Podnews Weekly Review

Brendan Mulligan and Lisa Jacobs

November 24, 2023 James Cridland and Sam Sethi Season 2 Episode 49
Podnews Weekly Review
Brendan Mulligan and Lisa Jacobs
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

We start with a dive into the stormy waves stirred up by Good Pods and the backlash against their AI-generated descriptions, our discussion provides a rich exploration of this hot topic. We're thrilled to be joined by Brendan Mulligan, the brain behind PodPage, who enlightens us on integrating podcasting 2.0 features, and Lisa Jacobs from AdResults Media, our expert guide on brand safety in podcast advertising.


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James Cridland:

It's Friday, the 24th of November 2023.

Announcer:

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

James Cridland:

I'm James Cridland, the editor of Pod News, and I'm Sam Suthey, the CEO of Podfans In the chapters. Today, Good Pods removes AI-generated descriptions, rsscom launches the gift card and PodPage adds new podcasting 2.0 features Plus this is Brendan Mulligan, founder of PodPage.

Brenden Mulligan:

I'll be on later to talk about podcasting 2.0 and how it integrates into the PodPage websites.

Lisa Jacobs:

My name is Lisa Jacobs and I'm from AdResults Media, and later on I'll be talking about podcasts, brand safety and suitability.

James Cridland:

They will. This podcast is sponsored by Buzzsprout. Last week, 3,097 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:

James, let's kick this show off then. Hey, what happened to that intro? It was all flowery and wordy last week and it was all mad. Why was it all like that, james? What's been going on? Have we got something called Good Pods gone, bad pods?

James Cridland:

Well, yes, we got a wonderful write-up. The write-up from Good Pods, which was a completely AI-generated write-up, was talking about this show being perfect for all the creators curating compelling content for inquisitive ears, the ardent podcast fans eager not to miss a beat, and every newcomer dipping their toes into the vast ocean of podcasts. All very AI and relatively benign. A bit too enthusiastic for me, but that was all fine. But Good Pods ended up getting an awful lot wrong with their AI-written descriptions. Search Engine, which is a good podcast that I listened to from PJ Vote, that ended up being a show, apparently according to the AI, about online trends and SEO, which it really isn't, but also it had got rather more serious things wrong as well. A show about violence against women and sexual assault was described as a love and dating advice show, which is kind of yeah, not great, so yeah. So I reached out to Good Pods to say what's going on here then and they said well, it was only 0.2% of all of the shows, and they weirdly decided to get rid of it as soon as I emailed them about it, which always fills me with a slight amount of suspicion. And yes, 0.2% of the total show pages, but I think it was the top 0.2% of shows. So I did a lot of searching and, yeah, more than I would calculate, around 85,000 shows actually had these weird AI generated things. So, yeah, not particularly good. I think it was a good example of using AI but not actually putting a human being in front of them to actually understand what was going on there.

Sam Sethi:

But why were they doing it in the first place? Was it because they had empty fields of data and they thought, ah, here's a way of filling that, or was it? Or did they overwrite the existing description of the podcaster?

James Cridland:

No, they didn't overwrite anything. So this was additional data and that was all fine and you know, and that makes sense. And what the AI descriptions were is that they were essentially looking at the show notes, in some cases looking at the transcripts, although I'm not entirely convinced about that, but producing more information, which presumably would work well in terms of SEO. So it was a bit of an SEO play. One creator said that this was basically an experiment to game SEO for their own ends and the decision did nothing for the community that they claimed to serve and, in many cases, actively harmed creators. So I think it was a bad mistake. It's good that they have realised that it was a mistake and good that they have canned it. But, yeah, that was a bit of a mistake the fact that they didn't bother telling creators about this. So, yes, you could go in and edit it if it had got it wrong, but they didn't actually tell creators that it that it actually existed in the first place.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, again, going back to, you've got your four rules of apps, haven't you? What are those four rules?

James Cridland:

They're what I call the unwritten contract between podcast publishers and apps. So the first thing is open RSS feeds are intended for consumption, so you can use them, but podcast apps won't touch or alter the audio in any way. They weren't charged to listen to your podcast and, most importantly, for this one anyway, they weren't touch or alter the accompanying metadata. Now, arguably, they didn't touch or alter it anyway. They just added some additional metadata around it. But not necessarily the right thing for them to do, and I think certainly asking for consent and at least telling creators that they were doing that is probably a good thing. I think so.

Sam Sethi:

And I think I can see what they're trying to do. You know they're trying to get improved SEO or they're trying to make it much more discoverable. I think there was an experiment that Apple did, if I remember I think bumper discovered it which was they were adding various tags to podcasts, and we never knew why they were doing that, but it was always in the background, it was always hidden and, you know, I think, speculated that there might have been a search engine capability coming from Apple. That never happened either. So, again, you can experiment, but at least, if you're going to do it, do it safely or do it with or do it transparently. Either way, do it one way or the other.

James Cridland:

Yeah, no, I think I think you know. I mean, what I would personally have preferred good pods to do is to potentially send emails to those people that have claimed their, their podcast and said hey, we noticed that your description is too short and we would like it. We would like it if you would write a longer description please. That, I think, would be really helpful, because that would help all of podcasting. It would help their shows in both good pods, but also an Apple podcasting and Spotify and everything else, because the description is the most important thing. But they, they didn't do that, they just made up guff and, unfortunately, ai is very good at making up guff and sometimes getting it wrong. So, yeah, it's not guff, it's hallucinations. Hallucination, yes, you are absolutely right Hallucination. So, yeah, a crap, yes, exactly, but they've stopped it now, so that's all good, let's move on, then.

Sam Sethi:

RSScom, friends of the show. They've come up with something that I thought clearly had been created for the gift that keeps giving is what I've called this, and they've created a gift card that allows you to basically buy or, yes, allows you to buy a gift card for somebody else and give it as a present, maybe to access hosting, so you can buy them a year of hosting. Alberto says who's the co-founder. These are the first gift cards worldwide to give the gift of podcasting. This is a, this is really a statement to loved ones or colleagues. I care about what you have to say. You have a lot of interesting things to say. Go ahead and tell your stories to the world. It's a lovely idea. It's an obvious idea in hindsight, which is always the thing, isn't it? Hindsight is the thing. Oh yeah, I should have done that, but it's a good idea, isn't it?

James Cridland:

Yeah, I think so. I think it's a really smart idea. I think one of the nice things about this is that you get up to a year worth of RSScom hosting and once that year has finished, then your podcast will just stay there forever. You won't be able to upload anymore until you, you know, unless you want to pay but for that. But you know, your podcast, your episodes, will stay there forever. You don't have to pay any, any additional money for those podcasts to actually stay there, and I think that that makes makes a ton of sense. I think that's a really nice idea. So, you know, having that show being automatically hibernated, if you like, is a good thing. So, and you know, other people so I'm an advisor for RSScom are sponsors, buzzsprout. They will delete free episodes after 90 days. Now they're free episodes, so no money has changed hands. But that's clearly a very different way you know of doing things. So I think, yeah, I think it's quite a smart idea. Good stocking filler or a secret Santa If you want to go and buy those rsscom slash gift.

Sam Sethi:

Indeed. Now, james Alberto and I talked about it last week in because we knew it was coming out but we couldn't talk about it. It was in Barcode. One of the things you and I've talked about is micro payments and satoshes and and and jumping the shark in terms of getting people to understand, converting fear to micro payment and then using that on. You know, sites like Podfans, fountain and Podverse, etc. So one thing could we, or should we, create gift cards for micro payments? So could say, a company like Podfans create gift cards that says, oh, here's a hundred thousand sats, right, and that's 20 quid. So pay Podfans 20 quid and we will fill your wallet with 100,000 sats. And therefore, are you avoiding the issue of banking by selling a product Because it's not banking is actual physical product that you're selling? But if, because it's money, is it still a banking issue?

James Cridland:

Yeah, that's a good question. I don't know the answer to that. I mean, I know that you can give somebody a gift card, and not just a gift card, you know, at a store, at Walmart or whatever, but you can buy somebody a gift card which is just a visa or mastercard which is paid for. So you would kind of think that there must be some form of way of that money essentially going into into escrow, within Podfans, for example, and for you to just be able to type in a code and you get hold of that money. But yes, as you so rightly say, it might end up being, you know part of those, you know part of those rules, I suppose, in terms of in terms of how these things work. I mean, there are plenty of websites out there that will sell you a Bitcoin, you know voucher. So you know you, you spend 25 euro or whatever and you and you can buy a Bitcoin voucher for that amount of money, and you know, and that seems to be a thing. But yeah, it would kind of make sense, wouldn't it, if you were to offer that sort of thing for a podcasting 2.0 enabled app. I know that Fountain, for example, will give you some money as you start and I'm sure that Podfans does much the same sort of thing give you a small amount of money so that you can actually understand how the thing works. Is that right?

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, we do. Yeah, and that's just gifting. So, because there's no transaction occurring, it's actually us giving you the money for no, you know, no money in return. Then I don't think we have an issue. I think the issue would be if we were transacting that I guess I'm going to have to find a very good lawyer who's going to have to tell us whether this is possible or not. Yes, that's probably a plan. I think I better do that. Anyway, I don't really want to have a tax issue and I don't really want to have a visit to Her Majesty's Secret Service or wherever I may be ending up if I do this wrong. Yes, hmrcr friendly, I do know that. Anyway, rsscom slash gifts let's try that one.

James Cridland:

Talking about AI, as we were earlier. Descripts, or rather Descripts, which is the correct way of pronouncing them. They have been adding more AI tools, haven't they?

Sam Sethi:

They have. They've added tools for script generators and they've added a rewriters as well. I mean, I haven't used these. I'm a I should declare, I am an ambassador for Descript or Descript, and I haven't come across these tools myself yet. And again, I'm trying to work out. Even if I did. Is this in the process of writing a script, which, again, I probably wouldn't use it there for? But again, it's good to see. I mean, look, they've had AI in their product for years, you know, with the voice changing and the cloning and everything else, and so it's just good to see them adding more and more tools. I think that, just there, as I said, ai to me stands for assisted intelligence, and this feels like more assisted intelligence to help podcasters create content or scripts in this case. Yeah.

James Cridland:

Artificial intern.

Lisa Jacobs:

That's what it basically is Very good I like that one as well.

Sam Sethi:

Yes, I've been thinking about that.

James Cridland:

Yes, descripts have nine, so I should say that they are sponsoring the Pod News Daily podcast this month and the Pod News Daily newsletter, but they've got nine different AI tools so far, everything from summarizers to a YouTube description, so it'll create captivating descriptions and video chapters for YouTube Careful, as well as script generators, chapter generators, social post writers, you know, and all this kind of stuff, and a plenty more to come. I was chatting to a developer from Canva only yesterday evening and he was saying that, basically, you know, his job at the moment is to get a big spade and to push AI into absolutely everything he possibly can, and I'm sure that that will be the case for a lot of these companies as well. But, yeah, I think there's some quite nice things in there. What would be good is if, next week, we could have someone from Descripts talking about what some of their AI tools are all about. Sam.

Sam Sethi:

Okay, again, your wish is my command. Luckily, christina Chroma, who's from Descript, will be on the show next week to tell us all about it in more detail.

James Cridland:

Yes, and there's a couple of other AI things going on. Headliner has done a survey talking about how podcasters are using AI. Surprise, surprise, it's mostly for promotion. Spotify is experimenting, apparently, with Google's AI tools to make better recommendations for podcasts and audiobooks, so it'll be interesting to take a peek at that. Also, descripts Ashley Hamer wrote a blog post which is potentially a little bit self-serving, but it's called how I Got 10 Times my YouTube Subscribers by Adding Video to my Podcast. Of course, descript allows you to edit video as well as audio, but you know, still there's probably some learnings in terms of that, but I have absolutely no desire to do any video in terms of all of the stuff that I ended up doing. I even managed to, on Wednesday, put a version of the podcast Live which had a retake in it. Thank heavens that I learned my job about not swearing in front of a live microphone, because that could have been slightly embarrassing. But thank you for spotting that, sam, and a couple of other people who dropped me an email and said did you mean to have that big pause in there?

Sam Sethi:

No, oh yes, of course I did yes yes, that was the broad part of the show, don't worry. Okay, look, let's move on. Apple's basically auto downloads changed recently and it's now starting to show in the, I suppose, the numbers James Libsing have reported. For October, apple's share downloads dropped 3.6% and also Boss Brow is reporting that there's a drop of 4.8%. What's going on? Talk to me.

James Cridland:

Yeah, so I'm comparing here. I'm comparing August to October, so I'm ignoring September, because September is when iOS 17 rolled out. It made a couple of changes in auto download behavior for Apple Podcasts which, frankly, those changes should affect virtually nobody, but seemingly Apple's share of downloads now share of download, of course could be impacted by other people, could be impacted by Spotify doing much better and having nothing to do with Apple, but nevertheless Apple's share of downloads has dropped with both Libsing and with Buzzsprout. I've asked some other podcast hosting companies if they wouldn't mind giving me some data as well. And when you have a look at overall Triton Digital sees numbers going down. Canadian podcast ranker went down 2.5% August to October. Similarly, the US figures were down 8.4% across the same time zone. So that's a pretty big thing, I think. So I'm curious from other podcast hosting companies are you seeing a big drop in Apple Podcasts and what does that say about Apple's numbers? It's always been the case that we have turned around and said Apple is very big and it delivers an awful lot of downloads and etc. Nine times the amount of downloads that Spotify gives you per user and all of that stuff. But it's always been the case that we've known that some of those Apple downloads are automated downloads and if it's such a small change in behavior has had such a large effect, what is that actually saying about the total amount of downloads that are coming in through Apple podcasts? I know that John Spurlock, a friend of the show, who listens to this show, I believe, um, I know that he reckoned that he had come up with a way of spotting user initiated downloads versus automatic downloads. Um, I think he'd come up with a way of spotting that for quite a few people, so I was quite keen to um see whether there's a way of learning a little bit more about that and also getting some data out of OP three as well. My dream is to get a day, uh, a monthly SQL light database out of OP three. Uh, so that, um, so that we can do some proper stories on there now that it's measuring more than a thousand um people. Um, so, um, at some point, um, uh, that would be a lovely thing, uh, for me to potentially pay John to end up doing. I think that would be a good, uh, a good plan.

Sam Sethi:

Maybe very nice. Well, you dream on for a while, james. You never know, one day, hey, it's Christmas, you never know, ask Santa.

James Cridland:

I know that John is very, very busy as well. He's actually got some paid work, so, um yeah, I'm not quite sure what his paid work is.

Sam Sethi:

I thought he was a multi-supervisionary.

James Cridland:

He was one of the original Googlers. I thought he was too, but no, apparently he has to pay for it. I mean, um, so, yeah, yeah, so, anyway, what's he doing? Open AI.

Sam Sethi:

Come on, um, anyway, moving on, uh, brand safety for all. Um, Odyssey reported, uh, that brands were playing it too safe. They felt, uh, with a plethora of brand safety tools currently flooding podcasting the company interviewed 6,000 podcast listeners to discover what market is may consider risky actually offers opportunities for other advertisers to connect with highly engaged listeners. So, um, basically, in summary, they're thinking that, um, these brand safety tools are a little bit too uh, turned up on the old safety level, yeah, and maybe they, uh, they people or brands should have a look again and maybe turn the dial down a bit. But you spoke to somebody, didn't you, about this.

James Cridland:

I I did. Yeah, you know, I'm, I've, I've always been a little bit suspicious of these brand safety tools and a little bit suspicious of Americans telling me what I should or shouldn't feel offended by, uh, which is essentially how all of these brand safety tools appear to work. So I spoke to Lisa Jacobs from ad results media and I started by asking her what ad results media was.

Lisa Jacobs:

So we are a leading audio focused agency. Everything we do is around spoken words, so whether it's local radio, national radio, serious sex, sex, um, podcast streaming and YouTube, we uh help our clients find the right creators and content to be a part of.

James Cridland:

Now you, um your company, posted the first ever podcast ad, apparently.

Lisa Jacobs:

So I wasn't here for it. But as the story goes, we uh worked with Adam Corolla to place the first ever ad as podcast started to pick up several, several years ago. We started in the radio space really with those endorsed reads and found the power of that for our clients. And as podcasts started picking up, it really started with a lot of radio personalities moving to the new medium and creating their own content. It's obviously exploded from there but we found a lot of the same principles that we leveraged in radio with working with the hosts and endorsing applied to podcasts. But we had even more flexibility because the podcast spaces it regulated. There are rules on how long they can go on for what they can say. So it really opened up this whole new avenue for our clients. And now I the majority of what we do is is podcast advertising.

James Cridland:

So you work a lot with um, with uh, odyssey, um, which is a large broadcaster, of course, in the uh US, and there was a new study from alter agents and Odyssey which suggested that brands are playing it too safe, arguably. What does um? What does that study say?

Lisa Jacobs:

So it's, it's quite in depth. I like the way that they executed it and really took the listeners standpoint, because a lot of what we do when we're talking to clients and when we're talking even to creators you have to think about how the audience is going to react, because at the end of the day, that's who we're trying to influence. So I like that they really took the perspective of what do podcast listeners think? And let's survey them. Let's get information from the other side, the buy side as well. But what does the audience think? How are they feeling about hosts and when they maybe go outside the lines, and how do they feel about brands that are adjacent to certain content? So I really liked the way they approached it from an audience first, and it it said a lot of things that we've been telling our clients for a while. Podcasts truly is an opt-in medium, so you don't just hear podcasts out and about like. You choose the content that you're interested in because you like the host, because you like the subject matter, because you want to learn something. So because of that lean in nature and that opt-in nature, I wasn't surprised by any of the findings that people were very lenient when it came to what was being covered and if it was controversial and that not negatively impacting their perception of the show, of the host or the brands that advertised in content.

James Cridland:

Yeah, I think that's the important finding isn't it that 73% say that even if it's a controversial podcast topic, if you're advertising in there, then there's absolutely no impact on that brand. You know in there they don't think any any any different to that particular brand there, which I think is interesting. And about half would think more positively of a brand after pairing with controversial content. I mean, I guess it depends what type of controversial content.

Lisa Jacobs:

Yeah, and if you fall on the same side of the argument of the controversial content, I'm sure plays impacted it as well. But it was interesting. Their line in the sand is very similar to where our line has always been. Audience's line in the sand If you get into like hate speech or racial slurs or things like that, that's where the audience is like this is no longer okay and that's that's always been our line in the sand of have your content, have your conversations, talk about what's important to you and what your audience wants to hear about. But we will pull our dollars and pull our brands out if you have hate speech included, if you degrade another person a brand what have you? So it was interesting to see that line show up as well.

James Cridland:

I wonder how much of this is related to. There was a study that came out in August from Urban One. It's basically saying that, using the standard keyword block lists, a lot of Urban One's podcast content was marked as problematic by some of these brand suitability tools because it didn't really understand the language that those particular shows were using. And I wonder how much of advertising is being unfairly knocked down by AI that doesn't really understand culture or indeed the way that we talk much of the time. Yeah, that's what's tough, is I mean?

Lisa Jacobs:

all of the brand, suitability and safety tools. They had to start somewhere. So they started with transcribing the episodes, looking for keywords, looking for chains of keywords. I will say it's getting better and better every time we check in with them, but we we still see it. We still see the wrong things get flagged. I think that it takes a while to train AI, and if you're training them on, how does this podcast host speak versus another? That gets very complicated and it's not. It's not a one size fits all. So at ad results specifically, we leverage some of those tools to just monitor what's going on. But we also have team members that, when things are flagged, actually go listen To say, oh, in context, this is totally fine or oh, man, no, even in context. This is not okay and we need to reach out and have a conversation.

James Cridland:

One of the things that so I in my dim and distant past, I used to be a commercial copywriter, so I used to write radio ads a long, long time ago. One of the things that came out of the study, which I thought was quite interesting, was that ad content quality. So the quality of the ad matters more to people than pretty well anything else, and I think that that's really interesting. Have you, have you spotted that, that that sort of learning from podcast audiences as well? Yes, definitely.

Lisa Jacobs:

And I think it holds true. Whether it's a host endorsing or producer read or a produced ad, you want the ad to fit with the content, like you don't want that jarring experience that we've all had when you listen to a podcast and you're like, whoa, where did this, where did this come from? So, whether it's the host doing it, the producer or a produced ad that's placed in, making sure that the tone and how you're speaking to the audience remains consistent, has performed a lot better.

James Cridland:

The study also came out with lots of very positive comments about podcast ads and general. Turns out that people aren't really skipping them, are they? Which is a nice thing. What were the figures around that sort of thing?

Lisa Jacobs:

80% of consumers say they listen through ad breaks, which is a significant portion. One of the things that's great about podcasts, like we were talking about earlier because it is opt in, because people are choosing to listen to a specific host. They want to hear what the host has to say. If they give a recommendation, they're going to take it more seriously than if they see an ad on Instagram or somewhere else. So I'm not surprised by the 80% figure. It tracks with what we've seen.

James Cridland:

Host-read ads versus produced ads. Host-read ads, I guess, because all of the research says this, perform much better. I guess yeah.

Lisa Jacobs:

They definitely do, for the exact reason that I was just mentioning. The audience feels like the host is a friend If they listen, if they're tuning in every week and listening to this host talk about whatever they're talking about, whether it's the news, politics, what's going on in their life, society and culture bravo, what have you? They feel a connection with that host. And when the host authentically endorse something I think that's the key word is authentically endorses something it drives a lot of action. But on the flip side of that, the audience can tell when the host is not being authentic or trying to promote something that they don't actually use or care about.

James Cridland:

So what was your overwhelming takeaway from the data that you saw in this report?

Lisa Jacobs:

I'm really happy to have data to support a lot of what we have been sharing with clients and talking about, to have actual listener data that tells us this is what we care about, this is what we don't care about, and we like having the brands as part of the content. That's what I'm going to take away from it. I'm going to use a lot of these stats when talking with clients because it has been a hot topic. It's especially over the last couple of years. There have been a lot of controversial moments. There have been a lot of backlash on both sides. Having actual listener data to share with brands to say look, the people that you're trying to reach, the people that you're trying to make take action. Here is what they care about and here is where it's okay to continue advertising, even if you don't see the exact brand alignment. I think that's the other piece that it hit on a little bit, where it talked about some brands don't want to be in true crime because they don't see a brand alignment. It's really about going after where is your audience? Meet your audience where they are, not where you think they should be, because that's what's going to drive performance and the behavior that you're looking for.

James Cridland:

Everybody wants their podcast ads to work well, right.

Lisa Jacobs:

Exactly.

James Cridland:

Lisa, thank you so much for your time. I appreciate it.

Lisa Jacobs:

Thank you. Have a great rest of your day.

James Cridland:

Lisa Jacobs from Ad Results Media talking about brand safety and stuff like that.

Sam Sethi:

Let's move on from brand safety for all for fairer work for all. This is Down Under, mate, your way. I don't know even where that language was, so I won't even try that again. Cockney, Cockney yes, that well-known cockney Australian. Yes, Well done, Sam. Yes, A new organization called Podcast Workers for Australia has published a freelance podcast rate card. Basically, they've set a recommended rate for freelancers working in Australia in podcasting and they're advocating for a fairer industry. Sounds good. What's the scoop?

James Cridland:

Yeah, it does so. 115 personal signatures are on that rate card 115 personal signatures. Exactly the same number are members of podcast workers Australia. It sounds like a union. It isn't a union. They've worked with the union, the MEAA, which I believe is pronounced Mia here. Mia, yeah, nah. Anyway, it's Australia's Union for Creative Professionals. So, from a point of view of actually having a suggested freelance podcast rate card out there, super useful, super great piece of work. The only thing that gives me slight pause is that nowhere on the website does it say who the leadership team is, who is behind any of this work. I did speak to a couple of people and I said you know, are you able to give me your leadership team? And they sounded very, you know very quiet about who was involved and why they were involved and everything else. I can't work out whether that's because of something to hide or because they've never really thought about, you know, making that public, but that's always a little bit of a concern. But you know, the actual work is really good. The question, I suppose, is what happens if companies don't follow this particular rate card? Companies do pay people significantly less than they should be earning. Does that mean that podcast workers Australia, as an anonymous organization, as it currently is, goes off and bullies them on social media and everything else, and I just don't know the answer. So I can't work out whether to be delighted that this is a great piece of work or bit suspicious that it's going to be a faceless organization that will jump on onto social media and shame organizations without you actually knowing who's behind it. Yeah, we know a few of those.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, that's the Borry Transparency they want one way and transparency the other way. They don't want to give yes yes, and don't we just?

James Cridland:

we do know quite a few of those Similar to that, although similar, but not employees, at Pushkin Industries, which, of course, has seen their fair share, or their unfair share, of cost cutting over the last year. They have unionized through the Writers Guild of America East, which is good news for them. They did, which is just reminded me that it sent me a long press release with all of that detail and I ended up linking through to a quite scant report. So I should probably go and dig into my email and find that longer statement from them. But I think that's that's good news as well. Yeah.

Sam Sethi:

Now the last one, and I'm glad this came up. Actually, you put a story in from Channel 4, which is a TV channel over here in the UK about how does fair use, otherwise known as fair dealing, actually work. I thought it was quite interesting. Some of the key points in it actually, James. The first one was almost all creative works are protected by copyright, but when we looked at the RSS of most podcasts, they don't even have a copyright in their podcast. That's the first thing I noticed.

James Cridland:

Well, but you see, what this is saying is that all creative works are protected by copyright. You don't have to put a copyright symbol in your in your work to protect it. It's already protected, it's protected automatically. So, yeah, so, so everything that you see in an RSS feed, regardless of whether or not it's got a copyright sign in there, is protected under copyright. So what a license would enable you to do is to is to relax that copyright if you wished to. But right now, if people are taking a clip of this show, then that's against copyright law. But it may be acceptable under fair use or fair dealing, and they are different things in different countries and, of course, the copyright law, rather sadly, is different in every single country. But there's but yeah, but there's some really helpful information in here around where fair, fair dealing is is acceptable and where fair dealing isn't acceptable.

Sam Sethi:

Hmm, I thought it said fair dealings are statutory defense in action for copyright infringement. So it's saying that if you're using something without permission or payment to the copyright owner, there may be a way in defense that you could actually say yeah, I was only using that for fair dealing. And it says fair dealings things like current events, criticism, reviews, quotations, character parody or pastiche. What's pastiche, james?

James Cridland:

I had to look this up. Oh, what is pastiche? Then Go on if you've looked it up.

Sam Sethi:

Oh, I had to look it up. I thought, good, blame you. I couldn't say the word and then not have an answer. Pastiche is mimicry, so if you're mimicry, or of a style of someone else's, imitation. Yeah, yeah, and that's that. So there are reasons why you can use clips at fair use, fair dealing. But, yeah, often I think what was more interesting in this report and I do recommend everyone to read it because it's a long one In the copyright, it does protect people's endeavours so that they can properly benefit from their work. So that's the reason for a copyright. But and copyright, as we know, last 70 years, after someone's even died, so there is a time sink to it. But what was interesting was, I think, that having a license and having a license that gives you permission, as you said earlier, as to what you can do, I think is going to be important. And I yeah, I mean, I've been looking at the Creative Commons licenses. They were used very heavily with blogging and I think when you have a look at the six Creative Commons license, I think it's a good place to start, because what we have on the GitHub repo for podcast index is like 600 licenses is crazy long list.

James Cridland:

Oh yeah, it's, it's utterly ridiculous. I mean, none of that makes any sense and you know, and I think that the needs to be, there's probably three Creative Commons licenses that are actually relevant here and I think you know we should just, you know, focus on that. It's the typical podcast index or podcast namespace idea of let's put in everything, including the kitchen sink. It's why the social interact tag doesn't work, it's why plenty of other of this, you know, of these new namespace tags don't work, because they try to be everything to everybody. And yeah, exactly, I think you know it's a, it's a bit of a frustration. I think also, the Creative Commons licenses mean the same in every country. They may have different write ups in every single country, but they mean the same in every single country. And I think one of the frustrations and the difficulties here is that DMCA, for example, is an American thing. Here in Australia we have kind of DMCA, but not really and not for websites, like you know, not for websites, but we do for ISPs and all this kind of nonsense. And then the rules are different in the UK, which this Channel 4 document is all about, to the US, to Canada, to Mexico, to everywhere else. And so I think the Creative Commons licenses, which are the right licenses for a podcast, because it's all about creative work. I think that makes perfect sense. Yeah.

Sam Sethi:

I had a quick look in the podcast index and was strangely not many apps supporting the license tag, but equally not many hosts supporting it. All of them seem to have a field for copyright, but only a handful have a field for license.

James Cridland:

Yeah, I think we need to look at this and you know, and you kind of have to put licenses in in terms of you know, if the license is in the copyright section, then well, I mean, it's kind of not copyright and it kind of is, and it gets all very complicated and particularly doing it at item level as well.

Sam Sethi:

It's going to be really interesting. Stick to the channel. Stick to the channel. Yes. I'm glad to say with my podcast and we've just put the six Creative Commons licenses and we're keeping to that. Nice and simple.

James Cridland:

Let's keep it that way, but yes, and my suggestion, by the way, was just to add the license to the copyright tag, so the copyright tag exists. If you're saying that it's not actually copyright, it's just a CC by license, for example, then that should be a tag within the copyright tag that already exists, it seems. It seems balmy to have an additional tag. It can absolutely mean the complete opposite.

Sam Sethi:

Let's go around the world, james. Let's have a look Back down to your part of the world, or close to it. Triton Digital released the New Zealand podcast rank for October. What was the outcome?

James Cridland:

Yes, it was exactly the same, as all New Zealand podcast rankers are Very dull. The same people in and are in Zed, which is the big podcaster in that country, not listed. So there we are. They also released the US podcast ranker. I think PRX is brand new in that ranker, which was nice to see, and I think that NPR are currently not in any of the rankers at the moment because they are doing some tech reworking. So I'm looking forward to NPR coming back again. I find it very difficult, as I think I've said on this podcast many times, to report on these rankers without saying it's much the same as last time, because it really is much the same as last time, but they are useful and helpful things because they do all calculate the data in exactly the same way, so these rankers are quite helpful in terms of that.

Sam Sethi:

Indeed, spotify is to launch its advertising marketplace further around the world, so it's moving into Brazil, india, japan, mexico and Sweden, and it's also expanding its contextual targeting based on transcription. So there you go.

James Cridland:

Yes, which is much the same as Acast's conversational targeting that Acast have been talking about a lot. So the fact that Spotify is also copying that idea or maybe it's the other way around, who knows, but anyway it's interesting. I did notice when I was in Spotify. Then there is a sign in Spotify which says something along the lines of we can transcribe your podcast for you, which is now in Spotify for podcasters. That seems quite new to me, but then I don't live in Spotify for podcasters, so I don't really know, but clearly they're using that sort of thing for this. I should also say, by the way, hello to you If you are listening to us on Spotify, and many congratulations. You are subscribed to the right version of the Pod News Weekly review and not the wrong version which I had taken out of Spotify two days ago. So it's not just podcast index that has duplicates. Spotify did as well for this very show. So thank you for listening. And if you, if all of a sudden everything went a little bit quiet, you won't be listening to this because you were listening to the wrong one, but still, there we go. So yeah, I thought I'm always looking at the podcast index data and going oh, there's another duplicate in there, but Spotify has one too, which I thought was interesting. Australia they are talking about podcast advertising. Spending on podcast advertising in quarter three grew by 88% year on year. Yeah, who are the top three advertisers?

Sam Sethi:

The top three advertisers. James, they were the usual suspects, weren't they? Amazon, betterhelp and Takeawaycom? It doesn't seem like who's Takeawaycom, grubhub? Who's that menu log? Who's that? God knows? Why have they got so many brands? Why can't they stick to one brand?

James Cridland:

Well, exactly, and they're not called either menu log or Grubhub, where you are.

Sam Sethi:

What are they called when we are?

James Cridland:

Yes, well, I'm glad that you wondered so in the US. They are called In the UK they're called. Just Eat and in Australia and you might ask for your. You might ask why did Snoop Dogg have to sing all three different versions? Katy Perry is the latest one who's sung all of those jingles as well, and the quick answer is I don't know, probably heritage, but gosh. There's a thing I was curious as to why they wrote Takeawaycom in this list, because Takeawaycom is not their brand, so I don't really understand that. But anyway, that's the data. There's a top 10 data which you'll find on the Pod News website. So that's fun, isn't it.

Sam Sethi:

Staying in Australia, james. An Indigenous-led podcast network called Blackcast Launch Today Sounds interesting. What's that one?

James Cridland:

Yes, mandanarra Bales, in partnership with ARN's I Heart, has launched an Indigenous-led podcast network, which I think is the first one, and it's been a pretty shitty year if you are Indigenous or Torres Strait Islander here in Australia. I think it's a fantastic thing to actually see a podcast network specifically for Indigenous people start up. It was launched earlier on this week on Gadigal Land in Sydney and that was the day after the Australian podcast awards. There must have been quite a lot of sore heads. Should we move on Any job news, james? Not really, but there's plenty of jobs going on podnewsnetcom. They're free to post and it just takes two minutes to add a new role Over. In terms of awards, the Audio Production Awards took place this week as well In London. Lots of friends of the show ended up taking away a bunch of winning things from there. Let me tell you who the big winners were. The main winner was the producer of the year, anishka Sharma, who is a producer for Reduced Listening, who make a bunch of shows in the UK, and the production company of the year was Overcoat Media, not a particularly large company, not one that I've heard of particularly much. They do a lot of work for the BBC, for BBC Sounds. They're based in South Wales. They're based in a, you know, seemingly in a farmhouse quite close to a village in South Wales. So bless them. But they ended up winning production company of the year. The full winners are on the podnews website, at podnewsnet, and, of course, the Webby Awards are coming up. The 5th of December is when you need to get your entries in. I don't know, sam, whether I've told you whether or not I've won any Webby.

Sam Sethi:

Awards? No, slips my mind. I haven't heard this. Got any thing. Yeah, two, two, yeah, but were they? Do they count anymore? Because I think they were in the last millennium.

James Cridland:

I think, they were.

Sam Sethi:

Do they ever sell by date on a North Summary?

James Cridland:

And, of course, anzlie Costello doing her live music events on December the 20th and the 21st. There's more details of that. Where's more details of that, sam?

Sam Sethi:

Well, we're waiting on the more details. You can go to Anzlie Costello's own website, anzliecostellocom, and there'll be details about tickets and the event itself. But RSS Blue, who are helping Anzlie, are going to be putting up the RSS feed and then, I think, all of the apps the podcasting 2.0 apps will then be obviously putting up the trailer and then alerting you to when the event is live, and you can watch them in any of those apps. The tech stuff On the podnews weekly review.

James Cridland:

Yes, it's the stuff you'll find every Monday in the podnews newsletter. It's where we do all of the tech talk. We're under the cost in terms of time here, but all kinds of nice news, including podcast, adding a bookmarking feature. Rss Blue now lets you upload music either single tracks or albums to a podcast feed. Podhome implementing image compression, even though artwork is supposed to be under 500 kilobytes anyway. So I'm not quite sure why they're doing that, but you seem very excited by that, Sam.

Sam Sethi:

Yes, because we have to do image compression locally Because we get megabytes size chapter arts and we get mega size and there's no compression being done by most hosts. Right?

James Cridland:

Just yes, and they're really ought to, because Apple won't touch it if it's over 500 kilobytes. So I'm not quite sure what's going on there, but the nice news was a company called Podpage which makes nice looking websites for you. If you need a nice looking website, it's as used by BoosterGround Ball. They proudly support some podcasting 2.0. Tags Sam Kauter with Brendan Mulligan to find out more.

Brenden Mulligan:

Podpage launched about four years ago. What I noticed was that a lot of podcasters had their podcasts on Apple and Google and Spotify and all these places, and when you search for them on Google, you would be pointed to all these different platforms. But a lot of podcasters didn't have their own website, and so Podpage was created to make it very, very easy for a podcaster who already has a feed set up and everything else to go from not having a website to having a really really, really good website search engine optimized that they can assign a domain name to in just literally under a minute, and so about 25,000 podcasters have used Podpage to set up their websites. The whole thing is automated. So when you release new episode, we pull it in. If you get a new review on Apple, we pull it in. If you put a new video on YouTube, we pull it in, and so the idea is that you set this website up once, but you don't have to manage it. You don't have to actually spend your time working on it. You set it up and it kind of you set it and forget it, and so it's been great. It's been a really great four years of providing this for podcasters.

Sam Sethi:

And what's the revenue model? Is it free, chargeable pro versions? How do you make money on it?

Brenden Mulligan:

It's a software as a service. There's three different tiers. I'm ranging for what you need depending on what stage of your podcasting career you're in. We have a free trial. We recently did away with our free plan because after three and a half years, we found that almost no actual podcaster was using our free plan for their website. Frankly, if you're going to set up a pod pagecom, slash your website name. You probably already have your buzz sprout or your LibCin or your one of those pages, and so we found that most people were trying it using the free plan, but they either upgrading or abandoning it, so it makes a lot of things easier, just to kind of take that away. So there's a two week free trial. They can do whatever they want and then the upgrade.

Sam Sethi:

Cool Now, mia Culpa, I didn't notice that back in August, although James did cover it you added a whole bunch of new podcasting 2.0 namespace tags. What did you add? Let's go through some of them.

Brenden Mulligan:

Well, so the premise here is that podcasting 2.0 is an incredible initiative, especially for people like me, because a lot of the tags that they're looking to add, I've already built those features into pod page right, where, when you talk about, like, getting tags supported by Apple or some of the other platforms, like they don't really have a section for I don't know, some don't have a section for transcript or some of them haven't figured out how they're going to do trailers, but all that stuff we actually had already built for pod page and so for what we did is we looked at. You know, the more we can pull off your feed, the happier we are and the happier you are. The happier we are is because when you go to set up a website, when you hit the generate website button, in 10, 15 seconds you'll see all of that stuff on a website and you don't have to enter all that content on your own. Makes the website better, makes your experience better and makes our job easier. And so I think we honestly we were just a little bit behind because we added we obviously use the GUID tag because that's how we tell if you've ever put your episode on your website before. We use that very, very strongly to never duplicate episodes on your page. We added the funding tag because we've always had sort of a revenue section of your website where you can put your Patreon links and you can do all of your PayPal whatever you do for we have buy me a coffee widgets, we have Kofi Kofi widgets. We have all these different options for you to be able to collect money and earn money from your website. So the funding tag makes it really easy because we can have that dialed in the minute you hit the button, as opposed to you having to go and enter that information. And then we added the person tag. Those are three big ones that we added because the actually profiles on your website are a really, really big deal in the pod page world we have you're able to not only set up profiles for all of your hosts, but you can set up profiles for all of your guests. And so when you have a guest on like, if you were using pod page and I was coming on, you would have actually sent me a link to your website that would have a form that I would fill out ahead of time. I'd put in my bio, I'd put in my upload, my photo, I'd put all my social links and so for you, you don't have to do anything like there's already a Brendan profile in your backend. And then when we record this and you say, oh, brendan's going to be on episode 50. When we import episode 50, we will also attach the profile to that and then email the guest hey, the episode's been imported, here's links. Right, we tried to do all that for you. So people in a pod page are really really core element. And then obviously there's a page on your site for your guest, that search engine optimized that helps you rank for that person on Google and all that stuff. So so to be able to support the person tag and I'm looking forward to hoping to see that more and more adopted and used more for hosts and guests and all the stuff. We love that Because again, there's a whole I mean, one of our best features is the guest profiles and the host profiles and stuff. So from the show and channel tags, we added those. And then on the episode tags, transcript is an obvious one. The more text based information you put on your website, the better for Google, for search engines and understanding what the page is about. So we pull in your podcast and then also we have ways of breaking up your podcast on your website. So we import your season, your episode number and then we added trailer. So we're still doing some stuff on the on the actual website where, hopefully, maybe the end of this year, this is being recorded late November. Maybe it'll be out before the end of the year. But the goal is new templates where the trailer sort of takes center stage. Right now the way that the pod page works is you come to the site and you can. You come to the site and you can see like the most recent episode, and there's ways you can kind of you can say like well, my, my first episode is my trailer. So there's little hacks that we've had to put in to sort of make the assumption like oh, this is the trailer, so you can maybe have that at the top of your page all the time. But now that there's actually a trailer tag, it makes it so much easier so we can actually start using the trailer in different parts of the page very like intentionally.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, there's also. You may not have seen it. There's also a new tank called podcast pinning, which allows you to pin a trailer or any episode to the top of the feed. So maybe go and have a look at that one.

Brenden Mulligan:

Yeah, no, and that's that's the stuff that's so fun for us Because, again, like, I feel like every time I see a podcasting 2.0 feature, it's a feature that we have and now it's just going to make it easier for a podcaster to use it. There's so much content and this isn't totally surprising If you think about the levels of where podcasters enter information. Right, the feed is the core thing and they're entering that core information, the traditional 1.0 type feed, but then a lot of the time it ends up in different places and they have to add more to it. Right On podchaster they're adding here are the people in the episode, here's all this other content. On their website they enter a ton more context around their podcast and their episodes on our site who their sponsors are, the guests, like I forget all the different fields, but there's just endless fields. And then it's nice to see and I've always wondered should we actually provide like a podcast mirror service where we then they can just use a pod page feed that'll just have all this stuff automatically in it, even if it's not part of the standard, just so other platforms can use it? There's a lot of reasons to not do that, but it is like wow, there's so much more context to each episode and it's a shame that, like all the platforms can't take advantage of this. So that's why I think the podcasting 2.0 stuff is so exciting.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, we, james and I, are doing a prediction show in a couple of weeks and one of the predictions is everyone will catch up to everyone by the end of 24,. Right, we're seeing some people adding more tags on one side and we're less on another, and some people are doing certain things and it's all bit squiffy. But I think by the end of 24, give it another 12 months everyone will sort of course up with every tag that's out there at the moment and the only thing is, will Adam and Dave add another 20 other tags, and then everyone's still behind the curve. One of the things you talked about was adding chapters and, more importantly, adding the value tag as well. So talk to me more about that.

Brenden Mulligan:

So chapters are coming. One of the things, one of the decisions that I made early on with your, with the website, was the thing I, the thing I was the most afraid to do would be at any kind of layer in between the podcast, the listener and the podcaster. From a data perspective, I was like I don't want to screw up the metrics, and so I kind of decided really, really early that we would do the immense amount of work that it took to support the embedded player for any host, and so if you have a buzz sprout RSS feed, we will automatically Put your episode in a Buzzsprout episode player. That seems like it's simple. It's actually like the amount of code that it took to like oh, it's a Buzzsprout episode. Right now. We need to find the identifier in the RSS seed for this episode and then use that in the very specific iframe that Buzzsprout creates. It's an enormous file that is hard to keep up to date because of the new host, and then if a host comes out with a new player, it's got to be updated. But the end result is, if you're a Buzzsprout customer or a Lipson customer, whoever when you launch your website it automatically has your host's player on it and the way that I look at it is that is the best way for me to make sure that I'm not messing with the tags. It's just like taking what Buzzsprout gives you and putting it on your website, and I thought that was the best solution to make sure there's nothing in the middle that could screw things up A button being broken or anything. It's just like nope, we're just using the Buzzsprout player. The problem with that is ideally. What I'd like is we'd import the chapters, we'd import timestamps and all that that's on your website. You click a timestamp, you click a chapter and the player just goes to that point. This is where using the host player has become not very convenient for us, because not all host players not even know which ones do and how they do it can automatically skip to certain timestamps. We'd have to figure out how to use JavaScript to manipulate each player depending on where you click. So in order to support chapters and timestamps, we have to introduce like here's a podcast just a vanilla player that's the pod page player and that'll give us more control over being able to do different chapters and stuff, but definitely want to get that stuff imported and start using it. It's just going to take a little while.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I mean Buzzsprout have done some great stuff recently with the AI stuff. I mean the transcript that they produce out. The AI link to the person tag is really clever because you can go into the admin connector, It'll auto transcribe and then you can go in, listen to snippets, add the person tag to the ping and then when you import it into an app, you're suddenly getting the person avatar with the thing. It just looks good, it's all working and I love that. Who's doing that Buzzsprout. So, yeah, they've done a really good job. And again, I'm sure when you add again chapters and chapter markers and all that, it'll all come together. One of the things that you have said you're going to be doing as well is the value tag and value for value. Talk to me more about how that's going to evolve and what way you see it going in your own mind.

Brenden Mulligan:

I just need to spend more time digging into how technically we do it. From my understanding of it and I fully am a little bit ignorant here because we launched this in August I haven't been digging into the value tag since August, so it's been a few months. It was heavily reliant on cryptocurrency wallets and I remember when I looked at it I said this will be easy in an app where all this stuff is hooked in. It will be much harder to do in the browser, and so I remember that being a blocker. Now, that was traditionally different. Blockchains support different types of extensions. I've got a lot of experience in the whole crypto and blockchain world through different projects, so I think that there's a path forward to be able to support that. I just can't remember right now what the issues were, but there were some pretty big blockers to just being able to do it through a web page, and pod page is a web standard. So we're on the web standard, so that's the way we have to do it.

Sam Sethi:

You'll be glad to know, brendan, because with my other hat on it, with PodFans CEO, we're a PWA, we're a website and we've integrated directly with the LBAPI from a web page and we run a PWA on the mobile and it works a treat.

Brenden Mulligan:

So yeah, with that, though, you're a PWA, which means you're an installable website as if it's an app on a phone, right?

Sam Sethi:

We went that extra feature. I mean, if you just want to use us in the browser, then you can.

Brenden Mulligan:

You can. Can you able to? If you're just in the browser, can you do the integration that you just talked about?

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, absolutely yeah, we did it. So we built the desktop first and we did all the integration with the LBAPIs and everything. And the guys over there are really good Boomi and Moritz, they'll jump on board and come and help you really quickly. That all works and you can do two things you can offer a new wallet to people who don't have one, or you can authenticate against existing wallets. And, apart from fountain, every other podcast app is using LBAP. So what you're getting is this ability for a community just to quickly get on board. It's not so. That's one of the benefits of the LBAPI. And again, now it's evolved as well in its complexity. Back in 2022, it was like there will be QR codes and blah, blah, blah and invoices and payment, and it was all gobbledygook and it was like custom keys and pub key and everyone was like, oh my god. And then suddenly lightning addresses appeared and it suddenly became very simple and suddenly people were like, oh, ok, I get a wallet, I get a lightning address, I can make a payment. It's direct to peer to peer, bang done. And the APIs evolved and websites have got a little bit more smarter and it all just works. That would be my bottom line to you. It all just works now.

Brenden Mulligan:

Yeah, I think that I remember when I looked at it. So I always try with PodPage to be really focused on what the core use case for both the podcasters and the listeners are and not try to get myself into other businesses or build features where I'm not in the workflow. So when I think about the podcasting workflow, for example, I'm post-publish, there's nothing. I've had podcasters be like hey, can you build me tools to help me write better show notes? Or did it, and I'm like well, you need to show notes before the episode gets into PodPage, right? So I've always sort of said, oh, all these AI tools and stuff that are coming out, we've built some PodPage AI stuff in, but it's not to come up with an episode title or description because you need that before we know about it. It would come in and then we'd tell you to change it and then you'd go to your host and it would change. That's not where we fit in the workflow, right. And so what we do is things like we'll publish them on the web, we'll publish them on your social networks. We can use AI to come up with tweets that you should send about your episode. So we really always try to be like where are we in the steps of a listener journey or a creator journey? On the listener side, I think that most podcasters would agree that the core step that we fill for listeners is discover them, and probably it isn't as heavy on consumption, and so a lot of people optimize their page. They put the trailer at the top as opposed to the latest episode. We have a section where you can feature certain episodes that you consider your best, and so it's about capturing the listener and then, I would say, in most cases, getting them over to a podcast app to actually do the listening. There aren't a lot of people sitting on podpages just listening to episodes. That's my I mean a lot of data shows that globally. But then I've had some very podcasters that care a lot about the data, who dig into the pod page data and universally they're like yeah, I mean not a lot of people are spending a lot of time sitting in front of the browser listening to the episode. If they're going to do that, they'll watch it on YouTube or something, and because of that that's why the value stuff is a little less of the top of mind for us is because I feel like the value for value really shines when the user's consuming it. I feel like that's when it really is that those are the best touch points for value, for value where I feel like the website. Again, it's still more about like when I look at podcasts in 2.0, I go look at this rich metadata that we can use to then drive Google to point people to this website and then get people into their apps to listen to it. That's just how I've always thought about it, though Could be wrong, but that's another one of the reasons that, when we think about the investments of making we've been in the last few months, we've been adding in tons of SEO tools and SEO functionality. Because it's really about how do we, if someone launches a website because they want to really own a few keywords, how do we make sure that they can do that? The best possible way to get the people to come in, to send them to the apps where they can experience the value for value stuff.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I mean, I agree, I think James has heard me and many others have heard me use. I use a 5Ps or 6Ps and I think you're one of them. So when you talk about the flow, there's pre-presentation, pre-production, which is what you don't do, you're not going to create notes, and everything else. Then there's the actual production of the show, when you're recording it, like we are now Post-production editing. Then there's that presentation layer, which I think is where you fit in, presenting out the post-production, and then there's profit maximization and promotion, and I think you actually fit into promotion as well, getting the word out with SEO. So I think again, in my very, very simple little head that I have, I tend to put people into buckets, and that's where I'd probably put pod page, the other things that are coming up. I'm again just asking in case you've got them in the roadmap. There's something called a pod role that was announced recently, which is like the old days of blog roles or host recommendations. No one's really settled on the right terminology. Is that something that you might want to look at as well?

Brenden Mulligan:

next, Well, it's funny that that came out a few weeks ago and although I was excited about it, it makes my life a little more complicated because we had just almost finished a feature within pod page where it was a podcaster recommendations feature and so you would go in. Anyone who uses ConvertKit I mean I was really inspired by their creator network feature, where the idea is in ConvertKit you find other people who you love and then you try to. When someone signs up for your site or your list, you can have it on the next page, say hey, here's three others that we really like, go sign up for them. And so trying to figure out what's the podcasting and pod page version of that. And so we started rolling out a podcaster network and where podcasters would be able to go in and say I'd love to recommend other people to my show. Would you like to recommend me and sort of do a matchmaking thing in there? That's kind of 90% built. I would say, well, I could launch it. There's some rough edges to the smooth out and with any of these kind of marketplace type things there's always a chicken and an egg. But then the pod roll stuff comes out and I had to take a step back and be like OK, ok, well, how do these two things work? Because one of the primitives of the network that we were going to release was they had a pod page site and LALA, and it was. It was like you could say like, hey, I'd like to recommend you, would you recommend me? There was a little bit of working together where the pod role is a list of rss feeds and so even just the data display. For me I need to think about okay, well, these are rss feeds, these aren't Pod page websites, and so just grabbing the episode title and the I mean grabbing the podcast title and artwork it's easy because it's just grabbing from the feed but it's not saved in our database. So I kind of have to rewrite what we've done and think again how do these two things work together as opposed to? You know, it would take me two seconds to add a pod like had a page, a pod role page, to your website. But and maybe that's what I'll do first, because, like, trying to figure out how to fit pod role into this whole system that we had already built Might be harder. So anyway, I'm Even just talking throughout on this make helps me a little bit to try to like. You always want to move quickly and push stuff out and and I've had with I've tried to be a little bit more diligent here recently, where I'm starting to realize, oh, some of the decisions that we made, like two years ago to move quickly, I'm having to undo now and for 1% of websites, they're seeing like, oh, this feature used to be there and it's like, well it was. I shouldn't have launched it in the first place, it should have been part of this feature, so we just need to migrate people. I don't want to. I want to get this one a little bit more sort of long term thinking around this but I love the feature, like I think it's such a cool. I mean, again, you take it in the web world, like the hat that I wear. Having podcasters linking to other podcast websites from their website is good for a lot of people, right, it's. Backlinks are very, very important comes to SEO, and so how do I make sure whatever the pod role concept is good in that way to write like I don't want to just link oh I love to the Tim Ferriss show, go to Apple to listen to it, right, it's like how do we make sure that we can kind of connect dots where we can connect dots, and obviously, if the person you're recommending is a pod page user, we should tell that person about it. Right, there should be some sort of. There should be something more than hats. We put the data on your website. So I'm just trying to think through that.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, being a being a web web app. I mean, one of the things that a conversation that started, I think, with Adam and Dave couple of weeks ago on their show was how can you get better identity of individuals on the person tag, and it was really funny can I'm fairly old and I go back to the early days of the noughties when when we were talking about micro formats and friend of a friend, friend called foaf and we were talking about micro data and XFN and it really feels like we're coming full circle around to all this stuff again. It's it's all about. Can you add some simple metadata around the person tag to extend it to allow for better discovery? And I think Some somewhere along the line I think all of us need to rather possibly is have a little look back at what was done before, maybe enhance it a little bit, dust down the old standards, because they are doubly three standards and say, hey, how can we implement some of this? I think that's going to be certainly for me in twenty twenty four one of the things I want to look at.

Brenden Mulligan:

Yeah, I've got my brain going about. I mean there might be a. I'm now wondering if there is a straightforward pod roll way to sort of replace Like my ultimate sounds. You can tell that now you're going to go on.

Lisa Jacobs:

That was the worries.

Brenden Mulligan:

I mean one of the biggest, the one of the biggest heart, one of the. I even mentioned this one. I was talking about one of the hardest parts about doing the podcaster network. I'm pod page. Podcaster network was chicken and egg sort of marketplace with no supplier demand, and I want people to be able to. The idea was that no one should be able to recommend someone who's not really open to be recommended, and so that was kind of one of the primitives. But with pot roll I realized that it's just totally open and you can put anyone you want on there, which means and like you can think of like how this could be negative where it's like oh, a podcast that I don't want to be associated with is recommending me and what, and that gives the podcaster being recommended no control over that. But I guess if that's the way the standards moving, then Then there's not. I was like, well, you should, you shouldn't just be able to be added to someone else's site through this network without actually getting permission to be listed. But again, then maybe I'm being I'm being too sensitive about how some of the work.

Sam Sethi:

So yeah, I think maybe you are, because I mean you would have to then extend that to. Well, I don't want to be in your playlist then I don't want to be, I don't want to be any any form of recognition. I mean, yeah, no, it's true, what you might want to do is actually build a feature which is do not follow me, do not link to me, do not talk to me. In which case, why are you doing a podcast in the first place? Right and no?

Brenden Mulligan:

it's. It's totally true. I mean, it was funny because I think I'm, I think, sometimes like, yeah, any horrible person could recommend your podcast and you couldn't do anything about it. This is kind of like and it's it's. It's different because it's music versus podcast. But you see, at least in the states with our, our beautiful political landscape where we're all so nice to each other, you see, you see, like musicians starting to say, hey, you can't use my song at your campaign rally and what all of that. So to me it's like, whenever I do anything on pod page that would essentially be hey, you can. It's not sharing personal data. But whenever it's, whenever it's starting to be like You're linking to my website, I don't know I always this is just always been a policy in my brain of like, just make sure that it's. This is you're being sensitive about what people would want before making it easy for people to do whatever they want. But you're right, someone could just build a custom page on pod page and list a bunch of podcasts they like. So I feel like I have a little bit more responsibility when it comes to I'm helping you structure data versus like free for all. Anyway, we can get off this topic, point being, maybe I'll launch a pod role support this afternoon, or something like that. I look forward to that.

Sam Sethi:

Now, one of the other things Adam Dave talked about well Adam did was that he actually has a couple of pod page and he runs a couple of his Podcasts through it and he was very excited about you're going to be one of the guests. But also the other one was he wanted to know whether you would support something like activity pub. Has that even crossed your mind? You know the idea of being able to share content out of pod page Into master dawn and then. So I guess it's like In the same way that you were talking about extending it out to Google and maybe extending it out to X or or ever, is there a way that you might support the activity pub so that somebody's done something inside of pod page and they can share it out to my? I'll just need to look into. I haven't. I haven't done a lot of research into how that works.

Brenden Mulligan:

I mean, I don't know. So we added support for Zapier or Zapier, and so as things come into pod page, you can say I put them on wherever you want to put them right. We just sent them. So right now, when an episode is published in the pod page, we you can turn on posting it to Twitter or X, facebook and LinkedIn, that's. You know, we actually have tools for that that we, that we post, and that's just because they're the biggest and they're the ones that everyone wanted. There's obviously this new class of networks that are growing. The people would like it's such a pain to like do a lot of these API integrations, and that's why we went to Zapier route where we could just, hey, we're going to give it to them, like that, that puts the power in the networks hands to do their own integration with Zapier, and then you should be able to do whatever you want. And so I haven't seen that that kind of reduced our roadmap of like we need to scramble to get more posting out there, because we're like, cool, we just have this one place that it can go. It's I wouldn't say where. I'm never opposed to anything, I mean it's it really comes down to, and some people like this answer and some people don't, because but we build whatever our customers want us to build. If you looked at PodPage, when I launched it the first day it was it was a basic site and almost every feature on there has come from our Facebook community asking for it or customers writing us asking for it enough times. And so I would never say we won't build anything. I just I generally want to hear the customers ask for it and sometimes Customers don't love that answer because they have like a really unique use case. They're like oh I really can you do this? When I publish an episode, can you change the season and add digits and change? It's like this very complicated thing they need because they have a very unique way of presenting and a lot of this. Customers like you're the perfect candidate to use WordPress because, like we can do we can, I'll do so much, but there's a certain point anyone who needs ultimate customization, there are platforms out there that'll do it. You can do whatever you want and so anyway. So I think your question was would you be open to the activity? But I would totally be open to it. I just want to like learn a little bit more about the use case and how many more people were were wanting it.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I mean, I think I think customer feedback is great because that does guide you as a developer and and they're so much using a product. But I also have in mind every time I hear that I think it was Henry Ford. You said if I asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse, not a car. And on that basis, sometimes I think we as I guess technologists or people are building stuff sometimes have to build stuff that customers aren't asking for, because actually they don't know what they want until they see what they have. There is that case as well.

Brenden Mulligan:

So I agree with that quote. The reason I push back a little bit sometimes when, in its uses, I feel like, if you ask customers what they want, if I, if I built everything my customer said they wanted I would get, I would have built. And I have done made this mistake before where I build something that isn't really what they wanted. I think being guided by the problems that customers present you with is a more effective way. So like I think, yes, if you ask they want a faster horse, but if you listen to the problem they're having, the problem they were having was I can't get where I need to get fast enough. And so if you go back to first principle and say, well, can horses get us there as fast as what the people want? No, we need an alternative to a horse, right? I think in product development it's not so much that we go after we just do what the customers say, it's more listening to them say like oh, I'm having a problem because I'm not able to like the thing I want my customer here's an example of something we did recently like the thing I want my customers to do more than anything is to buy my, to buy my new book. I have a link in my nav bar, but how do I, how do I make it Boulder right, how do I? Because the page isn't really structured to have like a big, has never been structured to have like a different thing than listen to my podcast. So recently we've added a way to reorganize your nav bar so you can have whatever the main call to action is you want. We have an announcement bar at the top where you can write anything, and we have a modal that used to only be for collecting email addresses, and now you can pop it up and say buy my book, and so the customer forget what. You know that example. The customer wanted something that wasn't one of those three things and, honestly, wouldn't have made a difference, but it was like, oh, you just want to be able to highlight a promotion. Okay, so that's what I mean when I say listening to customers. That's very cool.

Sam Sethi:

Brendan, thank you so much and congratulations with all this. Keep the good work up. I guess with new features that you're planning and we'll keep an eye out. I promise not to miss it on pod news this time. Hey, look on the bright side, you got two bites of the cherry. We come, not too bad. And Brendan remind everyone where can they go if they want to find out more about pod page pod pod p, a, g e dot com.

Brenden Mulligan:

We're at pod page HQ on Twitter. But best places just go to the website and I people always ask me, like pitch me on using you guys versus WordPress or something like that, and what I always say is you go to pod page dot com, you click, get started and you enter your podcast name. In 10 to 15 seconds you'll see a bunch of websites and you can decide at that point if you think it's a cool site or not. Right, it's like always, just like I just go try it. We made it so easy to try. That's the best place to get more information. And then there's a button in the lower right that you can always click and it's a chat button and most messages will get directly to me. Or if you want to talk to me, just have it to be sent to me. So I do a lot in the majority of the customer support. Brilliant, thank you.

Sam Sethi:

Thank you so much. Good luck with the page and catch up in 24. Thank you so much. There we go. Brendan Mulligan yeah, lovely chap that he is. He's coming to, hopefully, podcast movement in LA and, yeah, he's building out more and more features. I think, overall, what I got from it is that, yeah, he's done a great job in supporting some of the earlier podcasting 2 to 0 tags and they're growing great. And it's that catch 22 between finding out what's the next set of podcasting tags, like pod roles and value time splits and value chapters and understanding how it all works. So I think he's in that second role of what does he do next? But one thing I would say, james, it sounds like one of these products that one of the hosts should just buy.

James Cridland:

I know, I completely agree. I think if you look at some of the podcast pages that Libsyn produces, for example I mean why John W Gibbons isn't jumping to buy pod page Exactly, I really don't know. I mean that makes absolutely zero sense. Buzzsprouts are very lovely If you want CRs. Weeklypodnewsnet is where our Buzzsprout website is. But if you have a look at Libsyns or you have a look at some other podcast hosts don't want to be rude about too many of them, but most of them are rubbish and just either just white label pod page with your own style sheets and that kind of thing that makes sense, or just buy the company. Get rid of all that horrible technical debt. Yeah, I'm really surprised why people aren't doing that. Yeah, absolutely yes, it's our favourite time of the week. It's Boostergram Corner. We've got a number of sats, which is excellent. What have we got here? Gene Bean, the Roe of Ducks.

Sam Sethi:

As a follow up to Sam's discussion about the person tagged Taxonomy. I also find it limiting and confusing in its current form. I went reading through the entire taxonomy while Dungey and I couldn't make out what for someone who does everything except speak on a show. I would have thought they'd be something like a producer to cover this, but that doesn't seem to be the case if you go by the descriptions in the spec. Well, there is a producer. I do have to say. I've read this spec as well multiple times and, yeah, it is a long podcast taxonomy list.

James Cridland:

It's not complete. I think they've got everything in there, including the kitchen sink, which makes it quite difficult to actually work out where things are. One of the things that I spotted was that the podcast workers Australia piece of work around rate cards that we mentioned earlier on that has its own taxonomy of different people who work in the industry, and one of the pieces of feedback that I gave them and that I would encourage you to give them as well, if you can find who actually runs that organization is for them to have a look at the podcast taxonomy itself, which is an open piece of work and it probably needs translating into Australian English probably needs translating into British English as well, but I think it's certainly a good thing for us all to work together on that and to use potentially a subset for where we are in terms of making that appear in apps and things.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, and I would also say the podcast taxonomy group needs to update that list. That was done three or four years ago and again, one of the things is there's no co-host, there's no AI as a host, so there's a lot of things and I worry it's going to turn into another one of these Apple categories stuck in time, moving on and not being fit for purpose.

James Cridland:

Well, yes, indeed, indeed. Let's move on. Gene Bean sent us Elite Boost regarding the docs for the podcast namespace spec. I wonder if this is a case of someone just needs to put up a pull request to the specs GitHub that automatically publishes all of it. Look, just take a look, gene Bean, I would, at podcastnamespaceorg that is an open GitHub for you to do exactly that, and it would be wonderful if perhaps we had something which is a little bit more clear in terms of the namespace, which I think is a different piece of work than the index. So I think that would be a good thing. Adam Curry sends us 10,000 sats oh, yes, a big baller. And he says 10,000 sats to compensate you for having to read that horrible Buzzsprout and copy. So more Buzzsprout podcast hosting made easy with powerful tools, free learning materials and remarkable customer support. I don't think that that's horrible at all. They haven't re-signed yet. I don't think that that's horrible at all. So, yes, but thank you, adam, I will take the 10,000 sats as well. It's nowhere near as much as we get from our friends at Buzzsprout, I should tell you. So you will have to up your game there.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I think Adam's referring to the bad pods or good pods flurry language that you used last week.

James Cridland:

Oh, is that what it was? Oh, OK. Well, there we are, and Barry from Pod Home is sending us a row of ones, as I'm going to call it double one, double one, talking about image compression and stuff like that. If you get value from what we do, the Pod News Weekly Review it's separate from Pod News, Sam, and I share everything from it. We really appreciate your support so we can continue making the show. You can support us with a credit card weeklypodnewsnet. You can support us with sats by hitting the boost button in your podcast app, likepodfansfm or like Fountain.

Sam Sethi:

And now, James, it's the last word. Over to you, mate.

James Cridland:

Yes, I went through the Australian Podcast Awards winners and I must have looked at 200 different websites for podcasts. One of the things that really stood out to me is how rubbish most podcast websites are, how few people even bother linking to Apple Podcasts or to Spotify or to other places, and we really all ought to raise our game in terms of that and get better podcast websites. So that's my last word for this week. What's been happening for you this week, sam?

Sam Sethi:

Very simply, lots and lots of podcast index podping work oh, driving me mental. But other than that, all good. But I had a little idea that came back from my Netscape days. Dave Jackson mentioned it. Actually they have badges that were best used or best viewed with Netscape or best viewed with IE, if you remember those in the day. And I just wondered if we had any badges for podcasting. And I had a look on the GitHub and there was a podcast certificate badge, but it hasn't been used on the main pages or anywhere. So I just threw up a little idea this podcast is best heard in, and then it has a link to the podcast index page with all of the apps showing. And then I had another one which is this podcast is best used. Oh no, this app is best used with these hosts which we're going to use on pod fans. That again just links back to the hosts on the podcast index. Again, just a bit of awareness. I thought we needed.

James Cridland:

Yes, I think it's certainly something we should be having a look at, and I intend to get my hands dirty with those and make the copy a little bit smarter, but we do need to work out where it needs to go to, which, of course, is the thing, james. So what's happened for you? I had a very entertaining week. It's 100 years of radio in Australia, so I was on ABC Radio Brisbane earlier on today talking about that and various other things. So, yeah, it's been a good week for me and that's it for this week.

Sam Sethi:

You can give feedback to James or I by sending us a boostergram. If your podcast app doesn't support Boost, then grab a new app from podnewsnet forward slash new podcast apps.

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 Buzzsprout Podcast hosting made easy. Get updated every day. Subscribe to our newsletter at podnewsnet.

Lisa Jacobs:

Tell your friends and grow the show and support us. The Pod News. Weekly Review will return next week. Keep listening.

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