Podnews Weekly Review

Forget downloads, "Listen Time" maybe a better way to measure podcast success.

January 20, 2023 James Cridland & Sam Sethi Season 2 Episode 9
Podnews Weekly Review
Forget downloads, "Listen Time" maybe a better way to measure podcast success.
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It's Friday the 20th of January, 2023. The last word in podcasting news. This is the Pod News Weekly review with James k Cridlin and Sam Sethy. I'm James Cridlin, the editor of Pod News. And I'm Sam Sethy, the founder of. And CEO of POD fans. Now, the cats out the bag and also the host of Sam Talks technology in the chapters today. Where has Google Search lost Google Podcasts? If Apple subscriptions is the answer, what is the question? And will video or AI kill podcasting? And also, hi, I'm Jonna Swo. I'm the co-founder at Bumper. And I'll be on later to talk about listen time. Hi, it's Lex Friedman. I'll be on the show later to talk about Lex Friedman consulting, my time at Amazon and my whole experience in podcasting. They Will. This podcast is sponsored and hosted by Buzz Sprout last week, 4,222. A small row of darks for the four. At the beginning, people started a podcast with Buzz Sprouts podcast hosting made easy with powerful tools and remarkable customer support. And something new is coming this month too, from your daily newsletter, the Pod News Weekly review. So, uh, let's kick off this week, James, uh, with an exclusive story. You broke in pod news. Mm. Now Google search seems to have lost, or it's missing Google Podcasts. What the hell? Come on, tell me more. Where's it gone? Yes. Well, so back in April, 2018, uh, if you were fiddling around with Google and you searched for a podcast, then it would show you the podcast, but it would also show you some exciting play buttons underneath you must remember. And when you hit those play buttons, then it opened a Google Podcast's branded player and started playing you the audio. And if you are using an Android phone, it would even open the the actual app thing. And that was brilliant. But all of a sudden we noticed. That a Google search for a podcast no longer shows any play buttons linking to Google Podcasts, or indeed any links to Google Podcasts itself, so it doesn't even link to its own product anymore. So if you search for the POD News Weekly review, then you'll see a link to our website, which is hosted on Buzz Sprout. You'll see mentions in the pod news newsletter. Uh, you will see, uh, links to, you know, apple and to other places, but you won't see a single link to Google Podcasts, nor do you end up seeing them if you search for things like history, podcasts or, you know, that sort of thing. Um, so I was really curious about this, Sam. So I, I asked Google, I sent an email to press google.com, which is always a good way of getting an answer, and I got an answer from somebody who works at YouTube. Which is weird. Okay. And they said this is working exactly as intended. Um, adding, we're constantly experimenting with ways to improve the experience for our users. Yes, yes, yes. Sorry, was that cut and paste? That was a cut and paste response, wasn't it? Yeah. Yes, yes, yes, exactly. Well, that bit was, and so I said, well, if the Google podcast app has had no feature updates for the last 18 months, and you've just closed the Google Podcast's Creator program as, as we mentioned in this very podcast last week, and now you've taken it away from Google Search, um, which is the business unit that owns Google Podcasts. I said, is Google podcasts going to close? And their response was, YouTube and podcasts serve different needs. Both serve podcast listeners today, and we are not changing this right now. We have nothing more to share at this time. I thought it was really interesting. I didn't mention YouTube at all, , but all of a sudden he's saying YouTube and Google Podcasts serve different needs. What's going on there? What is going on me sound? Well, someone in the Bogue is not talking to the rest of the boue. That's for certain. Um, yeah, I don't know. Clearly, clearly it's top of his mind and he's just spilled the beans. Um, it, it's, look, it's the world's worst kept secret, isn't it? It's about to go to YouTube and they're just doing, lining up their ducks. They're getting their two 20 twos in a row, aren't they? Um, and God knows, you know, um, I just wish they'd get on with it. It's so painful waiting for it. Yeah, no, I wi I wish they would get on, uh, to it. I mean, I mean, particularly I wish that they would launch it outside of the US it seems, uh, ridiculous not to have YouTube podcasts outside of the US yet. I mean, whatever YouTube podcast is, it's just a front page at the moment with, you know, links to, uh, you know, ABC News tonight on it. So, um, but I just wish that they would get, get on with it. Um, I think that would be really helpful. Um, Todd Cochran. , uh, has called out Google for a moving podcast, search results, links you say? Yes. That he's been saying, uh, it's now time for Apple to bring out an Android version of Apple Podcast, which of course they're going to do cuz they're not stupid. Are they sad? Well, you say that, I'm not sure, but uh, yes. I was watching the new media show alive. He was fully lit last night. Oh. And yeah, he was calling it out. He was saying cuz it's gonna affect, uh, blueberry quite a lot with the, um, changes that Google have made. He wasn't happy at all. Hmm. And, and he said, yeah, maybe it's time for Apple. But I think, um, Danny Brown, uh, said that, you know, why, why bother Apple? Because there's so many other alternatives that are supporting and providing podcasting on the Android platform. Yes, AKA Spotify and others, which I kind of agree with. But also on the other side, if you've, if you do, uh, um, a Google search for Apple Podcasts on Android, and you leave it to auto, you know, auto fill what other people have typed in, it's very clear that there are lots of people who are trying to download Apple Podcasts on Android. I mean, there's an Apple TV app. Um, there are, there's an Apple Music app. Why isn't there an Apple Podcasts app? Um, so I think, I think there's some quite clear stuff there. Now, it might be that they want to avoid the 30% tax from Google on Apple podcast subscriptions. Isn't that ironic? Isn't that ironic? But it might be that they're wanting to try and avoid that, and so therefore they need to build the web, uh, the web stuff first. So it might be that, but, uh, you know, I, I, I, I don't know, it's, it's a weird and wonderful thing, but fascinating seeing that Google Podcasts clearly is closing down, but they don't wanna say anything like that because they haven't got the replacement ready yet. If they had the replacement ready, I, I'd be keener. And also, what happens now in terms of if you use Google Podcasts Manager, and then it's got a really useful feature in there of how people found your podcast. And it's got lots of phrases that people have typed into Google to find your podcast. Well, what happens to that now? Uh, we dunno what happens to that. We, we also don't know, um, you know, what happens to podcasts on Google speakers? Um, uh, how will that work? It's probably not a thing that most people use, but, you know, we don't know how any of that stuff works, so who knows? And YouTube don't actually have a way of importing RSS feeds yet from podcasts. So you have to upload podcasts, you know, um, Uh, you know, using a third party platform instead. So, um, do, do you, do you see any future for Google Podcasts? Or, or, or do you think this is basically it? Well, given they didn't do a single update to the platform, uh, app last year at all? Uh, yeah, I think it's a game over. Um, look, the day they killed the RSS reader was the day that I stopped investing my time in energy in Google products. Mm-hmm. I mean, anyone who used what, what, I can't even remember what it was called. Their Google Social Network, Google Circles or whatever it was called. Yeah, Google Plus. Google Plus Google, you know, and, and the amount of energy and time that was put into that, you know, and then. That just disappeared. RSS reader. I mean, there is a website somewhere, which has got the graveyard of every Google product that's ever been brought out to market and killed. Yeah. Um, yeah, so again, I wouldn't have invested in Google, uh, home. I mean, I was listening to a podcast with the guys from Nest, um, uh, Tony Fidel. And, you know, he was saying how uh, when they changed the alphabet, they made Nest, uh, pay to use Google Services internally, even though it was a Google product. And he said the cost of building and creating and doing stuff just went threefold through the roof. And he was like, do you not understand when you acquire a company what you do and how you merge it all into the other things that it doesn't? You know, it, it, I dunno. Um, look, it, it, best thing is it's probably best that it does die. I'm sure that nobody really uses it other than by default. Um, and maybe YouTube will will do something better. Who knows? It's the third largest podcast app. Um, uh, according to Buzzsprout art sponsor. It's not big. It's, um, you know, it's a, it's a one percenter, but nevertheless it's there. I think it's 2.6%, uh, um, uh, from memory. Mm-hmm. of all podcasts that are consumed using, uh, uh, on, on buzzsprout. Um, so I mean, it's certainly. Being used, and I hope that they don't just turn off the lights one day and it stops working completely, because I think that would, that would be a mistake. But, um, yeah. Um, the, the one thing that I did cover, uh, yesterday in, um, POD news, which was a nice, uh, another exclusive actually is a company called adori, which I've been reporting on for a while. They, um, really interesting, they're now looking for podcasters who haven't used YouTube, um, to use, uh, Ari's new tools to publish, share and grow your podcast on YouTube. I dunno whether this is right for Sam Talk's technology. Who knows? It might be. Um, but if you are one of the first 100 eligible podcasters, then you can actually grab, um, access to the tools that they produce. Um, there's some clever AI powered stuff in there as well. Um, Which will then, uh, upload and enhance your show on, uh, YouTube as well as, uh, demo videos. They're even paying you a little bit for the privilege as well. Um, so if you wanna find out more about that, then it's adori labs.com/youtube-adori. So Dory labs.com/youtube-adori. Yep. I'm, I'm sure there'll be plenty soon as YouTube do actually, uh, publicly do something properly with podcasting. I'm sure there'll be a, a plethora of, uh, tools actually coming out the woodwork. But right now, now it's just, again, it's just as simple to move your r, not your rss, but have it automated across. And then if anyone does want to listen to the audio, again, if you've not paid, you pay for YouTube, don't you? But if you've not paid, you can't do the simple thing of turning it off in your pocket. You have to leave it on. Uh, um, and so there's loads of things that, you know, have to change before I, I will take YouTube seriously as a podcasting platform. Anyway, let's move on. If Apple subscriptions is the answer, what's the question? Well, that seems to be what Ashley Carmen was saying in her newsletter last week and we just thought we'd carry it through. Um, she's saying Apple Podcasts don't make the US hits anymore. Uh, they're too focused on. Their premium subscription being on the front page and promoting those rather than finding new podcasts. Do you agree, James? Um, I, I think, I do agree that things like new and notable and those sorts of things, uh, don't have the impacts that they once do, and I think that that's probably a good thing, to be honest. Um, so yeah, I think that there's a certain amount of, of agreement there. I, I guess, you know, actually Apple Podcast hasn't moved the needle, uh, in terms of promoting new shows in a serious way for some time now. So, um, yeah, and I I'm not necessarily sure that that's, uh, a massive worry, is it? Or perhaps it is. I don't think, well, I think they've got such an influence in the market, you know, if a new show is featured on Apple, you know, the amount of traffic they can generate for that new show is nothing outside of extraordinary. But if they're not going to do anything in particular to produce or promote new and noteworthy, unless they are subscription based, then you know, I think they, it, it's, it's cutting off the end of their nose despite their face. Don't just focus on only subscription based products. Also look at podcasts that are non-subscription based right now that are really in. So don't do just one area, which I think what Ashley's saying they're focusing on, um, it just feels like it's a KPI and internally to Apple, get more subscriptions, get more subscriptions, um, and everything else be gone. And I'm sure that that's the case. And you know, I, I'm sure that, uh, I mean, I, I was, um, hosting a panel with, uh, a number of different people last year at Podcast Movement Evolutions and one of the, uh, you know, talking about subscriptions. And I remember Donald Albright from Tenderfoot TV being on that panel, and he was pretty clear at that time saying, it's not paying for itself. We're not earning as, uh, we're not earning the money that we need for the staffing that we are putting into it, but we also get real benefit from the promotion, the extra promotion that you get from Apple. Um, and so I think it's, uh, I think it's a pretty well known. You know, uh, secret in the industry that, um, apple will push you much more if they're doing, you know, if you are doing a, um, uh, a paid force subscription, perhaps you are offering, uh, a particular show ad free like this one is, you are more than welcome to go and subscribe to us in the Apple Podcasts app. apple.co/pod news is where to do that, and you get both the POD News Daily and the pod news weekly review, uh, ad free. Um, so who knows? Maybe we'll get a, uh, a bunch of promotion from the good folks at Apple now that we have a, an ad free version. Anyway, James, let's move on. we're reporting about a company called Morning Consult, which I've never heard of, but you can tell me more in a minute. They're saying that 46% of podcast listeners say they prefer listening to podcasts with video. Now, I, I took this massively with a pinch of salt because, um, a, first of all, who commissioned the survey? And secondly, um, who did they ask? But go, tell me a little bit more about this survey. Yeah, well, I can tell you who they asked. They asked people who think that they listen to podcasts, and that survey said that YouTube was the most preferred podcast platform amongst podcast listeners. Um, so given that, of course, the survey is going to say that people want to see podcasts with video cuz they're using YouTube. What I mean, what, what do you expect people to say Um, so of course it's going to end up saying that among the reasons why, to see facial expressions and reactions from the hosts and guests. Sam, pull face and here's my face. . There you go. If only this was in video. No. Um, and, uh, you could also, uh, better focus on the podcast, uh, as well and all that kind of stuff. I, I think this is a classic piece of, uh, research. It's not, it's not my job in pod news really to call out crappy research, but I think this is a, a classic piece of crappy research where they've gone to ask people who say that they listen to podcasts. Most of those say they listen to podcasts on YouTube. Um, and then they've extrapolated all of this information from them about people wanting video. Well, they're YouTube users. What, what, what do you expect? So I think it's, um, . You know, I think it's nonsense. It's almost as nonsense as the story that I covered yesterday from TikTok, uh, which is quietly testing a podcast feature. Uh, business insiders say it could make the app a bigger challenger to Spotify and YouTube. Now it's a feature called podcasts. Guess what? It is? It's actually a way for you to continue to listen to a TikTok video's audio while the app is in the background. And TikTok have called that podcasts. That's not podcasts. No, that's background playback. , that's not podcasts at all. And if there was a, you know, as I said yesterday, if there was a, uh, a podcast lobby group, an n a b for podcasting, which I keep on calling for, but nobody. Bothered to do, then that organization would be jumping up and down and saying, no, TikTok, you will not call that podcasts because it's not podcasts. Um, but, uh, I'm on a proper high horse today. I should calm down . Um, what, what more did you see about, uh, YouTube and things that aren't podcasts? Well, last week we talked about, uh, the Fox using, uh, Fox News, using that for, um, one of the Trump kids calling it a podcast. But yeah. Um, yesterday, uh, you covered a story about a guy called Ali Abdal who says he earned 4.6 million last year from his YouTube channel. He did. Um, And, uh, then you also covered, um, a former YouTuber, Anastasia Princo, who has a very different experience. Um, so I'm just curious, h how he was earning 4.6 million from his YouTube channel, um, and she was earning nothing. Totally confused. What was that story about James? Yeah, so, um, so I, I, uh, posted both of those because I think that there is interesting stuff in there for us podcasters to understand are there different ways to make money? Because, uh, the 4.6 million, for example, that Ali Abdal was making inverted commerce from his YouTube channel wasn't just from YouTube, it was from all kinds of things. It was from his Patreon, it was from his, uh, you know, other things that he does, his speaking engagements, all kinds of, uh, things. Um, and, uh, I think it's always useful as a creator to see how other creators are, um, uh, are earning money from their creative work. Um, and so what I wasn't necessarily saying, uh, by linking to Ali Abdile's, uh, thing is you can earn 4.6 million. And actually, Ali, in his video himself wasn't even saying that you could earn 4.6 million, uh, a year. He's been going for a long, long time. His costs last year were 2.5 million. Wow. So, um, in terms of, um, in terms of his, his profit margin , that was not as, not as impressive as you might think. Um, so, uh, yeah. So I mean, I think, I think from my point of view, I, I was just keen that, um, there are lessons to be learned here for us in podcasting and that's all that I was really doing. But I think Tony Deck, who, uh, contacted me. pointing me to, uh, Anastasia Petrenko, who has basically said that she's packing in U YouTube and given all of the reasons why. Um, I think that that's also really helpful too. So, um, yeah, so just, just interesting seeing how other creatives are earning cash in different ways. Well, On that note, next week we'll have Jack Davenport, who's the producer of three award-winning hits, um, in the uk. The rest is politics, the rest is history and Empire, and they've just launched a new podcasts, but he'll be talking about how they've taken all of those podcasts on the road and how they're making money from their podcast. So, um, yeah, if you're looking at how other creators are earning money successfully in this case, uh, Jack's gonna reveal all next week. Excellent. Well, I look forward to that an awful lot. It's a great podcast. The rest is politics. I listen to it, uh, relatively often and I noticed that they've also, uh, added a specific interview podcast as well. We have a specific additional podcast here in the pod News Towers, which is called Pod News Extra, um, which has a couple of additional little bits of audio in there, which you'll also find in your favorite podcast app. And in Spotify, I do like saying that. Um, the who was, uh, you, you ended up having a conversation, um, around, um, podcast analytics. Uh, I notice, uh, cuz we, we are all talking about podcast downloads and how important downloads are and everything else. Um, but, uh, somebody doesn't necessarily agree with that. They, no, I, well I saw a report out from Jonas Wooo from Bumper about a better way to measure podcast success and he's come up with some metric called listen time, which I thought was fascinating cuz um, without banging my own drum, we are looking at doing something very similar in pod fans. I thought, Hey, why not? Why not? Let's reach out to Jonas, find out what he is up to, what this report says, and what is listen time more about. So we work with a lot of clients and help them with podcast growth. That's what Bumper does. We're a podcast growth agency. And while growth without measurement is what no fiction or hope, you know, you gotta measure if it's growing or if it's not growing, right? So we have a lot of conversations with our clients about measurement. Are we gonna measure their growth? How are we gonna measure their success? And as everyone will know who's listening, a lot of people keep looking at my downloads up, are they down? And I think a lot of us in industry are unsatisfied with metric, with downloads being called defacto measurement for success and podcasting. We've been thinking we need to replace that. We need to find something else. And over the last really six months, we've been thinking more about listen time and how that might work. And really was inspired by what YouTube did a long time ago. I think it was with 2012, where they really switched in terms of what's powering their recommendation engine. It used to be the number of. And you've got more views, you get recommended more throughout YouTube's algorithm. And that didn't work very well because a lot of people, they didn't focus on high quality content that's actually engaging for an audience. And instead, a lot of creators would just like do the thing that gets them a click, gets them a view, gets them someone to click play, maybe watch the thing for 10 seconds, 15 seconds, and then turn it off. So there was a lot of low quality content that was promoted within YouTube. So that really inspired us to think about they had good reasons to change that metric from views to, in their case watch time. And frankly, that's where the name listen TOS coming from as well. We wanna focus more on did people actually listen to your pops? We want that to be the real drive. Yeah, I mean, there was a update to the Apple Podcast about a year ago, which then Apple said was a bug, but I said it was a feature which was, it stopped downloading all the things that you weren't listening to. And so you suddenly found about a third of downloads. We just never listened to. So I fully agree with you that we've got to get a different metric. So how do you envisage time listening, working? So essentially what we want to do is we want to be able to aggregate every minute or every second or every hour of your content actually being consumed, actually listened to or we wanted do, is aggregate all those minutes or seconds or hours into one big number. It makes a bunch of things quite easy. For example, duplication. If someone listened to the same episode twice, we don't care. We're gonna add that up, we're gonna add it on top. This is not unique listening minutes or hours. This is just add all the numbers together. And really what that does is it really shows you, instead of just how many people have sampled the podcast, try the podcast, hit play, maybe downloaded it. It really shows you how many people have opted into that relationship with you and with your content. Cause that's what listening is, right? I mean, again, everyone knows this on this call. Podcasting is a wonderful opt in medium. In fact, it's quite hard for someone to like listen to your podcast, right? You have to do a lot of stuff, right? They can maybe find it on a browser, but more likely they're gonna have to open the app and go to find it. Play. There's a lot. Maybe put headphones in. It's quite a big, it's a big ask to ask someone to listen to your podcast, right? But when they do that and they are engaged and they're listening, that's where we think their value comes in. Someone's actually listening to your podcast. Yeah. And deciding to stick with it. Hey, at any point someone can bail, right? At any point they can listen something else. They can take their headphones out, they can hit pause or stop. So what we wanna do is wanna add all those hours together into one big number, and then at the end of the day, or at the end of the 60 day period, after your podcast is released, we can tell you exactly this is how many hours, hopefully how many days, how many weeks, how many months people have in aggregate. Have people listened to your show to you absent? Brilliant. Now, if I want to read more of this report, where would I go? We are bumper.com. It is where we have just outlined. What listen time is, and then over the next few weeks we are gonna come out with some ideas on how we are actually going to calculate it. And we're actually really looking forward to everyone's input on that cuz we have a way we think we have a way figured out or we can calculate it or we really look forward to input from the whole community. We looking for everyone's input to tell us where we wrong, what can we improve. So altogether, frankly, this is a community. To come up with a new number that's hopefully at some point replacing downloads. Brilliant. Finally, where can people find you online? Jons Wst is where people can find me, Twitter, LinkedIn, up in the best places this way. Jonas Wst from Bumper, uh, an excellent company, uh, along with, uh, Dan Meisner, of course. And, uh, I gather that both of those will be in Las Vegas if you are going to podcast movement evolutions. So will we, uh, so we will, uh, see you there as well. And, um, yeah, he's a, he's a good and bright man, and talking about total downloads. Um, I have also been interested in, uh, listen time as, uh, Jonas calls it. Um, and uh, yeah, I ended up doing some stuff with, uh, apple Podcasts. You had a report out this week, which was what podcast category is listened to longest. Um, and it's the listen to longest that I was surprised about. There are five categories with the longest overall global listen time, um, society and culture was at the top, which I didn't expect. Um, what was this report about James Who did this and what was it about? Well, uh, this was me asking Apple Podcasts for some data. Oh. Because I said, you've got listen time. Data, right? You've got, and I was asking 'em for all kinds of things and there are very good reasons why they ignored almost all of my requests. Um, but they did come back with this, I cuz I said, what are the categories which are listened to the longest, don't care about downloads. As, as Jonas was just saying, don't care about downloads. We'd much rather look at, um, you know, total listen time. And an apple came back to me and they gave me that list. So number five, health and fitness. Number four, true crime. Number three news. Number two, comedy and number one, society and culture. And you were saying you, you found that surprising. I didn't find that surprising at all because society and culture is actually where it's the junkyard. Uh, podcasts. It's where everything that they don't quite know where it fits, goes into. So Joe Rogan is Society and Culture. Oh, is it okay as one example if he was on Apple Podcasts still? Um, so it's not necessarily, uh, quite the same thing, but yeah, I found that really interesting. Um, the data we are told by Apple Podcasts, um, frankly hasn't changed over the last six months. Uh, health and fitness occasionally moves up to number four instead of number five, but that's, um, probably, um, got something to do with people going out and doing exercising and stuff like that. Um, and then it turns out we, we, uh, we tipped the wink that, uh, if you have a look at the categories dropdown in the charts section of the. It follows that order. So actually they're publishing this anyway. Oh, right. Um, it's just that we've never known that it's, uh, based on global lesson time. So, um, yeah. So now, now we know that that's where to find it. It's the dropdown in the charts section of the app, um, where you'll find those categories in that particular order. So there's a fascinating hidden Easter egg from our friends at Apple Podcasts. Now, I wanted to ask you, I mean, we've talked about Jonas with listen time. We've talked about Apple here, having the data on Spotify for listen time. Hmm. One of the things that came up this week on the podcast index was this thing called the podcast event, which is a proposal for a new tag that's going to maybe come out or not. I don't know. I think John Spurlock's pushing it forward and it's about getting a fundamentally, I guess, Data, like listen time back into a centralized way or back to the hosts. What are your thoughts initially? And then I'll give you mine on this podcast event tag. Yeah, so I think, um, Uh, I mean, I c I can't, uh, comment on the technical bit because frankly I don't yet understand it. But podcast events, I'm thinking about them in terms of webhooks. Um, so a webhook is something when you do something on a website and you can configure that website to make a web call to somewhere else. Um, and so that's how things like Zapier can work. That's how, um, you know, other, uh, similar if that then this, uh, websites work and all of that kind of, uh, stuff. So my understanding on the podcast event tag, nothing to do with events, nothing to do with podcast movement or anything of that, uh, uh, like, uh, that the podcast event tag is specifically therefore an event that happens in your app. And it might be you giving a podcast a rating. It might be you, um, subscribing to that podcast. It might be you pressing the play button or turning the volume up, but an event that happens in your app, you could potentially have the equivalent of webhook, um, back to the podcast publisher to say, this user has just given, or a user has just given this podcast a five star review. um, so that the podcast hosting company, um, has all of the information from all of the different apps that exist, uh, out there. Um, and I think one of the difficulties that we've had in the past has been that things happen in different podcasts and we as podcast creators just don't know anything about it. I've got no idea whether somebody has voted this podcast up or down in good pods cuz I don't use good pods. Um, but I know that quite a few other people do. Is there a way of actually communicating from that app that, that has actually happened? So I can see there being some really interesting things with this. Um, Uh, event tag using events in, in apps that are happening, um, to be able to use that for analytics, to be able to use that for all kinds of other data, uh, as well. So I'm quite taken with it if podcast app developers find any interest in doing the heavy lifting, cuz it would be heavy lifting in order to get that to work. So, um, Oscar and I have, uh, have met, Oscar is the CEO of Fountain. Yes. You had lunch, didn't you, with Oscar? He's a lovely man. Yes. Um, and you know, is it in the iv? No, not that time. No. It's the, uh, fifth floor of Waterstones, which is my secret little venue in London, which I love going to. Oh yes. Oh yes, you're right. Yes, exactly. Um, But what was interesting is if you look at what Oscar's doing with what he launched last week on the Fountain 0.6 app, which was activity, right? It was an activity stream. And within pod vans, that's exactly what we are doing. So we, we, we've exchanged notes and fundamentally an activity stream, if you apply the structure to it correctly, it's act verb object, which is James listened to podcast or James commented on, um, a podcast or whatever it may be. Hmm. So there is a structure that we can put together, and that's what we've both done. So we could. Publish that activity stream to anyone. And in many ways, you could make an activity stream like an RSS feed available so that anyone could subscribe to your activity stream, um, from anywhere. And that means that you could aggregate that back into any other third party app. Mm-hmm. . So as long as the app developers want to make that activity stream open and public, and therefore it has a structure like rss, we could make that available with a one-click access to it or through an API back to a host. The question I've got is, why would we do that? What's the benefit? Not just for Oscar and I, but for the industry to give the data that we have back to the host company. Now I see why people are giving their data to John Spilo for O P three cuz they want an aggregated view. Are you saying that app developers should do the same so that we could give an aggregated view across the industry? Uh, I, I guess I, I'm, I'm not necessarily, um, uh, uh, pro or against that, but I guess you can see there being benefits in, if you're going to, for example, work out, total time spent listening to a podcast, um, then there needs to be some communication back from the app to a, uh, to, um, a podcast hosting company or wherever you want that communication to go. Um, And so I guess from that point of view, this seems like a way of doing that so that you can actually begin to capture information about how many listeners you really have, how many, uh, you know, how, how quickly you can see people following your, your show. Um, we have no visibility of that currently, and I think if you were to extrapolate out and say, um, and look at what advertisers might be asking for, advertisers at some point will turn around and say, actually download numbers are rubbish. We know that they're, we know that they're rubbish. Mm-hmm. , um, we would much rather use listen time. We would much rather use, um, actual data. Um, and the only place that we can get that is Spotify. Um, or potentially Apple, but, um, certainly Spotify. I can advertise with Spotify using the megaphone, um, advertising network or Spotify advertising network. Um, people can consume podcasts on Spotify. Therefore, uh, the rest of the internet can just bugger off because we're gonna do everything in Spotify and that's the end of decentralized podcasting forever. Mm-hmm. . Um, because the only way that it works for advertisers, if they is, if they have that a hundred percent feedback loop, um, now, I think, I think that's a concern, and I think if we can build something which keeps podcasting as being decentralized, which gives us enough data, it wouldn't be a hundred percent, but it would give us enough data to be able to have that kind of information coming from a variety of different apps that you could, um, multiply up using a census as, as most research is done, then I think that that at least gives us the tools to keep podcasting much more open than the. Uh, alternative plan of, um, the only place that we can get this data is from, uh, Spotify. And you only have to look at the BBC for an example of this. The BBC don't care about podcast downloads from anywhere else other than the BBC Sounds app because the BBC Sounds app, they've got information about listeners, they've got information about when they press play, when they press stop. All of that is really useful for. A download number is not useful for them at all. Um, and, and if that's happening, um, in a company like the bbc, you can see that that might be happening for major, for major advertisers who just basically turn around and say, we're only gonna monetize these, these shows if they're available in the, in the Spotify ecosystem. Yeah, I mean the, so I, I will commit to now, um, using the activity stream W three C standard, which is what we've applied it to, which would mean that it would be an open structure that anyone could then take the event activity within pod fans and repurpose it in the same way that you could take an RSS feed, um, which is what we do and we repurpose it within pod fans. So we take RSS in, so we should be able to give activity stream out, and that's what we will do. I'll commit to that now. Um, but we will use it in the, uh, Standard that is actually a W three C standard so that anyone else can also use the same format and therefore they should be a way for somebody in the industry, therefore, to aggregate that into some sort of analytics tool, aka John Murk, not just to rang it at him, but it's probably most likely, um, so that he could integrate that within. I think that would be the easiest way. Yeah. And I think, I think that's really good if it's, um, if it's privacy, you know, privacy respecting and all of that. Um, but, uh, yeah, that sounds, that sounds like a, an interesting plan. Um, and I'm presuming that activity part is quite difficult to, to forge. Because that's the other thing. If you are using this as a mechanism for working out whether or not somebody has heard a podcast, then you don't want it to be really easy just to, um, just to forge those, those requests, which was one of the problems that NPRs Rad had. Mm-hmm. , you know, in the past. No, I mean, you shouldn't be able to, I mean, I'm, I need to get my head into this a little bit more. I mean, it's something that you and I have been sort of talking off in the background only for a couple of days. So let's, you know, let's not overcommit to a delivery, but, um, I, I've already got that structure within pod fans. It's already there. Fountain already has that structure. It's almost as if this is turning into a board meeting for pod fans. Uh, so . Sorry, it should not be, and I have got to have Chinese walls. I'm very clear on that, but so apologies to No, that's really interesting. Is not, yeah. Well it'll be interesting seeing how that, how that works and um, on whether or not that is, that is the spirit of what John has put together in terms of the podcast event. Um, tag. Well, John, and John and I have spoken as well. I dunno if you recall, we interviewed John a few weeks back, probably, um, even we did a month and, and John and I had a look at the activity streams then. And then that's when John said, yeah, actually that would be what podcast event could be. We never really followed it up. Um, unfortunately, but the more I think about it, that would be the most logical. To take data out of apps in a consistent, structured manner. Yeah. That could then be repurposed by a third party. Well, there you go. You've heard it here first, folks. That's, uh, . What have we heard? I'm not sure . Well, let's move on to people. Uh, Dave Zab is starting a new role as product director for Spotify's Enterprise Podcast Tools. He was the, uh, or one of the co-founders of, uh, chartable, which they, um, which, uh, Spotify bought only 11 months ago, which is amazing. Uh, and now he's, uh, looking after a bunch of, uh, other things, which is, uh, great news. Um, it's always interesting reading your show notes, Sam, and I'm there going, I had no idea that. This had happened. I must, uh, put it into, I must put it into Pod News . So we'll be doing that. Uh, it's also Justin Jackson's five year anniversary. Congratulations Justin of working for Transistor fm. He keeps on posting, uh, pictures on his Master Dawn account of him driving to work and it's literally, you know, snow everywhere. Cause he's in the middle of Canada and mountains and, and, uh, skiing and all kinds of stuff. Jealous. Um, Matt Madeiras, uh, friend of the show has left Cast os uh, he was director of Podcaster success for the podcast hosting company. He's a victim of downsizing. It appears, and he would really like to work for you. So if you would like to work for him, uh, then that's all cool. Um, uh, there's, uh, a couple of. Things going on around Bruce Savitz, uh, who, uh, was working at Nielsen. He built most of Nielsen's podcast tools. He is a casualty of Nielsen's restructure. They're busy reducing their headcount by hundreds apparently. Um, uh, he says he's, he's in a good place and we and, uh, personally, uh, cuz he's always been a supporter of mine. Um, I wish him, uh, well on that too. Lots more people going away from sound hound, uh, as. . And finally, uh, we, uh, spoke about Lex Friedman, who was moving on from his role at Amazon and Wondery, and he's gonna become a full-time consultant at Lex Friedman Consulting. He must have spent literally hours thinking up that name. Anyway, Sam caught up with Lex and found out more. I'm joined by Lex Friedman. He's a Russian American computer scientist, a podcast, and an artificial intelligence researcher. He's a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institutes of Technology, and he hosts the Lex Friedman podcast on YouTube. Oh, wait, that's the wrong Lex Friedman. Let's try that again. Lex was the head of podcast partnerships for Amazon. He's focused on signing the biggest, best podcasts from Wondery, Amazon, and he was previously the Chief of Revenue Operator at Art 19. I think I've got the right Lex Friedman this time. Lex. Hello. How are you? Hi, Sam. How are you? I, that is the right one. That other guy causes me quite a bit of confusion. I know friends who can take him out. Just let say the word, he'll be gone. The word I'm saying it . Lex, thanks for joining us. Now, clearly looking back at your career, I think he even said on your own bio, Lex has a track record of getting acquired. You certainly do. So take us back a little bit very quickly. Art 19, what was your role? Where did you. . Yeah, the, the story starts a little bit earlier. I did have the, an original podcasting business called Pod Lexing, whose name I still regret. So I came in as a co-founder at a company called Midroll, which eventually was Stitcher. So I was part of that team when we sold it to Scripps. And then after seven combined years at Midroll, one of my good friends, Corey Cossa, who's now the Chief Revenue Officer over Verona, but she had come into mid role Stitcher as well a couple years back. We both decided to move over to Art 19, and so I joined there as its chief Revenue Officer. And Art 19 to that point had been a technology company. It was like they were focused on being. Backend hosting infrastructure for podcasts. So were you involved with the Amazon purchasing? So I joined Art 19 as it at C r o. My friend Corey was the COO and we came there to build in ad sales and media, which had never been part of R 19. So we started talking about the targeted ads and eventually host red ads and all those pieces. And it was about two years in to post joining Art 19 where Amazon came calling. And so you are right, I do have a track record of getting acquired, which is as much dumb luck and timing as anything else. But Art 19 was definitely right place, right time. So now you are in sconce within the big Borg of Amazon and your are working on the podcasting side. Your role there was what the head of podcast partnerships, what did that entail? Yeah, so you know, when Amazon acquired Art 19, they had already purchased Wondery about a half a year prior. Amazon's plan was, which we knew going in, was like, let's have our 19 go back to really being focused on the technology side, a hosting platform, dynamic ad insertion, and let's take all the median ad sales and move those over to the Wondery side. So I quickly joined the Wondery team first. I was, like you said, head of partnerships, which meant when we wanted to sign partners like Guy Roz, or Exactly Right. Media, that kind of thing. That was part of my focus. And then eventually I moved to head of strategy for Wondery, which really meant that I, I got to work cross-functionally, which is my favorite way to do it, where I could work with the sales team and the partnerships team and the, the premium team and all these different teams. Yeah, from. The outside in looking at it, I have to be honest and say I'm totally confused by the structure of Amazon. You've got Amazon Music, you've got Wondery, you've got Art 19, and then this little thing called Audible on the side as well. Why does that structure exist within Amazon? Why isn't it all under one thing called Amazon podcasting? Uh, it's an interesting question and I can't really speak for Amazon anymore since I don't work there anymore. But I guess what I would say is this, looking at it from my seat, Amazon Music is the parent that has Wondery and Art 19. So like all of that side of the audio house podcasting there lives under the Amazon music umbrella. Audible was, you know, a much earlier acquisition for Amazon. One of their first, I think, don't hold me that and you know, really has a different model. I don't think they would think of themselves as a podcasting company, right? They think of themselves as an audio company. Uh, I think what it comes down to is, you know, long before I ever worked at Amazon, I have Ring Doorbell and a couple ring cameras at my house, and I also have a couple Blink cameras. Turns out both of those companies are owned by Amazon. Those cameras don't actually work together. And I think the reality of it is Amazon's really big and really wants to be a good place for startups or really good place for that kind of a company and don't wanna force the issue. Right. So Wondery nor 19 Wonder was already a, a big customer, Fort 19 pre-acquisition and remains core partner, those two companies together. So they do both live under the same umbrella at Amazon Music, but yet they also do their own thing a bit. And I think that's the Amazon way they really, Amazon tries to empower startups do their own thing. Will there be more consolidation at some point there? I literally have no inside knowledge, but it seems like that's the way it always. Yeah, no, it's just given that you were inside, it's just an interesting insiders view, I guess from somebody who just left talking of little things that Amazon podcasting or Amazon Music was doing back in November. They sort of renewed their fight against Spotify by upping the number of free songs available within the catalog to Amazon Prime users. But the more interesting thing was that they made a catalog of ad free podcasts available just from Wonders catalog from AM Amazon Originals and also a partnership with a a. Was that something you were involved in? I was, one of the things that I helped on as well, and I think it's, yet it covers even more than you mentioned, right? But the goal was to just keep on building out more benefits for Amazon Prime subscribers, right? So that having a large collection of ad-free podcasts available for folks is a smart way for Amazon to get more people listening via Amazon. So yeah, I, I worked on some of those deals, but there was a, a great team there. They call themselves actually the gold team at Wondery that did an incredible job getting some of those partners on. Was Pushkin part of that deal or was that going to be part of that deal? Do you know? That I don't know. Oh, okay. Because Amazon was going to do a 10 million pound deal with Pushkin and it just seems to have disappeared, but hey. Okay. So moving fast forward, what made you want to sell up on your own? Why leave Amazon? It sounds like Amazon's going great guns with podcasting. Why now? My whole career has been like, we kind of referenced at the outset being a Russian no . My older has been working at startups that get acquired and. Each time I've been acquired, it's a question of how long will I stay at the larger company before I'm ready to start building something again? And I don't have anything negative to say about Amazon or Wondery. They were great to me and they're great businesses. It's frankly amazing to me that how much Amazon is able to do and how it's able to scale and handle all those things. But the challenge of being a company that sizes, to get that scale, you need specialization, right? You need to have people who've got lanes that they can like really excel in. And I kept over time starting. I kind of wanna do everything. I kind of don't want to be in lane. I want to not be specialized, but wide. And I think that's just startup entrepreneur mindset. And so when I was thinking about what could I do where I could get to work on everything, it's like, well, the easiest way is to just do my own thing cuz then I have to do it all. And I've worked at a lot of startups and you mentioned Pod Lexing and that one was a side hustle. I had a full-time job when I started that. I was a full-time writer actually for an online publication called Mac in a magazine at the time. Yeah. But when I was realizing this could be an opportunity for the first time in my career to build a startup, that's just me. That's my full-time job. And that sounded scary and intimidating, but also exciting and fun. So that was the sequence of events. It was thinking, how could I get to be in charge of everything and have fun doing it? That's how this. So you announced it on your daily podcast, episode four 40, but for those who haven't heard four 40, what is the focus for Lex Friedman Consulting then? What are you gonna be doing? As you know from listening to your daily Lex, I called it Lex Friedman Consulting. I've had people ask, why is it not a more creative name? My, well, I've tried that before. . I didn't love it long term. I'm fine with my name, just that the other guy also has it is a problem. But, so Lex Freeman Consulting, when I was initially envision. I've been a chief revenue officer at a couple different companies. I've been focused on revenue growth and strategies. So I was originally envisioning it as here's a way that I can help any kind of company that's got a sales team or got revenue goals, which pretty much all companies have revenue goals and help them do better, right? How can I help them grow, accelerate, devise better strategies, get sales teams working better together? Cause I have a lot of experience with that. My assumption, candidly, was that I might not be able to do that on the audio side just because when we've been a part of acquisition, sometimes there can be limitations there. But Amazon's actually been extremely accommodating. So I'm even consulting with Wondery and I've got a decent roster of clients that I'm building up where in some cases it's really helping them with something hyper specific, like really project based. How do we redo our. Website or how do we change what our story is to customers and in other cases it's much larger. We've only ever made shows as work for hire, but we wanna build our own network or I wanna launch X new podcasts. And I'm not sure the right way to think about not just the creative side, but how the creative ties in with the revenue side. Sometimes it's helping companies just find their first customers and so it's not all audio, which has been exciting just cuz I've been in audio for a long time, but I'm still getting to work with a whole lot of audio companies too, which is great cuz that's where my heart is Now. Given your background, given your knowledge and experience 2023, we're at the beginning of what's exciting you about 2023. Apart from starting your own startup, which is maybe frightening you rather than exciting you. I dunno which side it's you're on. It's probably doing both, but I would say plenty of folks who are smarter than I am have talked about how this could be a tough year for advertising revenue and maybe it's gonna get tougher to get some deals done because of it. But I think that's a blip. I think it's real, but I think we can't find a time, recent memory where we haven't clawed ourselves out of these kinds of economic conditions. So I think that right now, in some ways it's, it's extra opportunity, right? Like what I think about when the economy gets a little bit worse is people are looking for. Cheaper ways to be entertained. And podcasting can be a really nice solution to that problem. So I would kind of expect to see listenership increase as people potentially have more free time or want to have more affordable ways to be entertained. And then I, I think that every kind of challenge, and certainly the economic conditions are one right now, can also spur creativity. So my hunch is that we'll keep seeing shows launch that are really exciting. We're gonna keep seeing audience numbers grow. The, the other piece that's intriguing to me is sometimes there's also a market correction. If it means that now people are gonna think about how they can make some stuff more affordably, how can they tell great really well shaped stories, but spend less on a pre episode basis so that it's a more scalable business. Like that's just exciting for the industry as a whole. But I'm not expecting anything like shockingly revolutionary in podcasting, but I expect continued steady growth and continued launches of great, exciting shows and all the things that you'd wanna see basically is what I'm looking for. Do you see video being a big player in 23? Some people hate the idea and think video is not podcasting, and other people say no. That is just the natural extension of where Podcasting's going. Where do you sit in the great video debate? I don't hate it. I don't fully understand the enthusiasm for it, but what my overall take is you wanna meet your listeners where. right? And so if some people wanna consume content on YouTube or in other video channels, make sure they can get their content there. But it's the same way that I don't think, I'm sure people said it at some point when TV first became a thing, this is going to eat radio's lunch, right? Radio will go away and everybody is going to switch to TV instead. And the thing is, it's not a zero sum game. People can enjoy both things. I don't think that podcasts need a video component, but I certainly think if you have listeners who want to consume there, you wanna make sure that it's available there. YouTube, a lot of people listen to music on YouTube too, and that's it. It hasn't destroyed streaming and it hasn't destroyed radio or anything else. And I think that's it's okay. So, uh, to me, I just look at it as audience extension. What's more ways we can find audiences and reach them? Last question then. The hot potato of 2023 has been AI Chat, G B T, and every other AI tool that you can imagine from creating imagery through to voiceovers. Do you see AI again being a big player in podcasting in 23? and I'm not the other Lex Friedman, right? When you ask that question, I do. Yeah, just I'll ask him that next week. Don't worry, it's good. But, so listen, I find that stuff really exciting. I'm certainly not an expert, but when you think about just the things you can do with synthetic speech, obviously there's tremendous and scary opportunity to exploit it or, or abuse it, use it for less than ideal purposes. But I kind of also love the idea of if I have a major talent hosting a podcast and I want to be able to sell listener targeted ads today, you can't really do that audience targeting and couple it with a host red ad because you don't wanna have to have the host record 90 different permutations of an ad for different kinds of listeners. Yeah. But if I can have tweaks to the ad copy or tweaks to what the promo code is for tracking purpose is, and I can just synthesize that one or two words of an ad, or one or two sentences of an ad read so that my big talent can record just you know, for a minute or two and then. Uh, synthetic stuff can do the rest. That seems pretty exciting. Uh, if I can fix something and if I have a host who swears in the middle of an a reader, if I have a host who just gets a act wrong and we need to tweak it, not bothering a host is great. Can you build a whole show? You obviously can, as a kind of art project, build an entire show out of synthetic voice and ai. I can imagine it working more and more in the scripted side. I think there was just a report recently that Apple's been experimenting with audiobooks that are entirely AI read. I could imagine it was scripted fiction podcast. That's kind of the same thing. I mean, so I think there's plenty of opportunity there. There's a company coming out next week called 11 Lab Do io, and they're synthetic voice. Actually has a breath within it in that moment, which makes it even more realistic. It's quite frightening. So quickly then, where can everyone find you next? Where's the best places to find Lex Friedman The right one. Not the wrong one. Yeah, the right one. So it's Friedman spelled like Friedman, but go to lex friedman.com/consulting and that's where everything lives. I no longer on Twitter, really, but if you can figure out Mastodon, it's Lex Fry, l e x f r I. And for me, I'm on the Hacka Durham server, so that's hacka durham.io. One day, mastodons gonna figure out how to make easier URLs. But that's it, you, I'm, I'm very online. You can find me. Oh, and of course, don't forget the rebound. Where can they from now? That's right. So the rebound is rebound cast.com. That podcast is also more than 400 episodes in it's two former coworkers of mine from back when I worked in the Apple reporting industry, and after one of them had been laid off there, I had already left, this was his rebound project, was doing a podcast about technology and we do that every week. Talk about Apple and Google and everybody else in technology. And then like you mentioned, I do have your daily Lex, which is@daily.lexfriedman.com. That's five minutes today about whatever I wanna talk about. I'm probably gonna record it right after this. Brilliant, Lex, thank you so much and good luck with the consulting. We'll keep a close eye on that and hopefully get you back on later. In the end. See how you. Thanks very much. Great to talk to you. The tech stuff, tech stuff on the pod news weekly review. Yes. It's the stuff you'll find every Monday in the pod news newsletter. And here's where we do all of the, uh, tech talk. Um, op P three, first of all, Sam. Yeah, I still don't understand it, but go on . Well, uh, I, I will share with you the top secret page, um, that, uh, John has created for the POD news Daily. Uh, but yes, they have published their method of calculating downloads. Um, so you know exactly how they've published, uh, exactly how they're working out. The download figures for the podcast, which are on that particular platform, uh, is also unearthed something which frankly the IAB should be talking about, but which the i b aren't. Um, it's worth, it's worth a read anyway, um, I can tell you that the POD news daily achieved 50,796 downloads in. December. Um, and those are roughly i o B compliant, but not quite. Um, so, uh, it's nice to see those, uh, numbers. They are a bit smaller than the figures that came out of my own analytics. Um, but they're probably a bit more Right. Um, so , so that's all, uh, fun to end up, uh, uh, seeing, uh, have you seen what CloudFlare has been doing? Yeah, they've launched a, uh, a new Cervical Wilder Beast, which is an activity pub and must non-compatible server. In fact, Dave Jones, uh, the pod stage himself was actually going to do something similar. He said, um, but it looks like CloudFlare, which is totally weird. CloudFlare left field, why are you doing this? Don't understand it. I'll tell you why they're doing it because, um, oh God, then because if you so e either if you want to launch your own Master Dawn server, then that's hugely expensive. And as I discovered, cuz I tried doing it myself, it was a nightmare. Utter utter nightmare, and it chews up processor cycles and you can't run it on Amazon AWS at all. Uh, it's a, it's a nightmare. Um, so what CloudFlare have done is that they've basically taken, it looks like the master dawn, um, source code. They've put a lot of it into the CloudFlare workers. So it's not running on a server, it's running using the CloudFlare worker system, uh, which is much better for everybody. Um, and so that's what Wilder Debe is. But in order for you to spin up your own server of this, then of course you need to become a customer of CloudFlare. Most of it is free, but not all of it. And so therefore you end up, um, you end up very, very cleverly, uh, paying CloudFlare some money, um, and begin to understand how CloudFlare works, so you end up being, um, a customer of theirs. So it's, um, quite a neat customer acquisition tool, but it also does show off very nicely the fact that, um, , you can pull a lot of the server-based stuff that Masteron does and stick it into CloudFlare workers and, uh, hey, Presto, you've got something which hopefully costs rather less to run. So, um, yeah, I thought it was quite, it was quite clever and ideally fits into the cross out comments conversation that's currently going on with the podcast index. I might spin one up. I mean, I did find a third party host this week who does all of. Onboarding for you to own your own master on server. Um, bit like a, a WordPress. Um, so you don't have all of the challenges that you were talking about for yourself that you were doing? Yes. So there's a company called mato.host, which is the one that runs, that's it, the podcast index, social, uh, uh, server. I think the fundamental problem with Masteron, and it's a problem with Masteron, not with Activity Pub, but the fundamental problem with Masteron is that it is really badly written in terms of, uh, server processes and stuff like that. It is not a good tool, um, if you are in any way, uh, popular on master. . Um, there's all kinds of, uh, things that happens under, under the hood, and essentially if you post something and then somebody re you know, reposts your post and, and all of that, it, it, it drives an awful lot of traffic onto your own server, uh, in a way that, of course doesn't happen with any other social platforms. So, um, it, it's a, it's, it's fundamentally not very scalable. Um, and that's given me quite a lot of pause over the last couple of weeks thinking, uh, should I be spending my time on Masteron? Because Masteron, I don't think Masteron will actually scale at all the activity pub stuff underneath it might do, but I, I can't see Master Dawn properly scaling without spending an incredible amount on a server. But you could be spending more than $50 a month on a server with just one person on it if you are successful enough. So, you know, to me it's like, it's like a really bad plan, which is why. Something, you know, which is using workers rather than using, you know, full servers that are, is churning through this big long queue. It's probably an exciting thing. I'll, I'll spin one up and see what they, what it does. But, uh, again, I'm with you. I'm probably not sure right now on, uh, my commitment to MasterONE, but, um, I'm there sort of, I'm, I'm not very active on the, uh, podcast social. Um, maybe I should be a bit more, but anyway, uh, moving on, um, writing transcripts for the podcast transcript tag. You, you said something very odd, which I didn't understand. Ensure the calls headers are set open and for everyone. What the hell? What's that one? well cause headers as the, uh, as the incredibly expensive developer who you have, who is uh, currently making pod fans will tell you, uh, cause our, uh, http headers, which basically say to your browser, yes, you're allowed to download this and use this on a third party website, or no, you're not. Um, and, uh, they're a good security, uh, tool. They're not brilliant, but they're a helpful security tool to stop people from leaching all of your stuff. Um, but what that essentially means is if you are, uh, hosting your own podcast transcripts, if you are frankly hosting your own audio, uh, on all of that, you need to make sure that the cause headers, which by default say you can use this on this website, uh, browsers, uh, by default they will say that what you want them to say is you can use this everywhere browsers. Um, because, uh, only then will your podcast transcripts appear in another browser that might have a browser playback. Tool. So, um, for the vanishingly, small amount of people who are hosting their own, uh, transcripts and indeed audio, just make sure that the cause headers are set and, uh, open. Uh, you'll find more information, um, about that in the podcast transcript, um, specification because I managed to get a, um, an additional piece in there that talks about course headers and gives you a link to test those. So, There's an exciting thing. Um, other exciting things going on. I think it was a tweet that came out. I'm not sure, um, where it came from, but Jack Dorsey uses Fountain. So everyone's been congratulating Oscar on the new acquisition of Jack Dorsey to, uh, fountain. Yes. That's pretty cool, isn't it? Uh, the, the ex c e o of, uh, Twitter, of course, uh, using Fountain to listen to podcasts. I'm an advisor. Uh, Spotify's non-standard chapter support. We talked about that. And in fact, Adam. Uh, um, Adam Curry sent us a, uh, a, a boost and a very kind boost of 25,777 SATs. If we had that, um, that baller, uh, jingle, then uh, I would play it. But, um, uh, I'm, I'm now hearing that too often, so I'm not gonna play that Um, Adam reckons that we shouldn't be fiddling around with our podcast RSS feeds specifically for Spotify. I reckon that we probably should, uh, um, back in the old days of web browsers, as you remember, Sam, because you were running one, uh, yes. You know, that, um, in the, in the old and olden days, um, some web sites would look at your user agent and would give, um, uh, Netscape different, uh, HTML codes to Internet Explorer because Internet Explorer was rubbish and Netscape was brilliant, I think is the plan. Uh, or it may completely, or it may have been the other way around. Uh, no. No, no. Um, and so we were doing that just so that we could provide something which was brilliant for ev, for everybody. Now, eventually people got into the idea that, uh, standards was a good thing. I'm suggesting that, um, we used that old. Clutch, uh, if you like to, um, feed Spotify a slightly different RSS feed that might include chapter marks in the stupid way that they want them, uh, so that it works for people who are using Spotify. Um, while we continue to tell Spotify that this is a stupid way of doing chapters, um, and, uh, Adam, uh, believes very strongly, and I can completely see his point of view, is no, a standard is a standard and Spotify, uh, should just follow the standard. And I'm there saying, actually, I think that the most important thing in this fight are the, are the people who use our podcast, who, who are listening. Um, and so I think they're, they're the most important for Adam completely get his point of view. Uh, he, he reckons that, uh, standards are a really important part of all of this. Um, and so we have agreed to disagree, but what I like about, um, Agreeing to disagree with Adam is that it comes with, uh, a big boost . So, so thank you to Adam, uh, for that. That's very kind. Uh, a couple of other very, very quick things. Blueberry has launched a thing called Quick Links, which is a link to share everything about your show with others. It's very cool. If you can't be bothered to get your own.com, then at the very least, you can link to your quick links page on Blueberry, which is cool. It's free for everybody on blueberry. Um, OSHA has launched deep. Which is a method to link directly to an episode on a number of different platforms, uh, which is quite cool. Um, there's a bunch of new services, uh, using ai. Boring, boring, boring, claiming to automate writing articles, summaries, timestamp, show notes, and more for your podcasts and videos. Uh, one called Swell ai, uh, which is, uh, very tedious as well, but there's a bunch of really interesting things going on in the tech landscape. Finally, blueberry just announced, uh, yesterday, uh, that they have launched media mastering by or phonic as a tool for their publishers, uh, which allows quick and easy audio post-production. So basically everybody is the right volume level. It's got noise reduction and everything else. Of course, if you are with Buzz Sprout, our sponsor, then you get that, uh, as part of magic mastering. Uh, so it's great to see, uh, blueberry offering, uh, something similar, but that's, uh, what's going on in the tech world. Now there's lots of events coming up, um, including Pod Fest Expo, which is happening uh, next week, uh, in Orlando and Florida, if you fancy a little bit of sun. Uh, Chris Creme sauce, uh, of course is, uh, down there that's sounding very exciting. Podcast movement. Evolutions, uh, is of course in early, uh, March in Las Vegas. They have announced a bunch of, um, confirmed speakers. Me, oh me, what's this? I'm confirmed. Oh, you're a confirmed speaker, are you? I, I, I, yes. Podcast movement evolutions. That's excellent. That's more than I've managed yet. Um, yes, and they sent me my little graphic. It was very exciting. Oh, I've, I've not even got one of those. Um, so there we are. Well, I, I will, I will go and watch you speaking on whate. What are you speaking on? Oh, God, I can't Say it again. In this podcast. Can I pod fans? Um, yes. Oh, here we go. Oh, here we go. Yes. No, I'm on stage with all. We're doing a, we are doing a, uh, a, his and her pre presentation. We're talking about value for value, and we're gonna demo it in real time. Yeah. Now, I learned a, an amazing thing if you are, uh, doing a, uh, if you are speaking with someone else, uh, then apparently the way of, um, the way of, uh, if you want to butt into what they're saying, just take a step forward. That's, that's, that's the code. And if they, and if they want to butt in, then they take a step forward and then you can basically say, uh, then you can basically stop and look at the other person and the other person can say what they want to, and it'll look as if you've, um, you've been rehearsing this for years. It's the best tip that I've ever seen. It's just walk forward when you want to add, to add something, and then. Automatically kind of works. When do you walk back? Cuz I'll walk off the stage. Otherwise, when do you walk backwards? Oh, no, no, no. You walk, you walk forward, and then if as soon as you start talking you, you, you, you take your step back again. Got it. Um, and that all works. Uh, Spotify clearly, uh, cares about the podcast industry so much that, uh, even though they are a title sponsor of podcast Movement evolutions between the sixth and the 10th of March in Las Vegas, they're doing their own event in Los Angeles on March the eighth. Brilliant. Well done. Spotify, another Triumph. Uh, it's, uh, their second stream on event. Having said that, I will be speaking at a Spotify event in Berlin, um, uh, in the middle of, uh, April. And so therefore, Spotify are brilliant and I won't hear a, a, a word, a word said against them. Uh, also going on Radio Days, Europe, uh, at the end of March in Prague, the New Zealand Podcast Summit in May in Auckland. And the podcast show in London. In May, in London. More events both paid for and free at uh, POD News. And if you're organizing something, please tell the world about it. It's free to be listed. You'll find all of those at pod news.net/events. Booster Graham, booster Graham Corner, corner corner on the Pod News Weekly review. Oh, it's my favorite time of the show and it's a big long show this week. Uh, boost Booster Graham Corner. Uh, and we've had a couple of boosts, one of which I've mentioned already, haven't I, Sam? Uh, yes. Criticizing you for saying we should change. Um, our feed to, um, pander to Spotify. I will say the word pander cause that's how I feel it. Um, I'm with Adam by the way. If you hadn't noticed , um, . Uh, but we've had one as well from down under. Who's that? From down under. We certainly have. It's from Kyron. Uh, and I'm quite sure I'm doing that accent cuz it's suddenly not an Australian one. Uh, anyway, uh, Karin has said I've recently upped my SATs per minute to 21. And we should point out SATs per minute is a very good thing and people should be doing. Um, making sure that you are, uh, when you're listening to, uh, To podcasts, um, giving a sensible sat per minute, uh, amount, that's, uh, a very good thing. So thank you Karin for that. He says, what I'm noticing with my own value for value behavior is that I'm incrementally giving more and more, especially when I can send in a funny number and watch you squirm around it. It feels like advertising is a fast race to the bottom. While value for value is a slow race to the top, and he has sent us a four very, very friendly people. Boost. 69. 69. There you go. Uh, we'll finish with some, uh, numbers. Uh, Spotify says it has 5.5 million podcasts. I wonder how many of those are crap. Uh, the podcast index is on 4.1 million. Apple. What's on stage when you're, you are presented for Spotify. Yeah. . Yes, exactly, exactly. I won't, won't hear a word said against them. . Uh, apple is on 2.5 million, uh, according to podcast Industry Insights from Daniel J. Lewis. Uh, I've also asked, uh, Amazon how many podcasts they have, and they said we do not release that. Number four, um, they're also 2.5 million podcasts. In the podcast index with less than two episodes, apparently, according to Dave Jones. Um, so, so there's a thing, but the, uh, number of, uh, podcasts being published is on the up, uh, which is a good thing. If you get the Pod News daily, uh, newsletter, then you will see, uh, a little stat that updates itself automatically every single day because I'm very lazy. Uh, the latest figures from Wednesday, as we record this 203, well, we're not recording this on Wednesday, but the latest figures were put together on Wednesday and the latest figures are 203,692 podcasts have published at least one episode over the last week, uh, which is. , which is a figure which is up 5.7% weekly and up North 0.3% monthly. I think when you see both of those figures going down, then you know that there's a problem. There is no problem with podcasting right now. Uh, so that's a good thing. Uh, you can get those from uh, pod news.net if you get value from what we do. The pod News weekly review is separate from Pod News. Sam and I share everything from it. We really appreciate your support, so you can support us with Cash Pod news.net/weekly support. You can subscribe in Apple Podcast at apple.co/pod news or support us with SATs by hitting that boost button in your new podcast app. Try Fountain if you don't have a new podcast app. So what else is happening for you this week, Sam? Well, this is the bit where I thought I could say things and no one listens. I thought they all tune out by now. I said something last week. God dear. Didn't expect anyone to listen to that. That cat came out the bag, . Uh, so yes, well, I've said it earlier. I'm a confirmed speaker at podcast movements. I'll be on stage with Alby. I'm mm-hmm , looking forward to that. Um, yes. And yeah, rose Room 55 at the back, somewhere in the corner that no one's gonna find us, but we will be there somewhere. Um, I also launched, uh, pod bands on Twitter, so it's at join pod fans. If you want to come and find out more about pod fans. Um, I'll have all the details there on how to join the Alpha, but, uh, that's one place and I learned a word of the week. James, are you and Fanta? Uh, am I, uh, I don't know. Am I so. I was listening to, um, I love this podcast. It's called The Cures Case of Rutherford and Fry. Hannah Fry, who's brilliant, who I know. Um, they talked about something called an fk, which is 3% of people suffer from the inability to put a picture in your mind. So you can't envision, uh, images in your mind. And so if you are listening to a thriller podcast or you're listening to something that we have to try and create your own imagery, um, 3% of people can't do that. So they're useless for podcasts. So the word of the week is, and Fanta, well, uh, there you go. And I love the way that you just, uh, drop in. Oh, I know. Uh, in the middle of that , that's, sorry. That's very, that's very Sam Sethy. That is, uh, that's a fantastic thing. Um, . Well, thank you for telling me that, uh, this week for me. Uh, so what's happened for you? Thank you. Yes. This week for me has been, uh, it's been really busy, actually been really, really busy. I've had, um, uh, interviews for podcasts which are coming up, which I won't tell you about yet, in case they never actually get made. Um, I've had, uh, you know, chats with, um, all kinds of people about all kinds of things, which I can't really, uh, mention yet. Had a really good talk with Hindenberg, uh, the other day, who showed me something that they're working on that I cannot mention at all. But they are really excited about it, , and they said perhaps you might want to hint about it every so often. Um, but I, I, I, I, I don't even want to hint about it because it's, um, it's that good. Um, it's worthwhile waiting for you. You'll have to wait until the end of March. Um, To, uh, find out what they're doing there. But, um, that's very cool. So I've been seeing a lot of, uh, very cool, uh, tools and things like, uh, that none of which I can talk about, which makes for a very rubbish thing. Fundamentally, you, you, your, your week has been doing stuff that you can't tell us about. Yes. That's been fundamentally how it's worked. Um, right. But what, but what I have been enjoying doing actually is, is just enjoying. , uh, getting random emails from people both in my old radio world and in my new podcasting world as I knew I've been doing this for six years, um, uh, asking me to go and speak in various, uh, places, um, and to the point where I actually turn one down today because I'm speaking somewhere else. Um, so that's all very exciting. So hopefully I'll be able to, uh, tell you a little bit more about, uh, some of those. And I have a, uh, a chat with, um, Tom Billington from the podcast show in London next week. So, uh, hopefully more details about that to come in next week's show. Brilliant. And that's it for this week. You can give us feedback using email to weekly at pod news net, or send as a booster gram. If your podcast app doesn't support Boost, then grab a new one from pod news.net/new podcast apps. Our music is from Studio Dragonfly. Our voiceover is Sheila D, and we are hosted and sponsored by Buzzsprout. Podcast hosting made easy. Get updated every day. Subscribe to our newsletter@podnews.net. Tell your friends and grow the show. And support us and support us. The POD News weekly review will return next week. Keep listening.

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