Podnews Weekly Review

Tom Webster tells us that "creators" are mainly white men under 45 but where are the women? Bloomberg say Spotify's podcast strategy is failing!? Squadcast launch all new v5 and Voiceworks partners with Crowd Network on the Sports Network.

July 01, 2022 James Cridland, Sam Sethi Season 1 Episode 81
Podnews Weekly Review
Tom Webster tells us that "creators" are mainly white men under 45 but where are the women? Bloomberg say Spotify's podcast strategy is failing!? Squadcast launch all new v5 and Voiceworks partners with Crowd Network on the Sports Network.
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Special Guests

Show Notes

  • Sounds Profitable released The Creators, a study of the people who create podcasts. Tom Webster revealed that US podcast creators are more diverse than the US population, but are significantly younger and more male. Most own both Android and iOS devices, though more than four in ten podcast creators have been listening to podcasts for under a year. 

  • You can download the full report here.

  • Bloomberg Businessweek posts Spotify’s Billion-Dollar Bet on Podcasting Has Yet to Pay Off. The piece, originally titled “Spotify’s Joe Rogan-Powered Podcast Bet Hasn’t Paid Off”, suggests that the company’s investments haven’t yet yielded a major hit, and contains criticism of Dawn Ostroff’s growth strategy.

  • Spotify and Anchor have debuted RADAR Podcasters, a podcast-creator version of the Spotify program designed to spotlight emerging voices worldwide. The companies start by highlighting more than 40 creators around the world.

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Sam:

Hello and welcome to Podland the last word in podcasting news. It's Thursday, the 30th of June, 2022. I'm Sam Sethi, the MD of river radio, the podcast first radio station. And

Arielle:

I'm Ariel Nessen black community manager at. squad.fm, founder of earbuds podcast, collective and cohost of the sounds profitable podcast, standing in for James this week, who is on a much deserved holiday with his family. And you can tell, I didn't write this script because I wouldn't say holiday, I would say vacation. Hey ha.

zach--he-him-_1_06-29-2022_133611:

Hi, I'm Zach

Rock:

And I'm Brock.

zach--he-him-_1_06-29-2022_133611:

and we're from squad cast.

Rock:

And we're going to be talking today about the new squad cast studio and backstage update.

Tom:

And I'm Tom Webster and later I'll be talking about the creators, the first research project from sounds profit.

Sophie:

Hi, I'm Sophie hyd. I'm the managing director of voice works and we'll be on later talking about voice works and everything we do, Sam.

Jim:

Hi, , I'm Jim salverson head of sport at voice works and head of the sport social podcast network. We'll be talking about all the work we do within digital sport audio.

Sam:

They will Podland is sponsored by bus sprout podcast. Hosting made easy. Last week, 3,167. People started a podcast with bus sprout and now there's bus sprout ads to grow your podcast. Wherever it's hosted, you can find out more@bussprout.com slash ads.

Arielle:

And we're sponsored by squad cast, the remote recording tool that creators love this week. Squad launched version five, the new squad cast studio and backstage with new features and a new look last week, 4,311 hours of quality audio and video were recorded. Using squad cast

Sam:

Podland is where AR and I this week are gonna review the top podcasting stories and interview some of the people making the news.

Arielle:

This week's episode is a long one, but the good news is that Podland supports both transcripts and chapters. So please jump to the relevant story or interview that interests you the most.

Sam:

First up. We're gonna talk about the launch of sounds. Profitables new creators study. the study is of people who create podcasts, in the USA. It was done by Tom Webster. and basically the us population, although it's evenly split between men and women, it shows that the creator. Was quite a diverse population. It also said that it was significantly younger and more male was the summary of it. most of the people have both an Android and or iOS device. and then one of the other standout facts was more than four in 10 podcast. Creators have been listening to podcasts for under a year. There will be a full link to the report in our show notes. Now, Ariel, did you see any of this, live broadcast of the study?

Arielle:

I saw it live. I was ingesting it in real time. And then sharing thoughts and slides right on Twitter at the sounds profitable Twitter handle. So if you want a full breakdown of my thoughts and my analysis, you can check that out at sounds. Prof news, and, yeah, a lot stood out to me here, but I think the. The most gratifying part was a lot of what Tom laid out for us was statistics that I had thought of, or that I had expected anecdotally, that I'd been seeing anecdotally hearing anecdotally, but to have them backed up by numbers was really gratifying.

Sam:

Yeah, James, obviously, as we've said is a way, but, pod news was a sponsor, which meant James saw the study early and he caught up with Tom Webster from sounds profitable. And he started off by asking Tom, what was the thinking behind the research?

Tom:

Didn't involve a lot of thinking, James, because it's one of the series of questions that I have been asked most in the last three or four years of my career. when I was doing research for Edison, not a week would go by when I wouldn't get a question from a journalist or someone adventure, capital, wanting to know the stats of people making podcasts. and it's an important question because it reflects on the content, right? it's the input for the. And it was a question that I was not able to answer satisfactorily

James:

until now. So when you were talking about creators, are you just talking about people behind the microphone or what sort of people are you talking

Tom:

about? No, we're really talking about anybody that's involved with the production of a podcast and that could be on the production side that could be sound design. It could be, research booking or it could be hosting. I think certainly for as many podcasts as there are, and I think it's over 4 million on, podcast index dot. There are at least that many creators and some multiple of that.

James:

Certainly. So you presented the results of the research. What were the three main things? I think one, one of the things I wrote down as I was watching, it was, you had a, an interesting slide around diversity, the diversity of podcast creators, in comparison to the us, audience, what did you discover

Tom:

there? one of the things. certainly we've noticed in data such as, infinite dial data, certainly this year's infinite dial data is that the podcast listening audience in general is starting to trend towards being more diverse than the us population period. and I actually think it will continue to go that way. And one of the reasons for that, certainly in the past couple of years, we've seen a surge of Latino listeners in the United States. That's something that Edison research has reported in its us Latino listener study, for the past couple of. And that surge was, mirrored or echoed in the creators study. We saw a significant, over-indexing of Latino creators. And when we look at the us population in general, us is about 63% white or Caucasian. but with creators, again, could be hosts, could be production all up and down the chain. that number is 51%. From a, from an ethnicity standpoint, the creator population is in fact quite diverse.

James:

Yeah. And it's not just Latinos, is it? It's people of color of all types of

Tom:

different color? Yeah, absolutely. the percentages of, black Americans, Asian Americans, are all at least as high or higher than they represent in the us population. Again, from that standpoint, it's a very diverse pool.

James:

So diversity in terms of, race is one thing diversity in terms of gender and in terms of education is quite different as well. Isn't it? So what did you discover

Tom:

there? Yeah, I think this is really one of the most significant findings in the study. the us population is about 50 50, right? It's a 49% men. so it's Akosh under 50% there. Bad news for ladies night. but the podcast creators are 69% male and 29% female, and then 2%, non-binary and that's an enormous difference, right? And the data from which the creator study was pulled was fairly normal looking data. It's pulled from a data set of weekly podcast listeners, which is, a slightly more mail data set, but only slightly. This is a significant finding. It's a legitimate finding. and I think it speaks to enabling women at all levels and empowering women and encouraging them, to get behind the mic, to get behind the editing console. there has to be more outreach done there and more encouragement.

James:

this is research, so obviously it's not necessarily telling you the reasons why it's just reporting on those numbers, but, would you have any reason why? it's so male dominated. Is it gadgets? Is it that kind of stuff or is there something else at play?

Tom:

one of the things you learn as a researcher is that things don't change by themselves. when we're used to seeing a line going up, it doesn't continue to go up or go down, unless things continue to make it go up or go down. And you and I both have a radio background, James from back in the Meza Zoic era. And if you go back to the early days of podcasting, a lot of podcasting, certainly the podcast audience back in 2005, 2006, when I first started researching it, the podcast audience was two thirds. I suspect the creators were 90% male back then. and a lot of that I think comes from the gestation of podcasting, which a lot of early podcasters were disgruntled radio employees, right? People that, were not finding their voice, were not able to get their show the way they wanted or were not getting a show. And so you saw a lot of that in podcast. and I don't know if you've been to an American radio conference lately, James, but it's a lot of guys who look like me. Yes. And that's still true in radio. And I think that continues to rinse out through podcasting. Yeah. podcasting has done a very good job, attracting a more diverse audience, a broader audience, certainly a nearly gender equal audience. but I think more needs to be done at the various levels of podcast. both to encourage independence, but also to encourage people at the top levels, at the network levels, to get more women involved in the space because ultimately, James, I want people, to see this as a career, as a valid career. If my son, I have a son who's about to enter his last year of high school. If he says to me, dad, I want to be a podcaster. I don't want that to sound weird. I want that to actually be a legitimate career. And all of that is down to how it, I think is positioned as a career, how people are encouraged, the tools and the on-ramps into podcasting,

James:

which aren't easy. you're talking about, high school. how about education and things like that in terms of podcast, creators, is there a good diversity there? Yeah, I

Tom:

would say not, the podcast creator audience, over. Index is overwhelmingly high for advanced degrees. much, much higher than the us population. if you look at the, at the us population, 42% of the us population is basically high school educated or less that figure with creators is 12%. and you compare that with advanced degrees. the us population about 10% has at least some graduate credits. That's 40% with creators. that's a very distinctive slice. Of American humanity, that is quite a bit different from the audience. Yes. The podcast audience does index for higher levels of educational attainment than the us population, but not that high. And I think that has a ripple effect in content that has a ripple effect in mind, mindset ideology. And I think it all speaks to the fact that even as podcasting continues to grow and be vibrant, it's still in a bubble and it can still break out of that bubble and grow even. It's

James:

interesting, talking about, podcast creators being, overwhelmingly male overwhelmingly, highly educated, and then having a look at our backgrounds in terms of the radio industry, where the radio industry has been, as you say, overwhelmingly male, but also overwhelmingly highly educated as well. And I think one of the problems that some, broadcasters have in the same way as podcasters, have, is actually making sure that there are people from every walk of life. making sure that they're making those particular shows because they're also consuming

Tom:

them too. Yeah. And I think that's gonna come from schools in a lot of ways. I think, equipping schools at the secondary level, with the, studios and tools for people to find their voice, to find all the ways that they can contribute to getting a message out there. Desires and needs. And the urgency for society frankly exist at all levels that they exist in rural parts of the United States. They exist in impoverished areas of the United States, and there's too much talent being locked away in those areas and unable to find its voice. And I think whatever the industry can do to empower people at all of the various strata of society in the United States, is going to selfish. Lock podcasting in as a career and as a vibrant thriving industry. But it's also important. it's why a lot of us started podcasting in the first

James:

place. So this is fascinating data. It's obviously just a year's worth of data. It's just a snapshot's worth of data. is the plan to do this every year as we go on. Yeah. And

Tom:

I think going forward, the data from which this study was derived comes from Edison podcast metrics. My understanding is that they're going to dramatically increase the sample size of that, which in turn, we should see a concomitant rise in the sample for the creators. So going forward, I would expect to be able to not only replicate what we've done this year and track it, but also go deeper and talk about black creators. Talk about young creators, and then the kind of elephant in the room, the folks that are our age, who are not creating podcasts and you and I are, but as you can see from the data we. were rare birds. encouraging people 45 plus to get their voices out. Is a big part of making the content diverse and appealing for people that are 45, 50 and older.

James:

indeed. and what else is, sounds profitable working on? Is this the only piece of research that you're doing or are you going to be doing, more of that? And you're also doing some events as well. Aren't you? We

Tom:

are now. No, no rest for us. That sounds profitable. we're kicking off really day zero of podcast movement in Dallas, in August with the first sounds profitable business. Which is, an event for sponsors of sounds profitable. it's, gonna be a fairly significant event. We hope it's going to be the debut of our next research project, really the first and kind of a major quarterly series of studies that we're going to be doing. and our first study there is going to tackle, the various executions of podcast advertising. the differences in lift and brand consideration and effectiveness, of various types of podcast advertising, which, you know, it's going to be one of the things that we're really focused on. It sounds profitable is having lots of sponsors, lots of participation. So these aren't studies that are commissioned by a company about a specific viewpoint. We're here to uncover the truth without bias. And that's something that, thankfully we are well equipped to.

James:

Well, if you want to find out more information about, the creators, then you can go to sounds profitable.com. Tom, thank you for your time today. Thank you, James.

Sam:

Tom Webster there. now Ariel, one of the standout, statistics that surprised me. there weren't many women, it seems podcasting there's you there's Jess Kaufman. There's many other great podcasters that I know of. But as an industry, it doesn't seem that there are many women. Why is that?

Arielle:

Yeah. And it's funny because I definitely. Know, a lot of women who create podcasts, but I think Tom brought this up during the Q and a that had after. And somebody asked a question about the sample size and suggested that maybe we should do this as an exit survey at podcast men. And Tom's response was that would probably make it a very biased sample size because those are the people who take podcasting seriously enough to be at a conference to pay, to be at a conference. So just with that in mind, I know a lot of female podcasters. I know a lot of, people who identify as women who create podcasts. but why are there not more, why are there only 29% of creators are women? I think it has a lot to do with, what Tom mentioned, which is that podcasting started out. Very male dominated and has continued to be very male dominated. I think, James might have suggested that it has a lot to do with tech and how still, even on YouTube, a lot of the people who, review tech or who comment on tech or who have tech shows are men. And that's not to say that tech is only for men, but I think there's a longstanding tradition of men being the ones who review tech and who get first access to these new technology, whether it's software or. So I think this is half the battle is being aware. I didn't know this number before. I didn't know, 29% knowing. Lights a fire under my butt and, is gonna help me try to empower other women. And a lot of people have already taken this, screenshot from the presentation and have said, if this is ever an inkling, that there is an opportunity for women and for people who identify as women to make shows and to show off, any idea that they have in audio form now is the.

Sam:

Yeah. I think you're right. I think the barriers to entry are to do more with the difficulty of creating podcasts. you and I probably don't think there is much difficulty cuz we create so many of them, but I remember. 3, 4, 5 years ago, oh God, which mic should I buy? Totally. what's the best software platform. And then how do I publish it? Who's the best host. There were so many technical questions to understand even before, and then actually getting it distributed onto apple or Spotify, et cetera. It's quite a daunting thing still,

Arielle:

But I think generally speaking, we talk about confidence when it comes to tech and I bet that more. Women would identify as hesitant when it comes to technology than men. And that has a lot to do with, imposter syndrome. I know that I experience imposter syndrome, so I cannot be the only one. And, this is obviously not to speak for all women and all people who identify as women. But I think that if you were to pull a sample size, do you feel comfortable with technology? I bet more men would say yes than.

Sam:

Yeah. And more younger people than older as well,

Arielle:

Yeah. this is probably not the only reason that women are not podcasting. It also has a lot to do with the fact that women are disproportionately impacted by caring for children. And don't have as much free time. even though they might be spending more time in the home rather than. men, but, I think these are all contributing factors. However, education is something that I feel like we can tackle. So this is a call to action for everybody that we might need some more intro to podcasting classes and two demographics that we wouldn't have reached out to beforehand.

Sam:

we'll keep an eye on the study. Look forward to the next one from sounds profitable.

Arielle:

there's gonna be a lot of studies from sounds profitable. The next one is gonna be at podcast movement in Dallas, but creators, I believe is gonna be annual.

Sam:

Excellent. Now you have been fairly busy. you've been working on a couple other things. Now, America, I have to say has gone slightly mad. just pointing it out. and we're not talking about the guns this time. Oh, Ariel, you write for pod news as well. and you wrote about the recent us Supreme court, overturning of Roe versus Wade, which you said sank your heart, but you've got a way that you hope us podcasters can fight back a bit. Tell me more.

Arielle:

Yeah, I woke up on the day that Roe versus Wade was overturned to the notification because I was on west coast time. And. I was initially taken aback, even though I knew that this was coming, even though the leak happened and we were all prepared, it was still shocking. So my initial reaction was okay, this sucks. What are we gonna do? felt defeated. And then I don't know what happened, but I pretty quickly was like, okay, what can podcasters do to uniquely react to this in a way that other creators other people cannot, the creators were talking about the creators today? How can the creators react to this? what do we have at our disposal that allows us to offer resources and. it's our platform. And one way to really show up is to do that in a unified way. So I put out a call to action on Twitter, and I said, is anybody interested in organizing a massive pre-roll campaign where we write language that is inclusive, that everybody can use on their show? And we offer resources. We offer links and We offer like essentially a copy and paste that you can put in your show notes. And within 24 hours, we had a statement and this came together, in an effort from many people from all over the world, from all genders, from all races. And I'm really proud. And I knew that we needed to act fast because I knew We would lose the momentum if we didn't have a statement within 24 hours. So I'm really grateful to all of the people who were willing

to work with me at 10:

00 PM on a Friday night on a Google doc. And we were chatting and we were crying and laughing and, really just coming together to make sure that we had this statement. And then Saturday afternoon, we shared that statement on Twitter and I updated everybody by the half day, I would say. midafternoon update afternoon update, evening update. And all of those tweets were really well followed and people were encouraging us along the whole time. And I am. Really overwhelmed by the response from the podcast community, big podcasters, small podcasters, famous people, not famous people, men, women, non-binary folks, everybody really stepped up. And I am ready for the backlash, but thankfully I haven't gotten any. So if you're listening to this, just be nice , if you have something to say that is, anti what I'm saying, ultimately, I'm a human, the people who are fighting for the right, for abortions and for. Comprehensive access to healthcare, including abortion. We are all people and we just really want people to live and we really want people to be able to, have access to this sometimes life saving procedure. yeah, that's the goal here.

Sam:

Yeah, we have some views over here, which I'll keep to myself, but one of those is, in the report, it showed very heavily as skew towards Democrats, rather than Republicans who create podcasts. And if ever there was a reason for women to get involved in podcasting, maybe this is it to share their voice, spread the word. . Arielle: Yeah, absolutely. and women can podcast about anything. Doesn't have to be women's rights issues, but this pre-roll ad campaign allows anybody who wants to step up. And say something to say something. And Marcus de Paula helped create pod voices.help, which is a new website where we're going to house language. When issues come up around the world that podcasters may want to respond to, and People can go to pod, voices.help to get these scripts, to get these links, to get everything. And in theory, we will create language for future issues or good things that happen. You never. Okay, now let's move on a little bit. Spotify, is getting a little bit of beef from Bloomberg. It seems this week Spotify's billion dollar bet on podcasting has yet to pay off, which was the title of a Bloomberg business week post this week. the original title or Spotify's Joe Rogan powered podcast. Bet hasn't paid off. where do you think Spotify is going wrong?

Arielle:

It's very hard to say, because Spotify is pretty ubiquitous among gen Z and my sister is of gen Z. She would laugh if she heard me talking about her, like she was a study, but Spotify is everywhere. And I also recently was at VidCon in Anaheim. Spotify is everywhere. I recently visited the Spotify offices and they're beautiful. And the team is really jazzed about everything that's going on in the podcast space. so I don't know where this is coming from and to be honest, my initial reaction is that I'm upset because my thought is when podcasting grows anywhere, Spotify, apple, it grows all of podcasting. So I want to see Spotify's billion dollar. Pay off.

Sam:

I think it will pay off. I think. Daniel X pretty committed to it. I think he understands that the business can't rely on the music side of it. one of the other things in Tom web's report was that, Spotify's the number one place for consumers now, listening to podcasts. the market is beginning to pick up on it. And I loved some of the comments in the, study, on the live stream. people were saying they prefer to use platforms like apple and Spotify to the standalone apps because they want to jump in and jump out of music and then go back to a podcast. And they don't really want to have two apps to do that with. Everything seems to be going in favor of Spotify. it just feels like the Obamas have left. and the numbers don't seem to be going back to. I guess the city and shareholders, which is where the bet's not paying off showing that there's a massive uplift cuz the share price. I'm sure you're probably aware. Ariel has dropped massively in the last six months.

Arielle:

when I was at VidCon, I got a sense of what the creator landscape on the whole sort of thinks of podcasts. I went to one, panel led by rooster teeth on podcast creation and how to quote unquote, break into the podcast industry. And there were questions from the crowd. That I had not heard in a really long time because I am so steeped in the podcast space where the baseline is, you know, it's pretty high, people know a lot when it comes to what makes a podcast successful or what microphone to use, but the general creator is under the impression that they can repurpose video for podcasting. And I would, suggest otherwise. But my point here is, That there are a lot of people out there who don't really understand how people are creating podcasts, how they should be consuming podcasts and where podcasts might fit into their day. I think that we need to understand listeners more. I have been seeking for five years. People who are obsessed with podcasts as much as I am, but. People who have no intention of creating podcasts, people who are just listeners through and through. I wanna find those people. , I doubt they listen to this podcast, but if they do. Find me I through earbuds, I think I have leaned into people I've leaned into creators or podcast listeners who eventually become creators, but I'm also very curious about the people who just wanna consume, most people who consume TV are never gonna make TV. So where are the people who just love podcasts? And I think that's what Spotify needs to focus. I think a lot of it has to do with education. Like when can you listen to a podcast and we need to hit. People at the right time with the right podcast so that they are inspired to listen to podcasts from then on. when I started listening to podcasts in earnest in 2014 at first, I was probably skeptical. I was like, eh, why would I listen to podcasts when I could listen to the radio? Why would I listen to podcast when I could, consume. Content through reading. but then when I listened to podcasts and it clicked for me, I wanted that feeling over and over again. So we just need to inspire people with the right podcast at the right time so that they get that feeling over and over again. I am such an evangelist. Holy snot.

Sam:

yeah. one of the other criticisms, Hot pot. Insider is saying that Spotify original breaking bread, maybe its big hit yet, but was mysteriously not promoted by Spotify at all. And yet it was number two for much of last week. Yeah. The criticism has been pointed firmly back at Dawn otro that her growth strategy isn't working,

Arielle:

I'm a little bit confused by that one because. if it was number two for much of last week and it may be the biggest hit yet. Why would there be criticism?

Sam:

Because it's not being promoted by Spotify, so they're not giving it the big pushed, but does it need it well again, when you're on the up, maybe you push it even further and get a bigger audience on it. interest. who knows now they have responded with something new. So Spotify and anchor have debuted something called radar for podcasters. It's a podcast creative version of the Spotify program designed to spotlight emerging voices. Worldwide. The companies starts off by hiding more than 40 new creators around the world. So look, these are the sorts of things that Spotify does really well. I think, again, I do. they do a lot of good for the industry, James and I often have, some negatives on Spotify, but I do think they do a lot of good as well. I agree. I just wish they'd embrace more of the podcast index 2.0 RSS extensions and be more open, you can't have everything , Arielle: you can call right people are listening now just on a fun side. what do you like at karaoke?

Arielle:

what's that song called bus to move I, I know it all by heart.

Sam:

well, Spotify added a karaoke feature to all their mobile devices that builds off lyrics. which genius? yeah, so now you can sing into your microphone on your iPhone or Android, and it will give you a score or a scale of 100.

Arielle:

We're gonna have audio, man. There's some amazing technology out there. That's amazing.

Sam:

and one of the other things that they are doing, Christmas Eve appointed this out a few weeks back. They are now rolling out the community tab. Basically. I can now see what music you are listening to. they've got a similar feature on the desktop, but sadly I, and I really think they should have done it, but I don't believe you're gonna be able to see what podcasts people are listening to. you can

Arielle:

go to good pods for that.

Sam:

Now, moving on to squad, cast something, you know, very well, squad launched what they call the all new squad cast, the remote recording tool, offer simplified pricing and reimagined design, multi account access, and enhanced securities, as well as deeper integration to third parties like descript. I got to interview Zach and rock the loveliest guys in podcasting. They told me all about it. as it happens, Ariel, or one of your many hats within this podcasting industry is that you are the community manager over at squad. So. Tell me a little bit more reveal behind the curtains, what it's been like to launch version five.

Arielle:

Yeah. Thank you. Thank you for asking. It's been a journey. We have been working really hard on it behind the scenes. And unlike when we launched V3 back in January of 2021, which was. Our video, when we enabled the ability to record video, people weren't really asking for this update, this ability to create teams and shows because it's an extra, but I think it's an extra that will really work hard to amplify collaboration among creators. What it does is it allows people who record multiple podcasts or record with multiple people to streamline their workflow. So I have already added my. Editor for feedback with earbuds, I've already invited him onto my squad cast account so that he can grab the files and do what he needs with them rather than me downloading them, sending them over via we transfer. So this just makes it a lot easier and we'll, make things, more streamlined for creators. And just from the community perspective, I'll add that, We've been working really hard to make squad the remote recording tool for creators who wanna be involved in the larger podcast community. I am a huge advocate for if you want your podcast to succeed. One way to help that along is to be involved, to plug into the podcasting space. We have multiple blog posts on how to plug into the space. We have a very active slack channel. We have, if you submit your podcast to squad via squad.fm/share, we'll run a pre-roll on our podcast. We might even drop your podcast episode into our feed. And so my job as the community manager is to figure out. How people want to be involved with squads beyond just their recording session. So that is all, I'm a listener most of the day to podcasts and to community. And that's my goal. And so we have implemented now automated squad shots where you can just press a button and have a shareable. image that you can either use for your own promotion on your website, or just blast it out to social media. And if you tag us in it, we wanna show it off to the world that you are recording with squad cast. So those are just some of the things that we've implemented as part of V five.

Sam:

Yeah. what I did last night was actually edited Zach and Rock's interview. I had one click access to D script. It took the separate. Tracks all three tracks for my voice sax voice, and Rock's voice merged that into a sequential file and a composition within D script. And I was able to start editing straight after that one, click access straight into bus sprout. really neat. Yeah, it worked really well, so amazing. Thanks guys now, moving on from there. some quick news, James has been busy. He's supposed to be on holiday, but he seems he's updated his podcast market data slides. So they're free. If you need more data slides for any presentation, you're doing head on over to pod news.net, and you'll be able to get them there.

Arielle:

next up Verto has announced a 7.5 million series a funding round. It was led by lab rock ventures with additional investment from progress ventures, Greycroft hippo and Newark venture partners.

Sam:

Yeah. This is, a big round of funding. So congratulations. Yeah. And if you wanna know more about it, there's a really good report about it on sounds profitable that Brian did recently. head on over there. The membership platform steady has launched an integration with Spotify using the open access from Spotify in allowing podcasts to sell premium shows on the Spotify platform. They join a number of other companies offering the service. So open Spotify access is the way of getting your, subscription based podcast into Spotify. they will be turning on. payment structure, where they take 5% of your subscription, later this year, I think, or early, next,

Arielle:

next up, Chris Macina is catching up with anchor founder, Mike Magnano on life after Spotify and web three in the media, on the tech meme podcast experience show.

Sam:

Yeah, Mike, Minno having left Spotify last week. it'll be interested to see where he goes next. Now let me see if you know what this reference to an iPod, a phone, an internet communicator, an iPod, a phone, an internet communicator. Are you getting it? Do you remember that presentation? I do

Arielle:

not. That was Steve because I was in high school.

Sam:

yeah. What you saying? I was busy that day. yeah, I'm old. Okay. I'm old. I get it. Yeah. June 29th, 2007, the iPhone was released to the world. Are you an iPhone or an Android person? iPhone. iPhone. Yeah, you're not in the dark ages like James. That's good to know. it's good to know now, coming towards the end of the show. but one story that I really wanted to cover, I was at the London podcast show. and we caught up with, Sophie, he and Jim salverson from voice works a really interesting company up in Manchester. and the people behind crowd network were responsible for producing the Peter crouch podcast. they just did a deal with crowd network, another Manchester company who. Came out of the BBC. but they've just done a deal with voice works, and I really wanted to find out what is voice works. What's their platform offer in terms of helping podcasters and creators monetize their platform. And also Jimson talked about how they're creating a vertical curated podcast. Purely around sports, Sophie hind. who and what do you do at voice

Sophie:

Um, so I am the managing director and founder of voice works. and I started the business about three years ago, alongside Jim.

Sam:

Jim. Hello. Now I haven't got your surname up on screen.

Jim:

it's Salin, which no one pronounce is. So it's, it's better to ask than to just guess to be honest with you.

Sam:

Jim, what's your role

Jim:

I do pretty much whatever Sophie tells me. that's the main job I have, but other than that is looking after the sports arm of voice works. So voice works is split into two parts. One voice works sport, which is taking advantage of the huge opportunity we see. Within sport, covering audio production, podcasting, voice tech, and a load of other things as well. And the other half is, looking at working with brands who aren't within sport. So I look after all the sports content we produce.

Sam:

Now we met at the London podcast event, which was great this year. so if you tell me a little bit more then about how or why you came up with the idea for voice works,

Sophie:

Okay. So I've worked in audio for a long time as everyone in our team has. I think so I've got well about 30 years in media, starting ITV, and then a long time working in radio. So I've worked in commercial. I've worked in operations, I've worked in strategy and the last nine years before we launched voice work hours at global, and I think. I just love audio as we all do, but what really struck me, back sort of 2018 was there was this huge opportunity with audio. I've, I've heard people saying for years, radio's dying or audio's dying or listenership is gonna decline because of increased choice. But actually what we

Jim:

actually things

Sophie:

were seeing was this explosion in listening, particularly through things like podcasts, but at the same time, I was very excited about what was happening with voice assistants and smart speakers. And the two things seemed to marry really well together for me. You know, producing loads of great audio content that audiences might want, whether that's short form or long form, but also tapping into delivery methods, via voice and the way that people are behaving now with smartphones and accessing information or using voice notes more, seemed to work really well together. So we saw an opportunity and that's, the business that we constructed.

Sam:

What came first? The client or the business?

Jim:

Um,

Sophie:

I would say a bit of both, which is probably not the right answer. We are very lucky. I. Approached Marley. Who's the CEO of community core UK, who I think, you know, large commercial radio group. And communica were very interested in developing new enterprises at the time. So they are our main backer, which put us in a really great position to have the luxury of being a startup, but with the backing of a big group that can provide some central services, but also allow us to tap into expertise. And one of the things. that allowed us to have immediately was a kind of large sales team around the country. So the community core teams can sell product content on our behalf. We also have our own sales people in house. So we started very early working with clients and producing things like branded content and podcasts. But we also wanted to do some serious proof of concept, which is where Jim came in.

Jim:

and

Sophie:

We met Jim and brought Jim into the business because he'd been doing some work in the voice tech area as well. And we wanted to create our own Alexa skill, Google action, and start really testing the voice tech space and developing our own brand sport, social, which Jim can probably tell you more about.

Sam:

Yeah, Jim do tell us more.

Jim:

really testing the voice space and developing our own brand. Probably tell you more about, well, I guess the headline of what we do within sports is that we want. Sports brands and sports organizations to engage more deeply with the fans and reach new audiences and everything we do comes back to that. And that's where we started pretty much as well. So as Sophie suggested, I've always had an interest I've worked in radio and audio. Pretty much my entire career and throughout their entire career, I've always been looking at the next thing, be that podcasting. And I released my first podcast. I was looking at the data earlier, 2005. I released my very first podcast. So I've been at that game a long time. Yeah, it was in the days of radio where a podcast, in terms of what radio we're doing with, it was just taking a radio show, cutting out the music and sticking it on whatever the platform was at the time of apple, I guess was the only thing that you were distributing via. But that's another story. But yeah, I found myself getting involved in voice tech and when I came to work with Sophie and the team at voice works, the first big project was looking to engage sports audience via voice technology. And we were creating a, football focused radio show and a football focused podcast at that time. And we wanted to try and see whether we could capture a similar audience via. Voice tech. and we went into partnership with the guys at Amazon in terms of providing them with a really rich daily. Football update focused on the premier league. So the vision was every day, a football fan, no matter who you supported in the premier league would be able to turn to their small round device in the corner of the room. Whose name? I won't say because I'll start setting off everyone's corner of the yeah. Yeah, good term. and they could say what's the latest news on Manchester United. What's the latest news on Manchester city, Burnley, Aston Villa, whoever it was and what they'd. In response to that, wouldn't be the kind of response we are used to getting from these devices in that it's a Wikipedia page that opens up it's text speak. It's really horrible and not engaging. They'd get an actual human voice. They'd get something that was engaging that had one of the most important things about sport content. It. Passion within it. And it had human connection and they'd be able to have that as the result. So it was taking what we'd learned from the radio world and the world of podcasting and what we know about communicating with audiences and putting it into this voice technology space. And yeah, that was the starting point for what we went on and developed from there.

Sam:

So I'm looking through your slate, Sophie and Jim, and a lot of it is branded stuff for other people. will you evolve into your own IP as well? Thank

Sophie:

Definitely. we have some originals already. So football, social daily is a show that a podcast that you know, has been very successful for us. we have some joint IP deals coming up. one that I can't quite release yet, but will be released later in the summer, Sam and I'm. You'll be one of the first people we talk to, but we've got a joint IP deal with a global rights holder, which is really exciting for us helping them develop their audio strategy. So we have a pretty flexible model depending, what. What works for us and also what works for the clients. yeah, we might work in a payers for our services model. We might work on a joint IP model. We do create originals. and we also do revenue funded models as well for rights holders, so depending on their budget situation, we can create their strategy and their content, but we can also find commercial partners to help fund that project.

Sam:

Now you've recently done a deal with another Manchester based, production house called crowd network. Can you tell me more about that?

Sophie:

Yeah. So our head offices in man as is crowd network. And, we've been admirers of the work they do, got to meet Mike, their CEO, and we felt like our values were very aligned in terms of. Both businesses are trying to do in terms of creating great audio, with the listener at the heart of that. And so the arrangement we have with crowd is they own the content and the IP it's very much their content, but we host it on our sport social podcast network, which we launched last year. So we provide the distribution. We provide some marketing support and we also provide the monetization strategy for them, which allows them the space to concentrate on the content and the new originals that they want to produce

Sam:

So Jim, I'm assuming that's something that you are heading up, that sports, social network. How many podcasts run through that? And what's the plans going forward for it then?

Jim:

Currently, we've got around 150 at this particular time, but by the time someone listens to this, hopefully it'll be more cause we're growing pretty rapidly at the moment of varying sizes. That's after just over a year of development and growth. I mean our plan is to be the biggest single destination for sports audio in the world at some point over the next couple of years. And we're well on the route to doing that and partnerships with people like the crowd network are certainly helping us achieve that in terms of not just title numbers, but also audience size. But I think our unique offering, in terms of what we're providing. Partner podcasts with is it's a combination of what Sophie's talking about. We are content creators at the end of the day, but there are a lot of people who. Good podcasts and understand content. I think the unique part of our business and what we have as a team is we all have this commercial radio or in sous case, a bit of commercial TV background as well, and understanding of how to make things profitable. And to make things certainly wash their face so we can bring that into the creative world. I mean, I love coming up with ideas and I love getting deep into concepts and getting, going away with fairies as all creatives do. But at the same time, we have an understanding that things have to have a bottom line and things have to make sense from a business proposition as well. So I think we came to the sport social podcast network idea as a result of feeling the frustrations as creators and looking to resolve. Those frustrations in some way, we have been making podcasts. For, like I I said earlier, I've been making podcasts for 17 years or so. And the two main frustrations have always remained the same through that period. One is discoverability and one is monetization. They're both real problems for most people within the podcasting world. We're not gonna solve either of those overnight, but we are making steps to resolve both of them as well. From a discoverability point of view, we wanted to create a hub where people could discover. Great sport content, a focused library of content, which we've done. And it's now about raising awareness of where people can find that content. And from a monetization point of view, we wanted to open the options to people who didn't have upwards of 10,000 listeners. And. Offer ways that people could make money from their podcast, no matter what their audience is. If you've got a tiny audience, you're not gonna make huge money off, it that's the fact of it. But we wanted to give people the options within that to pull those levers. and part of that is by opening up the different monetization channels to these podcasts. But part of it is also making sure people are making the most of their content from a revenue point of view. And we think sport is a industry that commands. High revenue across many other mediums from print to television, but doesn't always command that in podcasting. So we wanted to redress that balance slightly and make and see if we could push the kind of revenue and CPMs that, Sport podcasts get to where they are across other mediums. But at the same time, there's a bit of an issue with the way podcasts are sold and the way advertising campaigns within podcasts are sold. That means no one's winning necessarily the podcasters aren't creating the right content, the podcasters aren't getting the right revenue and the advertisers aren't winning because. Podcasting is not being sold in the way that we know audio advertising works from our radio backgrounds. So we know audio advertising works from long integrated campaigns where audiences really buy into the content and buy into what the presenters are saying. That's an audio superpower, right? It's the connection between listener and presenter and at the moment. Podcast advertising isn't necessarily sold in that way. It's sold in spot ads. It's sold in one off reads for the likes of mail, shaving products or flashy mattresses or whatever. We've all heard a million times on various podcasts. So that's what our vision is. There's a certain element of what we're doing now in terms of we are offering marketing, we are offering monetization to our partners, but at the same time, there's what we want to achieve in the future. And that is fundamentally changing the model a little bit in terms of how podcasts are monetized.

Sam:

So just so everyone knows what is the URL for the hub, where they can go.

Jim:

so you're best off just searching to be honest with you, I think, that's the easiest way to do it. So if you get into your Google or whatever it is, sports, social podcast network is the thing to search and it comes up.

Sam:

Cool now, given that you've got a sports vertical, are you gonna go and open up other verticals?

Sophie:

question. not

Sam:

Sophie's on the spot.

Sophie:

no,

Sam:

I love how Jim just looked at Sophie and went yours to answer that

Sophie:

the answer is not yet. we've got a very aggressive roadmap, very clear business plan and big ambition in sport. And it dovetails nicely with, the sport production and rights holder side of our business to the two work hand in hand. So in terms of our growth ambition, as Jim said, we've done incredibly well in, in 12 months. and we're continuing to grow every week. We've got download targets and revenue targets, and we are ahead of where we intended to be, which is really exciting. And we're gonna smash those this year. but our growth strategy is to move into new markets from next year, and develop the sports social podcast network we're already working. Podcasts that are hosted outside the UK, but we feel that we can take this to a global model and also develop. other audio products within the network. So things like potentially audio news and short form audio as well. So there's a long way to go in sport for us at the moment. we're recruiting, we're expanding the team rapidly. So we're about to put two new roles live, which is really exciting for us because yeah, we need to make sure we capitalize on this opportunity and then we will consider other verticals. We are already being approached by some of our. Partners production partners, because they do also produce outside of sports. So it may come quicker than I've said, but we've got, we've got plenty to keep us occupied at the moment.

Sam:

So tell me, how do you go about defining what to add to your network? What's the criteria, you said it's not, they don't have to have the 10,000 barrier that Acast tends to stick in place. so how do you do, is it, you come up with a great contentized gym and then take it to Sophie or is it you go, actually, this celebrity will make a brilliant podcast. What's the thinking

Jim:

there's loads of different routes depending on what product it is we're creating and what it is. We're adding to the roster, obviously with the podcast network, a lot of that is other podcasters IP. They maybe already make a show that they host via another platform and they just wanna take advantage of the monetization and the, the market. Channels that we offer. And in terms of what our criteria is for joining the network, we're pretty much an open platform. As long as the podcasts that are being created are advertiser safe, pretty much, as long as they're not misogynistic or sexist or homophobic, then actually they're the.

Sam:

so no, Joe Rogan then

Jim:

Maybe not on this occasion. yeah, so that's pretty, pretty open. As long as they're happy to engage in a conversation with us, then we're happy to engage in a conversation with them and see if we can make it work for both parties. Cuz that's an important part. It's a two way thing. It has to work for everyone. in terms of original content, then it is as with most podcasts, it starts with a good idea. And like I say, we always have. Slight eye on the bottom line. And whether we feel we can build an audience that will allow that podcast to develop and provide us with a revenue stream or the hosts involved with a revenue stream, because it is important for the life of the podcast. There's no point in doing a podcast for 10 episodes and then the host suddenly going. When do I get paid? I don't wanna do this with another, without X amount going into my pocket. And the podcast dies. We see that a lot. You mean pod fade, I think is three episodes on average or something. A podcast lasts. We don't wanna be in that scenario. We don't wanna invest time and money in something that doesn't exist. But then from the point of view of content that we work with, On a rights holder or a brand perspective. that is very much a two-way conversation. it's not just, we'll make you a podcast. It's an end-to-end audio strategy. So we sit down with these individuals and we'll talk to them about what they want to achieve. Do they want to achieve. Better audience engagement. Do they want to achieve another revenue stream for their business? Do they want to create more advertising inventory? Whatever it is they want to do, we will try and create a product. And that might be podcasting. It might be audio branding. It might be voice tech that ticks those boxes. So yeah, it's a myriad of different solutions for a myriad of different. I was gonna say problems. Opportunities is the right word. Isn't it. But it's a hundred percent. It's a bespoke service for everyone that we engage with. I think.

Sophie:

Yeah. And we talked to agents, a lot, who represent talent. We talked to talent direct who are looking to get in the space. As Jim said, we initially we did have a target list of existing podcasts that we wanted to get on our network. And we've been very happy that we've been able to achieve that. it's a huge universe. there's still many more. That we're in conversation with. so it is a mixed model really, but, as Jim said, the platform is open to anyone really with sports audio.

Sam:

Now, I assume advertising agencies are waking up to the idea of reaching these target audiences. it has taken them a long time. They're not the fastest moving snails in the. Park are they, it's traditional and then they've moved into, are you finding that the conversations are now quicker and easier with those guys? They understand the verticalization of the podcast audience.

Sophie:

Yes, I would say so, but I think there's still a way to go in the sense that a lot of the revenue that's coming into podcasting probably sits with the buying teams and trading teams more than the kind of strategy and planning teams. With the sort of traditional media agencies, there's lots of opportunity and incoming briefs. And what we are finding is because our audience is 92% male, and young, we've got a very attractive, hard to reach audience. That's difficult to buy into elsewhere. So for the right brands, it's an amazing opportunity, but where we are trying to change the model is working more. With, strategic planners and thinking about these integrated partnerships that Jim was describing and getting audio on the agenda earlier, we also work with sports specialist marketing agencies as well, because obviously there's lots and lots of brands and rights holders there that haven't entered this space. So we, we are trying to broaden the approach and also change the way the market think.

Sam:

Now you both come, as you said, from a radio background and, you said you started out in 2018, sleeping giants. They may be, but they are giants. you've got global and Bower global recently bought captivate up in Manchester. Again, seems like Manchester's the hot bed of, podcasting in the UK at the moment.

Jim:

captivate would not be happy about you just telling them they're up in Manchester. They're they're based in Huddersfield I think, which is,

Sam:

anything north of Watford they've stirred, they've woken up. I think they're beginning to understand the opportunity of podcasting as well. do you see the radio stations becoming a threat or a partner to you now going forward?

Sophie:

I don't see them as a threat. say our parent company is a radio business and you're right. all radio and audio businesses. Are in this space, I think there's room. And that's partly why we are specializing in sport because we just want to completely own that space and do that extremely well. but for radio brands and for talent. Yeah. I Global's doing an awful lot in the podcasting space, both with the radio shows and brands, but also with original talent. But I think having one particular sector that you're focused on is, the right strategy for us at the moment.

Jim:

I think we, we both worked from global, for global, at various points in our careers. And I think the one thing that global do get. Every single time, pretty much is brands. And that is a great opportunity for them to build brand extensions via podcasting. And they are doing that to a certain extent at the moment. I think they've done it pretty successfully RadioX and some of the brand extensions that come out there in the podcasting world and that, that will give them a huge, a huge advantage in the podcasting space. Cause it's a marketing channel as well in terms of competitors of us. they don't have a sports brand, which I'm probably slightly grateful for at the moment, but I think they will get podcasting. Right.

Sam:

Now the BBC's up in your part of the world as well, quite strong. I've renamed the BBC by, by creators. Cause they're losing every creator that I know. Again, what do you see? Why are people leaving the BBC? and, we've seen Emily, Les, and we've seen John, Sopel go, is this a trend just given your radio background, maybe less than your voice works. I just, thought is this a trend is the day of the BBC and it's distribution arm going, because now you can go, what I call director fan.

Sophie:

Jim will probably have a different answer to me actually, but we, we've got quite a few people in the voice works team that are X BBC, as well as X commercial radio. and I should say we are a supplier to the BBC, so we do, our sort of. Mostly in the non-sport part of voice works. We do produce, some shows and we've done work for the world service and radio four. So we're not a, a regular supplier, but we do, they, I think their strategy is very much to contract out a lot of the creative thinking and also production to Indies like ourselves.

Sam:

is probably a good thing to do as well.

Jim:

Yeah, I think you see that migration. I'm not sure it's an Exodus yet, but it might be migration from the BBC to other platforms. For me, it's two reasons. One it's financial, the BBC's being squeezed, whereas the commercial market is expanding. And if. An LBC, for example, can put a bigger check on the table for some of the BBC's leading talent than the talent is gonna go to LBC. But I also think it's a growing reputation for the platforms that are on offer and a freedom that those platforms offer as well. So I you mentioned Joe Rogan earlier. that's the perfect example that. There is money available now within the likes of Spotify, for example, to attract big talent. And although Joe Rogan didn't come from a radio background, he came from a independent podcasting into a podcasting background. There's no reason why we're not gonna see in the future podcasting giants be able to attract names from traditional media because it is growing in reputation and it provides an element of freedom that those individuals don't get within the BBC. a good example of. Although it's from a few years ago would be James O'Brien when he was hosting news night on the BBC. And he was a brilliant host of news night. And I'm sure he was well compensated for his work on that, but he felt he didn't get the freedom as a BBC presenter to provide the political views that he wanted to provide that he could have within LBC. So he made that migration away from television back onto the radio. Now that's not a podcasting example, but I think that will happen more and more. But with migrations away from the traditional TV radio into the kind of podcasting spaces. So yeah, I think it comes down to money and creative freedom.

Sophie:

And I think Andrew Moore raised the same rationale very recently as well. Didn't yeah, I think freedom. And I've seen James, O'Brien talking about his podcast, in the last couple of years as well. And that's, another stage from the radio show, isn't it? you've got probably another level of freedom. You've also got more time and space in a podcast, to expand on some of the stuff you want to talk about.

Sam:

Yeah, Andrew ma thinks that he went down to the BBC volts to go and get his opinion back. now couple of last questions, your background Sophie's TV as well. where does video fit in? We've got. YouTube and potentially a lot of rumors of, video being a big platform play. Where do you see video within voice works? how's that maybe gonna play out for you guys?

Sophie:

Yeah, great question. it's a very, pertinent question at the moment and it's something that, we are developing our strategy on as we speak. yeah, you're right. there's a pure audio play and there's multiple schools of thought. some people believe that podcasts should be audio only. Some people believe they should be YouTube. And some people believe they should be a hybrid of both. And we spend quite a lot of time advising our clients on the right way to approach that. But there is no doubt we are being approached more and more. We do produce some video now when we are creating, content for our clients and we, yeah, so we have the capability to do it, but in terms of sport, social as a platform, And the video offering within that will be a part of our play going forward because it's definitely a growing part of the market at the moment.

Sam:

I, the commercialization and the interactivity I get, both work well in the audio video, but audio is a lean back experience and video is a lean forward experience. So they are a very different way of consuming, potentially the same content. but moving forward with last question then really, you've built a brand network around, bringing in advertisers and giving your background. But there's also, there's another trend that's going through the market, which is subscription. Where do you see subscription in the mix of what you do for revenue? For monetization?

Jim:

It's a really strong part of how podcasters can monetize their content going forward. And I don't think anyone's got it right quite yet. I think it has to be more than just a add free experience. I think it has to be a greater level of content, a greater depth of content that's being offered and ne not necessarily audio content as well. I think one of the big powers that subscription has, which maybe a few people have woken up to, but not too many. Allowing people access to a community within that podcast rather than just a different audio experience. Cause we know podcasting, we know audio creates communities really well. So how can those communities be leveraged via almost, I the crowd network do this really actually with, shows like the Gar Tom Thomas cycling club, where they've built a community, a world around their podcasting and that's enabled them to leverage that via merchandise, for example. So I think that is probably the play for. Premium content within podcasting is not just offering audio, but offering access to the hosts, chat rooms, merchandise, group events, that kind of thing, that kind of a real added experiential value.

Sophie:

I so completely agree. And I think Sam at the moment for a lot of producers, the challenges they're having to access all these different things through different platforms, different models, it's quite labor intensive. The advertising model for YouTube is very different and the CPMs are very different. So I would like to see us develop a solution and that's, you know what we're working. Which gives that whole service in one place and makes it a lot easier for the producer, but also clearly delivers, the right amount of revenue strategies.

Sam:

Yeah, I think, from everything you've told me, you are curating a platform around a specific vertical, and you wanna provide monetization strategies to. Brands and creators, but at the same time, create experiential at the end. it's interesting cuz the last part of this is of course live. and where does live, fit into all of this? Because, there's two elements. That one is obviously there is, in the podcast index, there's a new thing called the live tag. So you can literally tell your subscribed listener that you're now going live and do a live show and then have that sort of interactivity, AKA radio. and the second part of that is we're seeing sell out shows. I I can't believe my 20 year old daughter's just bought for 20, 23 parenting hell live and it's sold out already. So where does live, fit into your plans?

Sophie:

we have the capability already to put on events and, we're in conversation, with quite a number of our, our producers at the moment about helping, some already do it themselves. Some if. tied to big agencies or agents have that capability. you'll see shows on our Le our network doing lots of live, which may be facilitated by us, or it may be facilitated, by their agents. but you're right. It's a huge space, absolutely huge space. And I think there's far more opportunity there. So us as a business, We offer the ability for events, for merchandising. We are, as you say, we're creating that platform. But I also think there's a further opportunity, which again, is something that we want to offer via new platforms that we're developing right now, which is to have, live streaming. It's gonna be a part of our rights holder offering as well in the future. And Jim, I dunno if you've got anything to add on live.

Jim:

it is particularly pertinent question with regards to sport in terms of live audio content, because we've all consumed sport via the radio at some point, but the breadth of sport can't possibly covered be covered by the traditional radio provider. So there has to be a digital offering that kind of supports that. And I think there's gonna be. Traditionally, I think rights holders are used to selling their rights to the highest bidder, whoever that might be it, the EFL selling their commentary rights to one platform, or be it BBC buying individual local radio football rights, whatever it is, they're used to selling them away. But I think there's a real power in rights holders. Being able to take control of. Broadcast rights themselves and distribute via their own channels because that opens up again, the relationships they have that exist with sponsors, there's potentially more value there than there is that they get from a BBC or an ITV or wherever it is, was looking for the broadcast rights. So I think it's a huge part. I it's not podcasting, it's a digital audio space. There's a. Part to be played there and discussions that we are having with rights holders certainly involve that appetite and a solution for that problem. At the moment, the issue then comes with distribution because there isn't a place currently that you can go to get live audio commentary from a variety of sports. So there is a challenge there with distribution, but certainly I think there's an app, an appetite and an opportunity.

Sophie:

together. A great example is a big sporting event that we're doing later this year. we're working with the rights holder and as part of the audio strategy that we've developed for them, there's. Podcasting, there's gonna be three live podcast events within the big sporting event. There's gonna be short form audio descriptors that are triggered by QR codes to help describe what's going on to the fans. So we try and come up with multi led solutions when we're working on those kind of projects. and I think there's a recognition, from lots of the rights holders we're talking to that live should definitely be part of their fan engagement strategy.

Sam:

Jim Sophie. Wow. You've got your hands full. Amazing. Thank you so much for coming on to Podland. remind everyone very quickly, Sophie, where they can go and find out more about voice works.

Sophie:

So voice work, sport.com and voice works.ai are the two URLs. And thank you very much for having us. Sam, it's been great talking to you and I love your passion for audio and radio and podcasting and everything.

Sam:

Sophie and Jim, if you wanna know more about voice works, which I think is a really interesting company, check him out. It's voice works.ai.

Arielle:

Next up our, on the move section of the show at NPR, Yolanda Sani has been promoted to VP of programming and new content development. She joined NPR in 2020 after a stint at Lumin.

Sam:

Good luck to her on that new role. now one of the interesting jobs that you can find on pod jobs.net, which is James' site is a job for a podcast and talk content stretches. I just put that in there, cuz I reckon Ariel, you would be brilliant at that job, but it happens to be in Singapore.

Arielle:

You never know, I could always move to Singapore , especially after the news lately. And I'll just add that. I talked a little bit ago about how I encourage folks when they enter the podcast space to fully immerse themselves, to plug into podcasting. And one of the resources that I share with them is that they should check out pod jobs, dot net, and pretty much everything that James puts out, because that's a really great way to know what's going on in the space. What jobs are available. Yeah. huge fan of all those resources.

Sam:

Yeah, James works really hard, which is why he needs a holiday. now, no boost to Graham corner either. Cuz he's got all the boosts on his, box and I haven't turned mine on yet,

Arielle:

and I don't even know what that is, so we're good to go.

Sam:

Which bit don't you know what the box is or

Arielle:

Boostgram I know people talk about it, but I don't think the average person knows about booster. Look, I'm down to be the. the person who stands in for the average listener.

Sam:

I think a little bit more than that now. look, one of the things that's missing, I certainly believe within the podcasting world is, interactivity from the user side, often podcasts feel to me like a one way communication stream. let me put my podcast and my voice out there. You consume and ingest it, but there is no way as the listen. For you to tell me what you think about it, unless you go to Twitter or you go to some discord service somewhere. booster grams are part of the podcast index two oh extensions, the idea of having comments. That you can give back to creators, but with a little bit of payment as well. So a millionth, I think of a Bitcoin is a sat and you can use that with your comment. So you basically, you are paying to make a comment. It cuts out spam trolling quite a bit. it just means that you can get a little bit of value for value back to the creator from the listener saying. Great job there. Ariel love that podcast. Thank you. And here's my little comment at this point that, tells you what I thought of it. And that's what a booster Graham is. Thank you for the boost. Yes exactly. now Kevin Brook on Twitter has said there are now over 8,000 podcasts on the lightning network, which is used to create these booster grams or distribute them. And there's a thousand lightning enabled shows where added in June alone. it's growing, it's called value for value. It came from Adam Curry and Dave Jones, the pod father, and the pod Sage. Yeah, I'm hoping that more and more people catch on with it and understand that it's a great way of valuing what creators do with a little bit of sat.

Arielle:

I guess we did have booster Graham corner after all.

Sam:

Indeed booster Graham explainer corner. Moving on to event corner, the British podcast awards are coming up, organized by, Matt Deagan and colleagues. and it's on Saturday, the 23rd of July, over in Kennington park in London. tickets have gone on sale. I've got mine. So if you're going there, please come by. Say hello, be love to see you, and catch up in.

Arielle:

Next up there is pod Fest, Berlin, which is taking place on July 16th in Berlin, Germany, and fun fact, Daniel stern, the organizer of pod Fest, Berlin curated a list for earbuds podcast collective last year in October. So you can check that out. He chose German podcasts.

Sam:

are you going to podcast movement coming up in Dallas in

Arielle:

August would not miss it for the world.

Sam:

I'm afraid I am missing it for the world. gutted. I haven't gone to podcast movement into in LA, but, I have a family and they are demanding my time in Italy. So I won't be there. You're going on holiday? I am. Yes. I'm taking a vacation. Oh, yes. and last up is Hotpod summit in November in LA. Is that one that you go to as well? Ariel?

Arielle:

That's a good question. Usually Hotpod summit takes place in New York in February surrounding the on air Fest. And this is, I believe maybe the second time that hot pod summit is gonna be in. Los Angeles. I live in New York, but I am willing to travel. So keep me on your invite list.

Sam:

if you wanna find out about any more events going on in the industry, check out pod.events again. Thanks James. For doing all that hard work

Arielle:

So Sam, what is happening for you this week in Podland?

Sam:

as I said earlier, I've got my tickets for the British podcast awards. I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of friends and meeting a lot of new people there. after the London podcast event, I think the British podcast scene is feeling rather chipper as they say over this side of the water. and I think there's gonna be a real good vibe. At this event. So if you haven't got your tickets already, I highly recommend it. And strangely next week I was invited. It doesn't mean I'll get an award, but I was invited to the Asian top 100 in tech, awards. So look at you. I will be sat at a table somewhere. coughing a glass of red wine with my fingers crossed. and I'll let you know what happens in a week's time Ariel. So what else is happening for you in Podland this week? Oh,

Arielle:

so much Sam. first I'm going to Spain next week and I've already set up a bunch of meetings with podcast. Industry folks in Barcelona and in Madrid and I'm pumped. And if you are there and would like to get a coffee, I would love to do that. I am very interested in exploring and learning about the podcast industry and audio and radio outside of the us. So keep me in the loop folks. and then other than that, just really working on rolling out squad casts V five to the world and letting people know about all the new awesome features we have. And then in earbuds land. this week's theme is about Alzheimer's and brain health and, caregivers. So that's a really important theme. And just wanted to shout that.

Sam:

Now do you know the boys@rss.com? Oh, I sure do. they're based in Barcelona,

Arielle:

yes. I already have a meeting with Alberto. Ah, they

Sam:

lovely Alberto. Yes. it'll be a lovely glass of some Spanish Rio. I'm sure that he'll treat you too.

Arielle:

And that's it for this week. If you like, Podland tell others to visit, tell your friends on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or where.

Sam:

You can also email us at comments Podland dot news or send us a Boostgram. Now, you know what one is? Yay. You'll also find all of our previous shows and interviews on our website. Podland dot news.

Arielle:

If you want daily news, you should get pod news. The newsletter is free@podnews.net. The podcast can be found in your podcast app. All the stories we've discussed on Podland today are in the show notes and we use chapters and transcripts. Our

Sam:

music is from ignite jingles, and we are hosted and sponsored by our good friends, buzz sprout. And we record with squad cast, keep boosting. Now, you know what it is?