Podnews Weekly Review

Acast's SVP Marketing, Comms and Brand, Lizzy Pollott talks Interchangeable Ad Slots, Keyword and Conversational Ad Targeting and The Obamas join Acast. Plus it's Happy Adopt-a-Listener Month!

April 07, 2023 James Cridland & Sam Sethi Season 2 Episode 20
Podnews Weekly Review
Acast's SVP Marketing, Comms and Brand, Lizzy Pollott talks Interchangeable Ad Slots, Keyword and Conversational Ad Targeting and The Obamas join Acast. Plus it's Happy Adopt-a-Listener Month!
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It's Friday, the 7th of April, 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 back in Brisbane. And I'm Sam Sethy, c e o of pod fans. Still here in London or just outside it? In any case, uh, in the chapters today. Acast, sign up the Obamas. It's happy, adopt Listen a Month and Spotify for podcasters Increases its share. And, hi, this is Nina Robinson. I'm the organizer of the Birmingham Podcast Festival. Join me later on to talk about what's going on. It's all happening on April the 22nd. We are platforming diverse voices. I'm Lizzie Pollard, the SVP of Marketing Communications and Brand at Acast, and I'll be on later to talk about acas advertising strategy. They Will. This podcast is sponsored and hosted by Buzz Sprout. Last week, more than 4,000 people started a podcast with Buzz Sprout podcast hosting made easy with powerful tools and remarkable customer support. And now you can turn your listeners into supporters with Bus Sprout subscriptions from your daily newsletter, the Pod News Weekly review. So James, let's kick this off with, uh, how are you, first of all, uh, he had another trip this week. Where did you go? Yes, very good. Um, yes, I had a trip, but it was a trip of, of about two yards onto a very, uh, on a ver very painful concrete path. So it turns out that I've, ouch. Yes. Damaged bits of me, but there we are. So I'm looking forward very much to, um, a lot of economy air travel, uh, in a couple of weeks time. Uh, that's gonna be really good with two fractured ribs. Oh no. Yes, yes. Two fractured ribs. Yes. But anyway, uh, enough of that there are people who are tuned in, who have much. Uh, issues. So let's ignore my, uh, slightly temporary one and, um, kick off with some, uh, proper podcast news, shall we? Yeah. Well, Acast has been very busy. Uh, recently, uh, this week they announced that podcasts from Higher Ground are to be sold and distributed by Acast Whose Higher Ground James. Yes, they are the company which is owned by Michelle and Barack Obama. And, uh, this is really good news because if you remember. They used to be with Spotify and some of their staff used to be behind the Spotify wall of payment, uh, and no longer. So, uh, everything is now open from the Obamas and open from higher ground, and that's, uh, very good news, I think. Yeah, finally, they, they might get what they want, which is broad distribution and, uh, massive paycheck. Certainly. I think for them it's probably more important that they get a large number of people listening to their stuff rather than necessarily what the large paycheck is. I would imagine that they're probably quite comfortable, uh, to be honest. Um, but I think certainly making sure that people know what they stand for, know what they are talking about, uh, is important for them. And so of course, being on an open podcast platform such as Acast is a good plan for that. What happened to that audible deal that seemed to come and go very quickly? Do you know? Uh, it's interesting you say that because yes, they signed a exclusive multi-year production deal with Audible. Just back in June of 2022. Now I wonder whether or not, um, because, and so clearly they've jumped out of that agreement. I wonder whether or not that is partially Amazon trying to save some money and have basically turned around and said, you know, we can't actually afford you anymore. Or I wonder whether or not, um, it's a conversation about being more open and, you know, wanting to make sure that their stuff is available everywhere. And they didn't necessarily understand that Audible is just a paid for service. I don't know, but that's a really interesting question. I wonder why they have, you know, clearly jumped out of that particular deal. Uh, again, just just for clarity, you said it's a production deal, so. Is that Audible producing anything for them exclusively, and then Acast just selling ads and distributing it. I don't quite get, well, I mean, this is, yeah, this is what the New York Times, uh, reported and they said, uh, and they called it a multi-year production deal, although, you know, it's not necessarily somebody that understands podcasting, who's, who's written this. Um, the, um, they didn't share any specific details, but they said that they planned to tell meaningful and entertaining stories that elevates diverse voices and experiences. Um, and yeah, so I, I mean, it could be. That Audible are the company who are making the podcasts, and then they're actually chucking them out onto Acast. It could be as Audible have done in the past that, uh, they have released stuff on Acast after they've been available on Audible. Um, so perhaps it might be that actually, uh, if you look at West Cork for example, that was a show that was available, uh, only on Audible for a number of years and was then released, uh, in a more open fashion. Um, but uh, yes, you ma you make a good point. The other thing that, uh, I think we should think about you, we talked about last week, a cast did a deal with. Uh, a few weeks ago, which was the deal where they would put loads of podcasts into Amazon Podcasts, but with no advertising, if you remember. Indeed. And so they have been involved, uh, with that. Um, they've also, of course, launched a new feature called Interchangeable Ad Slots. Recently they've launched a thing called Acast Amplifier in Ireland. They reckon that there's even more podcast listening in Asia going on right now. Uh, and, uh, they have announced that they are going to be part of the new Grassroots Industry Coalition, the Podcast Standards project. Sounds like it will be a good idea to have, uh, a bit of a chat with someone from Acast to find out a bit more. Well, your wishes, my commander. So I thought I'd reach out to Lizzie Pollock, who's the SVP of marketing and brand and Communication, and I asked her first of. What is Acast? Yeah, I think we are so broad and so wide. We have many different customer sets and we are many different things to different people. So sometimes it is really hard to explain. So if I'm down the pub and someone says, what is Acast? I tend to say, well, do you know what a podcast is? And then once I know what a podcast is, I say, so we essentially host podcast. So if you have a podcast, we get it out into the world and across all the listening apps for you. We help who make money through advertising and through subscriptions from fans. And then we help you grow that show through lots of different tools and services. So we essentially host, monetize and Grow 92,000 podcasts across the world. And we work with thousands of advertisers and there's pretty much not many countries in the world where we aren't present and And doing that. Yeah. And we'll talk about some of that shortly. Who would you then say is your biggest competi. Well, again, by virtue of the fact that we are across so many parts of the industry, and as everyone I'm sure knows the industry is incredibly fragmented, there's lots of different players doing lots of different parts of what we do. So actually there's no one big answer to that question. It entirely depends on when you're looking at hosting. You know, if you are an independent podcaster, you might be looking at us, you might be looking at anchor, you might be looking at Buzz Sprout, Podbean. Whereas if you are an advertiser looking where to spend your money, it's entirely different competitor set. You might be looking at spending, for example, in the UK on our podcast or with Global and Dax, so there's no one answer to that. I'm sorry, Sam, I can't encapsulate it for you. That's fine. Now, your core revenue generator is from advertising. You also have acast Plus, which is your subscription model. But let's stick with the advertising first. You announced this thing, as I said, called Interchangeable ad slots. What are interchangeable ad slots? So absolutely. So this is quite an involved answer, but I always like to explain as if I'm talking to the person with the least knowledge in the room. So forgive me, listeners of any of this is really obvious. So when you place adverts in podcasts, so we have the traditional, what we call adverts made by a brand. They're typically 30 seconds long and they are put against different podcasts all around the world. And then you have what podcasting is more famous for, which is a sponsorship. So sometimes people call these host reads. So that's where you think of your favorite podcaster, who's talking to you about the brand in question, in their own voice and in their own tone. Okay? So in any one episode you might have slots available for, let's say at the start of an episode, you might have two slots marked for an ad, or two ads, sorry, one each. And then you might have a slot which is marked for one of those host red sponsorships. So traditionally that's how podcast ads have been sold. Actually what we did is, um, We innovated a way of automatically being able to detect, hang on a minute, a sponsor, Reed hasn't been sold in that sponsor slot today. So instead of just wasting that slot and not actually putting any message in, we can automatically convert it into an ad slot and put an ad in its place. Oh, in real time. So, as I said, it's incredibly involved and it's, it's quite a niche subject, but what it's done is it has increased. Our marketplace capacity. So the amount of inventory that we can sell against by over 10% in the last few months, which is, you know, in a marketplace as big as us is, is incredibly valuable. And it's also good for podcasters because it means they're potentially making more revenue because we are decreasing the number of slots that go unsold for them. And so that's just something that is available what to every podcaster on the A-class platform? Or is it just available to a few of the top end? No, we've been testing it with a a few to make sure that it's working and it's working so well that we are now rolling it out globally across as many of our podcasts as possible. They don't actually need to do anything themselves. This is all sort of work on our end that we are doing to maximize those returns. Now one of the things that I have to say, the penny took a while to drop for me, so I'll be very honest. Two years ago, it feels like somewhere in the middle of Covid Acast announced that they were gonna transcribe every podcast and. At the same time, Alison announced it and a few other people announced they were transcribing. And we all felt that this was a good thing for people who were hard of hearing. So they could read the transcription of a podcast. And I just thought that's what you were doing. And I thought, that's very good. Maybe a little expensive. And then the penny drops. I was listening to Matt dig and talk about it on the future of media and suddenly somebody said, yeah, well if you take every transcription and you can then work out that a basketball podcast categorizes basketball, was talking about cars for 10 minutes for some strange reason, but they were, you could see that within the transcription and you could place car ads around that element of the podcast. And that's when the penny dropped me. So is that how you were aiming for conversational targeting when you started? What was the thinking behind it from a a side? Yeah, absolutely. So there's, there's a few things behind it. First of all, you know, everyone knows that in advertising context is Queen. Also, you know, for us as Acast, one of the biggest tenets that we hold dear is we want to always ensure that the listing experience for listeners and the experience for podcasters and for advertisers is as great and authentic as possible. So when you bring context into podcast advertising, it becomes incredibly powerful. So you are right. So in transcribing, you know, hundreds and thousands of podcast episodes, our data scientists got to work, and suddenly the opportunity for advertisers to capitalize on that was really clear. So what we've done is we've launched a suite of targeting capabilities for advertisers, which we put under the conversational targeting umbrella. And what's really exciting about that is advertisers are able to target individual conversations on an episode level and get really granular in where their adverts are appearing. So traditionally podcasts are categorized into different categories depending on the topic of the show. So if you have a podcast, let's take off menu. You know, off menu. One of the UK's biggest podcasts hosted by two comedians, ed Gamble and James Acast at two brilliant comedians, I may say, where they get a celebrity ons talk about their dream meal. So ostensibly that is a category classified as a food podcast and a comedy podcast. But actually once you analyze the conversations happening within episodes, The topics that they touch on are so broad that suddenly this opens up that podcast a whole new SWA of advertisers who might traditionally not necessarily consider off menu on their hit list. So the first thing that we launched was IAB category targeting. So the iab, you know, one of the great pillars of the podcasting industry around the world has different categories of subjects. You know, a common taxonomy, which helps us all, you know, play in the same sort of playing field. So they have different categories which they can assign to podcasts. So the first instance, what we've been doing is we transcribe. You know, hundreds and thousands of episodes using transcription technology. Then we use nlp, so natural language processing tech. So things like IBM Watson, also AWS comprehend to extract all the metadata from those transcriptions and then that can match those with different IAB content categories to therefore actually classify individual episodes of podcasts in different categories. So this, this might all sound quite sort of like top line, um, theory based. So if I give you a very, very real example. Yep. So last week off menu, which is, as we know, a comedy in a food podcast they had on the best actress in the world today, Florence Pugh, picking her dream meal. And, and of course there was a lot of conversation about food, there was a lot of comedy, there was a lot of jokes happening. But naturally, being an actress, she spoke a lot about film. She lo spoke a lot about, you know, um, different movies that she shot, working with different directors. So actually using IA B category targeting. That episode can be identified as being potentially interesting to film fans, movie fans, and also film and movie brands. So actually, whereas before we might have just assumed that we'd want to place advertiser targeting food and comedy subjects, we can actually open that up by instantly perhaps serving a Netflix ad or Amazon Prime or, or for a movie. So that, that was really exciting and, and that was the first stage in conversational targeting. Um, the other thing you announced though, was something called keyword targeting. And again, I was just trying to understand what's the difference between keyword targeting and conversational targeting. Yeah, so keyword is even more granular. So as the name suggests, we're actually looking at individual keywords that are mentioned within an episode. And a keyword could be just a word like hot or weather or tea, but it could also be an entity. So it could be a person or a brand. So, so then what you can do is you can actually target advertisers can actually target mentions of individual words within episodes so they can get even more granular if there's a particular topic in question they want to target. So actually, by way of example, again, if we carry on with the episode of Off menu from last week. So another part of the conversation, Florence happened to talk about a birthday present that she bought for her grandmother. So actually, if you were, let's say a moon pig or a funky pigeon.com, other birthday card brands are available, you might actually want to buy out, mentions keywords of birthday, for example, because at that moment in time, Birthdays are top of mind. Maybe you are thinking, oh, it's my, you know, dad's birthday next week, what am I gonna buy? Lo and behold, a beautiful advert for a birthday card provider is probably going to, you know, like make you more like to convert. So to ib category targeting and keyword targeting, they're both parts of conversational targeting. They're slightly different, but they both have their uses. So I would say that category targeting allows for more reach and, and sort of broader targeting. Because if you think about it, there's going to be lots of conversations around particular topics. So brands can go really wide I in their targeting in that. But then with keyword, if they layer on keyword as well, they can get incredibly specific around individual words. So I think it's just pretty exciting that the thing that I would say in general about conversational targeting and looking at this episode of level targeting in general is. As you and I both know, the podcasting industry is still so young compared to other industries, and so the potential is incredibly exciting. We still don't know what we don't know, and you know, we could actually probably just sit here right now and thinking, okay, well if we have this at our fingertips in terms of transcription, AI, N L P, you know, we could do this. Or what about if we tried doing this? And so that's what our data science teams and our tech teams around the world are sort of working on every single. Now you've also, you launched a self-served platform for podcast advertising. Tell me more about that. Yes. Yeah, so in the olden days, she says a few years ago, I'm obviously joking, but previously to spend money on podcasts, the way it's previously been done, and it's still currently done with a lot of big brands, is, you know, through media agencies and working with our sales teams. And that's worked incredibly well and it continues to work incredibly well. But actually what we've been able to do is open up podcast advertising to a whole new and subset of brands, smaller brands, small businesses, SMBs, SMEs, as people call them, who can actually have access to our. Our advertising platform themselves. They can log in, they can start a podcast campaign for as little as $250. They can choose their targeting. They upload their own audio creative, they set their parameters, they hit play and away they go and they can set up their own advertising campaign in as little as 15 minutes. So it's really democratizing podcast advertising for anyone anywhere to use. And there's also, we're seeing a big use case as well from podcasts themselves. We know podcast advertising is effective. We also know that, you know, using it as a channel to grow your own podcast is effective. So we're actually seeing a lot of podcasters using ourselves serve advertising tool to, yeah, advertise to other podcast systems and grow their own shows. So it's in, again, it's incredibly exciting and we're seeing a lot of demand from it, particularly in the. Cool. Now talking about us talking about countries. Recently you launched in Spain. You also had Megan Davis, your international MD at Acast, saying that Italy was very important to them in 2023. So have you launched in Italy yet? What's Spain like? And tell me more about your internationalization plans. Yeah, so one of the beauties of the ACOs model is that we can be present in many countries without actually having to have boots on the ground. So, you know, our tech platform, the expertise that we have means that where we see demand and. Demand generally means where podcast listening is growing and there is demand from listeners to listen to podcasts, then the advertisers tend to follow. So our international team, Megan and her brilliant team, have been, you know, monitoring that demand over the last few years and where we see it, we've been signing up podcasts to work with us. So in Italy, in Spain, increasingly we now have a presence in Singapore as well. And we've started, yep, signing and monetizing shows in those regions, which is brilliant because first of all, obviously it allows us to work with advertisers in new regions, new countries, but it also expands our international reach for, let's say our podcasts in the US or the UK who might have listens in those regions where we can also monetize them there. So you know, as well as I do that podcasting is just exploding. So it's great that we have that agility to be able to speak to that demand wherever it is. Yeah. You were talking about actually your growth in Asia. Tell me more about Asia, cuz that sounds like a really exciting opportunity for Acast. Yeah, I mean, it's another place, as you say, as you say, that podcast listening is just growing exponentially. So we launched last year, I think we saw a 21% in increase in monthly lessons across Singapore, Hong Kong, Philippines, Indonesia, in about six months of the backend of last year. So now we are working with, you know, some of the biggest podcasters down there, and then in turn matching them with some of the, you know, the most important advertisers in the region. And so it is just so exciting to just see, you know, we, we are in quite mature markets. Podcasting's been around in the UK forever, and it's been very, very popular forever. And so it's so exciting to see where other regions are going through that same journey we have. And the demand is exploding. So talking about internationalization and support, that's great news about the growth in the far East, but I want to come back closer to home. Last week you, you announced something called the Acast Amplifier in Ireland. Tell me more about what that program's about. Yeah, so ACA Amplifier is essentially our incubator program to discover and, you know, supercharge new podcasting talent, which we do for a number of reasons. One, because we truly believe that, you know, there is so much great podcasting talent out there, which just needs that push to get started and is sometimes support as well. And because, you know, we want to ensure our network is full of as many different voices as possible. So we first launched this last year in the. It was incredibly successful for us. And what happens is anyone who doesn't currently have a podcast can apply. They can submit their idea, which is then judged by panel of judges of, you know, some of our most well-respected, uh, podcasters in the market. And then the lucky winners, their podcast gets made, they receive a grant, they receive coaching consultation from us, and so on and so forth. So it was an incredible success in the UK with the, the podcast that won that called Memories From the Dance Floor, which I recommend you'll check out, which, which is doing incredibly well. So we have now launched that in Ireland. So Ireland has long been a very important and successful market for us. We work with many of the biggest podcast, most popular and, and successful podcast over there. So we thought it was time to discover some new talent. So we've launched Acast Amplifier in Ireland, which is now open if anyone is listening and has an idea and space in Ireland. I think the applications are open for a few more weeks yet. And yeah, they could see their show being made, as I say, receive that grant, get all the coaching that they need, receive actual materials as well. Equipment from people like sure, I'm using one of their microphones today and And Focus. Right. So yeah, we really believe in supporting and nurturing new talent wherever we can. And I'm excited actually to hopefully do this in a few other of our regions as well, once we've done it in Ireland. Yeah, I'm just thinking of all the places we've talked about. It seems very North Hemisphere. Do you do much here in Australia and South America? Yes, absolutely. Australia is one of our oldest and most successful markets. I'm sure. As you know, Australia is so unique as it's as a region, and the team down there have made amazing strides. They work with all different kinds of podcasters, publishers. The advertising scene is, is booming down there. So yeah, it's, it's long been a really strong market for us. The same New Zealand, actually New Zealand has a real blossoming scene as well. So we actually have, we have representation. Representation, excuse me, can't say that word down there as well. And the same in South America. You know, we've been in Mexico for a few years now. We have many, many lessons across the region, which we monetize. We have a lot of listening happening, so that's also seen a lot of growth. So the short answer is yes. Now, Lizzy, we mentioned a little while back about a a plus, and we haven't really touched on that. Now, one of your most populous shows is Shag. Married, annoyed. Last year you launched bonus content and exclusive benefits using a a plus. Is that something you're gonna be doing more with some of your top end slate podcasts? Or was that just a, we'll touch and see what subscription looks like, but knitting is about advertising. Where, where are you with acas Plus? No, no, absolutely. So we launched ACOs plus a few years ago, I'd say, or was it last year? I dunno. The, the years merge into one. This is because we believe in helping our podcast is make money in whatever way suits them. Advertising is perfect for many podcasts, but you know what, there are some podcasts that prefer either not to have adverts or it doesn't suit suit their, their show. And actually they have very loyal followings who actually want to support them and will support them financially and will pay for things like being able to access bonus content or in some cases if they do take ads to listen ad free. And so, you know, in line with a, what is happening across a lot the, the industry subscriptions are, are really becoming such a big thing. So, Acast Plus allows podcasts to, as I say, offer ad free listening, bonus content, you know, special sort of one-off series and so on and so forth. And it's just a way for podcasters to diversify their income streams. And we actually have some of our biggest podcasters around the world. You mentioned Shag Mar Noy who have a bonus segment called Extra, extra Every Week for their subscribers. Mark Maron, one of the biggest and you know, most established podcasters in the world. He has WTF Plus as well. And one of the most successful cus plus we've had is in Ireland with Tommy Hector and Tita. And, and, and they're doing really well because as I say, you know, listeners often recognize that actually you get most podcasts for free. And we are very lucky that ad, ad supported model like podcasting means that you are accessing brilliant content for free, but often they do want to support and they actually are willing to pay for either extra content or, or perks. So, you know, it is doing really well. We've rolled it out across all of our markets, and we are seeing some podcasts have real success from it. So, uh, yeah, we're continuing to innovate with it. We're continuing to support it. Um, and now I'm excited to see where it can go. Yeah, no, I, I, I think subscription is something that, you know, yourselves, apple, Spotify pushing very hard. One of my biggest bug bears, and I d if you have an answer to this really is why do consumers have the perception that podcasting should be free? We pay for music, we pay for films, we pay for books, but there is this old conception in the marketplace that, oh yeah, it's just, you know, somebody behind a mic and it clearly, it's free. Why do I have to pay for podcasting? Do you have any. I mean, I've not actually really thought about it in depth before, other than having to hold myself back when I see people moaning about podcast ads on Twitter. And I, I just wanna say some more. Do you realize you're getting this for free? And actually, but no, I do wonder if it's something to do with radio. So you grow up listening to the radio. You turn on the radio. It's a sense, be free. Yes. Hopefully your parents would've paid for a, a license if you listened to BBC Radio. Exactly. But I wonder if it's a hangover from Radio Times. You know, I never used to have to listen to, sorry, pay to listen to Jeff Lloyd and Anabel Port on the, uh, Virgin Drive Time show. And many people see podcasting as a, being born out of radio. So I, I do wonder if it's a hangover from that, because of course, you know, these people will spend hours watching YouTube videos mm-hmm. And not think twice about the, the ads that they're getting in between if they haven't paid for a premium. So, It's interesting, but I, I do think that, I do think that tide is turning, I think as podcasting grows and as podcasting becomes even more, even more mainstream, I hate it when people say podcasting has just become mainstream, but as it becomes even more mainstream, I do think that people are beginning to understand a bit about the industry and it's becoming even more professionalized. Right? So actually podcasting content nowadays is incredibly professional, much higher quality because of, you know, people have learned how to make great podcasts. So, I'm, I'm thinking the tide is turning, but I do wonder if it's something to do with radio. What, what do you think? Well, I, I really wish Spotify would be honest and had. Additionally for podcasting, right? And additionally for books. So the 9 99, 14 99 for music, family, you know, subscription. I wish they'd said, and if you want podcasting, it's another 3 99 or 4 99 or whatever it would've been, right? That would've then made podcasting seen as having value. Cause I sometimes suspect, I know my daughter uses the family Spotify and then just sees, oh, you've just added podcasting. Oh, well that's just another thing that's been added and had no perception of the value that podcasting brought to Spotify. And so I really wish Spotify had done something with it. And Apple certainly, you know, the biggest behemoth in the market can change perception overnight. I mean, if Apple just suddenly turned around as they do with Apple music and just simply said, all podcasting now is 1 99 or 3 99, it would just change perception. Now what would that do for an embryonic industry that's trying to grow its audience? Would that kill. The, you know, the, the, the, the marketplace where people go, oh, well I can't be bothered to pay. I'll go and do something else. I don't know where we are in that balance. Are we too soon to turn on the payment tab? But I do think that some point the big players, yourselves included, need to make that a perception to the user that this isn't free and that there is value, and as you said, high quality content is being produced, which is very different to what is produced on Anchor with, you know, somebody with a mic in their bedroom. But I think, you know what, you know, WTF and, and Shag Mary annoyed are put in the same box sometimes as, you know, the, the, you know, the one man band who's editing it, you know themselves. And there is no perceived con different in value by the consumer cuz they're consuming it for free every time. That's what I'm trying to. Yeah, no, I'm, I'm not sure I entirely agree with you in the, the sense, in the sense that I, I think that just if you just look at the stats in terms of, you know, listenership growing, the money that has been flowing into the space from advertisers and also from, you know, in terms of production. I think the perception of podcasting is definitely different now to what it was five years ago. And I also think that, you know, rco always use, likes to use a phrase, a rising tide lifts or boats. Mm-hmm. So actually, actually I think that, I think it's beautiful that a shag mar annoyed can exist in the same podcast feed. You know, if I open my podcast app next to a podcast that I listen to, which is called Big Boys Don't Cry, which is two chaps who talk about romantic movies every week, who, they're not celebrities, I found them quite by chance, but I've become just as hooked on their podcasts as I am, let's say, you know, Shamar annoyed or anything else I listen to and I think. I think that our industry is so beautiful in that way, in that it can really code switch from the big high value names, the big advertisers right through to people who simply want to make something about something they love. I'm not sure this is actually answering your original question, but I'm saying that I do think that the perception of value is changing. I think audiences are understanding more. There's a quid pro quo, which is why things like ACOs Plus are valuable because, you know, people I think are starting to get that, okay, I can listen to this podcast with ads, but if I really don't want to, I can pay 99 p two pound, three pound a month and get it without ads because I recognize, you know, the work that's been put into it. So I think as Alice Campbell and Rory Stewart would say, and the rest is politics, I think I would agree to disagree with you. Okay. Let's move on to last couple of points then. You did a deal with Amazon Music, talking about removing ads. You took out thousands of ads from your podcast and did a rev share with. Amazon, what was that all about? Yep. So you know, as I said earlier, we are always looking at different ways to generate revenue for our creators. So it might be through advertising, it might be through acast plus ad free listening, and it might be a hybrid of the two. So this was something that Amazon wanted to do. They wanted to, you know, work with a few thousand of our podcast is to be able to deliver those podcasts ad free to their subscribers on their own podcast app. Which is great because, you know, it's another way that we are ensuring that we can secure revenue creators in a different way. And I think, again, like I've said before, our industry is so young that it's really exciting that we can experiment and we can open up these new pathways all the time for revenue generation. And this was just another one of those, which is worked incredibly well for Amazon incredibly well. So, yeah, long may continue. I think it's important that we continue to innovate and make sure that this industry can stay as sustainable and evolving, you know, as brilliantly as it is. Yeah, and, and talking about the industry final point then, you announced, or it was announced last week, the launch of the Podcast Standards Project and acast were one of the named partners in that. What is that to you guys? I mean, what is the PSP to you? Yeah, so acus has long been advocates of what we call open podcasting. So we believe anyone should be able to listen to any podcast on any app, and also therefore those podcasters be able to monetize across any listening app. So, you know, founded in RSS technology, that is very much what we support and what we champion every single day. So when this working group was first talked about at, I think. Podcast movement in Dallas last year. Yeah, of course. That's something we want to be part of because we want to supercharge the open podcasting ecosystem for everybody. So when our smart partners, but also in some cases competitors all want to come together to find a way to ensure that open podcasting remains open and remains strong, that's naturally something we want to be a part of. So we are in that working group alongside, you know, as you talked about last week, the different app, the different hosting platforms. And again, it's something I'm really looking forward to seeing how that develops and the strength in numbers that we can put together to evolve open podcasting for as long as it makes sense. Cool. And I'd like to thank you as well. James and I are putting together a series of networking events for the industry. These are B2B events. Pod News Live Manchester in London, the first we announced, and also drinks in London at the podcast show. Thank you to a caster who are one of the sponsors of that. So thank you very much, Lizzie. It came through your team anyway, if you're not aware of it. But thank you very much. Oh hey, I'm aware of it and if, if there's two things I like, which people can probably tell Liz, I like talking about podcasts, so happy to be involved in those events. And I also like drinking with podcast people, so more than happy to be involved in your drinks as well. Thank you, Lizzie. Look, Acast doing amazing things so far. What's the rest of 23 looking like? Is there anything that we should be looking forward for? Acast? Yeah, I mean, as we touched on during this chat, you know, we are gonna be continuing to innovate, particularly when it comes to our advertising, our marketplace capabilities. Programmatic, we haven't talked about in detail here, but is a big thing for us. And I'm really excited to see how, you know, that continues to develop lots more brilliant podcast signings. In fact, there's one we're about to announce today, which is a big deal. So we are announcing today that we're partnering with Higher Ground for podcast ads, distribution, and sales, which is of course, the production company founded by Michelle and Barack Obama. So, how's Michelle Obama's podcast? The conversations between Barack and Bruce Springsteen. And that's really exciting for us. So they're going out in the open ecosystem and working with us on that. And you know, again, we don't know what we don't know. So who knows in three months time what we'll be announcing, all I would say is standby and continue to read Pod News and listen to this podcast. Look at that on message, on message every time. Now. That that, that does just bring me to a very quick question. Exclusives. Is that an exclusive to your platform? Are they now gonna be only on your platform? Or going back to what you're saying about the open RSS nature, are they gonna be available everywhere? Actually, that's a good point cuz when we say exclusive, it means different to what other partners in the industry might be an exclusive. All we mean is we have the exclusive rights to distribute and sell those podcasts for advertising. Usually that's what an exclusive deal means. Whereas of course, our podcasts are available and are monetized wherever you listen, whether you listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify or Google Podcasts or podcast or anywhere else, which is the beauty of Acast. There you go. Lizzie Pollock. Thank you so much for your time. Thank you, Sam. See you later. There's LP from Acast. I believe that that's what you call her if you are a, well, if you're afraid, if you're an A caster. Not, not a James, a caster obviously, but, uh, yes. So, um, so yes, ver really, really interesting and really interesting talking about where she sees Acast in, uh, the industry and whether or not, um, you know, other companies are, are competitors. I think she was trying to claim that no other company is a competitor of Acast. I think every other company is a competitor of Acast, which is always an interesting one. But, uh, yeah, that was uh, that was an interesting chat. Yeah, they're doing a lot. They are doing a lot, which, um, sometimes when researching for that interview, I suddenly went back through story after story after story. You suddenly realize that they. Pretty much putting out a lot of information. The thing that I, as I said in the interview, I find most interesting though, is the use of transcriptions to create conversational, uh, targeting and keyword targeting. And I think that, Um, is, it's certainly very interesting. I know potty mo are doing the same thing now as well, so, mm. I think that's gonna be an industry trend. Well, yes, indeed. And actually there was a, uh, white paper from Sounder talking about contextual advertising only last week. And, uh, there's a bunch of other people doing that as well. And of course Apple has been playing around with that for their, uh, searching, uh, tools. So I'm sure that there's gonna be, uh, many, many more. And of course, the benefit of that is that it doesn't require personal targeting. It doesn't require cookies or any of that gdpr scary stuff. Um, and so, uh, I think it's a very bright, uh, plan. You reckoned that, um, uh, Acast should have been the company that, uh, Spotify bought. Yeah. When, when, when I looked at what Spotify are doing with podcasting, I think. Okay. You know, they're growing, but, but I think their advertising strategy is okay. I think Acast would've been an excellent strategy purchase for them. Cause they would've had it fully baked. And I think given that Ross Adams is X Spotify, um, it would've been a nice thing for him to be bought by Spotify, I think. Yeah, indeed. And to Swedish companies of course. So, uh, yeah. No, really interesting. Well, I think it's a case of watch this space, uh, in terms of that. Moving on then James, uh, AI adverts. Now you used to write adverts for a career, didn't you? I did, I used to have a career as being a radio creative, writing radio commercials. I wrote them for the AA and for Vodafone and for various other people. Um, and uh, that was a long, long time ago though, and it's a good job that I don't anymore because there's a brand new tool by a company called Adross, who were actually at Radio Days Europe last week in Prague. And they said that they had announced a self-service, 100% AI generated audio ad generator, uh, which is very clever. So what you basically do is you, um, send it information about your. And it creates a script. It adds the AI voices, the sound effects in the music, and it results in a fully AI produced ad that's available to be played out instantly, which both sounds amazing and also sounds amazingly crap. Um, so I'm slightly, slightly concerned about, about how good that's going to be. What I should really have done is I should have reached out to Ad Thoughts and said, please, could you write this podcast an audio ad? Yes. Because I thought that that would've been really good. And then we could have played it and everybody would've heard how good stroke bad it was. And, um, and that would've been a plan. But I didn't, I didn't, I didn't think, um, You know? Yeah. Further enough. Uh, well still, there we go. Yes. Um, uh, would, would, is that the sort of thing that, uh, you, you would've, uh, used, uh, in your, in your radio station? It was one of those big challenges with, with, uh, river Radio was local advertising was always difficult. They'd come in with a script, and then you'd have to go and voice it, and then you'd have to create the jingles and everything else, and then you'd send it back to 'em. They'd go, oh, no, can you make this change or that change? By the time all those changes were made, there was no value left in the advert. It was just, you know, it, it, it would eat into the profit so fast. This would be a great way to, you know, cut out some of that fat. Uh, and again, if they changed it hopefully wouldn't be too expensive to make those minor changes and then regenerate the ads. Anyway, that was something I was thinking about when I read this. Yeah, I can, I can see that. And I can also see, you know, I mean, Lizzy was talking about acast self-service ad platform. Well, um, you know, if one of the, if one of the, uh, hurdles there is that, uh, a, uh, individual. Small company would have to make an ad for themselves. Well, this is, uh, potentially a way, uh, past that as well. So, uh, interesting. I did actually get a bit of a demo from Adross, uh, while I was in Prague last week. And, um, some of the ai, I mean it's still obviously ai, but the AI voices that I heard were actually pretty good. Um, now the question is whether or not the script and whether or not adding sound effects and all that, that kind of stuff, um, would also be as, as as good. But um, yeah, I was quite impressed at the ai, um, that I actually heard the AI voices, at least that I actually heard. So I think there's certainly something there. Okay. Now, uh, happy adopt a Listener Month. I mean, it's so many other months. Happy Adopt this, happy adopt that. So let's have hap adopt a Listener Month. Um, think media's come up with a really nice idea of what have they done. It is, yeah. Apparently there are still people out there who don't listen to podcasts. Really, who'd have thought it? Um, I believe that the figure at the moment is 43% of, uh, Americans listen to podcasts, which means, of course, that the majority don't per month. And so, um, the Adopt a Listener idea is to help non listeners discover the magic of podcasts. And, um, the mission basically is if you know of anybody that doesn't listen to a podcast, tell 'em to listen to one and choose a good one, uh, for those, uh, for those, uh, people. Um, so it's quite a nice little, uh, idea that, uh, Ariel and uh, Lauren have, uh, worked on. Um, and, uh, yeah, you can, uh, find out a little bit more at the Tin Media website@tined.co. Hmm, Spotify for podcasters, a k a anchor increased its market. Share it in March to 23.1% of all new episodes. James a six month high for the podcast host. What's going on? I thought Anchor was dying on its feet. So did, um, quite a lot of people. Um, and it may just be that the new brand, uh, has actually had an, uh, an interesting effect, although it was on the increase, uh, in February as well. So perhaps it's nothing to do with the new brand at all. But, uh, yes, Spotify, uh, showing some quite nicely growing figures. Uh, this is according to, uh, live wire, uh, labs, which is John Spurlock's thing, which basically looks at every single new episode. And, uh, and then works out who's actually hosting, uh, those, uh, buzz Sprout. Um, still doing, uh, very well, which is nice. A slight drop this month, but still 9.2% easily the number two. And they will be for, uh, some time Sprier seeing a quite a high bump. And I suspect that that's probably something to do with the rather misleading advertising that they had at the beginning of March. Uh, talking about how they're now free, which of course, as we now know is nothing, um, uh, but the case at all. Um, but still there we are. Um, uh, so, you know, interesting seeing all of those, uh, uh, figures, but uh, also really interesting just how large Buzzsprout is. Um, yes, they are a sponsor. But how large they are in comparison to some of the other, um, uh, large, uh, companies. Well, I've always felt that Buzz Brown and Lipsin were neck and neck, and it really isn't the case. Lipsin at the moment has 4.7% of all new published episodes. That figure has been going down quite gradually since September of last year. And in fact, they've just been overtaken by Omni Studio, um, which is, um, uh, you know, which is pretty impressive. Omni being a part enterprise part, um, personal podcast hosting company that, uh, is owned by, uh, Triton. So, um, yeah, always interesting having a look at these figures from, uh, John, and it's a great thing that, that, uh, he ends up doing them. Mm-hmm. Now, Spotify's claim in the company now has a 5.3 million podcast. Oddly though, in October the company claims I had 5.5 million podcast, James. So, how's that number going Downwards? Yes. How is that number going downwards? I wonder whether Spotify have taken out some of the one and done shows from five years ago. Um, and, um, and got rid of those, hence the number coming down, but I otherwise really don't know. Uh, so it's a strange old one. Mm. Now talking of sponsors bus Sprout, um, they released some stats for March, which showed a drop in downloads from Apple as well, uh, and a growth in Spotify. What's, what's going on with Bus Sprout stats and James? Yeah, so bus Sprout's figures are, Interesting. So this is, um, podcast consumption rather than people making shows, of course. Um, but you're seeing a growth in listens via Spotify and a drop in downloads from Apple Podcasts. And similarly Lips In is showing the same sort of thing. Now, Lipson's numbers are wildly different to Buzz Brows, but they're both trending in the right direction. So, uh, apple Podcasts going down ever so slightly, and Spotify going up. Spotify's had its best figures for over a year in both of these, uh, charts. So, um, again, uh, you know, what, what does that mean? Does that mean the more people are consuming? Uh, shows in Spotify. Well, undoubtedly they are. Is that something to do with the new Spotify, you know, TikTok, scrolly, uh, interface, um, or something else that, uh, Spotify are doing? I don't know, but it's a trend that's worthwhile keeping an eye on, I think. When do you think this Apple call media, uh, is gonna kick in, you know, the 16.4 uh, change? So, um, Core media is kicking in as we speak. Um, the new os uh, came out, uh, I think at the end of last week if memory serves me right at the beginning of this week. So, um, we should see by the end of April, we should see a significant growth, uh, in Buzz Sprouts figures for Apple Podcasts. And this is where some of the numbers are a little bit different because Lipsin, uh, counts all of Apple core media as Apple podcasts, which is incorrect and wrong. But nevertheless, that's what Lipsin have always done. Buzz Sprout have always taken Apple Core media and put those aside, um, and only count proper Apple Podcasts numbers as Apple podcasts. So we should see, I believe, uh, this month a growth of 4% for Apple podcasts, which will be quite nice. And, um, and we won't see any change. The Lipson figures because obviously, um, they're not measuring the same, uh, sort of thing, but it's good to, to uh, see Apple, uh, finally rolling that out. Um, I know that, uh, we've not made friends with them because we've been saying, when are you gonna roll this out? When are you gonna roll this code out? And finally, finally, they managed to put their own code in place nine months late. But nevertheless, they've, they've, they've done it and that's okay. So, um, it'll be good to end up seeing those particular numbers coming out. Indeed. Now, um, as we said, a lot of these figures we get from John Sperlock friend of the show, and he asked a really inter interesting question, how long would it take you to listen to every new podcast episode released last. How long James, how long indeed? It would take you over 130 years. Yes. Uh, every new podcast episode, if you played them back to back, uh, over 4 billion seconds. Um, there were 1.9 million new episodes released in March. Um, so, uh, yeah, quite, uh, quite some, uh, some, uh, data, uh, outta that. And I love that John is, uh, geeky enough to actually have a look at that and basically go, oh, no. Well, you know, I can find out even more information there. Um, what he also worked out is if you were going to save all of those onto your iPod, then you would need, um, quite a big iPod because, um, a month's worth of podcast episodes is 71 terabytes of storage. I dunno whether your iPod is capable of that. Uh, certainly not mine. Uh, nope. Yes, exactly. Nope. Not even. Um, so not even my funny phone either. Yes. No, no. He also calculated, I believe from memory that uh, if you were going to pile everything through OpenAI to, to transcribe it all, then it will cost 410,000 US dollars, uh, to end up, uh, doing that. So worthwhile, just bearing, bearing that in mind when we are talking about, uh, contextual targeting and conversational targeting and all of that kind of, uh, stuff that you still need to transcribe, you know, individual shows to in order to make that work. And if you were doing that for every single podcast episode out there, that would still be quite a lot of money. Hmm. Now, uh, talking about Spotify before we, we move on, um, Spotify Live is dead. James? Yes. Spotify live is no longer, or at least it won't be any longer on April the 30th. Um, they're going to close the Spotify live app. They will continue to do some live stuff within the Spotify app, uh, itself, but the main Spotify live app is to be closed on April the 30th. That was 57 million well spent. Uh, I think, um, of course, uh, Reddit talk has also closed. Facebook's live audio rooms have also closed, uh, astonishingly, um, space. Karen Elon Musk is continuing to run, uh, Twitter spaces, although heaven, heaven knows how long. Um, given he appears to have changed the logo on the Twitter website now to a picture of, uh, of, of the Doge. Um, so who, who knows what's going on with with that, but Yes. Uh, for Spotify, their, their clubhouse clone, uh, is, uh, going to be no longer by the end of this, uh, of this month. Yeah, and I find this really odd because I think last month we talked about them, relaunching it, and I said, at the time I thought this was a great way of fans connecting with artists and the ability for the artists to then talk about a new album, uh, play some tracks, you know, like the editors cut of the film. And I thought this was a great use case for Spotify Live. Now it's gone. Yes. Now it's gone. I mean, it, I mean it only changed name, uh, this time last year, uh, used to be called Spotify Green Room. Of course. Um, And, and Ashley Carman, friend of the show, uh, was reporting that Spotify live shows were being canceled at the end of last year. So yeah, it's, it's, uh, it's a, it's a strange old one, but clearly somebody has been, um, has, has earned an awful lot of money very, very quickly.$57 million for that. Um, it's quite, it's quite a thing. Mm-hmm. Now moving on to, uh, things that start and who knows where they'll go. Um, YouTube will globally, it says here, roll out a new podcast tab in its main YouTube app this week. Is that for everybody? That's for me. And you then, not just, is that for everybody? I've been having a look, uh, at my YouTube app for the, for the last couple of. Hoping that the person that, uh, gave me this information knew what they were talking about. Uh, and, um, a as I look at it today, I can see the new podcast's tab is there if you do a search for pod news, and then you, uh, have a look at our channel, then, uh, the podcast tab is actually there, which is a wonderful thing. So that has appeared. And the exciting thing is that it's appeared for everybody. It is, it's, it's entirely global. So I know that there've been an awful lot of, uh, exciting, uh, stories talked about YouTube music and how only YouTube music is, uh, getting podcasts, and only that is gonna happen in the us Well, that bit's kind of true, but of course, podcasts are still available in the main YouTube app as well, and podcasts are available in the YouTube website too, and blah, blah, blah. So I, I did ask this person. I said, how, how should people be talking about podcasts if I'm a podcaster? How should I be talking about a podcast? And they said, oh, absolutely. Um, you should be saying, listen to our podcast on YouTube. Don't go mentioning YouTube music because, uh, that will only work in the US for now. Stupid idea. But it's still, that's just the way that it works. But just say, listen to our podcast on YouTube if you are on YouTube, because if where else you'll find it on YouTube. Um, and so I think that that's a, that's a, um, uh, quite a nice piece of good news, I think coming out of YouTube there. Well, we shall try that at the end then, shall we see? Listen to us on YouTube. As we're there. Oh, well, I mean maybe, maybe all three people who, who go there so far will be very happy. I mean, I, I mean, I should, I should point out that this podcast, uh, is available and free on, uh, apple Podcasts. Um, apple.co/pod news, uh, is where to get that. And of course, if you're listening on a. Uh, open podcast app. Then, uh, you may hear advertising, which has been put there by, uh, the great people at Buzz Sprout. Uh, neither of those things will actually work, uh, on YouTube, um, where we will earn no money from this podcast whatsoever. So there is always that just to bear in mind. But, uh, maybe we just need to grow a bit. Who knows? Moving on, uh, around the world. James, you've, uh, commissioned another report this time. What's this? One? One? Yes. There's gonna be, um, one of these reports every month, uh, and quite possibly until the end of time. This is from, uh, GU talking about podcasting in East and South Asian podcast markets. Last month we did a deep dive into the Japanese podcast market, which was fascinating. This month, it's time for Korea. Um, a place that, uh, many ignorant Westerners like me call South Korea. Um, but, um, a really interesting look into how podcasts work there and the history of the thing, because it used to be that loads of people, um, would listen to podcasts in Korea, loads and loads and loads of people. Um, and whenever you saw the figures, South Korea would be number one for podcast listening, and everybody would get very, very, very excited. Turns out that yes, that might have been the case, but actually. Probably South Korea's podcast industry has been contracting a little bit. And part of that comes down to a, um, a, uh, podcast, which was, um, a particular political, uh, podcast called I'm a Petty Minded Creep. Wow. Okay. Um, yes, was very much focused on, uh, embarrassing, uh, the, uh, embarrassing a, uh, a president of, uh, Korea. Um, and, uh, yes. So, um, so quite a lot of that ha has obviously changed and obviously, um, Uh, you know, in, uh, South Korea, uh, apple Podcast isn't number one and nor is, uh, Spotify. But a, a, uh, an app called Pod Bang is, uh, number one. And so you have sort of really interesting dives into this particular market. It's a great long, uh, article. How long does it take to read? 20.1 minutes to read? Uh, it's quite a thing, but it's, uh, well worth, uh, uh, having a read of. Um, and it's a great piece of work. Uh, uh, again, remind us where's, where's it available? And it's available on the pod news website. Uh, if you go to pod news.net, uh, slash articles, then you'll find podcasts in Asia has its own, uh, section. Uh, and in there you should see, uh, lo loads of information, lots of information about, uh, podcasting, uh, in, um, in Southeast Asia, right James? Now. Time for those people coming and going. What's been happening? Yes. In people news. Lots of interesting and exciting people News. Uh, Jason Hoch, or is he? Hawk has been hired by audio Chuck, I dunno, to run a premium podcast network called Waveland Now. He was working at House Stuff Works and then Imperative Entertainment. Uh, Patrick Dolan has been appointed as the new chairman of the board at, uh, Lipson. Um, he became a director in November, 2021. He's worked for the iab, uh, as well. I noticed that, um, Taylor Kch has left Lipson. Uh, Taylor was, uh, director of product Management, um, and, and, uh, has, uh, moved on. So there's, uh, obviously still quite a lot of change at, uh, Lipson, uh, as well. Um, Jessica Weiss Berman has been named as Executive Vice President of podcast. Odyssey, uh, Odyssey is keeping Cadence 13, which is interesting, but not keeping Chris Corcoran, uh, who used to run Cadence 13 and various other things. Um, and so Chris is off. Uh, max Linsky will continue to co-lead Pineapple Studios alongside Barry Finkle. Uh, also, uh, head of Podcasting and executive Editor of The Economist. For the last six years, Ann McElvoy has joined Politico as head of Audio. And finally there's some, um, good, uh, movements at, uh, our friends Bower Media, uh, in the uk. Lucy Cave now has a new role as Chief Creative Officer of podcasts and commercial content. And also Maria Williams, uh, who's been working at BA at Bauer for some time, uh, she has moved into a new role as head of production for podcasting as well. Uh, and finally a bunch of, uh, layoffs, which is probably worthwhile, uh, reporting on as well, obviously, uh, NPR laid off 84 people last week. 10 staff meetings going on there. According to Ashley Carmen, Stacy Goers is one of the people who was made redundant last week from Acast. Um, they made five people redundant from one of their uh, tech teams. I'm interested to find out what that means in terms of the podcast standards project, um, because I know that Stacy was very much involved, uh, with that. Uh, other people cutting jobs warn a music cutting 270 people dunno about, uh, their podcast division though Roku cutting 200 jobs. That's 6% of the company and Apple, who'd have thought it, apple are making a couple of roles redundant. A very limited number of roles they say, and it's only within their corporate retail division. So, uh, hopefully everybody else is okay, but Apple one of those companies that hasn't actually made any people redundant over the last, um, six months or so. So interesting seeing, um, on, on that side as well. But if you're looking for a job. Pod News has podcasting jobs across the industry and across the world. They're free to post as well. It'll just take two minutes to add a new role 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. Sam, are you, are you, uh, up and ready for some hot tech talk? This is my favorite section. So, yes. Uh, now that transcripts are part of the recommendation by the podcast Standards Project, really interestingly, there's a new library called Transcript Data, which has been published, which passes transcripts for your app, and it was done by Steven aba. Um, and. Again, a hat tip to Mitch Downey, who, who posted that on the podcast, social On Master, on. Um, and yeah, I've, uh, looked at it and we've implemented it ourselves for pod fans, but it's also been implemented in pod friend and pod verse as well. And it really just makes it simple to take standard S R T V T T T X T, uh, and make it an HTML interface in. In. Yeah. Very nice. Um, I, it's something that I intend to have a play with for the limited podcast playback that happens on the pod news website, uh, as well. Uh, so good to see. Maybe there's a new version of Pod Friends coming out soon. Martin Maritza is, uh, talking about that, uh, which is, uh, nice. Descript is, uh, doing some work. They're replacing Rev with open AI Whisper, um, and potentially extending that, uh, to, you know, something about this, Sam. Yeah. So I should declare, I'm an official ambassador for Descript, um, and yes. Oh, ambassador. Wow. There you go. Yes. I, I often at, you know, a passport control. Am Buster for D Script Yes. Coming through? Yes. Yes. Where's that exactly? You spoiled me. Yes. Yes. And they're, and they're doing something with G P T four because of course they're, well, they've got the big investment, didn't they? From open ai, the $50 million. So it looks like they are extending. We, we knew that they were gonna replace Rev with, uh, OpenAI Whisper. But, uh, on their website now they're talking about adding more editing tools using G P T four. So I'm not quite sure what that is yet. Um, soon. I know. I will let you all know. Yes, yes. No, I think that that's, uh, I think that that's all very exciting. Uh, RSS Blue is looking to add pod ping support. It's not difficult. RSS blue, uh, you can probably do it, uh, with one line of code. Um, uh, I have. But anyway, uh, that's, uh, good to see. Um, lips in, uh, has, uh, done some additional, uh, stuff as well. Mailing is hosting customers, uh, talking about Apple Podcast subscriptions, which of course we know about. Um, they also offer YouTube stats into their, uh, packages if you pay enough and they have an episode tracking tool and stats exports and stuff like that. Um, what they've also announced today is that their entire, uh, system is going to be made available in Spanish, uh, which kind of makes a load of sense. And I almost ask myself why Lipson wasn't made available in Spanish anyway, given, uh, lc Escobar of course, works there and, uh, you know, and they've been very active in the, uh, Spanish language and the, um, and the Latinx, um, podcast, uh, industry. But nevertheless, uh, if you, uh, Hala Espanol, uh, then you can now use, uh, that platform in your own language as well. Joining, uh, other people like, uh, rss.com and, uh, others and talking about them there. Um, uh, they of course, own advertised cast and they have increased their average cost per thousand to $22 17 for March. It's up. It's not up by March. It's up by less than 1%, but nevertheless, it's up, which is good news. So whenever you see podcasts AV add revenue up, Um, from my point of view, that's, uh, always worth, uh, talking about. Now we're having this little debate still. Um, why should we support the alternative enclosures tag? Um, I'm a big advocate of it, and in fact, thank you James. You added the video. To your RSS feed this week and we ingested that into pod vans and now we can show video within pod vans using your alternative enclosure tag. Yes. Excellent. Don't, don't, uh, do that, uh, too much cuz it cost me an arm and leg to, uh, serve that, but yes, uh, no, that's, that's good. So yes, so the POD News Daily podcast, uh, has four different alternate, uh, versions. Now, I think if I, if my memory serves me right, um, yes, you've got the main, uh, MP3 version, the AC version if you prefer things in stereo. Um, a Opus version four, which is very low, uh, bit right. Uh, and then a video version as well. It's just the video version that we've serve, uh, YouTube. But I thought, uh, actually it'd be useful to have a test. Uh, and so there we. And, um, I wrote a, uh, personal blog post about why, uh, alternate enclosures are a good thing. And basically what I'm saying is that, um, is that, uh, particularly for the low bit rate version for the 16 K version, which essentially saves you 85% of your bandwidth bill. Uh, or even more, um, that could be done completely automatically by a podcast host. It didn't add any, uh, complicated UX or any of that stuff. It could just basically sit there and then that way, um, the people that would benefit from a very. Simple, straightforward, a much smaller file to actually download can have that completely automatically. Um, to be honest, I think that that would be a sensible thing for any podcast host to end up doing because, you know, um, I mean if you save yourselves eight times the uh, uh, your, your download bill, um, then, uh, you know that that's a good thing, is it not? Um, so, um, so anyway, so I wrote a long piece, uh, about that, which, uh, Todd has gone, nah, still not doing it on your own.com. Um, that's all fine. Interestingly, Rob Greenley has also said that he agrees with me. So, um, so there we are. I'm not really kicking up a, a fight with, uh, with uh, Todd. I've got be better things to do with my time, but, um, you know, but I think it's, uh, just worthwhile having a think about what the alternative enclosure can actually do for. Podcasting, particularly in other parts of the world. Yeah. I think the piece that I took out of your, or blog quotes was having two feeds for the same show splits. The follow juice between these two feeds, meaning the show appears lower than it needs in apple's charts. And I think if anything, that's the only thing that Todd should start thinking about as well. Yeah, no, indeed. I mean, I mean obviously at the moment Apple don't support the the alternative enclosure. Tag, so you can't switch between the audio version and the video version within the app. Um, and, uh, there's, you know, clearly going to be no, uh, expectation that they do anytime soon. So that followed use will still be a problem, but, um, yeah, I mean, surely you would want to be, um, higher in the, in the charts. And the way that you are hiring the charts is you don't give people two or three different versions of your show. Um, that would be, uh, what is known in the, in the industry as a mistake. Moving on. Uh, we love you, Todd. Moving on, cross App comments are now available on the Podcast Index website. I thought they were a little while back, but it seems that they've made a, a quick improvement to it as well. Yes. I thought they were, uh, a while backer and then they broke. Um, but now they're back, uh, which is nice. Um, they look best on the podcast. Ting 2.0, uh, podcast. Uh, you press the button and it loads the comments in relatively slowly, but nevertheless, it loads the comments in so you can actually see those, uh, comments, uh, ending up going. Um, so that's a good thing. They're, um, it's, it's quite nice in that it's, uh, properly, um, it's properly nested and everything else. It's quite a nice, uh, view. So, um, yes, excellent work, uh, from that point. Pod Genie. It's a new service that turns any RSS feed into a podcast. What? Uh, quite nicely. It'll pull multiple feeds together in one show. Hey, Todd, look at that. Um, pricing starts at $10 a month. Don't, don't bait the Todd Cochrane. That's the last thing that I need right now. Um, yes, pod Gini. It's very interesting. Um, I, I really do, uh, thing that is quite a smart thing. So basically you give it the BBC News, RSS feed, for example, and the TechCrunch one and the Hacker News one, and you say, okay, I would like, uh, three stories from BBC News, followed by two stories from Hacker News, followed by four stories from TechCrunch. Um, do all of that for me. Uh, turn that into text so I can have a listen to that as I'm driving to work. And hey, Presto, it ends up doing that for you completely, automatically turns it into a podcast feed. Uh, and away you go. I thought it was quite a nice, um, smart idea. Whether or not it's the, it's, it, it's going to be a particularly enjoyable experience. I don't know. Um, but I thought it was quite a nice, uh, idea and it's something that I hadn't seen. So, uh, yes, worthwhile having a look. pod-genie.com. James, are you still verified on Twitter? Have you still got your blue tick? Um, weirdly, weirdly, I still do have my blue tick on, uh, Twitter. I'm not, I'm not quite sure what space Karen's playing at there. Um, but, uh, from my point of view, yes, it's, um, I'm, at least I was this morning, yes, allegedly from the 1st of April. It was all gonna go away and, uh, Straight. It hasn't bit like, uh, having the Dodge Coin, uh, dog on, uh, the 4th of April come up as an April Fool joke. Or was it, who knows? Well, it's still there. The do the Doge, the, the Doge dog is still there. That, uh, that's, yeah, I know. That's the thing that I don't understand. If it's a, if it's an April, the first joke, then don't make it appear on April the fourth. And, and, and I'd only have it there for one day. None of none of Twitter makes any sense. What, what Space Carron has done very recently is that he has turned a button that, that says that NPR is a state funded organization, um, because they take less than 1% from the US government, um, which of course is. Type of moniker that you would associate with, you know, RT or, uh, the Sputnik News Agency or anything that, you know, essentially takes its marching orders from the, uh, from a government, but, oh, no, he's decided that he's going to, um, put that onto NPR as well, even though NPR is very, uh, uh, independent. So he's, he's ended up doing that. And I should ju just for the record, if NPR is state funded media at 1%, then Twitter is Saudi state funded media at 2.8% because, uh, the Saudi government owns 2.8% of of Twitter. What's the deal there then Elon? Um, so I, it is just, it's just a dreadful thing and I think any company that is knowingly on Twitter, um, really ought to be considering whether or not they should really stay on, onto, uh, Twitter or whether or not, uh, they really want to support the sort of thing that Elon Musk is doing. But I feel myself jumping onto a high horse at the moment. Well, look, if you'd like to find out whether people are truly verified or they are, like me, a paid verified user with a blue tick and I did it fundamentally cuz I wanted the edit option and I wanted the extended tweet option, which I just think would've been great features to launch and just not make me have to pay for those extra things. Mm. But if you want that, there's a little chrome extension, um, that you can load. I'll put it in the show notes that, uh, actually changes the verified on people who haven't actually been verified and have just paid to say paid. So now you know who's paid and who's truly verified. Yes, it's very nice. It's called $8. You'll also find it as a plugin, uh, for, uh, the Firefox browser. And I believe that the Chrome extension also works on things like brave, uh, and those sorts of things, uh, as well. So very clever. Somebody's basically hacked in and worked out how to tell the, the, uh, difference on that. Now moving on. Um, I was gonna, I was gonna do the whole thing now. Now moving on. This is where Sam talks about Nasta, uh, uh, uh, to no avail, because James will edit it out in the edit. I was gonna say, this is, I was gonna say, I'm just, I wasn't even gonna start. I, I just stopped before. I just thought, but you've been, actually, I looked, you've, you've been using Nasta, Adam Curry has been using Nasta. What, what's the big deal with Nasta? Well, the only big deal with Nasta is James, that it supports a lightning network and it supports payments. And so when you start to look at how can you then integrate a social distributed, decentralized network with lightning payments activity Pub, suddenly isn't the answer Nors mastered on, and unless they make a massive change. And so there seems to be a real movement towards looking at what Nasta can do. Now, clearly, Nostra. Um, you know, not primetime, but it is getting some momentum. But I do think the integration and native integration of lightning payments into what it's doing is really interesting. Look, if we think value for value and Satoshi Payments is the right thing for podcasting, then we can't simply go, oh, well Natas got lightning payments and value for value. And, uh, we think, oh, that, that's not very good. Um, clearly it's on a twin par, I think, with what we're doing in the podcasting world, and I think it's worth looking at. And that's. I think where we are today. Yeah, I think that's possibly where we are. Although you have been told off, haven't you? You've been told off by Oh yes, I incurred the wrath of the activity. Pub gods I had. Uh, yes. Evan Pro promo. Evan promo, Provo. Oh, promo. Yeah, there you go. Um, Canadian. Yes. So Evan, who, who, you know, invented identical, uh, and status net and various other things, uh, he knows a thing or two about activity pub and other things. And I love, I love his, uh, his message to you. Life's not all about payments, Sam. Don't waste your time or anyone else's time on any social networking protocols that aren't activity pub. Good luck in your work. Exclamation mark. Yes, yes, yes, yes. Canadians, Canadian humor. They're all sarcasm, I think. Well, I mean, you know, and, and that, and that is from a Canadian, so that's a proper blast cuz you know how polite Canadians are. Yeah. And then, then I incurred the Wrath of Christmas as well. Who says, does Nasta have any semantics? And I went, oh no. Now look. Um, I, I could have got, yeah, I tell you what, I, I was going for the full three. If Kevin Marks had said Authentic ceiling, and he doesn't have micro formats as well, I would've gone. Oh yeah. Okay. Oh, seriously. I've been down this road so many years ago. I mean, I used to stand up on stage and talk about how great the semantics were and, and activity streams and what we were doing with Microformats. And it's a total waste of time, I have to say. Nobody's consuming microformats. Nobody has, I mean, Google with, uh, Google Plus was supposed to be the big hallelujah that we're gonna consume micro performance and reveal it in the browser and all this big stuff. Nada. Nothing. Yeah. And I still think, you know, activity pub's great and we, you know, uh, there's a big, uh, podcast and community on there now. Um, but if, if all they're gonna focus on is semantics and not look at the next stage of what people are doing today, which is, uh, attribution and payment, then no, I'm not an activity pub fan. Yes. Well, uh, I, um, spent quite some time, um, uh, putting web mentions into the pod news website so that whenever I mention somebody, um, it automatically goes off and checks whether or not their website supports web mentions, utter waste of time. Dunno why I bothered doing that, but still. There you go. Um, uh, but, you know, uh, web mention, uh, uh, enabled, uh, and all of that, uh, shall we move on? Yes. Yes, I think so. Yes. Why not? Let's have a look at some, uh, events, um, uh, Edison Research, talking about data around podcast listeners. Age 55 plus. There are some, there are quite a lot actually. And there'll be a free webinar on April the 13th. Uh, it's called Hit Play Boomer, um, which should be fun. Um, of course there's the Na B show, which is happening uh, in a couple of weeks time, um, in, uh, Las Vegas from the 17th to the 21st or something like that. I'm there on the 17th. I'll be talking to Valerie Galler after I, uh, talk around, uh, some podcast data and some podcast numbers. Uh, so it'd be wonderful to see you, but I'm only there for one day because then I'm flying off to Berlin, uh, and I'm taking part in their All Ears conference, which is their German language, uh, conference ya, uh, in, um, Berlin. I know how to say one thing in uh, German, uh, Sam. Go, mate. I'm not sure it's gonna be very, very useful, but it's deha. Okay. Where Za it's Dome. Where is the what? Where is the rabbit? Great. Where is the rabbit? The rabbit is in the cathedral. I can't, I can't imagine that being particularly helpful, but still. There we go. Um, so I'm there on the 20th of April for Spotify, for, uh, for the Spotify, for Podcasters All Ears Summit. Um, looking forward to that. Now Down, now down. Wait. James e Be aware. Be aware. That's your European name, James e, by the way. Yes. Um, it's a trap. You know, we nearly lost you to the Spotify chapters. What are you doing? Be careful, James. Ah, the Spotify chapters are coming back as well once you've worked out how to automate them. I'll tell you. Uh, so yes, I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm open to work with anybody. Um, so, uh, No, that's absolutely good. But I'm looking forward to that. And I'm looking forward to having a day off the following day in, uh, Berlin, which is a place that I haven't, um, been to for quite some time. They've even opened a new airport for me, which is nice. Uh, so looking forward to, uh, a little bit of that. If you are in Berlin and you'd like to catch up for a beer, uh, then that will be lovely. james@cri.land is my email address. What else is going on? Um, uh, iHeart has announced the Black Effect Podcast Festival on April the 22nd. The publisher podcast awards is on the 26th of April. Um, uh, and that's going on in uh, London. The British Podcast Awards have just announced, uh, their date and their venue. Uh, in, uh, September. It's the day after Pod News live and you can get tickets for Pod News live in london@podnews.net slash live, but also going on on April the 22nd is the Birmingham Podcast Festival 2023, uh, tickets for that are on sale now. And you had a quick chat with Nina Robinson, didn't you? Yes. She's the organizer and I thought I'd reach out and find out why did she start the podcast festival and, uh, what's her background in podcast? So I'm a former B B C World Service journalist. I've been working mainly in audio for the past 18 years. So I actually started at the World Service Freelancing and then I moved on to doing a little bit of commercial radio. And then I got my first staff job at the b BBC working at to radio on Newsbeat. And at that time, one extra was just launching. So I joined the launch team and I was there for the very birth, uh, for one extra, which was fantastic. And I was on the news program called TX Unlimited at that time, which was actually really groundbreaking. And um, you know, it's a really great place for people of color from d. Grounds and it was a really brilliant place to spend my twenties. And then from there I've just been working mainly in audio news. I've done some work in TV and social video, but audio has also been very close to my heart. So when I left the B BBC at the end of 2020, it was coming back to Birmingham as well. That kind of made me realize that there wasn't very much going on in terms of the audio industry here. And uh, I've been thinking about starting this podcast festival for over a year and I just thought, well, I've got the contacts in the background. If somebody can do it, then you know I should do it. Yeah. And why. Do you feel that Birmingham needs that festival? When we spoke before, you were talking about the fact that the BBC's moved out of Pepper Mill and it's created sort of a vacuum around Birmingham. Mm-hmm. So it, it actually closed, there was a huge BBC presence here in the West Midlands up until 2012 when this site, pebble Mill, which was very iconic. You know, produce some amazing shows, TV programs, a lot of celebrities were born here, and that whole site was lost. I mean, I never worked at Pebble Mill, but I've spoken to people here and it's still very fondly remembered. You know, it was such a big camper. There was a pub on the site, big TV studios, like its own ecosystem, and when that left, it was much reduced, the BBC's presence. They basically moved into the mailbox, which was, as you can imagine, it was a box and a lot of the staff were continually moved out. Like I remember walking around mailbox one year and it was just completely empty. They'd moved all the teams out and then suddenly they realized like, oh, there's nobody here. We have to start moving people back again. And, uh, in terms of the screen industry, so there has been a revival around dig birth, and, uh, there's a lot of incentives going on to revive the screen industry here in Birmingham, but very little in terms of the audio industry. And my argument is that the audio industry is a feeder for the TV and screen skills. It can't be ignored. It's a very essential part of the creative industries and, uh, It's even more important then to kind of nurture the podcasting space to kind of grow these kinds of skills. But for me it's important because I love the podcasting space where it's kind of lack of gatekeepers, it's diversity of voices, the innovation that you've got there. So for me, it's a very natural kind of thing to want to use podcasting to bring new voices, develop skills in people who might not consider themselves to be able to move into TV or film. You know, it's a really good stepping stone. Yeah, and you've now got a company called Sound Truism. What is that? So it's a media production company, which I set up in 2021. We specialize in audio production and also factual narrative podcasts. So that's my background. Basically, I've been making audio documentaries for the BBC World Service travel, the World, making these kinds of audio programs factual, and I want to move that. Podcasting. So want to grow local journalism and create a sustainable model for local journalism. Again, because there's such fantastic stories that are not being told. And in the vein really of, uh, Trojan Horse Affair, the podcast that I love and have listened to many times, which is all about Islamophobia in Birmingham, but that was made by the New York Times, and I just think that there should be some podcast production here in the city that can kind of tell those kinds of stories. Now, let's go on to the actual festival itself. Tell me more about the festival. Who's keying it, who's gonna be attending it, and what's the date of it? So I'm so happy that the keynote speaker for the Birmingham Podcast Festival is five times British Podcast award-winning Sangita. Her podcast is the Masala podcast, which is all about South Asian women talking without any shame or judgment. So Taboo Subjects is just on the table, and she's brilliant. Sangita. She'd been called a one woman powerhouse for her podcast. She's a Spotify original podcaster. She's making an incredible living out of her podcast, so she's really. A great person to share her insights into how to make a podcast work in the current market that we've got. And then we've also got the murky books author, um, Jade lb, and she'll be in conversation with Marcus Rider, m b e. He's a media diversity campaigner and also co-host of the British Black Lives Matter podcast. They'll be talking about decolonizing podcasting, uh, which will be a really interesting conversation. And then we've got some really great local podcasters. As well. True. Powell, he's a creative entrepreneur here in Birmingham. He's got a podcast and there's also digital content creator, Bram Mommy of two, Emma Conway, she's fantastic. Got a really funny podcast. And then we've got some others, which is Dr. Yei Aba boa. Oh, she runs the African Women in Media Foundation and she's got two podcasts about the media, women in media. And so, yes, it's gonna be a fantastic lineup. It's all happening on Saturday, April the 22nd. Unfortunately it's Eid weekend. Even my husband says he's not gonna come, but I'm just hoping try to accommodate as much as possible. It was originally gonna be on the 1st of April, but I had to change it because of the train strikes. And then unfortunately it's fallen on that. But we want to establish the festival as an annual event. Mm-hmm. So that, uh, this year will be really, you know, just to. Platform, some diverse voices, but next year I wanna bring it back bigger and better and build on it year on year and the URL or getting tickets is Birmingham podcast festival.co.uk. Brilliant. Now, who's going to be the target audience? Who are you hoping is gonna attend? The event's gonna be happening at Birmingham City University, and it's really important for me to kind of make sure that the next generation of podcasters learn the skills and are inspired to enter the space. So B C U students and staff have free access to the event, but it is really aimed at anybody who's thinking about starting a podcast or who already has a podcast and wants to kind of take it up to the next level. Because there'll be a lot of audio professionals who will be at the festival giving their insights, uh, giving their experiences. And also we are running a podcast tech tent workshop where you'll be learning new skills around what is the best equipment, hardware editing, there's an interview skills workshop. As well. So the afternoon will be workshops where you can really kind of hone your own skills and learn new things. And then there will also be these panel discussions as well with experienced immediate professionals kind of giving their views. Also if, uh, any companies thinking about setting up a podcast. So one of the panel discussions is around the power of podcasting for your business or brand. And we've got Richard Miron who runs Earshot Strategies and he consults with all of the big corporates. He's worked with Airbus and, uh, the European Investment Bank around what podcasting can do to connect with a. Also how it can kind of promote the brand values for staff cohesion. There's lots of different ways in which podcasts can be used for business. Nina, thank you so much for coming on, and thank you so much for organizing this festival. I will be there. So I'm looking forward to seeing you in Pon Nina Robinson from the Birmingham Podcast Festival. You can get tickets@birminghampodcastfestival.co.uk. Uh, other things going on New Zealand. Uh, the, uh, New Zealand Podcast Summit is on the 13th of May. I'm speaking there, the Outlier Podcast Festival in Los Angeles in the middle of May. And then of course, uh, the podcast show 2023 in London, uh, towards the end of May. We are both there, aren't we? So I'm looking forward to that. We are, um, and, uh, radio Days North America, happening in Toronto, June the eighth to the ninth. I am talking about tools for radio that podcasting is already using. So if you want to go and see, uh, some folks from the radio industry going Wow. At, uh, things that we've been playing, showing descript, playing around. Yes, playing around for the last three years. Um, then you should go along to that. Um, I actually did a, a, a kind of a bit. Of that in Prague. Um, and it's really good just showing some of the tools that, uh, because, you know, radio works in their own, in their own world. Uh, actually showing them all of the exciting things which are going on. Uh, with all of that, uh, POD News Live coming up, it's our networking conference, um, in Manchester on the 13th of June in London on the 27th of September. You have a new keynote speaker, do you? Not for our London. We do, I'm very excited to announce that Morton Stronger is now joining us in London as a keynote speaker. Morton, of course, is the c e o of pmo. Yes, so that's gonna be very exciting. So, um, looking forward to that. Uh, that is only 27th of September. If you are in Catalonia or in Spain, then good news, pod News live in Barcelona has been confirmed for the 25th of September. I mean, we've got no venue yet, but let's not worry about that. Um, 25th of September is when that is going to be. Um, more details and, uh, an information shortly@podnews.net slash live. And if you live in Mexico City or near Mexico City, then we will be in you in November. Uh, and looking forward, uh, to that as well. More events both paid for and free at Pod News virtual events. Or events in a place with people. And if you're organizing something, tell the world about it. It's free to be listed pod news.net/events. Well, we can book the new camp, you know, uh, a hundred thousand. That's about what Barcelona needs for us. Yeah, I think, I think that'll work. Uh, I'm sure that the sponsors won't mind that at all. Booster Graham, booster Graham Corner, corner, corner on the Pod News Weekly review. Yes, it's our favorite time of the week. Uh, it's, uh, time for booster grams and, um, it's always good when we get told off, um, particularly by, uh, Brian of London. What, what, why, why is Brian told, told us off. Uh, some, some. Person. He said, we misgendered Sammy Hagar. Oh my God. Cancel yourselves immediately. He sent us 1948, the Israeli SATs. Uh, and yes. Okay, look, I didn't know I took a 50 50 guess Sammy Hagar. Look. Stevie Nicks right is a woman I thought. Yeah, it's another one of those. I am not a rocker. I don't know anything about Rush and Van Halen. God knows what else. I'm a soul boy. So look, I had no idea. So Sammy Hagar is a man. He, he is. I mean, he rose to prominence in the early 1970s with the Hard Rock band Montrose, and subsequently launched a successful solo career scoring a hit in 1984 with, I Can't drive 55. Never heard it. He also enjoyed commercial success when he replaced David Lee Roth as the second lead vocalist of Van Halen in 1985, but left in 1996. Uh, so, uh, yes, he also owns a tequila brand because of course he does, um, as well as a, as well as a beach bar. So, uh, yes. There you go. Hey, Gar. Hey. Thanks for the correction. Yeah, thank you. Brian. Also, gene Bean, for what it's worth, he says Buzz Sprout talked about a nice way that they've implemented podcast TX t on the latest episode of Buzz Cast. Yes. That's a good, uh, thing to, um, have a listen to. Uh, is, uh, Buzz Cast, obviously a sponsor. Um, and they're also talking about this week they're talking about, um, them joining the Podcast Standards Project, which they were a founder member of. So Worth a listen. Thank you for the row of Darks. Double two. Double two. Satz, uh, mire Mortals podcast. Kyron says, that episode I had with Sam is released for anyone curious to know more about pod fans. Super excited to see it up and running at full speed in the coming months. Adam Curry said that he really enjoyed your episode of the Mere Mortals podcast as well. Iha yet to have listened. I apologize. Is he good? Yeah, no. Well, it, it's, it's limey God. He does his research that he does. Karin, he does. Geez Louise. Did you tell lots of stories of, of India and stuff like that in there? Something about me being adopted? Yeah. Something about me being in the army. Yes. Yes. Yeah. Some very strange things he dug out. Yeah. No. Uh, but we did get onto, if, if you want to skip all that, by the way, you know, all. Stuff about me, which isn't important. But if you'd like to listen to what we're doing with pop fans, then fast forward to minute 26 and you'll find out all about it. Oh, minute 26. Well, there you go. Uh, thank you, uh, Kyron for your, uh, row of docs as well. 2222 stats. 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, and we really appreciate your support so we can continue making this show. Here's how you can support this show. Either go to weekly dot pod news.net and become a power supporter by using the excellent stuff that Buzzsprout enables any buzzsprout podcaster to do to offer monthly, uh, membership of this particular show. You can subscribe in Apple Podcast at apple.co/pod news if you like Tim Apple more, or you can support us with stats by hitting the boost button in your podcast app. If you don't have a boost button in your podcast app, you are not using the right. Podcast app, you need to go to pod news.net/new podcast apps to find a new one like Fountain. So what else is happening for you this week? Uh, Sam, obviously on mere mortals big, um, big, uh, guest, uh, appearance there. Yeah, no, that one's very good. Um, I also found out my old boss, Michael Sailor, at Micro Stretchy, now owned a 140,000 a Bitcoin, not sas, a Bitcoin. Wow. It's worth a 4 billion well done mine. Wow. I wonder when he's gonna sell them. I don't know. Yes. He, he's done something really clever, actually. Wonder whe whether he's got a new, a new podcast app as well. No, I don't want him. Maybe he's got some to invest in. No, um, uh, no. He's, he's done something very clever, which was, he took the corporate, uh, profit, um, that was being held basically normally for buybacks on shares. Um, and he said, no, we're not gonna do that anymore. We're going to go and invest that into, uh, Bitcoin. And he did that a few years back. Uh, the board looked at him madly and said, are you sure? But give him that. Michael said, or his part mad part genius. Um, yeah, he took a bet on Bitcoin a few years ago and it looks like it's paid off. Wow. Well, there's a thing now, James. What's happened for you apart from, uh, having, uh, your ribs tickled? Well, yes. So apart from that, I, it's, it's been, it's been all, uh, exciting. Yes. I, I had to go and see the doctor and then I had to go and go to the ho uh, go to the hospital and get an X-ray and, and get an ultrasound. Um, uh, which was very exciting. The last time I went to see an ultrasound being done, uh, it was my daughter in there this time it was my spleen. So, so that was nice. I did ask if it was a boy or a girl, but I have a feeling he's heard that joke before. Uh, so, uh, yes. So my total costs, uh, this week in terms of, in terms of. For healthcare have been nearly $200. Um, I just mentioned that for the Americans. Um, but still, but still, but there we are. So yes, I'm, uh, I'm keeping it, um, uh, very, uh, uh, quiet at the moment. Um, it's quite difficult walking anywhere. Uh, so there is that particular issue. So I've not really left the house all week. Um, but still, but there we go. I'm sure, I'm sure that I'll get better and there are plenty of people who have worse things than me. Uh, apart from that, um, no, I've been having an interesting week, uh, crossing I dotting ts, um, you know, wheeling and dealing. You, you know, um, there may be an announcement on Monday. Well, there will be an announcement on Monday about something that I have. I have purchased midlife crisis, bought that Aston Martin finally Did you midlife crisis? I did consider, uh, breaking, uh, my own embargo. I'm mentioning it here, but, um, I, I, I have been one of those people that has actually, I've set an embargo for an hour after. The pod news newsletter comes out on Monday, so I still get to keep that as an, as my own exclusive for an hour. Uh, so that'll be fun. So anyway, more details on that on, uh, Monday and looking forward to, uh, announcing that. And if you are a fan of this very show, uh, then you'll find, uh, the announcement, uh, hopefully very exciting. Uh, particularly if you like. And, uh, that's it for this week. You can give us feedback using email@weeklypodnews.net, or send us a booster gram. And if your podcast app doesn't support Boost, then grab a new app from pod news.net/new podcast apps. Yes, our music is from Studio Dragonfly. Our voiceover is Sheila D. And we're hosted and sponsored by Buzz Sprout Podcast Hosting Made easy. That was a good rehearsal. Sam, I think we should press the record button now. 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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