Buzzcast

Big changes coming to Apple Podcasts and Spotify?

March 26, 2021 Episode 48
Buzzcast
Big changes coming to Apple Podcasts and Spotify?
Chapters
0:00
Did you buy it?
0:40
Apple Podcasts crosses a major milestone
5:19
Apple Podcasts v14.5 rumors
18:35
Spotify is catching up...
27:15
Listener questions
Buzzcast
Big changes coming to Apple Podcasts and Spotify?
Mar 26, 2021 Episode 48

In this episode, we discuss Apple Podcasts crossing 2 Million shows, the rumor mill on upcoming changes to both Apple Podcasts and Spotify, and dig into some listener questions

Links from today's episode


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

Buzzsprout's Dynamic Content tool now allows you to save multiple clips in your Dynamic Content Library and track how many downloads each clip receives. Learn more on our New Features page.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode, we discuss Apple Podcasts crossing 2 Million shows, the rumor mill on upcoming changes to both Apple Podcasts and Spotify, and dig into some listener questions

Links from today's episode


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

Buzzsprout's Dynamic Content tool now allows you to save multiple clips in your Dynamic Content Library and track how many downloads each clip receives. Learn more on our New Features page.

Kevin:

Think about it like the you guys have what's the Disney TV service called Disney plus Disney plus? You

Travis:

know, we both have children under the age of six, right? Yeah, well,

Kevin:

I, I have it as my kids are Marvel fans, but I paid whatever it is. I'm agitated because just a couple weeks ago, some movie came out on Disney plus, that was like Disney plus exclusive. But then I had to pay an extra $20 to watch it.

Alban:

What did you pay for it?

Kevin:

I'm probably

Alban:

I love it here. Like, your point is, it was annoying, but I did it.

Kevin:

A small price to pay for quiet kids.

Travis:

So a few days ago, Apple podcasts had a really big milestone. They now have 2 million podcasts in their directory, which is crazy, because it was just last year we were talking about how awesome it is that they hit 1 million podcasts.

Alban:

I remember the olden days where we hit 100,000 podcasts. I think that was like maybe 2014. Everyone was like, oh, man, it's already super saturated. And now we're at 2 million. It's incredible.

Travis:

Yes, it's accelerating rather quickly. And so it is a big deal. It is a big deal that podcasting has continued to grow at this accelerating rate. And, yeah, it's just it's very exciting, very exciting news. Now, that doesn't mean that there are 2 million podcasts putting out an episode every single week. That just means there's 2 million podcasts listed in Apple podcasts. Albin, you want to talk about, kind of how to parse between those two things. I know that over at my podcast reviews, Daniel J. Lewis, goes a little bit deeper into the data that Apple provides

Alban:

2 million podcasts sounds like a lot. And we've we've cited these numbers in the past, when you break down the number of people that are actually actively publishing podcasts. And, or they have at least 10 episodes, the numbers dropped dramatically. Just looking at active somebody who's released a single episode in the last 90 days. That's only 740,000 podcasts. So we're looking at like almost a third of podcasts are active two thirds are publishing actively at all. And so it's pretty common that, you know, a big show jumps to the lead and kind of dominates its niche for a little while. And then maybe the hosts decide that it's not what they want to be doing long term and opens up a new avenue for somebody else to come in. So, you know, 2 million sounds like a lot, but the number of people that are actually active is closer to something like 740,000

Travis:

Yeah, and some of that, too, is there's a lot of free hosted podcasts that are still listed in Apple that, you know, even though they're not doing it anymore, they never get pulled, the show never gets pulled in. So even though it's like completely dead, the hosts have moved on, it's still active as a listing in a similar way that when you start a YouTube channel, and you upload three videos, and then you never do anything again, it's still on YouTube.

Alban:

Yeah, I mean, there's a lot of podcast hosts that will never delete your podcast no matter what. Or people who just decide to keep their podcast up. For some reason you and I haven't released a new episode of how to start a podcast, you know, in quite a while, but we still have that podcast out there. So there's lots of podcasts that are still valuable information that maybe they're just they're just not active anymore. And it's totally okay. And there's still a lot of space for everybody, you know, 2 million sounds like a lot, but it's really not all that much when you think about it.

Travis:

Yeah, especially when you break down into like, your particular niche of what you want to talk about with your podcast. Right. So even podcasts about podcasting is a relatively small group of podcasts within that 2 million. And so you know, when we're trying to create Buzzcast episodes, and we're trying to get the word out there and equipped, independent podcasters, we're not competing with cereal, we're not competing with the daily from the New York Times, we're just trying to help this particular group of people make progress. And so we're not, we're not actively competing, it's all those other shows. It's a much smaller group of shows that we're trading audiences with, and all serving the same kind of person. So when it comes to your niche, if you are trying to grow your show, don't think of like, comparing yourself to like, the top 200 list, you're just comparing yourself to other people that are doing similar content.

Alban:

Yeah. And you don't have to be the expert in the world to be vetted for your information to be valuable. You know, you need to be the expert that some people trust. And so that may be the you've got the personality they enjoy. You're just your angle on things is a little bit different. Or you're just happened to be the first podcast that they found, and they liked and so they didn't go on to other ones, like the fact that there's a dozen or two dozen podcasts about podcasting that there's still space for more if that if that's what you want to start Because plenty of people, I'm sure listen to this podcast and go, yeah, it's not my thing. And they find someone with a different angle on the same industry that they would find much more valuable. So never feel like somebody else having similar podcast, even in the same niche, you know, precludes you from being able to launch the podcast that you want to make.

Travis:

Yep. So big news that Apple has crossed the 2 million podcasts threshold. And with that there is an updated version of it coming out in the near future. And Kevin, I know that you have been working on a project specifically to look at, you know, making sure that we're tagging our podcast correctly to be used by the directories and the different apps, so that all the features get mapped correctly. And we're using all the RSS tags correctly, and all that kind of stuff. Give us a little update on how that projects been going. With regards to Apple podcasts.

Kevin:

Sure. Yeah, that's exactly right. Part of what we do on a pretty regular basis is try to keep up to date on what's going on with all the latest changes, and podcast apps. So whether it be a third party app, like pocket casts or overcast, or a more mainstream app, like Apple podcasts, Google podcasts or Spotify, they get updated on a pretty regular basis. And we have to keep up to date to make sure that their changes that we're accounting for their changes correctly in everyone's RSS feed. And so I'm working on a project, this work cycle that's doing exactly that. I'm loading up all the way to software and multiple different devices. And I'm looking at how they're interpreting each tag and how they're displaying everything. And part of that, we know that there's a new version of Apple podcasts coming out, we talked about the change the nomenclature change from subscribe to follow in our last episode. Other people have been reporting on this stuff, James Kirtland posted about this last week and a half or so ago, talking about some of these changes. Not only are they experimenting with how the app looks, and maybe some of the tags that they're reading or not reading any longer, but there seems to be a link to your iCloud information now inside Apple podcasts, which is was totally strange. Why in the world would they be dropping a link to my iCloud information inside of a podcast app. Now the only other apps that I'm aware of that do this are apps that allow you to purchase things like the old iTunes app, the movie app, the TV app, the fitness app, those have links to your iCloud because you can make purchases App Store, App Store, right. And it seems to be the same dialog box that you get in those other apps. And so it appears at least, you know, possibly, when none of this is for sure yet, it's definitely in the rumor mill. But it appears as though Apple podcast is gearing up or preparing the app to be able to accept payments.

Alban:

I mean, we talked about this two weeks ago, because this rumor has been out there for a while podcast plus Apple might launch something and maybe their next subscription service. They've launched some companion apps for for all mankind. I don't know if you guys have watched that show. But they did make a companion podcast for it. And I think since January, there's been rumors that they want to work with a bunch of podcast production companies to actually get some podcasts on some sort of exclusive Apple plan. I mean, I don't know about you guys, but I'm personally a huge fan, it may actually not be the best thing for Buzzsprout to have, you know, Apple deciding that they want to do all these cool payment processor things. But it would be really good for the podcasting community to have more and more ways for people to monetize their podcasts. Maybe they would just be exclusive to Apple in the beginning. But my hope would be that they'd open the avenues for people to have private podcasts in Apple, where you could actually accept payment there. That'd be pretty awesome.

Kevin:

Yeah. Have you guys ever used the apple news app?

Alban:

No.

Kevin:

In the apple news app for a while there's been an audio briefing. And every once in a while, they'll bring in like an exclusive like, it looks like it's all Apple produced content. They'll bring an Audio Stories. So you'll just be scrolling the news app. And then there'll be a section for audio briefing or, you know, listen to this story. And looks like they've been experimenting with doing Audio Stories within news. And I'm wondering if this could be a possible extension of that or part of the apple news plus subscription. Maybe they're going to bring it into a podcast form. or there might be some sort of podcast extension on to one of their existing subscription plans that they already have.

Travis:

I think all of those are certainly legitimate ways that Apple could go, I could certainly see a case being made for paywalled content similar to what luminary attempted to pull off when they launched. That was like, what, two years ago, you know, to to, certainly some strong opinions within the industry. I bet that I could also see a version of it where, like what you would do with Patreon if you have a private RSS feed set up through there. With behind the scenes content or bonus episodes, that instead of having to do the workaround of, okay, manually copy this RSS feed into your podcast app, and then it should pop up correctly, and you could subscribe and you'll get the updates as they come out. And there's a lot of gymnastics that goes on behind the scenes to try and get that to work natively within some of these podcasts listening apps. And so if Apple can somehow streamline that, to make it easier for listeners to support creators financially, I think that would be phenomenal. My guess is that they're just gonna go with the exclusive content route they're gonna go with, there's free Apple podcast content. And then if you want some of this really awesome stuff that we're producing, you can also pay for it or you can bundle it together with was it Apple one, or whatever they're all encompassing. subscription plan is, maybe they just throw it in on top of that to try and make that a bigger draw to sell more iPhones.

Alban:

Yeah, what if we draw an analogy to the way that Apple does games on the iPhone, that if you are a developer, you can work with Apple and have your your game be part of their arcade, Apple arcade. And so I you get some sort of compensation for I don't know exactly how that works. But everybody who has Apple arcade gets access. And that's kind of the exclusive route. So you could see Apple producing a bunch of podcasts with some really big production companies, making them exclusive to the Apple Plus, it would be similar to what we have had with luminary. But there also could be the way that Apple does the App Store, which is just they let any developer who wants put their app there, they do, you know, the human review, like they already are doing for podcast now. And then you can sell your app through the app store, then Apple takes 30% cut of that. So you could have a, you know, a way that you put your show out there and said, hey, it's $5 a month to get access to my podcast, and Apple goes, No problem, we'll put it in front of everybody. And if somebody subscribes, you know, out of that $5 a month, you get 350. And we get 150, you could see something like that, I would be really excited about something like that. Because it would allow for podcasters to experiment with, with all these different ways of making money, it's a little bit more difficult if you're on a Patreon, or a super cast, or all these other things that are enabling people that private podcasts. But it's still a little bit more difficult to get discovered somewhere like Apple podcasts because you can't be in those directories anymore.

Kevin:

I think in order for that to work, I would hope that Apple would go the same direction that they did with like Apple Music. I mean, you have the, you know, the platform exclusivity problem. So right now, Apple podcasts only exists on iOS devices. And so there's a huge chunk of the world, how many is it 70 80% of the world that runs Android devices,

Alban:

including Kevin now actually, Kevin's got a backup. He's got his Android testing device.

Kevin:

Yes, I've got lots of devices, though. I've got like three iOS devices, one Android device now. And it's a great device. And but that's the thing is is like what they did with Apple Music and Apple TV, when they wanted to grow beyond their own walled garden, they started releasing those apps in Android devices and allowing Apple TV to run on LG TVs and Samsung TVs. That would be a really great move, because one of the problems and I think we're gonna talk about this a little bit later, is like market share, what devices are people using to listen to podcasts, Apple's had the lead for quite some time, but Spotify has been catching up rapidly. And part of the struggle that Apple will not be able to overcome until they move to other devices is the fact that Spotify is available everywhere, on everything. I just, you know, it's available on my TV. It's available on my Alexa, it's available on my home pod. It's on my iOS device, and my Android device. Apple podcast is only available on Apple stuff, iOS devices, and Apple homepods. And so if they go the same direction that they did with Apple TV and Apple Music, then I could see them rolling out a payment solution for creators. That would make sense. Unless they make that jump though, I don't see why people would want to create content, like premium content. And then the only audience that would be available to purchase it would have to be using an iOS device. That'd be pretty eliminating

Travis:

an iOS device with Apple podcasts that couldn't be using a third party app, which is what we all use, correct. None of us necessarily listen on Apple podcasts correct.

Alban:

Now that this is all totally speculative, because Apple actually is for years not shown a ton of interest in trying to own the podcasting space. They've kind of been this like benevolent. You know, they've taken care of the podcasting space and helped it quite a bit, especially by Apple podcast, the API so that anybody can get those 2 million podcasts and add them to their own app. They've done that forever. Even if you were On Android, so, but they've never used that in, turn it into something to say, Hey, now you have to use Apple podcasts when they could have done that for a long time. So it's all totally speculative. But if you release to the app store, you know, you put an out app out, you don't get access to anybody on Android, you only get access to the very small amount of people who actually do use iPhones. But a lot of developers will release on Apple first, and maybe then go to Android later,

Kevin:

Apple can get away with it away with the idea of launching apps and creating apps exclusively for their devices, because they're their devices, and they are apple. But at this point, any third party developer who releases on iOS first like clubhouse, for example, they take a lot of grief for that. Like there's an expectation now in the world that if you release software, it should be compatible with iOS and Android, the two dominant mobile platforms. And if not, then that's I mean, there's nothing necessarily wrong with it. It's just not real nice. It's not cool. Not only are you limiting your market share, but you're just legitimately excluding some people, especially because Apple has positioned themselves at the top of the market. And so what you're saying you're not affluent enough to be able to use my software, which is, it's just a bad book.

Alban:

From the apple perspective, them actually having this ability where you can only listen to certain podcasts in Apple podcasts, helps them combat what Spotify is doing. Right now. It's this, you know, this war that they're, they're getting their head to head with Spotify, where Spotify, it's like, Hey, we're everywhere. And we get all the podcasts on the open web. And Apple podcast has for a long time facilitated that helping everyone get access to all podcasts. And when luminary started doing exclusive stuff, like the whole, the whole industry kind of was like, we don't like that. But then when Spotify started landing a lot of big podcasts and pulling them into the platform and saying it's only available on Spotify, everyone was kind of okay with it way more than we were with luminary for some reason. And so now Apple's seeing their market share diminish over time, mainly because they have never said, Hey, we're closing off the API, we're actually gonna have our own exclusives. And now there's a lot of reasons for you to stay with us. And so whilst if Spotify is going to be doing the exclusive game, it gets, I imagine pretty hard for Apple to not be tempted to do that. And to say, Fine, we're we're going to get some Joe Rogan level people over here exclusive, so that it minimum, everybody is kind of carrying around two apps for podcasts, rather than allowing Spotify to come in, you know, 10 years after Apple did all this work, and kind of scoop up the whole industry.

Travis:

They sent me an email. Tell us Alban, are you signing an exclusive with Apple podcasts, and all this stuff?

Alban:

I, it just seems to be like, I don't know if they'll ever do it. Because they've had opportunities to do this stuff for a long time. They haven't. But it just makes too much sense to me that they could throw a couple of these things out there. Not put a ton of effort behind it. And it could really slow Spotify eyes, kind of solidifying their position as the number one app because this is a good segue maybe to our next section. Spotify looks like it's going to be the number one app at least across all the Buzzsprout platform relatively soon. Is that a good segue for that exact point, Travis?

Travis:

Alvin, you read the outline so wonderfully? That is exactly what the next thing we're gonna talk about. Yeah. So we've noticed this gap closing for quite a while, especially since November, where we made a distinction and how we counted Apple podcast plays, we were getting a lot of play data, like legitimate downloads from podcast apps and players that was like 95%, the same as what we get from Apple podcasts. And so for the longest time, we had said, well, that's probably Apple podcasts. But then we said, You know what, Apple podcast always looks exactly like this. So we really need to identify this is a separate group of apps that are almost Apple podcasts. And since then, the gap has really shrunk. And then over the last five months or so, Spotify is really close the gap growing at a rate of more than three times what Apple is at least on a percentage basis.

Alban:

And I think that's been the entire reason why they've done these exclusive deals. If you really like Joe, Joe Biden, if you really like Joe Biden, hosted on

Travis:

Buzzsprout hosted,

Alban:

if you really like Joe Rogan, you need to be on Spotify. And so if you're on Apple podcasts, and you're like, well, I love the UI, I've always used the spell, just switch over to Spotify, and I'll re subscribe to my shows there. There's no negative. There's no loss for me except now I can Access to the new Joe Rogan episodes. And that's the whole reason why they've signed exclusive like that, to get people to move over. And those aren't just, hey, we gained a little bit of market share, but you actually took it from your biggest competitor. And I think over time, we're seeing more and more people moving to Spotify. Spotify is pushing really, really hard. In a lot of Central and South America. A lot of Spanish speaking country, Spotify is dominant. And so I think that, you know, I don't know, it just seems so it seems like so obvious to me, the Apple will try to slow this progress. Whether or not it's even big enough to be interesting to them. It remains to be seen.

Kevin:

So Travis made, he did some math and made a prediction. When do you think Spotify is going to overtake Apple podcasts as the number one listening app across the Buzzsprout? platform?

Travis:

April. So within the next month,

Kevin:

so you think at the end of April, once we publish our April numbers, Spotify will overtake apple?

Travis:

Yeah, if the trends continue the way they have the last five months, then I mean, it's been pretty consistent. month over month,

Alban:

it's gonna be close. I think when we publish the march numbers in a week, you know, we've seen, at least across all Buzzsprout, Spotify gains a couple percent on average. And, you know, we're, it's gonna be close. I think you're right. I think that when we publish April numbers, like very beginning of May, it'll probably be number one.

Travis:

Now, one thing that would be interesting to see, and this isn't data we have available right now for the episode. But it would be interesting to see is the correlation between the growth of Spotify plays on Buzzsprout hosted podcasts, with the growth of Spotify as a whole with their user numbers, to see how much of that acceleration is from people shifting from other apps to listen to exclusive content, versus people simply signing up for Spotify, and podcast being more prevalent presence on their homepage, I think I read somewhere that they're going to redo their homepage soon on their app to feature podcast more prominently. And so I wonder how much of it too, is simply them introducing podcast to a whole new group of people. And unless you know that Apple podcasts exist, you're not seeking it out to go and listen to a podcast.

Kevin:

Now one of the things they just Spotify just did an event. And one of the things they talked about in their event is that they do want to provide a way for people to support their podcasters through the Spotify app. They didn't give any details about how they plan to do that. But one of the questions I had about that was like how willing do we think the general public is going to be to do that, if I'm listening in an app, like overcast or pocket casts an app that I get for free, and I see an opportunity to donate to support a podcaster, I might be inclined to give them $1 or two, or you know, like the the podcast namespace in the podcast index is pushing this this value model where you can your using cryptocurrency, to be able to hook up one of your wallets and be able to stream money to your podcasters. That's still a little ways off in terms of something like that becoming mainstream. But my point is, is that if I'm using a free app, I'm already not not paying for it, I have an opportunity to support a creator, I might be inclined to do that. I'm curious, though, what happens like psychologically in the mind of somebody who says, I'm already paying $15 a month you Spotify? Now you want me to donate to the creator? Like, why wouldn't you just take some of the $15 I'm giving to you and give it to the creator? Like that's what you do with music artists? Why wouldn't that apply to podcasters as well. But it sounds like that's not what they're doing. It sounds like they want to give the ability for you to donate above and beyond. And I'm just I'm curious to see, how does that play out?

Alban:

I mean, at two different points there. I mean, one, if they make it so that it's more like a Patreon thing, where you support a creator. And so you get access to bonus content, that kind of does all of a Spotify wants to happen, creators are compensated for their podcast content, Spotify doesn't have to actually give them any of the money, Spotify might even be able to keep a little bit of that cut. And it only is available inside of Spotify app. So you actually have to move over if you want to get the bonus content. So there's like four ways there that it helps Spotify if they say it's for bonus above and beyond. But then look at what Twitter is about to launch with super followers. Look at what's happening on Twitch, where you can subscribe to channels, so you could watch anyway, but you get like more access to the streamer.

Kevin:

Right? But these are the platforms that you're comparing here are not pay platforms. I can get on Twitch for free. already. I can get on Twitter for free already. And then there's ways for me to buy premium content that the majority of the money that I pay goes directly to the Creator who I'm interested in supporting. Couldn't

Alban:

that cut both ways though? Like, yes, I'm not paying for Twitch and now it doesn't feel weird that I'm paying a couple dollars. to support my Creator, because I, you know, if I like some streamer, I want to give them a few dollars. But Spotify already has my credit card for my music subscription. And so it's just like, hey, do you want to click this button and add $3 a month so that you can get access to the exclusive episodes of this podcast you like, you know, that's pretty compelling that you could just click a button, and all of a sudden, you know, it's just added on to my normal monthly Spotify bill.

Kevin:

I think about it like the you guys have, what's the Disney TV service called

Travis:

Disney plus,

Kevin:

Disney plus? You

Travis:

know, we both have children under the age of six, right? Yeah, well,

Kevin:

I have. I have, as my kids are Marvel fans, but I paid whatever it is, I'm agitated, because just a couple weeks ago, some movie came out on Disney plus, that was like Disney plus exclusive. But then I had to pay an extra $20 to watch it.

Alban:

What did you pay for it?

Kevin:

I'm probably

Alban:

I love here, like, your point is, it was annoying, but I did it.

Kevin:

A small price to pay for quiet kids?

Alban:

Is it more likely you would pay for it through Disney plus, or that you'd be like, Oh, I hertz Twitch, which I don't use, I could go over to twitch and I could sign up and pay money to do this whole process to get that movie, I think that it's just being there you can go. It's annoying, but click

Kevin:

that it's it I don't know, it just feels weird that not only have you know the powers that be, they've convinced us all to subscribe to monthly services now. But now it's also starting to become the norm to pay additional fees on top of your monthly subscription. And if that's what's gonna happen in podcasting, like on the Spotify side, I just feel like, golly, you know, we just want to be able to get a few dollars to creators to support them in what they're doing. And I don't like all these middlemen, who just seem to be taking more and more of the cut, I want to be able to get money directly from my pocket to the pocket of the Creator, without having a middleman in the middle, taking not only maybe a monthly recurring subscription fee, but then asking me to give on top of that, and then they're probably gonna take a cut of that

Alban:

all that to say, something might be coming. It's kind of ranting about how much we dislike the possible ways that it could work.

Travis:

So we got some cool questions from the Buzzsprout podcast community on Facebook, that people asked if we would talk about them here on the show. And so we will do that. And if we get to your question, then we'll definitely get you a shout out as well. So the first question comes from Crystal, which is essentially how do you keep from pod fading? How do you how do you stay motivated, stay engaged, you know, keep that that zeal and that vigor and that passion that you start with and sustain it? Through that level of you know, getting past the honeymoon period. Now you're in the grind. How do you how do you stay motivated? How do you keep podcasting?

Alban:

I mean, Travis, you and I, we just did a interview with Kate Casey, who does reality life with Kate Casey. She's done like 700 interviews, over almost 350 podcast episodes. And she does that podcast, she has big family. She has like so many. She wrote a book, she's doing a TV show. And I was like, how do you do all this stuff? And her answer was, if you really love it, and it actually is what gives you life and what you enjoy, it's easy to keep doing it. And if it gets to be a grind, it's probably because it's not actually the thing that you love doing. And I think a lot of times when podcasts pod fade, it may be because you want maybe some of the results of this podcast, but you probably weren't super into making the podcast along the way. And I think that's okay, if you know, so maybe I'm saying some podcasts, it's okay to pod fate. Some you need to look at it and go, Okay, I like this part of it. I don't like that part. Maybe I outsource part of it. Or maybe I transitioned the podcast from it used to be about dogs. And maybe it's more just about hobbies or something I don't know, like you kind of change what it's about shift it so that you're talking more about what you're into, and not what you feel like you should be podcasting about. I mean, those are kind of some of my thoughts. If you're worried that you're about to fade, it's probably something about you, you're telling yourself, I'm not super into this, how do I pivot it into something that I'm actually really excited about?

Travis:

Yeah, I mean, that's one of the the silver linings of when you first launch a podcast is that you don't have a massive audience yet, right? And so you can make like a super hard pivot. And say before, I'm talking about dogs, now I'm talking about drones. And you know, it's like accidental tech podcast, right? They started out as what like a car, like an antique car podcast. And then they're like, well, we just start talking about text. And now we're an apple review podcast. Is that true?

Kevin:

Yeah, that's why they call it accidental tech podcast. They were talking about cars for 30 minutes, and then they would always since they're all tech guys, they always spiral into technical And the early feedback they got from their listeners was like, the technology stuff is actually a lot more interesting because we know you love cars, but you don't know enough about them to really be doing the show. And they're like, yeah, we should probably do a tech podcast and talk about cars at the end. Because we know a lot less about that.

Alban:

Wow, that's so interesting. I mean, okay, that totally validates what we're saying. Yeah.

Travis:

So you can make a hard pivot. And still, you know, years down the road have like a top rated podcast in your your new niche. Like, that's totally possible. I think I think another reason that people pod fade is they, you know, without knowing it, bite off more than they could chew at the beginning, whether it's publishing more frequently than they really have the bandwidth to do, or the level of production quality they're trying to achieve, especially early on, as they're just learning how to edit podcast for the first time is pretty ambitious. And so you, you put together a couple episodes, and you think, Wow, is this what it's gonna be like every single week to keep this up, and you have full permission if you need it. This this episode I'm giving to you right now you have full permission to scale back the ambition for your podcast, if it's requiring too much of you, if you're not able to stay consistent with the schedule you committed to, it is totally fine. You can drop back to releasing episodes every other week, and, you know, be slouches like us. Like you don't have to publish a new episode. Every week.

Alban:

There's two reasons I guess why you pod fate. One is that you're not really loving it anymore. And in that way pivot and see how if something else works, but what Travis is saying is like, if you're just running into a wall, because it's a lot of work, relieve the pressure on yourself a little bit, say, I'm going to go to every two weeks. One thing I would really push for though, is try to hit like 20 episode mark, because one thing that can happen early on is your you have to figure out all the tech, you're trying to figure out editing, you're trying to figure out all this stuff, and that is so draining. And that can be really hard. Once you hit 20 episodes, that's all gotten so much easier. And you found your rhythm. And you've actually built up at least a small core audience of fans. You know, it could be 20 good episodes before you really start getting people actually responding and leaving your reviews and stuff. So I really encourage people like try to just hit that 20 episode mark, and things will have changed so much by then,

Kevin:

yeah, I would say this, as well find ways to connect with your audience, whether you only are getting you know, 10 or 15 downloads per episode, or your you know, your little bit higher, you're up at the 50 to 100. If you make a compelling statement somewhere in your podcast somewhere in your show notes, if you give people away to sign up for an email newsletter, some ways for them to reach out to you to connect with you to follow you on social media sites, let them know the social media sites that you're on, try to find out the social media sites they're on try to make connections with the people who are listening to your content that can go a long way of making you feel like the message that you're putting out to the world is reaching someone somewhere and and hopefully having the impact that you hope it does. So sometimes it feels as you're you're podcasting for a little while it feels like you're just sending these messages out into the universe, but they're not landing anywhere. They're not making an impact or not helping anybody. And the reality is, is that you can only have 10 listeners of your show. And you could be making an impact in those 10 people. But you don't know that like because you don't have a feedback loop. So try to figure out a way that you can get in contact with some of the people who are listening to your show. Reviews is one way social media is another way email newsletters another way. Just telling them, hey, here's my email address for the show. In my podcast, if you're listening, if you'd liked anything, if you have any questions, I would love it if you drop me an email, and be honest with him, say London and here's the thing. I've done 10 episodes, I'm feeling a little discouraged. Like if this is helping anybody if no one's hearing it, like I would love to get some feedback. That's totally fine. Your audience would love that. And I would encourage you to do it. There was this old episode, I never watched Big Bang Theory very often. But there was somehow somebody shared it with me. There's an episode where Sheldon had a podcast, it was called like fun with flags or something like that. And he was in this exact stage, he was feeling very discouraged that no one was listening to fun with flags, fun with flags, whatever the name of the show was. And he was going to cancel it. So he put out an episode saying this is the last episode. And this will be the end of the podcast. And then he got one email back. And then he like he was so moved by that one email, he had to keep doing one with flags. And so even if there's one person like that can be the difference between you knowing like what you're doing is making an impact on somebody who can keep you going. So I saw a question on the Facebook group as well. And I have no idea how to answer this. I'm hoping you guys do so Adrian asked, How do you market a non interview fiction podcast? either one of you guys know how to do that?

Travis:

When I think about answering this question. It really comes down to the fundamentals of marketing, any kind of creative work, right? You're trying to put what you do in front of the right people online and give them a compelling reason to to take some sort of action. Alright, that's that's just how marketing works. And so, so you just got to think, okay, who are the people that really love this show who really love my podcast, and maybe you do what Kevin was just talking about, you have them reach out to you via email, you connect with them, you start your own Facebook group or membership platform, so you can interact with your listeners, and get a sense of the type of person that's really interested in what you discuss. And then what you do is you think, Okay, well, where else? Does this type of person hang out on the internet? Like, what are their other interests? What are overlapping interests. And so you're not necessarily looking for people that listen to other podcasts just like yours. But you're looking for other hubs online, where your ideal listener is kind of already congregating. And then make yourself known there. Now, as far as you know, kind of modifying some of the best practices for marketing yourself on as a podcaster. Certainly, if you have an interview show, one great way is you can bring on guests to your podcast and leverage their audience to grow yours. But for a non interview podcast, you can still go on other shows, you can still go on other podcasts that have related topics, where maybe you're not sharing the story from your podcast episode. But maybe you're sharing your technique, maybe you're sharing your experience, maybe you're sharing something else from your life, and then pitching your podcast as a part of being a contributor on somebody else's show. So you're just trying to think about how to modify the strategies that are currently working for interview based podcasts to find the target audience of people, you know, like your show, and then making yourself known there and giving them a compelling reason to come and check your show out as well.

Alban:

Alright, so there's a question in the group from I think this is a page or a podcast, the books in the lie? How do you grow and establish podcast compared to a new podcast? And so we just talked a little bit about, you know, fiction podcast, but when you hit this intermediate level, let's call it somewhere between like 101,000 listeners, what are the best techniques to grow your podcast? So I've got a lot of answers for this, but I'll open it up to both of you first, what do you think how should they grow their podcast? Alright, so with no answers, I

Kevin:

was the one where I said, I don't really know but I think you're pointing them to your Jordan Harbinger interview would be a great place to start.

Alban:

Excellent idea, Kevin. I love that. Alright, so there's a great interview. What was the name of the interview that you thought was awesome, Kevin, that would give them some ideas.

Kevin:

The Jordan Harbinger interview Buzzsprout conversationally interviewed

Alban:

him. Alban,

Kevin:

head of marketing for Buzzsprout. And one of my favorite interviewers,

Travis:

and hands down.

Alban:

Not one of his favorite co hosts right now. Yeah, I would point people to that interviewed Jordan has done a really incredible job growing the Jordan Harbinger show. And so he said, like 8 million downloads a month right now. And he just talks a lot about the actual tactics that he used to grow show to the ones that he's using our he's interviewed, he's going on other podcasts and buying ads for his show. So you could definitely see that being a growth channel for any podcaster. It's just, it's, it's expensive. And time, it costs a lot of time for you to go reach out, find a podcast that's interested, and then getting them to run ads for your podcast, that does take quite a while. But remember, if it was easy to do that everyone would be doing it and the cost in money would be much more expensive. So while we would kind of wish there was just a Google ads, turn it on and get a bunch of new listeners, if it was that easy, everyone would be doing it and it'd be really expensive. So that's why it's undervalued right now. Other things to do is like Travis said, anywhere you can plug into a community that's interested in the same thing. So that could be creating your own community. For a long time. we debated this internally, Kevin and I were Kevin was like, we need to start our own Facebook group. And I was like, oh, there's a bunch of other good ones. Why don't we just like contribute to other ones more. And by starting our own group, we now have a space where these questions come from, and where people give us feedback on Buzzsprout. And we have a lot of people who understand the app and give us good feedback in everything we're doing with Buzzsprout. So by creating our community, some people join the community well before they ever listened to this podcast, or they sign up for Buzzsprout now, and we never really at least I did not expect that to be a growth channel for us. And now it has become one and so I think If your podcast is a intermediate podcast, find a way to build a community for your show, I think one really fun thing to do would be to get on clubhouse. And to do rooms after an episode comes out with your audience. You could do that in Twitter spaces or Instagram Live or something wherever is best for your audience, maybe start a Facebook group, maybe start a group in something like circle, anywhere that you can build more of a community feels better, because you want people to feel like they're part of the podcast, and then they have an incentive to tell other people about it. Hey, I'm part of this amazing group, for this awesome show. I love you should check it out, we have the best conversations, it's so much fun. And I really connect with the hosts, make people part of the process, and then they will tell more people about it. And if there are established communities already out there dropping in saying, you know, answering people's questions with really good answers, and then say I, I actually talked about this quite a bit more in this podcast episode and dropping a link. You know, people really appreciate it when you help them. And you show that the podcast is probably something that they would really enjoy.

Travis:

Yeah, I think those are all really great tips. Alvin, I mean, the only thing that I would add, to kind of give some more food for thought is just to remember that, you know, for all the strategies and tactics and tips and hacks for how to grow your podcast, it's still a word of mouth platform, podcasting is still driven by peer to peer recommendations. I mean, I don't know about you guys. But I would say 95% of the podcasts that are in my library, and overcast, are there because somebody told me I would like it. Not because I was just browsing through a list, or, you know, randomly pop it around and listen to 15 minute interviews with people I didn't know. It started with someone saying, Hey, you know, like, remember when we all hopped on the rabbit hole? Because I think was it you Albin or Tom that like jumped on that podcast. And then quickly, everyone on the team, listen to it. Like, that's how podcasts grow. It's empowering your listeners to share your podcast with people that they know would be interested in it. And so if you can give your listeners clear call to actions and encouragement to do that. And, you know, reinforce that by giving them shout outs, or however you do that, any way that you can make it easier for your listeners to share your podcast with their friends that will help you grow, whether that's having a clean domain, that redirects to a podcast website that you can listen to no matter what kind of app you're on. If it's making yourself available on social media, whatever that is reduce the friction of being able to share your podcasts with other people. And that will ultimately help with

Kevin:

any strategy that you use. And you know, you could use that dynamic content post roll feature is a non intrusive way to put a message out to your loyal listeners and just say something like, Hey, I hope you enjoyed today's episode, I hope you enjoyed all the episodes that I put out. And if you have one thing that would be a huge help to me, would be just to take five seconds right now and just think of somebody in your life that might enjoy what you just heard. And if even when you think of that person, if you could just share, you know, shoot him a text with Lincoln's podcast, it'd be a massive help trying to grow my audience. And the more people that listen allows me to keep doing what I love even more, and take the message further. So thanks so much. Thanks for listening. And you're out, you can drop that on the back of all of your episodes overnight, run it for 30 days, see if it has any impact. Man, I

Alban:

love that one, Kevin, because the ask for Apple podcast reviews, and all these other calls to action. While they're all good, they aren't going to really lead to you getting a lot of new listeners. But saying, hey, the only way podcasts really grow is through word of mouth. And so what I would truly appreciate is if you'd send it to one friend, everyone's going to kind of be like, man, I love this podcast. I've actually been listening to it for years, maybe I should just recommend it to one or two people. And yeah, I think that's a great way to grow.

Kevin:

Alright, last one, and then we got to go. I know we're coming up on an hour here. But we've said this before. And we'll just keep saying it because it works really well. And that is you need to get on other podcasts as much as possible. All the top podcasters are on other shows all the time. Like one of the most recent podcasts that I've just subscribed to is called that will never work. It's with Mark Randolph. He's the co founder of Netflix. And I heard about him by listening to him on Tim Ferriss. He was a guest on the Tim Ferriss show told the great story about how they ran the Netflix startup. And it was fascinating. And now he's doing his own podcast. And so of course, I went over there and subscribe to that and I'm enjoying that show as well. So that is another great way to grow your podcast is get as many opportunities as come your way or you can go out and seek them out, jump on other podcasts as much as possible.

Alban:

Alright, so the final question, this one stuck out to me. What's your favorite part of working at Buzzsprout from when Charles and I think that this is a good question for us now because we have a job. job offer a job posting out there for somebody to join the support team. And there might be another job posting coming in a couple of weeks. But what do you guys think I've got some answers on this. But what are your favorite parts of working at Buzzsprout?

Travis:

I mean, obviously working for Kevin, that's that's the that's the correct answer, right?

Kevin:

Yeah. Yep. I think that's pretty much there your favorite? Like, what's the number one answer, then? Yeah, you should probably go with that one. All right, cool. So

Travis:

now that my job security is intact, I would say that my favorite part of working at Buzzsprout is is simply, it's refreshing to work at a company that really does care about their customers that really does care about the people that use their platform. Because I've certainly worked at companies in the past, where that was not the case. And there's like this sharp disconnect between what you do and who benefits from it. And it's just refreshing to know that every single time we roll out a new feature, every time we make a video release a podcast episode like this, it's all coming from that singular focus of how do we empower and equip our podcasters to be successful. And so it's just really refreshing that like, the whole team is unified around that, that charge that mission. And, and I think it's, it's evident in all the things that we do, whether it's how we roll out new features, or the free content that we create, simply because we want you guys to be successful. It just makes me excited, when I wake up knowing that I get to make resources, they're going to be helpful for people that really align with our mission. So that's, that's probably my favorite part.

Alban:

I feel like I've gotten to shape a lot of my job. When I started at Buzzsprout, six and a half years ago, I was doing support, some marketing and some legal work all combined into one job role. And new, the marketing was my favorite part of all of it. And so as we grew, got to move more into the marketing side, and then build out a marketing team, and have gotten to decide, you know, kind of like decide. They may not decide, but like shaped my role in what I do day to day. And then a lot of like ability to shape what each individual day looks like. So today, I, you know, went and worked at a coffee shop in the morning, and then rode my skateboard over and ate lunch somewhere and skateboard at home and did this interview. And, like, I never got to do that, obviously, when I was practicing law or any other job that I did before this. And it's fun to be able to have a job where you can work remotely part of the time, maybe when COVID is kind of toned down, we may be able to go back into the office when we want to. But it's just great to have the flexibility to do different things so that you can get your best work done, wherever that would be. So maybe at a coffee shop for you. But often for me, it's working late at night, totally alone. And then I personally really like we haven't had at least on Buzzsprout. Since I started six and a half years ago, nobody has left the team. So we haven't had a single person quit. And we haven't fired anybody. One person was full time and then went part time. But like nobody's leaving the team. And so that is been really nice. Because you get to know people and you get to kind of be build these friendships. And it's really a lot easier when Travis and I and Kevin and I we all know each other's like quirks and like, how to work well with each other. traveled. We're working together for like three years, it's so much easier when you've worked for someone for three years that you can say, Hey, man, I don't really think this was your best work. And it doesn't come off as like an insult. Because you have we have three years of telling each other that was your that was great work. And so you can be much more honest. So I just appreciate, you know, getting to know everybody. And you don't feel like I'm only here for a year so that I can get land something else and jump ship as soon as possible.

Kevin:

Yeah, that's all I enjoy hearing that stuff. That's it's a great question. And thanks for giving us the time to talk about it a little bit and reflect on it. You know, for me, I think that my favorite thing absolutely is the team that we have working together on the product. Since those who are listening obviously don't know the team as well as we do. I'm going to give you my other one which is just right behind the team, which I love working with every day. And that's that we get to work in a space where we get to give people provide access to publishing tools for people to put whatever they want out into the world. That's it's a really fulfilling opportunity. And I feel really blessed and I try not to take it for granted. That we we get to build software that let people put messages out to the world like whether they they're teaching or they're inspiring or they're just sharing their life story. Some of it is entertainment and comedy or just, you know, building expertise and sharing that in different ways. It's, it's very, very fulfilling. And I'm very grateful that we have an opportunity to be able to do that for people, you know, and it's a business. So we charge for it, and we try to charge a reasonable fee and, and not charge any more than we have to. And when we get that right, then we get to make a good living. And people who want to utilize our platform feel like it's a fair value to put out the content that they want to put out. And we're serving an audience that loves doing this, like most people who are podcasting are doing it because they love it. It's like a passion project, you know, and there's a small percentage of people who there is a business interest behind it, or they hope for it to be able to be to provide some income for them. If not today, at some point, that's great, too. But the vast majority are just doing it because they love it. And so those are the customers who we get to interact with. So I would say number one, the people who I interact with on a daily basis, the team, that's my number one, but right behind it, is just working in this industry. And Buzzsprout has the absolute best customers in the world. Like we just went through this, and we got to see it and experience it firsthand when we went through a DDoS attack. I cannot believe how supportive and encouraging our customers our I don't know, I don't wanna get too emotional about it, because I can't get emotional about it. Because it's, it's amazing. It's like, we're not just, we're not just building software and putting it out to the world, we have a connection with the people who are using it. And we're hearing the stories on the backside of that, like how the podcasting has changed your life, how their podcasts are impacting people. And then when we have a hiccup on our side, and you know, our technology is failing, how they want to support us because our software supported them. So it's a really great fun place to work. I love our career, and I totally feel blessed to be able to participate in it.

Travis:

So if you're interested in joining the Buzzsprout team, I will leave a link in the show notes where you can go and check out the job opening that we have right now. And if you feel like it's a good fit, and you can certainly apply for it, we'd love to see that application. And thank you guys so much just for being an incredibly generous, encouraging audience. We love recording these every other week. And we love hearing from you guys. And so anytime you want to give us a shout out, hit us up in the Facebook group. We'd love to hear from you. But that's it for today's episode. We'll catch you in the next one.

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