on that data. So it's not a complete picture of your podcast consumption in Apple podcasts. So like, I think the last time I checked for like a Buzzcast episode, it shows like 27 plays and Apple podcasts for an episode that if you go to buzz, like Buzzsprout, it shows like 650. And so it's like there's some filters that go in there. But they do have some charts that show you, you know, kind of over time, the percentage of people that are still listening at any point in the episode. So if that's the kind of information you're looking for, I would go to Apple and their analytics platform, which we have a link to in our stats page. So if you just go to your stats and Buzzsprout and scroll to the bottom, there's a button there to go and log in to Apple podcast Connect.

Kevin:

If you log into Apple podcasts connect and you're not seeing any stats for your show, or it says not enough data. I don't know maybe Travis you know the exact numbers, but I think it's around you need like 100 plays per episode or something in five episodes. Is that right? For me,

Travis:

you need five plays that fit into their criteria for a particular episode. So the full criteria is the person listening has to have given Apple permission to share their diagnostics data, okay? So so they have to give Apple explicit permission, saying you can have data about how I'm using your phone, then they have to be listening on a current version of Apple podcasts. So if they haven't updated the app in a while, it also won't show iOS 11 or later, right? I think so. So if they're listening on an old iPhone and they haven't updated the app, then that won't show either. There's also a 72 hour delay. So somebody listens to your podcast on Monday, their data won't show up in podcast connects until Thursday at the earliest. And then if you have fewer than five plays on that episode, within the timeframe window that you're looking at, whether that's last 30 days or last 60 days or whatever, then it won't show anything. So you could have 100 people that listen to your podcast and Apple podcast four of the meet all the criteria to show up. And but because you don't have five, it'll say zero people. So it's not a good indicator of like how many people are listening in Apple podcasts. But if you want to look at what a subsection, or sub segment of your audience is doing in Apple podcasts, and how much of the podcasts are listening to, then it can become helpful. Okay.

Kevin:

So at the end of the day, if you log in and says no data available, just keep plugging away. Hopefully you'll get there soon. But you do need a certain amount of data in Apple before they're going to show you anything.

Alban:

That is correct. One question we also get on this is people who reach out and they say, hey, why isn't Buzzsprout showing me this data? And there's a couple reasons for that. But the main one is the only way that we would ever see this data is on our own players. And we could display that. But you have to remember players are a very embed players is a very different listening experience than what people are doing on their phone. I know for myself, personally, when I listen to something on a podcast player, I mostly listened to maybe like 30 seconds. And if I like it, I download the episode to my phone, and I listened to it on a run, if I don't like it, and I just turn it off. But you would just get this data, they would say, you know, some people are listening to this episode for like, 30 seconds. And that's it. And you would, you would probably read that as, Oh, there's a problem with this episode. Nobody is listening to it. Well, the reason would be you, the only data Buzzsprout could ever give you is such a bad sample, that it would actually confuse you more than it would help you. Um, so so there are other hosts that will provide that data. But that is actually just a piece of data we've decided to not show because it really does not help inform you in any way about how people are really consuming your podcast. So that's why we always say, Apple podcast is the best place to look. Spotify also provides this data, Google provides some of this data. And so we provide the links in our stats to those because those are actually what's happening in the apps. And that's much more representative of how people are listening to your podcast,

Travis:

while said. And then the last question that I've got here is from Don. So Don asks, What is the outlook of the podcast industry for 2021? and asked if we have any predictions, perhaps about what podcasting will look like, in actually not too not too long from now, a couple months from now. But what is 2021 look like for podcasting.

Alban:

So one kind of hot take, I would throw in there, I don't know how hot this take is. This may be like, mild hot, this is not super hot. I think the two biggest ad sellers on the internet, are Google and Facebook. And they do a massive amount of the digital advertising on the web. And right now, the two of them are very far away from podcasting. Google has Google podcasts, and they do some things, but none, neither of them have any connection to selling ads and podcasts. And at the same time, we're seeing Spotify get incredible evaluations based on all their work in podcast ad tech, a lot of people are interested in it. And that just leads me to think the two people who actually will benefit from you know, who have a lot of desire to get into this space have not Facebook and Google. So I would not be surprised if one of the two of them makes a big acquisition and makes a big move and says, Hey, we're gonna try to start selling ads in podcasts. I don't know exactly how to do it. A lot of those ad tech companies have been purchased by somebody. But I think at the 2021 mild heartache, we could see one of those to start stepping in to selling ads on podcasts.

Kevin:

Yeah, I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility. I think my like friendly amendment to what you just said, would be, I think we might see some larger companies who have kind of cracked ad tech in different verticals, like cracked it in the search space and cracked it in the social space, they might start experimenting in the podcasting space. Because what's happening right now the experiments that have been done so far, have not like produced the results or given the returns that I think have caught the interest of some of these larger companies. That I think is the most dangerous thing and potentially disruptive thing to open podcasting is if somebody figures out an ad, either whether whether it be ad tech, or an ad methodology or a process or something that is super effective and super, like technically possible to roll out in podcasting, the way that podcasting works today. I think that could be very disruptive. But I don't think that's like, I don't even know if it's possible. It's not a technology problem. I think it's a medium as like a format problem. podcasts are long form on demand content. And I don't think that plays well, with all of the ad tech that's currently working really well. Like there's no, there's no intent, Google crushes it with the Google search engine, because there's intent like we know what people are looking for. So we can charge people to show up in those results. That makes a lot of sense. There's like the YouTube space and how they put ads around videos, short form content, you know, very entertainment driven, very attention focused. And so they can figure out and optimize their algorithms to serve ads that are not disruptive that won't push people off platform. A lot of their ads are five seconds later, their ads are 15 seconds. They can optimize like, how long do we have to play an ad before we allow them to skip, so they won't jump off the platform. All of that stuff is very different. In podcasting, podcasting is a very different thing. And the only thing that's really proven effective so far, and not just effective, but very effective, are host read endorsement, advertisements or sponsorships. That stuff doesn't scale very well, like it doesn't scale well enough to catch the interest of huge large ad corporations like Google and Facebook, and whoever else wants to jump into the space. They will net I don't think they'll ever be able to, you know, get podcasters at scale, to give hosts read endorsements for dozens of things that they can optimize. And so maybe it'll happen one day, but I, I think that's the huge barrier is podcast advertising isn't necessarily effective. When you do dynamic ads that are just dropped in, pre roll, mid roll post roll between episodes that are just the same ads that we're used to hearing on YouTube or Facebook or anywhere else. The ones that are effective or host read and host read ads don't scale and can't be optimized.

Alban:

Alright, so let me give you the counterpoint to this. Because this is my hot take, or my medium take this is my prediction. Google already is working on a product when they bought FameBit for YouTube. And then they now we're making this new product on the ad side, where they will work with advertisers to get you sponsorships in YouTube videos. And it's not public yet, but it is being they're working on it. And I think that podcasting could get something a little bit closer to that. So imagine this is the world. I go in as an advertiser, and I say, hey, I want to get on a bunch of podcasts. It's got to be branding, brand related, it's not going to be direct action, like hey, go and sign up for this thing, but like, hey, Blue Apron is pretty cool. Check it out, like listen, like overtime, learn about Blue Apron. So the brand advertiser goes to Google ads, and then they put in I want to be on podcast, here's the type of people I want to reach. And here's what I want you to talk about. And then that is proposed to any of the podcasters who are hooked up. And then they do a host read ad. And then it is inserted into the podcast. But it is always the host read, I think if we ever got to a point where it was like commercials again, like that's gonna be a huge loss for everybody. Because the real value of a podcasting ad is that it's read by the host, and endorsed by the host. And so you could imagine like a host goes through and says, These are the only 20 companies out of this huge list that I have any affinity for. So I'll read ads for them. And those are the only ones that can go into my podcast. Like I could see that being the future, rather than some other way. What do you think?

Kevin:

Well, yeah, I mean, you know, I'm not I'm not against that model. But that is what popcorn is doing. It's an ad marketplace. It's not a it's not dynamic content insertion at scale, ad network. It's not using algorithms is not being optimized. And so I think that it's possible that the podcasting market becomes big enough one day where that is of interest to a company like Google, I just think we're a long way from it. Like the idea of fame, that being an attractive model for Google wasn't realistic until they had hundreds of millions of channels. Well, podcasts total, like if we actually look at legitimate active podcasts, how many are there, quarter million, like, if we're being super generous, a half a million, if we're saying like, had published an episode in the past six months, maybe half a million, if the market is just way, way small. And I don't think it's of interest to them, which I think is fantastic for independent podcasters. Because the opportunity is ripe, like you don't want to be in an industry, like right now hopping on YouTube and building a channel to 100,000 subscribers, which is a massive amount of work takes a massive amount of time. And you can spend a lot of money on equipment and ads to promote your show and your channel and everything else. And then you start getting checks from Google for $100 a month when you turn on AdSense, like that doesn't make sense. But it's the opposite. Right now, in podcasting, you build an audience of 10,000 in the podcasting world, and you can attract sponsors that will pay you 20 and $30. CPM. If you want to do the CPM model, which you don't even have to do like I like the idea of using that as a point of reference to start. But I like value based advertising, like the idea of, hey, it's $500 for a 32nd pre roll on my show, I need you to buy for up front. And at the end of that, evaluate it. If I help drive more business to you. Let's do it again. If not, don't like the idea of doing CPM. Again, CPM is a good starting point. But it's not something you should be selling on. But if we ever get to the point in podcasting, where ad tech is driving dynamic ads, or even populating a marketplace, the prices are going to be way low. Way low, like right now is the heyday. And it's not like short term. It's not like the heyday is here today. But it'll be gone in the next year or two. Like I think we've got a good runway like the next five years independent podcasters could again if you want to don't feel pressure to monetize your show, if that's not one of your goals. But if it is one of your goals, this is a great place to be able to do it. Probably not. And I would never say this, that this is an opportunity for you to replace your day job. But you can easily with I shouldn't say easily with hard work and effort and determination, there is plenty of opportunity to cover the cost of doing something that you love.

Alban:

Okay, so let me take on number two prediction. The podcast industry as a whole is going to continue on this trajectory we've been on for the last five years of really, really strong growth, more podcasts, more tools, more podcast listeners, I mean, the people who have been in the space for a long time, it feels like it's saturated, you're like, Oh, if only I'd started 510 years ago, it would have been easier. Well, it's still the days where starting a podcast and doing a good show. You can build slowly over time and get a good amount of listeners. The industry is going to continue growing, we are still early. So I think by the end of next year, there's like one and a half million listed podcasts, less than half a million that are actually active. I bet those numbers double by next year. That would be my prediction as far as like size.

Kevin:

Absolutely. The numbers have doubled this year, they will at least double again next year, the number of customers that we've had on Buzzsprout. Am I crazy? And have they almost tripled by the end of the year. They will Yeah, like podcasting is growing like crazy, for sure. But we are still very young and very, very small. Like I think that this growth continues or even ramps for the next five years easily,

Travis:

which complements my hot take my prediction for 2021 which is that we're going to see more podcast specific hardware. So for most of podcasting existence, we simply repurposed equipment that was made for other things, right. So we've repurposed radio microphones and microphones that Michael Jackson used to record his thriller album, and said, Hey, that will probably work for my podcast. Or let me go and get this mixer. That's like a music mixing board for recording five instruments at once and cobble together this thing to make my podcast. We're starting to see more companies bring out podcast specific gear. So zoom just released their pod track p four, which is their first podcast specific audio interface, which we just did a big review on, which we really like we're big fans of it. rode put up the road caster pro last year, sure just released the shore MV seven, which is like the little brother to the SM seven B that has the USB capability to go right in your computer. So one of the things I'm excited about is seeing the innovation in the hardware space of the recording equipment that we're gonna start to see coming out that is podcast specific, versus having to repurpose things that are used for streaming or gaming or for music production.

Alban:

Yeah. For anybody who didn't catch Travis's comment. He said, we're using microphones that Michael Jackson used to record thriller, The Shure SM seven B, which is what I use is at least supposedly, what Michael Jackson used to record thriller. I don't know that for sure. And now sure is launching something that looks pretty similar. That has just a ton more podcast capabilities. And it's so much cheaper, the in the seven, which Kevin has in his house, and we're going to do an unboxing and a review, I think next week. So it will be super interesting to look at this gear, when it's made for podcasters. It is very different. And I think that overall, the barriers to entry to podcasting continue to go down, as the equipment is made for podcasters I plugs right into your computer rather than to a huge soundboard. Because that's not always really needed for podcasters. And, you know, we've, you think about all the editing tools, we use many of the editing tools like audacity or GarageBand were made for music. And then there's things like Hindenburg, that are you made quite a bit more for you actually, for podcasters.

Travis:

I mean, even to scripts to script came out recently.

Alban:

Yeah, the scripts probably the better example of that. Another prediction, I think is we're seeing this overall move by businesses, celebrities, politicians, lots of people with kind of higher profiles, start moving towards what I would call owned media, where they actually are connecting directly to their customers, voters, audience, however, that would be defined for them. And I think a lot of them are going to see the credible attraction of podcasting, because you do get a long form genuine connection with your audience. And so we'll see more of them start podcast. I mean, we did see this in the Democratic candidates, a lot of them either started podcast or have since started podcasts. And I think we're gonna see more of that. I think that's a great thing for this the podcasting industry because what does that end up doing? If somebody wants to listen to, you know, their favorite tech CEO, or they want to listen to the person that they really love in politics, well, they've got to download that app. And they've got to start listening to podcasts. And that just grows the listener base for all of us. You know, we've never seen moments where big podcasters join the industry. And it actually depresses the numbers for people's podcasts. When cereal launched a bunch of people got into podcasting, podcasting, industry stats went up for everybody, because it's not right now. It's not zero sum. If somebody gets a listener, you lose one. It's actually they bring new people to podcasting. And so I think we will see more high profile podcasts that are just kind of laid back conversations. And as those happen, I think we're gonna see listener numbers get a little bit of a bump.

Kevin:

Yeah, I think it's I think that's interesting. I totally agree with your analysis on it. Your take on it, it would be a good thing as more and more people with large followings hop into podcasting. Totally agree. I think that you know what I was thinking about that when you were saying that is it's so interesting, the difference between the mediums and I'm just comparing podcasting and like a YouTube channel, like, why is it like what is the draw of podcasting? that's bringing in Celebrity, more and more than we've seen that on YouTube? Like we don't see, whatever? Justin Long, Justin Long, like, he's kind of like a B.

Alban:

Actor. I have no idea who that is.

Kevin:

Well, he's the guy used to be in those Apple commercials. He's like, I'm a PC. I'm a Mac, you know, he was the skinny Mac, okay, you've got a podcast, like, I'm sure he has a fan base, and they're big, and he does a podcast. The guy who used to be on I can't remember their names Jason Bateman. And the guy who does the voice of Batman in the Batman Lego movies, Will Arnett Will Arnett, and somebody else, the guy used to be on willing grace. Somebody, the three of them just launched a podcast together like a comedy podcast, I'm gonna be like, what is it about podcasting, and this format that is drawing celebrity, I don't see any of these channels existing on YouTube, the thing

Alban:

that stands out to me is, when you're a celebrity, I think that you're always crafting this image. And it's being projected, and it's highly refined. And it's all often refined by someone that's not the celebrity themselves. So When will our nets in a movie or TV show? Well, people are editing that and changing it so that it's kind of their version of him. And I'm sure that they kind of crave the ability to talk to their fans in a genuine way. And podcasting there, it's so easy to just sit down behind a mic and have a conversation, especially if you're a person who has kind of a built in fan base, because you're already well known. And if people are interested in just hearing your riffs on life, and what you think about what's going on in the world, well, then you've kind of got a podcast already set up for you. And all it's gonna take is an hour and a half your time. And you'll be able to connect and just such a more genuine real level than you would if you were doing a YouTube video where it had to be really crisp and really edited, because that's kind of what they already are doing in other spaces.

Kevin:

Okay, I'm going to drop mine. It's not a prediction. I don't want to do prediction. But I want to do a desire, like a hope what I hope somebody starts building in the podcast space. And that would be more interactive, time shifted, or on demand listener experiences. I equate this in my mind to like what Netflix did. And I think it launched either shortly before, or just a happy coincidence that they launched their, where they called watch party, mm, UI and stuff. They launched that around the time that a lot of people were being locked down in quarantine, and started becoming very popular thing. I think there's an opportunity in podcasting for something like that to happen. Right now, a lot of people will listen to a podcast, and then they want to talk to other people about those podcasts. And it's kind of how podcasts grow right now is word of mouth. But oftentimes, I find myself telling somebody about a great episode of a podcast I just listened to. And then I have to wait for them to go watch it. Or I'm sorry, not watch it, but listen to it. And then hopefully I'll bump into them again next week. And now we can have a conversation about it. Because now you listen to it. But now it's like a week old for me. And so I can't remember everything that this podcast, so it's difficult opportunity. Like it used to be different, right when we had like primetime network TV like did you watch that? Seinfeld last night and Haha, we're laughing about Seinfeld, because we both had to tune in at 830 to watch that episode. And we can talk about on Friday podcast and anytime shifting medium is different in that we're not going to watch or listen at the same time. And so Netflix is trying to solve that problem with this idea of kind of watch parties like let's all get together at this time and watch this episode that we like. Like I think there's opportunity to do something like that and in podcasting, but it doesn't necessarily have to be real time because it's not visual and part of the draw of podcasting is that it's passive so I can listen to it on my walk or something. But if somebody created a group, where I could be like, Hey, I'm And Travis, I really liked this podcast episode, I'm going to share it with you. And here's, you know, two or three of the things that I loved about it. And then you guys could come comment under that. And you can comment under that. I would really love that. This feels like a little bit of an add on to what we see and like good pots, because good pods has like all the commenting, people being able to discuss asynchronously discuss a podcast episode that they enjoyed, you can listen to it. I don't know if they have the ability to like timestamp, like, Oh, this is a good point. I wonder what was going on here. But you could totally see them adding that.

Alban:

Yeah. And it'd be pretty cool that if you know, you could be listening, and you hear something that's interesting, you know, I wonder what their time out there. And then all of a sudden, there's comments popping up from people who have previously left comments at that timestamp saying like, Oh, I like this. I don't like that. I wonder if they have considered these points?

Kevin:

Yeah, I don't know. I'm just I've just been thinking about I think about the draw for my children now because they don't get out as much. So they don't go to the movies with friends. But like, Netflix watch party is a popular thing for my daughter who's 15 to be able to do on a Friday night, like she'll go up in a room and 10 o'clock should pop up on her laptop and all of her friends will get along and they'll watch an old movie together. And they're chatting the whole time about what's going on in the movie. I don't know if something like that could work in podcasting, but it feels like a low barrier of entry app to kind of build and put out there and see if it takes off in podcasting, I think it'd be an interesting experiment. So that's kind of it's not a prediction, but it is a hope or desire that I see that I would like somebody to take on. I'd be bullish about it, I'd talk about it, I try it out.

Travis:

Awesome. Well, that does it for another episode of Buzzcast. If you have not yet already done so make sure that you go and subscribe to the Buzzsprout YouTube channel so we can get that nice shiny silver play button. We're about halfway there to 100,000 subscribers, which is super cool. We've been pumping out a lot of content there recently. We got the P for the pod track before review, the test went up. We're going to be reviewing the new shirt MV seven microphone in the near future and putting that up before the end of November or beginning of December that timeframe. So make sure that you're over there subscribe so you can get all the new content as it comes out. Well that's it for today. Thanks for listening. And as always keep podcasts

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