Buzzcast

Is YouTube Podcasts Imminent?

December 03, 2021 Episode 65
Buzzcast
Is YouTube Podcasts Imminent?
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode, the crew discusses the Buzzsprout global stats for November, the rumor mill surrounding YouTube's potential push into podcasting, and what the new Infrastructure Bill passed by Congress means for value4value monetization.

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Travis:

So we have a new number one, Podcast Directory slash listening app. So we have a new number one app in the Buzzsprout global stats for November. It is now December. So the November stats are out.

Alban:

It's no maybe not new. It's just the King has come back. It's the Return of the King.

Travis:

It's been a while. I think Spotify first took over in like April. And then there might have been one month where they were basically tied. So it's been a hot minute. But yeah, Apple podcasts has definitely come back to the number one spot, at least for November. Yeah. So

Alban:

June, July, August, September, October, Spotify was showing up on our global stats as the number one podcast listening app. And Apple podcast is back on top. I mean, this always has been your there's a little bit of a caveat. We know there's some apple podcast plays that we couldn't identify as being from Apple. But even with that handicap, they are clear number one again. So welcome back Apple podcasts, to the number one spot of the Buzzsprout global stats. I know the entire team over there is probably thrilled to hear this big announcement

Kevin:

they've been waiting, working so hard

Travis:

pins and needles. Alban, are you referring to the unknown Apple apps?

Alban:

Yeah, there's a way that you can request files from Buzzsprout. From iPhones, that just kind of shows this generic thing says apple core media, and tons of podcasts apps use it, including Apple podcasts. And so we can't really tell we know a lot of those are probably Apple podcasts. We know that a lot of those definitely are. But we can't figure out which percent and so we say, hey, those are going into their own group, Apple podcasts, you are on your own. And they said don't worry about it. We're still number one.

Kevin:

Yeah, James, that partners did some good research on it. And he thinks it's about I think 5% is where he landed, roughly. So you could theoretically add 5% to our number. And that's probably more accurate of where Apple podcast is on the downloads. Also, if you scroll down list a little bit, you'll see iTunes, which are people that have old version of iTunes, still running probably on an older Mac that can't be upgraded to get the new Apple podcast app. So there's another million downloads there that you can throw in. So I think far and away, like by a healthy chunk, Apple is back in the lead and possibly never really lost the lead. But the point here is, is that Spotify is tight. I mean, for somebody who just really started pushing podcasts in the past two to three years through their app, man, they have made up a lot of ground quickly.

Alban:

If we're going to include iTunes, you know, the other one that's always stuck out to me Spotify Lite, did you know, have you ever noticed that? No. 1% of podcasts on Buzzsprout are listened to with something called Spotify Lite. It's right down there below Microsoft Xbox. So it's not like this massive player. But

Travis:

someone's doing a podcast when they play Madden, is that the

Alban:

that might be the case, nobody is if you're listening to this while playing Madden, you're probably not playing very well, but also let us know. But Spotify Lite is like a lighter client. So if you're a bet on, you know, a not as fast machine or you just have a not as great of a CPU and you don't want to run this big heavy web app, there's a lighter version called Spotify Lite. And it's down there. And so you can always slice and dice this data a little bit differently, because there is some interpretation involved. But um, yeah, it looks like Apple is clearly on top. Number one, again,

Travis:

Spotify lite might also just be the version of Spotify available in certain countries. You know that Facebook runs a different version of their app in, say, Southeast Asia. And so that might be it as well. Yeah. Speaking

Alban:

of Facebook, that was the other takeaway I had from the global stats. You mean meta? Well, it's still Facebook podcast, put out by the company meta. The Facebook podcasts are up 26% month over month. And so that's a pretty healthy jump. I mean, we've been reporting, there's more countries, they're able to submit shows, though, they're still not playable in as many kids can submit. So we've got a weird issue now where a lot of people can submit their show and then they go, yeah, it doesn't I don't see it show up anywhere. And we're like, oh, we can see it over here in the US, but not everywhere else. But anyway, up 26% That's healthy growth. So what does that put Facebook podcasts in league with?

Travis:

They are now crushing, absolutely dominating Chromecast streaming devices, by about 20,000 downloads per month.

Alban:

It's above audible. It's above Deezer. It's above player FM. And they're just up there. You know, they're catching up on Amazon Echo. So still ways to go to catch up with the likes of Google, Spotify and Apple. But you know, it's always good to see more and more companies getting involved in podcasting because that means more listeners and more Attention for everybody show who listens to this one.

Kevin:

Yeah. And if you think about how many podcasts are probably on Facebook right now, it's it's actually feels like a pretty good representation like that it's pretty good showing, we get lots of customer emails about people who are interested in putting their podcast on Facebook. So it's not there yet, I would say probably the majority of the people who are hosting on Buzzsprout are probably not there yet. And so for a relatively small percentage of overall podcasts that are on Facebook, for them to be ranking this high, this early, I think is pretty telling.

Alban:

And we've also seen Amazon music, making some strides. They've continued to grow. And maybe if we have time, at the end of this episode, we should talk a little bit about another of the big tech companies, YouTube, who, you know, seem to have a little bit of interest in this podcasting space as well. It's called a teaser, boys.

Travis:

Well, I think that's a very timely teaser. Because if you guys are all wrapped up on Google stats, we can just jump right into YouTube podcasts. That's item number two in our outline.

Alban:

That wasn't very good teaser.

Kevin:

That's a transition.

Travis:

Yeah, that's transition. So transitioning to YouTube podcasts, question mark. There's been a lot of chatter, a lot of talk around observations of people getting hired and different positions, and just seeing some different moves in the industry. And what's the word that I'm looking for not percolating, but speculating that something is coming down the pipeline? So Alban, why don't you go ahead and jump into this and kind of let us know what's real, what is most likely just a rumor, and then we'll kind of take it from there.

Alban:

Alright, so this all really kicked off when we were forwarded in a very intense email that was like, Oh, my gosh, YouTube podcasts are coming around the corner. And if you don't get ready and get your podcast on with our service, then you're going to totally miss this opportunity. And then it was very speculative. And they're kind of tying a few things together. And at the end of the email, it says something like, and we've had private conversations that we can't tell you about. And just a legal aside, like, if you have an NDA, with a company, you're not allowed to say like, I can't tell you, but Wink, wink, something definitely go down the pipe. You shouldn't say that. So it's just like these, it was the sales emails. But it kind of made sense for us to have a little bit of a discussion about YouTube podcasts, because YouTube is becoming much more important in the podcasting space. Edison Research just did some research. And they said, 18% of podcast listeners say they use YouTube most often, to listen to podcasts, like that's their go to. That's a pretty strong showing, especially for a quote unquote, podcast app that doesn't show up in our stats. And it's very easy for us as people who have listened to podcasts for, you know, some of us 15 years now, to think like YouTube's not really where people listen. Well, it's where a lot of people who say I listen to podcasts, listen to their show, one of

Travis:

the reasons that Edison Research is going to have a number, like 18% of people say they listen to podcasts on YouTube. And you're thinking, There's no way that's possible, like how would that even be competing with like a Spotify in the apples of the world? It's because they're pulling data from a different place, right? So the data that you get in your podcast host, or if you go into podcast connect on Apple, you're looking at specific download data, for your audio podcast on those distribution platforms. Whereas Edison, they're doing like, Hey, we're gonna interview a bunch of people and send them surveys and just ask them questions. Yeah, without kind of prompting them to say pick from these choices or whatever. And so just word of mouth, hey, yeah, I listen to podcast, this is how I do it. That's a different data set, which is why they're getting those results.

Alban:

Yeah. And, and other stuff, like you get through some, like, you know, disagreements or discussions around like, what technically is a podcast? Edison's not getting into that, they're saying, hey, in a group of whatever, 1000 people, do you listen to podcasts? And if you do, where do you do it? And they say, a lot of people who may not be where all of their listening is happening. So it's not like per download 18% It's just there's 18% to say, hey, my primary spots YouTube, maybe after that, they go to Spotify, or Apple or somewhere else. But there's a healthy amount of people now that I think I want to listen to a podcast and the place that they start that search is on YouTube. So with all those caveats in place, and Google's been doing stuff in podcasting for a while, the first thing that I can remember and Kevin correct me if I'm wrong, it's probably Feedburner which was a RSS feed distributor tool that Google built years and years ago, probably in the early 2000s. Yeah, that's all Right. And it made it really easy for people who wanted to build RSS feed, to build it or to have more control over it. So that's an offering they've had for years and years, and they still have it. And still a good amount of people use it for their podcast, but it's more of a legacy option now. Then they had Google Play Music, Google Play Music and the podcasting bit there have both been retired. Then they had Google podcasting, which launched and it was huge. But it was their thing where they started adding podcasts into search results. But that project seems to have slowed down, especially since the guy who founded it, or was the project manager for it left for Facebook. And recently, we've seen a few things we've seen some podcasters really take off on YouTube. So think Joe Rogan, h3 Just go search podcasts on YouTube. There's a lot on there. They're doing really well, but they also have podcasts themselves. And there's a lot of YouTubers now that have started to move into podcasting. So there's definitely a crossover and content. YouTube promoted somebody to kind of be the liaison between YouTube and podcasters. And then this thing that kind of sparked this, you know, frantic email that Travis was forwarded was, YouTube started their own podcast called The upload the rise of the Creator economy. And I think that YouTube having their own podcast and it being on YouTube, and being in RSS feeds, and out there on the web, is kind of what kicked off this conversation for everybody.

Travis:

Is it available on RSS feeds? Or is it just a YouTube exclusive?

Alban:

Yeah, it's, um, it's available everywhere. So okay. The show is called the upload. And it's actually hosted by Brittany Luce. She was the founder and co host of the nod, and then left gimlet and started another podcast called for colored nerds. And it's pretty good show I listened to some of it. It's about people who are creators on YouTube is hosted with simple cast. So it's kind of standard podcast. It's available in Apple, Spotify and Google man on YouTube. And the YouTube version is just like a static image with, you know, it says some stuff about the podcast, and then it plays audio over it,

Travis:

which we have found through rigorous testing to be the absolute best way to use YouTube, just static image, audio going in the background. So you don't even know if it's playing.

Alban:

Yeah, Travis is sarcasm, check comes through. But yeah, it's posted on I think the like the official YouTube channel, which has millions of subscribers. And most of those episodes are getting at most, like 35,000 downloads. So it's not doing exceptionally well, it's doing quite a bit worse than the normal videos they put on there. Which is why we say if you're going to put a podcast on YouTube, make sure there's a video component, all that to say, we don't see anything that YouTube is moving more in this direction yet. But it definitely would be interesting. And so it's kind of an interesting conversation, like with all the contacts, what could a YouTube podcast offering look like? And it seems it's starting to feel more and more like if Google wants to do more in podcasting. The right avenue for that might be YouTube, which they've kind of designated to be their media brand, rather than investing in more in Google podcast, which is really good for getting podcasts to Android phones and getting it into Google search results. But would it make sense to have like how they have YouTube music, have like YouTube podcasts, and have some sort of connection between YouTube videos and podcast versions of those videos. Right?

Kevin:

Well, let me start here, the first thing that I think has to change with the YouTube app. And I think this is true for both iOS and Android versions of the app is the app stops playing whatever you're playing when you put your phone to sleep, unless you are a YouTube premium YouTube premium subscriber. Right. And so I don't see how that works as a podcast player. For them to own like, if podcasts are going to be a more traditional definition of a podcast, which is an audio only or audio first experience. So let's take their podcasts the upload, as an example, static image, audio only. There's no reason for me to have my phone, the display of my phone on while I'm listening to that, whether it be in the car or out, you know, on a walk or something like that. So I want to put my phone to sleep want to put in my pocket. So I don't remember YouTube premium pricing is like $10 A month or $15 a month or something like that. Unless you're paying that price. You're not going to be able to have that experience when listening to a podcast on YouTube. A traditional podcast, not a video podcast. So I feel like that has to change, right? They have to move that feature from a premium offering to a free for everyone offering in order for it to these, this new type of content to start getting traction through their player.

Alban:

Yeah, we see a lot of podcasts that are getting more into, they have the video component. I mean, I know that we've heard this anecdotally about tons of YouTube podcasts have video, oh, I just listened to the audio part of it. But that's not really the best case scenario for anybody. You know, if you're YouTube, and you're streaming a multi hour h3 podcast episode, and now they're streaming all the video as well, well, they might as well only stream that much, much lighter audio file and save on bandwidth costs, but also why you know, your screens on it's killing the battery. It's much easier if you had a YouTube podcasting app that was like, Hey, this is just the audio version much more akin to YouTube music. What if you had that YouTube podcasting app, it was just like, hey, anything that labels itself as podcast, or maybe even other YouTube videos, if they want have an audio only version they can, and you could listen to it in a separate app, or like Kevin saying, Hey, we're gonna start allowing you to turn your screen off, especially for certain type of content, and just continue to listen, without paying for YouTube premium, which I just looked it up, it's $12 a month. So I guess they're doing a little bit of this Netflix pricing where they lock you in, and then they slowly creep up the price over the years.

Travis:

So there's a couple of things that I think would be interesting. If we take kind of the model for what YouTube currently does. I think about what could a podcast version of that be? I think, number one, it would be leveraging the current AdSense platform. Because the whole monetization thing we're trying to dig into, at the end towards the end of this episode, that's always something that podcasters are wanting to know about, how do I monetize my show, in a way that feels native to the content, like doesn't actually sabotage the growth of the show. But as also has the potential to actually mean something. We're not just talking about pennies, we're talking about actual meaningful monetization. And so YouTube has a system a standard, people know what to expect. And if you reach a certain threshold, it is meaningful, it is one way that you can monetize your show. And because they already have the ad purchasers built into that network, then that's the other half of it, like who is going to actually spend money to promote things. And so if they're blending those marketplaces together, and using podcasts as another extension of how you could spend money promoting your show on YouTube, that'd be interesting to me.

Kevin:

Yeah, well, it's a different type of ad, right. So it's an audio only ad. Right now, YouTube's biggest contributor to advertising comes through video ads, lots of different formats for those video ads. But they are something that you look at, they have a video component to it, they did start experimenting about a year ago, with audio only ads, this was primarily happening on their music service. So YouTube music is its own standalone app, and it has audio only ads that play in between songs when you're on a free account. And I think that in order for YouTube to do something in the podcasting space, they're going to have to offer a similar experience. Now whether they offer that in the standard YouTube app, or they create a new app for YouTube podcasts, or they just added into the YouTube Music app. I don't know that any of those, you know, make a big difference. It's really the experience that I'm talking about more than what specific app they fit it into. But you need to be able to listen to podcasts with the screen off on your display. And the ads that play in those podcasts or around podcasts, again, however they choose to do it need to be audio only or audio first experiences. And so when I say audio first meaning Yeah, they could pop up a visual on the screen. But it doesn't really matter if my screen is off or not. The ad has to stand on its own in the audio version. And so they this is not brand new stuff to them. This is stuff that they have experienced doing, because they're already doing stuff like that in music. Could they do in podcasts? I think absolutely. So now the next question becomes, well, are they going to host this stuff? Or are they going to stream it from other podcast hosts? Like, like traditional podcast providers have done like Apple podcasts and Spotify?

Travis:

I mean, it would definitely be within YouTube's mo to host the files. I guess the bigger question would be, are they going to then be the primary hosts that also distributes to other platforms? Are they going to re host files in the ways that other apps have done in the past, but getting the episodes from RSS feeds and podcasts hosts? So originally, Spotify was set up that way. They would repost the files in their own servers, serve it up and then after the fact report back to The podcast host, until they instituted the pastor where you're just subscribing directly to the feed. So I guess that that would really be the semantic of the question.

Alban:

Yeah. So far, YouTube always hosts the files that they serve up until they got into podcasting. That was the way Spotify did that as well. You know, they didn't have like, you weren't streaming music from Time Warner, or Sony Music directly through Spotify to your computer, right. But when they got into podcasting, that became a necessity, because you're not dealing with like five major music labels, or how many there are, you're instead dealing with 2 million podcasts that are on, you know, lord knows how many podcast hosts, distributed all over the web. And if you want to get into the podcasting game, YouTube could say, hey, we have YouTube podcasts. And all of a sudden, we've got all the back catalogue of Joe Rogan, they used to be here, and we've got, you know, the handful of YouTube primary podcasts or whatever they've got now, you know, the ones that are putting up video on YouTube, they'd be like, Hey, we've got those in audio form now. But that's like a percent of the podcasting industry. And so if they wanted to make it into a compelling podcasting app, I think they would have to provide some affordance for people to submit a feed that, hey, this is really audio only, I'm never going to create a full video version of this show, at least not in its present form. So if they started podcasting, I think at least initially, they'd have to, you know, make some sort of compatibility for the 2 million other shows that are out there. But long term, I think their goal would be similar to Spotify to say, Hey, we've already got this great infrastructure for hosting your content. And for serving it up in the video side. We also now do it on the audio side as well. And it becomes interesting, when you think about it makes more sense to go from an audio or excuse me from a video centric platform to an audio centric. Then the other way around, Spotify is trying to go from audio only. And they at least kind of hinted at and started a little bit of doing some sort of video content inside of the Spotify app, which I think is a little bit more difficult. Because right now, a lot of people only sociate, Spotify with audio. YouTube is already being used for music. And for audio content, even though the app isn't even really set up that way. We know people who are actually turning the screen off by paying for premium and playing audio only. So I could see, it'd be a little bit of a smoother transition going from these heavier video files to say, hey, you can now turn off the screen if you would like in this YouTube podcasting type app. And, yeah, I think that makes a little more sense to me, or at least be a little bit smoother of a transition for them.

Kevin:

The AdSense integration is interesting to me, because I think in order for them to pull that off really well, they would need to rehearse the files. The problem with re hosting and like one of the main reasons that Spotify moved away from it was, it starts to break your stats up. Like right now, when you hosted Buzzsprout, whether your podcast gets played in Apple, or Google or Spotify, or overcast Pocket Casts, or any other of you know, hundreds of apps, those stats get reported in your Buzzsprout dashboard. When you go look at your stats, they're there and capture plays from everywhere. If somebody re hosts, we don't get those same stats. And so when Spotify started, its place from Spotify would not be accounted for accurately in your Buzzsprout stats. And then they started doing this thing where they're saying, Okay, well, we'll report those numbers back to you. So then you can just update the stats with the numbers that we send you every night. Now some of our stats, the majority of them were updated once an hour, but Spotify stats were delayed for 24 hours. And at some point it started back logging until the Spotify stats were like backlogged for like three days or more. And it was it was just not a great system. It looked it felt to us, like Spotify finally threw in the towel and said, Okay, we're gonna roll out this thing called pass through where you can, where you're gonna host the files, we're gonna play them off of your server just like everybody else does. We tried to do our own thing, it didn't work out that great. Now, here's pass through and pretty much every podcast host in the world jumped on pass through and use it now. And so I wonder if if YouTube would look at that and say, We're not going to try to do that, because Spotify tried it and it didn't work out that great. Or if they're going to look at that and say, No, we have to do this in order to take advantage of our ad network and be able to inject ads at the right places. We have to re host and so we're going to have to solve those problems that Spotify gave up on trying to solve

Travis:

Well, I do know that if you want to use the Spotify slash anchor ad network, you have to host on Anchor, right. And so that's that's the way they fix that problem for their dynamic ads.

Kevin:

Right. And so YouTube in it, this is more than just YouTube getting into podcasts, right? I'm, again projecting on behalf of YouTube, but I'm thinking that they would want to get into it because they feel like there's money to be made here. And that they would be able to pass some of that value back to creators as well. And so in order to do that, maybe you are going to have to figure out a way to host those files, or they're going to have to re host and then you have to wonder if they start putting ads and those ads would probably only play when somebody is listening to your podcast through YouTube's podcasting solution, whatever that turns out to be, they wouldn't hear those same ads, if they listened like an apple podcast. I think that's the way the Spotify is going with the anchor Spotify integration, you're only going to get paid for those ads that play through Spotify, not that same episode that place somewhere else. And so I wonder if that opens up a bigger opportunity for all these, you know, silos are popping up, right? Spotify is saying, Hey, we're gonna help you monetize your podcast, but it's only for plays that happened through Spotify. If YouTube comes in and does the same thing, then you're, you know, you're only going to get paid for your podcasts that play through YouTube. If Amazon Amazon's getting more and more into the advertising world, they've launched an advertising network, but you're only going to any ads they insert, you're only going to get paid. When people listen to those through Amazon music, it seems to me like there now becomes an opportunity for third party hosts like Buzzsprout, to say, Listen, there's an opportunity here to be able to, you know, do more of a baked in style ad could still be dynamic that could come and go. But it's going to play and you're going to get paid on these regardless of where people listen, where they listen to Apple, Spotify, YouTube, Amazon, third party player doesn't matter downloads a download, and you'll get paid for that.

Travis:

So the monetization piece is certainly interesting. I think the other thing that interests me about YouTube, potentially getting more serious about the podcasting space, is that their search algorithm is so much more mature than any other podcast app that's out there. Right now. If you're looking for something Apple podcasts, it's only gonna look through the names of podcasts, the hosts. And that's that's essentially it. But with YouTube, they're much better at figuring out what's inside of a piece of content, and then surfacing that as a result to get you to watch or listen to it. And so if they did get serious about podcasting, whether tree hosting files or otherwise, we already know that Google is transcribing podcast episodes in the background for search engine results, when you submit your podcast through Google podcasts get listed there. So it's not a far cry to say, if YouTube had podcasts, they be transcribing the whole thing, to not only be able to do these automatic chapter markers, like you're doing the videos, but then also to know what's inside of it. So when someone searches something, they're gonna surface results, not just based on the title, which would still be important, but on the content of the episode itself, which is not something that currently exists in podcasting.

Alban:

Yeah, I mean, we don't have to conjecture what they're doing in podcasting, right. Now, we can just say, we know for a fact, every YouTube video gets closed captioning. And every YouTube video I believe, can be translated. And so imagine the opportunity if you could have every podcast transcribed by YouTube. And now we can all listen to him, but read through the transcripts, YouTube's guessing at chapter markers, which they do in the video. And so you could search for, hey, what was that one conversation that these two people had an interview about? Blah, blah, blah. You know, Google already is good at finding clips of videos, imagine be able to find clips of podcasts. Right now, there's just a lot of podcast content that is kind of hidden away. It's not because it's behind a password, it's because it's pretty hard to find the right clip. YouTube could really change that by the transcription. And then like Travis is saying, the best search algorithms in the world are Google's and they would be they're very good. And Google, they're very good in YouTube. And they would be great in some sort of YouTube podcasting experience.

Kevin:

Alright, I'm gonna, I'm gonna play the pessimist here. Because Youtube is really great at keeping you on with, you know, people in the distributed, say, on platform when you're on YouTube, and you're watching a video. And they solve this problem really well. But I would make the argument that it's a very different problem to solve for podcasting. So let me start by saying the problem just trying my best to describe the problem that YouTube has solved really well. The majority of content that lives on youtube today are videos. And this is a broad stroke. But let's just say it's videos that are 10 minutes or less, right? And usually, people have more than 10 minutes to kill when they're when they pop open something for entertainment. Right? And so the problem for YouTube was after this person gets done watching this 10 minute video, how do I show them another 10 minute video that's going to keep them engaged for 10 minutes? And then after that, how do I show them another one? Because let's say they've got 3045 minutes to kill how much time they have. We want to make sure that they spend it all here on YouTube. and they don't flip over to Angry Birds or some other thing on their phone. Right? They solved that problem really well. They figure out what type of videos you like. And I keep serving them up one after another. I think a podcast is a very different problem to solve is long form content. And I only have so much time in my week to fill with podcasts. So I've got routines, I've got driving routines, I've got walking routines, I got exercising routines, I've got time carved out in my life, where I can listen to audio only stuff. But this is not 10 minutes at a time, it's 45 minutes, it's an hour, it's an hour and a half at a time. And so I think the problem for finding, or getting a new podcast into someone's life, it's a much different challenge to overcome, then what's the next 10 minute video I can serve up to you while you have some free time. And again, YouTube content is created by creators who like create a 10 minute video like once a week or once every couple weeks, right? Podcasting content is an hour of content every week. And so if you want to get a new podcast in my life, oftentimes what you have to do is convince me that your new podcast episode is better than ones I've already got stacked in my life. So one's going out and one's coming in. And that's not at all how YouTube works. Like today. Today, I can watch, I'll watch, you know, 20 new content creators on YouTube that I've never seen before. And I'll still watch the five or six subscribe channels that I have, because they're just not it's just not that much content. But But podcast content is pretty massive in terms of the amount of time that it takes out of our lives. And so I think there's a higher bar that you have to meet to be able to get into someone's podcast list, right, if something I'm going to listen to on a regular basis. So I'm not saying that they can't solve it. I'm just saying it's not an apples to apples comparison of the problem that they've already solved. I think they're gonna have to figure out a new way to solve this new problem. If they want to be the answer to discoverability that everyone's been searching for in podcasting for the past, you know, 15 years,

Alban:

we've seen this many, many times over. For years, music suffers from this problem. And I feel like the first person to really get good at it first company was Pandora. And they said, Okay, based on a rigorous, defining of what characteristics Every song has, we now know you like these certain things. You like syncopated beats and hip hop music from the south. And thus, we recommend this other song. And they'd figure all that out. And it works because they can tell and like 25 ratings of songs like they've got an idea of you. But songs are like, three minutes. And when they started doing podcasting, I think I was very excited. You know, wouldn't it be cool if Pandora can recommend podcasts to me? But then I realized, why should the podcast I listened to for 45 minutes to multiple hours. And for me to go through and rate, the songs is going to take a lot longer for them to get kind of a feel of the shows that I was interested in. Especially when I don't listen to like, you know, you might have multiple artists that all have similar sounds, but don't listen to a lot of podcasts with the similar topics. And so I am kind of with Kevin on the discoverability problem is always going to be a bit more difficult for podcasting. It's not just the problem of, hey, there's limited data, or there's not a company that centralized IT to they can recommend stuff in a certain way. The other problem is, these are really long, in depth, engaged listeners. And they're engaged for 45 minutes plus for a podcast episode. So for you to get the exact idea of what they're going to like next will be difficult. And they're also because there's so long, much less opportunities for you to say, hey, why don't you check out this other podcast? YouTube can do this because I'm watching a video. And there's 10 on the side saying Why don't you watch this one instead? So the minute you're bored, you switch. But like we've talked about so many times you're driving your car, if your phone was flashing Hey, why don't you switch over to this podcast? That's like a hazard. That's a liability issue. So you can't be switching over to new podcasts constantly. So maybe I'm not going to argue that this is the ultimate discoverability solution for podcasts. But could it be really cool for YouTube to get into this game to help with monetization to help with more exposure for podcasts, to you know, do more of what they're already doing for me YouTube music and YouTube itself? Yeah, I think that would be great. But I think Kevin, you hit on a couple points that YouTube discovery and promotion is always gonna be a bit harder, because podcasts are so long. There's so much content that it's gonna be, there's just we're running into the limits of like human attention. If we're trying to think like, Hey, can every podcaster get 1000s of downloads per episode, at some point you run out of hours for people to listen. And I think that at some point is not now but it's in the distant future, you do start to hit some sort of diminishing returns, you can only listen to so many hours of podcasts. Today, I'm going

Travis:

to push back a little bit on both of the both of you guys, I think what would happen instead is that certain kinds of podcasts would start doing exceptionally well on YouTube. And if YouTube got enough market share, that would start driving the creators to make that kind of content. So if 10 minute episodes, did exceptionally better on YouTube, than 40 minute interviews, more podcasters will start creating 10 minute episodes. I think that's ultimately what would happen, because that's what we've seen with YouTube video content, they changed the mid roll insertion requirement from 10 minutes to eight minutes, videos got a little bit shorter. So whatever the parameters are, for maximizing YouTube, that's what people are gonna geared towards. And then also, YouTube's demographics skew much younger than most like overcast or podcast addict or Apple podcast Apps users. And so you're tapping into a more casual listening audience, where they're listening to one episode, because they search for something, but they're not subscribing to your podcast. They're just listening to that one episode, because it was the thing they wanted to discover, in the same way that you search for how do I install the security system? In my house? How do I how do I install a ring doorbell? And then you watch a video that has a couple 100,000 views on it because a security channel made a video if you're not subscribing to that YouTube channel, because you only cared about this one answer. And so I think it would just give rise to different kinds of content performing well on YouTube versus traditional podcast listening apps. And you'd have certain creators try to take advantage of that opportunity. I think that's what would end up happening,

Alban:

you can see two ways that goes one is that we do start getting more of that self help type content where you really aren't interested in coming back over and over and over. The other thing is YouTube could promote more of, you know, go back to Joe Rogan again and again and again. But like cutting things into clips, what made it easier for YouTube to recommend his content. And then when people who watched those clips they went, Oh, maybe I'd watch the whole episode. So maybe it would behoove podcasters to start putting together clips and say, Hey, I'm just getting these clips out in front of people. And people really enjoy the clip of me talking to this security expert, or whatever it may be on my security podcast. Now, they're interested in maybe subscribing to that podcast in this, you know, hypothetical YouTube podcasts. But all that to be said, this isn't something that is happening that we know anything about.

Travis:

It's not imminent. Yeah. Yeah.

Alban:

You may get some frantic emails that tell you need to be doing this right away. We don't know anything. We haven't had any secret conversations. But it's interesting to think about what would you know, one of the last tech giants who hasn't really dove fully into podcasting? What would it look like if YouTube really got interested?

Kevin:

So the US passed, help me out here with where we are on this infrastructure bill Alban, it is signed into law. mid November, right?

Alban:

Yeah, this is the politics portion of the Buzzcast episode.

Kevin:

Yeah, and I promise there's a reason that I bring this up. And I'll jump to it right now. It's because one of the movements that's happening in the podcasting space is been value for value, which is started with Adam curry, working with Dave Jones and the podcast index, they come up with this idea of value for value, which is a certain bit of technology and tags that you can put into your RSS feed. And then if certain podcast players adopt this technology, you can buy some cryptocurrency and the the currency of choice is Satoshis that correct Alban?

Alban:

Yeah, Satoshis are a measurement of Bitcoin, a very, very, very tiny bit of Bitcoin, like 100 million other Bitcoin,

Kevin:

right. And so what can happen is that you can configure your podcast player to stream a certain number of Satoshis, to the podcaster that you're listening to. So you can say, hey, for every minute, I listened to send them 10 Satoshis. And then there's these other features in there that you can, like, hit a boost button, and you can, if they say something that you really like, or you'd like that segment that they did, you can give them a boost, and it might send them 100 Satoshis extra. Anyway, at the end of the day, as you're listening to podcasts, throughout your day, week, month, whatever, you're sending all these little micro payments, using cryptocurrency to all these podcasters that could be anywhere in the world, right? And it's really interesting, really compelling. It's much better for a better model anyway for independent podcasters who don't have to then go out and see Hear podcasts sponsorships, or work affiliate deals and all this other kind of stuff, all they have to do is serve their audience well create compelling content for their audience. And then hopefully, their audience would return that value by sending them some small payments. Right. Sounds fantastic. The trouble that I see is that the US government has always and now continues to dig in further on the fact that we're the US government is not going to recognize cryptocurrency as currency, they're going to recognize that as an asset. And so one of the things that's been passing this infrastructure bill is that there have clarified the requirements around brokers, people who hold wallets on behalf of other people, and then make transactions back and forth, the reporting that is required of them to the IRS. And so what they're saying is that, hey, if I send Alban a Satoshi, because I really liked that last segment that he did. That's not me, giving him a gift and currency that is an actual asset transfer. And if that asset increased or decreased in value, while I held it, I may have tax liability around that. And so my concern is, what does this mean, for value for value? If I set up my podcast app, and I start streaming Satoshis, to all these podcasters that I listen to? What is my tax liability? What is my reporting requirements as a US citizen? And what how what impact does it have on all the podcasters that I sent this asset to? At least according to the US government?

Alban:

Yeah, it's important to remember why we're doing this rather than sending pennies around. You know, the problem is that a lot of web pages, a lot of podcasts are monetized with ads where the individual podcaster or web, the person who's writing the blog post, they're only getting a couple pennies. But it's cost prohibitive to send around pennies because we all use credit cards. And credit cards require 30 cent transaction costs, and you're also paying a little fee on top of that, like 2%. So the idea of streaming crypto, the goal is that it actually this transaction costs are really, really low. And so sending a penny or sending a Satoshi which is like a 20th of a penny, is not cost prohibitive. And what Kevin's alluding to is there's stuff in the infrastructure bill, do you want me to talk about taxes at all, Kevin?

Kevin:

I mean, briefly, don't get into the tax code.

Alban:

Yeah. Okay. So the problem is that crypto tax compliance has historically been poor. And it's been pretty clear for years that people were using most crypto and especially Bitcoin as like an asset, not as a currency, the whole goal would be someday it would be a currency, but right now it's an asset, people are buying it, hoping it goes to the moon, and then they make enough money to buy their Lamborghini or whatever. But it's been poor, because most people are buying and selling and then aren't reporting it to the IRS. And so at some point, somebody I'm sure said, How are you guys are paying for these trillion dollar bills, and they go, Well, let's try to get the tax compliance on this new crypto world a little bit better. And the way that we do it for contractors who get paid by businesses or for other asset classes like stock, is we say, Hey, if you're the person who makes the payment, if you're Robin Hood, and people are buying and selling stock, or you're a business like Buzzsprout, and you're paying contractors, you send them a 1099. And you also send a 10, nine, a copy of that 1099 to the IRS. And then the IRS matches those up. And they say, oh, cool, Gabriel was paid $1,000. And Gabriel reported that he was paid $1,000, everything looks good, they match us to 10, it lines up. And if they see plus process, they paid this person and that person never reported their taxes, then they send a tax bill. And so what this bill has said is like anyone who's a quote unquote, broker needs to be sending out 1099. And so it's just gonna act the same way that it would for Robin Hood, it's gonna act the same way it would for a business, you got to send them to both parties, so they can match you up and build people. A couple problems. Obviously, the raises are a bunch of crypto companies have no idea who their customers are. So if you're using something like pod friend or the fountain app, which are podcast apps, where you can actually send crypto, it's very, very unlikely. Do you have any idea who the podcaster is, what their address is, what their social security number is, and let alone the person who's sending the money that podcast listener? So that's the you know, issue number one is they have no idea who these people are. Issue number two, is they have no knowledge of how much you paid for that crypto. So if you buy a stock for $1,000, and then you sell that stock for 1500 You pay taxes on that 500 gain, it gets really hairy if you bought like $1,000 of crypto, and then you sent two cents worth of crypto to a podcast. And you're like, well, that actually that two cents have had appreciated, you know, like 45%, and just the tax reporting requirements that become exceptionally onerous. And so for taking this back to the podcast app, the whole goal of this was, hey, we could send around like tiny micro payments or Bitcoin, that'd be cool, because now it makes sense to actually send people a little bit of money so that they don't put ads in the podcast, and that they're compensated just as well, that kind of breaks down. Once we're all sending 1090 nines around to each other.

Kevin:

Right? Figuring out basis is incredibly hard, especially when you're streaming by the minute that you're listening to, and you're boosting at different times and crypto values are changing by the second. That's insane. But I think the big discrepancy here, the big, like parting of the seas, is that there are people who are now trying to figure out how do we use crypto as currency. And then there's this at least on the US government side saying, it's not currency, my friend, it is an asset. And so like until we figure, I don't understand how these two worlds play nicely together. And it doesn't doesn't seem like the US is backing down. They're they're doubling down. They're saying no clear asset, not currency. And technology is moving in such a way we're being able to buy more and more things through crypto, whether it be supporting a podcaster, or buying a new computer. Every day, there's more opportunity to use crypto to do these types of transactions. And yet, at least in the US, the US government's perspective is saying that's not going to be easy, my friend, because we have to establish basis for what you acquired that asset for. And then we have to reestablish it, when you transition it away from yourself. And any gain or loss in between should be reported and taxed appropriately. Well. Anyway, I don't bring that up for us to pontificate on it for hours on end. I just bring it up mostly as a question. I don't know if anybody who happens to be listening to this has some guidance on that or questions or solutions to this problem. And it's something I'm interested in. So it's something that Alban dug into a little bit over the last week to be able to provide the information that he just provided. And it's something that I want to explore more and talk with Dave Jones and an animate podcast index and figure out what they think about all this stuff. But it's interesting, you know, for what it's worth Buzzsprout does support the value for value code block, and you can add that to your RSS feed. And maybe the thing is, is right now is it's really not enough for anybody to worry about, like the amount of money that's going through. With these transactions. We all feel like it's low enough that it doesn't really matter yet. And that we're hoping that by the time that it actually becomes significant enough to worry about that there's better guidance in place from the US government. There's better reporting, like, it all evolves, I don't know, but I just want to throw it out as a question and see if our our community has any feedback for us.

Alban:

Yeah, if anybody wants to learn more pot news has a guide, we can put in the show notes that's really good on how to set up value for value. You can have people send you Bitcoin, if you think your audience might be interested in that. And tenderfoot media is actually doing a podcast that seems like it's about Bitcoin. It's about the history of Bitcoin. But it's also going to be I believe, fully funded by Bitcoin. So it's going to be called from nowhere from tenderfoot. And it's coming out in 2022. So hopefully, that we'll all be able to listen to that. And seems like it's gonna be an interesting podcast. Well, I

Travis:

hope you enjoy this subset of Buzzcast. And we will catch in the next one, keep podcasting.

Alban:

Everybody, thanks for sticking around to the end of the episode. This is Alban here dropping in some dynamic content to tell you about some updates to our dynamic content features, we're continuing to move forward with all the tools allowing you to drop ads and announcements into all of your episodes, so that you can record something once and automatically have added to the beginning or end of all of your episodes, the new updates that we've made to dynamic content. Number one, if you have an announcement that's maybe only applicable for a short period, and you replace it with something else will now that announcement stays in something that we're calling our dynamic content library. The library is a list of all of the different announcements or advertisements, or just little pieces that you've dropped into your episodes over time so that you can reapply them whenever you would like. The second piece is that now those are tracked for how many times they've been played. So if you have an ad read and you want to report back to your sponsor, and tell them how many times it's been downloaded. Well now you know, because that content may be spread across 30 different podcast episodes. You want to be able to count the stats for all of those for the entire time that it was out in the world. Reach out to us on Twitter. Let us know how you were using dynamic content and the new dynamic content library. We'll see you in a couple weeks. Bye

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