Podnews Weekly Review

Exploring Buzzsprout with Tom Rossi and Podhome with Barry Luijbregts

November 10, 2023 James Cridland and Sam Sethi Season 2 Episode 47
Podnews Weekly Review
Exploring Buzzsprout with Tom Rossi and Podhome with Barry Luijbregts
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wondered how AI can lend a helping hand in podcasting? Stay tuned as we unfurl the fascinating features of Buzzsprout's new AI assistant, Co-Host - a revolutionary tool that can significantly streamline your podcasting process, and even add transcripts to your episodes! We'll shed light on the cost of incorporating this innovation into your Buzzsprout package and examine the progress of the Podcast Standards Project. 

Get ready for a treat this week as we introduce Podhome, an intelligent platform for creating, hosting, and distributing podcasts. Our special guest, Barry Luijbregts, the founder, and lead developer of Podhome, offers his invaluable insights into AI suggestions, support for music shows, and many more exciting aspects of this platform. Plus, we'll take a critical look at the problems that plague podcast RSS feeds and suggest ways to improve them. 

We'll round up this week's episode with a discussion on the latest industry updates, including an end to Coronacast, one of Australia's most popular podcasts, and the first podcast acquisition by Tenderfoot TV. Additionally, we'll jog through a review of the latest audio tools released this week, such as Audio Hijack's transcription module and Spooler's location-based audio discovery tool. Lastly, we'll touch on PodCon MX, the first-ever live-streamed podcast conference, and how it ran successfully. So saddle up for an exciting journey into the universe of podcasting!

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James Cridland:

It's Friday, the 10th of November 2023.

Announcer:

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

James Cridland:

Hola, I'm James Cridland, the editor of Pod News in Mexico City.

Sam Sethi:

And I'm Sam Sethi, the CEO of PodFans, once again left behind in wet, cold, rainy England.

James Cridland:

In the chapters today, quarter three results from A-Cast and others. Why is RSS such a mess? And more color madness from Rode Plus.

Tom Rossi :

Hi, I'm Tom Rossi from Buzzsprout and I'll be on later to talk about Buzzsprout's implementation of pod roles.

Barry Luijbregts:

Here's Barry from Pod Home. I'll be on later to talk about the launch of Pod Home, our new intelligent podcasting platform for you to create, host and distribute podcasts, and the new home for artists to put their value for value music.

James Cridland:

They will. This podcast is sponsored by Buzzsprout. Last week, 3,445 people started a podcast with Buzzsprout. Podcast hosting made easy with powerful tools, free learning materials and remarkable customer support. From your daily newsletter, the Pod News Weekly Review.

Sam Sethi:

So, James, let's kick this show off. Then Buzzsprout has finally added pod roles. I say finally, and then puts his tin hand back on. Is it something we said? Oh my God, James, I don't know whether I lost five years of my life or not the other day. So we were saying, you know, come on, Buzzsprout, you came up with a great idea for pod roles and then you haven't implemented it. Wait, wait. There you were saying Sorry.

Tom Rossi :

Is that?

Sam Sethi:

a slopey shell Do I see there? The Royal Wii has been removed.

Sam Sethi:

Okay, I was saying that, yes, what's keeping them? And then, anyway, they went and rolled it out, which was great. And then I put a LinkedIn post telling everyone what a great idea it was and congratulations. Kevin Finn, who I have met and who I love dearly, puts out a post on LinkedIn something along the lines of have you ever been shamed publicly by your people? You sponsor, have you ever met Sam Sethi?

Sam Sethi:

And I went oh my God, he's, he's pissed off with me. So I literally threw everything down, got on to every. I think I emailed him, I texted, I did everything right. Have I upset you? I am sorry, I don't know what I've done Right. And he went no, it was a joke. And I went context, context, context. It's so out of context. So he then put he took that one down and added a little bit more context, which was thanks for the public shaming on On pod news weekly review last week. Sam Sethi, we deserved it. We're excited to get this out and love the equal treatment from all of you, including James. See, you're back in the game there, james, as well.

James Cridland:

Yes, oh, I'm, I'm, I'm implicated now, are you so so? Yes, so so. That was with Kevin, and you managed to catch up with Tom Rossi. I did.

Sam Sethi:

Finally, yeah, so I caught up with Tom and we had a wonderful conversation about what they do to implement pod roles, but also an update on what's going on with the PSP a bit of Buzzsprouts, monetization, and they've got something big coming soon as well.

Tom Rossi :

We rolled out pod role or podcast recommendations, depending on if you don't know what a pod role is.

Sam Sethi:

Now I hope it had nothing to do with us screaming and shouting at Buzzsprout going come on, you invented this. Why haven't you rolled it out yet?

Tom Rossi :

No, it did not. It did not. We got together at a podcast movement with some of the other podcast standards projects hosts and talked about what tags we wanted to implement in the next version of the PSP. Certification and pod role was one of them that we could all get behind, and so we wanted to get that rolled out by the end of the year, and I think the other hosts are going to have it done by the end of the year as well.

Sam Sethi:

Cool, so let's take a step back. For those who don't know, let's explain what is a pod role or podcast recommendation. What is it?

Tom Rossi :

The name pod role is a play off of the I want to say the olden days, but it doesn't seem like it should be the olden days but the blog role, where blogs would have here are the other blogs that we like, and so we called it the pod role. I don't know if it'll take off, but it's a fun name For us. At least we know exactly what that means. Which is a podcast that you recommend as a podcaster here. Four podcasts that I really enjoy that I want to recommend to my audience, because if you like my show, you might like these shows, and so that's the pod role, and we implemented that inside of Buzzsprout.

Sam Sethi:

Now, how does it work with Buzzsprout?

Tom Rossi :

Within Buzzsprout they can go to their podcast info and from there that's where they set things, like their hosts, who are the hosts of the show, and they can do RSS feed validation, things like that. But they can also add to pod role and once they add them inside of Buzzsprout it'll show up on their Buzzsprout website, so they'll be able to highlight right on their website the podcasts that they love and it'll also show up in the RSS feed using the podcasting 2.0 pod role.

Sam Sethi:

So one of the things I've heard that people are thinking of using the pod role for is to recommend other people's podcasts, not just their own ones. We've talked about podcasts swapping in the past. Somebody drops in somebody else's feed for a week so that the audience can hear it. I've heard Tink Media talk about how you might just have a host talk about someone else's podcast, so I think podcast recommendations could be also not just oh, here's my other two podcasts, but you could also feature someone else's.

Tom Rossi :

Yeah, that would be something different than what we've built it for right now, but those are great ideas for making it easier to do those feed drops, to be able to highlight those podcasts Now the podcast standards project.

Sam Sethi:

You mentioned it earlier. You know, again, the pod role is going to be one of the tags now that everyone's going to jump on board, hopefully. How is the podcast standards project? Because I think some people James, adam, even myself from time to time have, you know, written. It's a bituary. So where is it and how's it doing? Right?

Tom Rossi :

right. I think everyone has their own vision for what they would want it to be, but really it's just based off of what we saw with the Web Standards Project back when the browser wars were heated, and basically it's a coalition, it's a loose affiliation of really competitors in a very highly competitive industry, which is podcast hosting and podcast players. And so all day long we are thinking about how we can deliver value to our podcasters, to our customers, and I think the standards project is really our ability to say look, it's better in the long run to advocate for open standards. And so, even though we're competing with one another every day, let's talk about what can we do together, what can we agree together. That's in the best interest of podcasting, which is indirectly in the best interest of our companies in the long run. And that's where the PSP comes from. So it is not a media organization, it's not a certification organization. We're not trying to create a bureaucracy. What we want to do is be able to advocate and commit to implementing certain standards.

Tom Rossi :

So the first standard we came out with was the PSP-1, which is documented. It's up on GitHub. Anybody can comment on it and talk about it. It's actually Charles Wilton with Podbase, has a validator, so you can actually validate RSS feeds against the PSP-1. And everyone that's a certified host now, where certified just means that they've implemented all those features. You can now have a standard to go to. This is exactly how we agree to do it. And then, at the podcast movement we just talked about, what does PSP 1.1 look like? What are the next couple of tags that we want to take on? Can we agree? First of all, can we get to a place where we all would do it and the two that came up with the location and the pod role. Those are two things that we could all agree. You know what we could implement. These and we could make that part of the PSP certification is that you have to support the location and the pod role.

Sam Sethi:

I think part of the frustration is not that the PSP isn't doing anything. It's the speed of which they're doing things. I think is what tends to frustrate people. The observation from those outside of it there are 27 tags. Why have we only done three? And of the three, not everyone's done them yet. Even so, I guess that's where I think the frustration is. I think the merit of what it was set up to do and its role within the industry is not questioned. I think the question is why aren't we doing this quicker?

Tom Rossi :

Yeah, I think it's difficult. Like I said, it's a competitive industry that we're in, and we have to deliver value to our customers, and, unfortunately, the vast majority of their downloads are going to happen on non-PSP players, and so, when we roll out the pod role, we are going to take it on the chin for a certain period of time. We're going to get a lot of support, which is hey, I did this, but it doesn't show up in Spotify. I did this, but it doesn't show up in Apple, and so our support team has to educate our podcasters. And, yeah, we added this and it goes to your website and it goes into your RSS feed, but for the two biggest players that refuse to look at the standards that we've chosen to adopt, they're not going to see a result from that. So that's what makes it difficult to go all in on implementing all these different tags is that we've got to have the perceived value from our customers, as we are competing with one another, and so I think that slows us down.

Tom Rossi :

I want to highlight, though, that, if you go and you look, what we've put out on the GitHub for the PSP is the only exhaustive standard for an RSS feed for a podcast, because we refer to the Apple documentation all the time. But the Apple documentation has changed. It's just not well documented, there's conflicts, and so if you go and you look at what we've done with the PSP, we've at least created a place where we can agree. How do you define a podcast, rss feed, what are the standards there? And so it's not meant to be something that we're bullying the industry on. We're just trying to document it somewhere that everyone can go and look Cool.

Sam Sethi:

Okay. Well, let's go back to Buzzsprout. Let's leave the PSP to the side. A few months ago, you implemented one new feature which was called Co-host AI, and a few months before that you implemented monetization for ads. Just want to check in with you. You know how are both of those going. Let's start off with the monetization stuff with ads. How's that been received by the customer base?

Tom Rossi :

Buzzsprout ads has been good. We've paid over half a million dollars to podcasters by running ads. I tell our podcasters all the time I think that it's the easiest low entry into monetization, where you can just turn it on and then start accepting ads and you're not going to make a lot of money but maybe you're going to help buy a microphone or maybe you're going to help pay your hosting bill. But it's not the end all be all for monetization for your podcast. But it is a great way for them to kind of wet their appetite and see what's possible. And so, like I said, we paid out over half a million dollars and we're excited that those small, independent podcasts were able to benefit from something that typically only large podcasts could.

Sam Sethi:

Remind me if I wanted to place an ad into the Buzzsprout network. How do I do that? So, as opposed to a creator receiving an ad and approving that into my podcast, I want to now go and create an ad that can be listed in Buzzsprout for other podcasts to approve. What's the process?

Tom Rossi :

Sure, you would go to buzzsproutcom and you can sign up and place your ad. If you're advertising a podcast, we will pull in your RSS feed and automatically pull in your categories and things like that. If you're doing a product advertisement, then we'll let you pick the categories that you want to target with your ad and then, once you've done that, we'll match you with podcasts and start to play your ad Well, once the podcaster has accepted it. So podcasters that's something that's pivotal about the way that we've implemented with Buzzsprout is the podcaster sees the ad, they can hear the ad and they can choose. Do I want to insert this? They click accept and then we'll go ahead and we'll start stitching that ad into their episodes.

Sam Sethi:

Nice. Now cohost. That was a very cool thing that came out of left field or it came out left field for most people. You may have been working on it for months, we don't know, but it's the AI assistant to creators. It allows you to create show notes, chapters, transcriptions, speakers saved a meal. In fact, it made me redundant, which is quite nice. James now just clicks cohost AI and the whole episode gets done. I don't have to do that anymore. Again, that's a really cool thing. And use for AI. How's that been adopted and what's the uptake and feedback?

Tom Rossi :

So cohost has been adopted by a lot of our podcasters, which we were surprised. We weren't sure how many people would actually go for it because it is more expensive. Unfortunately, as AI is taking off, I think we'll see those costs come down. That's the hope. Right Is that it'll get more and more affordable, but we weren't sure how many people would do it, but it is a massive time saver, even if it's just a draft, which is the way that we always approach it is. It should just be a draft title.

Tom Rossi :

Here are some different title ideas. Here's some description for the episode, but it's not ever going to go right directly from that to published. I think you're always going to go and edit it, but, man, if we can save you whatever 30 minutes, how valuable is your time? That's really the question, and so, yeah, we've been really happy with it. We've gotten great responses for the addition of transcripts. Right, because the transcript is kind of a side benefit from using cohost AI is that now you also have your transcript, and so that's been just great to be able to see so many transcripts getting out into the system.

Sam Sethi:

Look, I think it's been a very cool use of AI, because we were all talking about it four or five months ago. How are we going to implement podcasting with AI? And there's a lot of sort of not negativity, but sort of do we need AI voices? I think it was all seen around the creator element, and this was around what I call AI assisted intelligence, which is how I talk of AI, because it's helping me. Looking forward, then, tom, based on the feedback, will there be updates to?

Tom Rossi :

co-host. Yeah, I think we're always talking about different ways that we can continue to add value and save podcasters time and make their life easier, and so how can we do that with AI? I think, probably within several weeks of implementing it, we heard from a lot of people they wanted to be able to have social media posts, more of a smaller version of it to be able to share, and so we were able to roll that feature out pretty quickly after launching it in the first place, and so we'll continue to receive feedback and get ideas of how we might be able to expand what we're doing with the AI. But I like the way that you said it is AI assisted, because we argued a little bit in the office, even if whether AI should be part of the name, because it does have somewhat of a negative connotation. But I think you're right to think how can AI help me?

Tom Rossi :

What is the real value that you add as a podcaster? I think it's the content you create. It's not the title and the description and the words that you use, and so now you, as a podcaster, can focus on what you do well and where you uniquely add value, which is in the content that you're creating and the AI just assists you. And it's always the hardest part, right? Because you've done your notes, you've done your interview, you've got your recording and now you've got to figure out what am I going to call it? How do I summarize this? And it's just meant to help you. It's not meant to replace you.

Sam Sethi:

Now, that's why I've always called it assisted intelligence. Now just one question in my head just to confirm pod role is not an additional cost. It's included in your standard Busprout package.

Tom Rossi :

Yeah, we wouldn't charge for something. We want to encourage open standards and this is a great way for us to innovate and hopefully, more players adopt it and start using it and one day fingers crossed we might actually have an Apple. Pay attention to what we're doing and implement some of these features.

Sam Sethi:

Indeed, tom. Thank you so much. Mind everyone, what's the URL? Where are you? Busproutcom? Nice and simple. Tom Rossi, co-founder of Busprout, thanks so much.

James Cridland:

Thanks Ian Tom Rossi from our sponsor Busprout. Not quite sure for how much longer that's going to happen, so super, super good to hear them working on pod role and implementing that and really nice to hear that the podcast standards project still has some life in it.

Sam Sethi:

It's going slower than what I said to Tom was I don't think it's the fact that you're not doing anything, I think it's just the fact that it feels like it's not doing anything fast. But Tom's view was we are in a competitive market with people that we are working collaboratively with, yeah, and therefore sometimes we can't actually do everything as quickly as we want to, and so we always have to take the lowest hanging fruit, I guess, is what they do, at least to get the ball rolling. Maybe when they all trust each other and warm up to each other a bit more, then there'll be more pace in the actual PSP.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, so all is good from there, but he won't tell us what the big thing coming up is. But there is a big thing coming up. So there you go, Indeed. Now one of the other things the pod role. James, you implemented it first. Actually, if I remember rightly, we talked about it on this show. You hand coded it and I think, with pod fans, we then pulled it and displayed it. That was sort of the embryonic role of it.

Sam Sethi:

But Dovidas Joksas over at RSS Blue has been working with Oscar over at Fountain on a new idea called Publisher Feeds. Now, publisher feeds are there to try and solve a problem where music artists are putting out singles as RSS feeds and then having to try and connect the dots so that artist Ainsley Costello has five tracks. How do I know? She's got four other tracks. Well, one solution was the pod role. Right, the idea was just you simply had a pod role. It's a recommendation. I'm listening to track X. Click on the recommendations as you look at the four tracks, but I think Adam's after a little bit more. I think he wanted to be able to click on the artist Ainsley Costello rather than click on the podcast, which is like the music track to find and get discovery. My concern and I'd love your thoughts now, James, Because it's now going to be a separate pod role, sorry, a separate podcast feed. Are we going to see people support this and are we going to see people maintain this?

James Cridland:

Well, don't know necessarily about that. I mean, I think, firstly, we're making a mistake if we start talking about music. There are 17 people currently doing music shows. There are five million podcasts. Let's focus on the low hanging fruit of what a publisher feed might give us and it might give us. I really like this show from the New York Times. I want to find all of the other shows from the New York Times Now that exists at the moment, but it exists in something that Apple have built, which is a proprietary thing from Apple called Channels, which has no API into it and everything else, and so can we actually get the equivalent of Channels for the greater world of podcasting, and I think that that would be a really good idea. So if there's a way of doing that, which is simple enough but I think it does need to be a new feed because of the way that it works, but I think if there's a way of doing that which is simple enough, then I think it certainly makes sense to do.

Sam Sethi:

So my question to you is let's take Wondry, because we started at pod fans looking at this as a possible idea three, six months ago. We haven't done anything with it because we couldn't really see a way forward. So, for example, wondry have smart lists. They have a whole host of others. Is there anywhere in the RSS feed that says this is the producer of this? So a really good example where I got confused was the news agent is produced by Persephoneka, but it is for global, so it's global's actual podcast. So who do I put that under? Do I put that under Persephoneka? Do I put that under global? And with Wondry, how do I discover, as an app developer, all the different podcasts they have so that I can aggregate them together in a producer page?

James Cridland:

Well, and this is the difficult thing, so there are things in the RSS feed, the author tag, which, for the podcast daily, that is Pod News LLC, which is the company that makes that this is made by a different company, but yeah, so there's that sort of thing.

James Cridland:

But I think that that's the point is that actually, each individual show might be made by different people, and what you really want there is you want to be able to link, in terms of the way that Apple do it with their channels and other things, to be able to actually link more broadly into all of the shows.

James Cridland:

Perhaps that Wondery are producing, or maybe Wondery might want to produce the Wondery True Crime list, and that's what Wondery ends up doing. I think the Pod Roll idea works very nicely, but you don't have to be linking to your own stuff in a Pod Roll, and so I think what's quite nice with this is that you could actually have a full list of all of the shows that you produce. Now we should also bear in mind that actually, for most podcasters, they produce one show and that's it. So, again, we should just be sort of careful as to how many people are going to use this, but you can see. Ideally, if you were hosting with somebody like Omni or with Acast, then there would be a great opportunity for you there to be able to produce an additional feed which allows people to find other shows from this particular author and, as you say, it has opportunities for music in there as well.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I mean, and I think if I guess, having spoken to Oscar in the past, I'm sure Mitch will do the same, and all the other up. We might add books, we might add videos, all sorts of things can be done. So, again, aggregating content around a publisher would be smart. I just wanted to do this was the way to do it, but yeah, I mean it could be it.

James Cridland:

You know, I mean it. Certainly there isn't anything like that at the moment. So, you know, it seems to me that it's not a bad plan to end up doing. You mentioned music, and Wave Lake has an iOS client which is now in beta, which is very exciting, and there's a way of downloading that if you happen to own a typhoon, we can say that now. So so that'll be good, and I gather that Sam Means will be joining us on the podcast again in a couple of weeks.

Sam Sethi:

You know he's done a lot of work and there's been a lot of movement around what he's been working on. So this is again a big advance forward for Wave Lake. So, yeah, we've decided to get him on. He said, yeah, he'll be on in a few weeks.

James Cridland:

So a new podcast hosting platform has launched and it seems to offer everything and it seems to have one developer and that's it. The podcast host is called Pod Home. It offers all kinds of stuff, including AI suggestions and transcripts and support for value. For value, you can do music shows on there. You can do all kinds of stuff. The founder and lead developer is Barry Laubrecht, who gave us a code. If you want to get two months free, the code is Pod News with a capital P. What I discover is that quite a lot of people from other podcast hosts have used that just so they can have a look, which I think it's quite funny. But you managed to catch up with Barry.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I did. A really nice guy, as you said, dutch, based in Holland, and yeah, I was fascinated. It's taken him only eight months, which is amazing, to get the platform to the state that it is. Yeah, I just wanted to find out. You know, why did he get into this, what was his background and what are his plans? Are Because he's been doing a lot as well with AI and with music.

Barry Luijbregts:

We are a host but I don't like that term really so I'm basically a hosting platform with intelligent tools to create and distribute your podcast. So you record and upload, we do the rest. That's what I say.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I mean a friend of the show, alberto from RSScom, was on podcasting index 2.0 and said look, we're no longer a host. We happen to offer hosting as one of our many services. So yeah, it's interesting. Maybe the hosting industry has to come up with a new name for their collective tools that they provide. But that's not for me to do.

Barry Luijbregts:

No, I do agree with that. But you know, when people start a podcast they go on Google or Bing or whatever and they will search for hey, I need a hosting company. So you need that somewhere in your name somewhere. Yes, exactly.

Sam Sethi:

Now look, explain to me. Then pod home. It seems to have come out of nowhere. You've delivered a number of services. Let's talk about what you deliver. Hosting is one. So, on the technology escalator, as I call it, that's sort of at the bottom. That's pretty much a given. You can upload your MP3s, but what other things do you offer? Then Tell me.

Barry Luijbregts:

Yeah, so from the bottom to the top, as you describe it. So hosting, indeed, of course you can host your stuff here. And then on top of that is, of course, distribution. So we distributed to all of the podcast directories, like Apple Podcasts, spotify, podcast index, of course, amazon. You name it wherever you want to be on. And then on top of that, like I said, you just record and upload. We do the rest.

Barry Luijbregts:

So if you think about what is a podcast, what are podcast episodes? It's basically audio, as far as I see it, with metadata around it, so transcripts, descriptions, chapters, things like that. I enjoy audio when it is filled with all this metadata so that I know what it's about and so that I can use it in the best way that I can. For instance, with chapters, I can skip around with a table of contents. I know what it's about. So that's what we do. We make sure that you can easily add all of that metadata. And the main thing there is Pothome AI, which I call it. What it basically means is automation. So when you upload a new episode, you just flip a switch. You say, all right, let's use Pothome AI and let's create the show notes, title suggestions, transcripts, chapters, clips and even detect people in there, and then it goes to work and then a minute or so later you have all of that stuff. So you'll have your transcript, chapters, people clips, sound bites, show notes and title suggestions, like I said. So we take all of that away from you and we try to do some other clever things like fill in the episode number we try to guess that, for instance, season number, things like that.

Barry Luijbregts:

And then we offer a couple of other things just to make it easy, like a Pothome website, so that you don't have to create your own website and have another server running. Especially if you're not technical, you don't want to deal with that stuff. You can even add your custom domain to that thing and we generate that on the fly. You can customize what it looks like with colors. You have custom pages in there, and then you also have an embeddable player that you can put on your own website, just an HTML, a CSS, javascript player that plays your episodes, either your latest episodes or a specific episode that you want. And you can also customize that thing with colors, buttons and the call to action button like hey, sign up for my newsletter, click here.

Barry Luijbregts:

And then another thing that we offer is a dynamic text and audio, and this is pretty cool because you can dynamically, for instance, insert chapters into your show notes, your show website, your episode website, people that are in your episode, things like that. And you can also use dynamic audio to just stick a piece of audio at the beginning of your episode or at the end of your episode and you can let that run in campaigns. You can say, well, I have this spoken ad that I did myself, for instance, and I want to run that from December 1st to December 15 or something, and then stop, don't add that to my audio again. And then, with all of that stuff, obviously we take into account that you have lots of timings, like in your transcripts and your clips, your value for value, time splits, even, and we make sure that we move those around if you use that dynamic audio there.

Sam Sethi:

Wow, okay, because that's been the biggest problem with the industry. That's been a wow, a moment where, oh God, dai has been added. Now Everything in the transcript has been gone wrong. Everything else is timed out wrongly, so how have you managed that?

Barry Luijbregts:

Well, there's a lot of things that have timing attached to it. So we have transcript, for instance, you have chapters, you have clips. In our case we even have speakers in clips. So that's also timing and value for value. Time splits is also timing. So we offer dynamic audio, like I said, and that means you stick a variable piece of time in front of your episode. We take a look at that and we capture the original time where all of that other stuff started. So, for instance, if you have a chapter that starts at one minute, we capture that original one minute and then we move it according to the dynamic audio. That is either added or removed. There I do want to say that what we do not offer is dynamic add insertions that go into the middle and you know I just don't like it as a listener, so I just don't want to bother listeners with that. So that's why we don't add that. But you can add dynamic audio at the end and the beginning.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I don't like it either, so it's fine. Yeah, most people don't like ads period, but have to pay the bill Now, being AI, then have you partnered with somebody or have you built this yourself? I mean, where's the AI tech that you're using that enables all these exciting features that you've built?

Barry Luijbregts:

Yeah, so this is a multi component thing, let's say so. The problem that we always have now still with audio is that it's difficult to get information from audio right. How do you get it what's in the audio? Actually, that's still difficult, but there's lots of transcription services out there you can use like author, for instance, you can use that yourself Descript or Descript does it as well. And there's APIs as well. We use the DeepGram API, which is extremely fast, very accurate and affordable and supports many languages, and that just spits out transcripts in multiple formats, including caption files in SRT and VTT, so you get those as well. And then we use that through the OpenAI GTP APIs with some clever scripts and functions and things like that, to extract the information from that text. Wow, and that is a tricky thing because you can have very long episodes, which means lots and lots of text. So you need to make sure that goes well.

Sam Sethi:

OK, so you've got these great features. How long has it taken you, from when you went ah, I know I'm going to start a podcast hosting company with AI functions to actually today releasing a platform? How long has that taken? Eight months, wow. Ok, that's pretty fast. Actually, that's pretty fast. So the next question is what's your background? You're a developer, but background in what I mean developer it sounds like you know how big is a piece of string. So what's your specializations?

Barry Luijbregts:

Yeah, so developers like a catch-all term, right? I've been in technology for about 20 years now and I've been a consultant and a teacher and the last 10 years or so I've done a lot of teaching. I create e-learning courses about lots of things like cloud computing, html, css, javascript, you name it. It's very broad, but mostly in the Microsoft stack, and those are paid things on plural site, which is an e-learning company Udemy, it's also an e-learning company, and I consult with companies as well.

Barry Luijbregts:

What I've always loved during that time, during the last 10 years, is creating content that inspires people and that can teach people things, and just speaking my mind about that, because I feel like I have a lot of things to say and I want to share that with the world. That's probably how most podcasters feel as well. They want their voice to be heard, so I also created a couple of podcasts. I really like Do-in-it and I really like listening to podcasts. I've been doing that for a long, long time as well, and so, with knowing that I can create things by typing text into the computer, pressing a couple of buttons, and then something shows up that actually does something, that's still magical to me. That is what I then call programming or software development or whatever you want to call that. And nowadays, when you infuse that with AI and I know that sounds corny and we're still on the cusp of it and some people think it doesn't do anything but AI can really accelerate development time, accelerate creating complex things like this, for instance, it helps.

Barry Luijbregts:

But, all that being said, because of my background there and my interest in continuous learning and making sure that people have a platform for free speech and to enable them to inspire other people as well, I needed to create this because there was nothing like this at the time. Buzzsprout did not release their co-host AI, yet it didn't exist. So all the other platforms basically did hosting, with some other nifty things here and there, mostly centered around ads. But I was never interested in ads because most podcasters don't make money anyways and their goals are different. Like, I want to promote my company, my book, I want to speak my mind, I want to teach something to people, I want to inspire people. That's very different than making money. So this was brewing inside me and it just needed to come out and now it's here Excellent, well welcome to the mountains of podcasting.

Sam Sethi:

You're very welcome. Now, one of the things that you have added is support for music artists. Tell me more, yeah.

Barry Luijbregts:

So with podcasting 2.0, we're standing on the shoulders of giants here, right? So I did not come up with this at all. This is something that a great group of community people came up with around the podcast index as well the new value for podcasting model, and that means that people with modern podcast apps like LinkedIn, pod fans others that are sprouting up as well they can use that to send micro payments and messages to creators, to podcasters and now also to artists and that's blooming up right now which shows like the booster grand ball, homegrown hits and lots more, and I love that, because I know that artists are struggling in the music industry. Like, if you have a song on Spotify, for instance, and it gets streamed, a lot doesn't mean that you actually get paid and you might not even have interaction with your audience. So it's basically a weird way of promoting your in-person events and you might want to actually interact with your listeners and maybe also get some money from your streams, and that's now possible with value for value for podcasting. So, with this new platform and with learning about podcasting 2.0, I thought I want to get in on this and make this as modern as I can, because, especially with no technical debt. That's not that difficult, right To just bake it in from the beginning. And so we support almost all of the podcasting 2.0 features. I think it might even be easier to say which ones we don't support yet, and that's alternate enclosure, block live item not yet, but it's coming. Location and social interact those are coming but are not in the platform yet.

Barry Luijbregts:

What we do have is value for value, like you just said, for artists as well. So that's from one hand for podcasters. You can use value for value in PodHome to create, for instance, a music show like a DJ, like BoostGram Ball. There you can put in your recipients. You can use value time splits and we have a little music search box there as well where you can search for artists, for albums and for items. Add those so that those people get paid during your episode. And on the other hand, we have a specialized pricing tier for artists called PodHome.

Barry Luijbregts:

For Artists it's $9 per month and for that you can upload unlimited albums and tracks. So unlimited, that means if you happen to have created a million tracks, go and upload them. That's fine, you still pay just $9 a month. And then you put in your either your LB address or your fountain address or whatever lightning address you have. It's very simple to do. We have a guide on that. That's it. Publish it, we put it in the podcast index automatically for you and let you know when that's done and that's it. From then on, people can find you, they can play you on those music DJ shows and you can start earning and maybe more. Maybe most importantly, interact also with your audience, because you'll see those messages, those boosts, and you'll see that people are streaming stuff.

Sam Sethi:

I guess one of the things that we want to look at is the way that you make money from the music artists taking a step back. Are you in the splits? So you know, sam from Wave Lake did a great job. He started the whole ball rolling and he said look, to get people up and running quickly, I created the RSS feed, I stuck a node in it and then only post-determined the split values that are going out. And I take a little bit of money and you know Dovey Dice is taking a small split again from that. How are you doing?

Barry Luijbregts:

Yeah, so that's a good point that you brought up and I should have mentioned that earlier as well. We do not take anything, so no amount of sets go to us. You can send us sets if you want to, but we're not in there programmatically or anything like that. So you put in your wallets and it all goes to you or to whoever any other wallets that you put in there, so collaborating artists or whatever. The reason why is that? Because now it is already difficult, not for artists. They have so many middlemen to deal with and we want to keep that clean and straight. So you just pay your monthly fee, that's it. That's all we get from there.

Sam Sethi:

I 100% agree with you. I've long argued that hosts, if you're charging for hosting whether it's a podcast or a music artist don't take splits, please. You're double dipping into the monies. If you don't charge them for hosting and you don't charge them for any of that service value, then take the fees, but don't double take the fees. You're taking the fees for, hey, 12 pounds a month, come and host with me and then I'm going to take 5% of all of your transactions as well. You know, don't do it. And I can name two hosts that do that and I won't say them because that's rude, but they are doing that and I wish hosts wouldn't do it.

Sam Sethi:

App developers don't charge for the app apart from Pocketcast, which is crazy but app developers don't charge for the app and so they have to take a fee for providing a service or they have to go to a fixed fee model. So again, please host. I know I can hear them now. They're all going. No, we're taking the money as well, we're taking them both, but please don't. And I think, thank you, thank you, barry.

Barry Luijbregts:

Just to defend the other hosts because I know where they're coming from. If you don't take a cut, then you cannot see any of the transactions, so then you cannot give analytics on those transactions to the artists Right as in. If you take a little cut, then you can see what comes through and then you can give something back. So I get the technical need to do that, but I think we need a better way to do it.

Sam Sethi:

I was going to say there must be a better way than taking a fee. I know Adam puts 1% into Fountain so he can see that, and I know James does that, and it's just like that is going to be the wrong model for doing this. There has to be a better way. I don't know it yet, but there has to be a better way Me neither. But I'll just say the answer to every question John Spurlock. That's the answer, john Spurlock. That's fine. Look, barry, congratulations on starting Podhome releasing. It sounds very exciting. And remind everyone where they can go to find out more detail, please.

Barry Luijbregts:

So you can go to podhomefm. You can find everything there, including the pricing, and from there you can start a seven day trial, cancel at any time, and you also have a 30 day money back guarantee. And remember, you can still use the code PodNews and that is a capital P and the rest is small letters for two months free.

Sam Sethi:

Thank you very much. That's very kind. Now, I did say that I would ask you to leave a message for your fellow Dutchman, so a message to the Podfather himself in Dutch, please.

Barry Luijbregts:

Yeah, I was thinking about that. So I thought when I saw that Montbinaire Bram, I thought I'm paying nothing for a boy anymore. That's it Very interesting.

Sam Sethi:

Excellent. I'll wait for the translation on Friday night. Barry, so nice to meet you. Congratulations and welcome to the madness of podcasting 2.0. I wish you all the success. Thank you very much.

James Cridland:

Barry Laubrechts from Pod Home. And yeah, really interesting Talking about a lot of stuff, including ISRC code, Sam. Yeah.

Sam Sethi:

James, this is where I'm going to actually do the slopey shoulder to you. What is an ISRC?

James Cridland:

code. Well, we're talking at the moment in the podcastindexsocial about GUIDs for people, so an individual ID that sticks with a person forever. There's a GUID for a podcast, there's a GUID for a podcast episode, but there is already a thing for music tracks. It's called an ISRC code. It's run by FP, which is the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. The record company is basically, and there is a specific code for a specific sound recording. So it's not for a song, it's for a sound recording which is kind of important, but it doesn't change if the format or the bitrate changes and it's an ISO standard. So it's there.

James Cridland:

So I know that Rush is a good example to give on these types of shows. So Tom Sawyer by Rush, which apparently is Rush's biggest hit, is ISRC number USMR-181803. The US at the beginning stands for the United States and then there are other codes in there which stand for who actually gave this ISRC code to this particular recording and so on and so forth. But what I found was really interesting is it's for sound recordings, it's not for songs. And because it's for sound recordings and not for songs, that means that Joe Rogan is in there. There's a track from Joe Rogan called Not Homophobic, which is both a spoken word comedy piece and a lie, and that has an ISRC code of USWB100296, because it's a piece of released audio. So it seems that anybody can actually get an ISRC code for a sound recording, which I thought was quite interesting. So it might be a winner for music IDs here.

Sam Sethi:

Well, as I said, barry very smart guy and very keen to get involved in the new podcast in 2.0 scene. So me and him, we're just chatting away. We were looking at how we can support the lyric proposal, so we've done that. We were looking at how we can make sure that all of the things that he does are aligned with the way that we display stuff. And then we talked about this what is it? Now? It's called let's get the inacronym right the ISRC and he said, look, I'll go and have a think about it. Anyway, one hour later he's come back and he's implemented it in Pod Home and then one hour later, we went away and we have displayed it. So now in the music tracks that are on Podvans, for example, you're now seeing ISRC indicator.

James Cridland:

Very nice and that will help with all kinds of things. Isrc codes are used by lots of people already, including radio broadcasters and also including a really good website, which I would hardly recommend to anybody that wants data about music, called Music Brains. You'll find it Music Brains with a Z at the end, or a Z depending on which side of the world you are, and that's got tons of information about every single track which is out there nearly every single track which is out there. Weirdly, no Angelic Costello in there yet, but there's no reason why it couldn't be. It's an open database for anybody to stick their stuff in. So, yeah, so that's a good thing.

Sam Sethi:

Also, just at the end of that interview, james Barry leaves Adam with a Dutch message. So we'll find out tonight what Adam says in return. Maybe it'll just be double Dutch and we'll never know.

James Cridland:

Indeed, let's move on. It's been one of those weeks where everybody has released their financial numbers, hasn't it?

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, friends, acosta have released their Q3 financial report. The company says net sales growth of 32% year on year, largely driven by North America which posted a 55% growth. And the company moved closer to profitability Hasn't got there yet, but nearly. And the average revenue per listener was a record 33 Swedish krona or 3 cents. So, james, unpack all of that.

James Cridland:

Yes, 0.33 Swedish krona, indeed, but yes, 3 cents average revenue per listener. Yeah, some good figures. Mostly that came out of Acosta getting closer to earning profit, which is a good thing, and yeah, so I felt that that was interesting. It's always interesting seeing that average revenue per listen figure. It's not something that other companies release and it's quite interesting to see. I once worked average revenue per hour of commercial radio and that was really quite favorably comparable to podcasts, because obviously you can earn rather a lot more if you have an average hour of commercial radio having about 12 minutes of ads in it. So that's a little bit different. But yeah, what did you think of that revenue per listen figure?

Sam Sethi:

Well, like you, as a first time I've seen, I wish Spotify would release that data and Apple, but they probably never will. So well done to Acosta for doing that. I did some back of the fag packet calculations and that 3 cents is only 81 sats revenue, not profit, note revenue. And so I said, well, ok, if you took a one hour podcast like this and streamed at 100 sats per minute, we'd be valued at 6,000 sats or $2.20. Take away the app fee, maybe for providing the platform, and you could make a fee of, say, 300 sats or 11 cents. So you could make triple or quadruple the amount just by having 100 sats per minute.

Sam Sethi:

Now, look, this is on the back of a fag packet. And equally, of course, if you then reduce the amount to 21 sats per minute, you're only going to make 63 sats, and that's less than the 3 cents that again Acosta producing. So what it made me realise because I've got now a stake in the ground that's the target. How much do I want on, say, pod fans or what would the other platforms who are doing streaming sats want as an average? And, of course, what you're saying is somewhere between 21 sats and 100 sats would be lovely, and then of course, not everyone consumes 100%, so then you have to balance that up. So somewhere around 50 sats per minute streaming would equal what Acosta getting as their average revenue per listen.

James Cridland:

Yeah, that's interesting maths to have a look at. Sam is talking about the way about cigarette packets there, which for a man who doesn't smoke it's a bit weird, but anyway, yes, well, that's interesting. I think one thing that Ross did say, ross Adams, the CEO. He mentioned that total listens has dipped by nearly 3% in the quarter and then, very weirdly, he blamed it on changes in download behaviour by Apple podcasts in iOS 17,. Which is a very strange thing because he's talking about total listens in the quarter, which was July, august and September.

James Cridland:

The new version of Apple podcasts only came out towards the end of September, september the 18th, and only 16% of iPhones actually had it by the end of September, which is how you can then backtrack and go OK, well, it's all Apple podcast fault and that's why it's down by 3%. Really don't know. I think he's got it a little bit wrong there and I think it's far too early to be blaming Apple podcasts for putting those numbers down. In fact, yesterday we learned the pod track numbers for October Total global downloads down 1% month on month. And of course, october would be the first month that Apple podcasts in iOS 17 is actually being used by lots of people, so I'm not sure I'd buy Ross Adams's blaming of the Apple podcasts, to be honest.

Sam Sethi:

I mean overall, I would say, although still not profitable, they're on the right path. Again, we saw them doing cuts and we saw them trying to reach profitability. So growth on one hand, cuts on the other, seems the right path, same as Spotify, but unlike Spotify, they didn't quite make their profitability. But I think that US growth significant US growth even is a good indicator that they're in a healthy position to probably in the next two quarters, reach profitability.

James Cridland:

Indeed, and while we're here, iheart Media has posted their podcast revenue is up 12.5% year on year. Odyssey have posted that their digital revenue, which includes podcasts, is up 3.3% year on year. So good news from both of those traditional broadcasters, although both companies saw a decrease in total revenue there, and the New York Times says it's seeing lower revenue from podcasts, which is interesting to spot there. And yeah, I'm wondering how NYT Audio is doing as well. I've got a few thoughts for ideas there in terms of how to find out how that particular product is going to.

Sam Sethi:

Well, let's move on. James, this is me now, I'm afraid not you. So here we go. Yes, who wound him up?

Sam Sethi:

Podcasting is a mess was what I was ranting about this week on Mastadon, and I only did that because we ingested all 15,000 V4V podcasts and as we were doing that, we came across something like 8,000 errors. Now we're being very strict on what we're adding to the pod fans index. That's fine, that's what we wanted to do. But what we did find was loads of guids were missing, loads of episode titles were missing. We found Geo tags were not right. I mean, the list goes on and on, and my only comment was this that there are I mean, rss Blue have got a really good validator, podcast 2.0 validator. It's not complete with all the latest tags, but it is good with some of the more earlier tags.

Sam Sethi:

And it's just a simple thing you put your feed in and it'll pop up and tell you what's missing or what's wrong. John Sperlich has a very good one at LineWire as well, right? I just wanted to understand. The hosts have this data You're creating the RSS feed or you're ingesting the RSS feed, and you can do a quick validation against those fields. We know what they're supposed to be and we know what's supposed to be in them. I mean, for something as simple as the episode title missing, you might want to flag it up to the person and say, hey, do you know that title is missing? Do you want to fill it in? Or hey, you've got a missing GUID here, or something to that effect, so that the data they put out to directories actually isn't just garbage out. I'm not saying all of it is, because it isn't, but it appears to me that there is no data validation coming in or going out and I just don't know why.

James Cridland:

Yeah, I think certainly some of the quality of the RSS feeds that I've seen from some companies really aren't that good and need a little bit of work. Having said that, I think that some of the validators they don't necessarily show the difference between a warning and an error. So I think it's perfectly fine to kick up a warning if, for example, your audio is an HTTP instead of an HTTPS, it's absolutely fine to kick up a warning. But that's a warning, that's not an error. That's not something that's wrong with your RSS feed. It's something that could be better with your RSS feed. So I think we've got that on one side. But, yeah, I look at particularly some of the feeds from some of the larger podcast hosting companies, and I'm particularly thinking about Libsyn and Blueberry here. Some of the stuff that I see in those podcast feeds could be fixed by just looking at what the information is that the user has typed in and gone.

James Cridland:

No, that's wrong, geotags being one of those things. But also, I mean there are a few things that make my life quite hard and one of them is people adding an extra space on the end of their podcast title, for example. I mean that should be. There's a PHP function for that. It's called trim and it's really easy and simple. You shouldn't be allowing your podcast creators to do something like that, which will actually break quite a few things.

James Cridland:

So it's things like that that I wish that podcast hosts were a little bit better at. But I think you know as well. You know that's one of the reasons why the podcast index exists. It normalizes a lot of the weird and wonderful RSS feeds that you end up seeing out there and does a pretty good job, you know, in terms of making that a lot more readable and usable. And I suppose, on the other side, if you look at the amount of really dodgy HTML, really dodgy web pages, and browsers seem to cope with that relatively, you know okay. So I suppose that you know we're always going to get stuff which isn't entirely correct in terms of the spec.

Sam Sethi:

No, and look, you know, we accept that there's going to be a lot of messiness in this. It's you know the way and nature of RSS. It's been going 20 years and there's some stuff that's legacy and whatever, but it doesn't feel to me like the hosts are actually doing that. Error checking, or at least some error checking, would be good. The other bit that I found quite annoying is when we do ingest because we want to have a snappy app, we suddenly find some images are massive they could be several gigs inside some several mech right and yeah, again, you know we get magic mastering, we get audio compression and we get super duper Dolby sound and we get all of these great things, and yet none of that.

James Cridland:

But we can't even yeah, we can't even fix an image which is the wrong size. Yeah, I know, I completely get. I mean, images being the wrong size really hurts a lot of us, and you know, and, by the way you know, rss feeds being, you know, four miles long and having thousands of entries, you know that's also very, very painful as well. I do think, though, that the documentation around podcast RSS feeds is almost non-existent, and one of the things that I was looking at this week was actually the documentation around the trailers tag. That it's one of apples, it's an, it's an iTunes tag that is owned by Apple but everybody used, and, and it turns out that Apple can't be bothered to actually do any documentation around their own tags for the RSS specification.

James Cridland:

So that trailers tag, for example, I was trying to find out where it's said in the specification that an episode marked as a trailer has to be for that show. Turns out that's not in the specification. Turns out that in the specification, it doesn't give you any hint in terms of what happens if you've got more than one trailer. Apple haven't documented this. So Apple have made some beautiful web pages with information for creators, but actually for the likes of you and me who play around with RSS feeds. All the time there's no actual documentation from the owner of those tags, and that's a little bit frustrating as well.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, that is. Again, I think one thing we're doing is we're going to make public our validator, so we're going to just open source it. So we have one, it sports all the tags and we're going to make that available. And we're going to use traffic light coding, like you suggested, james red, orange, green and just provide that, and we're just going to give that away. So that's going to come out very shortly and we think that's hopefully going to help. Now we will give it away and if hosted in, using it can improve the RSS feeds as well, I'll be a happier boy. Anyway, that was my little rant. I'm over that one. Let's go on to my next one. Sorry, you built us a rant in this week.

James Cridland:

I mean, it's really a rant from Dave Jones, isn't it? So he was saying on last week's podcast 2.0 show and if I was clever I would have clipped this, but I haven't, so you won't get a clip. Why won't Apple, Dave Jones asked, let you choose another podcast app as your default on your iPhone or your iPad. Now, why can't you actually do that? You heard that didn't you Look.

Sam Sethi:

I feel that Apple gets away with so much these days and I don't know why it gets a free pass. When Microsoft had the Explorer, it wasn't allowed to have the default. When certain other companies have default positions, they are then told that they have to allow other players to play in the game and it feels like Apple quite happily just ignores it. We know that the Apple tax for the Apple Store is a big problem. We know that sideloading is becoming an issue for them, which is why they've improved progressive web apps as a way of countering the arguments that they have in court, that they have for monopoly. But I feel that you know why can't? Oh and James, you were the one who told me that Chrome, google Chrome mobile on the Apple is nothing to do with Google Chrome.

James Cridland:

Yes, on iOS or on iPad, the only browser which is allowed on those platforms is Apple's Safari. So when you're using Google Chrome or when you're using another browser, what you're essentially using is you're using Safari with a slightly different user interface that looks a bit like Chrome. So yeah, so if you want the Firefox web engine on your iPhone or on your iPad, well, tough, because you're never going to get it, so you know. So that does mean that mobile web developers are a little bit stuck because literally the only browser on an iPhone or an iPad is the Safari web kit, you know engine, and that does sort of pull us back a little bit because we have to wait for Safari. It's not been very good, it has to be said. It's getting better, but it's not been very good at following some of the standards and some of the new innovations when it comes to web browsers.

James Cridland:

So, yeah, it's all a little bit frustrating, I think and it's something that's weird that Apple seems to get away with that. As you say, and you know, in the Android world I can use Firefox if I want to. I can use Brave if I want to. I can use all kinds of other weird and wonderful browsers if I like to, but that doesn't happen in terms of iOS, and similarly, I can use different app stores if I want to on an Android device, and again, that doesn't happen on iOS either. So all of it, just it's just a bit weird, isn't it? And you look at some of the conversations going on with Apple and the EU at the moment and you suspect that that's going to change in the future, I think.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I mean, the court cases are going through right now and we'll see what comes of it. But again, I can't imagine that they'll allow you to sideload or run a separate app store. But Dave's right, why can't I just change my default podcast to something else? It makes no sense. That is anti-competitive, and same with my browser. And my only comment, James and I know that you know, I will reveal behind the commode, as we say here.

James Cridland:

You remember?

Sam Sethi:

I misused that expression to reveal behind the commode, reveal, behind the curse. James James cut this out, but my only comment is Microsoft got done by the DOJ for owning the operating system and only having IE. They didn't own the hardware. Apple owns the hardware, the operating system, the app store and also the podcast app and they own the full stack and they don't allow you to change it. I feel that is monopolistic and is certainly anti-competitive.

James Cridland:

Well, and on that bombshell, I did notice that 9to5 Google reporting that Apple almost completed support for the Apple Watch on Android phones. So if I wanted to, I could go out and buy an Apple Watch and use it on an Android phone. Apparently it was pretty nearly complete, but they cancelled that work because they wanted to protect sales of iPhone, and I thought that that was an interesting story because, as we know, you can download Apple Music onto an Android device, you can download Apple TV onto an Android device, but you can't download Apple podcasts, and perhaps that's one of the reasons that Apple sees Apple podcasts as being an iPhone thing, in the same way as they see iMessage being an iPhone thing, and perhaps that's one of the reasons why we're not seeing Apple podcasts on Android devices. It would be a great thing for the industry if they were to put it there, but perhaps that's one of the reasons why it's not actually there.

Sam Sethi:

Anyway, let's leave Apple alone. We'll talk about them a little bit later on. Now, James, across the globe, what's been happening in the UK?

James Cridland:

Yes, all kinds of things going on. The BBC is doing some weird and wonderful things with its BBC Studios commercial arm. They will be competing against independent audio producers for more BBC shows. According to Audio UK, which is the trade body in the UK, they're not particularly happy about it and it affects podcasts as well as affecting radio shows. So something worthwhile keeping in mind. There's a good reason why the UK podcast industry is as vibrant as it is, and actually one of the reasons for that is that the independent producers are kept alive by some of the commissions that they get from the BBC, and that's not necessarily going to happen. Also happening in the UK Audible and Multitrack running free production workshops next year. They're particularly looking for disadvantaged people to give that a go, but there's some really good training and that's free training. You need to apply in order for you to get that.

James Cridland:

In Australia, coronacast, which was a podcast that I used to listen to religiously every single day with Dr Norman Swan and Tegan Taylor Tegan Taylor, soldier Spy. They ended up making almost 550 episodes. They achieved more than 60 million downloads, but it published its last episode this week. It's going to be replaced by a more general health show called what's that Rash, but Coronacast's great show. It was a very good non. What's the word I'm looking for? Nonstensationalist show.

James Cridland:

It was a really good show and it seemed to do very well and a good bit of work from the ABC, the Public Service Broadcaster in Australia, in that they allowed people to rebroadcast that show whatever radio station they were running. So if you were listening to community radio stations up and down the country you could have heard that show going out. So some very good stuff. And here in Mexico podcasthostrsscom has sold the streaming rights to one of their shows to a set of broadcasters here in the country. It's been in production for two seasons.

James Cridland:

What they cleverly did is they filmed the entire podcast on video, which means that they've got this kind of stuff that they can actually make available on other platforms as well. So I just thought that that was an interesting thing that rsscom have been doing, which is neat to actually spot. Two other things Tenderfoot TV has bought some podcasts from Resonate Originals, which was the podcast division of Resonate Recordings. It's Tenderfoot TV's first acquisition. And in Denmark Go Little Creative won a Pioneer of the Year award for a fun little thing that they were doing for ferries, for ferry boats, where you could listen. If you're a kid you could listen to a fun piece of audio on there in both Danish and in English as well. So some interesting stuff going on there.

Sam Sethi:

So, james, it's time for the job news. What's been going on at Apple?

James Cridland:

Yes, well, we're going to lose someone from Apple, zach Khan, friend of the show, although he'd never come on, obviously.

Sam Sethi:

Maybe he can't know, he's still not gone.

James Cridland:

No, he's still, because he's leaving Apple podcasts, but he is going to continue working for Apple. Apparently, he's been promoted to PR for some toy glasses, so that's going to be nice. Apple Vision Pro, he'll help you for that. But yes, he was the first PR person for Apple podcasts. He joined from Vox Media in January 2020 and actually you know all joking aside at such a change, when you have a good PR person, or indeed any PR person working in a particular unit in Apple, all of a sudden, it meant that we journalists felt very well looked after, and we actually understood what was going on in Apple for the first time, which meant far less negative comments about Apple, far more positive understanding of what Apple is planning, even if we might not necessarily always agree with it. So I think Zach did a fantastic job, so good luck with your fancy toy glasses.

James Cridland:

And it's not the end for Apple podcasts, though, because they will gain a new PR representative next month. What we don't know is we don't know whether that's somebody who is going to be specific for Apple podcasts or whether that's somebody from the PR Borg at Apple who'll just have an extra responsibility added to their list. But yes, zach was super good. I mean, obviously he never got us new iPhones for testing purposes, never got any freebies whatsoever from him. But I'm looking forward to some new toy glasses.

Sam Sethi:

That'll be very good Minority report, here we come. Is this the point at which I announce my resignation? To announce I'm joining Apple?

James Cridland:

No, no, I shouldn't say that no. As if they would have you.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, what Of my Apple anti-competitive right? Yeah, likely charts gone.

James Cridland:

My word, and also the very excellent Julie Shapiro and John DeLore have revealed a piece of creative work called Audio Flux, which is an open collaboration of short audio pieces. They're working with different creative partners. Julie Shapiro, of course, used to work at PRX and Radiotopia, and Audio Flux is a website which is worth taking a peek at. If you are one of those creative types, audiofluxorg is the place to go there. That's the first of a set of short audio pieces that they're both working on, so very cool to see that too. Now, if you're looking for a job, pod News has podcasting jobs across the industry and across the world. It's podcasting's largest jobs board and it's free to post as well. Podnewsnet slash jobs. The 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'll do all of the tech talk. Firstly, congratulations to RSScom. I'm an advisor who has put the audio tag in email. I think that they're the first podcast hosts to do it. So when you schedule a show to be published later, then the email that you get, which confirms that your show has been published, has a little audio tag in there, so you can actually just check that the audio is the correct audio. So that's a very good thing. So congratulations to them for that. Very nice.

Sam Sethi:

Yes, and well spotted by you. Originally Pocketcasts, wedplay now supports chapters and the new podcast namespace, as well as episode art, so they are doing stuff.

James Cridland:

Yes, and that's Jason chapters as well as PodLove chapters. So all of the specs there, sorry, podlove chapters.

Sam Sethi:

What is a PodLove chapter?

James Cridland:

PodLove chapters is. It's another specification for chapters. In fact it's rather older than the podcast index, but PodLove tried to do a little piece of work, a German organization. They tried to do a little piece of work with extending the RSS extension a while ago and Pocketcasts are supporting that as well.

James Cridland:

Theoretically, spotify also support PodLove chapters, but I don't think anybody's actually got them to work, so there's always a little bit of that too, pocketcasts seem to say that yeah, yeah, but and Pocketcasts also seem to have caught the value for value bug and I'm not meaning that they're supporting value for value podcasts, oh no. But if you get value from what Pocketcasts do, then instead of paying just $39 a year for Pocketcasts plus, they're now letting you pay more if you feel that Pocketcast is worth it. Pocketcasts patron is $99. You get more cloud storage, you get early access to features and you get a little badge in the app showing that you're a patron. But yeah, it's very much a value for value play of. If you really like Pocketcasts, then here's how you can support them a little bit more and I don't think that's a bad thing really.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I don't think it's a bad thing. I'd love to know the numbers though. I'd love to know the numbers of people signing up for that, just signing up for Pocketcasts plus, let alone Pocketcasts patron. We will never know. I guess they'll never reveal.

Sam Sethi:

It was just one comment I wanted to make I think Adam made this comment probably three or four months ago that you know we allow and rightly so in the early days and we are still in the early days, I guess people to put any and all feature requests up into the podcast index namespace, github, and then they get voted up by the community and Dave then confirms those as a phase and then hosts and app developers go off and try and implement them. It does feel that I get the feeling that we're reaching a point where we need to slow down a bit and me, of all people who adds every feature that goes, shouldn't be saying this, but I think, looking at Mastered On this week and listening to some of the other hosts and app developers, I feel that we're in grave danger if we don't consolidate what we're doing, get everyone else up to speed to adopt the tags and then start to grow again. I do feel we are jumping far too fast now.

James Cridland:

I would agree with that and I think I would go actually a little bit further. I think it's time for us to get rid of some. There are some that clearly haven't taken off. There are some that clearly people aren't bothering with, or if they're bothering with them, they're doing them wrong, and I think that we should be going through getting rid of the images the podcast images tag, for example, which nobody's really really doing and, frankly, has reinvented a bit of a wheel, and there are a ton of other tags such as that exists but nobody's really using them, and I think it would be helpful if we were to go through and and actually get get rid of a few of them so that we can concentrate on the ones that are seeing adoption.

Sam Sethi:

Can I create heresy here and say the location tag can be renamed to the topic tag, because certain companies are using the location tag now to fill in where they're recording from rather than yes, and I think the the location tag is one of those that just needs to be killed.

James Cridland:

Nobody's using it correctly and it's a waste of time. It's an utter waste of time. To put where somebody is recording who cares Absolutely makes no sense whatsoever. So I would, personally, I would get rid of that as well as a few more. So, yeah, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that, I think that you know that we should be focusing on the, on the features that work really well, and removing some of the features that are sitting there, that are badly specced, like the social interact tag, that are badly specced, that nobody's actually using, and I think getting rid of them, making life simpler, would be a really good idea. Yeah.

Sam Sethi:

Well, I went through podcast index RSS feed. They've got three different chat options. I've got a social interact tag podcast chat and then they've got an IRC chat and that's just within one RSS feed and I'm like what one do you want me to support?

James Cridland:

Yes, none of that.

James Cridland:

None of that makes sense.

James Cridland:

And you know, I think I think on the other side I think we talked a little bit last week around the email address in RSS feeds and you know, and wanting away, I know, it's been a bugbearer of yours for quite some time I was reminded this week that the reason why email addresses were taken out of RSS feeds quite quickly by a lot of podcast hosts actually was nothing to do with Apple, but was everything to do with Acast.

James Cridland:

Because, if you remember, Acast was literally emailing customers of podcast hosts saying your current podcast host is rubbish and you should be joining Acast. And so the rest of the industry's reaction to that is right, we'll take, we will take email addresses out so that Acast stops doing that. So I think we should probably not forget the real reason why people took the email address out. It was actually bad behavior by one of the podcast companies. So, yeah, I think sticking an email address back into RSS would be a good idea, and I think it's really easy to build a forwarding email address that protects people's privacy but also allows that as well.

Sam Sethi:

James. Moving on, then, New tools are coming out. Mac-based audio tool Audio Hijack has added a transcription module which works in 57 different languages. Again, it uses OpenAI's whisper and it comes with no additional costs. You tried it out, James, what was it like?

James Cridland:

Yes, I tried it out. It works very nicely. It's a bit slow, but the way that Audio Hijack works essentially is that you can grab any audio that's playing on your Mac and you can then feed it anywhere else. So you can grab your microphone, for example. You can then feed it through an EQ system or a compressor and a transcription module and then record it somewhere as well. So it does a pretty good job in terms of that and, yeah, so it now has added a transcription tool still in beta, but seems to work quite nicely, so that's a good thing. Spooler, Talking of Location, has launched a demo of a location-based audio discovery tool, and the company has also launched an improved audio editor, which is quite nice.

Sam Sethi:

And another tool out, the one that we use here. Cain Feed, a low-latency remote recording tool, has launched a new markers feature. What's that, James? Because you have all the controls here, I have no access.

James Cridland:

I do have all the controls. There's a little marker button here which allows me to press that button. So if I sneeze or if I cock something up, then I can press that marker button and when I import the audio into, for example, hindenburg or Audacity, then it will also import those markers in there as well. So if you mess something up, it's a good way of marking where in the audio you want to make that particular edit. So it's a pretty smart thing Cool.

Sam Sethi:

And finally, James, we talked about road adding white boxes and white microphones. What have they done this week?

James Cridland:

Yes, Well, no, they've now released their NT1 microphone, which is the one that they've made for many, many years. They've released a version of that microphone in lots of different fancy colours it looks all very nice called the Signature Series. You're not sold on this idea, are you?

Sam Sethi:

It doesn't really matter, I'm going to stick with the microphone I've got, but which is a red microphone. I just feel like they've employed Sir Johnny Ive. He's gone. All Apple Mac white, and then, if you remember those coloured Macs and when Steve Jobs came back to Apple, they were everywhere. It feels like I wondered what Sir Johnny was doing, and now I know he's over at road.

James Cridland:

Well, I think it's a pretty good idea. I think they're understanding that there's lots more video and a boring black microphone or a boring white microphone isn't necessarily going to be a thing. So actually making it in lots of different colours is probably a nice thing. So, yeah, it's interesting to end up seeing that. Rodev also said that all their stuff works fine with Mac OS 14.1. So if you've been holding back to upgrade to the new Mac OS, you'll not see any difference, I promise you. Then Mac OS 14.1 will work absolutely fine with everything that you've got there. Now, events and awards there's only one event to be talking about, and it's this one. Sam, that's how you say PodCon MX in Spanish. Excellent, and that's the reason why I'm here in sunny Mexico City.

Sam Sethi:

Why are you there, apart from just, you know, flying over, and you're not just attending an event that you can't understand?

James Cridland:

I am basically attending an event that I can't understand. There are English translations going on, which is nice, and the entire event is being recorded for podcasts, but also is being streamed live. Now I would tell you what the event is like. It of course is yesterday as this podcast comes out, but it is of course also today as we record this, and for me it's 10 in the morning and I haven't gone yet, so I'm not going to make a second guess about how the event was. It was rubbish, it rained all day, so I'm not going to do that. But hopefully people have been playing with the live stream, which was yesterday. I think it was the first live stream from a podcast conference that there has ever been, and certainly they were also playing around with live streaming in video, which worked on some platforms, and in audio, which worked pretty well everywhere that live streams are supported, so that was pretty good. You did a little bit of work to make that work in the pod fans site, as well, Actually, we didn't do any work, which was quite nice.

Sam Sethi:

You told me about it. We ingested the podcast with live item tag support and that's come out at a value of 13,230 sats for a 10-hour stream or £3.97 if you want it in UK, which is probably $3.97 anyway.

Sam Sethi:

So, yes, we did that. And then, as I said to you, we haven't fully supported the alternative enclosure and we said, oh well, let's just give it a go. So, on our mobile because we're a PWA, a web-based client you just actually just run the live stream. It detects its video and then you can put it in landscape mode and you can watch it very, very clearly as a video. Very nice, with full audio and sat stream. So it all works. But we hadn't finished doing our video control, so it's not something that we've been promoting.

James Cridland:

Yeah, but no, I mean I know that Alberto and Ben and Memo, who is here from rsscom, have done a really good job in getting this event up and running. I gather that over 250 people are expected at PodCon MX, which is very good, because the room that I saw yesterday only seats 120. So good luck to them for that. Who's lapping you sitting on then? Exactly, I mean, at least I'll have a space because I'll be on the stage. But that should be good, but super good, and we'll have a little bit more information from that next week in the show. 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, tell the world about it. It's free to be listed. Podnewsnet slash events. Boostergram corner, corner, corner on the Pod News Weekly Review.

James Cridland:

Yes, it's our favorite time of the week, Boostergram corner, where we get lots of messages from you, from podcast apps that have a boost function in there. Two of them in here, one from Amorphous Continuum new listener Well yes, I don't know if that's for us.

Sam Sethi:

Now I've just realized I appreciate your work, Karin. Don't think that's for us?

James Cridland:

I don't think that. Well, I mean maybe listening to an old show, and in which case, if it is for us, well, thank you anyway. 500 sats, it says here for the record. Value for value is the new.

Sam Sethi:

Yes, I know I was like the new what? Come on then tell us.

James Cridland:

Okay, but still, and, karin, if you're listening, our thoughts are with you today as well, and shuto-sa, shuto-sha, shuto-sha, I'll keep on saying this in lots of different ways.

Sam Sethi:

What does he or she say Sam Value for value is also a great way to promote your show. The best way to circumvent Spotify and YouTube's artificial algorithms. I fully agree. It will open up a great option for professional podcasts and music artists who promote certain corporates based on their internal values as well as branding. I didn't quite get the second part, but yes, I salute you.

James Cridland:

Now 250 sats 250 sats, thank you. Imagine promoting certain corporates. Thank you for your support, Buzzsprout, If you get value from what we do. The Pod News Weekly Review is separate from Pod News Sam and I share everything from it. We really appreciate your support so we can continue making this show because it really does help us. You can become a power supporter with your fiat currency at weeklypodnewsnet or support us with sats by hitting the boost button in your podcast app. If you don't have one, podnewsnet slash new podcast apps will help you find a new podcast app, although, frankly, you should be using pod fans or fountain if you want to end up doing that Cool.

Sam Sethi:

James, before we go for a wrap up, just one thing. Our friend Albert, if you're listening. I'm sorry I sound like I'm on a rant this week, but I'm not finding boosts, and boosts of grams in Saturn. Now is becoming practically impossible, because apps like Podfans, fountain, podverse, etc, etc are streaming stats as well. You see permanent streaming and there, if you have to go back page after page after page to find boosts, all I'm going to ask is for Boomi and Moritz please, please, please, add a filter to Saturn so that we can quickly filter to boost to grams and find them quicker. That's it.

James Cridland:

Yes, the same goes for Helipad, by the way, as well, dave. That would be super good too.

Sam Sethi:

And now, james, you have the last word, as ever.

James Cridland:

Yes. So this week I went to have a look around Grupo Formula, which is the biggest talk radio stations in Mexico. They run three of them and a TV service as well. They're working with rsscom to make their shows available as podcasts, but their content is also on the TV and in full video on YouTube and Facebook as well. Now, video is not for everybody, but what Radio Formula understands is that it needs to get its content to people however they want to consume it. So you'll hear many podcast hosting companies saying bad things about Spotify or about YouTube, and I think rightly so. From their point of view, if Spotify or YouTube becomes the majority of our business, you can expect that they will kill the rest. They will extend, embrace and extinguish. But that's an issue for the industry and that's not an issue for the audience. And our first priority is to give the audience what they want, and that means getting our content to wherever the audience wants it.

Sam Sethi:

Now, what's happened for you this week, sam? Well, I was a guest on that new podcast, podcast, graveyard, talking about Sam Talks technology finally going to rest in a pace I don't know. Where do podcasts go to rest, I don't know, but anyway it's gone there, so it was never coming back. But that was fun with James Bishop. So thanks, james for that. As you heard, I was super frustrated with the state of RSS. Having ingested all 15,000 V4V podcasts, we're releasing that Monday. Yeah, so we're testing over the weekend again. Hopefully we'll release more than 15,000. But yeah, that's what we're working on and that's it. Busy week, just doing stuff and getting on with it really.

James Cridland:

Yes, well, my week has been has been learning Mexico and how Mexico works for the first time Ended up last night I discovered at the local taco shop. Yes, because while in Mexico the local taco shop they sell they sell cactus leaves, grilled cactus leaves in cheese, and they were nice, they were, they were quite a thing. I'm quite pleased I did that. So, yes, so it's been. It's been good fun from from that point of view and, yeah, learning an awful lot. So hopefully more about my learnings from Mexico next week.

Sam Sethi:

But that's it for this week and you can give feedback to James and I by sending us a boost of gram. If your podcast app doesn't support boost, then grab a new one. What are you waiting for from pod newsnet forward slash new podcast apps.

James Cridland:

Our music is from Studio Dragonfly. Our voice over is Sheila D. We use clean feed for our main audio and we're hosted and sponsored by Buzzsprout podcast hosting made easy.

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