Buzzcast

There's Something Special About Podcasting

January 05, 2024 Buzzsprout Episode 118
There's Something Special About Podcasting
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Buzzcast
There's Something Special About Podcasting
Jan 05, 2024 Episode 118
Buzzsprout

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Ever wondered why podcasting has such a magnetic pull, or what makes it so distinctively charming in the sea of digital media? Podcasting's simplicity and authenticity forge a connection that's tough to replicate.  We discuss the balance between staying true to traditional audio roots and embracing the visual domain, all while questioning what 'authenticity' really means when the production value climbs.

View the discussion thread on Twitter/X!

Links mentioned in this episode:

📣 Sound-Off Question: What was the best podcast episode you listened to in 2023?
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!

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Ever wondered why podcasting has such a magnetic pull, or what makes it so distinctively charming in the sea of digital media? Podcasting's simplicity and authenticity forge a connection that's tough to replicate.  We discuss the balance between staying true to traditional audio roots and embracing the visual domain, all while questioning what 'authenticity' really means when the production value climbs.

View the discussion thread on Twitter/X!

Links mentioned in this episode:

📣 Sound-Off Question: What was the best podcast episode you listened to in 2023?
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!

Alban:

Jordan looks so like glam right now..

Jordan:

Glam.

Alban:

At least on my end. Your video has kicked into slow-mo and you just like cleaned your glasses and then like put them back on and it was like who came in slow-mo? Have you seen the Oscars? Glam can, where it like goes fast and then goes real slow-mo.

Kevin:

Oh yeah, yeah, it was just in there. On you. You also are a little bit backlit from the light out your window.

Jordan:

I forgot to turn on my front lights, my face lights, so you look like Kevin.

Kevin:

Do you remember touched by an angel? Yes, we never did your show, jordan.

Jordan:

I vaguely remember that show, but not really.

Alban:

Was that one of your homeschool classes? You had to watch that.

Kevin:

Obviously that was a homeschool video show. It was like angels that were sent to Earth to like help people in times of need or something. But the like pinnacle of every episode was when they would reveal like I am the angel who's been helping you through this moment. And it was always like they were backlit with like soft light on the front and so they kind of glowed and people would be like, ooh, and you've got that. Look, right now I'm sure that's a show that if I go watch it on Netflix, that it's not going to stand up as much as I I don't think. I even thought it was great when we were allowed to watch like two TV shows a week. Anyway, I think even then I was like, yeah, this isn't great, but we're allowed two shows, so we'll watch it.

Alban:

Yeah, I like when you were trying to think what it was about. You're like it's just angels that were sent to Earth to help people, but it's like you were searching that it had to be more than that, no it wasn't more than that. It was just that simple of a concept.

Kevin:

I was trying to remember who's in it and I was like the lady from Dr Quinn Medicine Woman. That's what I was thinking. It's like that's not going to help my mom loved that show. That's not going to help explain this. There is a whole world of late 90s TV. That would be funny. I'm going to go back and watch, I think for about 45 seconds. Here we go.

Jordan:

Welcome back to Buzzcast, the podcast where we discuss podcast tools, strategies and trends will make you a better podcaster. I'm your host, jordan, and joining me, as always, are my cohost, albin and Kevin Albin. Thank you so much for stepping in for me last episode.

Kevin:

You did a great job, didn't you? I like this new intro, Jordan. Thanks. Where did you get this?

Jordan:

I'm always, I gotta tell you, I'm always a little nervous to make any changes. And then you stepped in as the host last time and you just came in with a sledgehammer and just demoed the whole podcast intro and I have no notes. I loved it, so I'm adopting it.

Kevin:

That's how Kevin and I like to do sledgehammer.

Alban:

Yeah, and the outro also. And going into soundoff you can remember what you say. To go into soundoff, here's where we got some messages and we read them and say stuff about them.

Jordan:

Yeah, he got the point across. That's all that matters.

Kevin:

I scripted out the intro. I hadn't gotten all the way to the soundoff segment and so that part was that was. I came up with that on the spot.

Jordan:

That was good. So for this episode, I like to dive into the newest post on the BuzzFraut blog, in which we make a case for what sets podcasting apart from other mediums.

Kevin:

So for like a long time, kevin and I, I think we're pretty much on the same page with this Like where we will see something in podcasting and send it to each other and be like man this is why I love podcasts or somebody posts something about podcasting and we send it over to each other going off.

Kevin:

This is totally wrong. And it's always these little pieces like where somebody will post about how video is the future of podcasting and we're like God, that's wrong, but we don't really elaborate on it because I think to each other our view of podcasting is pretty similar, and so it's kind of been banging around in our heads for a while and I was like you know, I kind of want to write this post that is the definitive piece on like how we see podcasting, why it's different, why it's special and the way we see podcasting and how it informs all of these. Like what Spotify is doing isn't what we're excited about, or why I'm not thrilled that we're moving everything into video. You know all these things about podcasting that are all kind of downstream from what we really love about podcasting, and so I tried to write that in a post and we shared it on the BuzzFraut blog.

Jordan:

Our BuzzFraut blog is mainly reserved for like help articles or support updates or like new features, things like that, and so it's just interesting to write this piece about why we love podcasting.

Kevin:

One. This is something we wanted to write and as a project, I said I'm going to write this and Kevin goes. Well, projects need to have an end. So if we're going to do a project like, where is this going to be published to you need, it's got to go somewhere. And so I was like, yeah, let's get on the blog. Long term, this might live somewhere else, but right now we said let's get this on the blog, and the reason you see a difference is because you're right, most of the things we put on the blog are here's how you can do this thing that you want to do in podcasting. Here's how to start a podcast. Here's how to monetize a podcast. Here's how to grow your podcast. Here's how to edit in audacity. They're all very focused on you're trying to solve a problem. Here's the solution to your problem. This one was here's why podcasting is different from social media and blogs and email and YouTube and every other medium. Here's why it's something that actually stands out and why we really love it and why we're excited that, for this will be the 15th year that Buzzsprout has helped podcasters get online and get their voice out to the world. It's not just that. This is the business we're in. It's actually a business that all of us really like and we're excited to have been a part of it. It all kind of boils down to this one point Podcasting came up at a very special time in the history of the Internet.

Kevin:

We had this period where everybody was very idealistic about the Internet. It was going to be open, democratized. Everyone had a voice and it was a lot of people, I think, who were looking at newspapers and radio and TV, which all were very, very hard to break into. It was extremely difficult to get your voice out there. And then they went Internet and these forums and email are a way for us all to communicate with anybody. Fast forward to 2007, when everyone's got an iPhone and everybody has social media. It's a very different world by then because in 2007 everybody's basically using these big platforms Facebook eventually, youtube, eventually Twitter, tiktok, whatever. Those are all kind of mediated by the platforms that people are using to get their voice out.

Kevin:

But there was this period, and I'd say 90s up through probably 2005, where things that started around that period have this kind of mix of. They're digitally native. They were built for the web and yet they still carry some of the analog tendencies, some of these idealistic ideas about what the Internet could be, but they have some thing that kind of reminds you of the way TV used to be or the way that radio used to be.

Kevin:

I think that combination podcasting starting kind of 2001 to 2004, depending on when you want to give it its official first podcast date, early 2000s that is a really special time. And because that podcasting is combining both of these ways the old analog media and digital media in a way that is less, I don't know, predatory or toxic than social media, but also democratized and open, which is obviously opposed to the way that traditional media used to be and I think this is a really special thing about podcasting and we really don't see this almost anywhere else. What I wanted to make the case was this is pretty rare, and because it's rare, this is something that should be protected and should be celebrated for what it is.

Alban:

I think the main reason why Albin and I think that it's time now to document some of the things we love about podcasting is because we feel like there's this sicker pattern that has been happening over the past two, three, four, five years where new trends are kind of coming in and people are wondering how it's going to impact podcasting. How is whatever YouTube is doing going to impact podcasting? How is the video world going to impact podcasting? How is Clubhouse going to impact podcasting? How is what did Amazon launch last year? Amazon?

Kevin:

AMP. Yeah, and Facebook podcasts and Twitter spaces with podcasts attached and TikTok podcasts Right.

Alban:

And the other. Yeah, it has been just years and years and years now, but it only started about five years ago. This sicker pattern that keeps happening, but it's not stopping and it's getting annoying, I think, to people who have loved podcasting for a long time, the only thing that the podcasting world can think to talk about is the next new trend that's going to do something to podcasting either disrupt it or 10X it or make it easier for people to do. Who knows what a stupid thing is. But what we've lost in that is that people who have this passion for what podcasting is and why it's beautiful and why it's valuable and what it's good at, and people aren't talking about that stuff because they're always. Now they're just talking about what is YouTube going to do to podcasting, what is Apple subscriptions going to do to podcasting, and I kind of feel like you start to lose some of the greatness that is podcasting when you're always looking for the next best thing. This happens sometimes when we talk about a new feature that is in Buzzsprout or something. You get to the end of telling people what's this new feature that you just released or what's great about Buzzsprout, and they say, okay, great, yeah, that sounds awesome, congratulations, all right. So can you tell us what's next for Buzzsprout? I'm like, wait, we just told you what it is and why it's great and why it's beautiful and you just want to know what's next. What's next, what's next, what's next? And so part of this for sure is us just saying, listen, just because something has been around for a while doesn't mean it's not still worth being appreciated, and so this was.

Alban:

You know, albin came to me with this idea and it resonated with me in a big way and I thought that, yeah, we need more people talking about what is great about podcasting and not like making an argument that this is a podcast and this isn't, and it has to meet this technical specification or it has to be audio only or video only. No, just like the general sense of the term of podcasting. Conceptually, what is great about it? Why do we love it? Because we're like who cares what's next or who cares what big company X, y or Z is doing? Cheers, this is great. We're excited to be here.

Alban:

We want to encourage more people to get into it, we want to teach more people about this thing, so maybe they can get excited about it too. And it's a little bit of protecting too. I think, like what Albin said, like the blogging was such a beautiful thing online in the late 90s and early 2000s and it kind of got really decimated when I mean Facebook and Myspace and everything that happened there kind of crushed this great thing that was happening on the internet, where blogging is still kind of puttering along but not in a really healthy, active way anymore, and we don't want to see that happen for podcasting, and so that's part of what we want to do, you know, starting in 2024, but we want to kind of adopt that as part of Buzzsprout's mission is to continue to educate people about what podcasting is and why it's great. And that's not always talking about what's next or what we're going to be building next or whatever. It's about what it is now and historically.

Kevin:

There's also can be this trend where something new comes along and when you're reacting to the new thing, you can come off very much as like a get off my lawn curmudgeon and you're like oh no, technically actually it's not a podcast unless it's got an audio enclosure and like that's not what's great about podcasting. That's just like shaking your fist at the future and this is the whole point of this blog is to be like here's what we actually love about podcasting. We're going to hopefully try to sidestep a little bit of the fist shaking and complaining about you don't know what real podcasting is. You know, back in my day we had podcasting instead saying like here's what we love, and if this stuff is attractive to you, you might be a great fit for podcasting, either as a listener or as a creator. If you read this and you go yeah, that doesn't sound exciting, that's totally fine, but that's where social media and YouTube excel, so go and check out one of those platforms.

Kevin:

I think what we've seen the last few years are like hey, I'm going to do a podcast, but as part of a podcast, I also need to be doing short form video on TikTok. I also need to be doing full videos on YouTube. I also need to have a newsletter and this and this, and what it really sounds like is I need a whole media empire and we're saying there's actually the link. That is special about podcasting you can do just podcasting if you want. Here's why we love it, and if you don't love it, no big deal. We don't want to be the person yelling at you. You're not allowed to do a podcast on YouTube, because podcasting on YouTube is a cool thing too. It's just not the thing that naturally, kevin and I are drawn to, because we're drawn to the arguments in this post I wrote.

Jordan:

I think one of the other points that I really liked about this and it was something that we had discussed too is that there's something about podcasting where it's a level playing field. It's not like when you're trying to start a YouTube channel and you're going up against, like you know, mr Beast, who puts all this money into his videos. When you have a podcast, people don't have to see if you have a nice studio, they don't have to see if you have a nice microphone. Just as long as you make it sound good and you have something to say, you can compete with these major networks that have these big podcasts. It just doesn't take as much to enter into the space.

Alban:

Yeah, it doesn't take as much to sit side by side with them. Let's put it that way. So if you're on YouTube and you're watching a Mr Beast video, it's wildly impressive, like not only the production quality but just the scale of which he does stuff. And then you cut from that to a video recorded in Riverside of three talking heads. It's not quite as interesting, right? You just went from something like so massively engaging for millions and millions of people to something that's really tailored towards an audience of like. Maybe the target market has like 5,000 people in the world that would really be interested in that, and then maybe those 5,000 people are less interested because they just came from something that was such a high stimulus, engaging thing and now they stumbled upon yours and when. Normally that might be totally fine, but going from this to that breaks it for them, breaks the cycle or breaks the mode that they're in. So they're in this Mr Beast videos are like 10 or 15 minutes, which is really long for YouTube. Maybe the video you watched before that was like a two minutes and it was hysterical and was just a sound bite from something larger, whatever. But they're different modes.

Alban:

When I'm on a podcast app, most all of the content that you consume in a podcast app. It kind of sounds the same, like just what you said, whether it's an NPR studio with somebody who has an amazing voice and storytelling capability, and then you switch to somebody using a Samsung Q2U microphone, like it kind of sounds the same and maybe their voice isn't as polished because they're not a studio, didn't hire them because they had this perfect voice. That would be soothing for millions of people, but it's still okay for you because they're talking about rebuilding old Chevy trucks and that's something that's of high interest to you. And so you're sitting side by side with highly produced content and it kind of feels okay, as opposed to these platforms that are driving mostly high engagement, algorithmically interesting, like high interest content to the masses, and then your content pops in right next to it. It doesn't really stand that. It's not an equal playing field. Like Jordan was saying, it's hard to sit side by side with that stuff and get the level of engagement that will take you to these high levels. So there are benefits to having the potential to have an algorithm push your content and promote it for you, but it's really it's playing the lottery. It's very hard to actually get the benefit of it, but you're always paying the same cost. You're always paying the cost of I submit to their rules. My content has to meet their guidelines If they want to change the rules at any time. My business, or whatever I built around that, is subject to their terms and conditions, which are always in their favor. It's like going into the casino like it's, the odds are always in their favor, not yours. So you're always paying that cost, regardless of whether you get the potential boost or not. And it's really hard to get that boost unless you have the big budget or the large production value. So for those reasons, I think it's much more exciting. Just like when we built Buzzsprout, we built this company right.

Alban:

There's different ways to build a company. You can bootstrap it, which is what we did. So you just build something small, you try to turn it a little bit of profit and then you reinvest that in the company and grow from there. It's very long and it takes a long time to do that, still risky. But there are other ways you can go raise money. You can raise money from friends and family. You can raise money on public markets. You can raise money with venture capital. You can do all sorts of things, but there's different costs involved in doing that.

Alban:

You give up different things to do it.

Alban:

Like now am I working for my customer or working for my investor?

Alban:

Do I get to do what I want to do and what I think is best, or do I have to listen to somebody else?

Alban:

Do I have this constant stress of not just building a business, but I also need to pay back my whole family who invested their life savings to help me get this off the ground? All those other things? You can have those same stresses and struggles as a creator who's launching something. So you can launch something under your control in an open format like use RSS to distribute it and do things that you want your way, promote things on your schedule. How much time do you have to invest? How much money do you want to invest? Or you can just jump into a platform and play by their rules. Lots of different options, and I think again, what happens a lot of times is that people who are in love with the origins of podcasting and the original interpretation of what that meant to them, they get mad at the new, they fight against it, and I don't think that's where Alvin and I like that doesn't. It's not who we are, it's not in our DNA.

Kevin:

Yeah, it doesn't feel healthy to be in that spot either. To be like, oh, this was perfect back when Adam Curry and Dave Weiner got together, like 25 years ago never can change Like. That's not a good way to build an industry. The industry does need to continue to move forward, but we want to remember which of these pieces are critical to the success of podcasting, to the type of content that's created, why it's valuable, and which of the pieces like.

Kevin:

I think video is one of these. It's really, really cool and yet it's being done, in my opinion, much better by somebody else, by YouTube or Netflix. If you want to create a film, I would be looking at Netflix or going to theaters. If I wanted to make indie video, I'd be doing YouTube. If I want to create audio to connect with people, now podcasting looks good. Or music looks good, but I wouldn't end up. I think when people say, well, podcasting would be great as long as it became video, and I'm like, well, it's not just that I want to argue the definition of what a podcast is, it's also what I actually like about it is that it's not video.

Kevin:

We talk about leveling the playing field. Well, I think it's really important to notice how many very successful people have come into podcasting and not done very well. Lots of celebrities have come in and they haven't succeeded and I think part of it is because celebrity is often very broad appeal. You've been in a lot of film, you've been in a lot of movies and you're also in the top 0.1% of attractiveness probably. I think if I'm trying to do a YouTube video and I'm right next to a Ryan Gosling video, I don't like my chances there. But if I'm doing audio only versus Ryan Gosling I'm probably not winning. But I think it's a lot closer the chances of competing.

Jordan:

You have a fighting chance.

Kevin:

I have a fighting chance. I think it's also why we've seen the one group of celebrities that have crushed podcasting have all been comedians, because comedians are not trading on their good looks, they're actually because they're really funny and they're good at noticing things about the world and kind of making it humorous. And then they do it in a podcasting form and it works pretty much perfectly because it's all about timing and rhythm and understanding what is funny and what's kind of contradictory in our culture. And so they do well.

Jordan:

There's this article in Fast Company that was published and it's why Gen Z's biggest podcasters are working from bed. And it's this whole article about how, with the rise of video podcasting, there's this new trend of these celebrities and major influencers and stuff they're podcasting from bed. And I kind of wonder if it's this same reason that celebrity podcasts are not succeeding so much, Because they're still maybe it's a little disingenuous seeming to people. And so what do they say here? Let me read this Podcasters in the relationship and personal advice genres can be found miked up and sitting on an unmade bed surrounded by snacks or under a mound of blankets, ready to spell the discomforts of life from the comfort of their home, or at least a set that looks like it.

Jordan:

And it kind of makes me wonder if all these people are figuring out like, oh well, I have to be more authentic if I want to make it in podcasting, if I want to like succeed in podcasting. And so these people who are multimillionaires are sitting in like their sweats in like an unmade bed, and it just like. It seems so weird and I'm not sure if people are buying into it, but it sounds like people are buying into it like oh, they're being so real because they're wearing sunglasses and just like talking, and I don't know.

Kevin:

I mean, I think it is like kind of the faux intimacy we kind of talked about this before, where people are doing fake podcasts and they kind of dressed up their set to look like they'd been on Joe Rogan and then they recorded shorts themselves and put them on TikTok so it kind of seemed like this looks kind of legit. This is kind of the same. The set is made to look like oh, this is totally informal For some reason. I just started filming this when I was in bed and I'm kind of sitting there in a sweatshirt, but you notice also, everybody's pretty, everyone's makeup is done, Everybody's. I mean it's pretty goofy, but I guess it works.

Alban:

Yeah, I think this is a bit and it's getting copied and it's working. It's like everyone from this article, at least in the picture, the four little screen grabs that they grabbed they're all younger women, like Albin said. They're all pretty attractive and they're doing this. You know, casual podcast from bed like that is going to succeed on YouTube. That is going to get engagement. Right the same reason, like if they posted shorts and stuff on Instagram, that stuff would get engagement. But that's not a recipe for success for the 99% of podcasters and it's not.

Jordan:

We're not going to be podcasting from bed.

Alban:

No, it's not.

Kevin:

I think your artwork album artwork has just locked in Jordan, with Kevin and I sitting in bed holding our mics. I can tell you no one's going to watch this YouTube video.

Alban:

Yeah, you know it's not and it's not. And I haven't listened to any of these shows, so I don't mean this as an indictment on the people featured in this article, but that's also not indicative of a quality podcast Like. I have no idea how good they are at what they do. I don't know if they're trading on the quality of the content or the little you know act that they're putting together that they're all casually just sitting in bed together talking girl talk and other girls might find that interesting. Here's the thing like the podcast game. Jordan made this point earlier. It's like it is a level playing field for better or worse. Right, so we might be the most attractive people in the world. People would love to watch our little talking heads right now, but they can't because we're audio only show and so we're not getting the benefit of, you know, being super attractive and people would love to stare at us.

Jordan:

I mean, we're not saying that we're not super attractive, we're just saying, like you don't know.

Alban:

I'm actually saying that we are, but we're just not getting the benefit of it. Levels the playing field both ways.

Kevin:

I'm willing to go out on a limb and say that one. I'll speak for myself on this one.

Alban:

I have a face for podcasting, as they say, and I think this is why a lot of the you know here's a quote that I remember, like not a published quote, but I know exactly where you're going yeah, yeah, I think maybe Adam Curry attended two podcast movements in his life once a long time ago, like one of the first ones, when he was like inducting the Hall of Fame. But he attended one a couple of years ago, the one in Dallas, Texas, and as soon as he walked in I said hi to him. I kind of I was hanging out with Dave and we greeted him at the door and he walked in and he looked around and he's like what is going on, Everyone here is way too beautiful. He's like this is not right. He's like why is everyone beautiful? He said like podcasters are supposed to be ugly, Not ugly, but I think, like from a radio professional perspective, I think he recognized like we don't get to you know, we don't get to trade on our looks. In this industry you have to be good with your voice, you have to say things that are interesting and that draw people in and hold people's attention, and that's got to come out of your mouth and it doesn't matter what you look like. And I think he was like this. I wasn't saying I don't like it because he's saying this is just not what I'm expecting. I was expecting, you know, to have amazing conversations with people, and for they were all going to be like the most interesting people in the world are people who are into radio and podcasting. And he looked around and he was just like, oh my gosh, these are all beautiful people, which was a nice compliment, but I don't think he meant it in a complimentary way, and so we do really have a level playing field.

Alban:

I think this Fast Company article. I think they're missing the point that these podcasts are finding success, but I don't think it's not necessarily the compliment that they think it is. It's not because they're probably creating the best podcast in the world. It's because they found a shtick or something that works on YouTube and it might fit in that podcast genre on YouTube, how YouTube defines it. But really we know that how to videos succeed, how to creators really succeed on YouTube? Well, catchy titles, great thumbnails, beautiful people, and then somewhere on that list is interesting content, but it's definitely not the things that get you to click the video the first time.

Kevin:

So, yeah, and I guess I would also add we're well aware there are male versions of this. It's just like four guys sitting around in like a fake bar, looking at a sphere, drinking a beer, and it's the. It's the set of Hubert Menlap or the set of Joe Rogan. There is a version of this as well, for everybody's got a version of this kind of fake intimacy and I think that's what, visually, it's doing.

Kevin:

What kind of naturally happens with audio I mean, this is part of what I really like about audio is because there's not this kind of high tension or high anxiety to hold your. We have to hold people's attention or else they're going to leave you. Just think about how on YouTube there's always five other videos you could click. Netflix has always got another video right there, tiktok one swipe away new video. So there's a lot of tension on the creator side.

Kevin:

If I let there be any pause, any break, then things are going to break. You know it's not going to go well for me. I need to hold on to people's attention the whole time with podcasting because there's not something else waiting in the wings right there. You have a little bit more leeway and I think that's why you get a little bit more intimacy in podcasting, and I think it's probably why the sets for podcast shows often are trying to replicate this just hanging out, vibe, you know, it's just a bunch of friends and it's totally casual and we're sitting on couches and we're just hanging around because that's kind of what everyone enjoys about this kind of podcasty content.

Jordan:

Yeah, I wonder like how long that's going to stick around, because you know podcasting at his core. We're on a microphone, we're discussing things and no one can see us doing it and it kind of feels like people are trying to pull it into what they know, which is like social media, and on social media you can curate your image. You can like control how you're portrayed to people, which you can do with audio as well. But you know, if your content is more shallow, it's a lot easier to make it seem more authentic and intimate if you're being filmed, like in your home or in your bed with your girlfriends or whatever. You know it.

Kevin:

Just, it seems like it's a step backward into like feigned authenticity, and I'm just I don't know how long it's going to last, because I think that people who listen to podcasts are a little bit more intelligent and so they can like grasp onto that a little more quickly, but maybe with the introduction of video, my guess is that this is going to stick around, maybe not in this exact format you know the podcasting for bed format but I think what a lot of people use social media for and podcasting for is like the social, intimate connection feeling that you get from it, and I think it's why people enjoy like shows, that kind of feel like I'm just hanging out with my friends. Have you ever seen that meme? That's like what podcasting, listening to a podcast sounds like and it's three people laughing, but then you realize it's a photo of two women laughing and there's a kid laughing along with them, like next to it. Have you ever seen this?

Jordan:

Yeah.

Kevin:

That's what I think it really podcasting is like, and I think what the podcasting tight content on YouTube is like it's hey, come hang out for an hour or two and kind of feel some feelings of friendship with the hosts and feel this connection.

Kevin:

The only downside is that with YouTube, I think there's something always knocking on the door like, hey, why don't you switch over to this other video, why don't you watch some shorts? And you can get really into a show on YouTube and, yeah, three or four days later you've totally forgotten about that show, even when the new episode comes up. Because there's so many other things trying to connect, it's a little bit harder to get that feeling of authenticity long term, where you go to podcast movement or you go to a podcast or meet up and you will meet people who are like I've listened to this show for 20 years and I love it, 15 years of the same podcast and I'm like, yeah, if you're trying to connect to a community or to a handful of people who are interested in the same topics, man, there's nothing much better than being able to connect to a group online and be there for 15 years. That's really, really rare.

Alban:

Albin, I agree with you. I think that there's something more to the format, like and we're not experts in the video podcasting space, so take this with a grain of salt but as I read this article, as I look at this picture, I think you're on to something. We talk about this in audio podcasting the fact that you have the ability to connect more intimately with your audience right, because you're like in their ears and they will feel a connection to you as a podcast host. Like, as you start building your audience, the people who listen to your show on a regular basis, they'll feel a connection with the podcast host in a way that they might not if you were just a TikTok creator or something like that. I feel like the podcasters that I listen to, I feel like I know them a little bit, and I think there are some podcasters now this article makes me think even more so that are trying to establish a similar connection with their audience through the YouTube world, and so, in order to like, step one of doing that is like let's break out of the studio, let's not make this a professional looking podcast studio production thing, but we're all having conversation. These are conversations that we have with our friends. And where are we when we're hanging out with our friends? Oh, I'm a young girl in college, or just so my girlfriend comes over, we just pop on the couch and have a conversation. Or we might just hop in my bed while I'm folding clothes or something and we have this conversation. So let's invite our audience into that environment to start to build that connection, and I like that. I like the creativity of trying to invite your audience into something a little bit more intimate as opposed to what we normally see on YouTube.

Alban:

The thing with podcasting audio, only our audio first podcasting is you don't really have to do that, because just having an intimate conversation in and of itself allows the listener to create whatever environment they want. So they can imagine that you're sitting together on a couch and having that conversation. They can imagine that you're driving in a car together and having that conversation. You don't have to spoof these sets to make it. You know the visual match, the audio, but we've been doing this for years in podcasting. It just kind of happens.

Alban:

I think you could also be conscious of it as a podcaster like to level up your game, like let's have conversations that aren't prescripted, that aren't you know, maybe we have some topics or questions that we want to kind of get around. But what works for me, in my audience more, is to make it more conversational. So if we drift a little bit, if we go a little bit off topic, that's fine. Or maybe you're doing a show that's the other side, like no, this is a very educational podcast. It's very serious. I want it to sound more like you know a university lecture than I do general conversation. You can do whatever you want. But the nice thing again in podcasting you don't. That doesn't require you do a set change. That just requires that you kind of reshape how your audio sounds. But yeah, I think it's good. I like that it's happening in podcasting.

Alban:

Again, not a video podcasting expert, not super passionate about video podcasting in general, but I can see, I think, and hearing Albin say the same thing makes me think that we might be onto something. There's just more hurdles. In video podcasting you want to create a different environment. You have to build and set up and create a different environment. In audio podcasting you want to create a different world. It's a lot easier to do.

Kevin:

You know what I'm realizing, kev is, all of these sets always are trying to hit this sense of being casual. You get this also on, like you know, snl. It's a feeling of like oh, is it like? It's like in a train station or something. What's going on with this set?

Kevin:

It's a professional set, built for this purpose, and if you've ever filmed anything and you know anything about lighting, you know this did not just happen. Somebody didn't just plop an iPhone up in the room and start shooting SNL or start shooting one of these video podcasts. Like, you have to do a lot of work to get the lighting perfect and then you can do the, you know, very high production fake version of the set. And so I wonder if there's a little bit of it that when you aren't actually building this set, or I don't know, maybe it's like most audiences just like oh, this just feels good and that's the only analysis they've done. And maybe because we're the podcasting nerds, we look at stuff and we go, oh man, that's so interesting how they're doing it because of all the lighting and all the cameras that went into this and it probably spoils the magic quite a bit.

Jordan:

Right.

Kevin:

Totally off topic, but do you guys ever watch apology videos? Like if a celebrity or somebody famous does an apology video? It used to be. They were like highly produced and they would try to look really professional and then eventually they started being very unprofessional but yet they started being much better apologies and I think it was because I don't think that it wasn't like a PR person was helping this celebrity say, hey, I messed up, I shouldn't have done whatever the thing was.

Kevin:

But they said, hey, when it's really polished it feels totally fake because we've all received real apologies in our lives and they never look like that. What they look like is somebody stumbling and a little bit confused and explaining what they did wrong and not getting exactly right. And if they're doing it on FaceTime, like the camera's kind of jiggly and then you started seeing people actually do videos like that and I think those make for better apologies because they feel more real, even though I'm sure if you kind of know how a sausage is made, there was a PR expert built into it to help make it look authentic. Yeah, maybe, I don't know. There's this whole idea of like what is authenticity? And when you fake being authentic it actually works, but then a layer back, it kind of feels a little bit more inauthentic. So I don't know how I feel about it.

Jordan:

I mean, this is the exact same thing as reality TV.

Kevin:

Yes.

Jordan:

It's class-excripted and the producers are saying, oh, I need you to go in and pick a fight about this and even though it's planned, it feels real to some people. But I think that just the internet did this, just social media, camera phones, things like this. We no longer have to rely on tabloids to get information about celebrities, because the celebrities can just tell us. They can get on Instagram Live and just tell us what's going on with them. We don't have to read some article or guess, hoping that a reporter is going to tell us the truth about it. And I don't know, maybe with COVID seeing everyone's bedrooms and bathrooms and kitchens during the pandemic, it became really normal.

Kevin:

In the background is Zoom calls.

Jordan:

Yeah, I mean even watching the late night show and stuff. They're just in their rooms recording this thing. I think it changed people's perception of reality and authenticity. So maybe we're still in that mindset of, as long as I can see your messy house. I know that you're being real with me.

Kevin:

One final thing from this what we love about podcasting article, kevin, was like we always talk about how much opportunity there's in podcasts. Why don't you try to pull the stats for that again? And I did, and they just blow my mind. As of today, there are 4.3 million podcasts worldwide, which sounds like a lot, until you realize there's 114 million YouTube channels and something like 600 million blogs. So for every podcast, there's 26 YouTube channels and 139 blogs.

Kevin:

Now the truth is, across all three of those domains, most of that content is not publishing. It's something like 80% of podcasts haven't published in the last 90 days. It's pretty high up there and it just makes you realize they're not that many. There's something like a million podcasts that are really putting out new content, that have put out something since September. So if you start a show and you stick around for a few years, you're already going to be up in the top 3% 5% if you can stick around for a bit, and probably the same goes for YouTube and blogs, but those are quite a bit harder because they're quite a bit larger Podcasting. Less than a million that are actively podcasting. That's a really low number when you think about a world of 8 billion people.

Jordan:

So I think it was a few episodes ago. We had talked about iOS 17 bringing in changes with Apple podcasts and people were thinking that was going to have a big impact on stats. And then last episode, kevin, you mentioned that, instead of this being like an impact on stats and them being wrong, it could be just them getting better, having more of a correction.

Alban:

Yeah, the messaging gets a little muddy there when I say, well, your stats weren't wrong, but there's been a correction, Well, you don't really need a correction if things weren't wrong in the first place. This is a situation where I think both things are true. I think it is a correction in that stats are more accurate now, but at the same time, stats weren't wrong before. What was happening before is that Apple podcast app was making additional downloads in the background, so you really were actually getting those downloads. We don't know how many people were listening to those episodes or not. But now the app has changed so it's not doing as many like that catalog episode downloads. So stats numbers are shrinking a little bit like not as huge maybe as some people thought they would be. John Spurlock, who runs OP3, has done some analysis. I think he was saying somewhere between a 5% and 6% drop in total episode downloads from iOS 17. So that's not huge in my opinion.

Jordan:

It is interesting, though, that there's this draw, because there's this article here saying that iOS 17 is now being used by 75% of Apple podcasts. Oh, this is iOS 17. I read this wrong. I read this backwards. Yeah, they're right.

Kevin:

I think it's a good point, Jordan, because that does mean that most of the correction we're going to see is has happened because iOS 17 is going to remove some of the downloads that Apple was looking at and going yeah, we're downloading this, but people don't really listen to these back catalog downloads, so we're just going to not automatically download those. People can still go download them if they want, but our default behavior will not be to download them. Now we've seen 75% of people have updated, so we'd expect 75% of the change has already happened.

Alban:

This has also impacted the market share numbers that we see from podcasting apps on the Buzz Brot platform stats. So these stats are available to anybody who wants to see buzzbrotcom. You can check out and you can always compare month to month, or I guess we've been doing it long enough now that you can start to do year over year as well. We've got stats all the way back to October of 2020. And so Apple has just between November and December. In November, they accounted for 41.3% of all the downloads off of Buzz Brot, and in December it was only 37.1. Spotify has moved up from 29.5% in November to 31.3% in December, so it's definitely having an impact. Now, overall, I think all total downloads between November and December were down quite a bit. So, november 121 million downloads, december 106 million. That's not all Apple Like. If you look at the numbers for every aggregator app listed on that page, you can see they're all down.

Alban:

This is seasonality as well, which happens a lot this time of year, and again, buzzsprout platform sets are great for this because you can go all the way back. You can look at what did December look like in 22, 21. And can we do 20 also? Yeah, you've got October, november, december, 2020. And so you can see that these numbers always take a dip in December, which I don't know. My podcast listening goes up this time of year because I drive a lot and when I drive I listen to podcasts, but overall I guess people are Christmas shopping and traveling with family and so they're not listening to as many podcasts.

Jordan:

Oh yeah, having my kids home. My podcast listening plummeted.

Kevin:

I've always thought that this drop was people are busy so they don't publish podcasts. I think of a lot of my favorite shows they didn't publish in the last two weeks because most people go on vacation, so you don't listen to as much, because there's not as many new episodes. And we see that stat drops even harder than the download stat the new episodes published drops off a lot from November to December. But what we also know is January, february, march are the really, really big months for downloads, for new episodes, for new podcasts, for everything. So if you took a little bit of a break in December and you're ready to get back at it, you'll be in good company because a lot of people will start in January. A lot of people will be going to the gym and be looking for something to motivate them to listen to while they're at the gym and your podcast may be the perfect thing to listen to.

Alban:

All right. So I guess the moral of the story here just to bring it back on track is that if your podcast numbers, your stats, are down a little bit over November, December, don't panic. If you took a break and you haven't been getting a ton of downloads, don't panic, it's totally fine, totally normal. Again, buzzbrotcom. So you can see this happens across the entire podcasting ecosystem at least not BuzzBrot anyway. So you're in good company. But come back strong in January, Publish some new episodes and if you haven't listened in a while, catch up on your listening.

Jordan:

It's time for sound off the segment where you chime in with your responses to our burning questions.

Kevin:

Are you just copying exactly what I?

Jordan:

did last week. I don't know, maybe I liked it. I don't know. We're just going to change things up here.

Kevin:

Did I really say burning questions?

Jordan:

We started with the tips, tricks and podcasting advice, and then we just kind of abandoned that concept and did something completely different and I was like we got to change this now because it's no longer applicable. So I feel like it's something about responding to our questions. So we're doing burning questions today because I'm actually not sure what our question is, so it's going to be a hot topic, I guess.

Kevin:

Well, we knew we were going to talk about what we love about podcasting, and so we asked what do you love about podcasting and why is it the medium that you enjoy? So did we get any answers?

Jordan:

We did. We did get some responses to last episode sound off. One of the first is from Sarah Zett saying reasons podcasting is awesome no gatekeepers, no algorithm, longevity of content. Rate of decays on socials is often minutes or seconds. Episodes with SEO can surface internet searches years after release. Its long form and the listener connection with the host, which is her favorite. That's my favorite too.

Kevin:

I feel like this tweet from Sarah. This is pretty much what I was trying to do as an entire blog. So, Sarah, exceptional answers. I mean, these are all the reasons that we love podcasting too. So Sarah gets it. Thank you for this answer.

Jordan:

I'm starting to think that maybe you based your blog post on Sarah's tweet.

Kevin:

If I had Sarah's tweet before I started writing, it would have probably sped up the process.

Jordan:

And then our second response from Barnabas of the Kids Code podcast. Barnabas says my favorite distinct part of podcasting is how flexible listening is. You cannot really watch a video while washing dishes or other similar tasks.

Alban:

Okay, my favorite thing is that I think Barnabas has left us a voicemail before right. And so Barnabas, I know, is a younger listener, and you wash dishes. Tell me the secret how did your parents teach you how to wash dishes and be excited about doing it? That's fantastic. Maybe I need to do that. I need to tell it. Get my kids into listening to podcasts while they're doing chores.

Kevin:

We did have a piece of sound off just feedback that was not related to this question from QR code art. What about leaving that backtrack available all year long? So the Buzzsprout backtracks went out to summarize all of your year of 2023 in all the stats you had and QR code says. It would be a good marketing tool for convincing potential sponsors, and maybe the podcaster could even make it public. So their idea being why don't we be able to share this? For hey, here's what all of 2022 was, and all of 2023 and all of 2024. Interesting idea. I'm not sure if we could make those static pages rather than ones that would need to update. I think updating it all the time would be pretty intense, but maybe if we could have a checkout my year review that'd be kind of a fun page to have up there.

Alban:

Yeah, you can definitely do that. That link should work. Like we're not going to take it down. So we will take the little purple banner off the top of Buzzsprout in the first week of January, but if you hold the link from the email or whatever, it'll stay around. There's some ideas around. Could this be a link off your achievements page? So yeah, I like the idea. Maybe we'll get that rolled out.

Kevin:

And another piece of feedback we had from our listeners. At one point we asked I think this was you, kevin hey, if you listen to Buzzcast and you don't podcast yet, who are you? Tell us about yourself. Reach out to us, and I got one. Let me read you this email that came into support Hi guys, greetings from Golden, bc, canada. I heard you mentioned you'd like to hear from somebody if they listen to the podcast but don't have a podcast. Well, that's me. I've been listening for over a year and I don't have a podcast, but I listen to you every time you release a new episode. I love your podcast. You guys are so funny and great together. It's one of my favorites. Enjoy hearing about the business of podcasting and I do hope to start a podcast sometime in the near future. I just don't have much time these days. We've lost our house in a fire in October, so that is taking a lot of time to deal with. Keep up the great work and happy new year.

Alban:

That's great. That's encouraging. Somehow people have found us who are not actually podcasting it. That's really cool and I'm excited that you are excited about possibly starting a podcast one day in the future. Totally bummed out to hear you lost your house in a fire and that is terrible and I totally get that. That takes a ton of time to deal with. But thank you so much for writing in and best of luck and wishes your way as you guys deal with the house fire and getting back on your feet. Yeah, and I'm grateful to hear that you enjoy listening to our show.

Jordan:

All right, Kevin, it's your turn for our next sound off question.

Alban:

Okay, I'm going to go with a suggestion from Jordan. Jordan gave me the suggestion and it is beautifully simple. And as we enter the new year of 2024, let's look back and reflect in 2023, what was your favorite podcast episode that you listened to? So don't give us a show. Don't be like, oh, you know, buzzcast. No, be specific. Which episode was your favorite? I'm really interested in the episode level detail. So give us the name of a show and the episode that was your favorite from 2023. And hopefully we get a list of them, because I would love to go back and listen to some amazing episodes from 2023.

Kevin:

Yeah, if we get enough, we can put them together in some kind of like a blog post or show notes or something, Maybe create a playlist on listen notes that you could subscribe. Maybe that's what I'll do. I'll put all of these into a listen notes playlist so you could subscribe to one feed and get all of them.

Alban:

It's a big commitment if we only get like two responses.

Kevin:

Because it's going to be two really downloaded episodes.

Alban:

We need everyone to participate, everyone who's listening. We need you to just stop right now. Figure out how you're going to contact us. What was your favorite show Like? It's not a hard thing, you got it. You got it in your head somewhere. Think about it for 20 seconds, open up what X or what are all the ways in contact with Jordan?

Jordan:

Well, they can submit their response by leaving a 30 second voice message at potinboxcom slash buzz sprout, or tweeting the answer or sending it as a boost to Graham.

Alban:

This is something we have to figure out for buzz sprout. I'm going to put this on my short list of problems to solve. There has to be an easier way for listeners to be able to contact the hosts like directly. Yeah, I'm going to solve this problem for podcasting. My 2024 resolution.

Kevin:

I've noticed this myself. When a different podcast asked here's all the ways you can reach out to us. They had like four or five. I went, man, I think if they only had the one I would use it. But as soon as it was like multiple, it seemed like now I have to make this decision and I just kind of it went by my by and I didn't really pay attention to how to reach out to them. So I wonder, if we limit to, hey, just send us an email that's the only way or text us an answer to this number, and we just do. You know, we just put Kevin's number up there, no big deal, and text it in.

Jordan:

Well, you know what? Actually, if they don't want to leave a 30 second voice message on pot and box or I guess it's fanless now, it should be fanless by now but if they don't want to leave a 30 second voice message, they actually accept text responses now. So they could also just like type a response.

Kevin:

So what's our text number?

Jordan:

It's not like. So they go on the internet and they go to pot and boxcom.

Kevin:

Oh, you go to pod, you got a fan list and then you text and type something in on our fan page.

Alban:

We're going to figure out how to make this easier, but for now you've got those options. So right in favorite podcast episode of 2023, published in 2023.

Jordan:

Yep, and that's it for that.

Alban:

Thanks for listening and keep podcasting. You're a cat person. I've been wanting to ask cat a cat person this? Oh no, I heard on a podcast, but it was a comedy podcast. So I don't know if it was all just a total joker. If it's real, it's probably true, but I heard when if people die? In their homes and they have cats, the cats will eat them. It is real. I don't know Dead body. Jordan, if you died, would your cat eat you?

Kevin:

Do you want to know the answer to this? Because this is definitely real.

Jordan:

I mean, your body goes back to the earth anyway, so might as well like sustain something you love, right? That's my thinking.

Alban:

But you're not answering my question Will your cat eat you?

Jordan:

I don't know.

Alban:

Yes, I don't know, you want to know if your cat will eat you.

Kevin:

Oh, this is real and there's also stories of like dogs that have like sat curled up next to their owner for weeks.

Jordan:

And then died.

Kevin:

Yeah, and they will stick it out with you because they love you. Cats like I'm not going down to a day later is like where's my food? It's like the.

Jordan:

Donner party in your house. Like they're just going to eat their friends family. They don't care.

Alban:

According to Google's first result, a cat will eat you and it's like day one.

Kevin:

It's not even like they got really hungry.

Alban:

Yeah, they did go on to say that dogs would also eat you, but usually, like, takes longer for dogs to start eating you. Cats go for you, right?

Kevin:

away the cat is like. Finally, this is my chance.

Jordan:

They're opportunistic. Yeah, it's like that urban, I don't know. For some reason, I feel like I thought that that was like that urban legend of like how snake owners have like snakes that like lay flat next to them for a while and they're like, oh, my snake's laying flat next to me, and then people are like, oh, they're trying to eat you. But I think that's just an urban legend. I don't think that's true, right? Or is this also true in like life's just a nightmare. Just don't have pets.

Kevin:

I just never. I'll be honest. My daughter asked for a snake for Christmas and I was just like there's no way that's happening.

Jordan:

Are you scared of snakes?

Kevin:

No, but I don't want to own a snake. I don't feel like a snake is a great pet. It just sits in its cage and you like poke at it every once in a while and you look in. You never really want it out and then nobody wants to watch it when you're out of town, Like at least a dog or a cat.

Kevin:

People are like oh yeah, I'll swing by and drop off some food, or if it's a dog, I'll take it with me for a couple of days, or you can board them if you want to. It's no big deal. But as soon as it's a snake or a tarantula or something everyone's like man, I don't really want to have anything to do with that. That's true.

Jordan:

There's so many things that go into having a pet. It's like ridiculous. Like my kids, God, they want a dog so bad. But dogs are just so much work. Like there's so much work. Cats are easy. We can go out of town for like a week. They do not care. They do not care that we are gone. They're still going to be like sleeping in the same place when we get back. It does not matter, they take care of themselves. It's super easy having a cat but like dogs, like we just don't have an active enough lifestyle for a dog, we go on trips too much. I think, Like I don't know.

Kevin:

It might be why you should get a dog.

Jordan:

Why.

Kevin:

Makes you more active. You have to go out and you like go and do stuff because they're like come on, take me for a walk.

Jordan:

But it's so cold here, like it gets so cold, I don't want to go outside. These are my hibernation months, so I got the Peloton. I'm not leaving my house.

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