Podnews Weekly Review

Ainsley Costello and Sam Mean on music in podcasting; Greg Glenday, Acast's new Chief Business Officer

September 08, 2023 James Cridland and Sam Sethi Season 2 Episode 38
Podnews Weekly Review
Ainsley Costello and Sam Mean on music in podcasting; Greg Glenday, Acast's new Chief Business Officer
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In the chapters (use them!)

Every industry has its rising stars, and ours is no different. Meet Ainsley Costello, the 19-year-old independent artist who is brilliantly navigating the modern music industry and the new value for value trend. Costello gets real about her experiences, the pushback from the music industry, and her own unique take on the future of music as she ventures into the crypto space. We also hear from Wavlake's Sam Mean.

Greg Glenday, Acast's new  Chief Business Officer, also talks to us; and Sam and James take a look at the stories from Podnews.

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James Cridland:

It's Friday, the 8th of September 2023.

Jingle:

The last word in podcasting news. This is the Pod News Weekly Review with James Cridland and Sam Suthey.

James Cridland:

Yes, I'm James Cridland, the editor of Pod News, in a Singapore airport lounge with annoying twinkly music in the background. That will make this very hard to edit later.

Sam Sethi:

And I'm Sam Suthey, the CEO of Pod News, at home in the UK, in the quiet, thankfully.

James Cridland:

Yes, well done In the chapters. Today, music Acast and Spotify changes the eligibility of their ambassador ads. They spent $250,000 per episode on some exclusives. No really, youtube lets you leave comments on podcasts and Tenderfoot TV is suing Odyssey.

Greg Glenday:

Plus. Hi, I'm Greg Glende, the new global chief business officer for Acast, and I will be on shortly to talk about my new role.

Sam Mean:

Hi, this is Sam Means. I'm the co-founder and CEO of Wave Lake and I will be on later to talk about all the exciting things that we're doing in the value for value space.

Ainsley Costello:

Hi, I'm Ainsley Costello. I'll be on later to talk about my Web 3 kind of crypto new vocabulary journey of bringing my music over into this new world. So check it out.

James Cridland:

They will. This podcast is sponsored and hosted by Buzzsprout. Last week, 3,111 people started a podcast with Buzzsprout. Podcast hosting made easy with powerful tools and remarkable customer support. Now AI to help you publish your show. And by Pod News Live in London on the 27th of September. Tickets are available right now at podnewsnet slash live.

Jingle:

From your daily newsletter, the Pod News Weekly Review.

Sam Sethi:

OK, James. Well, you said you were eating some Singapore airline hotel lounge sipping champagne. Why are you there?

James Cridland:

Well, I'm just on my way home from podcast day Asia, which was in Kuala Lumpur, which was super good actually a full day's worth of speaking about podcasts in the area, Really enjoyable. Great to meet Guanjun Yeo from OneUp Media in Singapore, who also, of course, wrote a great set of articles about podcasts in Asia, so that was great to meet him there. Also Kelly Riordan sharing data from Australia, Audacia Audio Acast and Miavok's Live speaking to me about podcast monetization opportunities and the winners of the Radio Info Asia podcast awards 2023. So there's a tonne more links to that in the Pod News newsletter this week. But yeah, it was really good and, as you can hear, I'm quite tired now.

Sam Sethi:

Is that tired or?

James Cridland:

hungover.

Sam Sethi:

Let's get the clarity here, James.

James Cridland:

I mean, it may be a little bit of both. It may be a little bit of both. It was a big night last night, for some reason Excellent.

Sam Sethi:

Look, spotify, you really aren't spoiling us. As the Ferrero Rocher ambassador said, it seems that Spotify has changed the eligibility of the company's ambassador. James, you can now earn money from podcasts, but you have to have 1,000 unique Spotify listeners within the past 60 days. What are they doing, james?

James Cridland:

Yeah, so the old limit was 100 unique Spotify listeners, so that's not unique listeners, that's unique Spotify listeners. And from October 1st, creators must have 1,000 unique Spotify listeners. Now, if you'll know anything about the average podcast, actually that's quite a big stretch to get 1,000 unique Spotify listeners. This show would not have 1,000 unique Spotify listeners, nor would the Pod News Daily, which is significantly larger than this particular show, so that's quite a big jump, I think. Also, spotify has said that we will limit the types of content eligible for this program. Not quite sure what they mean by that. It might be interesting to find out. But clearly some changes there and also changes in the future around a new revenue share model for creators using automated ads, which is the system that they're moving to. Not quite sure what that new revenue share model is, but those automated ads are being expanded outside of the US. Now what they've said is expanded into Canada and Australia and a few other places. Nowhere here in Asia at all, and actually the Australian one is still invite only so clearly, spotify want to make a lot of noise about the fact that they can earn you money for being a podcaster, but the reality is probably slightly less exciting on that, unfortunately.

Sam Sethi:

So well, I guess they've got to try and raise the quality bar. So moving the pre-requirement up is probably a good thing. They'll bring it back down eventually when they realise how little that there is at that level that they can sell into. But hey, they've got to start somewhere.

James Cridland:

Yeah, and I'm sure that they've done the stats and done the details. It does sound as if they're moving away from ambassador ads. I like that. You spotted the Ferrero Rocher that I put in the Pod News newsletter earlier on in the week. Nobody else would have got that. But yeah, so I think they're moving away from ambassador ads and they're moving towards their new automated system, and that probably makes sense, because you would assume that their automated system is rather more scalable, which is, of course, not something that you can necessarily say for an awful lot of very complicated host reads. So, yeah, interesting to watch anyway.

Sam Sethi:

Sticking with Spotify. The Wall Street Journal was doing a deep dive on Spotify's finale, nanchors, and they came out with a shocking bit of data. We learnt that the shows cost up to 250,000 per episode during Dawn Ostroff's time in the company. That's for some of their exclusives. James, that's mental, oh yeah.

James Cridland:

I mean, it's completely mad figures. I think it does go to show that Daniel Eck was absolutely right to perform a hard, you know, handbrake turn on the strategy that they had and probably why Dawn Ostroff, very unceremoniously, was left from the company. I mean, a quarter of a million dollars per episode clearly isn't a sustainable thing. Now I'm trying to dig in a little bit more to find out what episodes those were that cost a quarter of a million dollars, because that would be interesting to find out, wouldn't it? So watch this space, as they say.

Sam Sethi:

Why am I going to bet it's a Meghan Markle and Harry one? Why?

James Cridland:

I just have a feeling. Well, I think there's more to that story than meets the ear actually. So I'm looking forward to diving a little bit more into that and seeing if I can learn anything more about that, because, yeah, I think that there's something there.

Sam Sethi:

They haven't completely given up on that strategy, by the way, though, because Trevano is still earning four million in a deal. Okay, it's a bit more equitable, but still, how many episodes is he doing, and what's the cost per episode? It might not be 250,000, but it's certainly not going to be 50p in a miles bar.

James Cridland:

No, it's certainly not going to be that. But Trevano's deal, as I understand it, is being done after Spotify's costs, so it's actually a deal that he benefits if there's real revenue there, but if there isn't any real revenue he will benefit rather less. So there's that sort of side of it. But of course, trevano is not going to be an exclusive show, and that was the big deal with Spotify Everything was an exclusive show with them. But that isn't the case and in fact you're seeing that not running exclusives is being good for Spotify the Science Versus podcast, according to the Wall Street Journal, seeing its audience doubling and listen hours increasing by 60% since no longer being exclusive. So there are some pretty good numbers in terms of that from not being exclusive at all.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, and others that were exclusive, that are no longer exclusive, are seeing a 60% increase as well, so Science V being one of them. Anyway, let's see if this new strategy from Spotify brings in the goals that they want. I mean, profitability being the main one. Now talking about money, this is an odd story, james, which Spotify denied. All gangs behind a rise in bombings and shootings in Sweden are using fake Spotify streams to launder money. It just sounds like something out of a James Bond plot. What's going on?

James Cridland:

It really does. So the suggestion in a Swedish newspaper, svenska Dagbladet, which I can't read because it's hidden behind a paywall, but that story reported in the Guardian, suggests that, quite literally, swedish gangster rap is actually funding Swedish gangsters, which I find relatively entertaining. I have to say. I'm looking at this story and I'm thinking this looks as if it is a traditional media company who is wanting to give a bit of a kick to Spotify because Spotify is now taking a significant amount of their revenue away, and I wonder whether it's a little bit of that. Spotify, for its own part, says that it hasn't found quote any data or hard evidence that indicates that the platform is being used at scale in the fashion described. So yeah, I'm not sure it's really going on, but gosh, what a story if true. I mean how you would have the patience to want to try and launder money by signing big rap artists, then making them hits on Spotify and then waiting for the money to come in for the plays. I mean that to me seems slightly far-fetched, but I think it's interesting seeing the press trying to cover some of these stories that are pretty negative towards Spotify.

Sam Sethi:

I thought if you're laundering money, you just put it through the sea of London or buy a football team.

James Cridland:

Can possibly comment on any of that.

Sam Sethi:

Now moving on. Look better news for Spotify. It seems that Spotify for podcasters has reversed a three month decline. In August, the platform was responsible for a 20.5% of all new episodes published last month, james, so something's going right for them in that space.

James Cridland:

Yeah, and I think that you know more things are going right for them. I think you know. Firstly, the amount of new episodes on Spotify seems to be increasing that Spotify creators are producing, and so I think that that's a good thing. They're also doing a fair amount of hard work around producing masterclasses. They're talking about building a loyal fan base. If you're interested in going to that masterclass, you've missed it, but you can watch it again on demand. It really focused on Spotify's interactivity tools, so it's basically that much the same sort of job that Apple does, where they're saying that they're producing amazing training for podcasters, but what they're really training you is how to use their particular services. But you know, I think that Spotify is still doing a pretty good deal there. What was also interesting is seeing that Buzzsprout is showing that Apple podcasts is having a nice increase over 2% of downloads in August in terms of total share, and pod track seems to be measuring more and more and more shows. You'll remember that I keep on saying you know, pod track only measures, participating publishers only and all that kind of stuff, but actually, in terms of pod tracks numbers, they're now measuring 9.2% of all episodes released in August, spotify's trackers measuring 7.4%. So good news for pod track on there as well.

Sam Sethi:

I wonder if they'll be acquired. No, I didn't say that out loud, did I? Now, moving on, who's suing who? Let's start off with the first one. Tenderfoot TV is suing Audissey's Cadence 13 for a breach of contract. What have they done, james?

James Cridland:

Yes. Well, we need to be careful, of course, with both of these, because it's ongoing court cases or cases that might make it to court. Audissey apparently didn't pay their August payment, which was over half a million dollars. Audissey sells advertising for Tenderfoot TV and it's part of a two year contract that they only signed in January and, according to the news reports, audissey has basically said now we're going to jump out of that contract and we're not going to honour it anymore. I'm sure that Audissey has a different point of view, but it wouldn't be the first that people in the podcasting industry have been doing that sort of thing. But I think we're seeing more large companies who have made big deals, like Cadence 13 with Tenderfoot TV, and have worked out actually, no, this is a ridiculous deal and we need to get out of it as soon as we possibly can, and I suspect that we'll be seeing rather more of those deals being canned as we continue moving on.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I'm not surprised, though, given the market conditions Now, cast Media, you caught up with Colin Thompson.

James Cridland:

I did. This was after another creator has posted that Cast Media has decided not to pay the money that they owe us. And you know, there's a guy called Jason Ellis who is Wolf in Hawk vs Wolf, and he posted a long and, frankly, very strange comment on Instagram, starting with his hairless cat and talking about his hairless cat's toilet habits, which was a little bit strange if you're then going to go on and make a massive announcement about Cast Media, and he's also very clearly not fully understood much of the business that he actually works in. So I'm not quite sure how much to take of Jason's comments, but nevertheless, I had a chat with Colin Thompson on a really scratchy line from Malaysia. He told us, interestingly, that he has no confirmed future role, either Live One or Podcast One, who, of course, are acquiring many of the Cast Media shows, and he was basically saying look, you know, I've got this deal. I'd like to help creators as much as possible, and one way of helping creators as much as possible, given the circumstances, is for that deal to happen with Live One or with Podcast One. So I can kind of see both sides of the story. Either Cast Media goes bankrupt instantly, in which case nobody gets any money, or at least they can try and salvage some of that money. And so, from seeing both sides of it, I think that it's interesting. Both Cast Media Colin is now no longer trying to take me to court and actually just having a nice chat with me but also hearing what Jason Ellis has to say and I gather another Cast Media creator is also going to be talking about the fact that they've not received all of their cash as well.

Sam Sethi:

We'll be covering a little bit more about this when we talk about Podcast One later on in the show. Youtube has announced you can now leave comments on podcasts within the YouTube Music app. A I don't have YouTube Music app, do you, and have you seen these comments?

James Cridland:

Yes, I've got the YouTube Music app, but of course I can't see any podcasts in there because I don't live in a supported place yet, but I'm sure it'll happen soon. But it's very similar to the fact that you can leave comments already, of course, on podcasts within the YouTube website. So YouTube Music has added comments, has added likes, to its app now so that you can basically leave a comment for any track that you hear, or indeed any podcast that you hear. So I think that's going to be very interesting, particularly very interesting because there is an open API into Google's commenting system or YouTube's commenting system. So perhaps the much-vaunted Cross App comments might just end up using YouTube as a back end. What do you think of that, sam? No.

Sam Sethi:

God help me. No, god help us please. It's hard enough without that.

James Cridland:

All right. Yes, in terms of jobs and people, lots of changes all over the place. Friedhelm Tauber is the new country manager for Germany for Podimo, who replaces Sebastian Romanus. Interesting talking to a few people from Europe about Podimo at Podcaste Asia. They are really quite worried about Podimo because apparently Podimo is just running around signing up big podcast stars in each individual country, and so what you're seeing is original podcast creators producing shows and then there's a talent drain as they get signed up to Podimo and be put behind a subscription wall. So it's interesting seeing how worried people are about that. We'll find out?

Sam Sethi:

won't we direct from the horse's mouth, because Morton Strungen's going to be at our Pod News Live at the end of this month.

James Cridland:

So he's correct. I'm glad that you mentioned that. Yes, indeed, so podnewsnet. Slash live if you want tickets to find out exactly what he's going to be talking about. But yes, I find that fascinating. So good to see that Jessica Wills has been promoted to be Jar Audio's director of operations. Podcast One has signed lots of deals with some of their big business people. The chief content officer, the chief revenue officer and indeed the founder, co-founder and president have all signed very long term deals with the company. Probably got something to do with the fact that they started trading on the NASDAQ this week. So that's probably a wise thing to do if you're going to start trading on the NASDAQ, to actually sign those people up. So that's an interesting thing. Should be trading by now. I know that there's a party for Live One and Podcast One, their IPO party, which happened yesterday in New York. I was invited, I didn't go, and Lotton Skepstett has been hired as head of commercial for PodX. Interestingly, she used to work for a company that was produced by the founders of Acast, a company called Sesame, and she'd been director of books and podcasts there. She'll now be working for PodX and PodX, of course, another big, big company in Europe. Good news.

Sam Sethi:

Stefan Russell, the CEO of PodX, will be with us at Pod News Live as well to tell us all about their strategy.

James Cridland:

Excellent Pod Newsnet slash Live for you to buy tickets, and also lots of moves at Acast as well. Lizzie Pollatt, or LP to her friends, has been promoted to chief communications and brand officer at Acast. She's been with the company for more than five years, so congratulations to her.

Sam Sethi:

She was on our show, did a brilliant job of positioning Acast with us and to the big audience, and I just pinged Ross privately and I said hey, Ross, I think Lizzie is amazing. You should give her a promotion so fast forward. Lizzie then pinged me on WhatsApp, said thanks for the promotion. So there you go. I doubt they had anything to do with me. Genuinely I don't believe it, Wow, but I think if it did, Wow, listen to you something. All I'm saying is me and Lizzie are going for a champagne drink on Friday. That's all I'd say. But other than that, congratulations, Lizzie.

James Cridland:

Wow. Well, there you go. That's impressive. So let's talk about the new chief business officer. He's American, isn't he? And you caught up with him.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, greg Glint a really nice guy. We had a good old chat. I asked him really what is a chief business officer?

Greg Glenday:

If you were to combine strategy, revenue and content into one role. That's what the chief business officer means at Acast. So I look after global revenue, all the managing directors around the world, with a focus on our revenue strategy and our creator network.

Sam Sethi:

Now I've worked in large corporate companies before and that sounds to me like a matrix. That sounds like to me like you've got lots of people reporting countrywide to you but also into their own country. Is it a matrix role?

Greg Glenday:

I know the matrix term for a lot of companies has gotten some negative connotations. I think in this case what we're trying to create is a global center of excellence where there's a call it, a chassis, where this is what Acast is globally, and then we want each market. I just went through a presentation this morning with each market's head of sales giving their pitch and the nuances in each country. So I like the idea of a center of excellence globally and then the ability for each market to localize based on their needs. It's very different, based on our maturity, the listening, the type of listeners you have, the type of content in each market. So it gives us the ability to be much more nimble in market. So the answer is yes, but I mean in the most positive way. You can think of a matrix organization.

Sam Sethi:

Good. So red pills and blue pills, excellent. Now, given your new role, what is your first objectives?

Greg Glenday:

So I was lucky enough to start in August when things are a little quieter on the advertising front and when you have a big global matrix organization, there's a lot to learn. You know I've been following podcasting for a long time. I've been an audio, I've been a fan of media and entertainment forever, so I understand what's going on in the marketplace. But meeting all the talent, getting to know everybody I've been in the first three weeks and really just tried to immerse myself in the company, the processes, all the great things they're doing, that was great. So I kind of had the US Labor Day weekend as a pin in my calendar, where you know I'm coming out of the gates from internal to external. So I'll go from you know 10% external to you know, hopefully closer to 90 external after this weekend.

Sam Sethi:

Okay Now, one of the things that's public domain is that ACAST yet is not profitable. Now you've had a really hard 23. You've had some layoffs, but you've had some amazing wins as well New products out of the park, conversational marketing has been a really good product, so some of those things have been really really good. Obviously, you've had the cutbacks. Like everybody says, not just ACAST, it's an industry wide thing. But again the market's screaming at you profitability, profitability, profitability. 24 is when you said you're going to do it. How are you going to achieve it?

Greg Glenday:

Yeah. So it's funny, I don't think of this as either or, and this has kind of been my message internally. I'm trying to keep a fresh set of eyes as long as I can. Eventually, you become an insider and I'll become an ACAST-er and it'll be too late, but I'm trying to keep that fresh perspective. And a couple of roles I've had have been very similar where it's hey, the goal is profitability, and so I'm familiar with doing that. But every situation's different. I think here, the fact that we are growing if you look at our Q2 results like top line revenue is growing. So I think a lot of companies, when they have cuts or you know, start thinking about cost discipline. They do that because they have to, because we're doing this, because it's the right thing to do and we can. So we believe that it's not one of the other growth or savings, or it's both, and I think we can think about the future as revenue continues to grow. It's, I mean, double digit growth is very valuable in advertising. Right now there's a lot of media companies that would kill for single digit growth. You know a lot of people are flat. So the fact that we have more revenue, more people discovering podcasting, it's not just our current advertisers spending more. It's new brands, new people discovering the medium. So as that continues to grow, we just want to apply a little bit of discipline on the cost side so that it's not buying growth. We don't need to do that, I think, as more people find our industry, if we're setting ourselves up to be the best partner with the most open ecosystem, I think that's going to set us up and the cost take care of themselves. So I don't believe in saving your way to prosperity. I think we have to have discipline, but we're really still focused on growth.

Sam Sethi:

Okay, so user numbers are up, which is great. Spotify had a similar announcement in their last quarter. They saw their user numbers grow, but they saw their average revenue per user drop. Where does ACAR sit? Are you seeing a larger ARPU per user, or is that flat dropping? What's happening?

Greg Glenday:

Yeah. So I don't believe that we broke out in my keeping us. I don't think we broke out publicly the average revenue per user, but I can say that the metrics that we look at because there's a lot of ways that you can paint a rosy picture on a lot of companies and you could pay the negative picture on a lot of companies. So, you know, to me, looking at things that are kind of, um, you know they aren't really tethered to anything like CPMs or average revenue, we look at our creator network and it's like which shows to the? Which shows are brands looking for? Like, where do we want to necessarily need more listeners or do we need more monetizable listeners? So there's lots of ways to look at that. And so when we look at all of those things on a Monday morning and say, okay, what is our report card for the week, it's going to be kind of an amalgamation of all those things, not just growth for growth sake. But you know, if you have a long tail of podcasters that are tough to sell or impossible to sell, that doesn't help, right, it doesn't help them, it doesn't help us. So, being more descriptive about who we bring into the creator network and are these things that that make sense for brands and where the industry is going so? So yes, we look at those, but I'm not going to be completely beholden to like what's our. You know you could you could have lower rates and more success, you know so. So they aren't necessarily mutually exclusive.

Sam Sethi:

Okay now, one of the big announcements you made this week was that you're going to be dropping Spotify ad analytics or anything with it. You're focusing with your partner, Podtrak, which is great. It really sits Spotify, the closed ecosystem, the closed podcast network with the open ecosystem and the open podcast network against each other. Is that how you see it internally, or is it just us in the press looking for a dogfight?

Greg Glenday:

I think that's the obvious conclusion and you know this decision predates me but I sort of I love it and I back it up. So it's not like I'll take credit for the good things and anything that predates me. That wasn't. I can say wasn't me, but just blame Ross for that part. Yeah, that's Ross, is he's accepted that right. I think this is a great decision. I've talked to some advertisers that you know have been using Spotify analytics. They completely get it. I think anybody who didn't get it probably misunderstood the announcement. We're not exclusive with Podtrak. We're not saying this is the only thing. We just want to be open and you know this wasn't really, if you think about, wasn't really our decision to make that we can have one publisher that's sort of involved in our analytics, we lose all of our impartiality and one of the things that's sort of non negotiable at a cast is that we are that open ecosystem and we want to be the good guys that are sort of impartial, agnostic, and it's really hard to say that when you have one publisher that's controlling, it just never works. I've worked in a lot of places where we've spent a lot of money on measurement internally and it just at the end of the day, brands, advertisers, at some point they don't want you to grade your own homework, you know. So it's really, if there's anything that needs to be arms distance and somebody else, its attribution, its measurement. I had one big media buyer call me up who have known a long time and you know she left me kind of a Kurt voicemail and I called her back and explained that she could still use. She had another partner outside that she likes to use and I said that's still available and she said, okay, how was your weekend? So I think some people just kind of misunderstood what we were trying to do there. It's not really a shot at anybody, it's just we have to live our principles of, you know, being agnostic and open.

Sam Sethi:

So, again, the question that's in my head is then the other elephant in the room is Apple, and Apple announced last week a massive beef up of their analytics. Which is it all in house, which is all proprietary to Apple? How does that fit in with a cost?

Greg Glenday:

Yeah, the ultimate closed network, right that's. You know that's for us. We distribute, we have a great partnership with Apple. That's kind of a 360, you know they've got products they advertise on our network. We've got a partnership with where we distribute. They're still most of the listening takes place on, you know, apple podcast for us. So so that doesn't change anything. I think the platforms and the individual Spotify, apple they're all going to have their own. They're going to evolve and get better and smarter and you know, I think that's great for the industry if they're able to do that. But we still have to be, you know, we still have to remain open and it has to work across all of a cast for our, you know, for our market story to really make sense, you know, for us to have credibility, we have to think about it that way.

Sam Sethi:

Okay, so one of the things in your title is global, which means that you're going to be looking beyond the typical US, uk markets. We've seen some good growth for new a cast operations in Mexico, across Europe, in Australia, across the Far East beginning to happen, india, anything in there, other markets what's the strategic rollout of a cost growth?

Greg Glenday:

Yeah, so. So right now I believe we have 14 non US markets that you know, obviously, that expand beyond just their home market in some cases, you know, to me we've been treating everything as this is a cast and everything's. Even right now I really started to break them out into emerging markets that have high growth, that we sort of haven't gotten there yet. You think about the US. It's kind of funny to think of that as an emerging market, but we're just getting started here really, which is, you know, kind of that ship coming out of the fog and now we're just going to be able to get there. So we're going to be able to get that ship coming out of the fog analogy that we like to talk about here, that we know how to do it elsewhere in the UK, or so much further ahead. So it's more of how do we defend that hill and what do we need to do? How do we innovate to defend that as opposed to innovating to grow, and how do the customers behave? So long answer to your short question. Anywhere where we believe, I think India, anywhere where there's population and podcasting is starting to gain traction, we want to be there first and early, so we're open to everywhere. In my path, you know, I had a global role at Shazam where I oversaw revenue and marketing label relations, and it was a little bit different in that way, because music in India already existed. So once we launched the app, people started using it and it's like, oh okay, well, we'll fish with a fish, or we had. You know, we could monetize anything if people were curious about music. In this case, going to find the content. That costs time and money and expertise and local market expertise. So there's a little bit more of a hurdle, but we're set up to do it better than anybody. So as you start to see markets embrace, podcasting will be there.

Sam Sethi:

One of the other things that's happened. We've seen Spotify's exclusive strategy sort of backfire a little bit right. We've seen the abomas, we've seen the Megans, we've seen all of those high ticket podcast sponsorships and sort of dissipate and numbers haven't really generated both revenue or users from it. I noted that you know again, a cast has had some in the past. It's recently taken one out of audible and brought it into the fold is had the rest of politics go out and go. Where do a cast sit on exclusives now? I mean, where is your position?

Greg Glenday:

I don't think they're good. I think you know, if you think about what makes podcasting amazing, I've got some niche hobbies and things that I do that you know. None of them are ever going to be huge podcasts. But if I listen to four or five, you know maybe I'm a desirable customer for somebody and I'm listening to this. So if you add those together, that's a desirable audience and it doesn't have to be a big show and the idea that you're going to have how many can you have for 50, 60, 100 million dollars. So it becomes. You know it's kind of a slippery slope and exclusives when they tried to do this in the music industry since you brought the music industry. But if you remember when you know, jay Z was going to just release his music on title and there was a backlash because it's abusive, who are you serving? It's abusive to the listener, it's abusive to the customer. Now it's the way I feel when I watch content on my TV. You have to sign up for 19 different streaming services to have the water cooler content. So I think podcasts like we're going to be very aggressive to keep that open ecosystem so that this doesn't stay, this doesn't become. You have to go over here for this. It's already annoying going back and forth between different platforms just because you can't get it everywhere. So that's our stance and I think it's the right thing to you know, thinking about the user as the customer.

Sam Sethi:

Okay, last question really, and I agree with you on that one, but my opinion makes no difference. I just thought I'd let you know, greg. You know Well, that's very good of you to say, but I doubt it very much. But moving forward, talking about crystal balling a little bit, then, where do you think advertising will go in 2024? I mean, we've had the dip. Will we see the rise, or will it just flat line again or dip again? Worst luck.

Greg Glenday:

Yeah, I think, and I've been in advertising. I've been selling advertising since the mid 90s and you know, I think this seems. I know we say this every year but this does feel like the fastest rate of change everywhere. You know, companies come and go and all of a sudden there's a platform that's must buy and we all saw kind of the jump the shark when I love the people at Snap, but when they put the Ferris wheel, it can for a week and they install that it's like okay, who would have thought they come and go and then come back? So I think if you're a brand right now, the idea that you can think out further it's very fickle. Things change quickly. I've got kids three different ages and they're in three different generations and I watch how they're consuming and how they're interacting and you know my seven, my 18 year old, has really nothing in common with the 14 year old as far as how they consume and what they think about. So so from a crystal ball standpoint, I think advertising is fine, but I think money is going to shift and you know, if I were selling traditional broadcast television right now, there just isn't a way for you to stop that kind of erosion right, like there's a lot of innovation coming, but I think some of the traditionals that money is going to get dispersed and it's going to be much more of a meritocracy. So it's not going to come down to there's three networks and who's got the best relationships with the CMOs and who goes to those dinners. It's going to come down to who has the intention, the scale and the engagement. So I think we will be one of those people that has those things and I think we're going to be a very good place for a brand to build more than just the performance stuff which we appreciate. That just proves that it works. But a lot of brands have been built on podcasting right now and they only pay when they sell something. And I think the idea that when the big brands kind of come over here and say you know what, this is a way for us to participate in the water, to cooler cultural conversations at scale on an individual basis. It's kind of the holy grail for advertising. So I think we're going to be in great shape as an industry. I think A-Cast is particularly positioned very well. So I think, whether advertising dips or grows, I think the money is going to like the buckets are going to change faster than ever, and so we want to just we want to be there to receive it when they're ready.

Sam Sethi:

So we've talked about markets, we've talked about expanding markets, we've talked about the type of podcast and the open nature of it, but one of the hats you wear is a product hat. Again, what sort of products can we expect out of A-Cast? I mean, I know you're not going to give me the crown jewels of everything but Arab direction. You've got the way that we implemented some of the advertising strategies in 23, have opened up transcription and I'm the first to say I've said it to Lizzie I thought the conversation of tracking that you did was brilliant because it allows you to elevate out from a podcast core content that could be missed by most brands because they would just be categorized in a different, wrong way. But where did you take it? I mean, how much further are you going to take this? Or is it just take the same thing, localize, re-route and repeat? I mean, what is the strategy?

Greg Glenday:

Yeah. So I think again I talked about listening to the customer. You don't do everything they say would make their lives easier, because they're going to say lower rates and give us more stuff for free and all that kind of stuff. But what are the problems they have? Our product team is really, really awesome, and so when we come back and say, look, here are the 10 big problems that advertisers have before they will open up more budgets for podcasting, well, those 10 problems become the thing on our whiteboard that we start working to solve. So being able to take quality at scale. Everywhere I've ever worked, it's like you can have quality. But if I go back to my old radio days at IHeart, okay, we're going to do five live reads with these big personalities and you're going to get on the phone. It's going to take a day, but we're going to get this and we're going to practice it. That's super quality advertising. But it's hard to scale that because everything's got to be bespoke and there's conversations that a lot of people involve, and then the scale part would be okay. We're going to run a bunch of ads across your 1200 radio stations and that'll be the long tail. It'll be scale For the first time ever, I feel like I can put both of those things together. So everything that our product and content teams are thinking about is how do we take this high quality environment that ACAST has and scale it? How do we take some of the? How do we use these tools? Like you said, is it transcription? Is it being able to do sponsor live reads at scale, as opposed to where you don't have to have a human being contact? If we've got close to 100,000 shows, I want to get to a place where you could buy 20,000 shows with live reads and quality control and using technology to make it easier to do a better job. Not just scale doesn't have to mean poor quality, right, and I used to cringe when I was just a podcast fan, not a podcast employee, but I used to cringe when I started hearing these kind of radio ads that were like the screaming car dealer or the mattress firm. It's like let's not do that to podcasting. It's the intimacy, like what podcasting has is special. How do we hold on to that? So everything you're going to see from us is around sort of quality at scale, moving forward.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, you mentioned technology, and one of the biggest things everyone's talking about in technology is AI. Right, and whether you call it assistant intelligence, which is how I see it, or artificial intelligence, how some people see it, it does really matter. It is creeping into podcasting. Busprout have done a really good job with it, rss have done a good job. Others are bringing out stuff. Will a cast? I mean, I'm sure you will in some way, but you talked about not having this scale, then having it robotically scale, but fundamentally, isn't AI the only way you are going to scale?

Greg Glenday:

Absolutely I can tell you like we've got our, there's sort of a current, a cast, and then there's always that we have time and task force and teams that are working on the you know what's on the whiteboard in the future. So there's stuff in the works now and there's a task force on AI and you know, we sort of know what's possible and what tools we can use now. But when I talk about quality at scale and Absolutely has to have, like you said, it's either assisted it's not, maybe not complete AI some people think about it, but they're using technology to scale. Certainly AI will have an impact on our business in a positive way. I know a lot of people get scared and say, well, it's going to replace. I don't want to listen to a artificially enhanced robotic version of your podcast. It's not really you. But if we can find the right partners and find sponsors that maybe didn't know that your podcast existed and we can use technology to do that and match those up in a way that feels great to the listener, that's how we're going to use it.

Sam Sethi:

Brilliant Look, greg. Thank you so much for your time. Welcome on board to ACAST. As I said, you've got your feet under the table. I'm sure you've got a flight round the world ticket booked. Say goodbye to the wife and kids for a few weeks. I think I'm missing you more already. Bye, look, greg. Congratulations on your new role. It's an exciting role. I look forward to meeting you in person, hopefully at some point soon.

Greg Glenday:

Thank you so much for having me. This was wonderful.

James Cridland:

The new Chief Business Officer for ACAST, greg Glenday. There will be a speaker from ACAST at podnewsnet for tickets none other than Ross Adams, I believe. So that's going to be super good and ACAST clearly going places. Interestingly, they gave away $10,000 worth of podcast advertising recently in a competition in the US called Pod Power Up. If you're wondering who ended up winning that? A company called Reprise, which is get this, a plant-based active wear brand, which, to me, I'm just thinking of Soggy Pants that's all I'm thinking of there. Wow Gosh, how does that? I don't think it's made of leather. How does that work with sweat and everything else? Anyway, congratulations to them. If you're looking for a job, given that this is the people news section, pod News has podcasting jobs across the industry and across the world. It's podcasting's largest jobs board and those jobs are free to post as well. It'll just take two minutes to add a new role at podnewsnet slash jobs.

Jingle:

The tech stuff. Tech stuff On the Pod News Weekly Review.

James Cridland:

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, and it's all about music this week, simon isn't it? It is indeed.

Sam Sethi:

Anyone who listened to Adam and Dave on their Friday Night Podcast Index show. They've launched a new podcast music chart at podcastindextop. It's the podcast 2 to 0 Music 100, a bit like a billboard. Top of the track there is Corey Keller. It's no longer Ainslie Costello, but she has got three hits in that Top 100. James, did you have a listen to that show?

James Cridland:

I did. Yes, I had a listen to that show. It was nice to hear the golden tones of Adam and Dave back again after a short holiday from them, so that was great to actually hear. And yeah, the top track earned $171 during the measured period. I have to say, dave, I'm not quite sure what the measured period is. Is that a day? Is that a week? Is that a month? Who knows? What I've learned is that this is just a really easy way of getting a feature request over to Dave Jones. Just ask him here. But you ended up talking to, well, not just a music person, but also someone involved in the value for value music industry as well, sam Meen. But first you talk to Ainslie Costello.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I thought I'd reach out to her. She's a young 19-year-old. She's adopted all of this crazy technology that we've put together value for value, splits, value time splits. She's getting it all round her head. She's even got a Nostra account. But I thought I'd go back and find out. Really, how did you get involved in all of this music and value for value?

Ainsley Costello:

You put the cheer yourself for the mess you made, but I'll leave it out on the run.

Sam Sethi:

Won't you say you love? Won't give you the reaction that you want. See you cheer along the way. Cheer you on top, one of the tracks that's gone to number one. When was that first?

Ainsley Costello:

written. That was written in late November, early December of 2021. Yeah, and then it came out basically a year later, in December of 2022.

Sam Sethi:

So a COVID track, mainly right.

Ainsley Costello:

Yeah, pretty much a COVID track, for sure. So much of what I've been putting out in the last couple of years are, in fact, covid tracks.

Sam Sethi:

Okay, now, up until the stuff with Wave Lake and all this new stuff that you've been doing, what was your traditional expectation and route to market? How did you think you were going to get your sound out there?

Ainsley Costello:

Yeah, I mean, it was very kind of typical indie artist. You write the song, depending on how. You write it alone, you write it with co-writers go into the studio, get it all done, mixed, mastered, whatever and then it's like all right, put it out on all the however many 40-some digital swimming platforms the DSPs there are Spotify, apple Music, deezer, whatever and then just hope for the best a little bit, which I think is one of the things that I think indie artists are really tired of doing in the modern music industry. But, yeah, put it out on all the DSPs market, on Instagram, facebook, tiktok, all the things and then just hope that eventually and hope being the keyword is snowball effect you have one release, then maybe it gets a little bigger next time and a little bigger, and so on and so forth.

Sam Sethi:

Did you get, did you do live events where you were just, you know, putting out your stuff and seeing if you could build up a fan base?

Ainsley Costello:

Oh, absolutely. I mean, my favorite thing to do as an independent artist is performing. That's my main love, that's what got me into music in the first place when I was really young. I've done over 150 shows in 20-ish states here in the US. So, yeah, I was doing a lot of shows. And then COVID happened, had to slow my roll there for a little bit. But yeah, last year and then this year I've been able to get back out pretty regularly again, which has felt really great.

Sam Sethi:

And, if you don't mind me asking, how old are you?

Ainsley Costello:

I am 19. Gosh 19.

Sam Sethi:

Yes, same age as my daughter Right Now. Very quickly, why won't you go for a record deal? I mean, apart from being an independent today, you know, would you not just go on to one of the big companies, put your tracks in there and just hope for a record deal? Or is that just wishful thinking?

Ainsley Costello:

I mean, it's a little bit of both, I think. When you you grow up as an outsider looking into the music industry, you have this set roadmap where you're like okay, I start writing songs, hone the craft for a couple of years, maybe do some shows and then, hopefully, a couple of years down the road, you get a record deal. And I think now, as there's more options coming out for independent artists as to make a living just like this whole Bitcoin web three thing that I'm sure we're going to get into there's just a million ways to do it now, and so less and less independent artists are saying I want a record deal, because record deals really aren't sustainable anymore. I mean, they were never really sustainable, but they're not really sustainable. You don't own your rights, you really don't make a ton of money, and so there's a lot of independent artists out there who are saying no, there are other ways to do this now.

Sam Sethi:

Okay, so you mentioned it. So one of the things whether we call it web three, crypto, micro payments, value time splits there's lots and lots of new vocabulary to learn, but when did you first hear about the potential of maybe uploading your tracks to Wave Lake and creating your own feed?

Ainsley Costello:

It was still very recently and I've really only been in this space for about two ish months, so I've still feel like I'm a baby. I don't know what I'm talking about. Everyone go easy on me. But so what happened was so Wave Lake, where I'm charting and I'm apparently the number one artist, which is like what? Okay? So my parents are very involved in what I do. I really lucked out in the parent department. They helped me out with so much. We're a team, we're a unit. But my dad, over the past I don't know, probably since the beginning of this year, I think my dad has started to become a bit of a crypto enthusiast. And so a couple months ago in Nashville who knew there's this place called Bitcoin Park in Nashville and my dad was going to a Bitcoin conference it was a week long thing and he met Sam Means, who's the owner of Wave Lake, and my dad started telling him about me and got a, and Sam was like well, why don't you bring Ainsley and your wife tomorrow, like my mom, because my mom's very involved in what I do why don't you bring them both tomorrow and they can come to the demo? So we went to the demo of Wave Lake. We were like really impressed. We were like I don't know what this is, but it seems really cool. And Sam convinced me to take a chance on putting my music on Wave Lake. And then we put Sherry on top. That was the first track we did and it blew up over there and then it just started charting and charting and then, next thing, you know, like it hits a million sats and then, like, adam Curry is talking about me on his podcast and then we're putting more tracks up there and there's just so much that's come from it, apparently like there's there's Bitcoin conferences in Texas and other parts of the U? S where, like people are talking about me is like, hey, look at this girl who's like making the web three crypto value for value, model kind of work for her in the music industry in a non-traditional way. So it's been a whirlwind and a half.

Sam Sethi:

And rightly earned as well. Now, look, I guess what it was was. You were brave enough to take a step into the dark. You took on the new vocabaries, I like to call it, and you said right, let's give it a shot. The result of that was a lovely tweet you put out which was hey, I've made over $400 from just this one show, which was Adam's show, compared to the, I think he put $60 or something to affect across numerous streaming sites. So, having seen the network effect of people paying to listen to your music, you've put out a couple of other tracks. How have they done subsequently?

Ainsley Costello:

They're still doing pretty good. So cherry on top is the number one track on Wave Lake. I think two ships is the number two track on Wave Lake right now. And then there's another one that we just put up, sinking at the same time. If you go down, I'm coming to. We promise that we'd see this whole thing through Two ships, knowing that the storm won't pass. Two ships sinking, and they're sinking fast. And then there's another one that we just put up a couple of weeks ago called Daydreamer, which is a song that I wrote by myself a couple of years ago, and we put that on Wave Lake and then Adam put it on a show and then that bumped it even more. So I want to say that, like all three songs that I have on Wave Lake right now are in their top ten chart, which is wild.

Sam Sethi:

When you start to receive those first sats. What did you think, did you understand what a sat was, when you first received them?

Ainsley Costello:

Not particularly, but as me and my parents started looking into the new vocabulary, we were like, oh okay, I'm starting to understand what this is. Sats are little pieces of Bitcoin. There's a lot more revenue coming in. And just this one song that I've made on my entire three plus year streaming career on Spotify, Apple Music, whatever. So as we started to understand it more, we're like whoa, this is really cool. This has the potential to be like really revolutionary for the music industry, and I'm coming at this from a purely music industry like view too.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I mean, look, I'll be honest and say, when Adam and Dave were working on the podcast index namespace A couple of years ago and I was lucky enough to be involved in sort of the early days of seeing this grow, and I've been on the journey with them I didn't have the expectation of what they're doing here with what we call value time splits, the ability for Adam to play a show like a DJ, then play your track and see in real time the money flow to you While the music's playing and then any money that he's receiving coming back to him once the music's finished. So that's a really powerful thing because, yes, it works great for music, but actually it could work for anything. It could work for an audio clip, it could work for advertising, even Now. Have you spoken to any of your other independent music artists friends about what you're doing and what's been their reaction? If you have, Absolutely so.

Ainsley Costello:

I've already actually gotten two of my friends onto Wave Lake and I'm hopefully getting another one on. So two of my friends, jessica Lynn Witte and Amber Sweeney, who are two of my friends I'm actually even though I'm in Nashville, I'm originally from Seattle, and so there's some of my Pacific Northwest girlies who just took me in when I was like a baby, 13, 14 year old, just getting started. And Jessica, I think she already had a bunch of fans who were in this web three crypto space, and so it was easy to get her on. And then my mom and I went out to lunch with our friend Amber and we were like, hey, like this could be cool. We told her like, hey, I've already gotten more money from this than I have on my entire DSP career. And she was like, absolutely, let me try it out. And then the other night I had a friend over and at my mom and I talked to her and we were telling her the same things. Yeah, so everyone I've told this kind of whole thing to, even if they don't really understand it at first, they're like, but no, this could really be something. And do?

Sam Sethi:

you know a lot of people in the music industry from record companies. Have you spoken to any of those? I mean, have they sort of gone? Oh, ainsley, it's rubbish. Don't touch that Bitcoin rubbish. Come to us, my darling. We will pay you nothing, but come to us.

Ainsley Costello:

Yeah, it's been really interesting because, even though I'm young, I've been around for a minute. I've seen my fair share of industry people and had my fair share of meetings where people say this and this. So there's definitely been not direct pushback on me, but just looking at the greater music industries, behavioral patterns over the last however many years, it's easy to assume what they would think about this whole thing. I think the music industry is going to have a big storm coming with this whole thing, because you know the labels in the, the execs, are always the slowest on the uptake. I think, because, even if you think back to 20 years ago, the industry pushed and pushed back against Spotify, and now that is For the rest of the world. Who's not in this crypto space? That is where you go to consume your music, and they were so against it and now it's the leading platform. So, even though I think there would be some general pushback in the beginning of trying to integrate the new vocabulary into what the music industry is, I think that in the next however many years, I don't know what the trends are going to look like for this, but I think the music industry is definitely going to have to to pivot and shift if it wants to learn how to survive in this, in the very least in the typical traditional ways of like. We still have labels, we still have these people who want to like, be the gatekeepers, whatever. So I think the music industry is going to have to shift if it wants to survive with this kind of coming.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I mean, I call it direct from fan. You know this is where you're getting your money. That's really what artists want to do. They want to be directly connected to the people who love their music rather than going, as you put it, through a gatekeeper and finding that way.

Ainsley Costello:

Like 20 middle men.

Sam Sethi:

Exactly, and so I do think there will be a shift. I think what we've seen already since boost to grand ball, which was Adam show, there's been ten or so other shows that have now started doing these music cast whatever we want to call them, because they're not pure podcast and they're not pure music singles on their own. They are that mixture. And at the same time, I think we are beginning to see more platforms. I know fountain dot zero eight was launched, a Oscars platform which features music. I know there's the music side project. I know other platforms like pod fans for certain I think we will be doing it. So I think we are going to see much more choice for people to choose apps to find music as well. I know the podcast index, which is Adam and Dave's index directory, has made some big enhancements to allow people to discover music there as well. The thing for you is, you just want to be able to be discovered more and have more fans come to you directly. But what would happen I mean hypothetically if you had a massive record deal placed in front of you? Would you just go right? That's what I'm going to go back to the traditional way of doing it.

Ainsley Costello:

It's funny that you say that because with this whole journey that's just landed in my lap, my parents and I look at. It is like we're living in two different worlds, like we're still pursuing this traditional okay, let's keep grinding on, see if there's going to be some mainstream attention. And then this thing comes and it's like, oh, but like I'm getting some fans over here and I'm getting some attention over here, and so I think right now it's just playing the field. I've sat in enough meetings to know that even if a record label deal was handed to me tomorrow, I wouldn't be dumb enough to say absolutely without looking at the contract. I would definitely still weigh my options for sure.

Sam Sethi:

Cool. Now, one of the things that you, me and your mum did last week was we talked about. Actually, this is so early in the play. I mean, we are talking, you know, you're probably in the point zero, one percent of the population of the planet who understands it, right, I mean, if not even smaller. And at the same time, I would also add that the tools to help you create the feeds, to create the wallets, to do the value time split, they're not quite there. They're very rough and ready. Geeky would be even two kind of word, I think. I think they really are pre geeky evens in some cases. But I do expect in the next six months that these tools will become easier for you, which means that you know, hopefully you'll see more friends, more artists, more examples of people coming on. Would you try and put an album out next in this format? Do you think you have that material, or do you? Or could you take older material and find a way to bring it into this platform?

Ainsley Costello:

Oh, absolutely. I think there's a possibility for both of those happening. I think just because I've been living in the modern and just the typical music industry without all this stuff, my headspace has been there for so long. My, my mindset has been okay, just do singles for a while because, like, society's attention span has gone down the drain. So nobody, unless you're a major like Ed Sheeran, beyonce, nobody's going to listen to an album unless you have that following. So I've just been doing singles over here in In world a, I'll call it. I've just been doing singles over here in world a. But I think that if we go over to world B and there's some attention and there's people who'd be like, no, I would want to listen to an Ainsley Costello album, I think that there's definitely a possibility for that to happen sooner than I thought it would if I was just going with the World A perspective.

Sam Sethi:

Okay, and finally Ainsley look, somebody wants to listen to your music is the best place today Wave Lake, I assume to go to, or where would you say?

Ainsley Costello:

absolutely. I mean, I know that not not everybody is in this new vocabulary world, but I mean I'm pretty sure that everybody listening to this podcast probably is. So, if you want to go and support me directly which is, I think, what all independent artists want absolutely Wave Lake, and I'm pretty sure that, where my music is pretty soon going to be on on your platform, which I'm really excited about, if it's not already. I have a bunch of people on my team who really helped me figure all of this stuff out. But yeah, so you can go and support on Wave Lake, I'm going to be over here pretty soon. But if you're still in world a headspace, I'm on all of them Spotify, apple Music, these are all the weird ones that you don't even know exist I'm on all of them.

Sam Sethi:

Cool, cool. That last question really is nothing to do with technology, is more to who's your biggest influencer in music?

Ainsley Costello:

Oh my god, this is so hard. I think it changes a lot. But right now I'm going to say George Michael, because I'm in a really big way. I'm in George Michael phase, absolutely yeah.

Sam Sethi:

It's really interesting because I was going to say probably out for a lovin.

Ainsley Costello:

I love Avril Lavigne absolutely. I think the more that I started shifting what my sound is over the past couple of years, people have started to be like, oh Ainsley, like you're like a mini Avril Lavigne and like, thank you, that makes me so happy. I love Avril Lavigne also, haley Williams of Paramore. She's one of my biggest inspirations right now. I would probably say Haley is probably at the top of one of those lists. But if we're going just through phases right now I'm just in a big like I'm not listening to anything but George Michael and we are right now.

Sam Sethi:

And then my only one what was it last week? I'll give you some music advice get a boyfriend, break up and then write an album. That was it, taylor Swift it absolutely.

Ainsley Costello:

I mean that's very valid. It's so funny that you say that because, like Basically all of the new music that I've been writing is the antithesis of that. I've never been in a relationship. I don't really see that for me like in the near future. Right now, because I'm really passionate about telling the next generation of young girls that, look, there's more to life than love. Love is great, love is lovely, but you don't need to be in a relationship to be a whole and happy and fulfilled human being, and so I read a lot of music about that.

Sam Sethi:

Cool look. I think you'll reach out to a lot of young girls in that way. Hey, ainsley, thank you so much. It's been great speaking to you. Really good luck with what's going to come down the track for you thank you.

Ainsley Costello:

Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it so much. You're not, like the rest, daydreamer.

Sam Sethi:

So, sam, you also spoke to the boss of Wavelaq, sam mean yeah, I thought of find out more about what the platform had in their planning going forward. Obviously, they've done a great job so far and encouraging about 300 artists come on board. They've created their RSS for them. They've got a slight glitch, I think, in the model at the moment, which is any payments go directly to Wavelaq and then Wavelaq disseminate that out to the artists, and I wanted to find out a what is Wavelake doing and when will they, for example, allow the artist to upload their own wallet and get paid directly themselves?

Sam Mean:

Wavelake is a value for value enabled music player and music distribution service. Okay, that's the most simplest way to probably put it.

Sam Sethi:

Let's unpack that a little bit. So for those who don't know what is value for value in your words I mean lots of people listening will know what it is, but for those who don't, yeah, it's just.

Sam Mean:

I mean, it's just an idea of exchanging something for something in kind of an equal way. You know, if you listen to something and you really enjoy it, or you read something and you really enjoy it, or you see something and you really enjoy it, and you want to make sure that the creator of that is getting some value back from you, whatever that value may be, then with things like Wavelake, things like modern podcast apps that I'm sure this audience is well aware of, and some other really cool things, like with Nostar coming along if you've talked about that much at all, I'm not sure but lots of really cool things happening there as well, which allow the fan or the person consuming the content, if you want to call it that, to give value back in the form of money, of real money, through the Lightning Network in Bitcoin.

Sam Sethi:

Now with Wavelake. How long has it been going? When did you start it?

Sam Mean:

So what we're now calling Wavelake Alpha was the initial concept of Wavelake. That's been around now for about, let's say, about a year and a half, maybe coming up on two years. Wavelake in its current form, the current model that we're working on, launched in January of this year, so we're just about nine months old.

Sam Sethi:

And is it just you? I said a co-founder, so how's the setup?

Sam Mean:

Yeah, so Michael is my partner. He started this idea and back then it was a little bit more technical and I was one of the first. I had been on the internet on Twitter and Sphinx and other places, just sort of pitching the idea of bringing value for value to music. I had uploaded some podcasts through to the podcast index and I created a thing called the Lightning Music Player and I uploaded all my music and I was using that as an example just to show people how this might work. And he caught wind of that and thought it was really cool and so he started working on a really early version of Wavelake. I'm back then, like I said, it was technical, so it was very much like bring your own Bitcoin node situation. I was a little technical to get on board with that. I did that. I think he got about 20 or so artists to use it at the time I'm just kind of beta testing it and it went for about a year. It just wasn't really taken off and I just had some ideas and I brought them to him and we ended up just sort of reworking the whole concept and starting from scratch and reorganizing the whole thing and just fully rebranding, relaunching Almost a new company, just with the same name.

Sam Sethi:

And so, who's the music man, who's the one with the passion for music?

Sam Mean:

We're actually both musicians. I have a history maybe more professionally as a musician. I've been a professional musician touring around the world. I've been signed to major labels and stuff. I've been doing that since I was a kid, so I've been doing that about 20 something years now. Michael also is a really talented musician and songwriter. He's got some records up on Wavelake under the name Vertigo Kid and they're really cool if you want to check them out.

Sam Sethi:

So I've been involved in the podcast index namespace for a couple of years. When it first started, I have to say, I didn't really see the music elements of it. Where we are today, you know, it's all the person tag and it's all various other tags appearing, but it only accelerated recently with the value block, as you said. Value for value, the ability for people to have Albee wallets or lightning wallets, and then micro payments through Satosh's, and then there's suddenly this really cool thing called value time splits. All of this suddenly came and then Adam boom, out of left field, goes right. I'm going to create this show Thanks to Stephen B software, where he played tracks from Wavelake and the money would come into him from the streaming listener and then, as Adam likes to now call it, wallet switching. It goes to the artist's wallet and then comes back. Now, at the moment, I think that's a really, really cool thing and there's a lot more shows that are forming like that, like radio shows, oh yeah. But there's one thing I just want to ask you. At the moment, I think with Wavelake, the money goes directly to Wavelake and then you're dispersing it. There's not the money going directly to the artist. Is that correct?

Sam Mean:

That's correct. Yeah, that was the first sort of thing where I don't know what the proper term is exactly. We're kind of doing things a little bit backwards, so, because it started out so technical where it was going directly to the artist but it was going like straight to their node, you know, so they really had to be technical to get that going. We wanted to remove a lot of that friction. It was the right move. Not everybody runs a Bitcoin node and not everybody even has a Bitcoin wallet, and so it was cool to be able to just onboard people quickly. It wasn't something we've ever intended to do for a long period of time, but just to be able to get things going like get things moving, get music uploaded, get some ideas flowing, really get some volume, hopefully start to see I mean, I've been convinced that it's just a matter of time like all this stuff is set up and ready to go. We're coming at a time as a musician, I see it all around me. I work with artists in other capacities as well, outside of music, and everybody's just ready. I mean, everyone's sick of giving their money away to other people. So now that we have all this stuff, now we have all the ideas kind of flushed out. We have a roadmap and we really know what we're going to do kind of working backwards a bit. So the next thing we're going to be doing is very, very soon is giving people the option to bring their own wallet. Now that we have things like the lightning address is very easy to do that, so they can bring their own wallet. They'll still be able to generate a wallet if they don't have one, so we'll still have that frictionless onboarding for people. And then, a little bit down the road, we're talking I mean, this is some super nerdy stuff, but we're talking to some really cool Bitcoin lightning companies that are going to allow us to be able to generate super advanced wallets for people within Wave Lake, where they actually hold their own keys. So all that stuff's going to be resolved. We just did that just to get things flowing, just to get a library of 3,000 tracks up of real print music.

Sam Sethi:

I have an expression which is go ugly early, which means just get on with it, don't wait for the perfect moment.

Sam Mean:

Yeah, I mean, there's just so much to do and we really needed to just let the kind of like unleash the beast so we could know what to do first and what people were going to gravitate towards, and that's a lot of these things that are happening and are really guiding what we're doing next, which is cool.

Sam Sethi:

So you talk about thousand artists and again, just to give us sort of, is the velocity of artists joining now rapidly increasing for you, yeah, it's a 3,000 tracks.

Sam Mean:

I think it's 300 total artists right now. But yeah, like in August was the highest month that we've had, not only for uploads but for boosts and for users. New user registration.

Sam Sethi:

And are you seeing the average revenue generated through Satoshi's per track increasing as well?

Sam Mean:

That's kind of decreasing a bit, but I really expected that because I don't know where that's going to level off, but it's still really good. It's still great, I think it's about. The average boost right now is about 60 something cents. I think the change is a bit. It's been as high as I think $1.38 is the highest I've ever seen it. As we get more users and as we get more tracks and as this expands, that's going to obviously deflate a little bit, but it's always going to be better than better than a fraction of a penny.

Sam Sethi:

Exactly, there's no doubt about that. You talk about a boost. Do you also support streaming Sats as well?

Sam Mean:

We don't directly, not on wavelinkcom. But that's the really cool thing about it is we're pushing this library to whoever wants to take it. So Fountain just released their music beta, and so if you listen to the music on Fountain then you can stream Sats there.

Sam Sethi:

Now we just interviewed Ainsley Costello, the number one artist on wavelink, doing great guns, so good yeah. She's actually. I love her music. Actually, it's not a case of, oh, I must go on to wavelink because I'm one of the geeks who likes to support this. No, actually, if she was on another platform, I probably have discovered that, and that's the thing I probably wouldn't have discovered. I actually quite like her music as well.

Sam Mean:

That's the cool thing about it. I mean the music discovery and that's I know that's the big thing for Adam and that's why he's. I mean it seems like he's been waiting to do this. In fact I know he's been waiting to do this for really long time. Yeah, so it's cool, the music I've discovered so much. I mean I'm very biased, but it's true. I mean really have discovered some really cool music on wavelink already and on Adam's show from people music that I just think is really cool. That isn't on wavelink.

Sam Sethi:

Are you seeing international pickup as well, or is it mainly US artists at the moment?

Sam Mean:

Yeah, we're seeing music from everywhere. Lots of music in Africa. We're seeing some really cool music out of Europe. It's really all over the map.

Sam Sethi:

One of the things that Ainsley and I were talking about is she's got a profile on wavelink. She's got links out. I mean unbelievable. She is using Nostra as well. Good on her, you know there's somebody who's a non geek, who's adopted all of the terminology and she's doing really well with it, but she's also got video, and one of the things that I'm passionate about is the alternative enclosure tag, which very few people seem to want to be able to use, which is within the same RSS feed the ability to have both the audio, alternative audio, but also potentially video within that feed. Is video something that wavelink may support within the next iteration?

Sam Mean:

Oh for sure. Yeah, I don't. I'm not the technical person at wavelink, so I make a lot of empty promises, but no, I would say we have a couple of pretty major things that we're going to be getting done before the end of this year. I can for sure say it will be a very big focus. Live streaming is a huge thing for artists. It's going to be a big thing for these music broadcasts. Having some sort of live video element is really important to me and I want to be able to do that. So that's coming for sure. It's on the list. I can't wait. I mean, there's just so much to do, there's so much to see. It's just very exciting to be playing any part of this whatsoever.

Sam Sethi:

And you know it's great that you have done this because it has been a really exciting few months seeing the adoption. Now, adam and Dave you know they run with scissors they say they've created a podcast index chart, in effect of the aggregated view from all of the podcast 2.0 apps. Yeah, you know, you've got your chart as well. How do you aggregate your chart? What's your chart based on? Because obviously is it just purely on saturned or are there other metrics that you use?

Sam Mean:

Yeah, we're still determining. It's kind of an open-ended argument, not even an argument, just a discussion on what the best way to do that is. We actually fully expected and expect there to be a lot of data collected from this and a lot of charts popping up. I think it's going to be a very valuable I mean, look at the way the world runs now like data is kind of everything. So being able to have this data out there for people is going to be cool, and I think we're going to see some really great sites pop up, similar to something like Billboard that it's just generating all kinds of data. So that will become less important what we're doing. But for now I mean, the top 40 was really just something that we thought was fun to do. The way that it's, the currently set up is based on sat volume how many sats are coming in on a 30-day cycle. So whoever has the most sats over the course of any given 30 days is going to be sitting at that number one spot. So Ainsley's been up there for a while, I would suspect. I think she's just passed 40-something days and that Cherry on top is starting to slow down, so I think she's going to get knocked out of the top spot there by another one of her tracks. I think another one of her tracks. Yeah, I think two ships is going to knock Cherry on top out of that number one spot, which is great because that's such a killer song.

Sam Sethi:

Again last weekend. You've done a great job of helping artists on board. What's the sort of questions they ask you? Are they confused by the terminology? Or is it that Eureka moment when they see the first sat appear in an account and they get ah, got it. I see how this works.

Sam Mean:

Yeah, I mean Ainsley didn't know anything about any of this at all. Let's call it four weeks ago, maybe it was five, five or something. She definitely had that Eureka moment pretty quick, you can see now she's been on every podcast under the sun. She has a lightning page on her website. She's working with Mesh. She's doing all this cool stuff. So, yeah, I mean she got it quick. I don't. I think a lot of that. I've definitely been very active in trying to help them. I know you've been talking to them a lot. I know a lot of other really cool people in this space have. So that's the cool thing about the community right now is it is sort of small. It's small enough that there's still access to everybody to really guide you through this process. One of the main things we're trying to do is eliminate that need. While I do love that and that is great, if we're going to scale this into, you know, millions of people it really needs to be simple. You know it needs to be very simple and I think we're on the right track there. Somebody just did a value for value walk through on YouTube. I forget his name, but it's a cool video.

Sam Sethi:

Oh, that would be Kyron down. Yeah, kyron did a great one.

Sam Mean:

And it was cool and I really liked it. You know, I felt like we were doing something right when he said, like this is kind of the easiest way is go to Wave Lake. Adam, I just was listening to episode six of the booster and ball the way over here and Adam's like you know, the easiest way is to go to Wave Lake. You know you can. There's all this other technical stuff and we're going to be adding all that technical stuff too and when we do it it's going to be done in a way that's very easy for people to do it. So splits are coming soon. That will just be an incredibly easy thing to do. You know, on Wave Lake, if you want to, adding music into a broadcast is going to be very easy soon on Wave Lake and that's our goal. We just want to make things simple, because that's when file sharing music became a problem for an industry. They had to be combated with something and it was combated with ease. It was just, hey, pay us $7 and you won't have to be, you know, downloading all these torrents and getting the wrong files and search and being freaked out that you know Metallica is going to see you or something and just pay us $7 and you have unlimited access to all this stuff and through that, a bunch of other things popped up that were very easy to use and easy to onboard to that process and that created this really cool network of music, but it didn't actually solve the problem, you know. So we're hoping to create something that's very familiar to all those people that have been using Spotify and Apple Music and Tunecore and DistroKid and these other. You know, all these things, that sort of Patreon and all these other platforms that enable these things but fix the monetary problem that's underlying behind all that.

Sam Sethi:

And again, one of my other favorite expressions complexity is fail simplicity and I think it's our job to hide that complexity. As you say, build the tools and make it easy.

Sam Mean:

Yeah, I mean, we're Bitcoin dudes. I've been, you know I'm like a diehard but we just want we don't even want you to have to know about Bitcoin or know what Nostra is. These are incredible protocols, just like all other pieces of the internet. One of my favorite things is it's a puzzle and it's all the different pieces of the internet as like a puzzle piece, and Bitcoin is sort of the missing piece that gets filled in as the money protocol and it really is. It's like. It's like oh yeah, we used all this old fiat technology into something really incredible called the internet and it just wasn't right for it. And now that we figured that out, it's just like similar thing, like reverse engineering. We have now had to figure out how to undo all this obnoxious stuff that we squeezed in here for the time being to do it right, and that's fine. I mean, that's what you have to do that sometimes. That's just the way things work when, when part of something is incredible and you have to run with scissors or you have to, you know, do whatever. Sometimes you have to do that before it's totally ready. But I think now it's at the point where we have everything that we need and we're trying to take all those pieces, all that inspiration, all these really cool things that people have been building on the sidelines and put them to use an easy way for people.

Sam Sethi:

Now two last questions very quickly. One, something Adam mentioned and I guess he was talking about some artists recently and I think Ainsley even touched on it. He even been one of her friends who loaded covers to Wave Lake recently. Adam was very anti. That again, it must be very hard for you because you're you're at the behest of the artist or the person he doesn't even have to be the artist uploading to your servers. How are you going to check that you're not getting copyrighted content put into them?

Sam Mean:

You can upload cover songs anywhere I've heard him mention that a couple of times as long as the artist has. All the artist has to do is purchase mechanical royalties or mechanical mechanical license for that and it's based on. It's such a silly system, it's kind of on the honor system, but that's how it works. If I cover a kink song and I want to put it up on itunes, they just ask me I mean, when I upload it through tunecore or whatever they say, is this a cover? They say yes. They say did you buy your mechanical license? I say yes, and they're like, all right, cool. And then if that song ends up blowing up and becoming really wildly popular, the kinks will come to me and say, hey man, did you buy all your, all your? You know the proper amount of mechanical licenses for this track, and I either did or I didn't. And if I, if I didn't, then I'm in trouble and I have to pay them for it and then everything's fine. So you know, that's one of the things when, when someone uploads it, we say you can't upload a cover, you can't upload music that isn't yours. If it's a cover song, then you have to have the proper mechanical license for it and and then you're fine. You know, and it's, it's a dumb system but it's, it is the system. And so you know, we're hope, we're going to fix things like that. So we're actually fixing a really hideously stupid system so that if somebody creates a song and wants to license that out as a cover, they'll just be part of that part of that transaction forever.

Sam Sethi:

Cool. The last question how do you make your money?

Sam Mean:

Right now we make the money on just a percentage. We're part of the value. We just rolled out a new version of the studio and so what unfortunately has to come with that is hosting fees, because part of what we do is also we're just a host and so it's been fine with music. But since we, since we released the cap of what can be uploaded, I think we're going to start seeing a lot of podcasts and more long form stuff and higher quality audio files. It was limited to 12 megabytes before. Now it's it's open. So you know, you can upload a super, super gnarly way file, you can upload a seven hour podcast, you can do whatever you want. So just to cover our basis, has that scales? We we've set it up so that the plan is going to be the two plans that are going to exist. I guess the first one will be such that most artists will never have to pay for it. It's really just meant for podcasting. So I don't even know why people would use us for podcasting, for regular podcasting. But if they do, if they want to, for whatever reason, then they'll have to pay a small hosting fee per month just to cover our basis on that. But yeah, we really just want to be part of that value for value transaction.

Sam Sethi:

Just for clarity Do you see yourself as a host and app, both a directory? Where do you see yourselves?

Sam Mean:

Distribution is really like the core of what we're doing. We want to be distribution for artists and we want to enable payments for them wherever. So our you know it's a little bit of a I would say it's a little tough because, you know, there's there's all the podcasting 2.0 people. They want us to do things a certain way. There's not for people. They want us to do things a certain way. There's us. We have a pretty good plan too, and our plan is always has the always has musicians and artists at the number one priority spot. So we need to make sure we're doing things right for them. You know, and we're always at the top of that, putting the ease factor into place. So we can't do this if it's complicated. We have to wait until we can figure out how to make this easy in order to do it. So, you know, I would say we we didn't really even want to have a mobile player or any of these other things, but or you know, we didn't necessarily. I mean, it's just. It's just the way things go Like we set out to be distribution. We wanted to be able to have a library that could be dropped anywhere, like if Zebedee wanted to put it in their Nostra app, great. If if it wants to be in fountain or any other podcasting 2.0 app, awesome If it wants. If it needs to be embedded on a website, great. If it needs to be eventually put into video or a TV show or who knows what's coming down the road, that's awesome. But what we have discovered is there is so much going on and we have so many ideas. If we want to test these ideas and test the waters, we do kind of have to build out a lot of the stuff ourselves too. So we have we, you know, we have these other products, like we did a product called Wavemanapp and that was our, our Nostra proof of concept, basically where it's like, let's just see how this works, let's see if we can distribute, let's see how easily we can distribute our library to RSS and Nostra over a relay. Let's see how that, let's see how that works. And so we did that and it worked, and so now we have a lot. It opened a lot of doors for us where it's like, okay, cool, now we know that we can do this and kind of simplistically distribute to Nostra and RSS. That's great Now. But now everything we're building sort of has to work for both of those things too, you know. So I would say, at the core of it, the simple answer is distribution is really is really where we're at, but we're going to have a lot of other fun stuff.

Sam Sethi:

And thanks so much. Good luck with Wave Lake. It's been great the things you've done, work you've done with artists, so it's been a real roller coaster ride in the last few months as well. So well done, mate.

Sam Mean:

Thanks, Sam. I really appreciate it. It's nice to finally meet you too. I've heard your name so many times on all these podcasts. It's good to put a face to it.

James Cridland:

Finally, Sam Meen from Wave Lake. I'm quite keen. I used to do a chart show a long, long, long time ago and I'm there thinking do I do the podcasting? to 2.0, top 30, or something like that, or do I not? I was trying to work out a way of automating a lot of the complicated value splits, or what are they called now? Wallet switching technology? Yes, that's right. Yes, so I was having a think about that, but really really cool and very exciting if you're into music on podcasting. A few other things to quickly go through in terms of tech. Zencaster has launched an iOS app for paid customers. They've also launched a thing called Zen AI, which is another one of these AI driven clips creators. It's only $299 a month, which I know sounds an awful lot, but if you're a large podcast company and you're making hundreds of shows, then it's not too much at all. Pod Shorty, which was another tool to turn any YouTube video into an AI summarized podcast. That was launched last month and was closed this month, and it's refunded its users. So always good to see companies trying something and then realizing that it wasn't working very well and stopping. That's always a good thing, to be frank. Taddy's podcast API. There are other podcast APIs other than just the podcast index. One from Taddy has enhanced its search functions, and one of the things that I thought was quite interesting in here is that they said that their most frequent search queries were for names, and so they've enhanced them for names. So if you use the Taddy podcast API and search for Sam Sethi, it won't search for the word Sam and also the word Sethi, it'll search for the name Sam Sethi. Now which is very nice. And then, finally, podcast Addict has added enhanced search on its website too, there we go.

Sam Sethi:

So what's happening in the world of tech, james? What's coming up in the world of events, though?

James Cridland:

So lots of events. Nice to hear. The Hot Docs podcast festival in Toronto is coming back in October and there's its full program which is available on its website. There's also the Arkansas podcast festival If you're in North Little Rock in Arkansas in the US. But the main thing to focus on, of course, is Pod News Live. It's not too far away. It's on the 27th of September, the day before the British podcast awards. Sam will be going to the British podcast awards and even giving away an award, I believe, which is very exciting. And so, pod News Live, you're in the process of dotting the eyes and crossing the T's. Are you excited about it, sam?

Sam Sethi:

I am. Yeah, it's the guest list of people who are going to be talking. I mean, as we talked about, morton Strungham from Podimo, ross Adams and Liz Pollock. Lizzie Pollock will be there from A-Cars, we've got folder medias, matt Deegan, who was the owner of the British podcast awards, we've got Naomi Ella, who's running the International Wipo Award, jake Warren from Message Heard, helen Parker from Chalk and Blaze, sean Glin from Novell, kirsty Hunter, christy Hunter from Story Hunter, jake Davenport, who's knocking it out the park at the moment with. The rest is football, the rest is politics, the rest is money. Charlotte Newing from Mags Creative. Dino Sophos from the News Agent is going to be there. We've got the great guys from City University, sandy and Brett talking about the new podcast course that they're launching at City University this September, harry Morton, oscar Merry and myself, which I think will be really interesting at the end. James, I think it's going to be one of those where you host it, and Oscar and I are going to be talking about developing podcast 2.0 apps and looking at some of the features and functions, certainly with music and podcasting and micropayments. So, again, a full pack day. So I really do recommend you. Don't miss out, because tickets are going fast.

James Cridland:

Yeah, they are. So podnewsnet slash live is where to go, and there's also one other thing which is happening. It's an online event in advance of this year's International Women's Podcast Awards. It's called Global Resonance Women's Voices Across Borders, and it is on Wednesday, the 13th of September that's next Wednesday and is it being run by Naomi Mellor.

Sam Sethi:

It is indeed, and Naomi will be on the show after that event. Tell us all about it as well, and what's coming up for the International Women's Podcast Awards?

James Cridland:

Yeah, and so that should be really good. I have to say, one of the things that I'm quite proud of at the podcast day Asia particularly since it's Asia is that we had an awful lot of women speakers on stage at podcast day Asia and particularly we had a panel around podcast monetization. That is normally the the habitat of middle aged white men in suits, but the only middle aged white men in a suit on that particular panel was me and I was asking the questions. So three fantastic women working in the podcast space in Asia Raven Lim, Kim Treza and Timmy Sitanko. So you know again some, really, some really good women working in the podcast landscape in Asia as well. And there are 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 you should tell the world about, it's free to be listed at podnewsnet slash events.

Jingle:

Boostergram corner, corner, corner on the Pod News weekly review.

James Cridland:

We've got one, one boost, haven't we, sam we?

Sam Sethi:

have. Indeed, it's from the podvader himself. He says audio improvement is notable since we moved to clean feed Five stars and he's given us a seven, seven, seven, seven, seven, seven, seven. I think he's going to be taking those back, james, after today's recording, mind you. But other than that, thanks for that, adam.

James Cridland:

Thank you, adam, for that, and yes, it's been interesting using clean feed and interesting just the difference. Dave Jones has also mentioned the difference in audio quality, as have a few other people as well, and you'll now find that the good folk at clean feed are even promoting this show now at cleanfeednet slash podcasting, which is their new front page for people who need to understand how that tool works. So, yeah, super good to end up using this particular tool. If you do get value from what we do, the Pod News Weekly Review. It's separate from Pod News. Sam and I share everything from it and we really appreciate your support. We can continue making this show with it. We can also help fund things like Pod News Live and all of that kind of thing. If you can, be wonderful, if you become a power supporter, you can do that with your credit card at weeklypodnewsnet or you can support us with Sats by hitting the boost button in your podcast app like PodFans or indeed Fountain, and if you don't have one, podnewsnet slash new podcast apps will help you find a new app. Talking about PodFans, you've been working on that this week, haven't you? Sam?

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, we are getting another step close to where I want to be. We've got the mobile PWA coming along really well. I sent you and Adam and Dave a few screenshots again. I don't know what you thought about it. It's looking good, I think.

James Cridland:

Yeah, no, I think it's looking really nice and PWA makes an awful lot of sense. That's a way of producing an app-like experience that just works in your browser, but you don't even realise it's in your browser. It's a very, very smart thing. So I'm looking forward to Apple's new version of iOS, which will make all of that work even nicer.

Sam Sethi:

I found something really interesting while doing this, Because we're building as a PWA. You get screen orientations, we can go landscape and portrait, and when we change the screen we can change the viewport, basically because we can either put more on the screen or less. I tried that with iOS and with Apple's app. It doesn't work. They have no landscape mode, so you can't change anything. It's really good. I'm glad we're not doing a native app.

James Cridland:

Yeah, yeah, oh, that's really interesting. So, yes, I'm looking forward to see how all of that works. And if you're a fan of PWAs, then PodNews has one as well. If you visit podnewsnet with your fancy phone, then it will ask you if you want to install it, and it installs as if it's an app, which is a smart thing. You can do very little with it, I have to say.

Sam Sethi:

James, what's happening for you this week apart from your Kuala Lumpur trip?

James Cridland:

Yes, well, you know, Kuala Lumpur has essentially taken up much of my time this week, but I've also been doing a little bit of work on moving the PodJobs board into PodNews properly, so it won't live on its own domain name anymore, and so the website is in the middle of that. It's a bit like changing you know, changing the wheels of a Formula One car while you're still driving it, so that's quite entertaining to end up doing, particularly since I would like to merge together the company's list that the jobs section works with something else which I'm hopefully launching towards the end of the month, and our supporters list, because currently I've got companies in three different tables and we don't want that. So it'd be nice to fix all of that and fix all of that technical debt. But gosh, where do I start with all of that? That'll be fun to end up doing. But, yes, apart from that, I've been, as you can hear, talking a lot and visiting all kinds of places. I have to say, super enjoyed KL. Wonderful to meet so many people. There are a lot of Indian podcasters at the event as well, a lot of people talking about the growth of podcasting there. So, yeah, it was all really good. I think Might not be able to call it India soon, James.

Sam Sethi:

Why is that the Indian government wants to revert back to the original name before the British called it India?

James Cridland:

Oh, and what was the original name? I don't even know, I don't think.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, it was called Bharat and it's a Sanskrit original name going dating back centuries, and when the Greeks invaded the space that is India today, they came across the Indus River and then they started to call it Indus, and then the British came and they renamed it to India, and there's a big push right now in India, it seems, to remove lots of any references to colonialisation, and that's one of them that's being debated right now.

James Cridland:

Well, I think that makes a bunch of sense. Speaking as I do as somebody that normally is in sunny Brisbane, or Meangin as its indigenous name is, I think that makes a bunch of sense. It'll be really interesting to learn a little bit more about that, and that's it for this week.

Sam Sethi:

You can give feedback to James and I by using email to weekly at podnewsnet or send as a boost to Graham. If your podcast app doesn't support boost, then grab a new one from podnewsnet forward. Slash new podcast caps.

James Cridland:

Our music is from Studio Dragonfly. Our voiceover is Sheila Dee. We use clean feed for our main audio and we're hosted and sponsored by Podnews Live and Buzzsprout podcast hosting Made Easy.

Jingle:

Get updated every day. Subscribe to our newsletter at podnewsnet Tell your friends and grow the show and support us, the Podnews. Weekly Review no-transcript. You, you, you, you, you, you, you you you, you, you, you, you.

Sam Sethi:

I think Lizzie's amazing. You should give her a promotion so fast forward. Lizzie then pinged me on WhatsApp, said thanks for the promotion. So there you go. I doubt they had anything to do with me.

Sam Mean:

I don't believe it, but I think, if you said so.

Sam Sethi:

All I'm saying is me and Lizzie are going for a champagne drink on Friday. That's all I'd say. But other than that, congratulations, lizzie.

James Cridland:

Wow. Well, there you go, that's, that's impressive. So let's talk about the new chief business officer. He's American, isn't he? And you caught up with him.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, Greg Glenday, really nice guy. We had a good old chat. I asked him really what is a chief business officer?

James Cridland:

The new chief business officer for ACAST, greg Glenday. There will be a speaker from ACAST at podnewslivenet for tickets None other than Ross Adams, I believe. So that's going to be super good and ACAST clearly going places. Interestingly, they gave away $10,000 worth of podcast advertising recently in a competition in the US called Pod Power Up. If you're wondering who ended up winning that? A company called Reprise, which is get this, a plant based active wear brand, which, to me, just I'm just thinking of soggy pants. That's all I'm thinking of there. Wow, gosh, how does that work? How does that work in, in, you know, with sweat and everything else. Anyway, congratulations to them. And if you're looking for a job, given that this is the people news section, podnews has podcasting jobs across the industry and across the world. It's podcasting's largest jobs board and those jobs are free to post as well. It'll just take two minutes to add a new role at podnewsnet slash jobs.

Jingle:

The tech stuff On the podnews weekly review.

James Cridland:

Yes, it's the stuff you'll find every Monday in the podnews newsletter. Here's where we do all of the tech talk, and it's all about music this week, Sam isn't it? It is indeed.

Sam Sethi:

Anyone who listened to Adam and Dave on their Friday Night podcast index show would have heard that they've launched a new podcast music chart at podcastindextop. It's the podcast two to own music 100, bit like a billboard. Top of the track there is Corey Keller. It's no longer Ainsley Costello, but she has got three hits in that top 100. James, did you have a listen to that show? Were you busy in the bar? I did.

James Cridland:

Yes, I had listened to that show. It was nice to hear the golden tones of Adam and Dave back again after a short holiday from them, so that was great to actually hear. And yeah, the top track earned $171 during the measured period. I have to say, dave, I'm not quite sure what the measured period is. Is that a day, is that a week? Is that a month? Who knows? So what I've learned is that this is just a really easy way of getting a feature request over to Dave Jones. Just ask him here. But you ended up talking to, well, not just a music person, but also someone involved in the value for value music industry as well, sam Meen. But first you talk to Ainsley Costello. I'm just going to pull this in there.

Sam Sethi:

Jordan out.

James Cridland:

No, I will jump in and do the out. Okay, there we are. Sorry, I was just pulling one thing in. Ainsley Costello, of course, a former number one in the Wave Lake chart with this track, but of course she's more to her than that. You ended up also talking to Wave Lakes founder himself as well, sam Meen.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I thought I'd find out more about what the platform had in their planning going forward. Obviously, they've done a great job so far in encouraging about 300 artists to come on board. They've created their RSS for them. They've got a slight glitch, I think, in the model at the moment, which is any payments go directly to Wave Lake and then Wave Lake disseminate that out to the artists, and I wanted to find out A what is Wave Lake doing and when will they, for example, allow the artists to upload their own artist and get paid? Sorry, upload their own wallet and get paid directly themselves?

James Cridland:

Sam Meen from Wave Lake. I'm quite keen. I used to do a chart show a long, long, long time ago and I'm there thinking do I do the podcasting 2.0, top 30 or something like that, or do I not? I was trying to work out a way of automating a lot of the complicated value splits, or what are they called now Wallet switching technology.

Ainsley Costello:

Yes.

James Cridland:

Yes, so I was having a think about that, but really really cool and very exciting if you're into music. On podcasting, a few other things to quickly go through in terms of tech Zencaster has launched an iOS app for paid customers. They've also launched a thing called Zen AI, which is another one of these AI-driven clips creators. It's only $299 a month, which I know sounds an awful lot, but if you're a large podcast company and you're making hundreds of shows, then it's not too much at all. Pod Shorty, which was another tool to turn any YouTube video into an AI summarized podcast. That was launched last month and was closed this month, and it's refunded its users. So always good to see companies trying something and then realizing that it wasn't working very well and stopping. That's always a good thing, to be frank. Taddy's podcast API. There are other podcast APIs other than just the podcast index. One from Taddy has enhanced its search functions. One of the things that I thought was quite interesting in here is that they said that their most frequent search queries were for names, and so they've enhanced them for names. So if you use the Taddy podcast API in search for Sam Sethi, it won't search for the word Sam and also the word Sethi. It'll search for the name Sam Sethi now, which is very nice. And then, finally, podcast Addict has added enhanced search on its website too.

Sam Sethi:

There we go. So what's happening in the world of tech, james? What's coming up in the world of events, though?

James Cridland:

So lots of events. Nice to hear. The Hot Docs podcast festival in Toronto is coming back in October and there's its full program which is available on its website. There's also the Arkansas podcast festival If you're in North Little Rock in Arkansas in the US. But the main thing to focus on, of course, is Pod News Live. It's not too far away. It's on the 27th of September, the day before the British podcast awards. Sam will be going to the British podcast awards and even giving away an award, I believe, which is very exciting. And so, pod News Live, you're in the process of dotting the eyes and crossing the T's. Are you excited about it, sam?

Sam Sethi:

I am yeah, and it's the guest list of people who are going to be talking. I mean, as we talked about, morton Strungroom from Podimo, ross Adams and Liz Pollock. Lizzie Pollock will be there from A-Cast, we've got Folger medias, matt Deegan, who was the owner of the British podcast awards, we've got Naomi Meller, who's running the International Women Podcast Award, jake Warren from Message Heard, helen Parker from Chalk and Blaze, sean Glen from Novell, christy Hunter from Story Hunter, jake Davenport, who's knocking it out the park at the moment with. The rest is football, the rest is politics, the rest is money. Charlotte Newing from Mags Creative. Dino Sophos from the News Agent is going to be there. We've got the great guys from City University, Sandy and Brett talking about the new podcast course that they're launching at City University this September, harry Morton, oscar Merry and myself, which I think will be really interesting at the end. James, I think it's going to be one of those where you host it, and Oscar and I are going to be talking about developing podcast 2.0 apps and looking at some of the features and functions, certainly with music and podcasting and micropayments. So, again, a full packed day. So I really do recommend you. Don't miss out, because tickets are going fast.

James Cridland:

Yep, they are. So podnewsnet live is they are. So podnewsnet slash live is where to go. And there's also one other thing which is happening. It's an online event in advance of this year's international women's podcast awards. It's called Global Resonance Women's Voices Across Borders, and it is on Wednesday, the 13th of September that's next Wednesday and is it being run by Naomi Mellor.

Sam Sethi:

It is indeed, and Naomi will be on the show after that event. Tell us all about it as well, and what's coming up for the International Women's Podcast Awards?

James Cridland:

Yeah, and so that should be really good. I have to say, one of the things that I'm quite proud of at the podcast day Asia particularly since it's Asia is that we had an awful lot of women speakers on stage at podcast day Asia and particularly we had a panel around podcast monetization. It is normally the habitat of middle-aged white men in suits, but the only middle-aged white men in a suit on that particular panel was me and I was asking the questions. So three fantastic women working in the podcast space in Asia, and then Lim Kim Treasurer and Timmy Sitanko, so again, some really good women working in the podcast landscape in Asia as well. And there are 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, you should tell the world about it. It's free to be listed at podnewsnet.

Jingle:

Boostergram corner corner corner on the Pod News Weekly Review.

James Cridland:

We've got one boost, haven't we Sam?

Sam Sethi:

We have. Indeed, it's from the podfather himself. He says audio improvement is notable since we moved to clean food. Five stars and he's given us a 7777 sat. I think he's going to be taking those back, james, after today's recording, mind you. But other than that, thanks for that, adam.

James Cridland:

Thank you, adam, for that, and yes, it's been interesting using Clean Feed and interesting, just the difference. Dave Jones has also mentioned the difference in audio quality, as have a few other people as well, and you'll now find that the good folk at Clean Feed are even promoting this show now Clean Feednet slash podcasting, which is their new front page for people who need to understand how that tool works. So, yeah, super good to end up using this particular tool. If you do get value from what we do, the Pod News Weekly Review. It's separate from Pod News. Sam and I share everything from it and we really appreciate your support. We can continue making this show with it. We can also help fund things like Pod News Live and all of that kind of thing. If you can, it'd be wonderful if you become a power supporter. You can do that with your credit card at weeklypodnewsnet or you can support us with sats by hitting the boost button in your podcast app, like Pod Friends, in your podcast app like Pod Fans or indeed Fountain, and if you don't have one, podnewsnet slash new podcast apps will help you find a new app Talking about Pod Fans. You've been working on that this week, haven't you? Sam?

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, we are getting another step close to where I want to be. We've got the mobile PWA coming along really well. I sent you and Adam and Dave a few screenshots again. I don't know what you thought, but it's looking good, I think.

James Cridland:

Yeah, I think it's looking really nice and PWA makes an awful lot of sense. That's a way of producing an app like experience that just works in your browser. You don't even realise it's in your browser. It's a very smart thing. I'm looking forward to Apple's new version of iOS, which will make all of that work even nicer.

Sam Sethi:

I found something really interesting while doing this, because we're building as a PWA. You get screen orientations, we can go landscape and portrait, and when we change the screen we can change the viewport, basically because we can either put more on the screen or less. I tried that with iOS and with Apple's app. It doesn't work. They have no landscape mode, so you can't change anything. It's really good. I'm glad we're not doing a native app.

James Cridland:

Yeah, that's really interesting. I'm looking forward to see how all of that works. If you're a fan of PWAs, then PodNews has one as well. If you visit podnewsnet With your fancy phone, it will ask you if you want to install it. It installs as if it's an app, which is a smart thing, james. You can do very little with it, I have to say.

Sam Sethi:

James, what's happening for you this week apart from your Koala Lumpur trip?

James Cridland:

Yes, well, koala Lumpur has essentially taken up much of my time this week. I've also been doing a little bit of work. I'm moving the PodJobs board into PodNews properly. It won't live on its own domain name anymore. The website is in the middle of that. It's a bit like changing the wheels of a Formula 1 car while you're still driving it. That's quite entertaining to end up doing, particularly since I would like to merge together the company's list that the jobs section works with something else which I'm hopefully launching towards the end of the month and our supporters list. Currently I've got companies in three different tables. We don't want that. It would be nice to fix all of that technical debt. Gosh, where do I start with all of that? That will be fun to end up doing. Apart from that, I've been, as you can hear, talking a lot, visiting all kinds of places. I have to say super enjoyed KL. Wonderful to meet so many people. There are a lot of Indian podcasters at the event as well, a lot of people talking about the growth of podcasting there. It was all really good.

Sam Sethi:

I think I might not be able to call it India soon, James. Why is that? The Indian government wants to revert back to the original name before the British called it India.

James Cridland:

Oh, and what was the original name? I don't even know.

Sam Sethi:

It's called Bharat. It's a Sanskrit original name dating back centuries when the Greeks invaded the space that is India today. They came across the Indus River and then they started to call it Indus. Then the British came and they renamed it to India. There's a big push right now in India, it seems, to remove lots of any references to colonialisation. That's one of them that's being debated right now.

James Cridland:

Well, I think that makes a bunch of sense. Speaking as I do as somebody that normally is in Sunny Brisbane, or Mianjin as its indigenous name is, I think that makes a bunch of sense. It'll be really interesting to learn a little bit more about that. That's it for this week.

Sam Sethi:

You can give feedback to James and I by using email to weekly at podnewsnet or send us a boost to Graham. If your podcast app doesn't support boosts, then grab a new one from podnewsnet forward. Slash new podcast caps.

James Cridland:

Our music is from Studio Dragonfly. Our voiceover is Sheila Dee. We use Clean Feed for our main audio and we're hosted and sponsored by Pod News Live and Buzzsprout Podcast hosting made easy. I'm going to press this button.

Jingle:

Get updated every day. Subscribe to our newsletter at podnewsnet.

Ainsley Costello:

Tell your friends and grow the show and support us and support us. The Pod News Weekly.

Jingle:

Review will return next week. Keep listening.

James Cridland:

Very good.

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