Podnews Weekly Review

Spotify launch audiobooks, it costs extra. Acast layoff 15% seeking profitability. Transistor.fm supports the Open Podcast Prefix Project. Ivy.fm supports multiple Podcast Index Namespace tags. RSS Blue supports Alby and Fountain digital wallets.

September 23, 2022 James Cridland & Sam Sethi Season 1 Episode 94
Podnews Weekly Review
Spotify launch audiobooks, it costs extra. Acast layoff 15% seeking profitability. Transistor.fm supports the Open Podcast Prefix Project. Ivy.fm supports multiple Podcast Index Namespace tags. RSS Blue supports Alby and Fountain digital wallets.
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James Cridland:

From pod news. Welcome to pod land. The last word in podcasting news. It's Thursday, the 22nd of September, 2022. I'm James. Cridlin the editor of pod news.

Sam Sethi:

And I'm Sam, Seth, the managing director of river radio.

James Cridland:

He is pod land is sponsored by squad cast. The remote recording tool that creators love squad cast has just launched version five with new features and a new look, 4,100 hours of high quality audio is remotely recorded every week using squad cast, and they're doing something new and exciting. They have a new slack channel, uh, where you can, uh, share squad updates. What they can probably share squad cast updates with you. Um, you though can ask and answer tech questions and set up cross promos and other collaborations and more, uh, if you're interested then, uh, send a DM to squad FM, which is all one word on Twitter. If you want to get into their slack channel.

Sam Sethi:

Indeed. And we're sponsored by buzz sprout podcast. Hosting made easy last week, 3,421. People started a podcast with buzz sprout, and now there's buzz sprout adds to grow your podcast wherever it's hosted and new to buzz sprout adds you can now monetize your back catalog bus brow ads can now find insertion points in your entire back catalog automatically just click on an episode without insertion points, click the Midroll settings, which is new and bus brow ads will find your Midroll placements for that episode. It's especially useful. If your podcasts are evergreen.

James Cridland:

It's very cool. And we thank them both for their support pod land is where Sam and I review the week's top podcasting stories covered on pod news.

Sam Sethi:

We support both transcripts and chapters. So you can jump to the part of this podcast that interests you the most. If your podcast app doesn't support, transcripts or chapters, then grab a new app from pod news.net Ford slash new podcast apps. Now, James let's get on with the news, as expected, uh, the big announcement Spotify's launched audiobooks and as expected, it's only in the USA, uh, audiobooks will though cost extra. So it's on top of your subscription. Uh, but interestingly, you'll be taken to a different website to make the purchase. James, tell me more.

James Cridland:

Yes, I guess you'll be taking two, a different websites to purchase it. Uh, so that, uh, apple and Google don't get their sticky MITs on 30% of the price of the book. But as you say, um, there are an extra cost. Um, Spotify's near Zin, who is the other founder of anchor. He calls it an epic shift, um, in a blog post that he's posted on medium and former Spotify exec Michael Magnano, friend of the show, calls it a big deal for creators in a Twitter thread. And he goes quite sort of hard against, um, audible. He says the audible has an effective monopoly and a flat rate pricing model in boo. And Spotify's going to change the world.

Sam Sethi:

I can't really see the difference between what they're doing and audible. as I said, last week, I had a really great lunch with will page friend of the show. Who's the ex chief economist for Spotify, uh, along with Oscar Mary, and we talked about different models of payment, you know, um, they could have done it so differently, but they're gonna do it on a, you know, you purchase on an individual basis, each book, um, there are gonna be no exclusives, um, within the Spotify app. Um, I can't create credits. There's no value system for me to create anything so on audible, I get credits every month that I've paid for. A book could be 2199. It could be a different price point on audible, but I can just pay with one credit. And often the credit is cheaper to buy than it is to buy with cash

James Cridland:

Well, I think what Michael Magnano is trying to say is that, um, Spotify lets a creator charge, whatever the creator wants to charge and that's better for the creator audible with their credits, uh, essentially means that everything costs the same, um, which I find an astonishing thing from a man who will. Who used to work for Spotify, which has completely changed the music model so that all music costs the same. , and all of a sudden he's saying, you know, but that's a really bad thing. And, uh, the way the books work is different. so it's a very peculiar, uh, argument. You can tell that he doesn't work at, uh, Spotify anymore. I guess I can see his point of view that actually some people think that their books are worth more. The thing that surprises me about, um, Spotify and audio books, and this is a really minor point, but nevertheless, I'm still gonna make it, uh, is that, um, audio books they all have, um, square bits of artwork in Spotify. Books don't look like that, but nevertheless, all of the artwork is completely square. So some poor person has been, uh, redoing all of those, um, book covers, uh, and, uh, made them all square for 300,000 books, which is the catalog that, um, Spotify has available. That's, uh, quite a lot of artwork and who knows why they haven't actually just made the audio books, look like books instead of just a, a square artwork, a bit like a podcast, but, um, you know, who knows

Sam Sethi:

Well explained why they're so late with bringing audiobooks out then doesn't it.

James Cridland:

how else might they have, uh, charged for, uh, books then in your opinion,

Sam Sethi:

well, we talked about using. The value for value system. And I think, you know, as we start to see how this is evolving out, they could have charged for each book on that model, or they could have charged as a additional flat fee. So they could have gone two ways. One would've been go 1699 or 1999 for your subscription to Spotify and eat all you like, books. Right. Um, which would've been an interesting model to break the, the stranglehold, or the other model, as we say, could have been value for value. So I'm gonna read

James Cridland:

do you mean by value for value? If you liked this book, then pay the author. What you think it deserves.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I think so you, you could have had a, uh, a minimum value, so you could have said it's so much, you know, it has to be. Uh, again, they don't support sat, but it could have been 10,000 sat was a minimum value. And then anything above that, you can, you can, additionally tip now that would've been an interesting model.

James Cridland:

Coming from Spotify who have made a big deal of making everything flat rate, um, it's just strange to see Spotify jumping in and going, okay, we we're gonna make it variable prices for books. Um, but it's all you can eat for music and for podcasts, you get it for free with ads in there. Um, it's a very confusing, um, system, but, uh, you know, maybe there is a future of, um, an additional plan that you can get, which is, I don't know, 25 99 a month. And that includes as many books as you want. And, uh, Spotify essentially ends up working out well, how many books can the average person use and, um, how can we make that pay its way, but, um, Yeah, it's a really interesting sort of maths, uh, issue. Um, they, they, they are also doing, uh, a couple of other things as well. They've been working with, um, a company called Wattpad, , and they are, , bringing, uh, Indonesian and Filipino web novel authors to podcasting dunno much about the web novel, uh, scene, but, um, it's sort of manga and that sort of thing. And they are essentially bringing those authors into the podcast world and making them, uh, audio, uh, books, which I think is, uh, is interesting or, or audio web novels, uh, whatever they are. And they've been also, doing some interesting things with their video podcasting service or at least other people have been using interesting things with their video podcasting service haven't they,

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, it seems that apparently it's being used to pirate movies. Uh, the company claims it takes IP infringement very seriously. Uh, but you, you found James that, um, and previously reported that anchor has been using pirate podcasts. Um, tell me more, because obviously you've written about this. How are they hiding movies within it then?

James Cridland:

Well, so what people have been doing is they have been uploading full movies to anchor, as videos and then making those available as video podcasts on the anchor system. And, and because nobody of course checks, what the content is. Um, then all of a sudden you've been able just to search Spotify for, I don't know, millions, the rise of groove, for example, which is, uh, one of them. And Hey, Presto, you'd find somebody's pirate copy, which they've uploaded to anchor as a video podcast and is now available in the Spotify. Service, um, which seems, , an unforeseen, , thing, presumably of what, uh, some people might end up using, um, Spotify's video podcasting for. Yes, it's another sort of faux par and that happened the day before they announced audiobooks, which can't be, um, a good thing for a presumably jittery, um, book company to basically look at and, and go, oh gosh, and we're jumping into bed with these guys.

Sam Sethi:

Now, moving on Spotify's charitable, which was acquired earlier this year, an analytics and attribution service is lowering its price by 50%. Is this because people aren't using it anymore, James?

James Cridland:

Um, I don't know my suspicion, if you were to ask me to be sarcastic and, uh, and suspicious about it, my suspicion is think of all of the lovely data that they get from charitable that they can reuse, , in their other products and go off and sell advertising in other podcasts. Um, so of course they want more people to use that. I think that's probably being a little bit unfair. Um, but, um, yeah, they're lowering their prices by, uh, 50% so, um, yeah. Interesting seeing them move on that. And, uh, meanwhile, in terms of content Spotify's ringer has added local sports podcasts focusing on some of the biggest sports markets in the country by the country. They mean the us obviously, uh, there's off the pike with Brian Barrett from, you know, somewhere, uh, there's the full go with Jason Goff from somewhere else. There's New York, New York with John chare. Menky, uh, which is, um, from, uh, New York. I'm going to guess. And the ringer is fully special, which is, um, not, uh, clearly, uh, announced by anybody special. Uh, anyway, they're all now available in, uh, Spotify's the ringer,

Sam Sethi:

sport is very good. I mean, Amazon this week announced that it had the biggest three hours of signups ever for prime during the first exclusive NFL stream that it ran. And I know that in the UK, Amazon had started to take premier league football, uh, soccer to the USA. Um, and yeah, they're seeing signups. Um, it's why sky still exists in the UK. Um, cuz it holds football, uh, as its primary sport.

James Cridland:

indeed though. I do remember when Amazon first got hold of some, uh, football, their systems couldn't actually cope with it. This was back in 2015, I think. And their systems couldn't actually cope with it. And they ended up, um, going to, uh, I think it was BT sport and saying, look, we've got these, we've got these rights, but we can't actually support the amount of people that might be watching. Was it, was it football or was it something else? I think it was

Sam Sethi:

No, it was over boxing day and Christmas. They, they had three or four games and, and their system struggled badly.

James Cridland:

Yeah, so they ended up basically giving it free to pubs and they ended up giving it free to BT, I think, to end up showing, uh, which was a bit, a bit of a mistake. So clearly they've, um, they've invested a little bit more, uh, in terms of, uh, bandwidth costs, uh, and that sort of thing. Interestingly, if we're going to stick with, um, uh, sport then, uh, Twitch, which is of course e-sport, as you are watching people play on, uh, computer games and stuff, uh, they are, uh, changing the amount of money that they pay out to larger creators. They're gonna pay rather less and Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, says that it's got very high bandwidth costs and it can't afford it anymore. If only they had access to , they had access to the largest, internet streaming company in the world. Uh, but there we go. Um, bless them, uh, a cast.

Sam Sethi:

indeed Acast themselves. Yes. Uh, the hosting and monetization company, if anyone wasn't clearly aware who they were, uh, is laying off around 70 people, 15% of its staff,

James Cridland:

yes, that's right. Emily Ette, uh, Acast CFO has said that, that the company can increase our internal efficiency significantly without compromising on the quality of our delivery. She would say that wouldn't she? Um, uh, and by the way, the reason why I. End up, um, rather awkwardly having to explain what these companies are, podcast hosting monetization company, um, is that, uh, I do know that lots of people read pod news who are trying to get into the podcast industry and they have no idea who Acast is. And they have no idea who Spotify, uh, is in terms of, um, how, how these things work and everything else. So I do end up having to explain them. You will notice that the economist does this every single time. So it'll, it will say, you know, according to a story in the New York times, a United States newspaper, then blah, blah, blah So, um, I try and do that,

Sam Sethi:

good enough for them. It's good enough for you.

James Cridland:

Yes exactly. So I spoke to, uh, an investor about Acast and asked them about fi uh, why is Acast making all of this people laid off. I assumed it was just that Acast have grown an awful lot. And, um, at some point you need to just have a sit back and go are all of these people in the right place. Have we hired too many of those sorts of people, et cetera, et cetera, but no, it turns out that financial markets. I really want you to be profitable now rather than want you to be growing. So a few years ago they were focusing very much on growing. Now, they're focusing very much on profitability. Um, now Acast has a little bit of spare cash, but it is currently making a loss, um, of, uh, minus 31% in terms of profit margin. So everything that they sell, they're actually making a loss of about 30% of that. Um, and that means that they're valued very, very low. And, um, so, um, what these layoffs are there for is, uh, hopefully speeding up their path to profitability and it should also reduce the risk that they might run out of cash. Um, so that's why they're doing that. , and I think it's probably a sensible thing, given Acast growth for them to have a look at this sort of thing. I don't know.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, no, I think a lot of companies, I mean, I, I, I put, uh, it's inevitable that a lot of companies are gonna be, uh, trimming the fat as I would say. And, um, just in, from transistors, like inevitable question, mark, question mark. Um, yeah, I do think it is inevitable. I think companies are going defined, getting cash outta the market harder. We are going into a recession. We know that the fed are putting up interest rates and I think. You know, investment banks and everyone else is gonna be looking, as you said, uh, for companies to be profitable rather than, um, in the negative, uh, looking to get cash. Uh, the worst thing you can do is run outta cash. Anyway, that would be the worst situation. Uh, you'd end up with a fire sale.

James Cridland:

Indeed. And I think, you know, Justin is, is, um, absolutely proud of the fact that transistor is a bootstrapped company. He has never taken any VC money and that's, and that's a wonderful thing. Transistor is growing, uh, slowly but surely over and has done over the last, uh, number of years and is a really nicely well run company. Clearly, uh, Acast uh, is different and clearly any venture capital, you know, funded company has to grow rather faster in order for it to earn money back for those investors, I guess.

Sam Sethi:

Well, it's a publicly listed company as well. Isn't it? So,

James Cridland:

Hmm.

Sam Sethi:

the market to consider every quarter. Um, you know, we've said it before, share prices are reflection of risk going forward in the future. And, um, the risk is that if you're gonna run outta cash, they'll drop the share price. So if you've got profitability, the share price world naturally, uh, go up anyway, let's move on. There is something that's been, uh, announced. I have no understanding of it at all. And I'm gonna ask you to explain it. It's called the open podcast, prefix project or P three for short. It was quietly launched by John Spurlock. , and it's a prefix for analytics services, , committed to open data and

James Cridland:

yes, I

Sam Sethi:

Now I'm lost.

James Cridland:

Yeah, exactly, exactly. Uh, so, so the way that, , analytics works in podcasting is you can either get analytics from two places. You can get analytics from your own podcast, , host. So we get analytics for this show from Buzzsprout and buzz Sprout's analytics are pretty good. You can also get analytics by having a prefix. And a prefix is basically, , an old lady standing in the middle of the road. And you walk up to the old lady and you say which way to the post office. And she tells you it's over that way. , and then writes a little number in her notebook of how many people have asked her the way to the post office. Um, and that's essentially what a prefix is. It's a little old lady standing in the middle of the road, pointing you to where the, the podcast audio is. And so there are examples of this, like chartable who we've already mentioned, um, pod track, uh, who do a very good job of this. And, , there are a number of other prefix companies. So you're probably wondering, well, what's the point of, um, the open podcast prefix project or O P three, because we've already got one of those and the answer is, well, yes we do. But the open podcast, prefix project is completely. So, um, I've already put it on pod News's, um, uh, podcast downloads, for example, now anyone can see how many downloads I've got, but more to the point can also play with that data. So you can have a look at the user agent. You can have a look at the masked IP address. You can't work out the IP address, but you can work out, um, individual people, you know, all of that kind of, uh, side. Uh, you can see, um, uh, what time of day people are downloading that particular podcast, but you can also see that from everyone else who's using O P three. Um, so this is a really interesting tool that basically would enable an advertiser to check on my numbers if they wanted to. Um, it's a tool that, uh, enables us as an industry to be able to be more open and check all of those numbers, you know, as well and should enable things in the future. Um, uh, to be able to point to, for example, um, how successful is Facebook, uh, in podcasting, uh, how successful is Amazon in podcasting, you know, et cetera, et cetera. So there's, um, a ton of quite useful stuff in here about keeping data like that open.

Sam Sethi:

Mm, I can see the value of it now. , I'm sure that people can start to build services on the back of that data as well, then.

James Cridland:

Yeah. Uh, absolutely. So I think what, what John is, uh, trying to do, uh, with this is that he's trying to, firstly, uh, see if he can actually get the data, uh, first and foremost, cuz that's, uh, a useful thing, but then secondly, can he get, uh, the open podcast previs project I B certified. Um, you know, would that be, uh, more useful, um, would he be able to do something else? Would he be able to, um, produce, um, uh, you know, the global, uh, stats that Buzzsprout, uh, has, which shows you how popular Spotify is and how popular apple is and blah, blah, blah. That's great. But that's only for Buzzsprout users. So actually, can you do something that's a little bit different in terms of, um, everybody using O P three? Um, not just Buzzsprout users, not just users on other, on other platforms and so on. Um, so I think opening all of this up and allowing anyone to dive in and grab some of this, uh, data, there's an open API, which is all all there. Um, should I think be really, really interesting. So I'm, um, I'm most certainly up for it now. We can't turn it on, on buzz pro yet without Hasling somebody at Buzzsprout support, which I'll probably. but at the moment, this show isn't going through O P three. Um, but, uh, the pod news podcast, uh, certainly is, and it's fascinating seeing all of that data, uh, coming in.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, we'll have, uh, John Spurlock on the show next week to tell us more about it in person. So I look forward to that. Uh, we've mentioned Justin earlier from transistor and, uh, Justin's already supported the open podcast previs project as well. He's added to the list of analytics, prefix they use, uh, he claims that the company is the first to specifically support the project in app, which was quite cool. Although friend of the show, Todd Cochran disagreed.

James Cridland:

Yes, Todd and I can see his point of view says podcasters have been able to use any prefix that they want since 2006, no code is blocking them from doing so, including the O P three prefix, surprised that that was newsworthy. And the reason why it was newsworthy is that the way that transistor supports prefixes is that they have a big list of them with just a little tick box. So instead of relying on you, the podcaster to know that these prefixes exist, to know how to sign up for them in, in O P three S um, uh, uh, side, you don't even need to sign up, but, um, you know, you don't need to know anything about them. You can just tick the box in away. You go. Um, which is very different from the likes of blueberry or Lipsin or other services, which don't allow any of that to actually happen. I think Lipsin, by the way only allows certain prefixes to be set. They don't allow PODD sites, or at least they didn't allow pod sites, uh, in the past. And, um, I dunno whether they allow O P three yet and they may or may not. Um, so anyway, so that's why I ended up covering it, but I can completely see from Todd's point of view, um, that, uh, you know, blueberry already supports it. You can just type in the O P three prefix, if you happen to know it.

Sam Sethi:

well, we'll find out more next week now. Uh, another thing I have no idea what's going on. So I just ask you it's much easier. Uh, apple podcast wants a website link for your podcast. I don't get it. Why do they need it? Or what are they doing, James?

James Cridland:

Well, every single RSS feed has a link tag in it, which points to the homepage of your podcast. And most podcast apps show that. So you can go and find out more about your podcast and blah, blah, blah. Um, and, uh, it's a requirement to, for example, appear in Google podcasts. You have to have a link to a podcast's homepage. Now that could be your page on buzz part. It could be your page on, , your own website. It could be a service like pod page, but you do have to have a link. Now, apple podcasts haven't until recently, uh, required a link and they still don't kind of require one. But what they've said in an email that they sent out to people, uh, is that your podcast really oughts to have a link because it's an EU legal requirement that your website contains a legal address, telephone number, and. Um, so, um, and I think if you've ever visited a German website, then you'll see an impressive, um, which is basically exactly that it's the name of the publisher. It's a telephone number. It's an email for you to be able to get in touch. Um, and, um, apple is saying that that's an EU legal requirement, which you may or may not fall foul off. And so therefore, um, they want a website link to, uh, make sure that that is, you know, acceptable and, uh, legal. It's probably a good idea. Anyway. I mean, why would you not have a link to your website? Um, and I know that if you're with, uh, buzz brow or with, uh, Lisson or with, um, you know, any other large podcast host transistor, um, then you'll automatically come with a website link anyway. Um, so it's not a big deal, but it's interesting seeing that apple have been asking for one.

Sam Sethi:

Mm, Google seems. They also want it too as well. James.

James Cridland:

Yeah, that's right. So Google have asked for one, um, I think in fact, um, Spotify, uh, don't show them, um, and perhaps that they should, perhaps that this is a thing. If it's an EU legal requirement, then perhaps Spotify ought to be showing them, uh, pod news podcast pages, uh, have showed them, uh, forever. And in fact, we'll kick up an error if your, um, if your link isn't there or if your link is in the wrong format. So, it seems to me to be a sensible thing, if you are, uh, operating a podcast app for you to link to the podcast's homepage, um, why would you not do that? That seems a sensible thing for, uh, creators. So nice to see that apple podcasts is doing that again. I think they're always used to, but they've now started doing that again and good to see that, um, you know, other people are also, uh, having a look in into that as well. Again, you know, Spotify, where are you?

Sam Sethi:

Now moving on, uh, a company I'm fascinated by is a pot Mo outta Denmark. Uh, the European subscription podcast services just raised a whopping 58.6 million euros or $58.5 million of dinner while we need even need to translate currencies anymore. It's one for one now. Um, anyway, um, they have previously raised more than 116 million. I'm just totally blown away by this. When you look at some of the numbers in the podcast industry, when people raise threes or 4 million, we all go amazing well done. And then you get a company raising 58 million euros. Um, tell me more about body by James.

James Cridland:

Yeah, they are a fascinating company. And. Um, there's a lot of, , myopia in the us podcasting world about, you know, we are the United States, we're the best we're best at podcasting. Uh, nobody will ever learn anything from Europe or anywhere else in the world. And I think that that's misplaced. And this is one of the reasons why, um, PMO is a very successful subscription service for podcasts and audiobooks. There's the audiobook word again. Um, and, um, it has been incredibly successful, both in Denmark, but also in Germany, Spain, Norway, the Netherlands Finland, and all across Latin America as well. Uh, you can, uh, have a listen to original and exclusive shows, add free, and you pay for access to some of these large shows and. Apparently their first market has turned profitable just three years after launch. , many of their other markets are on a similar trajectory as well. And so basically they need to, I'm guessing pay for more great content to lower more people, to spending money, And it would be really interesting to, uh, learn, uh, a little bit more. You haven't, uh, had your black book of contacts, uh, have you Sam?

Sam Sethi:

Well strange. Yeah. Yes. I reached out to Morton stronger, uh, the CEO, founder of potty Mo. And I'm glad to say he's coming onto the show next week to tell us a lot more about potty Mo.

James Cridland:

Excellent.

Sam Sethi:

good looking man, by the way. He's a very good looking man.

James Cridland:

yes. What all Scandinavians are apart from the fat ones. Uh, so, uh, yes, no, absolutely. Um, so, uh, hit that follow button now, or that subscribe button, if you haven't done so already, that's a good thing.

Sam Sethi:

Now two stories you wrote about James that I thought were quite interesting that they were juxtaposed to each other. One was audio ads work much better than visual ads says Mars media group highlighting success in apps and games. And then somebody called Adam A. Ross dad, post three reasons why you should stop buying ads on podcasts, citing pod fading, skip buttons, and a jarring creative effect. He recommends making your own podcast instead of paying for ads. So what is it, James? Should we rebuying audio ads on podcast or are there a total waste of time?

James Cridland:

Well, the appearance of a story and pod news does not necessarily mean that I, agree with it. Um, , let's, let's just make that clear. First of all, Mar media group are a company that actually sell advertising, audio advertising into games. And what they're saying there is that, um, if you play an audio add while you are playing a game, then that is a far less. Irritating and frustrating thing, then stopping a game and then playing something visually that actually stops you from playing that game. Tick. I agree. I think that makes an awful lot of sense. Um, is it useful for podcasters to know that? I think so, because I think that there's some parallels there, uh, in terms of how, uh, audio ads work in podcasting as well. Um, so Mar media group, um, you know, obviously they want to sell more audio ads inside games, rather than those annoying visual ads that, um, stop you from playing something and you have to sit and wait for 30 seconds while, you know, while you get another, you know, token or whatever it is. Um, so completely get that their, a company out of Israel, by the way. Um, Adam Rasad. He's basically trying to get small companies to make their own podcasts. Uh, and that's fine. And the way that he's doing that is he's, uh, throwing podcast advertising under the bus by saying it's rubbish and you should stop buying ads. And instead you should pay people like him to make a podcast for your company instead. And you know, that's a, you know, that's a, that's an option, I suppose. Um, I don't think it's particularly helpful to anybody. Um, but he's saying that, uh, podcasts, uh, don't, uh, hang around forever and quite a lot of podcasts, pod fade. Well, great. What's that got to do with buying ads on podcasts? You've heard them don't really understand that podcasts have skip buttons. He's he's discovered well, yes. Um, they do have skip buttons, but there, again, we know that podcast advertising works. So, you know, some people use skip buttons. That's great. Some people flick the button when, when the ads are on, on the radio and flick to a different station. It's not necessarily the reason why you should stop buying ads. Uh, and then finally, and I would agree with this, um, some of the ads that you hear on podcasts, aren't very good. Absolutely. Um, but that doesn't necessarily mean that all of them are. Um, so I'm not necessarily sure that I agree with, um, Adam's post, but I thought that it was an interesting viewpoint once this, uh, screenshot that you have put in this, uh, in, in our show notes then, uh, Sam.

Sam Sethi:

It was from Adam's, uh, blog post that he wrote. And he said in 129 days, 22 hours, he said he skipped nine days and 23 hours. Um, he set his variable speed and saved himself another nine minutes. He's trimmed some silence and got some five more minutes back of his life. Um, and yeah, so he's just trying to say that. Um, there are ways that he has saved time while listening to podcasts. I E double speeding it and also skipping. Um, uh, look, I, I think it's the dirty little secret, I think. Um, yes, you save podcast, ADSS work. Uh, are they working because people are paying for them, but are they working because people are actioning on them or listening to them? I know when I I've got my cable box at home, soon as the ADSD come up between house of dragons or, uh, you know, power of the rings, I'm first on the fast forward button, past those ads, but I'm sure those ads have been bought and paid for. Um, and is that the same with podcasting? Our people are listening to those ads or skipping them fast.

James Cridland:

Yeah. And I'm sure that those ads have been paid for, but I'm sure that the small amount of people who skip through, um, have also been priced into that. I think when you have a look at podcasts, it it's a bit different in that we are listening to podcasts. Normally when we're doing other things and we aren't hovering over the remote, uh, we aren't looking at something. We are enjoying a podcast while we are doing the dishes or something, or while we're, um, you know, falling asleep or whatever. , when the ad comes on, In a podcast, it's a big hassle to all of a sudden fumble around in your pocket and bring out your phone and start, you know, and unlock it and then find by the time you've done all of that, the ad's gone anyway. , so I'm not necessarily convinced that. um, skipping is a big thing and all of the data that we've seen and sounds profitable is full of it. All of the data that we've seen, um, does show that podcast advertising works. , is there some skipping that goes on? Yeah, absolutely. There is, but I don't think it's a massive thing. I think it's already priced in. I mean, similarly, you know, podcast advertising also includes the 13% of podcasts that are downloaded and never listened to, um, you know, and that, and that's another thing which is already priced in there as well. So I'm not necessarily sure that it's a major thing, but I think it's worthwhile occasionally reminding ourselves that skipping is possible. And if we're not careful, there are certain things that we might do, which, um, enable automatic ad skipping in podcast apps. And, um, that wouldn't necessarily be a good plan for creatives and for creators of podcasts. So, um, We should just be a little bit careful in that. And of course, value for value exists too.

Sam Sethi:

Yes, I can hear Adam screaming at the, uh, the, uh, podcast right now going yes, but you don't need ads, just use value for value and pay what you want.

James Cridland:

Yeah. But I think a Adam is also very open that actually, you know, it, it's not a binary conversation. Um, there's nothing wrong with ads, Adam doesn't use them, but there's nothing wrong with ads and you can do both, uh, if you want to, um, or you can do one thing in one podcast and one thing in another I'm, I'm, I'm always slightly wary when, um, some people are, you know, flagging off, uh, parts of our industry just to help their own products succeed. And that's what appears to be going on with, um, you know, this post from Adam Rasad. I always think that that's probably not the right thing to do.

Sam Sethi:

Hmm. Now moving on, uh, IV dot FMS, a company I've not come across till recently. Uh, now supports transcripts, soundbites and location from the podcast index namespace. So congratulations to the guys there over 200,000 episodes with transcripts and sound bites. So far on each episode, you can search within the transcript and even jump to that spot too. Have you used or found IV before James?

James Cridland:

yeah, I've used, um, IV, um, a little bit just to sort of take a look. , they have pod news on there, which is lovely. They have a link to the transcripts, , on there that link didn't work so far as I could work out. So I'm not quite sure what they're supporting in terms of, uh, transcripts and what they're not supporting, but, uh, have you used it?

Sam Sethi:

Well, I went and played with it. Um, great use of tags. I haven't seen many other people use tags cuz in pod land, I always put tags, um, at the bottom before we publish. Um, and it was great to see the music. Um, they don't support episode art. Um, so it was very singular. Um, and formatting on show notes. There was none. So it was all one block of text. Um, and yeah, I couldn't get transcripts or soundbites to work, but look, it's early days. This is their, uh, travel of direction. Uh, congratulations that they're using the podcast index name space. It's another one to add to the list and uh, I'm sure, whatever bugs we've found, James they'll probably get fixed hopeful.

James Cridland:

Yeah, indeed. And everything changes, um, uh, which is, uh, always the way in talking about everything changing. Captivate a podcast hosting company has just announced version two of their dynamic content and monetization engine Amy, which is essentially a magic tool, which allows you to, uh, manage dynamic content that might be ads. It might be other things, uh, quickly. And at scale they've got tagging, they've got some smart interface, upgrades and everything else. Uh, it's a very smart little, uh, system. When I saw Amy version one, then it had this really nice tool in there, which was called an ad painter where you could basically paint where you want your ads to go, um, in a show and replace ads that had been baked in. Um, so they do some really nice, uh, things in there and, uh, nice to see captivate, um, continuing to innovate on this front.

Sam Sethi:

Now moving on, uh, a new company I haven't heard of before another one. Hey, um, podcast hosting company, RSS blue has added support for Albe and fountain digital wallets, which is quite cool. And it's also supporting the podcast 2.0 value for value tag.

James Cridland:

It's another podcast host and they appear to be very keen on, uh, podcasting 2.0. Um, they've done a lot of, um, good work around the medium tag and the, uh, location tag and funding tags, and other things such as that, uh, the clever thing here is that you can actually connect with your Albi wallet or with your fountain wallet. So it will do all of the complicated bits of filling in all of the random codes for you. And you don't have to worry about that. And I think from that point of view, that's really good to see a lot of the UX around podcasting 2.0 has been very, very clunky and it's been fine for geeks like me, but not so fine for normal human beings. Um, so nice to see RSS blue doing some, you know, good work, uh, in terms of a really clear user experience. Uh, there.

Sam Sethi:

I think the other thing that they've done really well is they're beginning to support music as well as a mechanism for payment, through value, for value using your digital wallet and sat. So not only can you pay for podcasts, you can also pay for music so you can upload your music to them, or you can upload your podcast. And again, as I said, you know, conversations had, uh, in private with other podcast company apps. Um, it's not gonna be long before. Um, people start to compete with Spotify. As I said, I think a couple of weeks back, my daughter won't move from Spotify cuz she gets everything in one place, music and podcasts. And now. Audio books. She's she's certainly not gonna move. So podcasting apps are gonna either have to compete or differentiate on another way. And it looks like RSS blue are saying, Hey, if you are an individual music artist yeah. You can host with us as well. And uh, people can pay you through Satoshi's. Um, so that's a nice move forward. I think.

James Cridland:

Yeah. I mean, it's certainly, it's certainly a move forward. I'm going to be controversial. And I'm going to say that, um, anything that, uh, we are doing in terms of the music medium for podcasting is just trouble. What we're basically saying is, um, to people is upload your music. You'll get paid money through your music, money that by the way, isn't particularly trackable. Um, and, uh, nothing's gonna go wrong there. Uh, there won't be any piracy, uh, whatsoever that happens with that. Uh, it, it just looks to me like, uh, trouble and trouble and trouble. And if I was building a podcast directory or building a podcast app, the first thing I would do is I would look at any podcasts that has the medium of music and exclude them because I have absolutely no idea where that music has come from, whose copyright that music is. I'm just really, really concerned about that, but I'm sure brighter people than me have already fixed, you know, all of that kind of, uh,

Sam Sethi:

Maybe just to get on anchor. No, one's checking. It'd be much easier

James Cridland:

you're right. You're right. Uh, in talking about, uh, copying actually, um, Albe has been accused of copying, almost word for word, an article from fountain, um, Oscar Mary spotted, the similarities, um, in a, uh, in a social, uh, post in the podcast, index.social, um, and is justifiably irritated. Uh, Michael Bowman, who listens to this show, he's taken the page down. He says he didn't do the required review. Um, that's what he's saying. So, um, it it's just a little bit. Disappointing when you see, uh, companies copying stuff that other companies have done. Um, I, I can see this on the other side that actually, you know, um, fountain's stuff was really well written and, and, uh, it was nice to, uh, give that another airing, but I can also see from the point of view of, um, of, uh, Albi, they should probably have asked first before copying stuff. And particularly since those two companies are kind of in competition, it would be quite nice. Had they not, uh, grabbed, uh, some of that, uh, content. So, um, so boo, but I'm sure it'll all get fixed in the end.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah. I mean, Boomie is, uh, working hard on some other stuff, which isn't copied. Uh, he's written a web LN enabled tip web component, and he's also written an I embedable one for your website. These can both be found on a new website called makers.bolt.fund and actually, uh, on the 12th of October, they'll be doing something called the legends of lightning, which is a hackathon, uh, to allow people to create more lightning, uh, plugins apps, whatever it may be. The award though is a $60,000 to the maker who builds the most innovative and awesome lightning project.

James Cridland:

Very nice. Is he actually paying that in real money or, or, or is he paying that in, uh, in SATs? Do you

Sam Sethi:

Uh, no, he's going higher. He's gonna pay it in three Bitcoin.

James Cridland:

There you go through Bitcoin, there's the future. Um, but, uh, I will be going and having a look at the simple boost, um, lightning tipping, web component, uh, straight after this to see if I can, uh, incorporate that. Cause that looks good. Um, so, uh, worthwhile taking a PE O right. I'll tell you what it's time for now. It is it's time for booster Graham corner. Now we've got a, uh, we've got a boost from Adam Curry. In fact, we've only got one boost this week. I don't know whether that's because, um, my, um, my umbrella is a little bit upset. The electrician came the other day, tried to tried to put something on, didn't put something on, had to turn the power on and off and on and off. Uh, so I'm not necessarily sure that everything is working, but Adam Curry has very kindly boost us, boosted us a thousand sets and then said underneath boosting, since pod verse doesn't stream sat yet 78 minutes times 200 SATs. Well, 78 minutes times 200 SATs should be 15,600. Uh, and it says here 1000 sat. I'm not quite sure what's going on. Um, so firstly, thank you Adam for that, but, but also I, I wonder whether this is a wider question about support because if you know, pod ver says that they support, um, value for value, but they don't, they don't support streaming sets and streaming sets. Um, certainly for, um, many, uh, podcasts that I've looked at is about, you know, a third of all of the sat that you get, but pod verse doesn't support that. So should pod verse be able to actually say that they support, uh, value for value if they don't support the streaming sat bit. Sam, do you think that that's fair?

Sam Sethi:

Well, I, again, I think it's a little bit pedantic. I think they are moving in the direction. They've started to support, uh, value for value. And I think they should be, um, hat tipped for doing that. Yeah. I mean, they haven't fully supported it and, and hopefully they will in the next issue. So again, I I'm, I'm not going to, um, give them a demerit or put 'em on the naughty step

James Cridland:

But, you know, I, I wonder so that, so there's a conversation going on in GitHub at the moment around web monetization, which is another form of it's a bit like SATs, but it's with fractions of, um, actual dollars, um, where you can, um, send money to your favorite, uh, websites. Um, and pod news is actually supported that for the last year and a half. And I think we've got about 80 cents from it. So there you go. But anyway, um, there's somebody talking about supporting web monetization, uh, through value for value, which seems to be a very sensible thing. Um, if web monetization works, why not, but what that then means is that it's not as simple as finding an app that supports. Um, value for value it's then going, okay, well, this app supports value for value, but does it support the web monetization bit or does it support the streaming stats bit or does it support X, Y, and Z? And it just sort of worries me that we actually don't necessarily know. Even if you say that something is capable of supporting, um, you, you know, the value for value, uh, stuff, you know, are they actually properly supporting it? Um, and I, I think again, there may be trouble ahead.

Sam Sethi:

Wow. There may be, but I think for most listeners or users of the app, um, again, it's a step forward. I think it's just getting them into what's a wallet. What sat? What is this payment? Um, I think streaming is something that's much further down the road. I mean, I, I'm pretty cool with it. I'm sure they'll integrate it when they're ready, but, uh, you know, we, we will see whether they do it or don't now look moving on quickly, James, um, uh, Tom Webster was a guest on six pixels this week and, uh, he put up a tweet, which I thought was quite nice. He said, congratulations to Mitch Joel on episode 845, uh, talking about the future of podcasting is what he was doing. Uh, and he noted that this is the longest running business podcast. So I haven't heard of six pixels, but, um, have you used it, heard it listen to it?

James Cridland:

uh, me neither I'll have to tell you. Uh, no. Um, but, uh, there are plenty of podcasts out there, which I have not heard of. Uh, so I wouldn't

Sam Sethi:

What are you doing, James? maybe you should skip some ads.

James Cridland:

it's the six pixels of separation podcast. Uh, it's been hosted by, uh, Lipson, um, for, um, well, many years given that it's on episode 845. I mean, the archive goes all the way back to September, 2003. So it's a proper OG podcast. Um, you know, if that's the case, uh, so it'll be, um, yeah, worthwhile checking out. What else is worthwhile checking out this story in Bitcoin magazine about podcasting 2.0 S value for value funding. They're basically saying it's the future of Bitcoin. It's the future of a lot of things, uh, which is all very exciting. Um, and, um, there was, uh, something that you say is a really interesting read about value, ranking and podcasting.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah. I mean, again, last Christmas I started to write a piece. Um, I think I shared it with you, Adam and Dave, which was web three, you know, um, in my head is Ethereum MFT and that whole stack. Um, but our assess has all the traits. Web three data portability, interoperability, uh, monetization and ownership. And again, the first piece, the Bitcoin magazine piece about podcastings value for value, Marty, Ben, who wrote it is picking up on that fact is saying, look, you know, here's a way that you can monetize and decentralized and it's peer tope. And so he's understanding the RSS plus, um, you know, the micropayment systems that we're using and the value tag are beginning to allow this to happen, which is what web three hoped will happen, but we're already doing in podcasting. So I think it's a really interesting reader. Max Webster has gone, went stage further. He's questioning, uh, Google's search. He's saying it's vulnerable, uh, because it can be easily gamed. Now. So many people understand how to game Google. Page rank and SEO. Um, and him and Oscar, Mary are from fountain have been talking about a new thing called the value rank or the market rank, which is another name for it, uh, which they use native currencies, such as sat to have a indication of. Whether this content is high value. So if people start to pay, uh, micropayments instead of likes or hearts or thumbs up for content, then maybe you can create a new ranking system in search engines that says, yeah, this, uh, piece of content, whether it's a podcast music, a book or a webpage, um, has got a lot of, uh, interaction and attention, and maybe we should value it higher. And therefore in a search engine result, it would show differently. So it's an interesting piece. I think it's just an interesting thought process of, are we moving into the attention economy now that we have a micropayment system that allows us to value content for the first time ever.

James Cridland:

Well, you'll find that linked from our show notes, um, which you will find at all the Ws dot pod land.news, uh, in events, the publisher podcast summit is coming up in London, um, in early October, the fifth and 6th of October prior to that, of course, uh, is, uh, the podcast day 24, which is happening in London and in Sydney in Australia, uh, tickets are still available for. Pod N 1215 will get you some money off. We'll get you quite a lot of money off. Um, if you want to come along to that, if you come to the London event, you get to watch the Australian event from the comfort of your own home and the other way around, uh, as well. Uh, the winners of the Irish podcast awards were announced last week in Dublin. Um, fans enjoyed an evening filled with the best of Irish podcasting, apparently. Um, and as ever, there was a brilliant podcast of the year winner, the witness, um, which ended up winning that as well as best documentary and moment of the year. Um, rather disappointingly the listeners choice award went to a podcast called talking BOLs. Um, and I always, I always, uh, you know, sort of put my head in my hands when podcasts, like that end up winning. I've never listened to it, but the, the name talking BOLs kind of reaffirms what many people think of as podcasting is just, you know, to it's just, you know, two mics, one brain type shows. Um, I just wish it was called something else. Um, but, uh, my therapist goes to me, number two and real life goes stories. Number three. Anyway, congratulations, uh, to them and change your name. that's why I would say, uh, coming up international podcast day on September 30th. Are you doing anything exciting for international podcast day, Sam?

Sam Sethi:

Not yet, James. I'm not sure what we're gonna do, but, uh, it is on September 30th. So, uh, keep an eye out for activities that are occurring. But right now, no, I have no plans. Do you?

James Cridland:

I've got no plans whatsoever. It's one of those weird days where nobody's actually overall in charge. Um, and you're never quite sure how to get involved in it. Um, but I'm sure it'll be a great day as it always is. Um, if you'd like to work with, um, uh, charitable, then you can do, uh, there's a job, um, going there, uh, working directly with Dave and har along with the rest of the amazing charitable and megaphone teams to build the future of podcast, audience insights and growth tools at megaphone. Um, if you fancy yourself as a product manager for podcast analytics at ChatAble, um, then you probably want to have a look at, um, pod jobs, uh, and find out all of that. Um, what's happening for you this week in pod land, Sam.

Sam Sethi:

Sadly, nothing I, nothing I can talk about anyway, there are other things going on and I'll probably announce them in a couple of weeks, but right now, James, nothing. That's all I will say

James Cridland:

Well, there you go. Um, what's happened for me is, um, I now have a Z wave, um, uh, smart home controller in my house,

Sam Sethi:

I'm so sorry.

James Cridland:

I know which controls one light. Uh, that's it, but I can now, uh, and this is brilliant. I can now sit watching the television order, Uber eats and, um, and then, and then from the comfort of my, uh, of my, uh, sofa turn on the outside light so that the Uber eats person knows where to drop off the food. That's exciting. Isn't it? Um, one of the things that I, I am thinking about, uh, doing is, um, so we're under a flight path. Um, occasionally. So occasionally the, the airplanes will go in a particular direction. And what I want to do is I want to get a, a little antenna and a raspberry pie and be able to basically work out where is the closest airplane to my house and where's it going? But I need to work out some form of a, uh, display and I'm not quite sure what to use for a display for that,

Sam Sethi:

Flight radar.

James Cridland:

Well, yeah, but there's like, but, but what do I use as a screen though? What do I use as a screen? Because I can get the data. Um, you can get the data with just little antenna, um, that actually looks at what the airplanes over, uh, overhead are doing. But what I would really like is a screen, but I'm not quite sure whether I should use EIN or whether I should use some fancy little O led scrolly thing or something. But that's my, that's my new, my new project. So, um, any ideas, uh, stick 'em in the boosts, uh, that will be lovely. Uh, and that's it for this week. If you like this episode of pod land, tell others to visit and subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts, we'll be back next week with another review and analysis of all things podcasting, including interviews, uh, with, uh, pod Mo and, and with John Spurlock.

Sam Sethi:

Indeed. You'll also find all our previous shows and interviews on our website, pod land, adult news. You can give us feedback using a booster Graham. If your podcast, app doesn't support boost and grab a new one from from pod news.net/new podcast apps.

James Cridland:

Yes. And if you'd like daily news, you should get pod news, the newsletters free@podnews.net. The podcast can be found in your podcast app two and on your smart speaker. And you'll find all the stories in our show notes. We use chapters and transcripts too.

Sam Sethi:

Our music is from studio dragonfly and we're hosted and sponsored by our good friends, bus sprout and squad cast.

James Cridland:

Keep listening

Podland Sep 22
Spotify adds audiobooks
(Cont.) Spotify adds audiobooks
Spotify hosting pirated movies
Chartable cuts prices
Spotify adds local sports podcasts
Acast makes cost savings
OP3 launches
Apple Podcasts asks for a website link
Podimo raises more cash
Audio ads work brilliantly/don't work at all
Ivy supports transcripts etc
Capitivate enhances AMIE
RSSBlue adds Alby and Fountain support
Alby copies Fountain
Six Pixels
Bitcoin magazine writes about podcasting
Events
Chartable job going
Sam and James's week
End credits