Podnews Weekly Review

Spotify's financials; Leo Laporte, chief TWiT; Todd Cochrane; and an MA in Podcasting

February 03, 2023 Season 2 Episode 11
Spotify's financials; Leo Laporte, chief TWiT; Todd Cochrane; and an MA in Podcasting
Podnews Weekly Review
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Podnews Weekly Review
Spotify's financials; Leo Laporte, chief TWiT; Todd Cochrane; and an MA in Podcasting
Feb 03, 2023 Season 2 Episode 11

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James Cridland:

It's Friday the 3rd of February, 2023, the last word in podcasting news. This is the Pod News Weekly review with James k Cridlin and Sam Sethy. I'm James k Cridlin, the editor of Pod News. And I'm Sam

Sam Sethi:

Sethy, the CEO O

James Cridland:

of pod fans. In the chapters today, Spotify podcast, financials are up, blueberry is now valued and lit, and lots of positive news about podcasting. And also,

Leo Laporte:

hi, this is Leo Laport. I am the founder and the chief net caster at twit.tv. A little later, we'll talk about the secrets to making a successful podcast.

Todd Cochrane:

Hi everyone. This is Todd Cochrans, c e o, and founder of Blueberry Podcasting, and I'll be on later to talk about the podcasting 2.0 value for value tag. Hi,

Sandy Warr:

I'm Sandy Warhead of Podcasting at City, the University of London. I'm b Brett

Brett Spencer:

Spencer. I'm Director for the Center of Podcasting Excellence at City University of London. I'll be later to tell you what that

James Cridland:

means. This podcast is sponsored and hosted by Buzz Sprout. Last week, 4,202 people started a podcast with Buzz Sprout podcast hosting made easy with powerful tools and remarkable customer support. Now you can turn your listeners into supporters with Buzz Sprout subscriptions. You can see how all of that works@weekly.podnews.net, and you can become a power supporter there. And join us next week cuz we'll be talking to Tom Rossi and I do ask Tom Rossi whether or not that, uh, number 4,202 this week is entirely made up. So you'll, you'll have to wait and find out what he says next time around. From your daily newsletter, the Pod News Weekly review.

Sam Sethi:

So let's kick it off this week though. James, a friends of podcasters, countrymen lend me your ears. I have come not to bury Daniel Leck, but for once to praise

James Cridland:

him. Yes, the Noble Sam Sethi has told you Spotify was ambitious. If it was, so was it a grievous fault? Sam,

Sam Sethi:

look at us. That English school education not wasted once. Yeah, we've

James Cridland:

written that.. Sam Sethi: Okay. Look, the, the first story up, um, everyone's talking about it, Spotify's Q4 results. We're not gonna go into the, uh, the nitty gritty of the financials too much, but more to focus on what does it mean to us as podcasters. Now, Daniel Eck has said he, uh, he went a little too far James, I think is what he said. But I think the thing that we should take away from this is that, um, in all essence, they are seemingly growing their podcast business in terms of user's, numbers and subscribers. So, James, tell me more of your thoughts. Well, yes, in an earnings call, he did admit that he. Might have gone a little too far. This is what he said. In hindsight, I probably got a little carried away and Overinvested, relative to the uncertainty we saw shaping up in the market. He does sound a bit like a robot there, but he sounds less like a robot. I was gonna say in the other bit, now he was reading there because, uh, they circulated those, those comments prior to the conversation. Um, but uh, his hands a little bit less, uh, robotic. Uh, in another clip that I'll play you in a little bit. Yes. Um, Spotify podcast ad revenue wasn't split out, it was in the mid 30% range, year on year. Podcasting also delivered improved profitability, apparently the Spotify audience networks or healthy double digit growth quarter on quarter and total and revenue up from 418 million to 488 million quarter on quarter. Um, they did say in the earnings call, two months that outperformed and one month that underperformed, which I thought was interesting. I wonder which month that was. Now someone clever than me has emailed me and done the maths for how much ad revenue they've made from podcasts, which is nice. So it's roughly an increase here on year from 105 million in quarter 4 21 to $143 million in quarter 4 22. So sounds, if they're doing pretty good from that point of view, Sam. Yeah,

Sam Sethi:

look, uh, we, we do give Spotify a hard time. because they're a closed proprietary, uh, application that we'd rather was more open and join the ecosystem. Mm-hmm. But as a business, clearly, you know, they're taking a massive bet and that that is really what Daniel's doing. He knows that the music companies are gotten by the shorts and curlys. He can't do anything there to increase profitability particularly. So he's got to look outside of that. And podcasting does seem the most obvious one. Audiobooks being the other, of course. Um, and so yeah, in this Q4 number we've seen premium subscribers increase to 205 million., which is quite good. And their active and monthly active users are going to 489 million. They're trying to get to the 500 million. They're half a billion monthly active users. So in those terms, all the exclusives that they're getting, all of the bets they're making, you know, it is a big bet. And yes, you know, he has gone a little bit too far, maybe. But it is working in some ways for

James Cridland:

Spotify. Yeah, I think it's definitely working, uh, for them. I mean, they released their earnings call as a podcast. I listen to a lot of earnings calls and normally they're very dull and they've got, um, you know, executives on their speaker phones shouting at their speakerphone, and it sounds awful. They were clearly in a podcast studio when they did the earnings call and Daniel Eck was asked a question about, you know, investors saying that podcasting was a bad industry to invest in. And I really, uh, liked Daniel's answer. Now you'll find the full answer in our companion podcast, pod News Extra, which you can find in your favorite podcast app. But here's a little clip about what Daniel said four years ago. The major player in podcasting had been doing it for 20 years and was considered the sort of unasa. Leader and we realized that this was a nascent space that was growing. Albi, uh, still was under consumed to what we believe the potential was, um, in the industry. And we took the medium and have, uh, grown overall globally now the audience by a huge margin to what was through four years ago. So it wasn't just that we took, uh, audience from another platform, but we actually grew the pie meaningfully for podcasters. And as a result, we went from. Being almost nowhere four years ago to now being the leader in, uh, many markets around the world, uh, in this space. And I think he's got a point there. Spotify have done really well if you, if you compare them to Amazon or you compare them to Luminary or to Samsung or anyone else who's tried to enter this space since all of them have failed, but. Uh, Spotify has done fantastically, haven't, haven't they? I think, I think he's actually got a point to basically say, you know, look, w w we were nowhere four years ago and now have a look at us.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah. I, I I think if you took Spotify out of the landscape, what would it look like today? Apple, unfortunately have been a very, uh, stable custodian of podcasting in the down years, but they've done very, very little to move the needle forward. And I think at least with the exclusives, which, you know, we've given them a little kicking for, but at least they're trying to make it, uh, more interesting. I mean, if I gauge it by the fact that my. Daughter is 23 now, loves podcasting. Um, not because of her dad by the way, but because of Spotify. Um, then you've gotta give them some due. They're bringing in a younger audience, uh, and they're bringing in a new audience. So yeah,

James Cridland:

well done. Yeah, I think so you mentioned 489 million monthly active users. I've got a brilliant email from Pablo Fisher earlier on in the week who said that he was looking at the numbers and he realized that there are currently 11 million paying Spotify customers who aren't monthly active users. So that's 11 million people who haven't used a service that they pay for at all in a month, which is only 2.2% of their users. So it's not massive, but actually if you work out how much money that might be, that could be 110 million every month, which is actually twice as much as they. From podcasts, , . So I, I, um, so I mean, maybe a more, uh, a more standard way of, um, Spotify earning cash outta this is just to get more people to sign up and then forget.

Sam Sethi:

Oh my Lord. That is, that is a brilliant stat. Well done Pablo. Um, yeah, clearly a first World 1% problem, you know? Have I got another subscription? Oh, I won't look. Um, people who can afford to pay and forget. I,

James Cridland:

I mean, I have to say, I, it is probably people that get Spotify premium with their mobile phone contracts as a freebie and, and, and they've never used it. I mean, I got six months worth of Apple music and what on earth am I gonna use that for? So I, I, I've never used that either. But, uh, yeah, they, they, they, um, what, what other numbers had you seen from them, Sam? Well, overall

Sam Sethi:

though, they've still made a loss of, uh, around 250 million in this quarter. On the plus side, again, their premium subscriber numbers have gone up to $4 93 a year on year increase of 3%, and which is a really tiny increase. And it still comes down to the fundamental one problem that Spotify have. They have not increased or cannot increase with the competition. They've got the actual, um, subscriber, uh, price. Now I did see a really interesting article about title and universal music have now started to look. Uh, of the way that Spotify charges for music. And they've said that the model is broken, and I think you will see a change, dunno what the change is, but there will be a change in the way that people are gonna be paying for music coming in 2023.

James Cridland:

Well, I mean, they keep on turning around and saying that, uh, you know, being upset about the amount of money that they get from streaming platforms, but it's the majority of money that they get these days, the, the record companies. And, um, I can't remember a year when the record companies have actually been happy about anything. Um, and as far as I'm concerned, you know, the record companies are one thing. The way that they treat their artists is quite, it's quite another, um, . So, you know, there is always that. Um, were there anything that we, uh, that we didn't see?

Sam Sethi:

Yes.. Hello? Spotify. Hi-Fi. Were you, where are you ? Uh, they promised this a couple of years ago. They also promised a new subscription tier. I, I think it's one of those silly things. Why didn't you just. Do it and get away from everyone bashing you about the head with it. Yeah. I don't know what they're doing. They clearly must have had a tech in the pipeline to do something, uh, before they announced it. Yes. So I don't understand that. And also, James, come on, what else was going on with this announcement that you saw?

James Cridland:

Yeah, well there was also no mention of paid podcast subscriptions like Apple. Now, um, if you remember a year ago, Spotify made a big thing of this and, um, they said that, uh, paid podcast subscriptions would be free until January, 2023, when they're gonna start charging 5% of the revenue that you earn from selling podcasts. Um, Uh, that to me sounds like a way of earning 5%, uh, of the revenue. Uh, so why would they not announce it? Are they going ahead with that? Probably not by the sounds of it. So is it actually, uh, successful for them? I'm guessing? Probably not by the sounds of it. So yeah, it was interesting, um, hearing them not announce anything around paid for premium podcast subscriptions either. How about

Sam Sethi:

Daniel? You do value for value and do variable pricing that would really help you there. Then you could not have a ceiling on your subscription. Moving on. And while we're still in Spotify land, um, I saw an announcement that Louis Thru, the, uh, host and presenter is going to be doing a new exclusive on Spotify created by Mind House Productions. Uh, and that's coming out in the spring of this year. So they're still into their exclusive James. They are

James Cridland:

still in their exclusives. I think it's gonna be called the Louis Thru Show. and, uh, which they must have thought a lot long and hard about . Um, it is though another high profile defection from the bbc because if you remember, uh, he did a podcast during lockdown called Grounded. It was the most popular podcast on BBC sounds in quarter two in 2020. And, um, you know, seemed to go very, very well indeed. I read his, uh, book that he wrote while in lockdown as well, and he was saying how much he enjoyed doing that particular show as well. Uh, and so, you know, why is he defected from the bbc? Why is, why is the BBC no longer taking him? He was supposed to be a pretty good interviewer. Why have they not kept him on, uh, why have they allowed that to go off onto, uh, Spotify? It's yet another loss of talent from. The bbc and I think, you know, again, that's, that's an interesting one. Not the only exclusive though, is it? No.

Sam Sethi:

Well, uh, a previous Spotify exclusive is now exclusive on Audible. Michelle Obama is launching, uh, a new podcast called The Light Podcast. It starts in early March. The Obama owned production company Higher Ground, signed the deal with Audible in June. So a

James Cridland:

little while back. Yeah. And if you remember, um, a lot of the industry talk was that the Obamas were unhappy about not reaching as many people as they could possibly reach because they were Spotify exclusives. Um, and so now they've decided clearly to double down on that strategy and, um, hide behind a 7 95 monthly fee, um, with an Audible original. It seems a very peculiar thing if you're wanting to share your stories and your message with people to go behind a 7 95, um, audible, uh, paywall. But, uh, you know, um, they are. You know, they are the, the former first family. They clearly know what they're doing.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah. It's called, who Pays me the most. Sorry, did I say that out loud? Sorry, did I say that out loud?

James Cridland:

Right. Uh, if you want to hear more on the Spotify earnings call, they do have a podcast, which is called the Spotify Earnings called podcast, um, which is, uh, exclusive to, uh, Spotify. Cuz let's face it, who else would want it? Uh, and there's also, uh, Spotify's for the record, which if you ever want to have a listen to a podcast that reminds you of, um, plugging your headphones, Into the seat in an aircraft, and, uh, hearing some of the dreadful business podcasts that come out of that. This is one of those podcasts and it's got a very jolly and very British interviewer, uh, who's there giving soft questions to Paul Vogel, Daniel Eck and Alex Norstrom. Uh, if you want to hear what the new head of content at Spotify, uh, thinks, then Spotify's, for the record, uh, is the, uh, podcast to go and, uh, have a listen to for that.

Sam Sethi:

Isn't there another podcast that people can go and listen to as well,

James Cridland:

James? Well, I mean, there's also the, uh, uh, the Pod News Extra podcast sponsored by Buzz Sprout, um, where you can hear that, uh, full clip from, uh, Daniel that I played you a little bit earlier. Uh, where he's basically talking about, um, Spotify's, um, uh, strategy and quite successful strategy has to be said for, uh, podcasting. Um, and we should mention, uh, uh, pod News Extra sponsored by Buzz Sprout. Uh, last month, buzz Sprout also saw a growth in market share of almost a percentage point. Uh, according to John Spurlock's Livewire, they are already, um, a very big podcast host and they've just got even bigger if you just calculate them by total episodes published. So congratulations to them. Good to see our

Sam Sethi:

sponsorship is helping them. That's what it is. People listening to this, going to bus bpr. Well enough.

James Cridland:

That's, that's clearly it. It's, it's all us. I mean, if they weren't sponsoring this show, um, you know, they'd be down there, you know, in the, they'd be downers in the twelves and thirteens in the also rounds. But no, uh, a, a subscription fee. Very well spent there. Now, back in 2005, I was a paid for twit. I was paying for a podcast because I liked the content. And you think value for value is a new idea. Uh, these podcasts started net casts you love from people you trust and start. Steve Gibson and Kevin Rose, Patrick Norton, a load of other big stars, including this man, Leo LaPorte has been involved in broadcasting since 1991. Best known for the screensavers in 1998 and broadcast on K f I am six 40 as the tech guy for more than 15 years. He was one of the pioneers of podcasting. He formed Twit in 2005 this week in Tech. Sam caught up with Leo and started by asking him, What made him interested in podcasting in the first place? So I

Leo Laporte:

was doing a radio, actually I've done radio forever. The tech guy started in on K F I, but I had come off six years at Tech TV and then before that doing q and a on radio for a technology. So I'd been doing it for quite some time. But in 2004 I was doing the tech guy and a kid, young man who's now a grown man named Matt Bischoff, called me, I think he's 15 or 16th at time, and said, aren't you doing a podcast I said, what's that? And he explained to me, well, you need an RSS feed. I was already already been offering downloads on my show from the very beginning. The radio station said, yeah, nobody cares. You can download. They couldn't offer downloads. That's fine. So I would chop it up and put it on. So once he explained all he needed an RSS feed in the audio, I realized, well, I can easily do that. So, Less than a day. I had a podcast up that was fall of 2004. Podcasting had really, as we know it as an RSS feed, only begun the month before in September with Adam Curry and Dave Weiner's creation of, uh, you know, binary enclosures on an RSS feed. That's the technical stuff behind the scenes. So that was easy for me to implement. I was hand coding the RSS in the early days. Eventually I found a Mac program that made it easier. And by the way, there was no idea of making a company out of it yet. But at Macworld Expo in January, 2005, I and a bunch of former tech TV people got together at a bar to talk about Macworld. And I happened to have, because I was a radio broadcaster recording equipment with me. So I thought, well, I mean one microphone . So I thought, well, here we are in a noisy bar, but let's, let's just try it. And we recorded about 20 minutes. I don't think it was a podcast. I think I just put it up for download on my website initially. And there was something like 20 or 30,000 downloads and I thought, well, there's, I guess, some interest in this. So, uh, we kept doing it. I couldn't really do it initially because all of those people that were on it, Kevin Rose and Patrick Norton and David Prager, all of whom I'd worked at with at Tech tv, Roger Chang, were all over the country. And so they weren't in one locus. So certainly not where I am up in the cow and wine country north of San Francisco. So I thought, well, we could do this once in a while. You know, maybe when there's an event we all get together. But somebody called the radio show a few months later on Skype and it sounded so good, kind of a light bulb went off and I thought, oh, I could record these on Skype and have decent quality. So it was about April of that year that I reconvened the gang and I said, let's do a show. A company still wasn't in my mind. We just did a show. But eventually, you know, I wanted to do another show and another show, and that's kind of, twit was Born. The reason it's called Twit is the first show. The original show was this week in tech., and that's been a source of eternal confusion ever since. Unfortunately.. Well, there's a company called Twit and a show called

Sam Sethi:

Twit. Well, you were twit before Twitter, if I've got my chronology

Leo Laporte:

right. Yeah, yeah. We predated it by, uh, a year.

Sam Sethi:

Uh, and you were Chief twit before Elon

Leo Laporte:

Musk. Long before Elon was. He dropped it pretty quickly, but nonetheless, people still call him Chief Twit from time to time in the newspaper. And I always grinds my gears a little bit, but now he's calling himself Mr. Tweet, which is fine with me. He can have that one. As long as I get to keep Chief

Sam Sethi:

Twit. So let's have a look. You started off, as you said, with a few shows. I think you had a special version of Skype built for you as well. If I remember rightly from one of your

Leo Laporte:

shows and well not Skype, but we built, or we called , my engineer at the time who is now responsible for streaming at Facebook, Colleen built something she called Skype aaus, which was four Mac Minis, each hosting their own Skype. Because the real problem was, you know, we'd have bad Mike quality on one of his people. Or you know, Patrick always wanted to do the show underneath a car while he was working on it. So we needed ways to kind of isolate the audio, and it seemed like the only, at the time, the only way to do it was to have four different Skypes running at the same time. So she built this box, this rack with four Mac minis, each running Skype, called it Skype source. We've evolved considerably since then. In fact, Skype has now added the capability. Actually, zoom does it, but same idea capability of having one call with four ISO or more ISO audios in it, and. that has solved it for us. You use squad cast, which is pretty cool also, but we wanna do stuff live. And so, uh, you

Sam Sethi:

know, your original plan for TWIT was to have the fans pay for the shows directly. What were you gonna use for that mechanism? Subscriptions?

Leo Laporte:

Yeah. Well, no, we were never gonna use subscriptions. My friend Kevin, he had dation and for a while they. you know, he had the DIG website and they did a podcast called Dig Nation. It was very popular. Mm-hmm.. But while they tried having people pay for early access, but the problem with doing that with geeks is it doesn't take long before somebody to post it as soon as he is got it. And you know, eliminated any reason to subscribe. So I never really thought I would have a paywall of any kind. The idea was I just don't wanna do advertising. So we just had a tip jar at the time. That was pretty much all you could do. There wasn't Patreon or anything like that at the time. So we asked people to tip us. Never made more than a few thousand dollars a month. I think 9,000 was the most, and while that was enough for me, wasn't enough for more than me. And I kind of had dreams of beginning a little bit bigger. So we did that for a few years because I had a day job doing the radio show and I had all the equipment. It was easy for us to bootstrap it that way, but it took a few years. But eventually I realized, well, just like my radio show, we're gonna have to be ad supported. And so we started doing advertising and we've done

Sam Sethi:

that ever since. Have you ever taken, I've never heard you say it, but. Have you ever taken external investment? No. It's

Leo Laporte:

all bootstrapped because I really didn't want, I had watched others in my cohort do that. Kevin eventually started something called Revision three with David Prager and they got, I think $7 million of investment and it changed everything. You know, they were able to buy a lot of stuff, but they bought it rapidly. Probably a lot of it unneeded, and then eventually were forced to sell, have an exit, which wasn't the richest exit ever. I just didn't want to get in that situation. So we've always bootstrapped, I only could spend the money that I make. We do pretty well with advertising, but you know, we now do in fact, have a club, remember Full, which is a Patreon division, and, and we have about 6,000 members. So it pays a little bit better than the old days , and we hope someday I'd love to, you know, grow it to the point where we either don't have to have advertising or at least are not so dependent on it because advertising comes and goes. Right now we're in a down cycle, so, , it's, it's hard because we still have to pay the rent, the light bills, and the staff, it costs us about two and a half million dollars a year to run the network. And so we've got, and as you pointed out, we don't have deep pockets. We don't have any source of income besides the ads. So the club really has helped a lot. It's made a big difference.

Sam Sethi:

So how many shows, just so people understand, it's

Leo Laporte:

gone up and down. You know, at one point we're more than 20. I think we're down to 15 shows a week. I do six

Sam Sethi:

of them . But how do you decide what's a hit and what's a miss? Downloads.

Leo Laporte:

Just downloads. Yeah. In the early days of podcasting it was pretty easy because there weren't very many. To get a good launch, you'd get on the front page of iTunes or one of the directories and it wasn't too hard to get to 50,000. So we used to say, if you don't have 50,000 downloads, don't bother because we just can't get advertisers to, to support it. I think that number's a little lower now. We think, uh, we can make, uh, podcasts survive with say, 20,000. We've canceled quite a few shows. You know, you launch shows and they don't take off and it's always heartbreaking. First of all, cuz I don't do a show unless I really wanna do it. And I love the hosts, but also because the audience, it gets attached and then sadly it gets canceled. And they said, why don't you cancel it? And I said, well, when was the last time you listened? Well, listen, once in a while, a show really has to have a devoted audience to succeed for us.

Sam Sethi:

So looking at the fun and games at Spotify at the moment, what's your take? You know, they've done these exclusive, they've spent hundreds of millions, haven't really seen all billions, even though I should say they haven't really seen the return. Is Spotify one of those platforms you think that's going to stay in podcasting or is it gonna dip out?

Leo Laporte:

Well, I'm sure they'll try to stay. Their problem of course was they were at the mercy of record labels, which wasn't a very good business model. They make money now at record labels, but it's completely, uh, up to the record labels how much, and at any point they could cut off the faucet as Taylor Swift did a few years ago, as Neil Young tried to do when they hired Joe Rogan. So they really need their own content. And I think that's the same for a lot of these companies. I see three big companies kind of trying to eat up podcasting. Amazon, especially through its audible division. iHeart, which I used to work for, that was the radio show, syn Indicator and Spotify. And of course, I try to tell our audience that these companies are not in your best interest because their complete model is to get you to listen in their app so that they know everything about you. They also know exactly what you listen to when you listen to it, how many times you listen to it, and which ads are listened to, and they want to sell that information. Advertisers and advertisers get hooked on that. They love it. They want more information all the time, and it puts traditional RSS based podcasters like us on our back heels because we can't give the, and we don't want to give the advertisers that kind of information. And then of course, they also drive the ad rates down. They do direct insertion ads instead of host red ads as we do. There's a number of reasons that we think they're. For our model and ultimately bad for podcasting. I think one of the strengths of podcasting is that it is these RSS feeds, that it's an open platform that anybody can do it. Mm-hmm. and, and you don't have to have a deal with Spotify or iHeart or Audible to make a go of it. You know, they're trying to turn it back into the record industry and that's not a good way to do it. So I'm not a fan whether they'll succeed. I don't know. My sense is they probably will because that's advertisers foolishly, I think, want that information. They wanna, you know, we know this, they want all the data they can get about their potential audience. So what will end up happening, I suspect, is that the ad market will all go towards these exclusive plays and go away from traditional RSS podcasting.

Sam Sethi:

So YouTube announced that they want to get into podcasting. Yes. Now you are a video man as well. All of Twitter's available. Fundamentally. I love watching the Apple announcements. But I switched to you and watched it with you and the guys talking about the announcement. So you're very comfortable also putting out lots of video. Where do you think YouTube though fits into the game? Yeah,

Leo Laporte:

Google's just like Amazon, and iHeart and Spotify and Apple. I'm sure Apple will get into it at some point. They want their share of the pie, but it's all the same problem. This is proprietary and it's ad based and it's a spyware based, you know, it's surveillance capitalism, and I'm not a fan of it. We never, were relying on YouTube, you know, all along people, I remember people said, oh, you really ought to be on Facebook because that's where all the money is. That's where the audience is. And I said, you know, I don't ever want to be beholden to any one platform. I want to be everywhere our audience is, and nowhere in particular. And so we avoided that. Thank goodness we are on YouTube, but it's a small percentage of our overall monetization. You know, it's really more for the numbers than it is for the uh, ads. And so, You know, we do our own ad sales and our own ads and our own style, and I've just, I, yeah, that's fine. I think YouTube has been a boon, as has TikTok for somebody who wants to do something on video and doesn't wanna host it, it's very expensive to host video. So I'm not against YouTube by any means. It's just not for us. It's not the future of podcasting by any means either. People think we're crazy and I think we probably are to do video. Basically, we're a TV station. Yeah, and you can download the audio or the video. So we're like TV plus radio and it's expensive and complicated to do that, but I feel like we get some benefit out of it. So, and we're stuck now . So it kind of grew like topsy. It started with just a little Logitech ball camera on top of my computer and you know, sending a frame every few seconds and now it's kind of become a pull boy studio as you know. Where

Sam Sethi:

does Twit go in 23? I mean, now you've, I assume you've got a bit more time now, you step back from the radio. Do you do more live videos? Do you do more podcasts? No,

Leo Laporte:

I don't. My whole goal was my whole, my, my goal is to work less. I'm 66. My goal is to develop new talent. We have some great young talent on the network and, you know, sl slow down bit by bit, inch by inch. I'm only doing, uh, three days a week now, which is perfect. I can do that, you know, for the rest of my life and I probably will. Because I like doing what I'm doing and, and it beats working for a living, but I, you know, I don't need to do it. I, but I just, I think it's fun and I enjoy it. It's a lot easier to talk than it is to write, so I'll probably keep doing this at the level I'm doing it for some time and then I don't anticipate twit growing a whole lot. It's possible if the club grows and the revenues grow with that and, and we can develop new shows and new talent. Maybe the problem is really talent doesn't need us. You know, my model's kind of an old school model, like, you know, the studio model where you get a job with a radio station, a TV station, and you, and you work on there, you know, dime and then you get a salary. And a lot of talent doesn't need that. You know, you could be a Marquez Brownley, do it yourself. So it's happened a few times. We've had young people come on and we develop a show for 'em and they develop and they get better and then they say, see ya, . So, yeah, and I don't blame them. I don't blame 'em. I'd probably do the same thing if I were them.

Sam Sethi:

Now you started off mentioning Adam Curry, the pod father. Have you seen some of the stuff he's up to recently with the RSS extensions, the name space, and the extension

Leo Laporte:

tags? Adam has for a long time, tried to do something like these other guys own the podcast space, so I don't, any extensions to the R RSS are non-standard. You have to have a non-standard player to listen to these. His directory really was, I believe on his part, an attempt to get people like Alex Jones back on the air. He's kind of a right wing nut job and so I think it was politically motivated. You know, he was, well we're, they're canceling Alex Jones and people like him, so we gotta make sure there's somewhere for people to find him. That's fine. Nothing I want to participate.

Sam Sethi:

I noted the other day as well in one of your shows. The other thing you dislike quite a lot is all of the NFT stuff, which I agree with actually. Personally, that's not an area that you are looking into either, is it? There's

Leo Laporte:

a lot of grift out there, not just look, anything new and perhaps not so well understood by normal people is gonna be ripe for this kind of thing. As far as I can see, cryptocurrencies primary use is for money laundering and ransomware and NFTs. You know, a lot of people touted the idea that, oh, this is great for creators. No, it's not. It's a speculative security and it's great for investors and people want to, you know, make money by buying low and selling high. It's nothing I want to participate in.

Sam Sethi:

If somebody wants to find more about twit, where would they.. Leo Laporte: Easy to find us. Google Twit. We're still the number one twit on Google . We can just go directly to the website, twit.tv. When we first started twit, a lot of Brits called us and said, you know what twit means? I said, exactly. That's the point.. We don't wanna take ourselves too seriously. I just realized one last question. Sorry Leo. You've canceled Twitter recently for yourself, not for the network. You've moved to, maam. You've obviously got your Discord server. I mean, are you finding Master Don a a fun place to be or a good place to hang out now?

Leo Laporte:

We had our first, so Masson is based on an open standard called, uh, activity Pub, which is based on something that's been around for even longer. Status net. Before that ica, I had my first ICA server in 2007. I've always had problems with Twitter. I don't like the idea of a centralized network that's owned by a big tech company controlling our discourse. I didn't like it that they stole our name to make Twitter. So I've always had a kind of love-hate relationship with Twitter. That's where the people were. So that's where I was. In fact, I still have half a million followers there, but I don't post there anymore. In 2019, I set up a Mastodon server. It was a nice, quiet backwater, I mean really quiet until November of last year when it suddenly got very busy. And I went from spending 15 euros a month to$350 a month to host it. I've always believed that the most important, you know, as a broadcaster, you think all the time about audience and audience size. And I've always thought the most important thing about grassroots media, especially podcasting, is not audience, but community. And I always. New, you know, we had such a strong community behind twit from the very first, that was the thing that made it special, and I've always done things to foster that. So we always had an internet relay chat, an IRC channel with all the shows. Now we have a, A discourse forums, we have Discord channel, we have the Mastodon instance. I like those ways that people can interact with us and participate in community, I think. And people say, why don't you have YouTube comments? Have you seen YouTube comments? I don't want the community to be somewhere I don't control. And so, yeah, you know, we have these, I think, wonderful open standard places for you to interact with us. I guess discord and discourse aren't technically open, but I love Macedon because it is open and I think that's the best way for us to, you know, continue to interact with our audience. Or should I say community?

Sam Sethi:

Now? Last question. I promise., you've been around podcasting for a long time. Nearly 20 years if you just the beginning. 25, yeah. What would you give as a piece of advice to someone getting into podcasting today? What would be your one piece of advice?

Leo Laporte:

Po. You know, think of podcasting as akin to blogging or even micro blogging on a platform like Mastodon or Twitter, or being a photographer and posting on Flicker or Instagram. Don't think of it as a way to make money, or even as a business, think of it as a way to express yourself as to be a creative person. You know, it's great because in the old days of the record industry, in order to become an artist, you know, everybody said you gotta sign with a label man, that those days are gone. You make your own music and you can, and then modern tools let you do it at a low cost and get it out to a maximal audience, thanks to the internet. That's the same thing with podcasting. Think of it as a way to express your. Passion. Now, if you make money at it, that's even the best way to do that is to build that community around what you do. If what you do is popular and people like it, don't think of them as an audience. Don't address them one to many, but have a conversation with them and that's the best way going forward. And you know what? If you're doing something people like and you're good at it, maybe you will make a living doing it. But I'd never started to make a living. It's a tough

James Cridland:

road. Leo LePort on the pod News Weekly review. Sam, what did you think about his comments about the new podcast namespace?

Sam Sethi:

I tried to say to Leo just as we said at the beginning of the intro, that you know, value for value isn't new. Leo was talking about that as a way of monetizing twit and he really just didn't seem to get it and, and he dismissed it out of hand really. And I know I've spoken to Lisa and she's done very much the same, I think. If they did take a second look at it, they might find it as a much more interesting way to engage with their listeners. And they have got a fairly big listener reach, um, to then get them into this next generation of monetization and podcasting. And really, actually, if he did it, I think he could really help all of us in the podcasting space. Cause it might take it more

James Cridland:

mainstream. I, I was, uh, having a good chat with, uh, somebody, uh, earlier on in the week and they were saying it was quite senior in podcasting and they were saying that, um, one of the things about podcasting 2.0 is there's an awful lot of geeks in there. There's an awful lot of techy people in there, and there's no one from marketing, there's no one, um, who is understanding how to shape the message and give it to normal human beings. And I thought that that was an interesting comment. He also said that there was no one in, uh, user interface. Designed in there as well, which I think is also a relatively fair, uh, comment as well. Do you think it's just a lack of adequate marketing of the name space, um, the new features? I mean, obviously when you are putting, you know, Leo said, um, if you start putting new things into RSS feeds, it won't play on old players. That's not true. Um, but that's clearly not a message that podcasting 2.0 has got over yet. Well,

Sam Sethi:

the, the one thing that Leo. did say was that that in, in, maybe not the interview we had, but in certainly one of his shows, you know, uh, crypto NFTs, it's all the same stuff. Bitcoin, you know, it's, it gets lumped in with that sort of, oh, it's all skanky and scammy. Um, and people, you know, say, look, you know, can we separate Bitcoin from crypto? You know, Sam Friedman is not the same thing. Um, so that's one thing I think we have to get across as a message. I, I, we are gonna have an interview with Todd Cochran. And Todd says one thing in the interview, which is, you know, can we stop calling it tags? Cause that doesn't mean anything to the end user. Can we call it features? And again, that. Is another good example of normalizing it for everyday users in the language that they might want to hear, rather than the geek language that we are very

James Cridland:

happy with. Mm-hmm. and I, I, I do also wonder whether or not the, there's something there around the index and I completely understand where Leo is coming from and the name space run by the same people. And so if you don't necessarily agree with the concepts behind the index, you won't necessarily agree. You, you'll discount. The name space can actually offer as well. And I wonder whether there's, you know, I wonder whether there are things that we can do there as well. But, uh, yeah, it was a really interesting conversation and uh, and I enjoyed that very much. It's, uh, very good, very good to hear him. He doesn't sound any different to what he sounded like, uh, 20 or so years ago when I was, uh, tuning into him, uh, on the TWIT network. So, uh, yeah, that was, that was really, . Yeah. I

Sam Sethi:

think that the last thing on this I would say is that, you know, Dave and Adam both admit that they're not marketeers or, I mean, Adam might not agree with that, but that's what they have said. Um, whatever happened to this, uh, so-called hosting council that was going to get together and do big things to promote all of these services

James Cridland:

and features? Yes. Whatever happens to that. I mean, I, I, again, I had a conversation this week, um, with, uh, somebody who's, who's involved in that, and it does seem very, very slow. And I think that that's one of the problems as soon as, and one of the reasons by the way, why podcasting 2.0 has been so successful in that we've not had any of that stuff. We've not had any of the political nonsense. Um, and so therefore we've just been able to move quite fast, but probably break quite a lot of things as we've moved quite fast in comparison to this, um, set of, uh, podcast companies who are very, uh, you know, um, Excited about working together on this, but I don't think that they yet fully have agreed what it is that they are actually going to be promoting. Is it the entire new name, space? I would doubt it. Is it, um, things like, you know, the podcast tx t verification stuff? Yes. I'm sure Value for value, who knows? Um, so I think that there's, you know, interesting questions there, but hopefully we, I mean, we must find out something by podcast movement evolutions because if we don't hear something by podcast movement evolutions, then that's, um, you know, nine months without anything really happening with that. And we might as well call that, you know, a dead thing. And I would rather that, that it isn't dead. It'd be quite nice if it, if it was not agreed.

Sam Sethi:

Now moving on, uh, we also, Got the chance to talk to Todd Cochrane. Uh, Todd has gone from a naysay to the, the doling evangelist of the podcast name space. He, he is fully lit and he is loving it, and he is basically taking blueberry into the next generation here, he calls it. Um, so he's adding all of these podcast namespace features. As I said, he's calling them features, not tags. Um, what do you think of blueberry before we get into the interview,

James Cridland:

James? Yeah. I, I think th this is a, I think this is a really key example actually of the type of thing that we've just heard with, with, uh, Leo. Um, you know, Leo was not for it. Todd was not for. Um, uh, you know, there are people at Lipson who are not for it. Todd has all of a sudden realized, ah, there is something here. I understand it now. You know, the penny has dropped, so to speak. Um, so it was really good, uh, to hear that, uh, Todd has been, you know, getting people very, very excited at, uh, pod Fest about podcasting 2.0. Uh, you caught up with him to find

Todd Cochrane:

out more. We made a decision late in the fall to fully embrace and, and basically be the chicken. In other words, be the person that's gonna put the features in place and then let our podcasters, uh, use those podcasting 2.0 features to start getting, you know, basically getting it adopted. So we've really rolled out, you know, a huge amount of the tags or, uh, of the features. I mean, we're calling them features because we don't want the podcasters to get totally confused, but, you know, it kind of started with the transcript tag., we, we rolled out locked chapters. The location tag credits live. As a matter of fact, live is launching today. Then set up, of course, the value for value as well. So, and the funding tag. So we've, I think seven or eight of the, uh, features we've implemented across the entire platform. So, yeah, so we've got it available. So podcast and now the education process speaking, we got our educating podcasters on how to use all this. I'm gonna nick

Sam Sethi:

that features, I like that much better than tags. I know that's the technical term, but I think for the everyday user features makes much more sense. Now, the value for value tag is one of the more complex ones. It's the way that people can pay what they want for a podcast using a micropayment. Now you've partnered with a company called Albe. Tell me more.

Todd Cochrane:

Yeah, so, you know, really the, uh, the challenge in the value for value. Again, feature is getting set up. There's really two or three different ways you can go. You can create your own node and where it gets real super geeky and maybe you set up an umbrella and you know, you set up in your lightning node and you have to put money in it and it just, I mean, it's really complicated.

Sam Sethi:

It's for the super geek. So that's about three people that will do that. James, Adam, and nobody else and,

Todd Cochrane:

and me, which, you know, I suffered through this and I thought, no, no one in their right mind is gonna do this. And then Alby obviously has this very simple integration where they've got a rich api. So through at least the dashboard, all they have to do is just, you know, click the link, it takes some over, create some account, and then we pull their value data. Back into it and you know, it's things that are gonna make people's ice clear or lightning, A dress custom key value pub key that, you know, if I let this up to the average podcaster, they would have three things in the wrong place and it would never work. So the ability of just being able to connect with the get with Alby and pulling in this data and then all they have to do is click save is easy. Now on the, because of the API calls and because Power Press was a unique situation and it, we really have, we had our own key on blueberry, whereas Power Press is installed on, you know, 80,000 different websites. We had to use the lookup method. Basically Tom go over to lb, set up your account, and then enter your LB address into a pull down, and then we query and pull the data across. And we did the same thing for. Uh, I believe for Fountain as well, we, you can enter a fountain address and pull in the data, or again, go about it manually. But really the key here was to make it simple for them at least to get set up and implement. And then the next steps is again, the education on how to explain this to the audience and tell the audience what to do and where to go and how to get, get involved.

Sam Sethi:

So just remind me, there was one thing I didn't hear. Did you say you support the person tag as well? We

Todd Cochrane:

do. We support the person tag. Yeah. So that is implemented as well.

Sam Sethi:

So, so, great. So I believe from the press release that the number you mentioned was 150,000 customers that would now be enabled with a Alby wallet.

Todd Cochrane:

Yeah. So a hundred thousand across Blueberry and Power Press. Not, and here's the exciting thing. Not everyone that uses our Power Press plugin hosts with us. So essentially someone could be ho hosting with a competitor. And using Power Press and still be enabled today, whereas maybe their hosting provider is not doing this. So maybe it's, uh, several of the big companies have not done anything in this. And the ability for them to be able to participate here without, without needing their hosting companies implementation is what we're excited about as well. So the blueberry customer base, and including the Power Press users and everyone, that again, about a hundred thousand is the exposure.

Sam Sethi:

So you mentioned also that you, today it literally, you are announcing that you've got the support for the live item tag as well. Now your show goes out live on both audio and video. You have been a great proponent of the live item tag, certainly for at least a couple of months. Now, I know you've been using it with Rob Greenley, your co-host. Yeah. What have you done as blueberry then? Tell me more about what blueberry have done today. So

Todd Cochrane:

the live item tag is simply at this point, the ability for them to, you know, fill out the information they need to become lit, be able to change the status from pending live or ended. Ability to set a start and stop time, be able to set a stream link, whether it be a shoutcast or one of those types of streaming audio streaming services, or even provide ability to put in a video streaming link. Now we know that most of the apps, the video streaming is a little bit more, you know, it's not like I can put a YouTube link in there right now. It'll just show up as a YouTube play. But I think over time the video piece will get better. But what we've done in addition to this, is we're going to allow blueberry customers that want to stream audio, we basically do have an audio streaming setup. They can be added to the web DJ playlist and uh, they would be able to stream live and audio. Using the basic, we've just went out and bought a commercial service to add people to. So at some point maybe we'll add some more functionality within blueberry, but at least for now, some, any podcasters at least want to stream audio live. They can do that just by, you know, connecting up with me and asking for a, for an account. I think the live, for me, is as exciting as the value for value. It just brings this whole new dynamic and having the ability for all of these apps that are now supporting live. And anyways, I was explaining to some folks last week in an event, I said, see right here we are live in the app it, and when I ended it, it switched back and I could show 'em how it switched back to a podcast app. And that made some people just sit back in their seat and say, wow. And I, again, I said, the goal is to keep the audience in the app. Interact with you in the app. You know, we don't have to send them to Facebook or to YouTube or to Twitch or wherever to see or listen to live. They can do that right in the app and get that great experience and consume the content right where they, you know, right where they normally do, but do it on a live basis. So again, the live item is essentially at this time, just the ability to enter all that data and have it available. And if they do wanna stream audio, they can contact me to get account on the, and you're gonna have to juggle that, because if too many people say we want one, we may have to set up a second one to be able to accommodate all the time slots.

Sam Sethi:

So to get these two new features, the value for value and the live item support, is this an additional charge on top of your existing blueberry subscription, or is this included with what comes

Todd Cochrane:

today? Oh, it's included for every hosting customer. Wow. Yeah, it's turned on, it's available, it's free. Uh, obviously Power Press is free to begin with. So again, all these features are available to any Power Press user. I will say on the value for value, we are doing a 3% fee on the value for value. So Blueberry's taking 3%. Matter of fact, we had to update our interface to make sure we announce that so people wouldn't be surprised. But, uh, other than that it's a, you know, they're free to use it.

Sam Sethi:

So how would that work then with Pod verse for example, cuz pod verse supports Valley for Valley with Alby Fountain uses another wallet provider. So let's use Pod verse. So Pod verse says, yeah, we support Lit, and there's a blueberry podcast. So they ingest the RSS from the Blueberry podcast. The tags are all there so they can support them. The blueberry host enables it to go live. All great. I'm just a little confused now because of the money streams. Sure. So pod verse is gonna take a little cut. You are gonna take a little cut. So I'm just trying to understand. So that's the model? Yeah.

Todd Cochrane:

Well the model is if they're using, again, if they've set up their wallet, With whoever then, whatever that agreement is with their wallet provider, the LB piece, there is no cut. So when they set up with Albe and having their own Albe wallet, basically they, they will receive a hundred percent. Now what we set our stuff up as a fee. So in addition to, so the podcaster should, if someone gives them 20,000 stats, they're gonna get their 20,000 sat. And then we thought we, we meant that to be purple symbol so that there would, the podcaster would get their full amount.

Sam Sethi:

Right? So you could do a split maybe if you wanted that on the back end. Right. If

Todd Cochrane:

you want, and I set up splits as well. I personally, I do a 1% split to the, uh, podcast index. And, and again, that's just something that I have done is a way to, to give back as an in individual. But again, if someone has a fountain wallet or a fountain account, they can add their fountain address and pull in their note information. So that is available within the value for value.. Brilliant.

Sam Sethi:

So what next, Todd? You mean you're knocking them out the park mate? You're literally taking all these tagro features, adding 'em all in. What's next on your roadmap?

Todd Cochrane:

Well, you know, we're making a new list and Mike Dell is in charge of that. But I do tell you the number one is cross have comments is at the top. And you know, that's kinda another hard one that's gonna be to implement and uh, you know, blueberry has a Mastodon chat. So maybe we will do some integration there. I'm not sure yet. You know, we have to think this through, but the, you know, of course cross app comments is a little bit of a moving target right now. But we're gonna go through the list and I don't know how many total new features are there? 50, 60 at this point. Yeah. Yeah, it's cool. So we're gonna have to pick the next, you know, let's say 10 and then we'll get 'em in the dev cycle. And you know, believe it or not, most of the stuff was relatively simple to implement. The two hard ones were definitely value for value and the, the live. So those, you know, the rest of 'em were very simple. You know, the text tag was simple. G i d was simple. Oh yeah. So you know that those were all simple to implement. So some of these are very easy. We just gotta figure out, okay, what is, we have to be able to explain the value. We have to be able to tell the podcaster, here's the reason you should use this, why and the examples. Because otherwise they're just gonna look at this and say, why should I play ball?

Sam Sethi:

So you mentioned something there that we hadn't talked about in the beginning, but you said the podcast txt tag, which is the way of hiding the email from the RSS feed. So you've already implemented that as well. Congratulations.

Todd Cochrane:

Yeah. Yeah, that's in, and I guess I didn't mention it so., uh, I think the text tag actually goes live in Power Press today as well with the lit stuff. So once that's all done, then in a couple of weeks we'll probably make the announcement to pull the email addresses outta the RSS feed. You know, and I talked with the bus route folks at Pods Fest. That's been their toughest one so far, because what has happened is they implemented it early, pulled out the email addresses, and then immediately started getting support tickets where people were having challenges submitting to some platforms. I do like they, they did a little bit of a different implementation is we did. So I, I think it's gonna be curious to see how this is gonna work over time with the other providers that are not ready for our email addresses to come out of rss.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I know rss.com, RSS Blue transistor yourself now, and bus route. I've done it. I'm not sure about Lipson at all, but I mean, you can manually code that, and again, yourselves rss.com. And I believe RSS Blue have implemented the value, the value tag. The bus sprout hasn't got there yet. The one question I've got is, I think RSS Blue announced last week, we were talking about it on pod news, that they've now added support for the guest as well as the person tag. Is that something Just checking, ticking off features with you talking? Yeah, that's all

Todd Cochrane:

in there. So, wow. Okay. So you are able to, and basically we've got it's set at the show level and at the episode level. So you can set the show level. Let's say I'm gonna be the host all the. and then I'm gonna have a co-host on the episode level. I can set a co-host or a guest and, and in the show level, we can set the producer, we can set, you know, any, all those credits and we basically pulled that taxonomy list from, I think we're supporting everyone that every type of talent that's in that in the spec. So that's all. As well as the chapter tag stuff too. So we're good for chapter tags, but that actually we had already had that implemented for quite a long

Sam Sethi:

time. One, one question then, I mean,, you've literally got it all. Booster grams probably are there as well. The transcripts. Are you auto transcribing? You know, obviously Spotify does it, Amazon does it and a few other companies are looking at doing. Is that something that blueberry might add as well? Cuz I know a lot of hosts say they want to do it. Um, but actually when I've looked at most podcasts, it's very little. It's less than probably 1% actually support a transcript. Is that something you might consider adding as a feature?

Todd Cochrane:

Well, transcript is available today as far as them being able to link a transcript, S R T V R T pdf. We also have partnered with. To be able to, the folks can, you know, basically when they publish their show, they can enable a transcript to be created by Rev. It is an add-on. We're not doing that for free. And be honest with you, we chose Rev because one of my team members did an extensive study and matter of fact has a public article out about their quality. We believe they're the best in the automated transcript space now. So, uh, the, the ability for a podcaster to get a transcript back in three or four minutes after they publish their episode is already built in. And that's one of the reasons why we had, we're able to launch the close caption stuff back. I dunno, that was back in August, I think, in the Player. So as far as turning it on for everyone, you know, I've done the math on that. That's a big number. That's a very big number annually to, to be able to provide rev quality transcripts to. to every customer. I know there's some other services out there that are doing it now that are open source. We might look at that as a future option. But again, just the pure cost on it at this point is more than we were willing to chew off without adding it as an add-on. So right now, basically any customer can add it for $10 a month and uh, get the, essentially the same amount of transcripts as they have in episodes published each month.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah. I mean, descript, we use Rev. You know, that's the, so it's great, you know, I'm sure all of us will start to look at some of the AI stuff that's out there, like open ai, whisper and, and some of the cover art stuff. But you know, that's down the track. Mm-hmm., look, Todd, thank you so much. I won't take you off. That's been an amazing list of things you're doing. Todd, where can people go to find.

Todd Cochrane:

Just come over to blueberry.com and if you wanna learn about the podcasting 2.0 specifically, just search for Podcasting 2.0 Search Bar, and basically leads you to all the, uh, the podcast 2.0 overview plus the two links to the two different platforms that support all the features and the the instructions within.

Sam Sethi:

And if they want to hear your podcast, your live podcast, where would they go?

Todd Cochrane:

Well, the live one is DO two. One is the new Media show, but they can get that on Fountain or any of the live apps that are available@newpodcastapps.com. They're supposed supporting the live item tag. They can always watch it on the web, but I'd rather mu much rather 'em go to new podcast apps. They have the experience within the app to see what the value is here. Todd,

Sam Sethi:

thank you so much for your time., James Cridland: Todd co-founder of, uh, blueberry. I've just made that, uh, job, job title up, but I hope he doesn't mind. Um, and also the evangelist of getting your own.com. Uh, and, uh, a good man. I'm looking forward to seeing him. Uh, the, of course, blueberry is not the only, uh, company, uh, is it. Who's, um, getting involved with value for value? No, I mean, uh, uh, one of the first ones that really stepped up to the plate, as we said the hosting companies really need to do this was rss.com. You know, last year they added, uh, digital wallets partnering with Alby, uh, to offer all of their podcasting customers at digital wallets, which I thought was a great step forward. You know, the uptake doesn't have to be massive to begin with. It's the chicken and egg. As you know, Todd said at the beginning, I'm the chicken, you know, he's adding those features and there's more hosts add them and great. So rss.com has added it. And in addition, um, Zavier over a podcast addict has said that, uh, his app has reached 10 million downloads, but more importantly, he's also added support for the lit tag. So we are beginning to see more clients, more hosts adding the features from the name space. It's not universally even, I suspect it might be another year before parodies are achieved across all of the hosts and all of the apps. But, uh, as you said a few minutes ago, James, you know, we are moving the needle forward. Pretty quickly by adding these things in. It's just that it feels like, what was that Alvin Toffler comment? Uh, the future is here. It's just not evenly

James Cridland:

distributed. Yes. No, I think you're probably right. Uh, I will be talking about the LITS tag in a number of different radio conferences that I have coming up this year, because I see the being real opportunities for radio broadcasters, uh, in that. So that should be fun. Um, let's move on then. Sh uh, Sam shall we?

Sam Sethi:

Uh, yeah. James, uh, you wrote this week about UK podcast company novel who've secured a 5 million pound or 6.2 million. That will be parity soon series a investment round. Um, that's really good news. Well done to the guys there.

James Cridland:

Yeah, I think that's really good. And, um, Also really good news is that the CEO e Sean Glynn will be joining us next week in the POD News Weekly review. So if you want to find out more about, uh, novel, uh, if you remember, um, it, it is got some really big names working there, particularly Julie Shapiro, of course, who used to work at Radiotopia. Uh, she is now working over at, uh, novel, uh, as well. So some really big names and some really big plans. So Sean Glenn on the Upon News Weekly Review next week. Now, Sam, uh, you, I'm presuming that you went to university and, uh, you've got some, some exciting degree. Have you?

Sam Sethi:

I've got one of those, uh, MBAs, which I stay, say stands for more bullshit than anyone else, but I have got one Um, and, uh, no, I was, I was an Army officer, so I did my, I suppose my degree at Sandhurst, which was my, uh, first degree if you would like to think of it that way. And then I did an MBA at City University or Cass, as it was known at the time.

James Cridland:

Yes. Ah, So City University, tell me more about City University. Well,

Sam Sethi:

it seems that they've now come up with the UK's first dedicated, uh, master's degree in podcasting. Uh, and they've created a center of podcasting excellence as well at their new buildings over in Ison. Um, so yeah, it sounds like a very exciting thing. It's the thing that the industry has been calling for, for more skills and more accreditation and skills being brought into the industry. And so I caught up with a friend of yours, Brett Sprinter and Sandy War, who are running the course to find out more about what this new MA in podcasting is about. Sandy, first of all, hello. How are you?

Sandy Warr:

I'm really good. Thank you. I'm a bit overwhelmed by how much excitement we have felt from our announcement, which is just brilliant. You work in silence and you put a little note out and suddenly all that noise happens, and it's fantastic.

Sam Sethi:

Come on in, spill the beans. What have you done?

Sandy Warr:

We've launched a first, we believe it's the first dedicated master's degree in podcasting, which really recognizes, we feel that podcasting is now a dedicated industry. A mature industry has its own specific set of skills, and that as a a university that's really trying to get people into work, it would rung a mass not to meet that demand and equip people with what they need to work as a podcaster, we've been teaching podcasting skills within other degrees. So if you came to Citi in the past and did an MA in broadcasting, you would get an opportunity to study some podcasting. But we realize that the industry's bigger than that and has different skills needs, and so we've developed what we think will be a fantastic course for people.

Sam Sethi:

Hang on a minute. Isn't podcasting, get a mic out, stick it down, get your laptop out, and say a few words and check it out on anchor for free. Isn't that what podcasting is, Sandy? It's

Sandy Warr:

part of what podcasting is, but it's a lot more than that. And if you wanna be successful and actually make a career out of it, which is what we're designing the degree for, is you need to know not just how to put a mic down in front of you and record it, but why are you doing that? Who are you trying to talk to? What is the objective of your podcast? Is it about sharing information or is it about building a brand? Or is it about earning money from it? And if that's your intention, how do you do that? So how do you then use digital marketing skills and branding skills and social media skills, video skills, which are increasingly part of podcasting. How do you set yourself up in business? How do you develop ideas? How do you relate to the industry and manage talent? So it's way bigger than it. It can be stick a microphone down and record. Of course it can, but it can be an awful lot bigger than that.

Sam Sethi:

We joined here as well, by Brett Spencer. Brett, hello. Now your, if I get it right, is basically the role of commercializing this, looking at outwardly towards industry. What itchy is this podcast Grie gonna a scratch for the industry and what are they saying to you? Well, one

Brett Spencer:

of the things that I, I've been involved with is bringing the podcast industry to Citi and we've had a really fantastic steering group that have helped put up this together that has involved Acast and a whole collection of major independent production companies, as well as some independent loan podcasters alongside audio UK and audio train and other training bodies that have really fed into what they thought the degree should be and what the degree should contain. And we wanna continue that and make this degree part of the podcasting industry and the podcasting infrastructure. And as part of that, we'll be looking to do some monthly events at the university to bring people together, both from the university and from podcasting. We really wanna make sure that students coming off these courses can get work experience at relevant companies and end up in jobs after completing their ma. So making sure that what we are doing is part of the wider podcasting industry is really important. But also we wanted to help fulfill their needs. So what we heard from people was that, you know, that's really hard to find talented podcast producers. There are a lot of people coming into podcasting from social media jobs, from working with influencers and the creator economy and not necessarily coming into the industry with the necessary audio skills or all the business skills that a podcaster needs. And one of the things that this course will do is to teach you all of those skills. I mean, I always used to say it to my teams at the BBC and at Bauer, it's 50% making the thing and 50% getting it out there. And if you think about it, somebody who's a podcaster, you know, they're, they're doing three jobs, at least in one go, creating the podcast. They're producing, they're presenting, they're booking guests, they're thinking about how to make money. They're an audio engineer. They're thinking about the social media, the launch campaign, graphic design for the artwork, going through all the data and looking what the data looks like. This course will teach all of that. I mean, you've heard of the gig economy. Well, if you are a podcaster, you're doing all the gigs and all the economy. So you'll get all of that from this course.

Sam Sethi:

That's gonna be a line in this course. I can see it somewhere. That line's coming out now. Sandy, tell me more this course. When can people start to apply for it and how long's the course? Gimme small detail.

Sandy Warr:

So the application process is just going through the last little bits of red tape, so it can be sorted out by our admin team, cuz of course this is international. It can be applied for from anywhere in the world, as long as you can physically get here. I've had a few emails from people saying, can we do thi this remotely? At some point in the future it might be possible, but right now we want people on campus in our, our lovely new studios. And then facilities that we've built, it will be a standard academic intake point. You know, the end of September, 2023. And, uh, master's degrees at Citi, they're taught, we don't do a half term or semester. Um, we do sort of blocks of terms, so there's mainly two big taught terms and then there's a space for people to do practical projects and build their brand and their actual podcast project. Um, and we will build in some quite nice gaps, therefore for people to go and get work experience and go and get industry experiences that they go along. So it will be an academic one year if you do it as a full-time one year or over the two years, if you do it part-time and the part-time model will work that you do two days a week in the first year and three days a week in the second year. And there will be a few occasions where we've got intensive production periods where they'll do a full week at a time. So hopefully it should be fairly easy for someone to plan their life around doing the degree in that basis. We need it to be a predictable pattern if people are gonna be able to make that

Sam Sethi:

work. And how can people in industry get involved and help you? This has been one of

Sandy Warr:

the amazing learning points for me about this, is we put the messages out there and my LinkedIn feed has been inundated with people saying, I'd love to come and talk to your students. I'd love to tell 'em what I've learned about X, Y, and Z. And the generosity from the people in the industry to say, can we help you make this course work is wonderful. But what we're doing at the moment is, I'm trying to acknowledge everyone that messages me to say, can I come and teach to say I hope so, yes. But let me just collect that for a moment cuz we need to build the actual timet tabling structure in and see where people can come in and how they can do it. But we've got every hope that, pretty much everyone that said to me, can I come and talk to your students? That yes we can. Either through the course structure or through, as Brett mentioned, these regular centers where we can get people to come and share knowledge and talk to each other as much as to our students.

Brett Spencer:

And we have an advantage in the fact that, you know, we're, we're in, so we're incredibly well placed for be able to do that in our Central London position. We've got some great venues that we can make use of and some great spaces. So, you know, we're certainly gonna be doing that. And if you are around and if you are on the course or if you come to our event, you're gonna hear from the biggest and the best in the business. And one of the advantages of having the industry involved is that, you know, they flagged up things that we weren't necessarily thinking of, if that makes sense that we want to include. So one of the messages we heard was, We need people that can just know as to punch up a script and take a script and just make it more dynamic. And you know, we, we need people that now to write a really compelling host read because that's not a skill that's taught anywhere. So, you know, all of those things that we heard from the industry have been built in.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah. And love the practicality of everything that you're talked about. I think this is something that, you know, I'm looking at money, 18 year old daughter even who wants to get into journalism and I'm thinking this is the sort of thing that she should be doing as well.

Sandy Warr:

Just yesterday I was teaching our first years here and their very first audio class, and I've done this every single year I've been teaching, which is a really long time now at Citi. And I say, what do you listen to? And I used to say, what radio do you listen to? And I've learned not to say that now, but I had 25 students in my class and two people said they'd ever listened to radio. Almost all of them consume podcasts. Yeah, they do. You know, and particularly we want to connect with them as. Contributors as product creators, we've gotta meet them where they're at, which is podcasting very large in the audio environment.

Sam Sethi:

Certainly. Now there's a couple of famous alman I, not myself included, other famous alman. I can you name a few, you put them in the press release so obviously you can name a couple. Yeah, I

Sandy Warr:

can name drop a few for you if you like. I mean we have a corridor of fame actually said we tried to refresh with all the faces there,

Sam Sethi:

isn't it? Can I point out I'm not on there. Sandy Warr: And we did have the early masterclass where I was talking to Dino Sofos who uh, uh, Peron and of the work he's doing with, with Global for example. And he was talking to us and in the background of the Zoom call, Adam Fleming walk, and they're both city alumni, so he stopped and talked to us as well, Helen and uh, Millie from. Media Storm podcast there, um, from city Theodore Laudes, who used to be at Telegraph and is now at, uh, Wondery. I think where she's at is a graduate of Citi. Cause we've got this wonderful track record at City of producing broadcast journalists and newspaper journalists and magazine journalists. You suddenly find people popping up that you think, oh yes, of course you did the course as well. And that's, I think, one of the reasons why we've had such goodwill and generosity, people saying, yes, I'll help you with it. Yes, I'll come and, and talk to you about what you're doing. Chris Mason is another of the course and often comes back and talks to our students, Ben Green, who's the athletic. So yeah, it's a really good network. So Brett, what's next in your pipeline? What have you gotta do to get this across the line for you?

Brett Spencer:

I've started to talk to lots of podcast companies, um, businesses that were involved in our steering group about how we move forward with them. I'm also responding to loads of emails from people saying, we work on this project with you and that project with you, some of which are, are really interesting things that I've thought of and want to get involved with. Some of which are things that just never occurred to me, which seem very exciting. So over the next few months I'll be working through all those ideas. We'll have other announcements coming. We're hoping to be able to provide sort of bursaries and sponsorship for students who might find it tougher to do the course. And it's a lot of work ahead of us about making sure that we're very much part of the industry, that we have really compelling monthly events. And it's not just about the course, but it's about everything else that we're doing.

Sam Sethi:

You mentioned the monthly lectures and courses. So you've got a beautiful new theater room that you've got available. You and I talked briefly about some very famous people coming into lecture there is that now publish, published anywhere on the university's

Sandy Warr:

main website. We put the events up the Center for Podcasting Excellence events. We've not yet got in the schedule, but we will shout about it. We will make sure people know when they're happening and they're all ready. Years of very established program of regular guest speakers at, uh, a city university. Some has been, uh, tied in past the big awards we give. So there's a, a journalism lecture, the James Cameron Memorial lecture this year. It was Clive Mey came along and spoke to the students. We've had least DiSette in the past doing that sort of event, and we're very keen to, to publicize it in a way that makes it a center for people coming in, sharing their ideas, telling us who they'd like to talk to. And of course, the other great thing that we've all learned in the last few years is you don't actually need to be in London to be a guest speaker for us in our events. We can put it on Zoom when we can share it

Sam Sethi:

virtually. Brilliant. Now, uh, Sandy, how many you, if I want more details, what is that r url for the website?

Sandy Warr:

It's city. Do ac.uk is the main address, city Doac uk or by all means email me on my city. I'm gonna dread saying this, aren't I? Email me on my city address, which is Sandy, s a n d y dot Ywa, R one. I'm the original Sandy War one AC

Sam Sethi:

uk. Brilliant.

Brett Spencer:

Well, I'm Bret dot Spencer at city ac uk or you can contact either of us on Twitter or I'm at, we SSL at Sandy's at Sandy War with two hours.

Sam Sethi:

Well, look, I so look forward to coming down, uh, me meeting you both in person and best of luck with what you're doing. It's a brilliant initiative, so thanks for kicking it all off.

James Cridland:

Thank you so much. Thanks Anne. The very excellent Brett Spencer, and the also very excellent sandy war. Uh, Sandy used to be the voice at the top of the hour on l bbc, uh, a long, long time ago. Uh, and I've known Brett for many years, uh, as well. So good to hear them and really interesting as well to see the feedback. Uh, on this new ma in podcasting at a Center of Podcasting Excellence. Lots of people on, uh, Twitter saying what a good idea it was. Uh, lots of people in their press release, um, giving very positive quotes and things, and then, you know, a few people winging and moaning and saying, oh, we don't need any of that. We just need experience. Um, and, uh, I see absolutely no problem if you, uh, are a student and you wish to learn more about this from some of the people who Brett and Sandy have got, uh, worked out. I think that this sounds like a really good idea. So, uh, many congratulations to

Sam Sethi:

them. Yeah. I didn't make the wall of fame though, there. Dino Sofas is there and Chris Mason, but I'm not on there. James, I'm not on that wall.

James Cridland:

Yes. I remember walking past the wall of fame. Yes, you're absolutely right. Well, I don't, I don't understand why they haven't got Sam Sethy. We should, uh, , we should

Sam Sethi:

go and I might just take a, my own photo and just graffiti eyes it and hang it up on and and

James Cridland:

run away. Yeah. Stick it on. Yeah, stick it on. Yeah, it's absolutely right. When I used to live in London, uh, I used to live up, uh, up in, uh, Southgate. And, uh, there were always signs, uh, there for, uh, alumni of Middlesex University and, uh, Virgin Radio's, uh, news reader at the time, Andrew Bailey was, uh, was on there. Uh, and it always made me laugh as I walked past. Gleaming face every single day. So, uh, yes, that's, uh, always a good thing. So, yes, uh, I, I, of course went to the University of Life, so I didn't do any of that nonsense. Um,

Sam Sethi:

as, uh, the other one, just like that James, that really bugs me is my old school Love Programmer School. Ben Hamersley went to it. And of course he of the famed, I made podcasting in the Word, and he's down as one of the famous ex students. And I'm like, Ben just came up with a word called podcasting that's not that famous, but he's there. So, yes, not that

James Cridland:

I'm bitter, not that, not that I'm not the orbiter or anything else. And, uh, for the record, he came up with a word. He put it in a newspaper. Not one person used that word for five months. Not one person used that word for five months. And then a man called Danny Greg came up with that word, and Dave Weiner and Adam Curry thought it was such a good idea they were going to use it for their product called podcasting. Uh, that's how it all worked. How do I know this? Because I've been speaking with Dave Weiner this week, , uh, alongside, uh, chats with, uh, Adam Curry, uh, as well. Uh, so my goodness. Uh, ask me anything about, uh, how the word podcasting came to, came to be. Uh, and I will bore you about that, but let's move on to, uh, other, uh, bits of, um, there's actually quite a lot of good news, isn't there, out there, Sam?

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I mean, last week we talked about, uh, demystifying the 80% downgrading of new episodes that, you know, there was a report running around and look. I think, you know, um, people are naying about always at the end of podcasting. You know, the, the economy's going. The tech titans are getting rid of people, so it must be the end, right? So here's some good news podcast downloads increased by 20% last year, says Triton Digital. Uh, and they said listeners downloaded 5.6 episodes a week on average, representing 3.8

James Cridland:

hours of content. Yeah, I mean, there, there, there's just a pile of good news, really. Acast, um, a cast's podcast chaser has been talking about the podcasting middle class quietly and consistently growing. Um, Basically saying, you know, look, uh, yes, there's, um, uh, there's, there's, uh, incredibly tumultuous weather at the top, uh, in terms of the big players. But actually if you look pretty well everywhere else, podcasting is continuing to grow, uh, which is really good. Cory, Dr. O also, uh, wrote a really good piece, which is really difficult to read in a daily podcast that you have to put on the radio. So I didn't actually mention the word, but he said podcasts are hearteningly en acidification resistant. I love en acidification. It's . It's just like a fantastic thing. Um, and he's basically saying podcasting. It's an open technology built out of open technologies. Um, and that's one of the reasons why it has done, uh, so well. He, of course, lays into Spotify, but nevertheless, uh, yeah, that, that was a really good, uh, piece as well. Uh, any other good news that you have, uh, spotted?, Sam Sethi: yeah. Podcast ad buyers have yet to see a slowdown in their budgets, even while other budgets have been cut, says Digi Day. So, uh, and UK advertising spend rose in Q3 22 by 4.3%. So although advertising may be cutting elsewhere, it seems, uh, in podcasting, that is not the case. No, indeed. Um, there's also some research that came out from Acast this week, um, which, uh, of course it would say that, wouldn't it, but it does say that, uh, marketers are planning to spend more on podcasting, um, uh, this year. So, uh, that's, uh, nice, uh, to hear. Um, more podcasters being hired by media companies, says the state of Podcasting 2022, which is a piece of research published by Muck Rack. Um, they also say that more Podcasters U using paid subscriptions as well. Uh, I've literally just got an email from Politico, which is a. Big, big, um, publisher in, uh, the UK and in, uh, London. And, uh, they have just announced, um, renowned journalist Anne McElvoy as executive editor of Head of Audio. And they say that they're going to double down on, uh, audio. Um, and we're also seeing some, um, a pretty exciting news, uh, actually coming out of, uh, Nielsen. They will be going out and marketing Edison research's, share of Ear and Edison podcast metrics. Um, so Edison podcast metrics is the only, uh, data which is out there, which measures every single podcast, uh, across, uh, the us. They do that by asking a large, uh, study of, uh, people, a large survey of, uh, . Um, and that is now gonna be marketed directly to advertising agencies by Nielsen. Uh, that's really good news. So, um, uh, so good news for, uh, all of the folks, uh, Megan and Gabriel and Larry at, uh, at, uh, Edison Research. And that looks, uh, good things too. And there are also numbers, aren't they? Of course. From. The podcast index

Sam Sethi:

over the last week, 209,679 podcasts, published at least one new episode that's up again, 1.3% on the week and 20.9% on the month. So yes, in summary. James, what would you say? It's all good news. Yes. Yeah,

James Cridland:

I mean, in summary, I, I mean, there are, Uh, bad bits of news as well. Um, you know, it's not all rosy out there and I know that, uh, some, um, people in the advertising world are seeing, uh, that uh, average rates are down. But mostly the news coming out of podcasting is pretty good. So I think, uh, I think there's much to be relaxed and to be happy about. Let's talk about people news and uh, and actually this is all still, uh, good news cuz there's a ton of new hires out there. Uh, Spotify made changes to its podcast leadership team. Of course, Sahara El Habashi is now head of podcast, head of podcast business. She'll be reporting to Alex Norstrom. Maya pr Hick is head of podcast product. So basically Maya is, um, the old Michael Magnano. And, uh, Sahara is, uh, the old Dawn Ostro, I guess if you wanted to put it that way. Uh, Malvina Gold Felt has joined PMO as Chief Product Officer. She's ex Metta and PayPal. Johan Corne has been announced as VP of, uh, growth and he used to work at Twitter, Uber, and, uh, Ali Baba. Uh, what else is going on? Well, there's a new head of audio at the Wall Street Journal, as well as an editorial director of audio at the Wall Street Journal. They're spending more money. Uh, Phil Patterson, the new head of Audio, Alan Hark, uh, is the editorial director, and Steve Lickteig has joined c n N as the executive producer of podcast. Audio content. He's worked at npr, at Slate, and at NBC News as well. If you're looking for a job, POD News has podcasting jobs across the industry and across the world. There's a good one going at the BBC at the moment in Los Angeles. Uh, they're free to post as well. It'll just take you two minutes to add a new role. You'll find that at pod news.net/jobs. 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. Here's where we do all of the tech talk. Uh, what have you, uh, spotted this week, Sam?

Sam Sethi:

Well, first up, cross app comment is coming to the Podcast Index website. Uh, so if you'd like to help, you can do. Um, Dave and Adam were talking about it. They're very keen on getting this. Into the uh, ecosystem. I can understand why cuz it's a massive differentiator between Apple and Spotify and it also ties together all of the app developers so that we seem to be one rather than disparate islands.

James Cridland:

I'll tell you one thing that I did think about in terms of cross out comments to make them work a little bit better at the moment. Cross app comments work per episode not per show. And it occurs to me that actually. if one of the plans that we have is to make sure that there are comments, uh, in all of these different apps, then perhaps one way to make sure that there are at least comments in those particular apps is to have some form of filter, which allows you to see all of the comments that have been made about this particular podcast's episodes. So not have to dive in for particular episodes to actually read those, but to actually see, okay, um, here are the latest comments about episodes in this podcast. And I think that would make a big, uh, Difference as well. But at the moment we're focusing on very much on episodes rather than on, um, the podcast for itself. And I think that that's possibly a missed, a missed opportunity as well. But, uh, I'm sure, I'm sure it's all doable though in terms of the tech, uh, watch this space, uh, I think is, uh, what you can say about that. A few other, uh, techy things, uh, going on. Uh, pod Ping of course working very well. Brian of London is in Australia as we speak, although he hasn't popped into, uh, to a say hello or sp me a beer. So, uh, he's in court. I'm not sure. Well, I mean, he genuinely is in court, so , but he is in court. He genuinely is, but nevertheless, um, uh, so yes. Uh, anyway, um, uh, why did I mention Pod Ping? Because Brian of London has written a, uh, long, uh, blog, which, uh, explains how much it costs to run the pod ping message system. Uh, and the answer is baffling. Uh, and, uh, you will, you'll just. Have to go read it because I don't fully understand it. Um, but the benefit of, uh, pod Ping is pretty clear. Pod verse uses pod., uh, apple Podcasts doesn't. And, uh, pod verse in just one random, uh, test pod verse got, uh, the new episode 16 minutes earlier than Apple podcasts did. Um, so I think it really shows that there's real, uh, opportunities and benefits, uh, there as well. Um, moving on. Uh, if you've seen a weird user agent called Harley in your log files, then that's from Amazon Music. Uh, it's from various things. It's their desktop app, but also a few other things as well. Anyway, it's been updated in the oppo user agents version two list, uh, and also updated in OP three. So if you use OP three for your analytics as you should, um, then, uh, all of that has been categorized correctly. Sound. Tell me about Cast Garden.

Sam Sethi:

Well, it's something that I just found, you know, looking through tweets. It's a new podcasting, uh, host. It says it's the best podcasting host platform for growing, monetizing and p2p, syndicating unlimited audio video and livestream podcast. So I've clearly got my attention. It's powered by Hive Tube. I went over there and I have to say it was very disappointing. There was not a lot I could see of all of this tech that was actually working. It says it supports the fedi verse. It has popping notifications. It's hive monetized, it supports the full RSS two, uh, it's 320 K audio. All of this sounds amazing. And 4K video. It's a distributed file storage system, so I'm assuming I P F S, um, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It's got hashtag activity pub every, it sounded like, um, podcast namespace bingo. It had everything in it. Yeah, it really does. And then I went over there and it was like, oh., it was a bit like when I went to Wave Lake, it was like, we're doing these great things with music and value for value and it's like, oh, when you get there. So, I don't know. Yeah, it

James Cridland:

seems, I mean, it says, it says Podcasting 2.0 on it, but it seems to have absolutely zero podcasts in there. They all appear to be crappy YouTube videos with, uh, you know, uh, amusing, amusing pictures of somebody's face pulling a, you know, somebody pulling a silly face. Um, so seems to have nothing to do with podcasting at all so far as I can work out. I don't understand why they're saying podcasting 2.0. I don't understand how you can monetize using Hive under the podcasting 2.0 specification. I know it's written into the spec, but I know that no one's using it that way. So, and also free speech podcasters seeking a wider reach. Well free speech podcast really is, is that really the best way to promote it? I mean, again, it comes back to what Leo was saying earlier,, um, you know, oh, it's, um, yes, I've got no idea what this cast garden is all about. But, um, to me it just looks as if, as you so rightly say, somebody has grabbed, um, somebody has grabbed a bit of, um, a bit of, uh, uh, jargon and, uh, they're just basically using, using that. Um, because none of none of it seems to have any relationship with, um, podcasting as your or I know it. So, um, yeah. Very strange. Very indeed. Yes. Yes. Um, let's move on while we still can. I think, uh, Nathan Gathwright has been busy. He's been, uh, publishing code for a podcast images resizer using the cloud flare, uh, image resizing tool, which is very cool. Uh, and Roader has, um, done a well road, has done a couple of things. Firstly, they've added a broadcast grade headset, microphone. Actually, if you have a set of their fancy headphones, then you can just buy this microphone as an extra for it and plug it in, which is very cool. Um, I have, oh, have you, have you got the microphone?

Sam Sethi:

No, not yet. But I've got the nth 100. That's what I'm listening to you now on. Oh, yes.

James Cridland:

So you.. Yes. Yeah, so you can actually, so there is a hidden, uh, hidden plug there that you can actually plug this little, uh, headset, microphone into apparently. Well, it's not hidden.

Sam Sethi:

It's basically you've got two inputs on each side of your headphones. So if you are left sided or right sided, you can have the cable on the most comfortable side. So it works on either way. And so I assume they're going, Ooh, well we've got a hole here that's left. Let's stick a microphone in the other side then. So I assume that's what they do. Oh,

James Cridland:

wow. Very nice. Um, you'd have thought, you know, I mean, road being based in Sydney and me being based in Brisbane, you'd have thought that, uh, you know, it would be a good way to get me to talk about their, their products to send me one of these things. But no, um, the Roader Pro as well, uh, has new firmware, um, which has added all kinds of things that I don't fully understand. But I know that Adam Curry is very excited, uh, about a particular thing, which is, um, to do with main mix control for the headphone outputs. Have you upgraded to version 1.1, 0.1 on your fancy road caster Pro two Sam? I have,

Sam Sethi:

yes. And, uh, no. No. Before you ask, I have no idea what's changed.. Um, I, I haven't had time to play. I did upgrade it and then crossed my fingers and hoped it still worked. That was mainly the output of my, uh, uh, day. In fact, it got even worse. I left it to upgrade overnight cause I didn't know how long the upgrade was. My daughter came home from the pub and decided to turn it off. Mid upgrade. That wasn't very helpful, just wow,

James Cridland:

pointy add. Wow. Don't do

Sam Sethi:

that. Kids . We're

James Cridland:

here today still. I think it's really cool that they keep that, that that, uh, thing upgraded and, uh, they keep on adding new, uh, features to it. I think that's a very, very, uh, smart thing. So congratulations to Road. Although, you know, I wouldn't mind having a go on one.

Sam Sethi:

I, I, I actually, uh, to be really honest with you, I think they've overcomplicated it. So I had the road caster Pro one, it had eight channels and it was pretty easy to work out. And what they've done is they've literally turned this into a software rather than hardware device, which is basically com customizable. So every channel can be anything you want it to be. It can be a virtual mic, it can be an input source, an output source. You've got everything you can want on it. Uh, but sometimes I look at it and I. Actually for the five or six things I want to do, uh, it's overly engineered, but hey, I'm sure there's people like Adam who use it to its full extent, but I don't, uh,

James Cridland:

so yeah. Yeah, I think, I think over-engineering is just, uh, does it do the, the subset of things that I want it to do. And if that is what is what it does, then that's a great thing. But yeah, absolutely. I'm. Perfectly happy with the Sure microphone that I paid for, uh, plugged into this, um, aging Apple Mac that I also paid for. My new Apple Mac is in Sydney. I'm very excited. Hopefully I'll get it in the next couple of days and then it'll be a, a week's worth of tearing my hair out, trying to understand how I installed all of these pieces of software in the first place. But still, there we are. Shall we go around the world, Sam? Indeed.

Sam Sethi:

You've been doing something very interesting, which I'm very excited to hear more about. Uh, POD News today starts a series of articles about podcasting in the East and Southeast Asia, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. If you didn't know what the Southeast Asia area was, it's a total population of 734 million, making it more than twice the size of the us and we can expect podcasts listening to grow much faster in many of these countries. Done in the US Now, who did you ask to write this and why did you ask them to do it?

James Cridland:

Yeah. Well, a actually, I didn't ask. Uh, so, um, these articles are written by Guang for Pod News. He is based in Singapore. He runs a podcast, uh, company there, and. Uh, yeah. And he said, I would like to write a set of articles, um, about what podcasting is like in Asia. And I said, brilliant. I'm in Asia too, kind of. Um, I would love to know that too. Here's what I would love to find out. Uh, and he's done a really, really good job. Um, so, uh, you'll find published today, you'll find, um, an article around Japan and an article around Korea. Uh, Japan is fascinating in that, uh, the country is very, very different to the sort of country that the US or the UK is. Um, so the sort of content that they are interested in is very, very different to the sort of content that we are interested in, uh, as well. And there are big differences between Korea, uh, and Japan and the Philippines and Japan and so on and so forth. So, um, it's a great set of articles, so, Very much looking forward, uh, to that. And of course, um, in many parts of Asia, GDP is going up. Uh, the economy is in pretty good shape. Uh, and so therefore it's a real opportunity for the rest of the world if we can understand what they're interested in, in terms of podcasting. Uh, there's real growth to be had there. So, um, you can find that by, uh, having a look at the grinning Japanese soldier from about, about 12 years ago that I took the photograph. Um, , you'll find that, uh, on the, uh, on the pod news website@podnews.net.

Sam Sethi:

Now being an ex B cer. Now if you are a zr, when you lift, leave Google. What's the next b b cer? I dunno. I, I can't work that out.

James Cridland:

Yes. Happy. Happy. I think is a, is an ex bbc.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah. You and Louis Saru. Hey. He, he, is he in that secret? What's that group with you now that you both left? Um, the BBC have been, uh, uh, Bit like Britain and Brexit. They've been isolating themselves even further from the world. What have they been doing this week?

James Cridland:

Yes, so they have removed their radio stations from a thing called Radio Player. Now Radio player is a cross-industry radio and podcasts app that it helped fund. Back in 2009 and to, uh, uh, give a disclaimer, I worked on it. I actually got the commercial radio industry to understand what it was about and to be positive towards the idea. Uh, so that, uh, this would be a one-stop shot for all of UK radio, well, all of UK radio now apart from the BBC because they've taken their radio stations away from it. And you now have to download the BBC Sounds app in order to go and, uh, have a listen. And you may remember that the bbc, when Google Podcasts launched, the BBC said, Nope, you're not having our podcasts. And didn't allow Google to index their podcasts. And similar.. They've also removed some podcasts from Open RSS for an initial 30 days. So they are exclusive to the BBC Sounds app for the first 30 days, including a topical news quiz, which I always find hilarious, that you would deliberately make a topical news quiz not available to, uh, most of the world, uh, for the first 30 days. Um, now it started doing that a year or so ago. It was described as a trial. Now, on Monday, I asked the BBC press office for a, uh, quote, um, as to how that trial is going and how long that trial is going to be happening. Um, and, uh, only half an hour ago I sent them an email saying, Hey, just catching up on this and wondering if I might get a response. Hello, this is future James from the edit, the BBC came back to me and they said that the trial is ongoing and they have no more information at this time. Anyway, back to the recorded James. It's just miserable and depressing that the bbc, which once was, you know, very open and very much in the internet, for the internet, um, is now pulling all of its stuff away from the internet and being just as bad as Spotify really. Well, I

Sam Sethi:

remember being an Xscape and, and the guys at the BBC were one of the first to, you know, bring out RSS for shows and they were one of the first to do podcasting. They were of the first to do many of the Yeah. Internet stuff. They were a massive advocate of html. They were a brilliant group, you know, and it, it certainly moved in the uk uh, the industry forward for people adopting, uh, the web. Yeah. So it's a shame. Yeah. Does that mean it's trial and error now? Is that the title for the BBC's new show, trial and error

James Cridland:

Well, quite possibly. I mean, although, you know, if, if all of their, uh, talent keeps on leaving the corporation, then there won't be anything good worth listening to anyway. So I don't suppose it matters that much. True. Now let's have a look at some events. Uh, coming up. Spotify, uh, is, uh, partnering with Pod Live Sport for the UK's first Sports podcast festival, which happens uh, next week. Uh, in London. There's on Air Fest as well, which is happening towards the end of February and Brooklyn. Um, they've announced a ton of, uh, different, uh, speakers and headliners. Uh, they're very kindly invited me to, um, go over and be in the audience. Uh, but it's a long way to go and I've said no, but thank you. Anyway, um, the podcast Movement evolutions is where I will be, though I've been confirmed. Sam, I am confirmed. Finally, I'm, yes, I'm in the email. Uh, uh, as of today, I'm in the email and it says, James k Cridland returns. It's a bit like Star Wars . Um, but anyway, uh, I will be talking about the pod, uh, the pod news, uh, report card. Which I should probably say a little bit more about in just a second. Both Podcast Movement Evolutions is, uh, early March in Las Vegas. Both Sam and I will be there and who knows, we might even be doing a version of this very show on a stage somewhere. No one wants to say that. Whether or not , whether, whether or not there'll be anybody, uh, anybody actually there, who knows. But, uh, anyway, we will see what happens. Hang on

Sam Sethi:

James. I've got it coming up. Wait, wait. We will give everyone their free beers if they come

James Cridland:

to it. Oh, you will. Excellent.

Sam Sethi:

That's, I dunno how we're gonna pay for it, but let's just offer that.

James Cridland:

Just, just, we'll have to, we'll have to spend Adam and Dave's, uh, uh, stats. That's, that's clearly what we'll be doing., um, uh, other things going on Radio Days. Europe is in Prague at the end of, of, um, at the end of March, which, uh, I will also be at the New Zealand Podcast Summit is in Auckland, which hopefully will have dried out by then, uh, in, uh, early May, uh, the podcast show in London in late May. Uh, so looking forward to that. All these, all these events going on, we should, uh, run our own event, uh, ready to, uh, Sam. Um, and there's a bunch of awards to come, uh, podcast British, I think, I think I got away with it. Uh, the British Podcast Awards, um, are, um, open for entries. Uh, is that, is that what I can understand from this? Yes. By the looks of things. Yep.

Sam Sethi:

Um, so, so that's exciting. Got, uh, you've, you've got time. Come on. What should we go for, James? What should we go for? Oh, we're never gonna win it cuz it's no not spot. It's not, we are not the sponsors. But

James Cridland:

a that's not how it works. It's a well organized one on both. Aye Uh, the sponsors are pod, pod who are our competitors. So, uh, I I think that there, there is a, there is a thing there. Um, but also, um, we would be up against the news agents, , and there's no chance that we're going

Sam Sethi:

to win. Oh, come on Dino. No chance. You've won enough stuff. Let us have one go. No.

James Cridland:

No. Okay. Um, uh, there's also the Sonic Bloom Awards, which have been announced, uh, in the us which, uh, is open to anybody apart from, uh, male people to, uh, to enter. Well, in fact, they've even clarified that you, you can, if you are male, you can enter. It's just that you won't win. So I'm, well, take your money. What's the point of that? Um, and the India Audio Summit and awards were held in, uh, Mumbai recently, uh, may Thomas won best show host in the music category for Maid in India. Congratulations. May, uh, it's always excellence to, uh, to us see a friendly name, uh, in the middle of that. Um, and you'll find more information all about that. And one you can pronounce yes and one I can pronounce, which is, uh, also a good thing. Um, although frankly, uh, I mean, you should be reading out all of them. All, all of the nominees,. You do, you do a much better job than I would. Um, and the Amies, um, are um, have announced their full list. Of, uh, nominees. There's an awful lot of, uh, US stuff, uh, in there. If you are a member of the podcast academy, you are the judging panel, um, for the actual winners. So you should be going to check your email to find out how to vote. The winners will be announced in the International Theater at the Westgate in Las Vegas on March the seventh, which is normally the one that Barry man. Uh, sings that. So, um, so that's gonna be a thrill, isn't it? Um, there are more events both paid for and free at Pod News. Uh, if you're organizing something, tell the world about it. It's free to be listed. Pod news.net/events. Booster Graham, booster Graham Corner, corner

Sandy Warr:

Corner on the Pod News Weekly review.

James Cridland:

I yet is my, my favorite time of the week. Um, if you, uh, if you have a boost button, it's always good to get your, your, uh, messages. Uh, and it's, uh, great to see, uh, a number of different messages, uh, coming in, including Gene Bean who says, I love, there's a way to get all podcasts to show on the fountain charts. Now, yes, there is. All you do is you add your own fountain wallet to the splits, and that means that Fountain can then see, uh, all of that and can, uh, make sure that you are in those charts. And this very show is in those charts, uh, Sam, which is, uh, always a good thing. Uh, who else have we got boosters from?

Sam Sethi:

Uh, Kyron from the mere mortals. Uh, he sent us a row of ducks and he said, excellent as always. Cheers fellas. Thank you. Kyron. Yes.

James Cridland:

Thank you very much. Yes, Adam Curry seems to like you. 25,777 SATs. That's a, uh, for this show. That's a big baller. Um, so thank you Adam for that. Uh, and, uh, he, he thinks you are brilliant. Sam's analogy to Terry Sel and Yahoo is the right one. He says this was a bubble party. Time is over. pets.com. Anybody? Yes.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I mean, Terry Semi was a bit of a w uh, yeah. Dawn Ostro and Terry Samuel, I would put 'em in the same bag and, uh, and clearly Adam's got taste if he thinks I'm good. Well, I'm not gonna argue with the pod father. That's all.

James Cridland:

Oscar Mary has also sent 5,000 SATs. Great interview with Jack. Thanks, Sam. Uh, you see it's

Sam Sethi:

good, isn't it? Yeah. I like this briefs.

James Cridland:

If, if anybody would like to thank me for anything that'd be good. 250 SATs from, uh, somebody called S R T N, who I'm gonna call sorting. Uh, anyway, uh, sorting says your explanation of monetization mechanics is so very helpful. Thank you. Uh, I'd like to think that that was me. Not, not, not you. This. Oh, I think

Sam Sethi:

that was you.

James Cridland:

Anyway. Uh, 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, uh, so that we can continue making this show. You can be a power supporter@weekly.podnews.net. Uh, you can subscribe in Apple Podcast, apple.co/pod news, or you can support us with SATs by hitting the Boost button. Actually, we've, uh, had a number of, uh, new supporters this week through the Buzz Sprout, uh, subscription thing. Uh, so, so thank you, uh, for that. Uh, if you need a new podcast app, then pod news.net/new podcast apps is the place to go. What's happening for you this week, Sam? Uh, I was a guest

Sam Sethi:

on the global discussion with Simon Hodgkins. That was great. I really enjoyed that. Talking about the podcast index, the name space, value for Value, micro Payment Stats and Pod fans. So if you want to hear more of my ramblings, then find me on the global discussion.

James Cridland:

Very nice too. Uh, any nice dinners coming up? Yeah.

Sam Sethi:

Uh, James Bishop, uh, who's a friend of mine from one fine play, he's hosting a podcasting dinner on the 23rd of February in London. Uh, I will put it up on, uh, various places on my Twitter accounts and LinkedIn and look up James Bishop. Yeah, it'll be a small, little intimate dinner for those of you who want to come along to chat about

James Cridland:

podcasting. Very nice. You, uh, uh, this time last week you were talking about Nasta and whether or not you'd fiddled around with that a little bit. Um, ha. Have you managed. Have you, have you done any of that?

Sam Sethi:

Yeah. Nos no.. Yeah, I mean, again, new tech is something I love. Um, Nasta is meant to be the social network protocol. That's the way that people are trying to, uh, position it now. So I suppose it could be competitive to Activity Pub and what Master Dawn's doing, there's lots of clients out there, and a new one that came out this week, it was called Damas. It's an iOS client. Uh, it's suddenly in the top 10 of social network apps on the Apple podcast, uh, on the Apple charts. Um, what was really cool was I'd set up Alby with my public and private keys for the astra.ninja, um, Nasta account, stay with me, and, um, only basically then loaded up dams, uh, typed in sam@getabi.com and boom, all my credentials, my, my bio, my images, uh, my avatar, everything was over there. And yeah, I was following Jack. So, um, , it's pretty cool. It means it's like, uh, a way of, you know, the clients being independent and offering features, but the, the Nasta client, um, pulls your details from your, uh, credentials. I was., you know, I thought this was a great little step forward. I still think it's too early, uh, for mainstream, but, you know, I can

James Cridland:

see the direction. Yeah, no, indeed. It's, uh, it's always fun to fiddle around with, uh, new stuff like, uh, this, you'll find me on Nasta James. At cri.land, uh, which I've managed to get working there. So, um, yes, so if you want to, uh, find me there, although frankly I'm not using it an awful lot, but it's always quite fun to play with. And

Sam Sethi:

one last one, which I I think you, you is really cool, is called to.app. It's a new presentation tool and it's got full chat G B T and Darley two built into it. So you can just type out the title of your presentation and click chat G B T and it does all your slides for you. Uh, and then you can go and edit them and then you can say, put the images with it and it uses Darley two and you get some cracking images. So there, it's a really quick way of starting a presentation if you want to.

James Cridland:

It sounds horrifying.. Sam Sethi: And anyway, fiddling around, what have you been up to this week? Well, I've, I've been on a couple of different, uh, podcasts and things, making creativity., um, is, uh, a podcast which I appeared on earlier on in the week. I was actually talking about an idea that I'd heard from Ronsley Vaz about sustainable creativity. It's a really nice, uh, phrase, um, that, uh, I've heard people, uh, use. And you'll find that, um, uh, in your favorite podcast app, uh, with the Making Creativity Pay podcast. Also, I was interviewed, um, actually quite some time ago, but, uh, it's been published this week, uh, by, uh, Simon Owens who writes a lot about media and writes about all kinds of, um, All kinds of other, um, uh, you know, media, business, uh, type things. Uh, and he interviewed me for his YouTube channel. Um, and the title of it is How James K Cridland built the most influential newsletter within the podcast industry. Uh, so I'm quite a fan of that. I'm less less of a fan of my, uh, haircut cuz frankly I could have used a slightly better haircut. Um, cuz the whole thing's in video. Uh, but still, but there you go. That's what happens when you do video interviews, I guess. Uh, but if you want to, uh, find that, then you'll find out on YouTube. God, we'll go and have a look later. And that's it for this week.

Sam Sethi:

You can give us feedback using email to weekly@podnews.net or send us a boost grab. If your podcast app doesn't support Boost, then grab a new app from pod news.net/. Podcast

James Cridland:

apps. Yes. Our music is from Studio Dragonfly. Our voiceover is Sheila D, and we are hosted and sponsored by Buzz Sprout 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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