Podnews Weekly Review

Pushkin's future with Gretta Cohn, Buzzsprout's iOS app with Alban Brooke, and Apple's transcripts

March 08, 2024 James Cridland and Sam Sethi Season 2 Episode 64
Podnews Weekly Review
Pushkin's future with Gretta Cohn, Buzzsprout's iOS app with Alban Brooke, and Apple's transcripts
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In the chapters today...

Sam chats with Gretta Cohn about Pushkin's future plans

James chats with Alban Brooke about Buzzsprout's iOS app

Apple's transcripts, and YouTube Music's firings

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James Cridland:

It's Friday, the 8th of March 2024.

Jingle:

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

James Cridland:

Yes, I'm James Cridland, the editor of Pod News, and I'm Sam Sethi, the CEO of True Funds. In the chapters today. Apple backtracks its EU decision and sees sense. Apple fined two billion euro and sees red. Apple launches transcripts and sees words. Youtube fires 50 staff and Spotify deletes someone's show, all their followers and all their money.

Gretta Cohn:

Plus, I'm Greta Kohn, the CEO of Pushkin Industries and coming up on Pod News. Today I'll be talking about a new season of revisionist history and so much more.

Alban Brooke:

And I'm Albin Brooke, head of marketing at Buzzsprout, and later I'll be talking about Buzzsprout for iOS.

James Cridland:

They will this podcast is sponsored by Buzzsprout. Podcast hosting made easy with easy and powerful tools, free learning materials, remarkable customer support and a new iOS app. From your daily newsletter, the Pod News Weekly Review.

Sam Sethi:

So where should we start this week, james? Hey, let's start with my mates Apple they're back on the Christmas list for a little bit. They launched iOS 17.4. You and I have been testing it in beta, but you've said you wouldn't talk about it until it was released. So it's released, james, with transcripts. Come on, what's your thoughts?

James Cridland:

Well, I think it's pretty good, in fact. One thing that I noticed when I was getting ready to talk to Albin is I had a quick look through the transcripts for this very show, and what I have noticed in the transcripts for this show is not only does it have our names correct in there, so it's got proper voice recognition. We're producing our own transcripts and sending it to them. They are also merging the chapters in with the transcripts as well, which is something that they never talked about when they gave me the press briefing for, but it makes it really cool, because you can actually read through the transcript but actually see where all of the chapter points are as well. So, yeah, I like that. Yeah, which is smart.

Sam Sethi:

I think we've had conversations in the past where I've gone why have you got show notes, chapters and transcripts? Because if you looked at a Word document then fundamentally all of that's merged into one document. So I quite like the idea of having chapter markers at the top of transcript elements so that you know that you're moving on to the next chapter.

James Cridland:

That's really nice there have been a few people in some of the groups that I've been in saying you know, typical Apple doing its own thing. But actually it's kind of not really, because Apple is taking an open standard, the podcast transcript standard, part of podcasting2.org, and it's taking that and pulling in transcripts where they exist and if they don't exist then obviously it's making its own. But I think it's a pretty good thing. I have had checkered success with the Pod News Daily, which is the podcast, of course that I completely self-host I'm not relying on Buzzsprout to do that and that's been interesting, trying to get transcripts to kind of work the way that I would like them to work. I'm still playing around with that, but it does seem that although Apple talks about wanting VTT files, it does seem that it works absolutely fine with SRT files and if you look at what Buzzsprout are giving them, buzzsprout are only giving them SRT files and it's working absolutely fine. So I don't know a little bit more playing around with that, but yeah, I think it's all pretty good really.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I think you know, look, let's you know I can poke the bear occasionally over at Apple Towers, but reality is they are a massive company with great resources. The way that they've actually done the word-by-word transcription is actually very accurate. I look at how we do it at Truefans and we are, I'd say, 99% accurate in terms of where the words are being highlighted. But sometimes that doesn't actually highlight the right word and then it has to play catch up and then it's right or it'll be behind it. I think with Apple, I noticed when I was just pushing it a little bit and prodding it, it actually was very good at jumping to the exact word and starting there.

Sam Sethi:

So again, hats off to Apple. Where they do good things, I will praise them, and when they do bad things, I will certainly tell them why have they done something bad? Well, they haven't done something bad, but they've lost two billion dollars. Yeah, the EU's just find them two billion dollars because they're not very happy with what Apple did in terms of the Apple store and the way that they implemented the DMA rules. So, yes, so they went. You know what? We'll give you two billion dollar. Fine, that's a starter. Are you going to play the ball? We'll see what happens next.

James Cridland:

Yeah, it's really interesting, isn't it? And it's something particularly that Daniel Eck was very much behind. Spotify have made a lot of complaints against Apple for various things. He released a statement once the EU had worked out that they were going to find the company two billion dollars. This is why he has been making all of the complaints that he's been making.

Daniel Ek:

The internet is at risk and, fundamentally and principally, we at Spotify believe an open internet is a much better internet, and so that's why we're fighting, because Apple has decided that they want to close down the internet and make it theirs, and they view every single person using an iPhone to be their user, and that they should be able to dictate what that user experience should be, rather than that the iOS platform is a platform that accesses the internet and that openness is good.

James Cridland:

So this is Daniel Eck, of course, the man who tried to take Spotify as being the only place where you could get podcasts. Openness is bad in that case. Spotify, of course, don't support any of the open podcasting 2.0 tags. They do their own things in terms of transcripts, they do their own things in terms of chapters. They do their own things in terms of lots of sense. But obviously, open internet is very important. When you're talking about Spotify versus Apple, I think it's a little bit dubious, to be honest.

Sam Sethi:

Yes, yeah, as I said to Neil Vaclio, if you squint hard enough, everyone's right, everyone's correct. I mean, yes, he does want an open internet where basically, apple can't charge 30% on the payments.

Daniel Ek:

And, to be fair, to spot I wonder why.

Sam Sethi:

But to be fair, I mean, you know, I was listening to Scott Galloway on Pivot and he was saying you know, like you know, Apple don't charge Apple music 30% on. You know their payments. So you've got Apple both being the infrastructure provider of payments but also favoring their own apps, and that's the problem. That's where Apple falls down. I mean, google fell down when it was favoring itself in search results and again Microsoft fell down in the past when it favored its own browser over everyone else. And I think I've gone on and said Apple needs to either be much more open in third-party support or it needs to be broken up and have its apps removed. You can't have your cake and eat it, and that's what Apple does.

James Cridland:

Yeah, I was quite interested in reading. There's a bit of a tittle-tattle today saying that if you download an app through an app store which isn't Apple's app store in the EU which you'll be able to do from here on in then that's absolutely fine. But if you then go and, you know, spend more than 90 days somewhere else outside of the EU, then Apple will stop that app from working, which is just like genius. Yeah, apple will basically go. It doesn't look as if you live in the EU anymore and I think, yeah, you shouldn't have that app on your phone anymore, and so they're going to get rid of it, which is brilliant, and I think you know. Daniel Eck went on and said they were a little bit skeptical that Apple were actually going to play ball with all of this.

Daniel Ek:

Apple has a history of skirting these rules. It's done so in many territories around the world Japan, south Korea, netherlands, just to name a few where Apple's lost similar cases, and it basically decided to ignore it or just vaguely comply, but not really comply with the spirit of whatever the court decided needed to happen. And they keep on doing that. And so the cynic in me would say that I think Apple might behave in the way that it behaved in the past, which is it's just going to ignore it. It's going to keep on acting the way it has been acting.

James Cridland:

Yeah, and I think he might have a point there. I think he does.

Sam Sethi:

I mean, you know, we've just talked about Apple's support for transcripts and you and I have talked about the Sirius XM case. You know, Apple, conveniently, are bringing out transcripts around the same time as its legal judgment and throwing a bone to the podcasting to the O community. And I think it is throwing a bone. I don't think it's. You know, they could have done this a year ago. They didn't. I think they will only do it when they're pushed into a corner and forced to do it, and that's sad From Apple's point of view.

James Cridland:

They are basically saying Spotify's been downloaded more than 119 billion times on Apple devices. Their engineers Apple's engineers have actually flown to Stockholm to help Spotify's coders put new features into the Spotify app and they've not charged Spotify for any of this. Spotify pays Apple absolutely nothing for anything and they managed to get a decent spot on, you know, on the App Store, and they managed to, you know, benefit from all of Apple's work. So you know you can see it on that side as well. But I'm only really playing devil's advocate because I feel that I kind of ought to.

Sam Sethi:

Well, marguerite Vestegard, the executive vice president in charge of competition policies, said for a decade Apple abused its dominant position in the market for distribution of music streaming apps through the App Store, and I think that's the problem. You know, apple is trying to be a good egg, on one hand supporting Spotify, but on the other hand, this 30% is just extortionate, and I think maybe if Apple bring that down to a much more reasonable charge for the services they provide, people wouldn't complain. I think it's now everyone's beginning to say hang on a minute, apple. You've milked the cow long enough Time to actually now let other people have a little bit of the pie.

James Cridland:

Yeah, and it's not just 30%, is it Because it does go down once you're large enough?

Sam Sethi:

I thought yeah, it goes down to 15% if you get significant traction and various other things. But again, 90% of apps within the App Store aren't gonna hit that marker, so you know, you're always gonna end up paying the 30%.

Sam Sethi:

And again there's no way you can use alternative payment systems. So you're beholden. And again. Later on in the show I'll be talking about how we are going to implement Apple Pay within Truefans and how it can be done outside the App Store, but again I still have to pay the 30% tax. Irrelevant, because you know, if you can't beat them, sadly, you have to join them in some ways.

James Cridland:

Hold on to your trousers, everybody. It's another Sam Sethi rant on the way Um LAUGHTER. But you know. I mean you should be happy about Apple because they've reversed their decision to remove PWA web apps in the EU. You'll be able to use progressive web apps in the EU. Now, truefans is a progressive web app and, yeah, you'll be able to add that app to the home screen, just the way that you can add a variety of different things. I mean that's good news, isn't it?

Sam Sethi:

It's amazing news because I mean, you know, on the one hand they were taking it away from us and I was going to have an absolute fit, and on the other hand, they've just sort of handed it back, so status quo restored. But you know, look, why they did that? I have no idea why they threatened it. I have no idea, I mean, why they put it back as a feature. Suddenly, safari suddenly safe again Amazing. How was it unsafe and we had to remove it without doing anything because I've not had an upgrade. It's suddenly safe again, sir. God knows what that one's about. But what I would say is look, we as the community talk about open standards I mean, daniel talked about open standards a minute ago and the open internet. We talk about podcasting being open, and then the first thing everyone does is they go and build native iOS apps and Android apps. I have built a PWA. I'm not hypocritical. I stick to the open web standards. I do not go and build proprietary platform standards. I fought Microsoft when I was at Netscape to stop them using ActiveX and JScript proprietary Microsoft tech that would have killed the web.

Sam Sethi:

Here we are, fast forward 20 years, and we still are cow-towing down to Apple's proprietary standards. That's not open, it's not a W3 standard. I don't know why app developers aren't sticking to open standards. We're all going on about how wonderful RSS is being open and yet on the same breath, we go now download my iOS app. It's totally proprietary, but don't worry about it. I'm like, okay, can you hear yourself? Then we hear everyone go master dawns, the future, master dawns, the future Activity pub. It's amazing. It's amazing the federated web. But hey, remember to go and get my Android app because that's not proprietary. So all I'd say is why don't we build PWAs? Why don't we stick to the open web? It's a W3C standard and stop building to close proprietary platforms. But no, everyone's going to be hypocritical from Daniel Eck down, and they will pretend to be open when they're not really open.

James Cridland:

Coming up later on the Pod News Weekly Review. We talk to our sponsor, buzzsprout, about their new iOS app. Is that our exposter? Let's talk about Spotify first shall we?

Sam Sethi:

Yes, what's going on with Spotify? Oh, yes, a little bit more about them. Spotify for podcasters has increased its lead to 31.2% of new episodes. Now we have, over the years since they launched this free version, pooh Poohed Spotify for free. They've had Joe Rogan, they've had Diary Veseo and clearly they've got a lot of people. It clearly is a good strategy for Spotify. I know a lot of other hosts offer free, but they don't seem to attract the same upscale that Spotify does. Why?

James Cridland:

I wonder whether or not the why is that Megaphone couldn't get video working until very recently. Joe Rogan has switched from Spotify for podcasters to Megaphone. Similarly, diary Veseo, which also does video, is now on Megaphone as well. I wonder whether it's just purely that Megaphone who, by the way, have said to various people that they have no intention of supporting the transcript tag at all. It's not even on the job list yet.

James Cridland:

I wonder whether or not Megaphone have basically gone. You know, it just takes us time to do these complicated things. That's why we've seen Joe Rogan and Diary Veseo, because they wanted video on Spotify using Spotify for podcasters. But yeah, I mean, it's now powering 31.2% of new episodes, which is interesting. Spotify for podcasters uses Amazon Cloudfront under the hood and Amazon Cloudfront has hit a new record. That now serves 55% of all new episodes. So if Amazon Cloudfront goes belly up and falls over, then half of all of the podcasts on the internet will fall over, including the pod news daily, but not including this, because Buzzsprout, our sponsor, don't use Amazon Cloudfront Interestingly. So, yeah, so you know, I don't know. I think that that's probably one of the reasons why Spotify for podcasters, you know, has been attracting a lot of people because it's been the only way Spotify open has been the only way of getting video into the Spotify platform.

Sam Sethi:

Well, they've done something else, though, in this week. James, that isn't very cool. What have they done?

James Cridland:

Yes, this is a story that we covered yesterday in pod news and it's a story about a podcast called Evolving Prisons. Now that had some pretty good figures. The figures were growing. The show Kagan Carey, who produces the show, had even used Spotify's paid subscription model, which I didn't really think was a thing. But no, it turns out it is, and she was earning money from that. People were paying, I think, £1.50 per month for bonus episodes $1.99. Anyway. And then she heard that she'd gained a nomination for Outstanding Indie Podcast at the True Crime Awards. So everything was going absolutely fine until Spotify deleted her podcast. Oops, not just did Spotify delete their podcast, spotify gave all of the money back to these paid subscribers. Spotify pulled the podcast off Apple and various other places as well. And yeah, and so basically she has to start all over again.

James Cridland:

And she contacted me and she said you've covered stories about anchor deleting people's shows in the past. Is this something that you might be able to help with? And thankfully, I did know somebody who can help. And while Spotify don't comment on specific incidents, they say we are working closely with the creator to quickly resolve this issue, and my understanding is that they've at least been able to restore the stats for the show. They've emailed the former subscribers asking them to resubscribe and they've reimbursed some of the lost revenue as well. It's a good step, but obviously what Spotify can't do is they can't get all of her subscribers back on all of the other platforms as well.

James Cridland:

So it's a bit of a mess, and the reason why it was deleted and then put back it was deleted because the algorithm flagged it because of suspicious payments activity, apparently, and within 12 hours she got another email saying after review, your podcast account has been reinstated. However, based on our internal flags, we recommend updating your password, which looks to me as if that's another one of the many Spotify password hacks which have been happening over the last couple of years. So yeah, just goes to show. I think I mean I said this in the article yesterday. I said perhaps, if your podcasting has become a little more serious, it's worth paying for podcast hosting with a smaller company, for the personal touch you get, even when things go wrong, and I'm sure that Kagan will be finding somewhere else. But yeah, that's a dodgy old thing, isn't it?

Sam Sethi:

And if you think this is the only one, this is the one that you're aware of I'm sure there are many others that haven't come to light because I can't believe this is the one and only ever incident.

James Cridland:

Yeah, and, to be fair, Spotify have done much of what they can, I mean, apart from deleting the thing in the first place. And, to be fair, we will always hear more about this going on on Spotify than anywhere else, because Spotify is both the largest company but also gives podcasts away for free, so of course, we're going to hear that, but even so, that's not a good look, is it?

Sam Sethi:

No. So, moving on to a friend of the show or after my rant, maybe not, but Buzzsprout has a new iOS app and I have downloaded it and I have played with it and it is very lovely. But, james, you caught up with Albin Baruch, the marketing director at Buzzsprout, didn't you?

James Cridland:

I did catch up with Albin and, yes, and had a good chat with him, and the first question as I always do, even though I think that everybody knows is I asked what?

Alban Brooke:

is Buzzsprout. Buzzsprout is a technical solution that hosts this podcast, so we help get your podcast online and distributed out to the world. We're proud supporters of the Pod News Weekly Review and we host 120,000 other active podcasts, but those are incidental to the work we do here.

James Cridland:

Indeed, so you have launched. Buzzsprout has launched a new iOS app this week to much critical acclaim. Why have you done that then?

Alban Brooke:

Well, for years we, you know, using apps ourselves. You see lots of use cases, things that we would really like to have a mobile app, and over the years we kind of added up more and we take screenshots and say, oh, this is a useful thing. And I think we got to four real reasons that we wanted to have a mobile app and that's when we started working on it. So those four are real-time notifications, simplified podcast management, statistics and sharing, and we can go more into each of those if you'd like, but the whole point is, you know, we have this device with us all day, every day, indie podcasters, often at a work computer or somewhere other than their home, and it's nice to be able to take these quick interactions with your podcast, no matter where you are.

James Cridland:

Yes, and one of the things that it offers notifications. What sort of notifications can we expect from the Buzzsprout iOS app?

Alban Brooke:

Well, this is an area that phones really excel, especially if it's done well, if the app doesn't abuse it, but it's a real-time notification, is mostly very small amount of text and it prompts you to take an action. Write with something's ready, so for us that means your episode's done. Processing or co-host. Ai has some suggestions for you. We have your weekly statistics. Maybe you have an ad opportunity with Buzzsprout ads and those are all things. We are sending emails, but with email it may not be a few hours till you see it. With a notification on your phone, you can take action right away.

James Cridland:

Yeah, and that's useful for all things, like when co-host has finished processing the podcast that you've just uploaded. Those sorts of things Exactly.

Alban Brooke:

So, instead of you having to check in on your email or check in on Buzzsprout to see if something's ready, now you're getting a notification. You go okay. Great, I like that title, let's publish it and you can move on.

James Cridland:

And then you can correct typos and things like that just from your phone, I guess.

Alban Brooke:

So this is one of the things we talk about as simplified podcast management, and then, when it really turns into, a lot of people are going oh, it's the typos. Yes, but the way I think about it is, sometimes we're trying to balance quality. You know, we want a lot of podcasters to aspire to a high level of quality, but without giving into perfectionism and perfectionism to me can be really bad when you're double and triple checking. You're re-listening to the episode to make sure you never made a mistake. But what we can do, at least where Buzzsprout can step in, is help you course correct. Maybe you made a typo, maybe you forgot a link? Well, your listeners are going to tell you that pretty quickly and as soon as you hear that from one person, as long as you can make that change very quickly, you can still balance quality without giving into this overly anxious management of your podcast. So, update typos, update a link, publish an episode, make a quick change. It's just an easy way to manage your podcast and you're always logged in to your shows.

James Cridland:

Yeah, it's very cool, and you can, of course, do all of that while, in Dave Jones' words, while you are doing a warm server migration. If you've heard the latest podcast, you'll know exactly what he's talking about there, and if you've not, probably best.

Alban Brooke:

I'll have to go listen to this to catch what Dave Jones is talking about.

James Cridland:

Yeah, it's exactly what it sounds like. One of the other things that you can do with it is that you can have a look at your paid subscriptions because, of course, buzzsprout offers that as well so you can see the people who are supporting you. You can manage dynamic content. I noticed you can even manage the Buzzsprout ads, so you can take a peek at who wants to advertise on your podcast and you can say hell, no or yes. That's great.

Alban Brooke:

Hopefully you're saying hell, yes, that's our goal. Yes, of course.

James Cridland:

Of course, yes, absolutely, apart from that one podcast. So, yeah, no, so it's a really useful thing. One of the things that, of course, a mobile phone is perfect for is sharing Sharing information over to social media, which of course, many people use mobile phones for, and other things as well. There's so much which is shareable from the app as well, isn't?

Alban Brooke:

there. So this is something I kept seeing on Instagram Instead of sharing our achievements that we would send to someone in an email, people would just share screenshots, and I never was understanding. And then I went oh, it's because they're logging in on their phone, they're on a browser to take a screenshot and it's so easy to go from screenshot over into the app. But it always hurt a little bit because we did so much work to try to make them a bit prettier than a screenshot and yet the screenshots were winning. And so this is an opportunity for us to make it easy to share episodes or podcasts or the tweets we write you with cohost visual sound bites, the achievements or, if you want, you can now make prettier screenshots of your stats. But all those are really easy because we're all used to doing that from apps and then sharing things over to social. It's a much more natural way, I think, of sharing and interacting with your audience.

James Cridland:

Yeah, I think it makes a ton of sense. So who built it? Did you use an external company and spend oodles of money in getting it built?

Alban Brooke:

No, I think anytime you try to pay somebody else to build something for you, it doesn't turn out to be the best quality product. So we hired for this. We hired a wonderful developer by the name of Dylan Ginsberg. He built the iOS app for Basecamp If you ever heard of Basecamp, he was at 37 signals before this and he's joined the Buzzsprout team and it's really wonderful to have his expertise, because he combines Ruby on Rails knowledge, which we all have that's what we build Buzzsprout in with how to bring all of the work we're doing there into an app.

Alban Brooke:

Make it easy, make it seamless. Probably the reason I mean this is, I guess, illustrates why it's important for us at least to build it in-house. The day we launched, somebody sent me a message and said oh, I tried to reset my password on my phone and when I did, I got some weird page inside the app and as soon as I saw that, I send it to Dylan and I think 30 minutes later it's fixed and we've corrected it because we hadn't caught it before. But if we'd been using somebody outside, I think that's one of those things that can turn into a two-week process and it's painful for tons of people. I hate telling people oh, the workaround is don't use the app. So now the workaround is we can just fix these problems very quickly. Cool, it's great to have the team in-house.

James Cridland:

That's really good. Obviously, iPhone is popular in the US, maybe not quite so popular in many other countries. Is there an Android version coming?

Alban Brooke:

There is an Android version on the way. The way these things work, you have to pick one to start with, and so we started with iPhone, because that's where more of our customers are. But we have a list of everybody who's on Android and says they're ready for the app. It's growing rapidly and we're very excited to bring it to you as soon as possible.

James Cridland:

Yeah, it's looking very, very smart. It's for free. All you need is a Buzzsprout login and you'll find it in the Apple App Store. For now, apple's also launched transcripts this week. I don't know if you've spotted this.

Alban Brooke:

I have. I tweeted about it two and a half years ago. We was when we started all of our work with transcripts. I think maybe it's three and a half now. It's 2020. The years go by quickly. I was looking back at it and when we started talking about transcripts, I remember Kevin saying to me wouldn't it be great if transcripts looked like Apple Music lyric mode? Now I'm looking at transcripts in Apple Podcasts and I'm like this looks like Apple Music lyric mode. It genuinely does.

James Cridland:

It's a really great yeah, it's got all of the same things, the little dots while it's waiting for the instrumental to finish or whatever. It's using the same typeface. It's a very, very smart thing. In fact, you and I, just before we came on, we were talking about actually, you know how nice they look and the fact that it's pulling in chapter you know chapter titles into the transcripts as well, so that the transcript just doesn't just look like a great big block of text. Does Buzzsprout support the Apple transcripts?

Alban Brooke:

Buzzsprout does. We create these transcripts for you. We can even pull them in from Descript if you use Descript, or we can transcribe them for you and it looks like everything is working well. So we send them over to Apple Podcasts and they're showing up in people's phones. Now there's even you were the first one to tell me about the chapter markers, that you were seeing it for this show, and so it's really exciting to hear that Buzzsprout also supports the chapter markers inside of iOS 17.4 transcripts. That's a news to me and I'm very excited to hear it.

James Cridland:

Yeah, no, it's looking really good. I'm always slightly worried about saying have a look in the Apple Podcast set right now because typically this week will be the week that I've messed it all up and it doesn't work properly, but it works super well with the transcripts that you get from Co-host. Try and remember. I will try and remember this week to change the names of the voices so that it doesn't just say voice number one and voice number two, which I think it says last week.

Alban Brooke:

Voice number two is my favorite podcast, yeah.

James Cridland:

Well, voice number two is always Sheila Dee, who does our little jingles. So, yeah, she does a fantastic job. So, yeah, but it seems to work really really nicely. So I'm looking forward to seeing more of that and you, your star, on your own weekly podcast. All about the podcast industry aren't you Buzzcast?

Alban Brooke:

We are still doing Buzzcast. I still love it. I enjoy it every other week with Kevin and Jordan, and it's always a pleasure to find out the people we respect and people we like are listening to the show. So one thing we've been experimenting lately with is this idea of having people text into the show, and it's been really fun to get more and more engagement on the podcast and we've been trying to incorporate that more. So if anybody listening to this is a Buzzcast listener, text the show and let us know what you think. We'd love to read your comments on the air.

James Cridland:

Yeah, and of course I'm listening to that and I'm going, oh, it's a blizzard of numbers. And also I'm in Australia and I'm thinking, oh, I wonder if I can even text that particular number. I should probably give it a go.

Alban Brooke:

I need to add like a plus one to the beginning of it. That's a good point.

James Cridland:

I need to look into how that works for international numbers, and plus one if you're outside of the United States. Yeah, because it's interesting, because I think we've seen, obviously, boosts and things like that as being a really nice way of getting feedback from the people who listen, but there's a certain amount of people that will send a boost. There is, of course, the holy grail of cross app comments, which is a lovely thing. Somebody left a message for this very podcast on Spotify, because apparently you can leave messages on Spotify, but nobody has ever done that in the last three years. But somebody has ended up doing that as well. It would be lovely, wouldn't it, if there's a way of pulling in all of those comments and making them appear really in an app, and I would love that to happen at some point, but it seems to be even beyond Adam and Dave's brain power to have actually achieved that.

Alban Brooke:

Well, maybe the mastodon and Fediverse and all of that stuff will come together one day and we will get cross app comments. It'd be wonderful to help more things become like podcasting, become like email, become like the web that's open and free and everybody can interact with who they want to and not be beholden to the big tech giants.

James Cridland:

Yes, that would be a splendid thing. Well, almond, thank you so much for what you do and thank you for the support that you give us. It's very, very much appreciated. So thank you for that and, of course, thank you to Buzzsprout. Where can people go, as if they don't know, to find out more about, to find more about what you guys do?

Alban Brooke:

Well, you can go to buzzsproutcom, but you can also now go to the Apple App Store and you can download the Buzzsprout app if you have a Buzzsprout account. And you can always reach out to me on Twitter at Albin Brook. I love to chat and it's always great to hear from people who listen to this show.

James Cridland:

Very nicely done, Albin. Thank you so much. Thank you, James.

Sam Sethi:

Albin Brook, the wonderful marketing director over at Buzzsprout, hoping to see him over in LA for a beer.

James Cridland:

Yes, you're not going to because he's not coming. Oh.

Sam Sethi:

Albin.

James Cridland:

He fancies the humidity of the Florida life instead, I'm afraid. But we will see him in Washington DC. If we're going there, I will be certainly, so at least he'll be there. Okay, is he coming to London? Do we know? Don't know, actually Don't know. I didn't bother asking.

Sam Sethi:

I should have asked, I should have used that travel budget album Now, yes, lovely app, it works very well. Have played with it and tried it Very slick. They've got an Android app coming soon. Both are free. My one question to Albin would be, and probably to Kevin and Tom, is why did you build a native iOS app when you could have built a PWA? Because I looked at the features that you've used and there's nothing that you are using that is native to the phone itself, like the camera or maybe something else like that. So you now have the problem of having to maintain three code bases the Android app, the iOS app and also the web app. So that would be my only one question to them why did you build a native app?

James Cridland:

Yeah.

Sam Sethi:

Rather than build a PWA.

James Cridland:

Yeah, and I didn't ask that question. But, as we heard, it is built in-house, which is a good thing, because bad things happen when you subcontract that sort of thing out. Just playing devil's evica on PWAs On an Android phone. When you use a website for a couple of times that has a PWA in it, it will come up and say would you like to install this as an app? And you press the button and it installs it as an app. Does that happen on iOS as well?

Sam Sethi:

No, and that's one of the downfalls of it. You have to prompt the user, so we do. As to how to install it as an app. You can do and I think this is where, again, apple are just being pedantic, because they could make this work. When you go to bussproutcom in the web page, it will now prompt you with a banner at the top saying hey, we've got an iOS app. Would you like to install it? Which is a lovely way of doing that. And, of course, the user goes click bang and it installs from the app store.

James Cridland:

Yeah well, it's on podcasts as well, by the way.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, yes, and so that's a lovely way of doing it, and Apple could make that an open feature for any anyone to use. They choose not to. They purposely want to hinder PWAs as much as they can. So, yes, that is one advantage of building native apps. You do actually get access to some of the features that Apple disabled for everyone else.

James Cridland:

Yeah, it's a real shame, that isn't it? Because actually, it's just one button and you know Android makes it easy and simple and straightforward to do. And it's a shame that Apple you know it's pretty well hidden under the you know the weird non-standard share icon that they use with the arrow pointing out of a box. It's an arrow pointing out of a box. So, yes, it's a bit of a shame, and it just says add to home screen. So it's not that obvious what's actually going on there either. But still, there you go.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, what was interesting though, this week, james, is I found a really interesting website called what PWA what PWA can dotoday. It's a really good site. If you look at it, yes, easy to say. What you can see is what features currently are available for PWA's that are native iOS apps, and what features are, and, surprisingly, you can use Apple Pay with a PWA. I just didn't know this, so I don't have to build a native iOS app to have use of the.

Sam Sethi:

Apple Pay. Yeah, and this is a hat tip to Oscar from last week's podcast index. He talked about an app called Primal App, which is a Nostra app, and what they've done is they've worked out cleverly well done to them that you can use in-app purchases within your app. So what they do is they say, for $4.99, you can get so many sats, click the button, apple Pay pays it and it's instant. There's no KYC. No, your customers set your bank account up da, da, da, da da. I think this is the way forward, and so we're looking at implementing exactly the same feature with different values. So by this in-app purchase for $4.99 or $8.99 or $12.99 I don't know the numbers we're going to use yet or custom, and this is a great way that you can actually get fear to sat with one click using Apple Pay. But because they actually Apple support it within the web, rather than having to have a native iOS app, I can actually build that in and we'll have that available in the next couple of weeks.

James Cridland:

And you can also buy classified advertising on the Pod News website using Apple Pay and Google Pay. So there's a thing hurrah. So yeah, now interesting stuff. If only they made it easier for normal people to work out how to install these things. I think that will be a good thing, but still, there we go.

Sam Sethi:

That's not happening Now. Moving on, you use a Sure-Mic, don't you?

James Cridland:

I do sometimes. Yes, I was using an ethos microphone from Earthworks Audio for the last couple of weeks, which is beautiful. But yes, I'm back on the Sure-Mic right now because something went wrong and I couldn't fix it the other day and I thought I know what works. So, yes, but why do you ask? Well?

Sam Sethi:

Sure's Unbounder moved a mic called. It's the world's smallest and best sounding wireless and laviest system. Now you've got a small Sure-Mic as well, haven't you?

James Cridland:

Yeah, but this is a proper. So this is one of those ones that you would clip onto your shirt and it's a little clip on microphone that is, you know, wireless works fantastic. It's called the Move-Mic. It looks really nice and what I think is very interesting is that RODE have these things and they're small and square. You'll have seen them on YouTube videos all over the place. They're what? The size of a kind of half the size of a pack of cards, I guess. And yeah, and they are smallish, but they're still quite big. And what Sure said in their in their press release is nobody wants a big bulky microphone.

James Cridland:

Distracting from their next shot, which I thought was very much aimed at RODE and their big bulky microphone, but it does look very smart it's. They've done they've done a very clever job with the images. If you take a look at the image on the Pod News website that we posted earlier on in the week, the image of it being worn, most of the bulk of the microphone is hidden behind the jacket which is being worn, so all you can see is a tiny little mic, but actually it's still relatively bulk. It's about half the size of the road one. It's just that you can't see it because of the way that it's built, but it's still pretty cool, so I'm looking forward to seeing them. I know that they were at the podcast show in London in year one, so if they're at the podcast show in London in year three, then I quite like to go and and see them. It'd be a quite nice thing.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, maybe they'll link you one, james, you never know, maybe.

James Cridland:

Now moving on Google, they ended up firing 50 staff who were looking to unionize. They all work out of Austin in Texas and they were in a meeting with Austin City Council asking for their help and their backing in working for unionization, and this happened.

Alban Brooke:

There are less than 50 of us at YouTube Music. So to be supported by the city of Austin and also our allies in the labor community, give us the motivation to keep this fight going, but they just laid us all off.

Gretta Cohn:

Oh yeah, they just laid us all off. Our jobs are ended today effective immediately.

James Cridland:

Wow, I'm sorry, your time is expired. I mean, wow, what an incredible piece of audio Sorry, who was that?

Sam Sethi:

Sorry, your time's expired. I mean, that's a bit harsh, wasn't it?

James Cridland:

Yeah, that's the guy from Austin City Council who actually said I'm sorry your time's expired, but we will be following this up with you later. Google, on their side, say that they weren't fired, they were contractors, the contract had ended Didn't sound very much like a contract ending to me and that they needed to negotiate with their employer, cognizant. Except the National Labor Relations Board has said twice that no, the workers are jointly employed by both Cognizant and Google, as the alphabet workers union says that Google's action is illegal. But to do it in the middle of a meeting with a council like that is just astonishing. So, yeah, really bad, really bad stuff from Google. However, they want to paint it, that does not come over well. So I remember when Google was one of those companies that I used to, I used to admire, but I think every single week I hear something else that I go oh, really, is that really a thing?

Sam Sethi:

Didn't they have a motto called Don't Be Evil?

James Cridland:

Yeah, they didn't, and then they got rid of it.

Sam Sethi:

And then they're evil.

James Cridland:

Yes, so yeah, it's just, it's just no good at all.

Sam Sethi:

Now, one other company that has suffered with redundancies in 2023 was Pushkin Industries. This led to them having a new CEO, greta Cohen, and a new exec team, and I thought it'd be great, james, to catch up with Greta and find out what's happening at Pushkin Industries and what are their plans for 2024?.

Gretta Cohn:

We are committed to making audio, in any genre, any style, that is high quality, that entertains, that educates and that finds audience. And we are committed, as we say now, to good, smart. Fun is sort of like our driving motto.

Sam Sethi:

You've got a very extensive slate. I was very excited when you got Paul McCartney recently. Were you on board when that deal happened.

Gretta Cohn:

I came into Pushkin in the summer of 2022 when Pushkin acquired my production company, transmitter Media, so the McCartney project was well underway.

Gretta Cohn:

But my first role at Pushkin was as SVP of content, and so I dove right into that project, and I have a background as a musician.

Gretta Cohn:

Some of my favorite content to consume documentary audio film series is music, so that was one of the first projects that I immediately sort of like, took a shine to, and what was fascinating about that show is that the team had to work with archives that were recorded a number of years ago when Paul Muldoon was preparing to write the book with Paul McCartney like the lyrics, and they were not intending to use any of that audio material in any shape or form, and so it was recorded in a very sort of offhand way. They're often eating lunch or eating almonds or drinking tea or eating something else, and so there were certainly challenges for the production team immediately coming into that project in terms of making this sort of beautiful, highly listenable, the addictive series that we have today. But they did a wonderful job that production team did, and it's been fantastic working with Paul McCartney's team and sort of collaborating with them on the project as well.

Sam Sethi:

So, looking at the extensive slate you have, how do you push can go about creating or deciding on what they're going to add to that slate? You know what gets dropped off at one end, because everything has a shelf life. What gets added? How does that process go?

Gretta Cohn:

Yeah. So I think we are very lucky in that we have a very strong network. As you and the audience well know, launching a show is one of the hardest things that we can do Launching a brand new show and so when we're thinking about adding something new to our roster, we're really thinking about does our audience, is our audience going to enjoy? Are they going to learn from it? Is it going to maybe challenge them in interesting ways? And can we use our network to grow an audience? Because the last thing and certainly Pushkin had its fair share of experiments in the last couple of years where we launch a show and it's really tough to find audience and get that footing and ultimately it's not going to be a long-term experience for Pushkin, for the hosts, because you know there comes a point where, if you're not driving audience, what are you doing? So we're very committed to using the full power of our network to build and launch new shows, new hosts, find audience.

Sam Sethi:

Now there has been a drive in the industry for celebrity-led podcasting, which is equally seemingly coming off. We thought with Spotify removing the exclusives and then on the back of that we saw Smartless do a $100 million deal. We've seen Go Daddy I was going to say Go Daddy, it's not going to call her. Daddy has basically started touting her podcast around the industry. We've seen others doing the same. Where does Pushkin stand on celebrity-driven podcasting?

Gretta Cohn:

Well, I think our celebrities are more of the sort of bookish folks who are like sort of thought leaders, thinkers, writers. So we're not necessarily capital C celebrity. We're looking for people who certainly, if we're launching something new, have an audience right, have that group that is going to be interested in what they're going to be doing in the medium. But it's usually because they've written a very powerful book or they have a really different or interesting perspective, right, like Michael Lewis, like Laurie Santos, who is a professor at Yale and has this whole happiness course that she developed there. So we are not so much working in the capital C celebrity stream.

Sam Sethi:

Now I can see that Now, looking at 2023, it was a pretty hard year. You weren't alone. I think the industry saw mass cutbacks. How did that affect Pushkin directly?

Gretta Cohn:

Yeah, 2023 was a really hard year, as you say, for the industry. For Pushkin. We had layoffs, we had to look at our network and think about what is sustainable for us to do going forward, and so we had to make some hard choices to ensure that the network could remain and become strong again. Part of that was looking at shows that were not profitable, looking at shows that were not driving audience, and making some hard decisions there. And when you eliminate shows from the roster, unfortunately it also means that our staff necessarily needed to write size to accommodate that change. So in October, as we talked about, we had also not only some downsizing, but we had a major restructure of the company. So the leadership team changed, and I think what we are endeavoring to do with that change is really to focus on sustainability.

Gretta Cohn:

I'm not sure that was a word that was a driving factor. I don't think that was necessarily the philosophy up until that point, and it wasn't for most, and so what we are now focused on is really thinking about how are we growing audience? How are we spending the right amount on making a show? How are we ensuring that we're able to recoup our costs and then actually have rev shares with our hosts, so that everyone is happy. And that doesn't mean that, well, I was going to say that doesn't mean that we're not going to grow, but we do want to grow. We want to grow in terms of our network, and then, once we're able to sustainably grow our network, we can then think about growing our staff size again.

Sam Sethi:

Does profitability, as well as sustainability, factor in as one of the main words for 24 for?

Gretta Cohn:

you, I would say sustainability, but yes, also profitability. You're pointed in that direction.

Sam Sethi:

Okay, yeah, I was going to say, are you there now? But that tells me Okay, and in terms of where Pushkin is going, you've got another interesting part to the business, not just podcasts, and you've got a very strong audiobook business. When did that form and how do you separate between what is fundamentally a podcast and what is a chargeable audiobook? How do you make that decision?

Gretta Cohn:

So an audiobook takes a. It's a much different sort of art form than podcast. In many ways. A time, certainly like a documentary podcast, is something that may take nine months a year.

Gretta Cohn:

Our audiobooks team is really coming from the publishing industry. Our VP of audiobooks, carrie Colon, has had a long and very decorated career in publishing both print and audiobooks, and so she brings that very unique perspective. She understands that world deeply and, as evidenced by our audience that we received for Wild and Precious, and so she works very closely with audiobook authors to generate ideas to write manuscripts. I mean, this is when we're making a podcast. We have table reads, we have scripts, we have tape and all of those good things that go into making a podcast, but an audiobook really starts with a manuscript, which is just a very different process.

Gretta Cohn:

Oftentimes, the folks who are coming in to be the narrator and voice of these audiobooks have a very specific POV and maybe it wouldn't be appropriate for a podcast. We are extremely dedicated to making audiobooks that do something different than your typical audiobook. Fair Early in my career, I actually was a director and engineer at Recorded Books. While I was doing, you know, I was freelancing as a podcast producer and I was a director at an audiobooks company. At that audiobooks company and go into the room you press record. The most that I had in front of me was a pronounce list so that I would correct an author when they were mispronouncing something. Your audiobooks are just like leaps beyond, in the sense that they are truly crafted in a beautiful, intentional way.

Sam Sethi:

So, in terms of, then, where you're taking the business, are you going to go into any other genres like video? We've seen YouTube become, you know, rss enabled allegedly. Do you see taking any of your podcasts into a visual medium?

Gretta Cohn:

I think we are certainly interested in experimenting with video and with expanding into the visual realm. You know we are an audio first company and so that means that we don't necessarily have the staff to who are experts in that at the moment. And I think, like, video and audio are very distinct mediums and so when thinking about working in visual and in video, we want to be certain that we are doing it in, you know, in a way that serves the viewer right. We don't want to just put something out that's going to be like an afterthought. We have been experimenting. Some of our shows do capture some amount of video.

Gretta Cohn:

I think in our new series with For a Visionist History, development Tell, there are a couple of little clips that we're collecting on video and they're wonderful to see. You know, there is an element that's added when you see someone telling the story visually, that's just fantastic. But you know some of our shows that I think could really lend themselves to video or show like broken record right Like this morning I was listening to the interview that Justin Richmond has done with PJ Harvey and John Parish, huge fan, would I like to be able to watch that interview and see PJ Harvey and with them in that way? Definitely yes. So it's something that we are definitely exploring and is on our radar. Are we there yet? Not quite.

Sam Sethi:

One of the other areas that a lot of production companies are looking at are international foreign language translations, taking the existing core element and then using it. Now iHeart Media and Wondry are looking at using AI voice enabled voice translations. Other companies don't believe that's a good model, that you know AI the technology is maybe not there. But B they feel that you can't get that local nuance unless you've got an actual language spoken person. Where does Pushcon say are you looking to technology to internationalize what you do, or are you looking for native speakers and then re-record?

Gretta Cohn:

We are exploring. We currently are. Yeah, we are working on a Spanish translation of the Happiness Lab. That is Eric. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I'm fairly certain. That is using native speakers who are essentially like performing the role of the voices, doing, yeah, human narrator, native speaker with Univision, and that project is underway, super interesting. Are we looking at the potential for AI? Certainly we are. We would not be doing our due diligence if we weren't like trying to understand how it might work. I think that there is a lot of opportunity to bring some of our most popular shows to audiences in their language. So we are on that train. We are exploring it from both, all directions. Yeah, Cool.

Sam Sethi:

So on this podcast, this week launched iOS 17.4 with transcriptions. Is this something that Pushkin is going to be focusing on adding transcriptions to all of their podcasts?

Gretta Cohn:

Oh yeah, when I was at Hot Pod last week last week yes, what is time I ran into Jake Shapiro from Apple in the hallway and he showed me one of our shows, the Cautionary Tales and we looked at the transcript together and I think it's excellent. I think it's great. I think accessibility is really important Also, simply, if you are a listener who wants to return to an episode that you had heard last year and you're looking because you wanted to maybe find out like, oh, what did PJ Harvey say about cats and beef heart, you can then search in the transcript. Yeah, I think it's excellent. I'm really glad it's here and I think we will be really continuing to ensure that we have transcripts across our shows.

Sam Sethi:

Now Pushkin has got something called Pushkin Plus. So I think that's your subscription-based model and obviously you've got an advertising-driven model. Are you looking at any other forms of monetization or are they the only two Advertising or subscription-based?

Gretta Cohn:

Well, they're audiobooks. Our audiobooks is, I would say, the third leg of the stool. We've got our ads-based our podcasts and our ads-based monetization, as you say, our subscription service, pushkin Plus, then, yeah, audiobooks. It becomes a really fantastic way that we can actually connect directly with listeners. Oh, did you freeze? Oh, there you are. Ad audiobooks are a great way for us to be working on content that has its own type of monetization that is free from the ads, the ups and downs of the ads market. That is an area where we're going to be focused on growth, for sure.

Sam Sethi:

Cool Last question, looking back on 2024,. What would success look like for you?

Gretta Cohn:

We'd love to launch a few shows that make an impact on audience. We have a number of audiobooks that we're releasing this year. We'd love to see them also drive audience. Coming out this spring is the Art of Small Talk, which I think is going to be a fantastic and funny and informative book. Then, of course, sustainability and Profitability. That is just something that we are at. On top of that because I actually haven't talked yet about our wonderful staff at Pushkin we're really focused on a healthy, happy workplace where people can show up every day, feel proud of the work they're doing, enjoy working with their colleagues, feel supported, have the resources that they need. You know, I think, particularly coming out of what last year was, that's a huge priority for me and so at the end of 2024, if I can say that I have a happy, healthy staff and group and community and group of producers, marketers, operations, folks that would be a huge success.

Sam Sethi:

Greta, thank you so much for your time. Congratulations on your new role. Thank you for having me. And all the success for 2024.

Gretta Cohn:

Thanks so much, Sam.

James Cridland:

Greta Cohen from Pochkin Industries really interesting that Did you end up talking? Obviously she's been working on audiobooks and micropayments and all of that kind of stuff. Did you end up talking much about podcasting 2.0 with her?

Sam Sethi:

I did and we did it after the interview. I didn't feel it was fair to put her in a position of having to publicly talk about it as an official spokesperson for Pochkin. And sadly, what I would say and it's quite common, I think, with most of the interviews that I do with people in, let's say, senior leadership positions they're not aware of podcasting 2.0, they're not aware of micropayments. She certainly was not aware that there was a new medium equals audiobooks, and I demoed that for her. She is interested in it and she wants to understand more about it as a long-term thing, but clearly in her head audiobooks are a paid for item and podcasts are an advertising supported free item and she doesn't want to have the two meet. So when I was trying to explain that there are ways to set a default value for the audiobooks so that you don't have to have V for V where it's a zero, she was interested but interested as in curious but not interested enough to actually probably implement anything anytime soon.

James Cridland:

Yes now, and I think the podcasting 2.0 website is a start. But actually I think one of the frustrating things I think for me was in Dallas in Texas, when Adam Curry was there, the inventor of the podcast, and he was there with Dave Jones talking about podcasting 2.0, and now it might have been the time that he was scheduled, it might have been the room that he was scheduled in, but he ended up having, I would guess that the room it was probably a third full and I'm probably being a little bit complimentary there. It was disappointing and I don't know. I don't know what we can do to make people more interested in it. It's a difficult one, isn't it?

Sam Sethi:

Well, if Nielsen did a survey of CEOs of all the big production companies, have they heard of podcasting 2.0 and are they planning to support it? I suspect the answer is no and no. Sadly, I still think. As much as I love it and I'm 100% supporter of it, I'm building an app that relies on it. So, money where mouth is, I still think we talk in a bubble and I still think we talk to ourselves and we don't focus on outbound marketing.

Sam Sethi:

And if Adam will say, well, if people mention it at the end of their show or during their show, and I'll go, yeah, the half dozen shows they use it, great, that's not gonna cause a rickter in anyone's boardroom. So I don't know what the answer is. I do think, as I said earlier, though, what Oscar's hinted at and I don't know if Fountain are gonna implement this, but what Primal have done, which fundamentally allows you to have one click payment to get your SATs, I think is gonna be potentially a game changer, because it goes back to your original point. James, which is the user at the end of the day doesn't need to know that SATs is a Bitcoin micro payment system. They just need to know. It's funny tokens that I use on this app.

James Cridland:

Well, yes, exactly, exactly, so, yeah, oh well. Well, you know, it's one of those things that we should sort of continue banging the drum at. That said, of course, ads are still earning money. Iheartmedia releasing its quarter four financials podcast revenue up 17% for the quarter, up 14% for the whole of 2023, and the company claims growing demand for podcast advertising, which is probably a good thing and also a good thing Serial, which some say was the podcast that led to this second coming of podcasting.

Sam Sethi:

It's 10 years since Serial started and this month it's coming back for the fourth season. It's out on March, the 28th, on the New York Times audio app and everywhere. Podcast are it says here. So yeah. So again, I've not listened to Serial, should I what? You've not listened?

James Cridland:

to the original.

Sam Sethi:

Serial. No hey, I don't read books unless it's technical. So why would I want to go and listen to a podcast about some fictional story? It doesn't interest me.

James Cridland:

It isn't a fictional story, it's a real story.

Sam Sethi:

But yeah, Okay still.

James Cridland:

Yeah, no, I mean, you know I it's interesting because I think that serial if serial, you know, serial was one of those big shows that you know you are having conversations around the water cooler about oh where are you in serial and how have you caught up, and everything else. And it was. It was very interesting and I wonder whether serial would work now and I'm pretty convinced it won't From a point of view of, well, would it be as big as that? But yes, it's back With the fourth season. It's a story about Guantanamo through the personal stories of those on the ground who know things the rest of us don't, is all that it says. I will be listening a doubtless I'll be listening to a few of them and going, yeah, but it's not as good as the original, and moving on, but still, there we go.

Sam Sethi:

I might actually listen to that, because I am so amazed that people can get away with having Guantanamo Bay, but anyway, the tech stuff. Tech stuff on the pod news weekly review.

James Cridland:

Yes, it's the stuff you'll find every Monday in the pod news newsletter. Here's where we do all of the tech talk and here's where Sam talks technology. Sam, what have you got for us?

Sam Sethi:

Well, a couple of interesting ones. New dynamic feed drop technologies been launched by Podroll. The tool adds promotional episodes directly into podcasts. As the second most recent episode, what's it doing?

James Cridland:

James. This is really cool, I think, in that they have access to more than 30 different podcast networks. They change the RSS feeds dynamically for these podcasts for to chuck in a promotional episode. So it's like a feed drop, but it's a feed drop at scale. I think it's quite a clever idea. And also quite a clever idea sticking a trailer in as the second most recent episode in your RSS feed. You might find that a daily podcast is currently doing that for this very show. So, yeah, I thought that was a really clever plan.

James Cridland:

So that's Podroll, which is worth a peek at. Do a search in the pod news website for that. Spreaker is now supporting Podping, which is good news the Podping, of course, being the way that you communicate to podcast directors that you've published a new episode. Loads of people support it already Buzzsprout, blueberry Transistor, rsscom, captivate Pod News and the addition of Spreaker probably at least doubles the amount of shows which are being mentioned by Podping, given that Spreaker is a very large, has a free tier and everything else. So, yeah, that's pretty good news, I think.

Sam Sethi:

I'd love to know who isn't supporting Podping anymore.

James Cridland:

Oh, who isn't supporting? I mean Libsyn? Libsyn don't support anything. Yeah, because it was invented since 2008. So obviously they're not supporting it. I don't believe there are a few others. I don't. I'm not sure that OmniStudio is supporting it. I don't, I'm not entirely confident about that. I do know that Libsyn certainly doesn't support it. And, of course, people like the BBC, people like NPR. They don't appear to support Podping either, and I think actually this is where we should be. I mean, the BBC's internal RSS thing, and the ABCs as well, is so old fashioned. It doesn't deal with trailers you can't very easily change. You know descriptions and everything else. I mean, that's really where the low hanging fruit is, Because there are a lot of shows that use that too.

Sam Sethi:

So, yeah, Now Wondercraft, who we had on a few weeks ago, the Canva for Audio, one product of the day out product hunt. So they're really pushing their marketing out now as well.

James Cridland:

Yes, descripts releasing version 84. They've got a new AI action. It's called Find All Highlights and yes, so it basically lets you find any highlights that it thinks are worth sharing, which is good, and our friends at RSScom have released a new embeddable player, and they've also released a new affiliate program with Rewardful.

Sam Sethi:

I was catching up with Alberto over email, so that's really good. Excitingly as well, they're planning on releasing support for the Pod role in April possibly. And also we talked about how RSScom were the first company to doa lit live conference over in Mexico the one that you were at, james. Yeah Well, they're now going to productise that. So their lit version one is hopefully also going to come out in April, and hopefully when both those come out, we'll have either Alberto or maybe we could get Ben to speak on the microphone and get him to tell us more about it. But yes, we'll hear what they have to say in.

James Cridland:

April yes, no, absolutely. I'm sure Ben will speak on a microphone. He's spoken on a microphone for me in the past for the podcast business journal, so I'm sure he'll do that for us as well. Boostergram Corner, corner, corner On the Pod News Weekly Review.

James Cridland:

Yes, it's our favourite time of the week. It's Boostergram Corner and, yes, we've got some lovely boosts in here. Just as a reminder. Sam and I share everything from this podcast ourselves. It's actually nothing to do with the Pod News Daily, other than it's a trademark licence. So there's a thing. So please hit that boost button if you can. We've got a row of ducks from Nathan Gathright.

Sam Sethi:

Yes, he said. When Sam said, what's that purple logo which is last week looking at a logo in one of the Boostergrams, I think he might have been referring to the generic Boostergram icon which is displayed in helipad as a fallback when no app logo was available. I'm jealous that I didn't think of a rocket like the one in Truefans. Here's the original thread. Yes, I thought, and I can say I didn't come up with the idea of a rocket either. I can't remember who did, but I copied their idea. So, yes, but we do use a rocket for boosts in Truefans.

James Cridland:

Indeed, which is a good thing. Gene Bean, another row of ducks. Double two, double two, Sam. Hope you feel better soon. Sam, Do you feel better? You had COVID last week.

Sam Sethi:

It's hard to tell. Maybe when my rants are stocked, maybe that's when I'm better again.

James Cridland:

Yes, maybe it's that Gene Bean also says I'm not sad at all to have influenced James's use of home assistant. So this week I have managed to integrate our electricity bill in and I've managed to yes, I've managed to do a couple of other things with with home assistants as well. Look what you started. So thank you for that. 1000 Satz from Andrew Gromit Amen, brother Sam.

Sam Sethi:

Yes, exactly, I think it's one of my rants. I think Andrew's agreeing with me and I was thinking before the show, we should actually get Andrew on at some point.

James Cridland:

We should do. He was the person who invented the first podcast app that I ever used iPodder or Juice Podder and yeah, he goes back like years and years and years. We should definitely do that. He's also sent another 1000 Satz to the Pod News Daily. This is where I read out the boosts from the Pod News Daily as well. Love the humour, and I went back and looked at that particular episode podcasting's rural opportunity. I could find no humour in it. So, who knows, Maybe it was something I edited out afterwards. But anyway, Andrew, thank you so much for that.

Sam Sethi:

And finally, a row of ducks as well, from our friend Kieran at the Mere Mortals. Thank you, that's all he said. Thank you and thank you as well. I don't know what he's thanking us for, but thank you as well. Actually, I would say thank you to Kieran because he's started series four of the Valley for Valley podcast, so I'm looking forward to that series.

James Cridland:

Well, yes indeed. So what's been happening for you this week, sam?

Sam Sethi:

Well, still recovering. I feel like I've got arthritis in every joint still, but hey, that's just what I think everyone has when they get Covid. So this is my first time, so I'm not going to milk it for sympathy. We're working on three new big features for Truefans, so we are going to implement offline support. Probably early next week that will be available, so you will be able to take all of your podcasts offline and also stream sat while offline. So that's going to be working.

Sam Sethi:

That was one of our issues about how do we do streaming sats and record that while the users offline, but we've worked that out. I mentioned that we're going to integrate Apple Pay and Google Pay so you can just simply top up your wallet straight from one click using Apple Pay or Google Pay, so that I think will be hopefully a game changer in terms of people being able to say, yeah, I just want to use $10 or I want to use five quid or whatever it may be, and then they can just quickly just double click and that's straight into their wallet. So that's something I think will be quite cool.

James Cridland:

No, indeed, that all sounds excellent. Mike Askwith has a new podcast, doesn't he? He does.

Sam Sethi:

Mike Askwith podcast with Danny Brown is going to be called In and Around Podcasting. Mark's been putting out some very funny trailers for it, so if you haven't heard the trailers, check them out. I think it's the end of his podcast accelerator for now and this is a new one that him and Danny are going to do. And just a quick thank you to Danny Brown for sending over a whole load of Roadcaster Pro 2 configuration settings that I've used, so thanks, danny, for those as well.

James Cridland:

Indeed, indeed, now, absolutely yeah, the Roadcaster is a. It's a bit of a complicated beast, isn't it? It's got lots of buttons and things.

Sam Sethi:

The problem is, if you get it wrong, you can sound like Daffy Duck very quickly. The noise gates can be all set in the wrong place and suddenly your big boost and your oral boost, or whatever it's called, can be all wrong. So having somebody who knows exactly what they're doing and what right settings to choose and use was a godsend. So thank you, danny, for those. Yeah indeed. Now, james, what's been happening for you?

James Cridland:

I've been planning some of the presentations that I'm giving over the next few weeks or so, so I think the first one that I have to do weirdly, is the last one that I'm doing, because the first one that I have to do I actually have to get my speech for the Evolutions by Podcast Movement over to them relatively quickly.

James Cridland:

So I've got to go through the report card and take a peek through there.

James Cridland:

One of the interesting things I think from that is we will actually get some form of idea of how many people know about podcasting 2.0 and how many people don't, because of the amount of answers that we get for some of those questions.

James Cridland:

So I'll go diving into that a little bit more after our conversation today. But also we will have a special guest, or I will have a special guest for that very keynote that nobody knows about, not even the folks at Podcast Movement, probably not going to mention it to them either. So there we go, but that person has sent a very excellent video and that's going to be part of it. So I'm delighted about that too. Yes, and just sort of playing around with the other pieces I'm doing are all on new interesting tools from podcasting that radio stations should be using, and I've discovered it's just been fun playing around with some of these new AI tools and some of the new tools that are capable of doing weird and wonderful things and working out which I can reliably show off in a live environment which will be entertaining. Not quite so sure about that, yes, but still.

Sam Sethi:

Before you go also, we will be hosting a small drinks in LA. James is like. I haven't a clue. What are we doing here, Sam?

James Cridland:

Yes, so whether I know I'm saying, I'm saying I'm opening my calendar right now so sticking it in. When are they?

Sam Sethi:

It's at the broken shaker. It's a rooftop bar and James and I will work out the exact day after this show. So in next week's show we will reveal it, but the location will be the broken shaker. So we'll be sending out some invites to people very shortly. The broken shaker We'll have to rooftop bar. Look it up right around the corner from the marriot. Very nice.

James Cridland:

Not the broken shaker in Canberra, though no, not that I'm aware of. No, that would be far too far. It's a portable bar on a Canberra. So, yes, but still. So we'll be going there. No, it looks good, yes, it looks good.

Sam Sethi:

Yes, bring your budgie smugglers. It has a pool at the top if you want as well, james.

James Cridland:

Yes, there will be no chance of that.

Sam Sethi:

And also I'm planning the London drinkups as well very shortly. So again, greta Cohen will be coming over to London, she said, and she's already invited from Pushkin Industries. So yeah, I'm very excited for the London one as well.

James Cridland:

Excellent. Well, yes, I'm looking forward to. Oh, yes, so it's not too far, it's a quick. What couple of walks away? It's a couple of blocks. Is that what they say in America? A couple of blocks away, it's a James Beard award finalist. I'm called James, I have a beard.

Sam Sethi:

It's all fitting into place to plan.

James Cridland:

It's all fitting into place. Yes, well, I'm looking forward to. I'm looking forward to finding out what you've actually managed to book, because that's always the important thing, isn't it? And that's it for this week. Thank you to Albon Brook and thank you to Greta Cohen. You can also listen to the Pod News Daily and subscribe to the Pod News newsletter for more of these stories, and more too.

Sam Sethi:

You can give feedback to James and I by sending this show a booster gram. If your podcast doesn't support boosting, grab a new app from podcastintooorg, our music is from Studio Dragonfly.

James Cridland:

Our voiceover is Sheila Dee. We're hosted and sponsored by Buzzsprout Podcast hosting made easy. Get updated every day. Subscribe to our newsletter at podnewsnet.

Daniel Ek:

Tell your friends and grow the show and support us.

Jingle:

The Pod News Weekly Review will return next week. Keep listening.

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