Podnews Weekly Review

Podcasting 2.0 criticism; Alby outage; and the EU's Digital Markets Act

January 26, 2024 James Cridland and Sam Sethi Season 2 Episode 58
Podnews Weekly Review
Podcasting 2.0 criticism; Alby outage; and the EU's Digital Markets Act
PoWeR Supporter
Become a supporter of the show!
Starting at $3/month
Support
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

We discuss Rob and Elsie's criticism of Podcasting 2.0; the Digital Markets Act in Europe and what that means for podcasting; and Alby's outage. (This is a re-upload without 30 minutes of silence, d'oh)

Support the show

Connect With Us:

James Cridland:

Welcome to the Pod News Weekly Review. Just before we start, this is Future James jumping in and saying that we recorded this before the announcement of Apple Podcast's transcriptions. In fact, I had actually seen it through Apple, but we weren't allowed to talk about it and I didn't know when we were allowed to talk about it, so we didn't talk about it, because we're good like that. Anyway, that means that some of what you hear in this week's episode will be out of date. Sorry about that, but here it is. It's Friday, the 26th of January 2024.

Announcer:

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

Sam Sethi:

Yes, I'm James Cridland the editor of Pod News, and I'm Sam Sethi, the CEO of Truefans.

James Cridland:

In the chapters today. Libsyn's Rob Walsh asks is podcasting 2.0 clear enough? The Digital Marketing Act rolls out on March 7. But what could that mean for podcasting? And Odyssey, which recently filed for bankruptcy protection, has a new business plan. This podcast is sponsored by Buzzsprout. Podcast hosting made easy with easy and powerful tools, free learning materials and remarkable customer support.

Announcer:

From your daily newsletter, the Pod News Weekly Review.

Sam Sethi:

Now, james, in Pod News Daily, you highlighted the Libsyn podcast called the Feed with Elsie Escobar and Rob Walsh, and I don't normally listen to that podcast. I'll be genuinely honest and say but this one seemed to be an interesting one. Halfway through they talk about is podcasting 2.0 clear enough? In the episode of the Feed, which is the official Libsyn podcast, they talk about poor app support and they talk about the fact that you know podcasting in general isn't very good with podcasting 2.0. Do you want to play the clip?

Rob Walch:

Podcasting 2.0 is not one thing. It is many, many different items, none of which are supported by Apple Podcasts or Spotify. Actually, less than 1% of all downloads to aggregator apps come from apps that support any of the podcast 2.0 specs. This is something you do not hear the podcast 2.0 proponents mention. There's virtually no support on the listener side per aggregator apps, which is where it's supposed to matter most.

James Cridland:

Well, there we are, then. That's us told what a waste of time we're spending.

Sam Sethi:

Well, before we go on to talk about whether podcasting 2.0 and what it should or shouldn't be doing going forward in 24, I'd just like to point out on this one as an app developer. When Rob says it's poor app support, libsyn calling out apps is rich coming from the hosting company that only supports one podcasting tag, the lock tag, and that was only for them to try and stop people leaving to go to anchor. And when Libsyn's public facing podcast is say time and time again that the podcasting 2.0 support is simple. You just have to go back to Libsyn for the previous version of their platform in order to use it, because Libsyn 5 doesn't support it. I think they need to start to fix their own house before they start to talk about other people's houses. Sorry, just had to get that out.

James Cridland:

Well, and it certainly seems to be that there were differing conversations going on in that one podcast, because there was Rob taking every opportunity that he possibly could to say that podcasting 2.0 isn't being supported by anyone and it's a complete waste of time. You've also got Elsie, who says that she finds it really quite interesting, but she also says it's really difficult to explain to the audience the majority of folks don't have as much knowledge about the technicalities of podcasting in the first place.

Elsie Escobar:

The mirror having to explain an RSS feed to somebody just the feed itself is a challenge because folks don't get that part yet. Being able to say things like you don't upload your podcast into Apple podcasts just getting to that part is already a big challenge because folks don't quite get that. Then adding a bunch of more information to the whole thing is a lot more complicated and complex for somebody who hasn't understood what it is in the first place. I'm not negative about podcasting 2.0 features and I really find them exciting, but I'm at a loss as to how to communicate a lot of this in a simple manner If I want to participate in a lot of this stuff. A lot of the conversations I've seen around podcasting 2.0 is very technically centric and I feel like I don't understand it myself and I feel overwhelmed and I'm not smart enough to know this stuff. That's just a personal feeling that I get when these conversations come up, not that they're trying to make people feel that way.

James Cridland:

Now, Elsie has a point here in that it is deeply technically complicated right now to understand what podcasting 2.0 is all about. It shares a website with the podcast index, which is a different thing. I tried with the podcast namespace website, podcastnamespaceorg, but even that is a bit too technical and complicated. I think she's got a point there, hasn't she?

Sam Sethi:

She has, but I will go back and say that I've been here before. When the web first kicked off, I remember everybody going TCPIP, url, http. Oh, it'll never catch on what it's a browser and it's language. It's time and, yes, complexity is fail, simplicity and that simplicity has to come, and it is coming, I think. As we look back over the last two years, you and I having done this podcast, we can see the evolution of change. We can see that people begin to get it and understand that now it's slower than it should be and it's slower than I'd like it to be, but I do think that will happen now. Given that, and having said that, I do agree with Elsie as well I have seen many a time oh Sam, what do you do? What's your company? Well, we're a podcasting app. Oh yeah, I know one of those. Yeah, what's different about you? Well, we do micro payments using Bitcoin. Oh, yeah, right, anyway, got to go. You see it so often. So, I do get what Elsie's saying.

James Cridland:

Yeah, and I think and she goes on and she says look, to get people listening to a podcast is hard enough. If we're having to educate people to use weird and wonderful different apps than the ones that aren't already with their phone, then it's much harder. Here she is talking a little bit further on.

Elsie Escobar:

Oh, use this app. This app really supports all these features, but is my audience really going to jump through hoops for this?

Sam Sethi:

Is she right? She's right. I mean, you know, if I took my wife as a technical user you know she used to run Microsoft they were saying UK, and so she's not somebody who's a total Luddite, but God, she would never, ever think about using anything else than what's on the phone. And this reminds me of when Microsoft, with IE, was forced to open the doors by the DOJ and include, you know, other browsers. I mean wonder whether Apple has got some challenges here. I think they are very monopolistic. I do hope the DOJ does look at them. I mean, microsoft only own the operating system and the browser. Apple owns the hardware the operating system, the browser, the app store and the app player and basically limits anyone unless they use their payment system. I mean, if that's not monopolistic, I have no idea what is.

James Cridland:

Well, that's a whole separate issue which I'm sure that we'll dive into in just a second. Daniel J Lewis jumped into the conversation on a podcast indexsocial, basically saying you know that there isn't really an official home that people can go and actually understand what podcasting 2.0 is on the web. There's no podcasting 2.0 website and you know, the podcast index isn't that? From my point of view, that's a different product. So he's saying can I, can I build the official podcasting 2.0 site on a new domain? And I think I've seen Adam Curry basically saying, yeah, go for it. You know he's he doesn't care about that sort of thing. He doesn't necessarily, you know, want to end up running all of that. So I think that Daniel might do us all a favor and actually get a nice looking podcasting 2.0 website up which explains it for the consumer, which explains it for the people that Elsie is talking to, as well as explains it to the people like you and me who are, you know, the tech people playing around with RSS feeds. Yeah, I mean look.

Sam Sethi:

I hope Daniel does, you know, do something with it. I mean, he did a great series of intro audio clips to talk about value for value and micro payments and I thought you know, wow, where's that going to go? I mean, look, James, the elephant in the room that we haven't mentioned is PSP, the podcast standards project. It's been a massive failure. It has no clear leadership and it's not because nobody wants to see success within the PSP. I think it's no one's job. I think it's no one's priority. I think no one is given a role that says go and do this I think you and I have talked about in the past. I think there needs to be an evangelist for, you know, podcasting 2.0, somebody who goes to every conference, who who stands up and says you know, this is my job to tell you, the world, about what we're doing in this space and to make it simple enough for people to understand and say look, have a go, have a look, and here's where you can try it. Maybe that's the way forward, because that should be the marketing arm of podcasting 2.0. And maybe that's where Daniel's explanations and and other marketing materials go into.

James Cridland:

Yeah, I think so. I think that would be a certainly a helpful thing to do, and whether that's the podcasting standards project, which is a little bit more, you know, focused into the podcast hosting companies or you know, or someone else, funding that person is worthwhile having a look at. But clearly that person needs to be funded in some way, shape or form, and I'm not quite sure where I see the money of that coming to. I have to say, you know, and we've been saying the podcast industrial complex in the past, but I think that that phrase is deeply unhelpful. If we're trying to get people like Apple, spotify and other people involved in the namespace understanding what the namespace is all about, understanding what all of these new features are all about. If we are also denigrating them in the very breath that we are saying come on, have a look at our stuff, then I can't necessarily see that being particularly helpful to anyone. So I wish that we would kind of stop doing that. That's not particularly helpful.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, and I think you know. Going back to what Rob Walsh said, basically he's saying that less than 1% of all downloads come from apps that support the podcasting 2.0 spec. That's not fair on all the other hosts. I would say, though, to give him some due. So you know, the amount of traffic going through the new podcasting apps Probably isn't significant right now. To make you know people like Libsyn even think about you know, I often wonder why would Libsyn not even start to participate in the podcasting 2.0 space? And maybe that's an engineering issue, maybe that's a budget issue, but some of it may be.

James Cridland:

I mean it's because it's because Rob is basically sitting there saying it's rubbish, nobody's doing it, we shouldn't be doing it full stop and for whatever reason. You know that's the way that that organization runs and that's absolutely fine. If you, if you want to make a podcasting hosting company where you don't innovate at all and you don't do any of those new new features, then that's absolutely fine because there'll be plenty to take your place. But I think you know Rob's point. You know, and he keeps on making that point all the way through, that little, that little segment of but overcast doesn't support it, but but pocket casts doesn't support it, but blah, blah, blah doesn't support it. And he keeps on going all the way through and you know, and kind of twisting that particular knife and I guess from from my point of view, I would be Just sort of tempering that by saying, well, we've all got to start somewhere. Is the plan? Is the long-term Theory, with someone like Rob Walsh, that we should never innovate and never change anything to do with podcasting, ever again? If that's the long-term theory, then fine, that's a long-term theory to have. But it's not necessarily one that I, you know, entirely agree with.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I mean the web itself was not driven by user demand. You know, I remember being in the early days, you know, and people talking about TCP, ip I mean Vince surf, you know, made it simpler. I mean, pioneers Created the platforms and the building blocks that led to the web that we have today. And I think we're seeing the same thing with podcasting. You know, one of the things that I got so excited about over the summer with podcasting 2.0 was value, time splits and the remote item, and For me, the remote item is the hyperlink of podcasting. It's the ability to allow one podcast to link to another podcast and Actually to pay, if they have a wallet and and we're inclined to do so the the interview, so we could have, if the tools were there, paid for the clips that we've just played for Rob Walsh and Elsie, and you know that's hyperlinking to other content. Now, those types of technologies take time to produce the UI and the UX Interfaces that would make it simple and easy. I mean, because it's not easy, we just played it. But again, these are the sorts of advancements that we will see and eventually, in three, two, three years, it may be that time frame, you know it'll be. Oh, you know what, just send it to my wallet, sam, and get albycom, or even it may be. Not even get all be the calm. Maybe it's even personalized and it's a normal set of the conversation. And yeah, oh yeah, you want to use my clip? Yeah, just, you know, here's my wallet, just put it in blah, blah, blah. I think we're just going through that painful learning curve, but it doesn't help when big companies Denigrate what's going on.

James Cridland:

No, and I think you know. I would also say if you are going to turn around Allegedly the biggest independent podcast host in the world and turn around and say, well, apple and Spotify aren't using it, who's fault is that, you know, if your lips in and you simply haven't invested in in this at all, and then you turn around and you say, well, apple and Spotify aren't supporting it? Well, you're not supporting it either, and that's probably one of the reasons why and you know I may be saying that through a slightly different Lens because, of course, we're sponsored by Buzzsprout, who are supporting a lot of these features but I think that it's a bit disingenuous to end up saying that, that that sort of thing, when you yourself have done absolutely nothing to, you know, to move that, that that forward. So, as I say, you know, if the game plan is to Bake podcasting in Aspic, to make sure that podcasting never gains any new features, never gains Transcripts and any of these large podcast platforms never gains you know, better, more easily edited chapters and all this kind of stuff, then you know that that's a fine viewpoint to have, but it's not necessarily a viewpoint that I would have well, I looked at the show notes of the feed and of course they sport the Spotify and YouTube bracketed Chapters.

Sam Sethi:

So again, just says a lot there. Now moving on, james, because I could talk about this all day.

James Cridland:

Yes moving on. Yes, well, yes, let's move on to the, to Apple and, and indeed you know, play stores and all of that.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, now look, on March the 7th, the European Union is going to bring in a new act called the Digital Markets Act, and what that simply means is that Apple and Google's play stores are going to be forced to allow third parties to load or side load, as it's called their own apps, and that's a way that people can get around the 30% tax that Apple has implemented up until now. So the DMA has teeth. It will charge or it will stop. Apple now it will, you know, put a lot of fines on them to begin with, and maybe then they'll start to do other things to Apple. So one of the things that's happened, of course, is Spotify has been cartwheeling down the corridors going yee-ha, who we come? It's basically saying you know, we will be well. On Wednesday, it said this Spotify announced its plans in Europe to start communicating directly with at users about Subscription offerings and deals. Basically, it's going to make it possible for users to purchase audio books directly and to allow downloads from some apps from its website. Now, this is this is something that Apple is fighting desperately to stop, as you can tell. Do you think Apple is going to allow James people to start loading apps outside of the app store on iOS platforms?

James Cridland:

Well, let's look at it from the other side. Let's look at it from what happens on on Android, because I think Android is interesting as a, as an alternative here. So Android has a app store, the Google Play Store. That is a very carefully monitored place not carefully enough, but a relatively carefully monitored place by Google. But you can, if you want, to launch your own app store and Android itself will install a, you know, a program which you download or an app which you download from one of these other app stores onto your phone. Amazon has I don't know if they still do, but Amazon had an app store. There is an app store called f droid, which is for open source stuff, and there are a few others as well. There's one from Samsung, because, of course, samsung has to reinvent everything. So you know that that's where the Android world has been. But I have to say, most of the time you will download your stuff through the Google Play Store because it just works and Also you know that it's going to be a relatively safe place to to download. So it is not necessarily very clear that it will make a massive difference To start fiddling around with sideloading and and all of that from the Apple point of view. But Apple, you know very carefully, are very, you know, worried about what might be installed on their products. Given the tight control that they actually have over, you know, over their, their, their hardware, I would say, you know, google is is not, is not too dissimilar here I mean Google. Only this week, google denied the latest update to the podcast addict Podcast app, which has an alarm clock in there. The alarm clock is used 60,000 times every day by users to wake up to podcasts. I'm sure that some of them wake up to the pod news daily. Poor them, sorry about that. But anyway, google has decided that it will no longer allow the podcast addicts app to ask for the For the setting alarm function, and they basically said nope, you can't have that anymore, take that out. That's a product, that's a, you know, a feature set which is used 60,000 times a day. And Google has just turned around and said, yeah, now we don't want that anymore, which seems, you know, bizarre to me, but that you know. So it's not just Apple, it's certainly, it's certainly Google as well.

Sam Sethi:

Well, apple's response is they're going to have a new fee structure, but they're going to put further restrictions for downloads of any apps outside the App Store. So, instead of the 30% tax that you're going to be charged if you're inside the App Store, they're only going to give you a 27% tax, james, if you're outside.

James Cridland:

Well, hang on a minute. When did they earn more money from that? Because they are currently eating the payment charge, the 2.93% payment charge. So, basically, they're charging the same, aren't they? They've always been earning 27 net, haven't they?

Sam Sethi:

Yes, so that's their plan, that they're going to say yes, of course you can go ahead and that's in line with the DMA. You can have your side load, but only if we allow you to side load first. And yeah, you still pay us anyway. So I'm not sure whether Spotify should be car wheeling, I think.

James Cridland:

Well, maybe yeah, I can see. I mean, maybe Apple have basically gone and gone. Okay, we've read the law. The law wants us to be able to download apps from other places. You can download apps from other places, but we're still going to charge. So we've gone by the law. But I don't know, it's a clever one, isn't?

Sam Sethi:

it. Yeah, I mean, look, as a progressive web app developer for Truefans, we made that decision not to get involved with the Apple tax. It's good and bad. I'll be honest and say, look, some days I go I wish I'd just done an iOS app. And because nine times out of 10 people go, oh yeah, I like to try and wrap. Is it in the app store? And you have to go. No, no, go to the browser and then click this and then it'll pop up and tell you to add it to the home screen and bingo, you've got your app Right. And they go oh no, no, well, I'll just go to the app store. But on the other hand, the sword of Damocles hangs over all iOS apps. Certainly in the podcasting to the O space, you know, with damas, as we saw in the past, I mean fountain at any point could suddenly have Apple go. Yeah, there you go, not going to allow it, and I'm not saying I'd want ever that to happen, but that is the sword of Damocles that hangs over all of the iOS apps who do micropayments. So it's good and bad and I don't know which way. I mean if Apple are going to allow it but not really allow it, then nothing's really changed.

James Cridland:

Yes, no, indeed, indeed. Now I find it absolutely fascinating and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in Europe, because of course, it is only a Europe thing and there are various things that the European Union have passed which has taken features away from from their users, so it'll be interesting to see quite what that means actually once it actually starts. But yeah, but there we are. Thank you very much also for the for the history lesson there, quoting some history from Sicily by Timaeus of Taromanium from about 260 BC. So thanks for that.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, that's English public school. It's clearly what it is. Yes, now moving on, then, the US broadcaster Odyssey recently filed for bankruptcy, james, but it has a new business plan. I never get. I never understand how this works in America. It's chapter 13. You can just file for bankruptcy, chuck a couple of billion in the back pocket and say, yeah well, thanks a lot, we're not, you're not going to pay that back. Oh, and we're back again. Hooray, and here's our new business plan. How do you do this?

James Cridland:

Yeah, who knows how they do this? And, to be honest, looking at how Odyssey or Intercom as it was, has performed over the last 10 years, why would you, as an investor, want to let the current management team off quite a lot of the money that they are, that they owe you In, only for them? Only for them to carry on? I mean, it's pretty clear to me that new blood is needed at the top of that organization. I'm sure that David Field is a lovely man, but you can very clearly see that, in terms of business, that is not a great business and continues not to be a great business. So that's a weird old one. But one of the things that they have done is they have, as you say, announced a new business plan. This is actually a business plan that they had before they filed for bankruptcy, so it's not necessarily a brand new business plan, but nevertheless, it's become visible. This week, interestingly, through Inside Radio, which is a radio trade publication in the US, which is owned by I Heart Radio and by its competitor. Anyway, odyssey says that it's going to launch an audio subscription service, which says that it could deliver as much as $20 million in revenue by 2017. And someone emailed me and said I wonder if you agree. $20 million in revenue for a subscription audio service is both extremely modest and entirely unachievable at the same time. I think I would completely agree with that. What a strange old company. I mean only $20 million, that's just like chicken feed, isn't it?

Sam Sethi:

Well, it is. When you start to look at what audio boom was last week to saying, just in one quarter turning $50 million. So I mean, yeah, if you say by 2027, two and a half years from now, or three years from now, we will deliver $20 million, that's like what was that? Less than $10 million a year, so probably $6 million a year. Well, whoo-hoo, that's not worth getting out of bed for, not when you are as big as they are.

James Cridland:

No, indeed, so the second largest radio broadcaster in the US. They also, of course, own a number of podcast companies Cadence 13, pineapple Street, they own Podcorn, and they even own a podcast app as well, called Memento. Why they would own a podcast app, who knows? But they also own Odyssey the Odyssey app as well. You can always tell a radio company is app when you have to spell it. There's Odyssey, there's Rover, rova, there's one in Australia called Listener, LISTNR, without any ease. There's one in Singapore called Audio, that's A-W-E-D-I-O, and so it goes on. It's almost funny, anyway. So, yes, odyssey, very strange, strange old thing.

Sam Sethi:

Now again, one of the things that Pod News daily did was they points out from time to time, apps or basically companies that are doing things a bit naughty. You pointed out there was a company called Elfsite, which is a podcast player widget that's been auto-downloading basically podcast and that counts as an IAB listen, james, doesn't it?

James Cridland:

Yes. So if you are, I mean, I covered a story back in 2018 about iHeart actually putting a preloading widget onto the front page of all of their radio station websites millions and millions and millions of impressions and then wondering why one of their shows was the number one in PodTrack. Well, basically it was number one PodTrack because it was automatically downloading and nobody was actually having a listen to it, anyway. So I contacted Elfsite and I said look, you're preloading. It's against IAB podcast measurement guidelines, but it's also fraudulent for the advertisers because the adverts aren't being listened to. Here's how to fix it. It's a half a line of HTML preload equal to no, and you might want to do that because that's kind of important. And they replied after I went to press and they said we deeply appreciate your patience, but we're not going to add this to the widget because it would affect the widget's responsiveness and our customers purchased a specific product with specific settings and so we can't make that change, and so we're not going to be doing that, but I've added it to our wish list. So I mailed them back and I tell them why it matters and why they shouldn't be preloading audio, because it breaks everything. And all of a sudden, they mail me back and they said, oh well actually, yeah, now that you've pointed it out, yeah, we're going to put that in and it'll be in tomorrow. So there we are. So we fixed another thing and it's quite a nice podcast player widget as well. Actually, it's worthwhile taking a PCAT and, assuming that they've put that fix in place, it's worthwhile taking a PCAT, although I would actually recommend that you use either Apple's or the one from Spotify, or indeed, if you've got one, sam Sethi obviously yours too.

Sam Sethi:

No, we don't have a standalone one, but yes, we do have a play.

James Cridland:

Yeah, of course, but yeah, that was a fun thing.

Sam Sethi:

Now around the world. James, in Saudi Arabia, there's a new company that's launched. Who are they and what are they?

James Cridland:

doing yes, they're called Fmania.

Sam Sethi:

And they've launched a new Arabic language podcast app.

James Cridland:

A podcasting really growing in the Arab states, particularly in Saudi Arabia, and they also run an ad network which is a monetization service for podcasters as well, and so interesting watching what's going on there. It's a very cool thing that an Australian news outlet ended up doing the other day. I mean, unfortunately Rupert Murdoch's involved. Is he alone? But you're not killed yet. Yes, he's still alive. Sadly, yeah, sadly, you can't. You know you can't move here without Rupert Murdoch doing something, but yes, so it's quite neat. So basically, it's a little tool that takes the latest news headlines from newscomau, turns that into a piece of automatically AI voiced advert and then makes that available in ads, and it's been running, apparently, in ACAST ads here in Australia since November. Clearly they're not targeting it to me because I've not actually heard any of it, but I think you know interesting to you know interesting to know. Would you like to have a quick listen as to what they sound like? Is Rupert doing this? Thankfully not, but here is the apparently AI voice. Many Australian cities are bracing for their hottest days in years, including Western Sydney, as experts warn of dangerous conditions in some areas. Now, that's not too bad a voice. It is AI, but frankly, it's quite difficult to know that it's AI and they're being updated, you know, every every minute or so, from what I understand. So, yeah, I think it's pretty good.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I mean look again, given your radio background and when I was doing radio, I mean being able to produce ads that quickly and being able to not have to have voice over artists and all the rest of it and the time it takes. Yeah, it's pretty cool.

James Cridland:

Yeah, it's not bad. Moving on to Mexico, podimo appears Well. The press release says Podimo has formed a strategic alliance with content marketing company Troop. But then, once you read the press release a little bit further, it does sound very much like Podimo is essentially closing in the country. Troop will be running Podimo for, for Podimo in the country, and so you know Podimo will have no staff of their own there and it'll all be Troop folk. That's what it seems to be reading through the. You know, reading in between the lines there, but nevertheless, you know they have been splashing the cash in Mexico a lot have Podimo. They say in the press release that they have thousands of subscribers for their $5 a month, you know, platform, which doesn't sound an awful lot to me. Thousands of. So, you know, interesting keeping an eye on that. But perhaps this is a step that Podimo is basically retreating a little bit from that market while still keeping a toe in. So interesting to end up. You know, seeing that. And there's a new thing going on in the UK, where you are a visualized podcast, sam. What is a visualized podcast?

Sam Sethi:

No, no, back to you what is a visualized podcast. But it's it back, no idea.

James Cridland:

Well, it's a TV show, obviously, isn't it? That's what I would say. So, production company Listen saying that their visualized podcast, which is a TV show that airs on BBC Two television, has 1.2 million people watching it, which is very exciting. The presenter, ed Gamble, has clarified. It's a program called the Trater's Uncloaked and Ed Gamble calls it an InVision format for your eyes that you can also hear with your ears, and is therefore nothing like a TV show actually, anyway, it's an audio podcast but basically it's filmed in front of cameras and it's a conversation type podcast filmed in front of cameras where you can see the microphones on the screen. So therefore it's a visualized podcast. I guess you can watch the TV show on iPlayer If you're in the UK.

Sam Sethi:

You can listen to the audio podcast on BBC Sounds Only wherever you are in the world I mean newscast which is on Thursday nights in the UK is a visualized podcast, then, because that's basically them showing, them recording the podcast on TV.

James Cridland:

I mean, joe Rogan is a visualized podcast, I suppose, if you want to go that far, let's not have this no please, yeah, but yes, and staying in the UK, there's a UK-based podcast agency called Earworm who has announced plans to expand into the US. They've just signed a big deal with Salem and they've jumped in there, which is all pretty good. Hey, let's have a look at some events, shall we?

Sam Sethi:

Indeed. Now just finished is Podfest Expo and also she podcasts Unplugged. Good to see Jess doing that as well. And one other thing from that event Todd Cochran, ceo of Blueberry, did a podcasting 2.0 presentation there. He did ask all the apps to send him in screenshots, so we duly did. I haven't seen the presentation, but thank you, todd, for doing that. And again, that goes back to it's taking time to get the message across to the normies, to the mass market. But thanks to Todd and others like that, kyren doing the Value for Value podcast, etc. The message will seep through.

James Cridland:

And there's the podcasting Hall of Fame as well, which happened at PodFest as well. Neither of us were there not because we have anything against PodFest, although possibly against Florida but it's a long way to go and, yeah, and I wish I'd like to go one year, but you know, I went in 2018, I think, and it'd be nice to go again, but still, what else is going on? I mean, the one that I'm looking forward to is podcast movement. That's the next one that I'm looking forward to Evolutions by podcast movement, which is towards the end of March. Amy Polar has been confirmed as speaker at Evolutions by Podcast Movement. She's a stand-up comedian, she's an Emmy Award winner and I am her warm-up man, which she must be delighted about. So, still, there we are. So I will be unveiling the Pod News report card, which is coming back again this year. I'll be giving a whistle-stop tour of the year in podcasting and probably counting out how many people have lost their jobs and a few affectionate jokes about the industry, if you can think of any. It says here. So I'm looking forward to doing a little bit of that too, and, of course, the podcast show in London happening in May. We will be at Evolutions as well, sam, when we will be doing this very show at Evolutions as well, from what I understand.

Sam Sethi:

Yes, we will, and now I'm looking forward to going back to LA. It would be nice to see a few people haven't seen in probably 12 months.

James Cridland:

Yeah, I'm looking forward to it too. I've got three or four days prior to the event just to sort of decompress in the middle of a rather long trip, so looking forward to that too. And there are more events, both paid for and free, at Pod News Virtual events or events in a place with people. If you're organising something, tell the world about it. It's free to be listed. Podnewsnet slash events.

Announcer:

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

James Cridland:

You can always hear me slowing down while I'm reaching for the button Slash Events. Anyway, this is the stuff you'll find every Monday in the Pod News newsletter, the tech stuff. Here's where we do all of the tech talk, talk tech to me, sam oh this is the bit else he doesn't like us doing. This is where Sam talks. This is where Sam talks technology. See what I did there.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I should do a podcast about that. Right, try it in digital. We talked about them doing AI and doing Alexa skills last week. Well, it looks like they're adding something called Sweepers, now Short jingles or presenter announcements. Is this a good thing, james?

James Cridland:

I don't know. I mean here's what I hope it is. I hope it's a way of doing what we can actually already do on this very podcast and what quite a lot of people will have heard. You know, when we take a commercial break and I say we'll be back after this, that is a little sweeper that goes in front of the commercial that you hear, in front of the ad that you hear, and that is automatically put in by the Buzzsprout system. My guess is that that's what they mean by that, but it's always interesting to see that. That would hopefully mean that if the ad break isn't actually sold, then you'd never hear we'll be back after this, which I hear an awful lot here in Australia and then the airbreak isn't sold and then they just come back straight away. So still, there we are. Rsscom has made enhancements to its podcast pages. They've included an improved podcast player. They've played around with their featured community page, which is very nice, where you can see other people on the RSScom platform. Fountain has launched again on Product.

Sam Sethi:

Hunt. Yeah, now, product Hunt is really cool. It's basically a massive group of geeks who try and see new products and then promote them up and then make a big announcement and noise and then basically the only deer on hopefully, fountain and Oscar and I really do hope it works is that they go on to Product Hunt and then they get product of the day, which means that, fundamentally, more and more people have seen their listing on Product Hunt, clicked on the link for Fountain, gone to the Fountain website and downloaded the Fountain app and again I think Oscar is saying look, if you can sign up to Product Hunt, please do, unless you already have an account and then support us on the day and then, at the same time, we will be trying to promote podcasting to the oh. So, again, going back to what we were saying earlier, this is another way that we're going to hopefully see more people in the broader market hear about podcasting to the O and try new podcasting apps.

James Cridland:

And so that was yesterday. I'm always keen to understand how Product Hunt actually does. I know that I've been promoted on it in the past and it did absolutely nothing. So I'm just sort of curious as to whether Product Hunt is just one of those things that the geeks talk about but actually doesn't necessarily deliver much traffic. But perhaps I'm being slightly unfaithful, I think it's me.

Sam Sethi:

it's Christmas, seen as heavily involved in it, and I think if you can hit the zeitgeist of what people are doing and is pure luck, I mean you have to put stuff on your website, promote it there, and then it's a bit like crowdfunding of money. You know you have to get 20 or 30 people to pre-commit to that money and then it looks like there's momentum. And then on that background of momentum, suddenly everyone goes. Oh yeah, I'll put a bit of money into your crowdfund as well. But if you just went there day one with zero and just begged and borrowed and will you come and fund me? Nothing will happen. And it's the same with Product Hunt. You have to have some momentum or movement up the chart very rapidly before the mass sees it, and then the mass goes. Oh, that sounds interesting. I'll come and have a look as well. So yeah, there is a bit of a game.

James Cridland:

Sounds like a bit of a Ponzi scheme to me. It is. If it was successful, then I hope it was, you know. Then you know I hope it's good. I'm an advisor for the company, so you know I should probably be rather more positive. But yeah, you know, I just never really understood whether Product Hunt actually has any impact to any new launch anymore. I know that it did, maybe you know, 10 years ago, but as for now, who knows?

Sam Sethi:

Now Albi, which powers the majority of the V for V payments in podcasting Tida O's certainly does for my app was down for seven hours yesterday. They apologised after a patch update from one of their infrastructure partners went wrong. This is one of the things that Adam worries about most. You know what will happen if Albi goes down, because it is what nine out of 10 of the apps support Albi yeah it's the glue, isn't it?

James Cridland:

It's the glue that is holding value for value together for a lot of people. What concerns me is it was down. There was no. There was no communication that it was down. When it came back up again, there was literally one message saying oh, we're back up, sorry about that. A link to their status page says that they haven't had any problems, which is I mean I don't want to use the word lie, but that's a lie. So it's a real worry that we've been trying to get something which is as decentralized as possible. But Albi everybody has used the Albi platform because it's very nicely done, it's gotten really good APIs and everything else, and yeah, and when it falls over, that's severe concern. So I'm hoping that the Albi folk have taken that to heart and are not just putting in better procedures when the thing does fall over, but also are a bit more open in terms of when it does fall over and communicating that with everyone. Particularly, they posted nothing on Mastered On whatsoever. So they posted a couple of things on the racist Space Carons site, but they didn't post anything on Mastered On. So nobody that was using Mastered On knew that the thing was down at all. So, yeah, I think it's all a bit of a mistake from their point of view, but I'm sure that lessons will be learnt.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, look, I really like the guides at Albi, boomi and Moritz and the team. We have a fallback situation where, if the API goes down, we can bank up sats locally and then, when the API comes back, we can push them through. So, yeah, we don't have that issue. So nobody was affected directly. But, like you said, we're one of their partners, right, and we weren't informed directly through email or any other mechanism. So, yes, they can make public announcements, but privately. Every one of us who use the Albi platform or who uses their API should have been alerted directly and I can tell you that for certain and this is not the first time I've spoken to the guys before, when they had the decision that they were going to lock off new accounts and they was like, oh my God, what are you doing? It was because they didn't announce it or talk to us in advance. We were just given this oh, yes, we've decided that anything more than a million sats in the account now we're going to lock accounts. We had some other things and we're like, well, what does that mean for us? And then eventually we've got a token, which means any new user signing up through Podverse or through Truefans or podcast addict. We can still pass through new users, but that wasn't made clear at the time. And there are a few other occasions where they've changed the API on us and we've gone. Why is it broken? Oh, you've changed the API. Okay, well, we'll make the change then. Fine, but they've got to get a bit apart of programme. That's what I'll say.

James Cridland:

Yeah, no, no, indeed, indeed. And what else we've got? Finally, fanlist, which is the artist that used to be known as Pod Inbox. They are now a podcast host. They're supporting premium podcast feeds. You host your show's premium episodes with them. They'll take 7% of your income, which is rather significantly less than Apple's 30%. So good to end up seeing FanList adding a little bit more of that.

Announcer:

Boostergram corner corner corner on the Pod News Weekly Review.

James Cridland:

Yes, it's our favourite time of the week. It's time for Boostergram Corner and we've received a, I think, three good boosters here haven't we?

Sam Sethi:

Well, we have, yes, well, two. I've just seen the third one. Well, you know, yes, okay. So, side jobbling said James loved the Sam Sethi soapbox rant on my dog walk this morning Made me smile. The cold, dark, windy countryside, a nice reminiscing over those classic TV ads yes, do the shake and vac. Oh, yes, they were fun, weren't they? That could be a podcast in itself, tapping into the obvious boom and demographic out there. Yeah, it could be we, you know, we could even have ones like the Milky Bar Kid is strong and tough. Yes, that could come back as well if you wanted, if you're old enough to remember that advert.

James Cridland:

So there you go, here we go. How did it go?

Sam Sethi:

The Milky Bar, kid, is strong and tough, the creamiest milk, the whitest bar, and that's what's the good thing about the Milky Bar. The Milky Bar's wrong me, you see, 30 years ago. I still remember it.

James Cridland:

Wow, well, there you go. There's a thing, yes, well, yes Well, thank you. Si, I'm busy trying to work out which which country you're talking about when you're saying it's cold and miserable and everything else, but quite difficult to find out what country. Oh no, hang on a minute. If I click this link, normally you can find out through LinkedIn. There you go, please. Yes, yes, indeed, england. Yes, a place called Crick. I don't even know where Crick is. Where's Crick Sam?

Sam Sethi:

No idea. No, Google it mate. No idea on that one.

James Cridland:

Oh, am I? Am I going to have to Google this as well? Why? Why do I have to do everything around here? Let's have a quick, a quick look. Crick no, not Crick construction, crick, england. It's in Northampton. It's a village in West Northamptonshire in England. It's close to the border with Warwickshire and it has a pub in it called the Wheat Sheaf and it has a holiday in. It's next to the M1.

Sam Sethi:

There you go. It's the flyover county, isn't it?

James Cridland:

Yeah, yeah, Absolutely. What does the Wheat Sheaf look like? Oh, it's got the Wheat Sheaf and the red lion and it's got a co-op. Very nice. There you go. You see, it's all, it's all going on. The Wheat Sheaf. The Wheat Sheaf looks awful. The red lion? looks nice, I'm such a pub snob, but anyway, yes, well, anyway, moving on, sorry, thank you so much, kairyn, from the Mere Mortals podcast. He comes from around this way he says yay to Open Standards. He sent us a bag of Richards double one, double one sats. Appreciate all the effort, both of you contributing to make podcasting better. Thank you, kairyn, and that's a kind of you looking forward to hopefully seeing you next month with Mr that with with Mr Settling, that's very difficult to say. Thank you, yes, hoping forward to seeing you next month with Sam, when Sam is down under, as they say, and 100 sats from Mo Salah. It says this is a test and the test worked.

Sam Sethi:

Yes, we are testing. So, going back to what LC Eskibar said, we we've redone all of our onboarding and we've done 30 new video clips using TV.

James Cridland:

I've just worked out who Mo is. Is Mo your your tech person?

Sam Sethi:

No, there you go. No, he's not. No, Mo Salah is. Mo Salah is a random name we use because he's the Liverpool football player, so we've been testing with all.

James Cridland:

There you go, yes.

Sam Sethi:

I've just been. I had no idea. Yes, I've been using Alan Hansen, kenny Dagley she's been great fun. I've gone through their whole Liverpool team of thinking of random names I can use for the tests. So that's, that's what Mo is.

James Cridland:

Well, anyway. Well, thank you for the extra 100 sats, sam. That's very kind of you, so so, and I should just remind you that Pod News Weekly Review it's. It's a separate thing from the Pod News Daily, so Sam and I share everything from it that helps, you know, buy people drinks in LA, for example, and helps Sam get out to LA and other things as well. We'd really appreciate your support, which you can do either on weeklypodnewsnet, which is our website, where you can sign up with your visa card or your you know mastercard or anything else, or through a new podcast app like Truefans or Fountain, by hitting that boost button. And thank you for doing that. What's happened for you this week, sam?

Sam Sethi:

Well, thanks to you, james, We've been added to Pod News Daily on your website for the app, so we now have a little shiny icon when somebody looks up a podcast. If we have it within our index as well, we have a little Truefans icon. So, yes, thank you for that.

James Cridland:

Yes, yes, there's a little PHP function which I've written which goes off and grabs that, and one of the learnings that I made from that is, if you're hosting with Cloudflare as you are, you've got Cloudflare over the top of your server. Then that really messes up things like APIs and, indeed, rss feeds. It really causes issues. So I'm in the process of writing a very tedious article which basically explains what you, as a Cloudflare user, should be doing with your RSS feeds and with APIs and other things.

Sam Sethi:

So look forward to that then.

James Cridland:

So that should hopefully come out in the next week or so, so that should be fun. So I've learned a lot from doing that. What else has Truefans been doing?

Sam Sethi:

Well, as I said, the whole week's been about me doing 30 plus short videos of each of the features and functions within Truefans, and then in our onboarding, we've actually now linked a little video clip. So if you want to know how to do a boost, or you want to know how to do a share or a clip, you can watch a two minute video or less than two minutes in some cases and you can earn some sats from doing that as well. So we're trying to make the podcasting 2.0 world a little less scary by showing people how to do things and giving them some sats as well as a reward for spending time watching the video. So there you go. Well, very nice, very nice, james. What's been going on for you?

James Cridland:

Well, I have been having conversations around Radio Days Asia, which the planning for that is starting up. I am running a podcast track there which is called Podcast Day Asia, powered by Pod News. I've managed to get the brand in there finally, so that should be good. It's in Kuala Lumpur in the beginning of September. So if you're in the Asian region and you're a good speaker and you want to speak, then please tell me. It would be lovely to know what you would like to end up speaking on. So that's all been quite fun. And also I might sound a little bit different this week, apart from the slightly croaky voice because of the air conditioning, because it's so hot. But the reason why I'm sounding a little bit different is I'm using totally different microphones than what I normally use. So I was sent last week from Earthworks Audio. I was sent a thing called an ethos, and an ethos is a very fancy microphone. It's a proper XLR microphone. It weighs a ton. It's carved from a single piece of aluminium except they probably call it aluminum and it's very, very fancy. But because it's an XLR microphone, it meant that I had to plug it into a sound box thing from Focusrite. Now Focusrite advertised with Pod News. About three years ago, they sent me a Focusrite Scarlet what's it called A Scarlet 2i2. And they sent me this thing and I said, well, thank you very much, I've got absolutely no use for it, it's kind of just sit on my shelf. So it's sat on my shelf for the last two and a half years and now I'm using it and trying to understand how all of that works. So hopefully I mean you know number one hopefully this is recorded on the right microphone, not on my laptop, mike, which I've done before. But also, secondly, hopefully it sounds well, you know, a bit different. So yeah, so I'm enjoying playing around with it. Not sure how long I'm going to be playing around with it, but it's a fun experiment, as they say. So, yeah, it's always fun playing with new technology and stuff like that Sounding good so far, James.

Sam Sethi:

Sounding good so far.

James Cridland:

Well, I hope so Otherwise, I've just recorded 90 minutes of nonsense.

Sam Sethi:

Well, we have recorded 90 minutes of nonsense. That's that, that's a given.

James Cridland:

Well, oh, yes, I think fair enough. Yes, absolutely, and that's it for this week. I was going to say thank you to our guests, but we didn't have any. But you can also listen to the Pod News daily. You can subscribe to the Pod News newsletter For more of these stories and much more. You'll find that at podnewsnet.

Sam Sethi:

You can give feedback to James and me by sending us a boostgram and if your podcast app doesn't support boosting, grab a new podcast app from podnewsnet forward slash new podcast apps.

James Cridland:

Our music is from Studio Dragonfly. Our voiceover is Sheila D. We use clean feed for our main audio and an ethos mic and a focus right, you know USB thing. And we're hosted oh and Pinderbug Pro and we're hosted and sponsored by Buzzsprout Podcast hosting made easy.

Announcer:

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

James Cridland:

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

Announcer:

Review will return next week. Keep listening.

Podcasts we love