Buzzcast

The Top 3 Stories in Podcasting This Year

December 18, 2020 Episode 41
Buzzcast
The Top 3 Stories in Podcasting This Year
Chapters
0:00
Is Prince Harry still a royal?
0:39
How did the pandemic impact podcasting?
14:41
Spotify, iHeart Radio, and SiriusXM make moves
22:20
Podcasting 2.0 is here
30:25
SSL for custom domains
Buzzcast
The Top 3 Stories in Podcasting This Year
Dec 18, 2020 Episode 41

In this episode, we discuss the impact the global pandemic has had on podcast creators and listeners, why this year featured more company acquisitions than usual, and why the future is bright for podcast creators with Podcasting 2.0.

Join the Buzzsprout Podcast Community on Facebook for a chance to join the beta group for our newest feature.

Listen to Alban's interview with Colin Gray about podcast growth and marketing strategies on Podcasting Q&A.

Check out Podland, a new podcast about podcasting from James Cridland and Sam Sethi.

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

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

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode, we discuss the impact the global pandemic has had on podcast creators and listeners, why this year featured more company acquisitions than usual, and why the future is bright for podcast creators with Podcasting 2.0.

Join the Buzzsprout Podcast Community on Facebook for a chance to join the beta group for our newest feature.

Listen to Alban's interview with Colin Gray about podcast growth and marketing strategies on Podcasting Q&A.

Check out Podland, a new podcast about podcasting from James Cridland and Sam Sethi.

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

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

Alban:

Did you see that Prince Harry and Megan Markel? Just got a show? Yes. Like there's people that are really into the royal family and kind of see what's going on. So if that's you, you're obviously going to listen to this podcast

Kevin:

or avoid it completely because I don't are they officially members of the royal family anymore?

Travis:

Depending on if your team queen or team Harry,

Kevin:

I feel like they've been embroiled.

Alban:

I don't have any like special respect for the royalty we found in this country. So we wouldn't have any. But I just felt weird. They say their celebrity. I

Kevin:

mean, they're no Paris Hilton.

Travis:

Well, this is our final episode of Buzzcast for 2020.

Kevin:

Is that right? That doesn't our next episode drop on the 31st.

Alban:

I think our next episodes gonna be on the first

Kevin:

year flew by. Feels like March though.

Travis:

I think you're the only one that feels that way. Kevin. Maybe

Alban:

it's weird. Kevin's right. It's like it's somehow still March. And also, it's been a decade, like we're gonna look back on and be like, Oh, my gosh, so much happened that year. And also, it just feels like I still haven't left this house since March.

Travis:

Yeah, my wife and I just started a new. We're going to start doing p90x together, I got to work off my COVID-19 that I gained this year, from self quarantining in my house with my

Alban:

call, like a freshman 15. You just called it your COVID-19?

Travis:

that's accurate. Yes.

Alban:

I don't know. It's like, PC, for you to be making jokes about that, Travis.

Travis:

Well, my 19 pounds that I gained is no laughing matter. Needless to say, the global pandemic touched every single part of our lives, and definitely had an impact on podcast listening, especially back in March, because I remember, when we were doing episodes back in March, you know, people are asking about, you know, hey, my listener numbers are way down. Is that normal? Is everyone seeing that? And so I remember we dug into our stats to see kind of the impact that people staying at home, not traveling, not commuting, not going to the gym anymore was having on podcast listening. So what do you guys remember from that March, April, May timeframe as far as the impact on podcasting? Well,

Alban:

I definitely remember me it all switched, like in a minute, stat started going way down. And we kind of attributed it to a lot of people's habits being broken. I wasn't driving into the office still not. And before then had an hour of drive time every day, mostly a bit more than that. And driving into the office and back, I listen to most of my podcasts. And then I realized that I'm looking at my podcasting app. And all of a sudden, I had like, 30 episodes to listen to where normally I'm running on empty, or I'm just listening to things whereas they came out. And it took a while for me to figure out which shows I was going to drop and which shows I was like, oh, When am I going to actually listen to these? Mostly now I just listen on runs. But yeah, I definitely remember that when we started seeing this huge debt. And it was definitely a bummer for a lot of podcasters.

Kevin:

Yeah, well, at the same time, that individual shows their numbers were dipping a bit. The number of podcasters jumping in and starting to create new podcasts was growing. Like exponentially. Yes.

Alban:

skyrocketing.

Kevin:

Yeah. And so when Yeah, absolutely. Back in March, I've got some numbers pulled up in front of me back in March, April, and may, on an individual show basis numbers were down. But for the Buzzsprout, like, platform, overall numbers were up and climbed a lot throughout the year. So like, just to put some numbers to what I'm saying. And March, we did 29 point 5 million downloads in April 32 point 4 million, may 41.3, June 45, July 53, August 59, like this, it just keeps ticking up and up and up and up and up. And so while individual shows might have been down the number of podcasts were growing, and I like that's the part that I've been struggling to wrap my head around. Because was podcast, listening overall down? Or was this about more diversity, more options, more shows in the podcast space, and listeners spreading their listening time out amongst more shows? You know, I don't know that's a question that I'm trying to dig into now looking at some of these numbers and figure out

Alban:

overall, I think the actual number of podcast listens did go down, especially during March and then April, and at the same time, we saw the number of people signing up to create a podcast nearly double month over month and when that happened. I think that that that further depressed the amount of listeners That people were already getting, all of a sudden there's all these new shows to listen to. And all of a sudden, people don't have as much time to listen. And now it's leveled back out a lot, you know, quite a few of those shows have kind of, they started when they were in lockdown, and now they've kind of moved on, you know, maybe podcasting wasn't for them. And then you've got a lot of other people who, like me, they're listening habits were disrupted. And then they started figuring out Oh, I can listen on more on Ron's all listen to podcasts from cooking dinner, and kind of coming up with different times in the day to listen.

Travis:

Yeah, I would also not be surprised if the sudden influx of new podcasters also introduced new people to podcast listening. I mean, I think this is something that year over year is always happening, where Edison research comes out with these polls about, you know, this percentage of Americans, I've listened to a podcast in the last month and like all these data points, and it continues to grow. And so I would not be surprised if, as more people started podcasts, they started telling their family and friends about their particular podcast, which introduced them to podcasting as a whole. And then the long tail of that three, four or five months later, is that they're not just listening to their friends podcast that they started during quarantine, but they're also now discovering other shows. So so I could see how those numbers while on the surface could seem counterintuitive actually, actually do make sense.

Alban:

Yeah, I think in the short term, they're kind of stealing place away from somebody else. In the long term. You're definitely right. We saw that when cereal came out. And we definitely saw that when Spotify launched, because the hurdle for a lot of people was, I mean, back in the old days, you had to download iTunes, do your computer separately, and then download podcasts and put them on an iPod. That was a big hurdle. And then you eventually had to start downloading Apple podcasts to your phone. And then Apple made it a default. But then for everybody who's on Android, or Windows phones or something, they had to figure out a way to get them and it was just like, there's a lot of hurdles to getting somebody to download multiple things and figure out a new a new workflow, I guess. And Spotify really opened that up. So we saw a ton of new people get into podcasting. Did you see that Prince Harry and Megan Markel? Just got a show.

Kevin:

Yes.

Alban:

So like, there's people that are really into the royal family and kind of see what's going on. So if that's you, you're obviously going to listen to this podcast

Kevin:

or avoid it completely because I don't are they officially members of the royal family anymore?

Travis:

Well, I pending on if your team queen or team Harry,

Kevin:

I feel like they've been unbridled.

Alban:

Are they technically celebrities?

Travis:

Oh, they're definitely celebrities.

Alban:

I don't have any, like special respect for the royalty. And I mean, we we found in this country, so we wouldn't have any. But I just felt weird. They say their celebrity sounds like there. There's definitely so they different.

Kevin:

I mean, they're no Paris Hilton.

Alban:

The American royal

Kevin:

Alright, well, let's get back to the numbers. I'll tell you this. Let's let's take some guesses. What do you think the numbers did for the Buzzsprout? platform overall from January of 2020? through November of 2020. Up down steady, or do you think we

Alban:

are? up? 150%? Okay,

Travis:

yeah, definitely

Kevin:

up by like a lot, a lot. So it's up 132.4% for the year. So albums pretty close there. And I think what's really interesting about this is this is like, it's a trailing indicator, right? When you start a new show, you don't have an audience, and it takes time to build that audience. And so, at the beginning of the year, Buzzsprout was close to 30,000 active podcasts, and we're gonna end the year close to 90,000. So platform wise, overall, the number of active podcasts on platform has been a three x increase, and listenership like number of downloads for episodes 132.4. But remember, that is a trailing indicator. So what we think is in 21, that those numbers would be closer to matching the growth of the platform. So we think that will be closer to 300%. So you have to have patience, when you launch a podcast, you're not going to launch immediately and start doing huge numbers. But you know, you get 1015 episodes in and you being good about marketing your show and telling all your friends and family and fans to tell other people listen, your show, then those numbers start to pick up over time. But it's it's super, I think it's super exciting the number of people who are jumping in starting to create good content. It feels more than ever, especially for people who have been podcasting for a few years. That space is becoming really crowded. And it certainly is if you're at if you're used to a small group of friends and then all of a sudden you go to a party with 20 people that feels like oh my gosh, there's a lot of people here But then you go to a sporting event, there's 80,000 people like, what we have to remember is it's starting to feel crowded. But there are a lot of people in the world and there's a lot of people who are looking for entertainment or education, or, you know, whatever the reason that people have this search on a podcast and like compare it to what's happening in the YouTube space, the number of creators and channels there, there's a massive opportunity. It's not too late to get in the game. It's not too late to grow an audience and talking about, oh, well, you know, there's already, you know, 1.51 point 6 million podcasts in the apple podcast directory alone, don't let that discourage you. This is going to continue to grow for the next 510 years. If you're listening to show if you're interested in podcasting, you still have plenty of time to get in and make a space for yourself.

Travis:

Yeah. And now then, just as a quick plug, just did a great bonus episode, a Podcasting Q&A with our friend Colin gray over at the podcast hosts.com talking about their new book on podcast growth and a lot of great strategies, things that I learned, like, strategies that I learned from that interview, so I'll leave a link to that in the show notes. If you want to go and check out that bonus episode we put in the Podcasting Q&A feed.

Alban:

Yeah, I mean, one of the things Colin and I discussed, I think I was quoting numbers from my podcast reviews, calm. I love seeing the like, people talk about this top line podcasting number, and they're like, Oh, do you see like, there's 1.7 million podcasts now. And you hear that number? And you go, Oh, my gosh, this is so big. What's the point? Why would I ever, like, try to get in? And then Daniel J. Lewis actually just does a basic. He's like, Okay, do you hit these thresholds? Do you hit you've actually published something in the last 90 days? Do you also hit the ever publish 10 episodes, ever? I mean, he defines that as active like, is that a podcast that's actually doing anything? And did it ever hit this kind of moderate threshold of 10 episodes, he's like, if you hit both of those, we're now down to 600,000 podcasts. At least that number to me seems so much more manageable. I'm like, only in a group of 600,000 people. And so if you were to sit there and say, I'm just going to commit to doing 50 episodes, I mean, we've been doing Buzzcast. Now for like two years, you could just say, we're gonna do 40 episodes, and we'll do it every two weeks. That goes by pretty quickly. And then all of a sudden, you're actually like getting us like a serious listenership. Part of it is that you're learning more, and you're growing the podcast, but I think some of it's like, you're just still around, you know, we forget how many podcasts pod fade? And how many, you know, podcasters just really are people are just creators. They go, Oh, I have a YouTube channel. So I started a podcast. Yeah, YouTube's for me. And then they go back to YouTube, or they started podcasting. They they find out blogging is more of their style. That's all great. But you're not in competition with them anymore, because they're not putting out new content. And so there's it's still spiels, at least to me, very wide open.

Kevin:

Yeah. So if we think about the scale of the podcast ecosystem, and creators, specifically compared to other other channels or mediums, like we talked, we make the comparison a lot to YouTube, because it's similar. But there are one point like the aggressive number in podcasting is like 1.71 point 8 million podcasts. And as Alvin said, if you if you try to narrow those down a little bit to active, you're going to cut that number in half easily. But let's compare that to some other channels. Let's talk about YouTube for a second 37 million YouTube channels conservatively. And this is not I don't have inside access to anything. I literally, as Alban was talking, I was typing into Google, how many YouTube channels are there. And the next one I typed in was, how many people are on Twitter 330 million people on Twitter. So you decided I'm gonna invest in Twitter, I want to create a following, you're gonna compete against 330 million people. The next one I searched for was how many blogs are there. So maybe I'm gonna start a blog and I'm gonna start talking about my stuff or communicate my message that way. You're gonna compete with 500 million blogs. But the point is, is like out of all these popular channels, YouTube's and YouTube and blog and Twitter and Tiktok different ways to build following get message out, podcasting is still so tiny. And so in terms of competing against other people for quality content and being able to put a quality show if you're putting out something of quality, there's massive opportunity for you in podcast.

Travis:

Another one of the major themes from this past year was company acquisitions. It felt like especially towards the beginning of the year, Spotify was buying up a bunch of companies and then Sirius XM got in the game. I Heart Radio got in the game. And so we saw a lot of consolidation And a lot of trends towards a couple of big groups kind of vertically integrating their their podcast ecosystem in a sense. What were some of the bigger ones in your mind that stood out as far as being the most consequential for independent podcasters.

Alban:

I mean, to me, the biggest the ones that mattered the most were Spotify, purchasing megaphone and getting Joe Rogan to go exclusive on the platform, those were probably the two biggest ones. There's been a lot of smaller ones like I heart media, and Sirius XM, which I think in normal times would be really, really big deals, the Spotify ones are massive. And they do show Spotify, you know, trying to actually win this industry. Yeah,

Kevin:

I think what happened with Spotify is they're just executing really well, you know, I think we do express some concern about how quickly they're moving. But it's it's it points back to how effective they've been, it's hard to criticize them for taking any missteps, the content that they've secured as exclusive content to their platform, the other platforms that they've purchased to fit in to control different or have at least influence on different segments of the podcasting space. It's been really smart. And I hope that this turns out to be a positive thing for podcasting overall. And so I'm going to try to remain as optimistic as possible. But part of that optimum, it becomes a little bit easier for me to remain optimistic as we see other large entities expressing interest in podcasting, as well. So serious in my heart, they're, they're not small by any means. And they also have a really large interest in podcasting. And so that's exciting. where things get scary is where we end up with, you know, a YouTube, where if you are a video creator, you have to participate in that YouTube ecosystem, or else you're really gonna have a hard time finding any success. Yeah, we don't want that same thing to happen in podcasting. And so while Spotify is executing really well and seem to be firing on all cylinders, and every move they make seems to be like, Oh, my gosh, that's so smart, and not so smart, not so smart, that can be become scary if they're the only ones doing it. And so I'm encouraged to see other, you know, big players also making moves and taking this platform seriously. And I do remain optimistic that they'll always be a place for independent creators doing their own thing. The analogy that I was thinking about the other day was when blogging started taking off. In the early to mid 2000s. There was a company that started blogger.com, at some point, Google was like, hey, blogging is taking off. There's this blogging platform that makes it really easy for people to create blogs. Let's go ahead and and purchase that. And it was probably a smart acquisition, I imagine the numbers worked out for them. And a lot of people joined blogger, a lot of people started blogs. But overall, open independent blogging was not crushed or done away with and other tools innovated, and presented more opportunities for people to have more creative control over their blog, and what did they what they wanted to do with their blog. And today, blogger is still around, but it's inconsequential in terms of closing down independent bloggers, what's done more damage is things like you know, Facebook and tik tok and stuff like that that's been more harmful to blogs, then somebody coming in and saying we're gonna control and own blogging. But you know, what has sprung up in the wake of that is like, you know, WordPress, like WordPress now, powers 30 something percent of the entire internet, and you could, you know, if you were generous in your definition of a blog, you could say that those are pretty much all blogs, the vast majority of them are anyway, a lot of them are e commerce, storefronts and stuff. But independent blogging was not shut down by Google coming in and saying, Hey, we want to have a lot of control or a lot of power in this space. And, and so I'm starting to become more optimistic that what Spotify is doing, like there could be a silver lining on it. So you know, after a rough year of me struggling with cash, what is Spotify, his real intentions here, I want to end the year at least in this episode on a positive note and say, Hey, as independent creators, there's always options. And we've seen stuff like this happen in the past with blogging, and it doesn't necessarily mean bad things. It could mean good things. And so I'm gonna, I'm gonna end my year and take on Spotify and acquisitions and everything that happened in the space, I'm gonna say, hey, the space is growing. It's exciting. Of course, big players are gonna come in and want to get involved. And I think it's great for us. I'm gonna say, you know, rising tide lifts all boats, go podcasting,

Travis:

go podcasting? Well, in two specific stories give me more optimism towards the end of the year, specifically with Spotify than earlier in the year. That was when the Miss Michelle Obama podcast went from being exclusive to Spotify to being distributed on an RSS feed across all the major podcast platforms. That was a big shift in their strategy. And then also with acquiring megaphone, megaphone hosts a couple of 1000 really big podcasts, like, top 1% top point 5% of podcasts. A lot of those shows are on megaphone. And so they've started shifting back kind, of course correcting back towards, what if we're just one of the larger players in the podcast ecosystem. And then we can just kind of be the dynamic ads monetization middleman for a lot of that ecosystem. Maybe that's a better strategy than trying to shoehorn everybody over to the Spotify app. Because, as could probably predicted, there has been a considerable amount of pushback against Joe Rogan going exclusive to Spotify from his existing audience saying, this deal isn't really working out for us like this is not as good as what we had before, to the point where Joe Rogan has had to address it on his podcast, and say, I hear you guys. But I mean, $100 million, is $100 million. So you know, at some point, I gotta feed my family, too, you know, might be steak every night, but I got to feed my family. that I that I killed with my bare hands on my private ranch I just bought in Texas, whatever it is. So it's it is encouraging to see that there has been some pushback. And there has been some course correction from Spotify back towards the open podcast ecosystem, especially in light of what we're gonna talk about next with podcasting. 2.0. And so, so I think, big story, mergers and acquisitions happen in all industries. It's it's a normal part of the company lifecycle, right? You start a company, it gets to a place where you decide do I want to get acquired? Do I want to stay independent? When does the math work out for me to sell, and with as much interest has been in podcasting, there, were going to be bigger players that come in and try and buy their way in, it would be much more concerning if we didn't see any acquisitions happening in the podcasting space. Right. So the 2020 was this year of a lot of really big acquisitions in the podcasting space, I

Kevin:

think is super exciting. I would love to see another big player jump in, you know, we saw some interest from Amazon this year getting into podcasting. I'm interested to see what they want to do. I just hope that we don't see more acquisitions around locking up content. Yeah, I hope that's not the trend that continues. We saw a lot of that with Spotify this year. I hope they find other ways to grow their platforms, and gain interest in podcasting, without locking content to specific apps. So I can't think about the year of 2020, without thinking about podcasts index, and the new podcast namespace and the work that we've done there, the contributions of Adam curry, and Dave Jones, bringing a bunch of people together in the podcast, podcasting space, you know, app developers, and podcast hosts, and creators. We needed an independent third party to bring us all together and not look at each other as competitors, but to say, How can we better this industry by working together, so they did a great job of doing that, and a lot of good things have come out of that. So now we have a competitive directory to Apple podcasts. And again, I you know, we said this a couple episodes ago, not because Apple was doing anything wrong. But just because it's always good to have a backup of your backup. And so podcast index provides that. And so Apple has to change course, or tighten restrictions around their directory, for whatever reason, at any point, we now have a wonderful directory to fall back on that can power third party apps and discover, give us the ability to still have full podcast catalogs. And then another thing that came out of that was the new podcast namespace, which Buzzsprout has been very excited about. And we've contributed a lot of conversations and code and have hooked up all the new tags that had been finalized. They were finalized on November 15. And we're going to continue to invest heavily in what they're doing, because we believe it's a really great way for independent podcasters and independent podcast apps. And everybody who's operating in the space, who doesn't have the backing of a huge company like Spotify, or massive production team or anything else, to be able to get new features and get their content, express themselves in different ways in different apps. And so things like creator profiles, location, information, transcripts, sound bites, all that stuff is happening through the new podcast namespace. And so we're excited to be a part of it. And that's a huge win for podcasting in 2020.

Travis:

Kevin, real quick, can you explain in layman's terms, what are podcast namespaces? And then how tags work? So we're not talking about like the tags that you can add, when you upload a new episode and Buzzsprout we're talking about a different kind of tags. Right?

Kevin:

Right. So podcasting is powered by open podcasting anyways, powered by RSS feeds. And if you ever looked at an RSS feed, it might just look like a whole bunch of, you know, code, like you step into the matrix for a second, but it's actually very readable if you just slow down and kind of read what's on that page. And you'll see things like you know, podcast, colon title and podcasts or iTunes colon title. The standard RSS spec has a bunch of elements to find and those are like titles and descriptions and includes your tags, and then it's been extended by Apple years and years ago, I think in 2004 or five, they extended it with the iTunes namespace. And they said let's add more things specifically for podcasters. So they added Did you know or tags for artwork and tags for copyright and tag a couple other tags? They added stuff. And then they updated that. Just a couple years ago, I think in 2018. with things like what type of episode? Is this a full episode? Is it a bonus episode? They said, Is this a, you know, the podcast overall? Is it a serial or is an episodic since you know, Apple introduced their original iTunes namespace, and then they added a little bit more to it in 2018. There, it's been very slow. And no one's got a good job of bringing everyone together and saying, hey, these are some new elements that we need in an RSS feed that let's all agree on, as podcasters podcast hosting companies and app developers, that they would let's agree that they're all be useful, and let's all start using them and building tools around them. That's what that's what the podcasts index has been able to do as an independent group, they don't really have a dog in the fight. They're not a competitive hosting platform. They're not an app competing, it's other apps. They're just saying, because we're independent, because we're not competing with any of you were a good person or entity to to bring all of you together and kind of moderate this process. And so that's what's happening. If you look in your RSS feed now from Buzzsprout, you're gonna see some new tags, like you're gonna see podcast call and transcript. Well, that wasn't there a year ago. And it wasn't possible, because we couldn't agree all the people who are working in the podcasting industry couldn't agree on how are we going to put transcripts into the RSS feed. So having the podcast index, moderate that process of talking out, giving us all the voice, giving us an opportunity to weigh in on the pros and cons of all the different approaches different ways we could do it, and then leading us down a path to where we can agree. and say, This is good. This is what we're all gonna do. This is the way to do it. Let's lock it in. Let's finalize it. And that process happened on November 15. Now we have an official podcast namespace. And we have like an official transcript tag. And we have an official funding tag. And we have official soundbite tag. So again, none of this stuff in 2019, if you want to add a sound bite to your RSS feed, I mean, you could do it wouldn't break anything. But it wouldn't go very far either. Because no apps could use it. Nobody could point to a spec and say this is if we want to add sound bites to our app, this is how we do it. And now we have that. So

Travis:

huge progress. Well, and the benefit for podcast creators is that for the first time in quite a while we're moving past the features and stuff that we as a podcast post can create. And now moving into what is possible with an audio show? Like what can you do to provide value engagement, sharing tools, with your listeners to make their experience better, and to make your job as a podcast creator easier as well. And so in a very short amount of time, we've made a lot of progress and really transforming what is possible with a podcast. And so I think 2021 is just going to continue to march in that direction of really exploring how do we fix find stability in searchability? How do we fix making podcasts accessible to hearing impaired listeners? How do we fix you know a lot of the the hurdles that podcasters have to deal with for monetization. And as the industry rallies around these standards, and they become standard, so that it's supported by listening apps across the board. And by podcast hosts across the board. That's just going to make the playing field that much better for podcast creators.

Alban:

I mean, it's the needed counterpoint to what Spotify and a lot of other companies are doing where they're, they are controlling the app controlling the creation part. They're controlling, you know, the technology up and down the full stack of podcasting. And what that allows Spotify to do is it's not every month now we see some like Spotify is testing video slash audio podcast, Spotify is testing q&a features Spotify is testing a new podcasting. I mean, I've been doing this been in podcasting for six years. And I can only think of two times that we've ever added new tags to the RSS spec Apple did a few years ago. And then the podcast index added some just recently. And I think that this is needed that we don't just have a lot of talk about, oh, well, the independent space could develop this. Well, if that's the promise, then we need to start delivering on that promise to show people the value of the podcast industry still being open. Or else people are just going to say, Yeah, I hear all the reasons why I'd probably be better that way. But Spotify has got this new cool feature that I want to use Sirius XM as this new monetization feature that I want to use. It doesn't make sense to me anymore to kind of buy into this open ecosystem that hasn't really moved forward. So I think that the podcasts index and what they're doing, this was really needed, especially if podcasting is going to remain open. And I'm very encouraged by how quickly they've actually been able to Get some tags implemented. Tom has been a big part of it and being involved. But it's exciting to see podcast apps actually start adopting these tags and using them in interesting ways. Maybe it did take somebody like Spotify to come in and say, hey, maybe I'll just fix all these problems for you. And everyone's like, No, no, we could do it ourselves to actually get the industry a little bit pushed to the right direction. So we just rolled out a feature that I hope everybody appreciates as much as I do. Because I've been asking this and kind of lobbying for it for a while, we have a way for people to set up their websites on custom domains. So that's like a website that you purchased off hover. And now you have like my podcast website. com, if you want the podcast website that we build to actually be there. One of the downsides to that for a while was that those were never secure, or at least it said, not secure up in the URL box. And it's kind of jarring for listeners, sometimes it's actually kind of a negative ranking indicator for Google. So those sites weren't ranking as highly. And while it's really nice to brand, your website, I know that was turning a lot of people off from actually using the Buzzsprout website as their go to site for their podcast. So what we just rolled out, is Buzzsprout now is getting SSL certificates for all of those websites. So that now when you go to your website, on my web, podcasts, website.com, and the Buzzsprout, stuff shows up there, it's secure, you get the green little lock up in the URL bar. And it's really nice, your podcast website will actually load faster, because it's using a different protocol. And you're going to rank higher in Google, it's a pretty big deal. I mean, for me, it was always a difficult sell to say use the Buzzsprout podcast website, on your own domain until that was there. And now that that's there. I really think like for 80% of podcasts is probably the right way to go. And I'm super excited about this feature.

Kevin:

Yeah, it looks like a small thing. But it's actually a lot of work to get that set up. So big thanks. And shout out to the technical team at Buzzsprout. For getting that done, Brian and Tom, john, and we another Brian, I think I'll touch that project at various points. And big shout out to Alvin too, because you pushed really hard to make this happen for all of our podcasters. So it sounds small, but it is a really big deal. And it should be a huge win if you use a custom domain with your Buzzsprout site. So very exciting update for those people using custom domains. Which also leads me to a user who requested this feature while it was in development. I want to mention James Kirtland has a new podcast that we are proud to be hosting on Buzzsprout is called pod land. You can check it out at pod land dot news, which points to a Buzzsprout site and it is secure. So he does that podcast with his buddy Sam Sethi, and they do another podcast about podcasting. So if you enjoy buzz cast, you might enjoy pod land as well. So we encourage you to check it out.

Travis:

As we're wrapping up, we wanted to give you a little Christmas goodie, before we go, uh, hints and encouragement that if you want to unwrap an early Christmas present next week, you need to be in our Facebook group, the Buzzsprout podcast community. How do we tell people what it is without telling them what it is?

Kevin:

There's an exciting new feature coming to Buzzsprout. And we think it's going to be we think it's good. I mean, it's it's been a huge undertaking. It's a very exciting feature. And it's one of those features that is super complex on the back end. So we need to let people in slowly to make sure that nothing breaks as as people start using it. And so if you would like to help us out and be one of those early users to get access and test things out for us, make sure everything works as it should please jump into our Facebook group, we'll do a post there at some point next week. Hopefully, if everything stays on schedule, and and give you early access, we don't want to say too much about what it is until we till we drop it and start marketing it appropriately. Only because timetables shift. And we don't want to set expectations that we can't reach. But, but things are looking really good. So far, we only have a couple of people using it. And they are really excited about it's very powerful tool. So hop in the Facebook group to learn more.

Travis:

Yes, it may or may not give you more flexibility in how you manage your podcast episodes, and doing promotions of various sorts.

Alban:

I feel like knowing what the feature is Travis that was probably too big of a hint. But uh, yeah, if anyone wants to come over to the Facebook group, I think that's probably where we'll announce it. Or at least that's where we'll kind of get our next batch of beta users. Yeah,

Kevin:

so if you're an early adopter, if you like testing things if you don't mind having access to a tool one day and maybe not the next up in over there because we need your help.

Alban:

That was it for 2020 I'm not gonna miss this year too much. There have been some good moments. There's been some bad moments but mostly more on the bad side. On be

Kevin:

positive.

Alban:

I paused It is that I'm thankful that it's gonna be 2021.

Travis:

And on that note, we will see you guys in the new year. Thanks for being loyal listeners and we'll catch you in the next one.

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