Buzzcast

Podcast Growth Beyond Industry Trends

December 22, 2023 Buzzsprout Episode 117
Podcast Growth Beyond Industry Trends
Buzzcast
More Info
Buzzcast
Podcast Growth Beyond Industry Trends
Dec 22, 2023 Episode 117
Buzzsprout

Send us a Text Message.

Ever wondered how to thrive in the marathon of podcasting, rather than sprinting for short-term gains?  In this episode, we defend the sustainability of podcasting, contrast the rich community of podcasting with the sometimes ephemeral interactions on social media, and encourage a more mindful consumption of the content we love.

View the discussion thread on Twitter/X!

Links mentioned: 

📣 Sound-Off Question: What makes podcasting different from other mediums?
To have your response featured on our next episode, leave a 30-second voice message at podinbox.com/buzzsprout, send a boostagram, or tweet the answer @BuzzcastPodcast!

PodMatch
PodMatch Automatically Matches Ideal Podcast Guests and Hosts For Interviews

Support the Show.

Contact Buzzcast

Thanks for listening & keep podcasting!

Buzzcast Supporter
Become a supporter of the show!
Starting at $3/month
Support
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Ever wondered how to thrive in the marathon of podcasting, rather than sprinting for short-term gains?  In this episode, we defend the sustainability of podcasting, contrast the rich community of podcasting with the sometimes ephemeral interactions on social media, and encourage a more mindful consumption of the content we love.

View the discussion thread on Twitter/X!

Links mentioned: 

📣 Sound-Off Question: What makes podcasting different from other mediums?
To have your response featured on our next episode, leave a 30-second voice message at podinbox.com/buzzsprout, send a boostagram, or tweet the answer @BuzzcastPodcast!

PodMatch
PodMatch Automatically Matches Ideal Podcast Guests and Hosts For Interviews

Support the Show.

Contact Buzzcast

Thanks for listening & keep podcasting!

Kevin:

I can see your TikTok influencer ring light reflection in the picture behind you, your secret's out.

Alban:

It's not TikTok, it's a podcast or ring light.

Kevin:

This is the secret to your silky, smooth complexion and perfect lighting.

Alban:

It's not a good sign when you've got this many facial blemishes and you've got the TikTok ring light.

Kevin:

It catches all the highlights in your hair. You look so interesting Like I just want to listen to everything you have to say.

Alban:

This is why I have a face for podcasting. Here we go. Welcome back to Bus Cast, the podcast, where we break down podcast tools, strategies and trends that will help you become a better podcaster. I am your interim host, Alban Brooke, and I'm joined today by Buzzsprout's co-founder and head of product, kevin Finn.

Kevin:

Thanks for having me on the show. Happy to be here.

Alban:

Yeah, quick programming note Jordan isn't here today. She flew all the way to Florida for our Christmas party and then, on the flight back, delta put her right next to somebody with the flu, and so she caught it and lost her voice. So, jordan, we hope you get better.

Kevin:

She will be back in two weeks, she's still a big part of the show because she is going to be editing the show. She just doesn't have a speaking role today. You're going to make her edit the show. I'm assuming, because she's still online and working. I'm assuming that she still wanted to do that. If she doesn't want to do that, we can definitely edit it.

Alban:

I wrote her today and said Jordan, let yourself relax and get better. I hate that feeling of when you're sick and you're like, but I'm going to try to push through it for the team, but then the sickness feels like it just hangs around. It's no fun.

Kevin:

Yeah, we should get some clarity on where at stage of sickness is she in. There's times when you're like better, you feel fine, you're ready to get back to work, but then you still don't have a voice and so you don't really want to, you can't talk, and I kind of assume that's where she was, but I don't know for sure. So that's a good point. We should check and see if she still needs rest to heal or if she's ready to go. But either way, jordan, you're here with us in spirit, if not in editing.

Alban:

All right. So, since Jordan's out, we can do my favorite thing that Jordan never lets us do, which is read our latest Apple podcast review. Kevin, if you scroll down, there is an Apple podcast. It's the most recent one. Will you read it for us?

Kevin:

Okay, here we go. Buzzcast equals the best way to stay in the know. I've been listening to Buzzcast since the first episode and I've enjoyed it thoroughly. It keeps me in the loop of what's happening in the industry, helps me understand best practices, trends, and has been my go-to podcast for motivation. I also love the evolution of Buzzcast. One of my favorite changes is when Jordan was brought on as an official co-host on the April 29, 2022 episode. She's been a beacon of joy and rescued us from the weekly BroFest. That was fun too. Love this podcast.

Alban:

I thought it would be fun to review, and then we found that one is the most recent. That's actually. Do you know who it is? I'll give you one hint. You know this person and it's probably the person you know who says the word Bro the most. So I feel like they probably did love the BroFest.

Kevin:

The person who I know who says Bro the most is the person that the local team want to flat. So we used to go lunch to. We used to go lunch and he would bro us up like crazy the whole time we were eating lunch there.

Alban:

What's up?

Kevin:

bro, what's up bro? What do you want, bro? You're going to get a taco bro.

Alban:

This is why we need Jordan, because that's true.

Kevin:

I forgot about that guy. So I think you're looking for the person I know in my life who's the second most bro-y person I know they're not a really a bro-y person.

Alban:

They just say bro, which I thought was ironic that they said they liked breaking up the Brocast. It's Alex Sanfilippo from Popmatch. He is a good bro, alex. Thank you for the review. Let's jump into the episode. Today we are talking about playing the long game in podcasting. This is an episode about how to set your podcast up for sustainability and long-term growth, while avoiding some of the short-term fads that seem to pop up in podcasting. So, kev, do you want to start us off? Why is playing the long game so important in podcasting?

Kevin:

Oh my gosh, is this whole episode going to be? You ask me questions that I don't really know answers to.

Alban:

One of us is the host, one of us is the more guesty, but I've got hot takes too, so we can both do takes.

Kevin:

Okay, well, I do know this about podcasting and that is that, unlike social media, the likelihood of good content catching on just because it's good content is lower, because there's not a lot of algorithms pushing your stuff around so like in the social space. For example, if you post a really compelling X post or something really compelling on TikTok or Twitter, then there's a possibility that that will start to gain traction on its own, just because your friends might all engage with it, and then that might be enough for them to start serving it to people who are outside of that friend group, and then it starts to resonate with them as well, like they're laughing at whatever you posted. So that's the idea of something going viral is that the algorithm tests it a little bit outside your circle. It continues to get traction, they test it more, they test it more, they test it more. Once it hits, it's a snowball effect of it's resonating with enough people, then they start serving it massively and boom, you have a viral post.

Kevin:

That doesn't exist in the world of podcasting and there have been people who have been trying to fix this problem or not fix the problem but address the situation or try to bring some virality to podcasting, but the reality is that it might not ever work, because podcasting is really a long form media and so the idea that something could go viral, that you really have to listen to 30, 45 minutes or an hour of content to really capture the full quality of the content is the chances of that working out is very low.

Kevin:

So therefore, we are in a situation where the content that you generate has to be engaging enough that your audience starts to share it with their circle and then that circle shares it a little bit more. But since it's not algorithmically driven it's like real life driven it takes a lot longer to grow your audience. There are certainly some marketing tactics I mean, this is a bit of a blanket statement, but that's the example or the reasons why I think podcasting is a long game, because it actually spreads more through real life interaction than it does through computer algorithms pushing content.

Alban:

I feel like we've gotten in this bad habit of talking about podcasting has a discoverability problem. We're missing the point when we say here's the problem, what's the solution, and we, over and over, keep saying this is a problem and I think I've recently started to think of is this actually a real problem? Now, learning about podcasts, we want to help people, especially in the beginning, get some exposure to listeners so they can actually start connecting with listeners. But the idea of podcast discoverability issues.

Alban:

Mostly people are talking about big shows. They're like we haven't broken through the way Game of Thrones or Seinfeld would break through like a big TV show. We're not pop culture enough and I think that, honestly, podcasting benefits from not being this massive, massive medium in a lot of ways. And when you see things that can really break through, like a tweet that all of a sudden goes viral or a video that goes viral or something like that, well, you end up getting are some kind of negative dynamics where everybody's just trying to make something that's like edgy enough that blows up and that's just not as healthy of an ecosystem. I'd much rather be part of an ecosystem that there's more creators that are doing well and less of these like massive Joe Rogan shows.

Kevin:

Yeah, you know a lot of the accounts that get the most engagement in media that are less of a long game. They're more of a short game. Thing is like trolling, yeah Right, and you see this from trolls who, like, that's all they do, but you also see this from very influential people, yeah, politicians. Yeah, politicians are very good at it, so they post a lot of really good compelling content, but then every once in a while, the ones who were most successful at it or get the most reach also are very good at throwing in trolley posts on the regular.

Alban:

Yeah, I think that when you have a dynamic, I mean we see this mostly. I think that we both are a little bit over indexing on Twitter, but you see so many people retweet something and dunk on it and just mock it and they're like, wow, this is so bad and so dumb. That's such a negative experience for the culture. I think, like the overall world is at worse when we all treat each other that way. And yet if you want to be a big name person on Twitter, you kind of have to play that game. Yeah, at least if you want to grow quickly.

Kevin:

You might if I stay there for one second and like why does that not work very well in podcasting? And I think because when you're, when you're talking about a social media profile, you have some it's actually pretty high level of anonymity, right? Even if it's on Facebook, where people kind of know who you are, you're probably interacting with people who you don't interact with in real life on a regular basis. So even if they're friends that you, like, went to a grade school with, or something who you've reconnected with 20 years later on Facebook, they still don't really know you anymore. So it's fine for you to come in there and drop you know, whether you believe it or not like a trolley. Take on something just to rile them up. Snarky.

Alban:

Yeah.

Kevin:

Kind of tease, yeah, and then every once in a while you'll see people who are like you know, say it to my face, or something like that. The threat of that is not real, because that's what social media does, is it removes that possibility. Of course I would. I'm probably not that person in real life, I probably wouldn't say it to your face because it would be offensive to you or you might do some physical violence to me or something like that, and so we avoid stuff like that.

Kevin:

But in podcasting, I feel like there's more of a personal connection with your audience, and so they do feel like they do know you. You do not necessarily want to offend them, you want to let them get to know who you are, because that's what attracts them to listen to your show, and so it's not just coming in, you know, with some exceptions. I mean, I'm sure people listen to shows like Joe Brogan because he does say some things that are offensive, but I think he does that in a more challenging way. Lesson. I mean, this stuff gets clubbed up for YouTube or whatever, but you know what I'm saying? Like there's less of that when you have a personal connection with your audience versus social media, whereas there's this intentional distance and that helps. It helps facilitate this stuff that can be more edgy, more trolly and then potentially more viral, because it triggers people and when you're triggered they interact.

Alban:

This actually reminds me. This isn't in the outline, but a tweet from our competitor, Justin Jackson, one of the co-founders of Transistor. One reason I like podcasts the world needs more slow, mindful media. Today's media depends on getting consumers algorithmically addicted to scrolling feeds by amplifying outrage, drama and dopamine hits. That's exactly what you were just saying, Kevin.

Alban:

Podcasting is different. It's slow media. You have to take your time to consume a podcast episode. You generally can't respond or comment immediately. It minimizes knee-jerk reactions. By slowing down, there's an opportunity to mindfully consider different points of view and be thoughtful in how we respond. I think it's so easy to read a tweet and read the worst version of that tweet. You see it and you go. Oh, I know what kind of person tweeted this. It's like the person that I think are the worst type of people, whatever that may be. But when you're listening to a podcast, even when somebody says something I really disagree with, when I hear their thought process and understand a bit more of their context, you can still strongly disagree, and yet they become a little bit more human and you go. Okay, I understand. We grew up in totally different environments. We're different types of people. We see the world differently. I'm okay with them having a different opinion, without me imagining them as like this terrible person, but you just don't get that when you're on, you know.

Kevin:

Yeah, it's one thing to disagree with someone's take, but then understand how they have that take, and then you have an opportunity to explain to them. That might not be everyone's experience or that might not be my experience, and so therefore, I have a different take and you're hearing each other in that, as opposed to just making a bunch of assumptions that I don't know the backstory. I just hear your take. Therefore, you must be a bad person. It's also a little convicting when you read that about podcasting being a slow medium is that I'm probably one of the most guilty people in the podcasting space that listens to every podcast. Yeah, like 1.5x, I can't dip. I'm a one X there and I should be. I'm starting to come around to.

Kevin:

Adam Curry talked about this. It's probably been over a year ago now, but he did a pretty long segment on the podcasting 2.0 show about why listening at more than 1x is bad, and he was approaching it a little bit from a creator perspective of, like you know, I talk at the right speed, like when we're talking together in person. You hear me at 1x and you're fine with it. So, like you know why, when you're listening to me through a podcast, would you speed me up. But he was also saying it's like it drives anxiety and I think there's some truth to that.

Kevin:

I was on my way to a meeting the other day in my car and I was trying to get this. You know, it was like a 15 minute drive and I was listening to a 30 minute podcast and I really wanted to finish it up on the way to this meeting and so I was listening at 2x and I noticed, as I'm approaching the meeting, like I was very anxious and I was like why am I feeling so anxious? And it was just because I think I've been listening to this podcast, which was a. I had to focus on it because it was intense, it was a great show and it was. It was also super fast and so it was just driving this. Like my heart rate was probably super high.

Kevin:

I was feeling kind of nervous and edgy and anxious and I really liked the way Justin describes podcasting as a slow medium and it makes me think like why am I rushing through stuff? Like it doesn't feel beneficial to try to cram something in. It's like, if you're reading a good book, like you don't want to go faster, you don't skim it, you don't like, just try to pull out the you know speed, read it and just pull out the highlights or pull out the gist of each page. You really want to slow down and soak it in and bring your imagination into the story. And I find myself guilty of that in podcasting oftentimes is that I can't wait for the show to come out, but then I'm trying to cram in the content between things in my life and so I'm rushing through it and I'm really not getting a full enjoyment and benefit of the medium.

Alban:

Yeah, Well, I could do a whole episode with you right now about slow reading. There's a lot of these new apps, like Blinkist, that are like hey, these popular books you've heard about, here's a 15 minute summary of the whole book. I'm like, well, yeah, there's a summary of the book. What's the point of that, though? The point is so that you can kind of talk about it with other people when they talk about it. I guess that's got a value, but the value is the stuff that's actually in the book. Then you've got to take it nice and slow, and the furthest that I've ever seen of this is whenever people read a religious text. They read it over and over and they really try to digest it because they think there's a ton of value there. It's just the exact opposite of the speed read or the 3x podcast listening.

Kevin:

Yeah, and I almost feel like our school system, at least here in the US, is partly at fault for this, because from a young age we've been forced to read things instead of giving the choice to select something that is of interest to us. And so I remember all through schooling that there would be books that were assigned reading and you had to read them. So I wasn't necessarily compelled on my own to read them and find the value and the joy of reading that particular text, but you're forced to, and so when you're forced to do something, oftentimes you're figuring out what's the most efficient way or what's the quickest way, or how do I just get through this as least painful or least engagement as possible, spark notes, and so that overflows. Definitely into adulthood is like. Even when I'm choosing something now, I still find that temptation there is to try to get through it as quickly as possible, extract the value as quickly as possible, to move on to something else, and it's almost like in the podcasting space.

Kevin:

There is a joy and a beauty to being able to have choice, to have discoverability, to find things that are of interest to the view, and then, once you do, why were we hitting the 1.5 X budding Like why is that? Oftentimes, when you're in a movie, like the best movies leave you wanting more, you don't walk out saying oh my gosh, like that movie was too long, you loved every minute of it. You walk out. Now there are movies where you walk out saying that movie was way too long. Those typically aren't great movies, right? Those aren't necessarily the movies that you can't wait to go see again.

Alban:

Speaking of movies, netflix shared its top show data, so Netflix has been under pressure for a long time to share how many views they get on movies and TV shows, and they've really resisted. And just recently they released an extensive list of viewing time data for the first half of 2023. And so this covers over 18,000 movies and TV shows globally, and there's a few things in here I thought were super interesting as they relate to podcasting. First, what they used as a metric was not views, wasn't downloads. It was the total hours that people viewed the show.

Kevin:

That's like a very YouTubey way to give information right Like minutes on platform or engagement minutes.

Alban:

It would be. I think YouTube hides this, though. We have videos that look like. We have some videos on our YouTube channel that have over a million views and yet I can see a lot of those are like a minute long view, and when I see that and I go a million minutes when it's a 12 minute video, that doesn't feel very good. That means for every person that's finishing it, there's like 11 people who are turning it off almost immediately. So I kind of like the time duration being the metric, because at least we know the average podcast. When it's played, it's almost always completed. I think it's something like 78% completed, which is just so much better than almost any other medium. I bet even better than Netflix.

Kevin:

How often do you start? Do you find yourself starting something on Netflix and then like disengaging with it, turning it off, never coming back Every time? Yeah, I do that a lot. Also, I was wondering if I was alone, and I don't know if it's changing, as my experiences with all media is influencing my behavior. But I feel like I remember as a younger person like before I was into the internet much, so we're talking 25, 30 years ago when you had four to six options on the TV.

Kevin:

I would find one and you'd kind of stick with it, even if it was like a dumb show. You're just kind of like, yeah, but I'm here for the next 30 minutes Like there's nothing better on. I'm going to see this through and now in Netflix, like I'll queue up. I just did this the other night and queued up a Christmas movie and we got like six minutes in and I was like, oh, I'm done with that. But I don't know, is it a result of more like instant gratification type behavior that's being driven in me, or is it the fact that I know there's 27 other easy Christmas movie options? I'm just going to go give another one a try.

Alban:

I think that when there is so many options of great things to do, that any you're kind of running this process in the back of your mind all the time going. Is this really like the best thing for me? Is this the you know the best movie to watch, the best podcast, to listen to the best book, to be on the best YouTube video, and especially when it's not like switch a channel and be in the middle of another TV show, like it used to be, it's just click back and Netflix has already queued up 40, 50 other things that they think are like 98% match for you. And so when you have all that sitting there, it starts feeling like, well, why would I put up with this for more than one more minute than I have to?

Kevin:

I do feel a little bit like I do that less than podcasting. I will still definitely give up on an episode if it's not holding my interest for a long period of time, but I'm less likely to do it because I know there's more work for me involved to find the next episode.

Alban:

Exactly. I think it's that podcast discoverability quote unquote problem, like if your podcast app was always sitting there going. You like Buzzcast, but what about these four other shows? Even if like take the objective whether or not the shows are better, they probably these hypothetical shows are better. But even if they're better, the kind of like very anxious feeling of like oh, I got to go get optimized for the very, very, very, very best show. I can't stick with something more than a minute longer than it's boring me. I don't think that's the healthiest way to engage with any medium and I think podcasting, just by nature of, if you really don't like this episode and you're kind of running low in the feed, you go okay, I'm just going to stick it out, or I have to actually go and find something else and if there's not something else out there that you want to spend time finding, you might push through and realize there really was something worth sticking around with the episode for the payoff.

Kevin:

Yeah, I mean think about even some of the greatest shows of all time. I don't know like a Seinfeld or Friends was a very popular one MASH huge TV shows. They had episodes, right, they had episodes that, just for whatever reason, they weren't resonating with the entire audience the way that most of the episodes did. But you stuck with it because what else were you going to watch? And that's just not true in a Netflix situation. It's not really true in a YouTube situation. If you don't like what you're watching right now, don't worry, don't leave our platform. We've got plenty of other things for you to choose from.

Alban:

Yeah, don't take your $7 away or whatever it costs to know.

Kevin:

Don't worry, we got it. Yeah, and podcasting I've got between seven and 10 shows that I like to listen to on a weekly basis and kind of once I get through those, I kind of feel like, oh, now I don't have anything to listen to. So it's like I don't know why am I rushing through them. And I'm also willing to stick with the creators more often. Even if they have an episode that's not hitting on the topics that I'm super interested in, I might stick around and listen to it anyway.

Alban:

So one of the things that came out of this Netflix data was how many shows are just not getting a ton of views. You'd imagine, with this marketing channel of Netflix with captive audience that's recommending shows, that they'd be pretty dang successful, and yet I think this is kind of a point Netflix was trying to make. Yeah, we have a couple massive hit shows, but for every hit show we have, we have a bunch of duds, and it made me kind of want to start thinking about how many movies and how many TV shows have come out over the years that weren't initially successful and connecting that to this long term podcasting game. Now I started writing a list.

Alban:

I remember the original Blade Runner, which super popular, one of the best sci-fi movies of all time Huge flop in the box office. Citizen Kane, shawshank Redemption one of the greatest films of all time Box office flop. There's so many TV shows that got canceled Firefly, Family Guy, arrested Development shows that, like they started out, they couldn't catch on. So somebody at some point said no more marketing for this, no more show for this, cut it. And yet there's some of the most popular now, or at least longest running shows or movies of all time.

Kevin:

Yeah, the Arrested Development story strikes the core with me, because I did love that show and I might have been one of the early people who started telling other people about it, but that got to the point where they actually brought that back and so it like they shut the show down, did not get renewed, and then Netflix, I think, bought the rights to it and then sometime later, years later, they tried to reassemble the cast and I think they actually did another season, one or two extra seasons that are just available on Netflix Now. Disappointingly, it wasn't as great as some of the original ones or it just didn't hit in the same way, and so it ended up getting canceled again. But that was a show that, yeah, it just never found its audience, while it was kind of in the opportune moment to get renewed and keep going.

Alban:

Yeah, it made me think being an instant success is not indicative of quality. Shawshank Redemption, I think, has got to be maybe the best example of this, probably one of the best five movies maybe ever, is going to always be at the very, very top of those rankings.

Kevin:

Yeah, I like that statement. Being an instant success is not indicative of the quality. Now, the other side of that coin, of course, is like the contestants who try out for American Idol and they're not good, and the judges like Simon Cowell is sitting there saying like you need to stop. Like how long have you been trying the singing career? And they're like seven years and he's like quit, You're never going to make it.

Alban:

Well, it is good to. At some point you want to face reality a little bit, so you've got to get out and sing in front of people and get some sometimes tough feedback that maybe it's not the best path for you.

Kevin:

Yeah, but singing I do say the other side of that coin. Now I'm going to flip the coin back over again. Like singing is a different business than podcasting. It's hard to just be a singer as a hobby. Like maybe you can score a few gigs around the local taverns or something like that.

Alban:

The local taverns.

Kevin:

I know I'm in Ireland all of a sudden. This is like a Lord of the Rings to a singer or a bard, or you could play for friends and family, but it's hard to kind of keep that going as just a hobby. Or I only have 100 true fans who really enjoy my music. Well, music production is pretty expensive and so it's pretty difficult to get all your stuff in the Spotify, but podcasting is not that Like. If you have 100 true fans on your podcast, that can certainly be enough motivation for you to continue to keep going. There's things that help that, like engagement with your audience, being able to somehow give them opportunities to support your show. You're probably not going to do an ad model if you only have 100. But you can be a successful podcaster. You can get the motivation and feel as though you're contributing and you're connecting, even if it's a smaller group of people.

Alban:

Yeah, let's pit it for a second. From all this Netflix data that we got and we really see this kind of wild dynamic where most of these shows are even with Netflix behind them. They're not massive, they're actually relatively. There's quite a bit of them that are only doing a couple hundred thousand hours of viewing time, and these are shows that cost millions to produce. What lessons can we take from this for podcasting?

Alban:

The first that stuck out to me was any of these shows that we mentioned that started off, got canceled, came back, or show movies that started off and weren't successes and then eventually we realized how great they were. They target a niche audience. They're trying to be something great for an individual group of people and then they tried to stick around for a long time. The shows in particular. The longer a show is around, the more chances you have to have a great episode and the more of a chance you have to get that small initial audience to start recommending the show. If you're around for one season, yeah, you don't have many chances, you don't have many bites at the apple to get people to recommend the show, but if you're around for five seasons, you've got a bunch of opportunities for people to say hey, this thing is good enough that you should go and check it out.

Kevin:

But I think that story happens a lot in podcasting. I don't know how often. I mean you see the data. I don't know how they sustain themselves. When you're doing something like a TV show production, do you just have a core producer group who believes in the show and continues to throw money at it for a long time, hoping it's going to pick up before you run out of money. But in podcasting it's more like it's determination, it's grit, it's believing in yourself, it's honing your craft, it's some marketing that can help, but it certainly seems a lot more sustainable.

Kevin:

You're not going to be burning through, like you said, millions of dollars per episode while you're doing this. It just comes down to understanding, I think, understanding up front that I'm entering this and I'm entering a long game media thing. You're not playing the lottery, you're not looking for overnight success. I don't know if the lottery is a good example, but lottery is not a long game plan. You're like I'm desperate, I've got a dollar in my pocket, I'm going to buy a ticket. It's either going to win or it's not. But I'm not going to. This isn't a life strategy that I'll just. I'm just hanging out here until my lottery number hits.

Alban:

Yeah, I think that we see this a lot. This is a totally different direction. But with businesses in the tech space, there's a lot of businesses. They raise a ton of money, they get a big influx of cash and then they have a timeline and it's like we either need to raise again in a year, we have to be successful within this year. Like a TV show is like that we can just fire 25% of our staff Well, yeah, that's later on in this show, I think. But the other option is hey, let's just start with a really small team, like you and Tom did I don't know Now, 14 years ago with Buzzsprout. You're like we'll just start with a small team of two people and once we start getting like $50 a month, now it's actually making something and it's so much easier to stick around for the I don't know five years that took Buzzsprout to really catch on. You can stick around because you didn't have a team of 200 who are all sitting there going. Well, this is a waste and we're blowing through a million dollars a year.

Kevin:

Yeah, the way not to start a podcast is to go to your friends and family and give them raise $10,000 of angel funds by the SM7B and the Roadcaster and the Ring Light recommended by Almond, and then promise them all within two years you're going to start getting your money back. We would never recommend you start a podcast like that. The way to do it is to get your $49 Q2U microphone and hook it into the old laptop that you have and start recording your voice and do your own editing and do your own marketing and your own promotion. And then you can stick around for years as long as you're enjoying it and you're slowly growing your audience. You get to that point where you're getting 27 downloads per episode and you realize I'm in the top 50% of podcasters now and maybe that took you a year, but in the year you're now in the top 50% and you keep going from there.

Alban:

So somebody who's not sticking with podcasting is TikTok. They have scrolled past it and they started this podcast experiment in 2023 and they ended it in 2023. So they beat the record set by Facebook podcasts of only lasting a year. Tiktok, their attention span was less than half of that.

Kevin:

I would love to say that I'm disappointed, but I don't know if this is the right take to have on it or not, but the more big companies and big tech push into podcasting, the more unsettled it makes me Like I don't think it's overall great for podcasting as as one of these few mediums that we have left in the online publishing space where it is kind of Open still and open gets thrown around in terms of open tech or open this or what I I just mean like accessible. You know it's, it's very affordable for anybody to jump into. It's not really controlled, it's not really censored. You can kind of do what you want, how you want, your way. You can set up your own website. You can use the website your hosting provider gets you. You can do the show. You can do a comedy show, you can do an educational show, you can do a controversial show, you can do an uncontrollable. You can kind of do whatever you want and it's kind of accessible to a lot of people.

Kevin:

And as platforms and big tech start pushing in, their motivations are different and their motivations are drive more people to our platform, sell more advertising, create content that resonates with the algorithm so that we push it more and and it just starts to change things and that Doesn't change things in a way that excites me and so, yeah, I understand tick tock could have provided an opportunity for podcasting, but at the same time, I don't necessarily know that there's a lot broken with the original form of podcasting.

Kevin:

That's kind of what I fell in love with and I'm still in love with it and I'm still passionate about it. And it's fine with me if we're 10 years down the road and podcasting still isn't a major part of Like 90% of humans lives. Like it's fine. It's, you know, 30 or 40 or 50% of people really enjoy podcasts and listen to an hour to a podcast content every week. I think that's still great, that's enough. You know, at some point we all have to be okay with this idea of of enough and slow growth and and it doesn't have to be everyone- right.

Alban:

Yeah, I think if you told me, alvin, if you started a marketing show and you did it every week for a year and at the end of it You've got a few hundred people and they're all that ever listen to it, but they all love it and they're all getting a lot from it, I would probably start that show.

Kevin:

And the idea that it has to be millions of numbers for it to even matter, I think, is just such a toxic thing that we've got yeah, let's throw the analogy in a books, okay, like what's the percentage of humans on the planet who probably read more than 10 books cover to cover in a year? Um, I, single digits.

Alban:

It's not for high.

Kevin:

It's gotta be incredibly low, yeah right. And yet the book publishing industry has survived for hundreds of years. Well right, Is that crazy to say? When was the printing press invented?

Alban:

It's hundreds a year. Yeah, it's hundreds. So, since Gutenberg We've been putting out books, but we had books even before. Like having the monks. We're going to their local taverns and they would have the singer.

Kevin:

Oh, I'm just saying, like the idea that a medium has to, you know, set itself up to be successful in the short run or be overnight successes and we do see some of that in the book industry. We think we're gonna see some of that in the podcasting industry. But the the concept of podcasting being more of a long game, like I love the idea of Associating when we think about podcasting, looking more to industries like the book industry, like when you write a book, the chances of you going out and inking a deal with a large publisher when you haven't published anything before is very low. And the same like signing you're starting a podcast and signing, but a large podcasting network is very low and so you're not going to get that boost, you're not going to get an injection of cash or that, that marketing powerhouse behind you when you launch, unless again you could be a celebrity or something. So, like when Conan O'Brien let's just podcast overnight success. Conan O'Brien launches a new podcast, right, well, if Conan O'Brien wrote a memoir or something is probably also going to be an overnight success, but that's built on decades of Hard work that he did when he started in the clubs. He didn't have that behind him. And again, when you start a podcast, you're not going to have that behind you. So you have to build up that audience.

Kevin:

But to my point of like, looking more at like a publishing industry, the book publishing industry, books have a discoverability problem. We've made this point before, just like podcasts do. When you write a book, if you happen to get it published or yourself publish, you then have to go out and market it. You have to tell people about. You have to start to build an audience and you have to hope that it resonates with them enough that they start to tell their circle of influence. And then it continues to spread and spread and spread.

Kevin:

It's harder, I think, in the book industry because you kind of it takes you years to write one good book and then you have to market that and market that, market that and at the same time Maybe we try to write another book. But in podcasting, like, we get to podcast and put out new episodes as often as our schedule allows. So you can do a weekly show, you can do a daily show, you can do every other week show, you can do whatever, but it's the frequency and the chances of you actually hitting stuff that starts to resonate with people is higher Because the volume of content that you're putting out is continuous.

Alban:

So in the intro of this episode I said you know we want to be a podcast that helps you talk about the strategies, the tools, but also the trends that you need to know to build a better podcast. And I put trends in there because there are trends and there are fads and I think every time a big platform says we're getting into podcasting, the fad kicks off and everyone goes oh my gosh, how am I going to work with Twitter spaces and podcasts? How am I going to get on to Fireside chats or whatever it was, for the Spotify ended up buying? How am I going to get into Facebook podcasts? And I mean, I'll be honest, I would make these videos and write threads about it and be like here's how you do it. Because we think this fad matters, but almost every time they don't really matter. The one that mattered was when Steve Jobs got on stage and he goes hey, we're gonna put podcasts into iTunes and it was this brand new technology. And Then when Apple said, hey, we're gonna put it on the iPhone. And then when Spotify said we're gonna add it to Spotify, those mattered. Those are pretty far few and far between and they also were massive platforms Going in big on podcasting when podcasting was relatively small.

Alban:

Now We've got Facebook saying maybe is the second thought, we'll add it in and we're not gonna do that. I actually kind of dump Okay, we'll do it for tick tock. No, it's kind of doesn't make sense. I think we need to remember that this is not a one-time bait and switch. That's happened. This has happened dozens of times now at some point we have to start thinking it's okay that if I end up a little bit behind this trend because it's probably a fad, I don't have to fight to get my podcast into YouTube with this new RSS kind of tool they're doing, because it might be good. But I'm not gonna stress myself out trying to get on board the new thing when I've got so many other things I'm trying to improve with my podcast.

Kevin:

Yeah, I agree, I think there's plenty of time. Youtube is a perfect example. There's plenty of time to figure out YouTube. And now it's not critical at this point, like there are a lot of people who engage with podcasts through YouTube and Overwhelmingly those are people who are doing video first podcast content that YouTube is just lumping it all together and saying, oh you like, podcast engagement on YouTube is astronomical, it's huge, and it is for a very few Podcast creators who are doing video first content, like they're not lying about it.

Kevin:

But there is some nuance to what they're saying.

Kevin:

That is, I think, they're purposely muddying the waters around, you know, because it serves them well to get as much content on their platform as possible, and so I think they're being intentionally vague and it's driving some podcasters some like old-school podcasters crazy that they're calling these video shows that don't even really have RSS feeds, driving them nuts that they're calling them podcasts.

Kevin:

The reality is it's just it's a self-serving tool that they're using and I don't necessarily think it's worth getting upset about.

Kevin:

But the lesson for old-school, traditional podcasters or people who are entering into that space traditionally with doing audio first content and distributing it through RSS, is Exactly what you said, like we don't have to rush to these things if it ends up catching on and it ends up that YouTube is a place where people are consuming audio first content and YouTube music is a legitimately good podcast player that Google is continuing to invest in and not just another thing that Google's trying for a year and then they're gonna shut down. There's time. There's time to get on there. There's time for you to hear back from people who want to listen to your show. Let's say, hey, I listen to my podcast through Google music but you're not there. Okay, like I've heard that a few times, I want to make, I want to address that for the people who want to find my show there there's also this thread in the story of the perception of the podcasting industry is not the reality.

Alban:

There's these big stories that hit slate and tech crunch and they kind of blow up and they're the ones that my friends who aren't in podcasting, who know that I am, will text me about and they're going oh man, you doing okay, like I get those about once every six months, you doing okay.

Alban:

And I think podcasting is just totally Unfazed by all of the comings and goings of these big tech giants because they actually don't matter.

Alban:

And the same goes for what I would let's put in this category of professional podcasting Amazing podcast production houses that do incredible shows that cost a ton of money to have really great teams. There's not not downplaying any of the work that any of these people are doing or these shows, but those are pretty different than the world we're in, which is indie podcasting. And so when we hear things about, spotify just did a round of layoffs and Heavyweight is one of the podcast they decided to shut down. When people hear that, they will almost instantly reach out to me and go oh man, house bus for octagon. They win, and it's just a very different world when your your view is set on. I'm trying to get a few hundred listeners and be really valuable to them. Versus I'm trying to make this beautiful piece of art that I put out every few months and it has to be so good and has to drive so much revenue that it can support a team of 15.

Kevin:

Yeah, a little bit to the point I was trying to make earlier and I think you're you're leading me back into it in a more comprehensive way. But this is what I'm saying, like when I say that I'm fine with like tiktok exiting podcasting. It's this sentiment that I'm trying to capture, which is like the idea that people are reaching out and saying, hey, are you okay? Cause I'm reading stories about podcasting is dying. Well, it's like I think the nuance there is that big tech is struggling to figure out how to make it in podcasting and make it profitable a profitable part of their business and to the scale of which they're used to. So Google launches a new ad product and it's doing $40 billion a quarter, and now they launched something in the podcasting and that just even if it's profitable for them, it has to be billions of dollars profitable or it's not worth their time to continue to invest in it. And so we are seeing that big tech is continuing to struggling podcasting. I don't necessarily understand that space or how to make it work or if it could ever work, but I'm fine with it not working because we love and have family love with and support and built tools around supporting indie podcasters and we're not looking to make billions of dollars. We don't have to, and so if that part of the industry is struggling, it really doesn't affect us much.

Kevin:

But it also doesn't affect what I love about podcasting either, and so I have a hard time being super empathetic, and not just because I'm not empathetic towards a large corporate behemoth that's probably evil. You know what I'm saying? That's not it. It's just that's not the part of podcasting that I really enjoy. Do I like shows like heavyweight? I do like shows like heavyweight, but not so much that like. I also like shows like Dethering, which is just two guys who just run their own little profitable podcasting venture through directly through listener support, and I don't think they have hundreds of thousands of supporters of that show. They probably have hundreds who subscribe to that show and it works for them, and that's really what makes me passionate about podcasting. So I don't want to sound like as though I have no empathy for people who lose jobs in podcasting or for, like, the people who were laid off at Spotify, especially the people who worked on the podcasting side of Spotify. I do have empathy for them, but it's not. It doesn't impact the part of podcasting that I really love.

Alban:

Yeah, there's a. The seemingly constant news of layoffs and cancel of podcast does seem to have spread this narrative that podcasting is dying, and I don't think that that's really the reality of what's happening. So news of the podcast industry's death seems to have been greatly exaggerated. Podcasting is continuing to grow, and one of the ways it's growing at least you can see it's growing is from this new Nielsen 2023 consumer survey report. So what they asked people was, for each of the topics below how do you see your habits changing in the next six to 12 months? And it includes lots of things like subscribing to live TV streaming services, purchasing products based on influencer recommendations. I like the idea that there's people who are like I'm absolutely gonna keep doing that, Listening to local radio, but one of the ones that's important to us is listening to podcasts.

Kevin:

Right. So according to this chart let me digest this in real time the number of people who plan to stop this activity is like the lowest level of engagement that you could have with that question, which is a one, and so that is at a one, and the highest level of engagement you can have is that I plan to increase this, and this was the highest level of all the questions they asked. Which was they?

Alban:

people ranked that as a 21 or whatever 21% of people who responded said I plan to increase the amount of podcasts I listened to and 72% said I'm staying right where I am. I'm not gonna make any changes. And if you look at all these other things, there are 12% of people who are going to buy more things based on what influencers tell them to buy, which could be helpful for podcasting too.

Alban:

But that's actually number two of all of these items, and there's like 20 different items like subscribing to Netflix and paying for satellite radio. 21% were saying I'm gonna increase the amount I listened to podcasts. That's greater than any other and it's also the greatest at keeping all the people who are already doing it. They're going to also continue doing it.

Kevin:

Right.

Kevin:

The number of downloads that we've been seeing across not only individual podcasts but the platform overall, and these numbers are also being echoed industry wide through.

Kevin:

Like OP3, other podcast hosts are reporting the same thing it's the number of downloads has decreased over the past couple of months, but we're interpreting that as more of an industry correction.

Kevin:

As one of the largest players, the Apple podcast players, made a pretty significant change to the way their app works, and so the app is no longer downloading entire back catalogs of episodes when you first subscribe. There was some other little nuances to that where, if the device had its memory full or storage full, that it would continue to try download episodes. Some of those things were racking up legitimate IAB plays. Those bugs have been corrected and so, as this correction has happened, it does appear as the download which we would another word for that would be like podcast engagement has declined over the past couple of months, but I think it's best to view that through, at least for now, until more data comes in, that that's more of like a correction in the industry of the downloads that we're tracking. This report seems to be pointing like the people who are engaging with podcasts want more podcasting in their life not less.

Alban:

I really wish that we had data, like Netflix does. How many hours of listening time have there been for podcasts across the world every year since 2001? Like I'd like to know what are the hours of listening, because my gut tells me it's been increasing quite a bit every year. Really, we see download numbers aren't going to be exactly right. Tom, when he's working on our stats, doesn't like to say this, but he ends up saying it a lot. When stats get more accurate, they always go down. He's like we've never accidentally blocked a bunch of legit downloads and then realized later on oh, those are legit downloads, let's add them back into stats. We've never made that error. The error is a bot that tries to trick you and think that it's a real person, and it takes a while for people to catch it. So we can see this downturn, but it's just a downturn towards accuracy. We're getting better and better as an industry. This specific one was Apple Podcasts getting better. But we're getting better and we're getting more accurate numbers.

Kevin:

Yeah, and I agree with you, we don't have that data. The people who would be able to give us that type of data at scale anyway would be Apple would be Spotify. I think it's safe for us to say, anyway, that Apple sees something enticing in podcasting, and I have to think that that has to be tied to the amount of podcasts that are continued to be consumed through iOS devices, which is just making the assumption here.

Kevin:

That's where at least I'm buzzed about. That's where most consumption happens is through mobile devices. And so, while Apple is a for-profit company and we have seen in the last year and a half or so, they've really pushed into this subscription or paid content model and they're seeing enough activity that it's at least continuing to hold their interest in supporting podcasting on their devices and maybe, if it's not something that they can monetize to the billion-dollar figure where it's going to be a large team that is investing heavily in it, it's at least enough to say, oh, it's driving people, it's one of the main uses of their smartphone, at least for some portion of the general public who buy the phones, they use them for a lot of podcast listening and it's probably like what you're saying it's probably about a significant amount of time. So it's not just, oh, people use apps and they use this app for 15 minutes a day and they use this app for 30 minutes a month or something like that, but they have lots of apps. It's when you get people who are interested in podcasting. It's probably a lot of time.

Kevin:

And so one of the things I love about my phone is that I always have my podcast with me. Whether I'm in my car, whether I'm out walking the dog, I'm going for a run, I'm on an airplane, I have my podcast with me and it's one of the things I'd miss most about. Like people who say I'm gonna take a break from tech, I'm gonna go with a dumb phone for a while, or all the different types of social media fasts and stuff that they do, we're at a place where I feel like, if you look at how much time you spend on different apps or one of the easiest ways to do this on your mobile devices is by seeing which apps use the most battery on your phone, kevin.

Alban:

I'm literally pulling up my week stats of how much time I spend on my phone to see number one for me is audible, but pretty close behind that is overcast both listening to spoken word content.

Kevin:

Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. I'm thinking the amount of time like you're honing in on this statistic of how much time people are spent listening, as Netflix did with the shows of how many hours people are watching it's gotta be so high for podcasting and that has to be intriguing for people who are trying to sell devices. It's also very intriguing for people who try to sell ads. But that is part of the business that's continuing to struggle and I think a lot of that has to be that people just skip over ads, right?

Alban:

Well, people like you think it's perfectly fine to skip all the ads and even build apps that'll just get the ads.

Alban:

Now, skipping over to page nine of this report, there are a few other things that jumped out to me.

Alban:

Gen Z and millennials are the most likely to say they're going to increase the amount of time they're listening to podcasts. We know that podcasts as a whole are a little bit of I don't know aging population. I feel like it's people my age and a little bit older are the core demographic for podcasts. So older millennials, close to Gen X, and lots of consumers say they're planning on spending more money and time on topic specific content. So this can be podcasts, but also subscriptions to things like gaming, sports specific content, nfl premium channels, things like that, and I really like seeing these two trends move in lockstep. More people are saying I'm wanting to get into podcasts, I want to increase my listening, but also say I'm willing to start paying for topic specific content. So if you're thinking about getting into monetizing your podcast, all these recommendations still stand. We're trying to get niche content, we're trying to get a core audience and provide lots of value, and it seems like this is more of an area that's continuing to grow.

Kevin:

A lot of people will hear stuff like that and they'll say, like, how do I get a younger demographic to engage with my show? I don't want to hammer this point too hard, but the idea of as you mature and go through different stages of life, different types of media become more appealing to you. So again, I'll go back to like books when I was younger and I think a lot of people it might be true for is that when you go through the season where books are not super appealing, they're slow and they take time to consume and everything's new to you and you're, you want to hang out with your friends, whatever. But as you mature, most people then find themselves more pushing into that and I think it's been fine. It's sustained the industry for a long time. It's a healthy industry.

Kevin:

Same thing, I think, is true of podcasting. My kids, for example, will listen to podcasts, but I noticed, like my daughter, who's the oldest, she's more interested and as she's getting older, is getting more and more interested and the younger boys aren't yet. But I think it's fine. Podcasting is not going to be something that is going to hold the interest of I don't want to say this negatively, but less mature people like literally like less mature, Not as a dig, just as that's the stage of their life and it ties back to the quote that you gave earlier about it being a slow medium and having appreciation and having the patience to stick through something, through its highs and lows, Like this is an hour long show but only 30 minutes of it was super interesting to me. As you mature, you're more willing to probably wait and give it time for those points to land or to think through something challenging.

Alban:

So this is our last episode of 2023. We're about to jump into 2024. Years ago, we did podcast predictions and they were so bad that I think we killed podcast predictions forever after that. So we now do podcast wishes. Kevin, do you have any podcast wishes for 2024?

Kevin:

So I do. I do have a wish for podcasting, but can I make my wish also a challenge? Is that acceptable? Is that within the rules?

Alban:

First it was a prediction, now it's a wish. Now you want it to be a wish slash challenge. Just make your wish slash challenge, Get on with it. I hear you.

Kevin:

Yeah, let's go. My wish challenge this holiday season, if you are a fan of podcasts, if you love podcasting, like we do, and absolutely if you're listening to the show, this is you, because why else would you listen to us drone on about podcasting for this amount of time every other week If you didn't would be to try a new podcasting app this year, and I would say let's do it in January. Let's just wrap it up with your new year's resolutions that you're going to try a new podcasting app. And this doesn't come from a place of the podcast apps that most people use are terrible. This comes from a place of some of these new podcasting apps, if you go to newpodcastingappscom, are exceptionally good. Not to say that Apple's not good, not to say that Spotify doesn't have a good app or Google mute. It's not to say that there's some nuance and beauty and unique things about different podcasting apps and you might find one that you really, really love. But if you don't stretch yourself to try it and I know it takes some time to go to newpodcastingappscom, look at the different icons on there. Try to find an icon that looks pretty, or find a. It has a little feature that's going to send you to download that and install that on your phone. You might love it.

Kevin:

There's a lot of work by people who are really passionate and love podcasts being done in the new podcast app space, but the whole theme of this episode is this long game. They are playing the long game. They need to find their people. It doesn't have to be an overnight success. It doesn't need millions of dollars put behind it to be successful, but it does need people who are willing to be early adopters and to try things out, to try new things and then, if you like it, if you find one that works for you, to tell other people about it. And so that's my holiday wish slash challenge. Anybody who's listening to this is go out and try some new podcast apps, see if you can find one that becomes your daily driver, that you become passionate about, and then, if you do tell other people about it, spread the joy.

Alban:

I recently tweeted. I love how podcast listening apps have unique features. That's for different types of listeners. Overcast FM has smart speed and voice boost. That's what I use, so I will have to be wish slash challenge to try a new one. Fountain app has like, in my opinion, some of the very best implementation of value for value of boosted grams. Apple podcasts has the best curated lists and premium content through Apple podcast subscriptions. Good pods has really cool indie charts and social features. Spotify probably the very best at surfacing new podcasts. I've found lots of new shows just by getting surfaced those and snipped app is another one that I've used recently which is really good at grabbing clips from episodes and it will actually transcribe those clips and send them to your notes app. So if you're somebody like me who listens and says I really want to remember that little bit later on, snipped app is a good one. And for people who are going to take on your wish slash challenge for 2024, do you have any that you'd point them towards?

Kevin:

I point you towards two. I really like cast-o-matic. Wait, am I saying that right?

Alban:

You must love it. I mean, sounds like you love it.

Kevin:

It's my daily driver, Cast-o-matic but I just know it's got a red icon. Yeah, cast-o-matic that's what I use for my daily driver and I'm also pod fans which has recently rebranded to true fans, is something that I'm testing right now. It is by Sam Sati, who's on the podcast weekly review. He's been working for a very long time to bring pod fans to life and now that he has great timing because podcasting is expanding and now musicians are coming in on some other stuff so he's rebranded it.

Kevin:

From this. It's not just pod fans anymore, it's truefansfm. That is a progressive web app so you don't even have to download anything. You just go to truefansfm on your phone and you can use the little button on your phone to add to home screen and you have the app and that's been a really great experience too. That's every podcasting 2.0 feature. So I like loaded up BuzzCast right away and he's got our host images on there and he's got transcripts and all the chapters show up beautifully and podcast artwork and everything. So that may become my daily driver in 2024. We'll see.

Alban:

My podcast wish for 2024 is that one of my favorite podcasts from like 2017 comes back. It's called Coin Talk. It was the host, jay Kang and Aaron Lammer, and it was so funny because it was all about crypto. But it was two people who are journalists and they're just like laughing at this insane industry that they were also a part of. Like they were basically gambling all this money trying to get rich and they were involved in all the crypto stuff, but they also had a very healthy and just hilarious viewpoint of like this stuff is all a Ponzi scheme. This is such a bad idea. Don't do it, but we're definitely doing it. So I loved that show much longer than I loved crypto, and now, seeing Bitcoin start to go up again, I'm like maybe we can get that show back. So, coin Talk I'd love to see that come back.

Kevin:

Well, tag them in the episode, so maybe they can hear your wish and grant them.

Alban:

Sound off today. I don't remember what Jordan says, but it's time for Sound Off the part of the show where we read the things you wrote us or sent into us. So, kevin.

Kevin:

There's nothing like what Jordan says, but it'll work.

Alban:

It'll work for you. You start us off with this first boost of gram.

Kevin:

Sure, dave Jones has written in and he commented on Albin's legal comment of Mootness last week and said Mootness sounds like a rapper name, lil Mootness. I agree, I don't think that's a rip. I think you'd get laughed out of the courtroom. Maybe Armin's Mootness. But you're the lawyer, not me.

Alban:

Dave Jones said how about a golden ticket in podcast audio? A hundred random people get an audio Euro winner stitched into their next bus. Cast download using Buzzsprout Dynamic Ads Tech. That is such a fun idea. It's super fun. We don't have a technical way to do it, but I could just put something in Just say you won the golden ticket and leave it in there until it gets about a hundred downloads and then pull it. So, Dave, that's a great idea. I love these kind of silly ideas that we could add into Buzzcast.

Kevin:

And somebody. I can't remember what show it was on, was it on a podcast, weekly review, or was it on podcast until now? But somebody made the point that they were a little bit upset because all of the boosts that we read, the booster grams that we read on Buzzcast, are like from the same people every week. So I'm happy to report that we have two brand new boosts this week. It was podcast weekly review, now that I remember. So, at user 29273995, who suggested 1,000 sats and said your show helps so much, would love to meet you at PodFest. So we would love to meet you as well. So I'll be looking for somebody with a name tag that says 29273995,. Please introduce yourself as such.

Alban:

I really want somebody to come up and say hey, kevin, I'm user 29273995. Yeah, do it. Alan C Paul wrote in. Thank you for being open about your thoughts on ad skipping and having an honest debate. The main issue I see is the same issue we have in algorithms in general who decides what content is unwanted and which is okay for the consumer? While skipping ads may seem good for the consumer, giving up control of the choice of what constitutes excessive harmful content has never ended well for the consumer nor the creator.

Alban:

I'd be very interested in how this shakes out. Great point, I mean. I think that really is the argument that I wish I was making last episode, because there's some stuff that feels like an ad, some stuff that's not. Some of this is sponsorship, some of this is an endorsement. Where's that line? And you can see that line get shifted all the way to yeah, you're allowed to have a podcast, but as soon as you mention you know, a health podcast, but as soon as you mention your own supplements company, we're cutting that part out. I think that allowing the listener to decide what they want to listen to and let the creator have a bit more control that's the side I want to err on, rather than handy that control over to a podcasting app.

Kevin:

Well, that's it for our sound off segment for this episode. Albin, you are up to give a sound off question for the next episode, which will be the first episode of 2024. Do you have a question ready to go?

Alban:

Yeah. So today we tried this new thing where we had a kind of a topic how do you podcast versus sustainability and long term, how do you stick around? And next week, if Jordan lets us, I'd like to keep that going and have another theme, and the theme I want to talk about is what makes podcasting different. I've been working on a blog post essay marketing page I don't know exactly what form it takes, but about what's different about podcasting and what we love about podcasting, and so I'd like to hear from you what do you love about podcasting that's different from other mediums? We talked about a lot of these things before, so send us a boost.

Alban:

Send us an email to support at buzzbrowcom and say it's for a buzzcast, write us on Twitter in whatever way, or go to our leave a voicemail thing with pod inboxcom, slash buzzbrow. Yep, pretty confident. That's it. If you could chat to us in any of those ways, we'd love to include your answer to what do you love about podcasting. That's all for this episode and until next week, keep podcasting. Goodbye, nailed it, nailed it.

Kevin:

So for anybody who's new to Buzzsprout this year has signed up in 2023,. You have not gotten one of these emails in past years, but we've been doing it. This is our fifth year now doing it, maybe sixth. We'll do think about it as like your podcasting year in review, which is what we used to call it until we rebranded last year and actually gave it a proper name. So now we call them a backtrack, so it's like your podcasting backtrack Look did we ever send an email that said your podcasting year in review?

Kevin:

Yeah, that's what it used to be. That's terrible. Well, it wasn't catchy, but it was. Everyone knew what it was. Yeah.

Alban:

We guess, if you're not going to be catchy, you might as well at least do a good job of telling people what it is.

Kevin:

Yeah, the name for Buzzsprout was podcast hosting Co. No.

Alban:

Fun story actually that people probably don't know the name Buzzsprout was around before podcast hosting was the product right? Yes, I mean, before you knew that it was going to be podcast hosting, you had a name Buzzsprout.

Kevin:

Yes, I don't remember exactly how the name came about, but I know it was one of those domains that we've been. You know, tom and I were in the software name for years before we got into podcast hosting and during that time at some point I came up with this idea of Buzz and Sprout together buzzsproutcom. I checked the domain. It was available. I was like that is, I like that. For whatever reason, I'm like I like it, I'm registering it and maybe one day in the future we'll come up with an idea that it fits for. And then a few years later, we started finding an interest in podcasting and we're like oh, this is great. We've been, we've loved this name for so long and we've hoped that someday we'd have an idea that it would fit with. And it was there. So if you're a domain speculator, don't give up. Keep buying the domains, maybe one day.

Alban:

Play the long game in domain speculation.

Kevin:

All right. So back tracks yeah, we're sending out back tracks this week. We record on Tuesday, we drop this episode on Friday, so hopefully by the time this episode drops, we will have started to send those emails. They don't all go out at once, so if you haven't gotten yours yet, just hang tight, it is coming.

Kevin:

But it is your podcasting, your review, so it looks at like how many episodes you published, where downloads happen, the different apps that happened, and it tries to summarize that information in a encouraging, celebratory, motivational way. Because every podcast again like one of the things that we live by and is a driving factor here at Buzzsprout is that every podcast, regardless of how big or small and how long you've been doing, is worth celebrating in some way, and so we try to find unique ways to celebrate your podcasts, regardless of where you are on your journey. It's one of the gifts that we love to give all of our podcasters at the end of every year and so hopefully that comes out. You have it in your inbox. If you haven't gotten already that, you have it when the next day or two, and we hope you find it encouraging and celebratory and we hope you share it with your audience. So on, whatever social platforms or whatever, and if you're not doing any of the social platforms, print it out and show your family hanging in your office.

Alban:

Print out the email we send you. Kevin, can I wait? So in the previous years we were kind of the sticklers, like everybody else Spotify does your year wrap up, apple Music sends theirs out, every app sends them out in December, november but we were the sticklers who were like your year review can't be happening until the new year and so it was our thing, if you're like, we're very, very strict on that. So we sent it in January when the year was actually reviewed and it was done. But now you're saying we're sending it starting the 22nd.

Kevin:

Well, we found a compromise. We've cracked the problem. You wanna hear how we cracked it.

Alban:

Yeah, what's the compromise? I feel like it's not compromised, like we found a better solution between two opposing opinions. It's compromised like we're compromising our values by sending this year review when there's still like eight days left in the year?

Kevin:

How about this? How about we found a way to let people have their cake and eat it too? Is that a saying, yeah, yeah.

Alban:

I mean, I think the whole saying is that you can't do that.

Kevin:

but Well, you can with backtracks. We've cracked the nut on how to have your cake and eat it too. So what we're doing is you're going to get your backtrack in December this year. It is cumulative for the entire year. So if you come back, let's say you get your backtrack today today being Friday, right, it's gonna update, it's going to update, right. And so, since it is now HTML based, we're not pushing all this data into an email where it's locked in time. It's going to be in a webpage. So you're gonna click the link in the email, you're gonna view it in a web browser or on your phone. It's gonna show you all these stats. Well, if you come back tomorrow, when you get in, some of those stats change and you refresh it. It's going to be fresh and it will keep changing all the way through December 31st and at that point backtrack stops. That's your complete year in review.

Kevin:

But we also heard from people like, hey, my Christmas present or my holiday gift should come before. Everyone sends it before. So we're like we would like to deliver it a little bit early. Around the same time you're getting all these other things. So how do we do that? But then how do we also make it a full year in review. This is our solution you have your cake, and now you can eat it too, which is all right.

Alban:

Well, if you're one of the few people who wrote into Kevin and said I should get my Christmas gift on Christmas or my Canadian Boxing Day gift on Boxing Day, or whatever, holiday gift on Festivus exactly. Do not open this email until that holiday that you celebrate. Is that the rule? It could be it could be for you.

Kevin:

You can do what you want with it.

Alban:

This is all in the honor system.

Kevin:

If you are opening it early, yeah, you can't do that, yeah, but I think that's pretty neat is that when you get it on that day, you'll be able to see from January 1 through the day you open that email. But then again you might wanna check it again the next day or the next day or maybe a week later or whatever. But those numbers will change a little bit, you know, depending on how much interactivity your podcast is seeing between now and the end of the year, and then on December 31st, that's where the query stops and you'll have your full year in review at that point.

Alban:

All right. Well, we wrapped that up, and with this we're wrapping up the year. Happy holidays and we'll see you in 2024. Keep podcasting.

Ring Light
Out Sick
Playing the Long Game
(Cont.) Playing the Long Game
Netflix Consumption Data
TikTok Gives Up on Podcasts
The Future of Podcasting
Nielsen Consumer Survey Report
Podcast Wishes for 2024
Podcast Wishes & Challenge for 2024
Post Show: Origin of Buzzsprout

Podcasts we love