Buzzcast

Dynamic Content is Here + Everything Buzzsprout Did in 2020

January 01, 2021 Episode 42
Buzzcast
Dynamic Content is Here + Everything Buzzsprout Did in 2020
Chapters
0:00
It's here...
0:31
Dynamic Content
14:35
Buzzsprout Year in Review
26:31
Buzzsprout Content Highlights
45:30
How much did podcasting grow this year?
Buzzcast
Dynamic Content is Here + Everything Buzzsprout Did in 2020
Jan 01, 2021 Episode 42

In this episode, we'll dive into Buzzsprout's new Dynamic Content tool and look back at all the projects we rolled out in 2020.

Links from today's episode


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

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode, we'll dive into Buzzsprout's new Dynamic Content tool and look back at all the projects we rolled out in 2020.

Links from today's episode


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

Kevin:

Alright guys, we pushed it live dynamic contents out.

Alban:

Whoo. Let's add that to the outline.

Kevin:

Yeah, I think we're gonna have to talk about it.

Travis:

Do you think people want to hear about it?

Kevin:

Yeah, it's open for business people can use it.

Travis:

Yes. And to say that people collectively lost their minds would be a slight understatement.

Kevin:

Yeah, it ranged from, I can't believe this is happening. This is fantastic, too, I have no idea what this means.

Alban:

I'm just very excited based on the other comments.

Kevin:

Let's talk about dynamic content. And when like what it means, in the in the Buzzsprout world, the typical industry term is da AI, dynamic advertising, or ad insertion. And this is not that. And then there's programmatic ads. And this is not that. And if you don't know what any of those are, we can talk about it, we can get into that stuff. But let's start by saying what it is. And what dynamic content is within Buzzsprout. Right now, is the ability to add a pre roll, which would be an audio file that plays before your main episode, and or a post roll an audio file that would play after the main content of your episode. And you can set these up to automatically get added to your episodes as you upload them. So you can add a pre roll out of post roll, and they'll get automatically appended to your episodes as you upload them. So like going forward in the future. And then you can also click a button to apply them to your entire episode history here like back catalogue. And then you can let them sit there for as long as you want and click another button to remove them all. And you can change them out as frequently as you want. So the question becomes like, what would you use this for. And there's a lot of use cases that we designed for and thought about when we were building this tool. You can use it for a sponsor promo. At the beginning or the end of your episode, you can use them to announce upcoming events, whether they be you know, hopefully sometime in the future live events or virtual events, you can send holiday greetings. These are some things I added to the help content. So if you go to the Buzzsprout Help section and search for dynamic content, you'll see that we have a bunch of use cases. Could be announcements, holiday greetings, thanks. Supporters promotion giveaways. Let people know about your Facebook groups or Instagram pages, mentioned upcoming conferences that you're going to be attending cross promotion of other podcasts, there's a ton of different reasons why you might want to put a little announcement the beginning or the end of your podcast. Something that might be coming in the future is the ability to drop messages inside. Those are called mid rolls. But we're not starting there. We're starting with pre rolls and post rolls. And so that's what I want to talk about today. I think it's a really powerful feature. I've been playing with it a ton. I haven't actually added any pre rolls or post rolls to Buzzcast yet, but I've got a bunch of ideas. We just haven't talked about it because it's so new. So what do you guys think?

Alban:

I mean, to me, what I love is, we always tell people with podcasts, you want to make things as evergreen as possible. So somebody could listen to the episode a year later. And it's still applicable. Well, that really doesn't work. If you're doing things like hey, we're all going to this conference, I'd love to see people there, then you kind of just have these like weird things hanging out there forever. And like maybe it's kind of like a nice little artifact from what happened in the past. But the downside is that like, when you're going to go to this new conference, there's no way of telling people who are listening to old episodes as well. Now that the dynamic content, you can put the Evergreen portion of your podcast just in the episode. And then you say the pre roll is gonna be where maybe I have the very applicable to today content, hey, we're doing a giveaway, just launched a new course. And there's a deal for the first 1000 people to sign up. I'd love to see you at podcast movement 2021, I actually would like to see everyone there, we can put that in as well, Sunday. Like, those are all cool things that you can do. And it really frees you up from I mean, I know that I felt an incredible amount of guilt whenever I would hear word of somebody is like, just went re uploaded 15 episodes so that everybody could like hear this little thing at the beginning of my episodes. We're like, Oh, that's, that's painful. So hopefully we can take that away from everybody and provide them with this new functionality for free. I mean, it's on all Buzzsprout accounts, so everybody has access to it.

Kevin:

Yeah. And that point isn't something that we should, like, move past too quickly. Because it did require a lot of work to be able to get the feature to a place where we could apply it and give it to everybody on every account for no additional charge. And I'm so like, I'm really proud of that. I'm really proud of the team. It was Tom Rossi, one of the co founders who led the charge on that he had this vision months ago when we started working on it like how great would it be if we can figure out a way to do this for free. There is a lot of processing and bandwidth that's involved in building a feature like this, and then implementing it. So if you think about somebody who has potentially hundreds of episodes in their basket back catalogue, those episodes all have to be you know, stitched together with the new content and re encoded and moved back and forth between CD ends. And so there's a lot of processing that's happening in the background that you don't see, because the interface does make it really simple. It does look very easy. But what's happening on the back end is actually very complex. And so Tom just did a great job of leading that like capturing that vision and saying, Hey, this is something that could be useful for all podcasters, not just podcasters that have the budget to spend, you know, $100 plus on hosting and all these fancy tools, but it could be a useful tool to the everyday podcaster. And then, so then he was working with his team the whole time to make sure that as they were implementing the feature and hooking things up that it was being done as efficiently and effectively as possible, so that we could give it to everybody on every plan, without increasing prices. So huge kudos to Team Tom and the technical team.

Travis:

Yeah, because it is not uncommon to have to spend, you know, close to $100 a month for a podcast hosting plan that would include dynamic content, simply because it's is so bandwidth intensive. But I think the thing that I love about it is it just gives you as a podcast creator more flexibility in how you're creating and managing your podcast episodes, I played around with dynamic content for some other podcasts that I that I still tinker with on the side. And it was so simple to say, Hey, I'm doing this thing, or I have this thing going on, and then apply it to like 300 episodes. And then I knew that even if somebody started episode one, which was published, like, you know, 2018, that they would still hear that little pre roll that I put in there. And so it just frees you up so much to be able to really leverage your back catalogue in a meaningful way for what you're focused on now. Because when you publish an episode two years ago, you might not be doing affiliate marketing, you might not be doing, you know, email, lead magnets and trying to grow an online business or a side hustle or something. But now you are. And so dynamic content allows you to leverage your entire catalogue of episodes, all the hard work you put into those in order to help you with whatever your goals are right now. So I think that's the thing that I really love about it is it just gives creators so much more flexibility and how they leverage their content, to connect with their audience to give calls to action, you know, like maybe at the end, you're like, hey, I want to start getting people to leave a speakpipe messages that we can include in episodes, like and put that as opposed to saying, Hey, if you're listening to this, and you want to contribute to the podcast, go to speak pipe.com slash whatever your URL is, and leave us a voicemail. And you can have that on episode one, even if that was two or three years ago that you publish that. And now you're leveraging that old episode to serve your podcast moving forward. So I think it's a really incredible feature that the more that people play with it, the more that they'll start to wonder, how did I ever, you know, function as a podcaster, without this capability available to me.

Alban:

I mean, the biggest thing that we haven't said yet is, if you are doing ads, or you're doing sponsorships through like popcorn, you are not now limited to Hey, I will bake it into this episode, you can now say, yes, you'll get a specific amount of listens. Or you will get this two week period, where every episode, we'll have this pre roll in this post roll. And that's really nice for everybody who wants to be able to sell like a sponsorship on popcorn, that at a much higher number. I mean, we we know through all of our podcasts, even Buzzcast gets a significant amount of place on its back catalogue. And our other podcasts like Podcasting, Q&A that are that are evergreen, much more their back catalogue gets played. And that's now opened up so many more opportunities for you to do a bigger sponsorship.

Kevin:

Yeah, and it's a really convenient way to sell and price sponsorships as well. Alvin and I worked on buying some podcast advertising about six months ago or so. And the deal that we put together was for an entire back catalogue purchase. And it was it was time based. So it was we bought, they said roughly in 30 days, this is how many downloads our entire podcast does, you know current episodes and entire back catalogue over a 30 day period. So we had an idea of how many downloads we were going to get. And here's how much it cost. And then they used some dynamic content tools to go ahead and put our advertisement into that content. Again, whether it was the first episode, Episode 200, or Episode 600 didn't matter. And then we made that buy, and we paid them the money. And so it's a lot easier than saying, you know, your podcast might do roughly whatever 200 plays per episode, but your entire catalogue over a 30 day window might do 500 and so it's nice to be able to sell an add on that larger level of downloads. The nicer

Alban:

things from the sponsorship side is it helped us actually judge that sponsorship much more easily. If we were to purchase hay, put it into these two episodes. And basically, we would, we knew most of the value would come from the future when people are listening to the episode, it would be hard to kind of figure out did we ever get a bump? Did people really click through? What about people to click through like a year later? Do we really count those? Whereas with this sponsorship, it was all in a month, we got all the value in the month. And so we were very easily able to figure, okay, how many people heard about us and signed up because this podcast sponsorship?

Kevin:

Yeah. And I love the idea of using it for announcements like Travis was talking about the idea that in the first minute or two of any episode that I listened to, I'm going to hear current information about what's going on, either with the podcast as a whole, or in the life of the host, or whatever, like, we've got, I've been working on this book, it's coming out on this date. Again, I that'd be fantastic. If I'm listening to an episode that you did a year ago, or yesterday, to be able to have that same content, and then it can go away very easily, when that's no longer relevant. There could be nothing there for a while it could be replaced with an updated message. So it's very powerful. And we've got just a ton of ideas bubbling about where we go from here. But I don't want the new ideas to take away from what is already available. today. This is fantastic.

Alban:

This is the 2020 recap episode, this is not the what cool things do we want to build in 2021? Kevin, I very much have this broken mindset where we're like, okay, 2020s in the past, what's next year? What's the year after? What's the cool thing? And actually, what I started writing the outline for this episode, I was like, wow, we did so much in 2020. And so it is exciting to kind of go back and look at what we've done.

Kevin:

Yeah, but it is hard at the same time. Because you know, you're always everything that we do, like in the software world in the product world is always like laying groundwork for to build upon, right, we're always iterating. And so dynamic content is a huge thing, that now that we have this technology in place, and we've got, you know, version one of this tool available, now we're gonna start to see how people are using it. And we can build upon that. So 2021 is gonna be a huge year for us to take dynamic content even further. And it's hard to not get super excited about all the things that we can do. But I don't want to I want to be patient, because the dynamic content tool that we've released today and that people are using today is so amazing, and powerful, and valuable. And we're getting great feedback from people that are like in the first week that it's out have already used it, and are already seeing massive results and success from it and are just having a blast using it. So last thing to know about dynamic content, some of these podcast apps that you use, like on your phones and your computers and stuff. If you when you download an episode, it will save that like in the cache. So if you ever want to listen to that episode, again, it might still be downloaded. And so if you are applying dynamic content, and then going back into your own podcast and listening to episodes and see making sure the pre roll and post roll are there. If the episode had previously been downloaded and is still saved on that device, you'll have to delete it first and then download it again to get the updated version. So that is just one small thing that we've seen some people because, again, with your podcast, you probably have them all downloaded. And depending on how old it is or what the settings are in your app, it may keep them all and may delete them after you're done listening to them, and may not delete them for 30 days. So just make sure that you're downloading a fresh version when you're trying to test it out and make sure everything worked.

Travis:

Yeah, that's a good tip, Kevin, definitely. And then I did notice a couple people asking if they had magic mastering turned on for their podcast episodes. Will the magic mastering wonderful, you know, fairy dust that we put on their podcast episodes apply to the pre rolls and the post rolls when they're uploaded? Yeah,

Kevin:

yep, absolutely. Well, it just happens automatically. So if you have magic mastering turned on, then your pre roll and post roll will also be magically mastered. And so then when they get all stitched together, they will sound perfect.

Travis:

Yep, so if you want to start using it, you want to experiment with it. When you log into your Buzzsprout dashboard, you'll see the first row of options you got episodes, players website directories. If you click on episodes, there's a light gray bar right below the blue bar, and you have episodes magic mastering and dynamic content. So if you click on that dynamic content, you'll see the screen that allows you to upload your pre rolls and your post rolls. So go to town. Let us know what you think of it. And we hope you enjoy using the new dynamic content.

Alban:

Alright, so in this blog post, I've been writing the 2020 recap. I honestly the first thing I did was I just went in back and started counting lots of things. And so I've counted how many YouTube videos we did how many podcasts guys we bro how many episodes we put out how many projects we did. And you know it's not all about the numbers, but definitely the numbers are just So they're interesting to me, you can easily forget, you know, you kind of look back and you're like, do we do any work from like April to May, and like you have no memory of anything. And then when you start going back through it all, it's just like incredible. You know, it feels like things move slowly over the course of a week. And then when you look back over the last year or two years, you realize how much you can really get done. So I'm starting with projects. This year, for Buzzsprout. Specifically, we completed 56 projects across seven work cycles. And that's the way that we kind of accept the work that we're going to do over a six week period into a cycle. But are those seven cycles, we have 56 projects we published, this is what yet these are big, pushes 2520 updates to Buzzsprout. And, yeah, some of these projects are pretty small. Some of them are very big, like dynamic content would be one of those 56. Travis and Kevin, do they need that stick out to any of the projects that he remember? And you know, we're a lot of fun. You're happy we got out there?

Kevin:

Tell me that number. Again, how many commits? 2000 2520? Oh, my gosh,

Alban:

I think many of those are, what do you what do you call this Kevin squash commits? where it's like, tons of small changes are all rolled up into one.

Kevin:

Yeah, some can be squashed. And some are not. I mean, I never really squash my commits. I don't know how many people from the technical team smart squash, there's, but a commit can be anything from Hey, there's a typo on our marketing site. To

Alban:

that just never happened. happens there pages that somebody wrote it to support with a page update. They're like, Hey, you had a typo. And I'm like, Ooh, that's kind of a bad typo and fixed it. And then I was like, this page probably has not been updated in three years, it has been read hundreds of 1000s of times. I was like, I can't imagine if my third grade English teacher saw that page humiliated.

Kevin:

I mean, I think the simplest way to think about a commit is anytime we change the code on the Buzzsprout application. And the application can be anything from the marketing site to when you log in to what you see on your mobile phone, or anything in between. And so anytime we change any of that source code, we have to push it into our main master repo. And that is committed. And so yeah, 2500 changes to Buzzsprout in this last year. That's a huge number. I kinda, golly, a

Travis:

lot of work. A lot of work. I mean, the two that stand out to me are stats related. podcasters love their stats, man. I mean, I love I love looking at our stats, especially when, when I get a surprise, weekly email saying that our how to start a podcast jumped like 500% because Alvin Winton didn't add by without telling me. That was, that was a fun surprise. But the two, the two big projects that really stuck out to me, was one that feels like forever ago, which was when we rolled out our advanced podcasts, statistics, which are the stats that you go in the UC right now, if you log into Buzzsprout, before we had fewer statistics available, we weren't able to show you as much information. But now it's like, like everything that you could ever want. at your fingertips that we're able to give to you. There are some stats, like, you know how much of your episode somebody listens to that is only captured on the app level, they don't really pass through to us as the podcast host. But everything that we can show you, we are showing you and I just think it's a huge improvement. And it's still, in my humble opinion, that is completely unbiased. The best podcast asked the industry and so so like I'm never left wanting, I'm never like, man, if only our stats look more like x podcast. So stats, like I never think that anymore. Yeah.

Kevin:

And we rolled that out in the spring, right? early spring, like January, I

Alban:

think some have very early last year,

Kevin:

very early. And then I think later in the year, we went back and added in achievements. mm grants, right. So and then we added another screen door stats section that can that tracks like how many episodes you've published and how many, you know, hitting different milestones on your podcasting journey. So that's a good one. Magic mastering, which we talked about earlier in this episode, again, that was brand new this year. We talked about it like it's been around forever. But that happened in 2020.

Alban:

What about I mean, for the other stats thing, this wasn't really visible to everybody, but we did IB certification. And I know we put up the last when we put up the stats in early 2020. Everyone's like, are these gonna be IV certified? We're like, no, they're IB compliant. We're not going to do the certification process. And then I think people wore us down over a couple months and they're like, please, I just want to have that stamp of approval. We're like, fine. We, I think Tom ended up doing it and then yeah, didn't change any stats, but everybody now has a little bit more confidence. All of your stats are certified and they're you know, you know, that those are real people downloading your podcast episode

Kevin:

a bunch of new directories came online this year, Amazon was the biggest, I think of the new directories. But there's a few others. Anybody have them up in front of them?

Alban:

player FM, where they directly submitting to listen notes, which I really like, was pie chaser this year,

Travis:

pie chaser was this year.

Alban:

Yeah, there. Yeah, there are quite a few more, there are a lot of smaller directories that came online amazon music was by far the biggest. We did a few integrations of popcorn, in my outline written as popcorn, popcorn integration.

Travis:

Gotta love that autocorrect.

Alban:

And we also did the descript integration, which that one, I feel like I was so excited when we did it. And then I now almost forget that it happens sometimes. But what's so cool is you go into, if you add it into script, you can now publish directly into Buzzsprout. And the difference there is, the way the script works is you're kind of updating your transcript the entire time you edit the episode. And so when you push from the script into Buzzsprout, we bring in that transcript and you have a actual perfect transcript of your podcast, which is just, it's really nice to kind of remove that process of going in getting a transcript and uploading it to Buzzsprout. Now it's done for you automatically fuse that integration.

Kevin:

And then a couple other things that we pushed out very recently. One is the resources section within Buzzsprout has been completely redesigned, which is fantastic. Because it was one page I had like an overwhelming amount of information on and blog posts and videos and podcast episodes and everything and discount codes everything on one page. And it was kind of hard to figure out, you know, where should I look, there's too much content. And so Dave on our design team did a great job of breaking those out into their own sections. So now blog posts live in their own place, and podcasts live in their own place. And videos live in their own place. And partner discounts live in their own place. So that was been a great way because we published so much great content. So again, regardless of whether you're starting your podcast, or you're looking to level up your podcast, or you're looking to Hey, I think I should get into email marketing or something like we have content for all of that stuff. And it's hard to find it sometimes depending where you are. So the ultimate guide for you know, I want to get a new I'm ready to level up my microphone. We have great content on that. But how do I find it? Well, now you can just click on your resources section and you can like look for a blog post about that. Or you can look for videos about that. In between was Alban laughing weird mustache thing on?

Alban:

It said that I realized zoom now has an option where you can like, touch up your appearance. And I just put on it like you guys see this? Like it's a nice little goatee, goatee. Yeah, it looks.

Kevin:

It looks too real, but also really bad.

Alban:

Which is exactly how it looks. I have this facial hair. I'm sorry. Yeah.

Kevin:

Really a bit of a distraction? Yeah, I'm trying to talk about our resource section starts growing this nasty facial hair. Oh,

Travis:

yeah. So if you want to know where that is, when you log into your Buzzsprout account, in the top right corner of the screen, you'll see my podcasts, my profile, and then resources, that's what we're talking about. So if you click that link, it'll open up a page where you can cycle through and see all of our blog posts, all the videos on our YouTube channel, our podcasts, link to our Facebook community, and then also all of our partner discounts. So these are discounts that we have put together with different software companies and product companies that provide some really great tools for podcasters. We want to just kind of help you level up your game as much as possible, and give you some discounts where we can. So that is where you will find all of that information.

Kevin:

Yep. And then let's not skip over the custom domain SSL that we rolled out last month. Oh, yeah, that is huge. And it was transparent to a lot of people. But if you use a custom domain for your Buzzsprout site, those are all now secured with SSL certificate, which is really important, becoming more and more important every day. It helps with SEO. And it helps to, you know, make your visitors feel comfortable as they're visiting your site. They're not seeing warnings that this is not being transmitted over HTTPS.

Alban:

All right. Can I do a shout out for one more?

Kevin:

Yeah, shout out for one more. Yeah.

Alban:

One of the two new team members in 2024. Buzzsprout was Brian who's on the technical side, and he does like all the database stuff. And server stuff, stuff that's like, if he talks about it, I have actually no clue what he's talking about. Like he posts these updates. And I'm like, I don't know what that means. But it sounds good. And he did this huge disaster recovery project. And the kind of disasters that he was, so he was just like, hey, if the servers go down, boom, what would we do? Here's exactly what we would do and make sure that everyone's podcasts were secure. If Amazon Had this issue, here's what we would do. And he really went through a ton of scenarios, then just made sure that we were really protected so that there was nothing really bad could ever happen. And it made me feel, you know, very happy to have someone on the team who thinks that way that is, you know, watching over all the servers, making sure that the performance is up there, but also kind of keeping an eye to the horizon of like, oh, what if some big hiccup did happen? Just on the internet? How would Buzzsprout deal with it? And I don't know, it made me feel very good. That we had someone thinking that way.

Kevin:

Yeah, I remember talking through some of those scenarios with him and just joking around. I was like, I think it was like 10 or 15 years ago, one of the big internet companies that we use their service, and they were down for, like, 12 hours or something. And then, you know, a couple hours into the disaster, we figured out what happened, just like we weren't getting any updates from them. But we went on news sites and Twitter. And we found out that like a semi truck had driven into a data center in Texas or something, and why oh, my gosh, this must be them. This must be what is going on? Yeah. And so I as a joke, I was like, So Brian, did you, you know, account for if a truck drives through our data center? And like, just I'm expecting a laugh. And he's like, Yes, actually, if you turn the page, like 47 truck driving. So yeah, that was awesome. And we're excited that Brian on our team, so thanks for calling that out.

Alban:

Let's jump over into the content stuff. So now a little more to Travis's and I will house all our podcast guides that we write on the blog. In 2020, we published more than one a week, many of those were written by Lauren. So huge shout out to Lauren, who does a great job researching and writing those guides every week. And these ranged from some product announcements, to some really in depth walkthroughs and roundup posts. few of my favorites. She did a really good rewrite of the how to record long distance podcast interviews. Obviously, that page has just been critical to a lot of people who are trying to discover should they be recording with Skype? Or is squad cast zoom, Riverside, you know, which, what's the right software for them, and she did a really good job. And in that rewrite. Are there any other blog posts or guides that stood out to you guys?

Travis:

I mean, one that every podcaster wants to know is, how do I get free royalty free music for my podcasts? It's it's one of those questions that you it's like, you just want to make sure I want to make sure that ariana grande de isn't gonna sue me because,

Alban:

yeah, Ariana Grande ager podcast.

Travis:

Well, you know what, sometimes you just have to learn the hard way Albin. And now I know not to put Ariana Grande day in my podcasts. But anyways, we're on good terms. Now we're we're buds. So we have a blog post that walks through places that you can pay for royalty free music, and then also places where you can get free music for your podcast that is going to be safe to use. And I think that's the big thing is just the peace of mind that, you know, I'm using this music, and I know it's gonna be good to go. And I don't have to worry about like, you know, someone coming up to me later on.

Alban:

I was very happy about when we push forward, all of our transcript work this year, we did a big blog post announcing our transcript tool set, and laying the case for why everybody should be putting transcripts in their podcasts. That was a big push this year. Where we were talking about all the benefits from make it easier for people to read through your Episode Two listeners are hearing impaired, to getting transcripts into apps like podcast addict, that are now actually pulling those transcripts in. And I really liked writing that post and just saying here is our argument for why everybody should be doing transcripts and kind of formulating our opinions on it.

Kevin:

Yeah. And then that turned into an official spec in the new podcast namespace. Hmm. So what we the work that we did, we laid a lot of groundwork there, and we kind of had a jump. And so when the new podcast namespace group was coming together and discussing transcripts, they looked at what we did, and they're like, hey, that actually makes a lot of sense. And so they just adopted that. And so you were actually ahead of the game a little bit on your podcast, namespace adoption, if you were using bus route transcripts, because it just kind of came in as is. So that was awesome. That was something we've been talking about. But there's been a lot of work on the new podcast namespace and the podcast index directory. That happened in 2020, which is a really huge and fantastic thing that's happening for independent podcasters. So a lot of the big headlines and news around the podcasting space is, you know, this big companies acquiring this company, and they're making this podcast exclusive and all this other stuff. But there's also really great stuff happening in the independent podcasting space. It just doesn't get the headlines because it doesn't involve hundreds of millions of dollars. But there's innovation that's happening and there is ecosystem that is being built around making sure that independent podcasters always have a way to easily and safely publish their content without having to play by the rules of a certain platform. So if you don't want to be on Spotify, you don't have to, but can you still get your message out somehow? So yes, there is great work happening there. And that's a lot. Most of that is happening through the podcast index and the podcast namespace which Buzzsprout fully supports. And we were excited to get involved in that this year.

Alban:

Alright, so jumping ahead, YouTube channel, Travis, we're definitely your world. So we'll let you talk about this a lot. But the channel grew from had to look it up. We had less than 5000 subscribers at the beginning of the year. And now it's over 50,000 and a few 100. That's pretty incredible. By the end of the year, we're looking at 50,000. And we're going, Man, what if that was 100,000? Then we would have gotten that like gold plaque or something from YouTube ad that I was like, wait, what was it at the beginning of the year, it was less than 5000. So a 10 x growth 5.3 million views on the YouTube channel? And we published 98 videos. Travis, how long did that take?

Travis:

It took a year. So that was one of the cool things about Lauren coming on board. And really, you know, taking the lead with our blog content was it allowed myself and then Jonathan, who has not yet had the opportunity to come on Buzzcast, but I'm sure will at some point in the future, to really focus on our YouTube channel, and just making it the best video guide for podcasters on the internet. Like, that's really our mission for it. You know, the only ulterior motive is hopefully, if we help you get started with your podcasts that you, you know, try us as a hosting platform first. But other than that, we're just trying to make the best video content possible to help you grow your podcast. And so it is really cool. Looking back and seeing how many people have subscribed the kinds of videos that have taken off and done really well. You know, we just recently uploaded an interview between Alvin and Jordan Harbinger, to the YouTube channel. And that is started to do really well even though we just released it like a week ago. And so it's cool to see people really engaging with this kind of content. And it's a lot of fun to make. It's a lot of fun to make videos that are helpful and engaging. And so it's been a lot of fun. And we're definitely looking forward to 2021 we got some really cool video ideas coming down the pipeline. So if you have not yet make sure you go ahead and subscribe to the YouTube channel. So you can say, Hey, I was subscriber 50,702. So you know, as it accelerates, it could be like I was one of the cool kids that followed that band before they were famous.

Alban:

So few of the other cool videos. This year, we did our whole how to start a podcast series. We did a whole video explaining podcast hosting, with where Jonathan, I did that video. And I was using a bunch of like stick figures and stuff popsicle stick characters, Kevin and I recorded the best podcast mics under $100. Which I think we went rogue for that one that was when we nobody could really record. And so Kevin and I were in the studio wearing like in nine, five masks and throwing microphones at the camera. So

Kevin:

yeah, if you watch that video now, and you wonder why Alvin is tossing those microphones, to me standing behind the cameras, because we're being allowed to get more, you know, within six feet of each other. And so he couldn't hand them to me. So we had these very expensive microphones and he kept throwing them to me off camera.

Alban:

There's definitely an element of like, that was the excuse. We were definitely were being saved. But it was also like, Oh, I can't give this to you. What if I have like COVID on my hands. We didn't really know how it worked back then. It's like, it was like, just throw the microphones that'll be cool.

Travis:

There's so many comments on that video that are like, Man, I'm just cringing every time you throw a $300 microphone.

Kevin:

Yeah, we didn't drop any but he did hit a few of the lights. Oh

Alban:

my gosh. Travis, he did two epic videos, the audacity tutorial series and the GarageBand tutorial series. So so many comments on there, people were like I was struggling on these points. And that's pretty much like a full series on like the 10 things that you constantly are doing in Audacity or GarageBand. And so people don't have to kind of stumble their way through it. It's a really nice intro series on how to do editing. So those are really good.

Travis:

Thank you.

Alban:

Also your MD seven review that that was you in jalon and Jonathan shot it that video is so good. It was good enough that I got it in V seven to use

Travis:

you're actually recording on an MV seven right now. Yeah, that was a lot of fun to make. So that was a video where we said okay, we've got this MV seven we it's a microphone that we think a lot of people are going to really enjoy. So how do we make the best MV seven Review possible. And so that's what it turned out to be. And I think it's really phenomenal and fun to watch. We try and make our videos fun to watch. And so I think that you'll definitely enjoy checking out that review.

Alban:

Alright, so podcasts do want to talk about the podcast a little bit.

Kevin:

Yeah. What are we doing? Buzzcast? Yeah.

Alban:

Okay, so what do you guys think? How many downloads do we have for Buzzcast this year?

Kevin:

Oh, that's not important. 1

Travis:

million downloads,

Kevin:

don't focus on downloads. So I mean, that's a huge difference, right between like what we do on Buzzcast, where we get together and talk about things that have happened the past couple weeks in the podcasting, industry, and Buzzsprout, specifically. And then like the YouTube channel, the YouTube channel, we actually use is like a real, like, we try to grow it, we invest a lot in trying to grow that. Because it's a real marketing channel. For us. This is like, informational. Yeah. Channel for us. So we like want to connect with our customers, we get a lot of great feedback from our customers who had listened to you guys say this on Buzzcast. And, and we have conversations with those people on Facebook or over email. So and here's the other thing is that I, like attend to one on the value of a podcast subscriber versus a YouTube subscriber person. So when I say 10, to one, I mean, like a one podcast subscriber is worth like 10 YouTube subscribers in my mind, in terms of like, we get we know people who listen to our podcasts, we interact with them. I don't really know anybody that stumbles upon us on youtube or subscribe now, hopefully, they become a customer. And then we start to have a connection with them at some point down the road. But anyway, you're going to talk about the number of downloads that we did for Buzzcast. I just don't want it whether it's high or low, or anywhere in the middle, I just don't want it to be discouragement to anybody, because it's a totally different channel for us. And we love it for totally different reasons.

Alban:

So we talked about this all the time. I mean, those YouTube numbers were pretty shocking to me thinking that we have over 5 million plays this year. I mean, the average play time, though, is so low. I mean, you're talking like one to two minutes if you're lucky. So yeah, those the play numbers are really high. But there's almost like, they're not inflated. But you really need to discount those numbers, because people are not engaging with the content for 45 minutes. They're engaging with the content for a minute, two minutes, you know, a little bit longer if you're lucky. Whereas Buzzcast. So far this year, we're at 57,631 downloads across 29 new episodes. So about one every two weeks, we had a couple bonus episodes. Now, I looked at that number, and I was like, holy cow. That's awesome. I was so excited. I was kind of shocked that was that high?

Kevin:

Yeah, I mean, I am shocked that it's.

Alban:

So it's less than we're talking like 1500 plays per episode. That's so tiny compared to our YouTube channel. And yet, I think all of the helpful interactions we have with people come from this podcast, or at least this is like the highest signal to noise ratio, you don't get random people stumbling across the channel, and dropping some insulting comments or just kind of being silly. And there's nothing wrong with that. But it's rarely those are like the very strong information content, we don't really get a lot from it. Whereas if people respond to us who listened to the podcast, they often have really in depth, well thought out interesting ideas that probably have a good chance of shifting one way we think about things. Because they've listened to us for a while they've engaged with our thought process. And then they're able to provide meaningful push back and say, Well, I mean, I know somebody will listen to this dynamic content, say, hey, it's great, but here's something else that you could do. And the fact they listen to this podcast will actually mean that their their criticism or their input or their thanks, will all be taken much. You know, we'll just understand that it's much more valuable. Alright, so we have two other podcasts podcast q&a. This is much more applicable to a lot more people. This is where Travis they used to be called to the beginning of the year. Last year, five minute Mondays for Travis was giving Five Minute Tips on podcasting. And a lot has changed in this podcast. We published 55 episodes for 127,015 downloads in 2020. We grew from about 1100 listeners to probably my best guess now is about 3215 per episode, Travis rebranded the podcast from you want to tell us about this rebrand? Travis? Sure.

Travis:

Yeah. So five minute Monday's was great at describing what it was. Once you knew what it was. So somebody saw five minute Mondays on their podcast app, they're like five minutes of what I don't know, five minutes of, you know, like, like meditation or five minutes of advice on dating, like, I don't know what five minute Mondays means. And so we decided to take her own advice, and rebrand it as something that podcasters would recognize as being valuable for them. So that's that's really where the origin for Podcasting Q&A came from. And the fact that we have a great partnership with 99 designs, which helped us with the artwork was definitely another reason, another excuse to go ahead and rebrand it. And so Podcasting Q&A shifted more towards really engaging with our listeners. So every single episode just about has a listener call in question where they're saying, Hey, here's my podcast, this is something that I'm curious about, is this something I need help with? Can you help me out? And the whole episode revolves around answering that question, the best that we can. And so I host some of the episodes, we have Sarah jalon, botter, who are all on our content team who all helped with the episodes. And it's just a great outlet for us to answer specific questions to help people with their podcasting journey. And so I know that this past week, we did an episode with botter, where we talked about podcast reviews, and how helpful they are, how to get more of them, those kinds of things. We've done episodes on how to collaborate with podcasts, how to monetize your show, how to grow your show. And so all the questions that you could potentially have about podcasting, we have either already answered it, or are about to answer it in the next couple of months. And so it's a really great resource. If you're just looking for like a quick answer to a very specific podcast related question. Yeah.

Alban:

And the last podcast that we have out there, though, this was recorded back in 2018, Travis Knight did, how to start a podcast, just a think eight episode, podcast, teaching walking people through the whole process that got 162,000 downloads in 2020. It's pretty crazy. If you think you could record a podcast in 2018. You put it out there. And you do minor updates. I mean, probably a total of like, a couple hours and put it into that podcast all year 162,000 downloads in 2020, lots people looking to start podcasts once the pandemic hit. And I know that that podcast was really helpful. So it's really exciting to see you put a podcast out there, and it can actually grow quite a bit. Well, after you launch, you know, big props for putting out evergreen content.

Kevin:

Yeah, so will 2021 be the year of how to start a podcast, Volume Two, or how to grow your podcast. What

Alban:

do you think do we do we re record it? Or do we put on the How To Grow podcast? I don't know.

Travis:

I think we should ask our dedicated Buzzcast listeners what they would prefer.

Alban:

We could put a pre roll on the entire all those episodes and say, Hey, we're getting ready for season two, should we rerecord this, or should we put together a how to grow podcast series? We have started doing some interviews for that. So I think that probably will be a reality in 2021. Okay, so I talked to the support team. The support team grew from two to three members this year, we hired Megan in March, I had not seen Megan face to face until our Christmas Party, which was an outdoor, socially distance party, but I was like, Wow, I've never met you in person. So that was nine months of being coworkers. We answered 92,113 support emails 8000, over 8000 people left as a great ratings 215 of you thought that our sport was bad, and there was room for improvement. So some of those were. Those were some of those were good points. But I think that was a pretty good ratio. 8000 good and 200. Bad. Yeah, that's a good, it's

Kevin:

a good ratio. I wonder how many of those 200 how many bad ratings 200 115 215. Usually, when I see a bad rating pop into support, if I've got a minute, I'll usually try to turn it around. I'll usually write back and be like, what could we have done better? I wonder if that statistic includes ones that I was able to turn around?

Alban:

Yeah, so if somebody left a bad rating, and then later left a good one, it doesn't update that stays bad. And then you also get a good one as well.

Kevin:

Alright, so know that if you write into our support team and give us a rating, we do look at them all, especially those if it comes in bad. We definitely never want a bad rating. So you'll probably get a follow up email asking like, what could we have done better?

Alban:

We're gonna start getting some emails that are just like bad, bad, bad, bad, like, what are we doing wrong? Like, I don't know. But I heard on the podcast that these matter. Yeah,

Kevin:

well, don't do that. Because we do publish them all. You can go to our marketing site, and you can look at all of our live support ratings, like as they come in, they're updated daily.

Alban:

And a huge shout out. I mean, Buzzsprout, you'll hear how much the company grew this year, but the amount of emails that are coming in are probably like four times as many emails now. I mean, 92,000 emails this year, and yet we only grew the team from two to three members. And we all while everybody does do some support. I ran this stat 95.5% of all emails sent into Buzzsprout were answered by Priscilla, Addy and Megan. So that's pretty much almost all of them. That's all head they are doing. It's just incredible, like, probably amount of email coming in was four times as much. And yet, they only increase the team by 50% is just a testament to how much work they put in writing really good answers, updating help articles, and formalizing their processes, so that we could answer emails quickly, without making people you know, wait around today for an answer. All right, so the last section I have here is how much did the podcast industry and Buzzsprout as a whole grow? I look to different places. Listen, notes in my podcast reviews probably have the best industry data, I think. And listen notes has us a little bit lower. They think we added about 809,944 new podcasts in 2020. And the largest month ever for podcasting, new podcasts was May of this year. And then my podcast reviews, which is Daniel J. lewis's website, did 1,027,942 new podcasts were added in 2020. And he saw the largest month as being June. So the way that both of those are collecting data slightly different. But the numbers are clear. This was the biggest year for podcasting ever. In we added about a million new podcasts in 2020. It's pretty incredible.

Travis:

And by we You mean the entire podcast industry as a whole? Right?

Alban:

Yeah, I see us as a big part as a part, not a big part, but as a part of the larger podcasting ecosystem. And I'm happy to be a cheerleader for the ecosystem as all because it's incredible how many new and exciting and interesting shows launched in 2020. Kevin, do you want to give us some idea of how How did Buzzsprout perform in that period?

Kevin:

Sure. So in 2020, we started the year with about 25,000, roughly active podcasts, I think it was actually closer than 19. But we'll round up to 25. Like in January sometime. I think at the end of 2019. We're at like 19,000 active podcasts. And then number started growing rapidly in January. And May and June July all huge months. Anyway, we ended the year where right now we're about at 4000. Tom's about to run the numbers for December in the next couple days. But I think we're about at 4000 active podcast. So Alban did some math for me here. What is that? 236% increase? Yeah,

Alban:

so not as good as Tesla or Bitcoin. The positive is that Buzzsprout did not grow rapidly, and then crash the next day. A little more positives. But it is definitely our biggest year. And it was definitely fun to be, you know, on the journey with everybody else. And, you know, the industry as a whole did incredibly well. And it was exciting to see so many cool shows get launched on Buzzsprout.

Travis:

So podcasting as a whole did exceptionally well this past year. We're very grateful at Buzzsprout to have been a part of that. And we're very excited about 2021. You know, I think 2021 is just going to be another banner year for the podcast industry. We're excited about continuing to roll out great features to help you with your show. help you grow your audience reach more people reach your goals. And, you know, we're just grateful that you guys stick around and listen to us. chat about podcasting on a bi weekly basis.

Alban:

Yeah, absolutely. I feel incredibly lucky. And just thankful that we're able to do this that, you know, when the pandemic hit, you know, you feel almost guilty, like how hard other people have been hit by it and how you know, the main difference for me is that I record podcasts from my home rather than recording I'm from the office. And we've definitely been very blessed to have jobs like this that were able to go work from home. And yeah, very thankful and looking forward to what the future brings.

Kevin:

That was very sentimental.

Travis:

That was very nice Alban.

Alban:

That's how I that's how I feel.

Travis:

Awesome. And with that, we will wrap up this episode, our first episode of 2021. Thanks for listening, and we'll catch you in the next one.

It's here...
Dynamic Content
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