Podnews Weekly Review

Todd Cochrane; Mike Kadin; and BBC podcasts

March 22, 2024 James Cridland and Sam Sethi Season 2 Episode 66
Podnews Weekly Review
Todd Cochrane; Mike Kadin; and BBC podcasts
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We interview Blubrry's Todd Cochrane about his new Vid2Pod tool; and chat with RedCircle's  Mike Kadin about OpenRAP. Plus, the BBC's podcast strategy.

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James Cridland:

It's Friday, the 22nd of March 2024.

Speaker 2:

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 back in the UK, but without my luggage.

Sam Sethi:

And I'm Sam Sethi here in the UK still, and I'm CEO of True Funds In the chapters today.

James Cridland:

The BBC plans to sell podcast advertising in the UK on Apple and Spotify. The BBC also plans to sell no podcast advertising outside the UK if you're listening on Amazon Music.

Mike Kadin:

Also, youtube Music is testing Spotify-like activity feeds, blueberry launches Vid to Pod and Blueberry Pi, and the New York Times audio app receives more than a million installations Plus hi, I'm Mike Caden, the CEO and co-founder of Red Circle, and I'll be on later to talk about OpenRap, our new host Red ad automation system that works across podcast hosting platforms. Hey, everyone.

Todd Cochrane:

This is Todd Cochran, ceo and co-founder of Blueberry Podcasting. I'll be on later to talk about our new product, vid to Pod, and our new product coming out called Blueberry Pi, our podcast AI that we're launching.

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:

Right, james, where should we start this week? Well, we were at City University earlier this week and there was one of the people from the BBC and the story broke about the BBC planning to sell advertising to podcasts in the UK. This sounds a bit dodgy to me. They got a BBC license that we all pay for anyway.

James Cridland:

Well, yes, so just to sort of put this in context, the BBC is funded by a mandatory charge for UK households. It's about $215 a year in the form of a television license fee. Because that's the way that the BBC is funded, it is not allowed to carry advertising in the UK on any of its stuff. So there's no advertising on the BBC website, there's no advertising on BBC radio, on BBC television, no advertising on BBC podcasts. What they're doing here is because some of these shows are produced by BBC studios rather than the BBC public service. They reckon that they can therefore put ads in the podcast feed, but they're only doing that if you're not listening on the BBC Sounds app, because the BBC Sounds app is run by the public service. So they've basically gone okay. Well, if you're listening on Apple podcasts or you're listening on, you know, whatever, whatever else, Spotify or wherever else, then we're going to put advertising in there, which is the first time, I think, that BBC programmes will carry advertising on first release.

Sam Sethi:

So it's a really interesting thing They've been doing this with BBC America for some time, though, haven't they? We're having a commercial arm and selling commercial advertising around their content.

James Cridland:

Yeah. So the way that they do it outside of the UK is that BBC podcasts contain adverts, and that's fine, because outside the UK you're not paying for the BBC. And also, of course, inside the UK the BBC used to own lots of magazines like the Radio Times and Top Gear magazine and stuff, and they don't own those anymore, but the BBC had advertising in there with a company that used to be called BBC Enterprises. So the BBC has done some of this in the UK before.

James Cridland:

I think the big change here is that the BBC is slapping ads on stuff that they are making and that is, you know, first release, and that's a big change. Why is it a big thing? Well, it's a big thing because commercial competitors see the BBC as being a large, you know, gorilla in the jungle. And that large gorilla is quite scary if he gets new superpowers and in this particular case, getting new superpowers of taking ad revenue. So News Media Association Chief Executive Owen Meredith said it would wreak havoc on commercial players right across the media and advertising sector. And there is a man now we have to be careful here. He's founder of ACAST but hasn't worked for ACAST for a number of years, which the BBC isn't very clear about the man called Mans Ulverstam, and he says that the ads will cannibalise every other podcast's revenue. There's really quite a lot of concern in the podcast industry about the fact that all of a sudden you've got this massive, great big competitor of the BBC.

Sam Sethi:

But the other side of this coin is that the UK government is trying to defund the BBC, not allowing the licence price to increase in line with inflation, and so isn't the BBC just looking at alternative ways to fund themselves by saying we won't do it within the BBC portfolio, but within commercial sites like Apple and Spotify and others? Yeah, why wouldn't we want to stick our hands in and make a bit of extra money around BBC paid content?

James Cridland:

Yeah, I think, to be fair it's probably the BBC who's worked out a loophole here that if they get these shows made by BBC Studios, which is the commercial arm, rather than made by the BBC Public Service, then that allows them to do a couple of things. It firstly allows them to be secretive about the money that they spend on talent, which they have to be very open for if they're at the public service, but also, secondly, it means that there is this loophole that seemingly allows them to sell advertising on these ads as well. It does seem to me like a loophole that some clever knurk at the BBC has suddenly thought, ah, maybe we can do that. I mean, I think.

James Cridland:

On the other side, I think it's very positive for open RSS. Why would I say that? Because, of course, open RSS is all of a sudden going to be valuable to the BBC and instead of ignoring the plays that they get on Apple podcasts and Spotify and other third party platforms in the UK, which they have been doing for the last couple of years now, of course, every play earns them money, and so, arguably, it's a bit of a shot at the BBC Sounds app, which is run by BBC Public Service, to basically say look, we're making money out of this stuff now, and so we should be promoting less BBC Sounds and more listen to the BBC wherever you get your podcasts. So perhaps it's good news for open podcast RSS feed fans such as we are.

Sam Sethi:

Well, let's see if they get away with it. At the moment, it's still a up in the air decision, isn't it?

James Cridland:

It is BBC News reports BBC News, of course, reporting on the BBC. I'm very aware of the weirdness there, but anyway, they report that this idea is subject to regulatory assessment, although we're not actually very clear what regulator they're referring to there. Ofcom doesn't have a say in this. I'm not quite sure where the regulator, what regulator, is involved here. So that's a very strange line, but the fact that they're potentially saying, oh, there might be some regulatory stuff there, perhaps there's a public interest test and perhaps that's the thing that they are doing. They also use the word trial a lot, which irritates me, because when I was at the BBC, a trial had an end date and these trials that the BBC have been doing with their podcast apps are just open ended and they're not trials at all. It's a mealy mouthed way of saying we're just trying something and seeing if we can get away with it. So yeah, it's going to be fascinating watching.

Sam Sethi:

Well, sticking with the BBC. The BBC has reached an agreement with Amazon Music to add its podcast outside the UK. James, tell me more.

James Cridland:

Yeah, so Amazon Music, of course, doesn't use the open RSS directories like Apples, which is open, or like podcast index and in typical public service fashion. I mean, amazon Music was launched what? Three years ago in terms of podcasts, in typical public service fashion. The BBC have only just got round to putting their shows in there outside of the UK, but what they are doing is podcasts outside the UK do have ads from the BBC. What Amazon does is if you are a paid subscriber to Amazon Prime, then they'll give you certain podcasts ad free, which I always thought was a clever idea. It's not really move the needle in terms of their app and the BBC will be part of that. So the BBC will actually offer their shows without ads in Amazon Music if you are paying Amazon Music for other things.

Sam Sethi:

Now someone's woken up the Amazon bear because it's been hibernating, as you said, for three years, because they've done bugger all to nothing. Really, they've not moved the needle, they're not really done much. They've now gone, meg and Bradshaw and a few other people coming in. So you know, we talked about the hires and changes of roles within Amazon. So on the back of that, you've now got Wondries adding some of its sports podcast to Amazon Prime as well. What's that all about, james?

James Cridland:

Yeah, so Wondries is really interesting. Wondries has done a few things with their video platforms in the past. They've done things like Amazon's fast system, where you get essentially what look like TV channels within Amazon Prime, and Wondery threw a lot of their true crime shows in there. There's a Wondery true crime channel and various other things a visualized podcast and they're doing the same for sport as well. So within Prime Video, you'll be able to see all of Wondries' good stuff around sport, which should be interesting to you know. Take a peek at. I think it's a pretty clever idea. It's just a way of making sure that they can actually get more people finding their shows and understanding what their shows are all about in a different area. So I think that's quite a smart plan.

Sam Sethi:

Someone hoovering around you.

James Cridland:

James, I'll tell you what it is. It's the kettle. I'm boiling the kettle. It's a nice, cheap, loud kettle, very cheap, very loud, and I'm boiling it so that I can. Then, can you hear it now? Yes, there you go, so that I can then have a coffee, so that I don't continue sounding croaky. That's what I'm doing.

Sam Sethi:

Do you want us to stop for two seconds? James? Will you go and make your coffee?

James Cridland:

It'll be all right, we'll just carry on. Why not Okay?

Sam Sethi:

Well, let's jump from Amazon and the BBC over to YouTube, because earlier this week there was a report out that YouTube music which I don't use, but you do is testing a Spotify-like activity feed. It seems the YouTube music team appears to be testing this for some people. Have you seen it in your YouTube music yet, james?

James Cridland:

I haven't seen it in my YouTube music, primarily because actually I'm not using YouTube music at the moment. I'm using Apple music because you know I've got it free for six months, so why not? But you know, youtube tests things all of the time and then, you know, some of these really nice ideas never actually see the light of day. So I'm wondering whether or not this is going to be one of those ones that is tested and then is never seen again.

Sam Sethi:

Who knows? I don't know. I think this one would be because you know it's similar to the Spotify what's New feed and it would make a lot of sense for YouTube to have you know what's new and what's happening alongside their own notification bell for other things. I don't know. I think this one might stick again. Not using YouTube music, I won't be able to see it, but for those who are, keep your eyes out and peeled and you might find it.

James Cridland:

Yeah, and YouTube music is available in some places with ads for free, and so you know it's always worth having a play with it and seeing what it's like. But yes, I mean that always used to be on Spotify. That always used to be the way that I would find new music, because I would see what some of my friends were listening to. So I think it's quite a nice idea. It's almost as if it's kind of some kind of activity stream Strange, who knows.

Mike Kadin:

Yeah.

James Cridland:

Funny that except I bet they won't be using Activity Pub though.

Sam Sethi:

No, I don't think that will happen for my lifetime anyway. Now let's jump from YouTube into YouTube video. Friend of the show Todd Cochran has just launched. Blueberry has just launched a new service called Vid to Pod, a service to turn YouTube videos into open RSS audio podcasts. We've seen this from companies like Headliner that we use, for example, and there's others that do it, where they take the audio and turn that into a YouTube video. So is this the first time that we've seen it the other way, james?

James Cridland:

Yeah, I thought this was a very clever idea from the folks at Blueberry. So essentially he was saying lots of people at PodFest were confused. They were uploading what they thought was a podcast onto YouTube and then going well, why can't I see that on Apple podcasts? And so this is essentially him making that available. So what I think he's doing is he's using YouTube DL or a similar scraper to pull the video file off YouTube and turn that into an audio file and stick it out as a paid for RSS feed. I thought it was quite a clever plan.

Sam Sethi:

Well, I saw the demo on Pod News daily and it looks good. And yeah, they've also launched another one. It came out today, or should I say yesterday. It's called Blueberry Pi. What is Blueberry Pi, james?

James Cridland:

It's their equivalent of cohost AI, which Busbrough sponsor has, and, except it does a few more things. Actually, it helps you with production, it helps you with thinking up new ideas for your podcast, it helps you with clips to share part of your podcast with afterwards. So it's a full AI set, and Todd was saying that they've built it in a very clever way so that actually, they can switch the LLM that they use under the hood very, very easily, and it's very versatile in terms of some of the things that it will do. So I think it's quite smart. It also even does images, artwork for your show as well. So, yeah, I thought it was a smart plan.

Sam Sethi:

Well, I thought it was smart plan to ping Todd and actually tell us more about it. So I got on to Todd and said tell me more about Vid2Pod and Blueberry Pi.

Todd Cochrane:

It's kind of interesting. We went to Podfest and as we were at Podfest, there was a lot of video first creators at the event and I was dismayed to a certain extent in that they said I don't have time to do a podcast, I'm just doing video and focused. And I came home and I'm kind of talking about this in a debrief of the team and Barry Cancer, cfo, said well, why don't we just make it easy for them? Why don't we just take their playlist and automatically create a podcast form, kind of a set it and forget it? So what we've done here is we bridge the gap between video and audio, ensuring that a YouTube creator content is always available to a podcast listener on podcast apps that they love and trust. So it's really an opportunity. What we feel is for YouTube creators and video first creators to be able to build a wider audience, increase the content's accessibility, because not everyone is watching. Again, you can listen to a YouTube on YouTube app. That's fine as well, but you open up a whole new audience here and it's pretty effortless Once they sign up. They do have to sign up for an advanced hosting plan with us, but then it's just as simple as saying hey, here's my Bluetooth, the username here, and then select the playlist they want us to import. Now we can import their entire back catalog or start new, and what we're finding is there's a mix.

Todd Cochrane:

There's some YouTubers that are already double posting, so they said I don't want to double post, no more. So we set a date. So from this date forward, whenever you post a new episode or a new video on this playlist, we'll grab the title or grab the description or grab the chapter files and we'll pull this over and convert it into a high quality audio file. And we're encoding it 128k for them so that they maintain a good audio quality. And this actually was a discussion within the company. This is the first time we've ever touched. Unless someone gives us permission to use our media mastering service, we don't touch the audio at all. So this is kind of a discussion point, and so we just automatically create that audio, create that episode and publish it from there.

Todd Cochrane:

They have to do nothing. They just sign up for the service, get it all set up. But they still can come in and participate in programmatic if they want. They flip that on day one or they can do V for V. They can set up anything in the podcasting. Two points, so they get everything that podcasting has to offer. All we're really doing here is probably saving them 10 or 15 minutes, maybe more of time every time they post a video on YouTube if they want to become a podcaster and have a traditional podcast. So it's really. It's about as simple as you can get from an explanation standpoint. But again, turn a single playlist into a podcast and get that universal podcaster distribution on OpenRSS. And guess what, if they ever get the platform, their audio still lives on.

Sam Sethi:

Nice. Now, we talked about offline just now about maybe one of my ideas. I'd love, as a feature request, adding the video to that audio as the alternative enclosure. Is there somewhere I can put that request in, please?

Todd Cochrane:

Yes, Consider it already added. Well, I'll put it in as a task. We are pulling that link. We do know that episode. I call it an episode, what do you call it? On YouTube.

Sam Sethi:

So I don't know, and yeah, video playlist. I don't know what we call it, yeah.

Todd Cochrane:

But anyway, every episode on YouTube has its own default landing page. So I'm surfacing that in the system already because I saw it in our admin area. So we shouldn't have no issue and cut and paste as devs do or whatever they do in coding, just dropping that directly into Alt and Closer, so then you've got both. You've got the audio and the link back to YouTube. So we're really it's a win-win for everybody.

Sam Sethi:

It is, and it'll be great to see what the adoption is, because now it will be blurse the lines between what is a podcast, right? Where do you start, where do you end? Because YouTube claim it's a podcast on their side. So I think that's cool. I think the only well closest I've seen to this has been the reverse of actually what you do, which is Headliner, which posts basically your audio to YouTube automatically, in that same way, of course, all they do is they put a still graphic and there's nothing more that they do.

Todd Cochrane:

A lot of people have been doing that. I think there's even some competitors of ours. I think Libsyn pushes over to YouTube. I think there's two or three others that do auto publishing, yeah.

Sam Sethi:

RSListcom launched something last year.

Todd Cochrane:

Yeah, so we've always kind of said in that regard too, we did that for a while, but what happened was is YouTube was changing the API every 15 minutes and it was so hard to maintain, and maybe it's that was early days, so maybe it's modernized now. They don't change things up that much because there's a lot of services that push videos into YouTube.

Sam Sethi:

So, on a broader scale, looking at Bloober, you've been leading the charge on the podcasting 2.0 tags from a host perspective. How are you seeing the adoption curve now? Now you've had a bit of time, say six months, with customers bedding in. Do they understand what a wallet is? Do they understand what stats are? Do they understand these new features? Or are we still having a long education cycle that we have to go through?

Todd Cochrane:

Yeah, we're climbing the hill here and it's one of the reasons why we basically are trying to push adoption. So what we released last week was something called widgets and then just the iframes, and the iframes essentially give you the ability to put a boost button, donate button, put your pod role, have your credits at the show, an episode level, be able to have a widget to put on a webpage, because what you know now what we're getting is questions in the support result. How do I get these? How do I set this credit thing up? So now we're able to say, okay, hey, go over to this section of the website, add your host, your co-host, and then, when you publish an episode, you can add the guest. And so what it really did is it's taken us to build awareness, because most of these podcasters are not using new podcast apps, so they're not seeing the benefit within the app and the apps have been slow in adapting all the features Again, I'm gonna call them features. So we tried to again prime the pump here a little bit. They're gonna get the benefit of having this data on their website, on their HTML page, webpage, and then you know that education goes further. Say, okay, now that you put your pod role or you've done a set up, your boost of gram, you basically be able now to say, okay, this will now start surfacing in apps over podcastappscom for those that have adopted it. So I think it's a double whammy here.

Todd Cochrane:

So the widget piece was really kind of our way to kickstart the process, cause if the podcaster can see it and then you go to the website and say wow, there's my host and co-host, it's right there within the show notes. But many of us cut and paste our templates from our web pages and just update the web notes so it's easy for them to maintain. So that was the primary reason behind doing the widgets, was given this visibility and at the same time and the biggest one we've got questions what's this live, what's this live widget? So then that's driving. Now they have discussion. Oh, by the way, go over and look at the in PowerPress, look at that live function. Oh, you know what's.

Todd Cochrane:

So again, it's more about education and in B Frank, I wish more of the podcast host would be doing more of this type of thing to help drive adoption and cause that's once the adoption gets big enough, and probably a developer of one of the apps on their participating podcast 2.0. I'm sure they go over and query the podcast index API and say, okay, how many shows are doing credits? And if that list comes up to 15,000, then they say, okay, there's 15,000 shows. They're gonna show up on my app with credits. Gives me the motivation to add this as a feature. So if adoption's low, I don't blame. The apps are not putting it in. But again we're in a chicken and egg situation here where we have to feed this beast.

Sam Sethi:

Dodd, you and I are both fully supporting all the tags. So Truefans, with my Truefans CEO, hat on. We support all 27 tags and you do the same, so we're both leading the charge as best we can. On one of your shows recently, I heard you talk about Blueberry support for AI. Where are you with your AI plans?

Todd Cochrane:

Yeah, wednesday we're releasing what's called Blueberry Pi P-A-I, which is the podcast AI Kind of a little spin on words here and what we really did is I've been looking at this for a while and I was using all the tools. I was using chat, gpt, I was using Claude, I was using mid journey and I had five tools to do a single episode and we really took all those ideas. And then we had a podcaster saying here's my production flow. So what we really built was number one. The podcaster will be able to create a profile and it really lays out a whole bunch of stuff that we use throughout the process and that profile is key really to a lot of the pieces and then they go into a show production. It's the show production piece is simple. It's basically who's gonna be on this show, add your guest, add your LinkedIn or whatever bio link, drop a bio in there, put that information in and what's the show's gonna be about, what's the three or four topics you're gonna cover. You start the production and the production piece is the most easy piece of the whole AI system. So they're gonna create we're gonna create some episode topics. Let them add their own. If we didn't come up with good ones, then we're gonna go into guest questions, if there's a guest, so we'll give a lesson, guest questions and then, once that's all done, based upon all the information that we have in the system, we produce them a show flow. That show flow can be printed and they can go ahead and edit and it basically lays out how to basically use best practices in developing a show flow. Now, not everyone's gonna use that show flow, but at least they could print it out and have maybe their talking points, like description, the discussion question, maybe they wanna intermix that. But the real beauty of this whole thing really happens in the post-production phase. The podcasters done editing their audio, they upload it to the system as soon as it hits our basicular bucket. They can go in and do post-production and it basically starts again.

Todd Cochrane:

You pick the plan that you were just on or, if you haven't created a plan which I often do I sometimes I don't create a plan, so I make a new plan. I put some of that same basic information in and then it grabs the transcript. Well, grabs the audio file, creates a transcript. You choose who speaker one, two, three, four is, and then we suggest 10 titles from the transcript. If you don't like our 10 titles, you can add your own.

Todd Cochrane:

Once that's done, you say next, and we create a show summary in a summary format and we give them a separate tab with bullet points. So some people like bullet points and people like summaries, and of course I always say to anytime an AI outputs anything, make sure you QA it. We haven't had to run home to mama yet and lie, but there's always a first. You never know what's gonna happen. So wait, qa your output, just don't cut and paste. And then we allow them ability to build episode images.

Todd Cochrane:

And the fourth step is create chapter file form with a full editing capability, right in there. Now for the dashboard users no cut and paste. All they do is go say go to my draft episode. All this information gets copied into a draft episode. Everything's there transcript, episode art, show summary, show title, media's link, chapter files link. And all they really have to do then is do their final edit, up any upload images. Whatever they do, boom by the boom, publish and they're done. Powerpress users. Well, for now you gotta cut and paste. You gotta cut the title, put in your WordPress. Cut the summary, put it in your WordPress, cut the link to the. So at some point we'll have some functions in PowerPress to be able to just shoot that over there by API and creating a draft episode.

Todd Cochrane:

But then the final section is and we're actually building the fourth now but the third piece is the clip generator. So clips are Twitter, instagram, all the Mewis socials. We give them five clips, random clips from within the transcript pieces it's picked out. And the most important part that I love the best is the email for the news. Basically it creates a email for the episode and I'm amazed at the variety. This thing is nuts. It's not perfect, but like I talked about VidDepod in the last episode and the email was really like I was talking about talking to video creators but also talking to my tech audience, and so it really does master the email.

Todd Cochrane:

And then the final piece we're working on right now is clip creation to be able to do social media shorts and that type of stuff, submit videos to YouTube with a template. So that's the final piece that we're building, but the first three sections we're releasing on Wednesday and well, probably it'll be out when your show's out, but we've run this thing through the ringer and probably about 500 total tests of each section with podcasters, beta testing. So we'll see. Nothing is ever perfect, but one thing that we did with this, sam, is I told the dev team I don't want to be stuck to a model. If, next week, anthropi comes out with a better model, I want, within a couple of weeks, to be able to switch and change the key, go to a model that's better. Obviously, you're gonna have to beta test everything before you go to a model, but we made it easy enough to switch so I'm not locked into the current model I'm using.

Sam Sethi:

So the AI that you're using, is this in-house developed or is this a party that you've used?

Todd Cochrane:

Yeah, we're using a big model from a big Bainzering company that's in the news all the time.

Sam Sethi:

Okay, pick your AI. Okay, I don't think anyone's built it in-house. I know Buzzsprout has a similar sort of features and they got those from an external AI.

Todd Cochrane:

And I know others are doing that. They integrated with a third party.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, what's next after that? Some of a vacation or break? Jesus, you've done a lot. What's next?

Todd Cochrane:

I call it next gen stats and I won't go into what we're doing there, but we've got some cool stuff and ultimately, I think holistically, the platform has become we can do almost everything on the platform Can't do what we're doing here. We're on a squadcast today recording this. I honestly don't want to build this. I don't want to build a squadcast, I don't want to build a riverside, I just they do what they do best. So for us it's better to have integration. So folks that are using squadcast, you go into your riverside production and, boom, you can ship your audio file and transcript over to Blueberry. So I don't want to build that part, but we're looking at some other integrations for people that aren't using these kinds of tools. But I think holistically and yeah, we've got some stuff on the list, but I'm not really willing to talk too much more besides the next gen stats stuff People are always stats junkies.

Todd Cochrane:

Yeah, the more stats and we're sitting here, we honestly stats are pretty robust I'm like, well, what else can we do? And we said, well, by the way, we had this person said they wish they could do this and watch that. And I'm like, oh, and that led to a whole probably two hour brainstorming, being able to scope out what that would really do. So we focus both on the individual podcaster and the enterprise. So some of our stuff is a mix of both. Some people are gonna come and say I don't need that, but an enterprise client would come in and say holy cow, this is right here, right now. I can get this, yes. So we look at it from both perspectives.

Sam Sethi:

I've used a very simplistic five P's term pre-production, production, which is this what we're doing now. Post-production, which is the AI part you describe promotion, which is the new part. You describe clipping and social media and everything. And then profit monetization, which again, v4v does. One question that James and I posed when we did our predictions for 2024, one of my predictions was one of the big podcasting hosts would actually go the further extent and actually buy one of the podcast apps and maybe do the full vertical host to app or, conversely, one of the apps will go and do hosting.

Todd Cochrane:

What do you think you know? You look what Buzzsprout just did and built their own app development. You know, to buy an app and then, if you, okay that app, there's a certain kind of coding your team does. And to get an app and then get the source code I'm gonna say it's in Flutter. Well, what if you don't have a team that knows Flutter? Well then you have to learn a whole new code base, or maybe it does fit, maybe, but again, app support is such it's so expensive. And, be honest with you, we've had so few people ask or what we've had people ask for, and this is why, just like you, we built a. My God, let's Google, apple trying to kill in Europe.

Sam Sethi:

I'm talking tip of my tongue, progressive web apps like a mine.

Todd Cochrane:

Yeah, so we've got a progressive web app for stats and we watch the implementation of that. There's a number of folks using it that are hardcore stats folks, but then do I do what the old anchor did and having a complete production flow? I don't know. I just don't think so, cause that might fit 10% of our audience that use their service or the other people are using Hindenburg and I'd rather than use tools that are done by masters. You look at what Descript has done in some of their editing stuff pretty impressive. Some of the stuff I think goes a little overkill, but I'm still an Adobe edition user, so it really depends. And the app piece. There's great apps out there and I'm never gonna get beyond 1% market share and any app I launch. So it's not our focus. I don't think so.

Sam Sethi:

Cool. Yeah, and regards Descript, I've been a user since the beginning, but I used 20% of their current functionality. It's just gone, I think, beyond my either curiosity to learn more, cause they went so heavily on video and now they're doing AI and I'm like, actually all I need you to do is fix a few arms and hers and just put it out. I don't need 50 different things. That I really can't do.

Todd Cochrane:

What my approach to our AI stuff was is I was taking about an extra 30,. Before I started using AI, I knew end to end what my production time was. I added AI. My product was better, but I was like, oh man, it was taking me an extra 30 minutes. Time is money and people have families and everything else. So I said to the team when we build this, the flow of this has got to help podcasters have a better product and not have a bigger investment in time. So that was our goal and what I really did was when I first started testing this. I'm like, wow, I'm done 45 minutes after I hit stop. Of course, I don't do any audio editing. I'm done with audio and video in 45 minutes, and it used to be an hour and 15 when I was using all these other little tools. I'm back to 45 minutes now, being able to push the chair back, turn the lights off and go home or, if your studio's in your house, go back to the living room. So the goal on the AI process was save time, make people be able to just like the email, my emails. I just cut and paste the show notes Boring, so now I have a unique email to send Takes me a couple of minutes to edit the stupid stuff that adds to it, but it's better.

Todd Cochrane:

Since I started using the production process, we've put in place my show's up 10%. I haven't seen 10% growth in a year. In 10 years, as long as I've been doing a show, I get 1% 2% growth. When I see 10% in a month, there's a reason. It's just a better output. Google likes it better, Audience likes it better. It's more engaging. Again, it's a unique use case. This, to be frank, we're not really using true language models. We're using an AI that's read a transcript. It says I like these words. Let me re-put these words together it's pretty good, Not perfect. As soon as the AI starts running home to mama, I'm sure I will hear from our customers. It's bound to happen. Nothing is perfect. I'm telling everybody hey, listen, you've got to QA the output.

Sam Sethi:

Todd, look, thank you so much. Very quickly, then. How or where can I go to find out more about Vid2Pod?

Todd Cochrane:

Yes, blueberrycom. Just search Vid2Pod when you get to the website. There will be a link in the dashboard for it. In the next 24 hours, Under the podcast hosting link, we'll have a direct link to it. Just search Vid, the number two pod on the website, or even it's been picked up by Google already. I'll link you right to the page. For those of you that are video first creators or if you know someone that is, that's the key here. Everyone who's listening here is mostly a podcaster. If you're a YouTuber that you'd sure like to listen to them. Share our link or, better yet, come over and become an affiliate. Earn some money sharing that link. I think that this will be a niche. We'll see how it takes off.

Sam Sethi:

You said the AI stuff will be out sometime this week because this show will go out on. Friday, so this today is recorded on Tuesday.

Todd Cochrane:

Yeah, we're launching it tomorrow, the 20th.

Sam Sethi:

Lovely.

Todd Cochrane:

About 4pm and it'll be live.

Sam Sethi:

Todd Cochran. Thank you so much. Good luck with it all.

Todd Cochrane:

Thank you so much. Thanks for having me, Sam. From your daily newsletter, the Pod News Weekly Review.

Sam Sethi:

I'm very pleased, james. I have to tell you that finally, finally, todd understands what the alternative enclosure tag is. Yes, so I made a feature request in the interview, which was Todd hey, why don't you take the shared video URL that YouTube offer and stick that into the alternative enclosure? So, yes, take your Vid to Pod service, create a brand new audio podcast from it in the main enclosure and stick the video in the alternative enclosure the original video and Todd went happy days, so that's going to happen.

Sam Sethi:

And then earlier this week, friend of the show, mark Asquith from Captivate and Danny Brown launched their brand new podcast called In and Around Podcasting. What was interesting is they launched an audio podcast separately Standard RSS on Captivate and then they launched the separate YouTube channel for that podcast. And I went hmm. So I pinged Mark and I said hey, mark, do you know that you could just take the YouTube share URL and it's the alternative enclosure and it would work in products like True Vans and others? And he went no, okay. So I showed him it and it looks like now YouTube sorry, captivate are going to include the alternative enclosure as well. So a double win this week. So, yes, I'm very pleased that finally hosts are beginning to understand what they can do with the alternative enclosure to include video, not just alternative forms of audio.

James Cridland:

Yeah, a smart thing from everybody involved.

Sam Sethi:

Moving on Red circle so I don't really come across Red Circle myself much Mike Caden, who's the CEO there but they've launched a new product called Open Wrap. What's Open Wrap?

James Cridland:

Well, it's a scalable platform for host red ads, and what they've done, which is very clever, is that you can keep your existing hosting provider if it's vast capable there's quite a few are and you can allow advertisers to buy host red ads on your show. So what you do is you accept a deal and you then do the host red ad. You upload the host red ad to Red Circle and wherever you host your podcast, you'll be able then to traffic that host red ad into your individual show. I think it's a very clever plan and I think that they've been working very hard on that and I think it's a smart thing.

Sam Sethi:

Well, I didn't fully understand it. So again I got on, the old blower called up Mike Caden, the CEO of Red Circle, and said hey, mike, can you tell me more about this thing called Open Wrap?

Mike Kadin:

We just launched Open Wrap this week. We've had it running for a little while here with some early customers, and now we sort of have announced it to the world and opened up our wait list for interested folks. Open Wrap is an extension of our ad platform, which we call Wrap, which does host red ads in a fully automated fashion. What that means is everything from setting up the deal, negotiating the deal, executing the deal, reporting on the deal and paying both ways on the deal is all fully automated in software, the idea being most host red advertising deals take 30 or more emails and spreadsheets and PDFs to accomplish, and we've tried to solve all of that friction with software. Open Wrap is it takes wrap, which you've had for a long time but only worked on podcasts that were hosted with Red Circle, and brings it to the larger ecosystem of podcast hosts that are out there.

Sam Sethi:

Okay. So I like the fact that, first of all, wrap made that whole process streamlined because, you're right, there is a U2Me email thread that will go on forever. Otherwise, what made you want to then sort of say, open wrap, let's do that? Were you getting user demand for it, or was it something that you and your CTO sat down and said, hey, we can extend the product? Which was it Supply side or demand side?

Mike Kadin:

Some of both. What I would say is the vision for a long time has for us to be able to provide a layer through which host red can be transacted in a way that was as scalable as possible. In order to get scale and efficiency out of these deals, though, you need to be involved in the actual dynamic insertion of the advertisement. If you take all the emails and spreadsheets and you move them into a web application, that takes some of the friction out and it keeps people organized, and there have been many other host red marketplaces that have existed for a while that do that, but many of those have failed to achieve significant scale because there's still that point at the end of all the negotiation and the signing of the deal, then it's okay, podcaster, go, flight this, don't make any errors. Make sure you put the pixel in your system, make sure you have the right dates and the right details and, by the way, email me a screenshot of your analytics when it's done, so I can see that it happened correctly. All of those steps. There's opportunities for mistakes, for forgetting to do Something, for communication breakdowns, and so for us, it's always been.

Mike Kadin:

The efficiency comes from the actual flighting and execution of the ad. And so for us for a long time that meant we have to host the podcast because we can manage the dynamic insertion of that ad and marry the workflow stuff that we have for the all the negotiation and reporting with the execution stuff that we have for dynamic insertion. And so that was the limit for a long time. And then, as the vast technology became more prevalent across some podcast hosts, it enabled us to be able to then extend that outwards. And so once we sort of felt that existed in the market and there were enough players supporting vast, in addition to sort of getting tired of some podcast saying, hey, we really love what you're doing, we want your host red ads, but we just can't move off of our hosts because we've been here for five years and we have XYZ reason, that sort of pushed us to extend what we were doing and take it wider.

Sam Sethi:

So, for those who don't know, tell me what does vast stand for?

Mike Kadin:

I don't actually know what it stands for. I think it's like video ads serving something. Technology, well, technology at the end. It's a standard that was built for video advertising and is a standard often used to communicate between an ad server and a video player, and it's an XML based protocol. It's produced by the IAB.

Mike Kadin:

It's well established for advertising technology in both audio now and video, and a bunch of enterprise podcast hosting companies and other ad tech vendors for podcasting offer the ability for a podcaster to be able to hook up a vast interconnection to a source of advertising demand and then in real time, when the listener hits play, the bid goes out to that source of demand and the whole communication around do you have an ad and did that ad get inserted and delivered happens over this vast protocol and it's supported pretty widely on the enterprise podcast hosts and hopefully we'll see more people use it in the future as well and it's pretty powerful for us.

Mike Kadin:

Usually it's used for programmatic integrations. Whether or not ours is programmatic is up for interpretation, but there's no reason why creative that was recorded by the host itself can't be delivered over this protocol. It doesn't care what the audio is, it just sets up the pipes for communication between systems. So I think we're the first people to sort of scalably deliver host read advertising in this fashion and we're excited to be able to plug into all these other places where podcasts live so we can scale up the automation that we're doing and get more host read in podcasters shows.

Sam Sethi:

Nice, okay, now Red Circle. How long has it been going?

Mike Kadin:

It's like six years now five and a half years. My son was born while we were pitching the company to investors and he's five and a half, so that's probably the best measure of how long it's been around.

Sam Sethi:

Now, what is Red Circle's? Usp Open Wrap is one of them. The hosting market's quite competitive and quite busy, so why did you want to set up a hosting company back then? I mean, there were others around, so what made you want to suddenly do that?

Mike Kadin:

Yeah, I think it goes back to what I said before around the efficiency of ad deals. If I go back to my original business plans and stuff that I wrote five or six years ago, the idea has always been for us to work on the ad problem and help podcasters to monetize, and we saw combining that with hosting as something that was unique to us in the market at the time and something that we really wanted to focus on. So we've got a great podcast host. I think it's competitive in a lot of ways. It has interesting features and good pricing in comparison to some other solutions.

Mike Kadin:

If you're focused on monetization and advertising, I think we're one of the best, if not the best, for that, and we're still a podcast host and we'll continue to work on that. But generally speaking, the actual hosting business itself what we charge to podcasters is a small part of our business. We're way more focused on monetization and advertising, not just because there's, I think, a bigger revenue opportunity there, but also because that's where we've uniquely built skills and experience and have built some unique product. So the answer is we've always been a host because we knew we needed to do that, to do these products well. But our main focus has really been building advertising automation technology.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I think nearly every host now will say that hosting is a basic commodity that they offer on the technology escalator. It's now at the bottom of the escalator and they're offering products all the way up. Now that are their differentiators, right? So I think, given where we are with hosting, yes, that's what we do, that's our entry point, but then we give you all these other things. So, given that you've launched OpenRap and everything else, what next for Red Circle? Where's the planning, where's the thinking, mike?

Mike Kadin:

Yeah, good question. I mean we are going to be focused short term on iterating on this product. We're hoping to get a lot of market feedback as we put it in the hands of podcasters. We've spent a ton of time automating every single part of these host read deals. We have features for, like you know podcaster read the wrong promo code or getting a free you know hello fresh meal kit delivered to the podcaster before they read the ad. All of these things that used to require a lot of manual coordination have been systematically productized.

Mike Kadin:

I am sure, as we do more deals and larger scale, that we will find new edge cases and things where humans have to get involved, and we would just want to kind of smack those down with products over and over again until this becomes as efficient as possible. But in addition to that, there are problems that come to light when you focus on the scale of host read advertising. Let's say you're doing a deal that has 200 podcasters reading a host read ad. You don't want to have to listen to each one of those individually. You don't even want to read 200 transcripts of those individually. So there's a lot of technologies and AI stuff that we could be using these days to help kind of assess the quality, provide feedback to the podcasters about the read and start to figure out ways not only to scale the operation but also scale some of the work that buyers and agencies do to to improve the performance of the advertising and teach podcasters how to do their best ads.

Mike Kadin:

Another piece that we are focused on longterm as well is is trying to create a system where the podcaster and the advertiser can interact without making too much friction.

Mike Kadin:

Right, we don't want to have like 100 back and forth, but there is unique experience and part of what's good about host read is that the podcaster is an expert in their audience and the brand is an expert in their customer, and totally disconnecting those parties by just having a couple of boxes on a web app, you know, probably doesn't produce the best possible advertising.

Mike Kadin:

That could be done, and so trying to figure out how can we get some touch points between folks, help the ads sort of equally match the advertiser's expertise but also match the audience that's listening, and try to figure out how to make it possible so again, to deploy a 200 ad podcast, which we've done, a podcast ad, which we've done before, and still get as much a sort of host read special feel as you can get.

Mike Kadin:

What we see in the market is there's so much friction in trying to deploy these large scale host read ad campaigns. If we can provide the tools to make it scale up to larger and larger numbers of podcasts while maintaining that high performance and authentic feel, it's better for the podcaster and their audience. But more importantly, it enables brands to not just buy on the top 500 podcasts that are out there, just to buy on more than Joe Rogan and the New York times and start to move down from the head of the market to the fat torso of the market. That's something that's named after me and we will try to make it possible for that next 5000 podcasts to absorb a larger percentage of the media spend that's happening in podcasting and get a bunch of middle class podcasters paid, while also achieving high performance for the brands that are buying there.

Sam Sethi:

Would you say that HostRed ads is going to get your higher performance return than, say, dynamic ad insertions with standard CPMs?

Mike Kadin:

Yeah, I mean I should specify, you know we're still dynamically inserting these ads but the like versus like a pre-recorded sort of radio style ad, I think HostRed is consistently shown to be of higher performance.

Mike Kadin:

It just takes a lot more work and a lot more energy and it costs a little bit more, but I still think you can get better ROI when it's done well. So software like ours that enables that to scale up, you know, helps compete with the forces from advertisers of efficiency and scale, while still maintaining what kind of makes podcast special and why we enjoy listening to them and why we sit through podcast ads sometimes because they're enjoyable and they're in the host voice and they feel like an authentic, sometimes are an authentic endorsement. So we want to keep that feel. You know, programmatic absolutely has a place and we do programmatic advertising for our hosting as well, and so we're not saying it's like bad or shouldn't be there. But HostRed ads are part of what makes podcast ad special and we'd like to see those continue to be a large and consistent portion of the ad revenue that's spent in the space.

Sam Sethi:

Mike, if I want to find out more about OpenRap and Red Circle, where would I go?

Mike Kadin:

The best place to go is redcirclecom and there's all kinds of stuff there to click on, but there's a whole OpenRap section that will walk through the details and you can join the wait list by just clicking on sign up and we have a special deal. We're doing $250 up to $250 off your first deal. We're basically taking no commission unless your deal is really big If you sign up for the wait list before the promotion ends. So it's worth just signing up and claiming a space and getting a discount on your first deal.

Sam Sethi:

Excellent, mike. Thank you so much. Congratulations on OpenRap and I won't see what podcast movement evolutions. As you said, your babysitting, but hopefully catch up with your team.

Mike Kadin:

Yeah, I won't be there, but the team will be there and we got a booth, so stop by and take a look. Thanks, sam. From your daily newsletter, the Pod News Weekly Review.

Sam Sethi:

James. Now, we have both been fans for a long while of Twitter. This week in tech the Leo LaPorte Network that's been one of the mainstays of podcasting for at least a decade or so At least a little bit the CEO of Twitter posted on X that we are losing our network to ad tech. What was she talking about?

James Cridland:

Yeah, she quoted one of our stories talking about the US podcast ranker Total downloads down year on year by 41% thanks to iOS 17 changes.

James Cridland:

She's saying that she's finding it very difficult now that every single different podcast agency are demanding you to add another tracker onto a podcast feed. They're wanting all kinds of stuff added, things like chartable and pod sites and all of those trackers. To add all of those in, she says, clutters up your feeds and if one goes down, then your entire podcast goes down, so that's a bad thing. She says that they lost half a million dollars this year so far because they've refused to add more ad tech. And then she has a rant about the IAB as well, who, she says, only care about the advertisers, forget publishers. They include more reasons to discount downloads Remember, advertising is in their name because they only protect brands.

James Cridland:

And, yeah, I think she's clearly finding and Twitter is clearly finding it very difficult at the moment and perhaps this is the problem. If you're a very small network, as Twitter really is, then it is actually quite difficult for you to act alone when it comes to saying, no, we're not going to have that piece of invasive ad tech on our podcast. Thank you very much and advertisers go oh well, ok, well, we'll go and find somebody else. If they were four times as large, then obviously it would be a different conversation. But yes, I kind of feel for them because clearly the world has changed since Twitter started all those years ago.

Sam Sethi:

I've had several conversations with Lisa over the last few months and again, one of the things we've tried, or I've tried to do, is to get them to understand what V for V is. If you've ever listened to Leo Port, from the very, very early days, he was always keen to get his listeners to pay him directly and he didn't want to do advertising, but that never worked, and so he went to host red ads and I have explained and shown and talked about what V for V is, and, no, I might as well batter my head against a brick wall because that's not going to happen. Leo doesn't like it and therefore that's the end of the conversation, and so I feel like they're sort of cutting the end of the nose despite their face.

Sam Sethi:

They've got a discord.

James Cridland:

Yeah, but it's not just Leo, though, is it? There are lots of people who don't like crypto and this funny money, and I think that that's the issue that we've yet to properly grasp is that lots of people just feel very uncomfortable about it, and it's not necessarily. We can talk and say why sats are the future and why sats are a good thing, but actually that's what's been holding this particular part back, so I don't think it's really Leo digging his heels in. He feels, as many people do, that all of this stuff is. There's something not quite right about it.

Sam Sethi:

I think we've talked in the past about. I think there was an app called Primal App and I think Oscar from Fountain talked about it on podcasting2.0. And when we're implementing it at Truefounts. I think you're completely right.

Sam Sethi:

I think the whole what's a sat, what's a wallet, why do I need a MoonPay account? Why do I do need to do KYC, passports and everything else is a massive, massive barrier to entry. And so, going back to your fairground token model, I think we could go away from talking about it's a Bitcoin micro payment called sat to just calling them sats. They're tokens. So if you want to use Fountain or Podverse or Truefans guess what you can top up your wallet with Apple Pay One Click or Google Pay and you get these funny tokens that are used on this site and others similar to it, and we don't need to fully explain the underlying. It's a 100 millionth of a Bitcoin and this, that and the other. Maybe that's the way forward, I don't know, but it's that immediacy of payment from Fiat to sat that I think is going to at least get us to the next level of user adoption.

James Cridland:

Yeah, yeah, no, indeed, indeed, so yeah. So I feel for the focus at Twitter and I think it's interesting seeing that alongside PJ vote from search engine. Of course, he used to be the host of reply all and he's just about to launch a paid subscription for his podcast called incognito mode, powered by supporting casts. So they're using supporting cast under under the hood.

James Cridland:

One of the things that PJ votes says about his show, which is quite a big show, but he says it is not profitable, it's not making money yet, and he also says 40% of the show's audience are international, but he doesn't currently make money from the ads that they hear, which I find quite interesting because I've listened to his show in Australia. There are ads on his show in Australia, so where's that money going If he's not seeing any of it? What's the deal there? So I'm curious about that, and I'm also curious that I would guess that the twit network has focused 100% on US ad money and again, you know there are opportunities outside of the US. 40% PJ vote said of his show's audience was international. It's probably relatively similar. You know 25, 30% for Leo's network as well, and so you know, perhaps there needs to be a bit more of a opportunity for podcasters to earn money outside of the.

Sam Sethi:

US Well, again, us centric, maybe. Maybe they'll look outside when they start to struggle really badly. Talking about struggling really badly, cost media is filing for bankruptcy. Reminders who cast media are James.

James Cridland:

Well, yes, or cost media were. They were a company that signed lots of people and then all of a sudden, in the middle of last year, if you remember, there were some stories coming out that they weren't paying some of their creators, and I started reporting on that and the CEO, colin Thompson, sent me a link to US libel law, which I thought was interesting. And I replied and I said it seems a bit threatening. And he said oh no, no, it's not supposed to be threatening at all, I was just curious, so I looked it up. Hmm, so now, what else did he look up and send?

Sam Sethi:

you, then I know curious about you know exactly.

James Cridland:

Here's a, here's a picture of a horse's head. So, yes, so anyway, what, what has just happened, happened last week is that custom media is now filing for bankruptcy and of course, when they do file for bankruptcy then all of their accounts are in the open. If you have a look at the court papers and I happen to have an account in the US court system so that I can buy these court papers 10 whole cents, every single, every single piece of piece of paper so I thought, oh great, well, we'll, let we'll, let's have a look at that so we can actually see exactly what cast media owns, who cast media haven't paid and all of that. But it's been, it's been very interesting to have a look. So Theo Vaughn, for example, he's owed $456,398 and 57 cents, which is a lot of money. Somebody called Chatti Broads is earning even more.

James Cridland:

But what I also find interesting is that most of the people who are owed money by cast no-transcript All of their accounts departments, because it's actually got a list of where their accounts departments are and who's in charge of that particular accounts and everything else. Quite a lot of their accounts department are at UTA, which is a big talent agency, so the big talents agency even does all of the invoicing for the talent that they look after. So you've got everybody from Chattie Broad's LLC, which is owed 478,000. You've got 11, 11 o'clock, whoever they are, but that's 293,000, and so on and so forth, and they are all. They all get their accounts done by UTA. So UTA is really the one that is hurting here. So, anyway, I found all of that absolutely fascinating. The bankruptcy is going through. You'll probably be wondering how much he's in total, how much he's actually owed by the company, at 6.395 million US dollars.

Sam Sethi:

So yeah, Not small chump change. Then the hearings on the 30th of April. We'll find out more. Whizzing round the world quickly, james rsscom has bought Mexico City production company Vandy Media. Why and why?

James Cridland:

Yes, well, it's a very clever and good move from rsscom. They've actually been doing quite a lot of things in Mexico, mexico City. They've got agreements already with Grupo Formula, which is a big radio company there. They've got a number of large shows which are on their network and they saw a benefit to buying the production company Vandy Media, which will allow them to make more shows and also allow them to do more in terms of ad sales as well. So I think it's a clever piece of M&A activity going on in Mexico City.

Sam Sethi:

Flying over to Saudi Arabia now and in Riyadh there's a new podcast host, james. Who are they?

James Cridland:

There is, yes, Thmania Hosting, which is an Arabic podcast hosting platform. This is interesting in that it is both a podcast host, but it is also a podcast monetization company. So if you want to buy podcast advertising, then you can do that through this company. If you want to now host your podcast, then you can do that too. So they're really branching into the whole podcast hosting side as well. Things really really growing in that part of the world. So, yes, interesting to see them.

Sam Sethi:

Back here in Europe. Should I say it is Odeon? Odeon or Odeon, A European ad tech company has launched in Belgium. They recently raised 6 million euros. They are originally based in France and they operate also in Italy, the UK. What's going on with Odeon?

James Cridland:

Yes, it is just a large company and is continuing to expand. I think it looks pretty good from that point of view. So, yes, good to see Europe continuing to grow and I think this is the story really here. There's just a bunch of growth in Europe. There might not be growth in the US right now, but there's definitely growth in Europe in terms of the of the European podcast industry, and so that is a good thing.

Sam Sethi:

And back over to the US. The New York Times posted that there's a subscription only. New York Times audio app has received more than a million downloads in the last seven months between the launch in May and the end of 2023. We interviewed Muckel Devichand, who went from the BBC over to the New York Times to create that app. So, yeah, it sounds like they're doing very well.

James Cridland:

It does. Yes, so that's a million installs. Really, audio on the platform got an average of 110 million monthly downloads per month. 110 million downloads per month is pretty good, isn't it? And bear in mind that this is a subscriber only tool, so you can't actually use it unless you are a subscriber to the New York Times as well, so it's very different from other apps that you might actually see. So, yeah, I mean, I think quite a lot of people thought that this would be a massive fail and it's turned out to be rather the opposite.

Sam Sethi:

Do we have equivalencies to this anywhere else? I mean, bbc Sound isn't a subscription, the Times is a subscription, the FT is a subscription, but they don't have apps. I don't think. I mean, do we have equivalencies?

James Cridland:

over here, I mean not really. I mean, bbc Sound is doing, as you would expect, rather a lot better, but, there again, bbc Sound is free to everybody and, that said, actually the last figures that we have, which are for quarter four 2023, show 231 million plays of on-demand radio and podcasts. So let's be nice to the BBC and let's assume that that is all for on-demand podcast content. That's only 77 million per month. So actually, the New York Times Audio app is doing better than the BBC Sound app, which is interesting, given that the BBC Sound app is free to anyone in the world and the New York Times Audio app is only available to people who pay their dues to the New York Times.

Sam Sethi:

Don't tell the BBC there's more money to be made. They'll go and make it a subscription.

James Cridland:

Well, who knows? Who knows what they're planning Jobs now. James, anyone moving and grooving? Oh, there are a few people who are moving and grooving. Matt Tasker has been hired by VoiceWorks Sport as executive producer. He is somebody that understands sports rights and stuff and he'll lead on the production of some of VoiceWorks' biggest rights holder productions as well. Tim Clark, who is Audis' SVP of digital audio content, is leaving the company as well at the end of the month. Interestingly, he's not going to be replaced, so he's one of the people who has essentially lost his job because that company went bankrupt and they are still cutting costs and reorganising. I met Tim probably about 15 or 20 years ago when he was working for Cox Media, and he's a decent chap, so I'm sure that he'll find something else relatively shortly.

Sam Sethi:

Right Events and awards. James, Next week we're out at the podcast movement Evolutions and the American Podcast Awards are going to be on March 26th, James. Oh, no, sorry, the ambies yes.

James Cridland:

And there is a nomination for a Singaporean podcast in there, a Singaporean true crime podcast. So they can't possibly be the American Podcast Awards if they've got a Singaporean. Exactly, exactly, so, yes, so that's interesting. Also, yes, so it's going to be good to be over at Evolutions in LA. I will be talking about the Pod News report card, which should be nice. If you're from YouTube, brace yourself. If you're from anybody else, then it's a slightly better story. Gosh, and yes, so that's going to be good. Are you going to be speaking on stage?

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I'm speaking on stage with Mark Osk and Rob Walsh, so good luck to me. That's also on the Wednesday. It's in 2.15 in the afternoon. You're keynoting in the morning at 9am and it's called. My event thing is called the Real Podcast Monetisation Strategy. It's the future of your show or network, so that rolls off the tongue nicely.

James Cridland:

Yes, Very, very fancy, fancy. And a couple of other things. Of course, the podcast show in London. I am hearing exciting news of a number of big speakers, big keynote speakers. They're not quite ready to announce them yet, but I'm sure it will be exciting. One of them will fill the room. I'll tell you. One of them will A fill the room and B say absolutely nothing. No guesses, pavarotti, pavarotti. And secondly, there's a new podcast festival in the UK, in Sheffield, crossed Wires, which is happening at the end of May, being organised by Dino Sophos, among others, who, of course, is a big fan of Sheffield, and various other folks. So that should be good and you're going to be there.

Sam Sethi:

I am and we also are going to have brand girls do it as guests, coming up in the podcast weekly in a few weeks time to talk about it.

James Cridland:

Well, that'll be exciting. More events, both paid for and free, at Pod News Virtual events or events in a place with people. Podnewsnet slash events is free and you should be there.

Speaker 2:

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. Here's where Sam talks technology. What have we got here?

Sam Sethi:

Sam. Well, last Friday Nathan Gathright launched a product called episodefm and he was talking about it on the podcast in 2.0 show with Adam and Dave. It's fundamentally link tree for podcasters. So the idea is that you can look up a podcast and then look up, using the content link, all of the different podcasts that might be available to play it and then, once you've chosen the one you want, the next time you go in there you can say just play it through that one app. And I guess what he's trying to do, if I understood him correctly, was, instead of saying wherever you get your podcast, you can now say click on my episodefm link and then you will see wherever I've wanted you to go to as my link tree for podcasting.

James Cridland:

Yes, and it looks very smart. Episodes with an S episodesfm is a way to go. It does look very smart and deep links into episodes is a super helpful, super useful thing. Of course, one of the frustrations here is that there is no direct link to YouTube music, so that's not going to work. It's another problem that YouTube have is that there's no way of linking to podcasts or indeed, episodes on that platform. So yeah, that's a bit of a shame, but yeah, it's a very smart tool.

Sam Sethi:

I think that similarly with Spotify, because I think the lawyers try to get involved before anything can be done, and I think Nathan said all I want to do is link to a podcast, and so, yeah, I'm not sure that works either.

James Cridland:

Yes, I think that was Amazon, oh was it Amazon? Right Conversation with Amazon. Yeah, to get into Amazon music, which is quite a difficult tool to get into.

Sam Sethi:

So yeah, that probably makes sense Now we've been talking about Apple and the Apple Store with the digital DMA that came in on Europe on the 7th of March and so forcing Apple to open the doors a bit more and sort of they've sort of nudged it open and they're peering out, not really letting anyone do anything different. Well, it seems in India that they've got a similar problem with Google because really Apple hasn't got much or any real market share. It's all 98% Android and Google. And the Indian government is trying to do the same thing with Google Play Store. Now they're saying you've got too much market share and you're charging too much to developers. You're going to have to open the door as well. So it's not just Apple who are going to be forced to do this. Looks like Google as well.

James Cridland:

Yes, although of course, all of the technology on Android allows Google to just, you know, allow other, you know allow other app stores anyway. So Google can very easily turn around and say well, you can just download F-Droid, you can download the Amazon app store, you can download all manner of other of other app stores. Where's the monopoly here? So, yes, it'll be interesting to see what happens there. Libsyn's advertised cast is no longer.

Mike Kadin:

But don't worry.

James Cridland:

They've not closed down. They've just rebranded as Libsyn ads. It's a rebrand announced on Thursday, a natural progression of the successful execution of our platform strategy, said CRO Dave Hanley, and we will be hearing a lot more about Libsyn ads at podcast movement next week.

Sam Sethi:

Now looking at some AI music. Tune Taxi is a royalty free music service that launched with more than a million AI generated tracks. I think at the beginning of Todd and Rob's show they had a different AI music service that was also playing royalty free AI generated music as well. So, it seems, is this the thing we're going to go to AI music.

James Cridland:

Well, you know, I mean any, any opportunity not to pay creators. I think that's the plan there. I'm not sure I necessarily agree with it. I mean, the main reason to use Tune Taxi is if you're a retailer and you just want some funky sounding jazz in your coffee shop, then instead of paying money to play commercial music, which you do have to pay for, the idea is that you use Tune Taxi instead, and so it just produces AI generated crap while people have their coffee. So to me it doesn't sound like a very good plan, but still. But there we are.

Sam Sethi:

Couldn't you just go over to LM Beats or Wave Lake or one of those services and play those royalty free music and maybe generate or donate a few sats to the actual you know the actual artists? That might be a nice thing to do.

James Cridland:

I mean that would, that, would that would kind of make sense to or use Fountain's, you know, radio App or whatever it, whatever it might be. Yeah, I mean all of that kind of makes sense and I'm, yeah, it's. It's a bit of a frustration. I'm there thinking really, do we do we have to have AI generated everything? Is this really a good plan? There is a, there's a website out there which is I don't know if you found it, it's called suenoai. I think it's called.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I think that's the one that Todd was using.

James Cridland:

The one that Todd Todd was using, right, ok, well, that probably makes sense. So what you can do with it is you can you basically go there and you say, right, I want let's, let's give this a go and let's see if it see, if it works well, I would like a song about song about podcasting news. Yes, podcasting news, sam and James, that's right. Make it stop, james, please Make it stop. Wow, enough, enough, enough.

Sam Sethi:

Sounds like, oh my God, Justin Bieber on AI. Oh my God, that's awful.

James Cridland:

Isn't it awful? So, yes, so services such as as soon as AI or services such as tune tune taxi yes, they will produce that sort of nonsense for you, but you know, but I like, I like the way that we got a name. Check in there, that was nice, yeah, yeah.

Sam Sethi:

OK, fair enough. Can we move on now? Yes, please. Last week we talked about how embedded media players have been castigated for putting auto downloads on. We talked about podverse and pod friend, and just cast were removed from OP three. Well, john's Barlow, who runs OP three, put in this week that just cast flicks their web widget and it's no longer pre loading on a page load, so they've redeployed it into OP three.

James Cridland:

Good news? Yeah, I think so. I think it's very sad that Mitch is essentially ignoring what people are telling him and he's just, and he's dug his heels in and he said no, we're going to be different to virtually every other podcast embedded player out there, and I think it's a real shame and I think he should change his mind.

Sam Sethi:

I think he might. I think he might. Boostergram corner, corner, corner on the pod news weekly review.

James Cridland:

Hi. Yes, it's our favorite time of the week boostergram corner, and Sam has worked out how to see the boosts, so that's good news isn't it? They've come back. Hooray, what boosts do you have in here?

Sam Sethi:

Chadeff. He said I've never heard a single complaint about the pod verse embed player until now. I know a lot of podcasters and music musicians use it on their websites and love it because it works great. Mitch has done so much for the people that support him and I don't care if it breaks download stats or not. The language I saw on the masterton was on call for yeah. I think Dave Jones was also of a similar nature. Podfriend was also mentioned, but I didn't hear or see Martin's name come up. Look, this is not about castigating Mitch directly. This is not about even Saying you're bad, I'm good. I think it's a collective group saying look, as an industry, we think this is the way that we want to metric the industry with downloads, the, as you said, james, last week, it's the only model we currently have. It might be a flailed model or a flawed model, yeah, but at least it's a model for now, until something better comes along that we all agree on.

James Cridland:

Yeah, you know if, if chad wants to turn around and say I don't care if it breaks download stats or not, that's absolutely fine. Other people do you know other people really care an awful lot. And that's the point really. It it was, you know, it's to me it's, it's a bug, it was, it was reported as being a bug, and the only person that has got grumpy and Turn turning around and saying I'm not going to fix it is Mitch. And so you know, from my point of view, if that's, if that's the way that you want to work things, then fine. But Dave Jackson says I am team James in this argument there are companies doing what appears to be fraud with verified downloads versus verified listens, um, and he mentioned school of podcastingcom, slash 915, which is an episode of his excellent show. Um and so, um, yes, that that's uh also a thing. 3000 sats, thank you, dave. 1000 sats from chad f. What else have we got here?

Sam Sethi:

Sai says. I love to hear Evan and Sam talk about how activity pub can overlap with podcasting 2.0 and what true fans are doing, but it's limited to one app and crypto. I'd love to see more apps like fountain enable similar, especially with their account at fountainfm. Nom metlio, how do you?

James Cridland:

say that word. Oh no, no manclature, no manclature.

Sam Sethi:

Thank you very much, I'll put the teeth back in when. I try that again. I won't try it now. And even fiat currencies to enable mass adoption by the taboo.

James Cridland:

Yeah, beyond the taboo. Yeah, exactly, exactly Sai. Yeah, as we keep on saying.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah and Sai, we. You know, as I said, I think we may have a way forward for all of us, not just for true fans, I think, for fountain as well. I think One of the. I had an epiphany moment actually after the interview with Evan James, which is actually the activity pub and and mastered on and all the other activity pub clients don't have to have Micro payments like Nostra. The actual activity stream record, which is James played podcasting index 2.0 and Listened for 20 minutes and paid.

Sam Sethi:

So much value is the record of the activity that can be published via the activity pub to a client your, your client that you receive and other people can read your social media. The fact that somebody then could then respond with a, oh, I like that and zap you back, fine, that's. That's a secondary value, but it doesn't need to be there as a primary. So me going on at Evan oh, when you're going to support micro payments, actually my epiphany moment, but they don't need to, it's the outbound message from podcasting apps to the social media clients is sufficient and for people to get a signal of value which says, oh, james has just paid for that episode Maybe I'll go and have a look at it or James has just boosted this. That sounds interesting. Let me click on the link and see why yeah, yeah, no, indeed, indeed, gene bean.

James Cridland:

I love the idea of using activity streams instead of the TLV. If for no other reason, that it would mean boost could have more text and more features. Agree and mere mortalist. Podcast, kairin says, reminds me of the parable. If a podcast is downloaded in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? I've always found the stats in my hosts to be a rather impersonal metric, but perhaps I'd feel different if money was attached to it. I'd be curious if someone polled creators whether they would care that it wasn't legit or just celebrate having a higher number. I suspect it wouldn't be clear cut. I mean, if you want to fake download numbers, then it's relatively easy to Do that. The point is, of course, what's the point Of doing that? But yeah, it's uh.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, well, you know my view, james. I I still think downloads are the emperor's new clothes, but hey, while we only have that as a model, that's all we can do. I still think and you said it the other night, when we're at city, university Time, listened is the actual better metric, and when we get to having that as a cross App metric, I think that's the one that we'll all talk about and then downloads will become a thing of the past.

James Cridland:

Yeah, no, indeed, so, um. So, what's been happening for you this week, sam?

Sam Sethi:

Well, I decided to get online and watch this thing called FEDI forum. Um, it's the global activity pub conference. I really enjoyed it. I've never done one before. It was, you know, a global event, so there wasn't a single location, very fediverse itself, you know. So everyone was coming on from different places.

Sam Sethi:

Um, there's some really interesting little apps. One was called newtie, which allows you to post a blue sky master on a nostril from the same app Don't know if that's good or bad um, elk, very, very nice little progressive web app. Have been using that this week. Um, uh, that's similar to master dom, so that was very good. Pixel fed has announced they're working on some cool loops. I'm not quite sure what that is, but what was interesting was peer tube, um, which is an activity pub client. I didn't realize. They have got all the recorded elements of the event. And they also announced that they're going to have peer tube mobile, because they say, by the way, peer tube is Videos are watched more often on mobile, so they're going to have a peer tube mobile coming out as well. No fancy. And I'd like to thank, just on a level, matt midiris, uh, friend of the show as well. He did a wonderful youtube review of true fans. I'm very, very much appreciated, matt, so from me, thank you. That's all I'd say, yeah very nice.

James Cridland:

What's up for you, james? Well, since we last spoke, I have been to oslo and uh spoke about various things at the norwegian local radio conference. Um, which was great fun. Massive snowstorm in oslo airport on the way back, so I ended up being stuck in oslo airport for eight hours. Um, thank you, oslo airport for having wi-fi that works. Oh no, it didn't. So eight hours without wi-fi was a little bit frustrating. Um, still, there we go.

James Cridland:

Um, and then I was at the radio days europe podcast Um summit and the radio days europe main conference as well. Um, you know lots of people speaking there, including aryalness and blatt the internet's aryalness and blatt, city universities, brett, spencer Um, I was there, a bunch of other people, including sam bonham who essentially runs the bbc's news podcasts. So all of that stuff and then, of course, um city university Earlier on this week here in london and um tomorrow morning, friday morning, which is why this podcast. Sorry it's late again. Um, you know there's a limit to what I can do in my, in my, uh, you know, in my world. But, um, yes, uh, jumping on a plane friday morning to head to los angeles.

Sam Sethi:

Indeed, we'll see you out there. I'm flying over on sunday, but, um, um, just checking as your, as your luggage gone to russia as a by janea, where is it now?

James Cridland:

My luggage is um, so. So what was quite entertaining with my luggage is um, luftanzer couldn't find it for three days. And then I ring them up and I say would you like to know where my luggage is? Because I know exactly where it is. It's at d8. There, it is just at gate d8. Go and have a look for it, because I've got an air tag in my luggage and so therefore I can actually see exactly where it is Exactly.

James Cridland:

Funnily enough, ten minutes later they pinged me with a text message saying good news we found your luggage. Well, there you go, um. So that was a slight concern. I then went to pick it up at munich airport, um, uh and uh, only for them to have lost it again. So they didn't quite know where it was. And so there I was, standing in their lost luggage room saying my lost luggage is over there, uh, and not in this room. But they couldn't, they couldn't find it and get it to me on time. As we record this um, it's been sitting um in um In a building in slough for a couple of hours. It's now moved um and has been sitting in rather concerningly in somebody's house in slough Um for for the last half hour. I'm assuming that what's going on there is that they're dropping. They're dropping, you know, other people's bags off first.

Sam Sethi:

Oh, I thought they're going to say they're rumbling through my smalls and finding my budgie smokers. No, I don't know.

James Cridland:

Well, you know, I mean that that's what they could be doing. Oh, look, look at these beautiful pod news, uh branded shirts. Um. So I see, you know, I assume that that's what's going on, but anyway, um, so theoretically I should see it within the next couple of hours, except I won't be here, um, because I'm just about to pop out, um into greater london to have a look at um, uh, virgin radio and times radio and um talk radio, which will be quite fun. Oh, you're going up the shard.

Sam Sethi:

Are you going up the shard?

James Cridland:

Yes, it's not quite the the shard, it's next to the shard, it's the news, the news tower, um. So I'm going up there and going into the Rupert Murdoch owned world, so that should be fun. Say hello to chris Evans. He won't be there and that's it for this week. Thank you so much to our guests. You can also obviously listen to the pod news daily and subscribe to the pod news newsletter. That would be really helpful. Pod news net for more of these stories and much more too.

Sam Sethi:

You can give feedback to james and I by sending this show a booster gram if your podcast app doesn't support boosting. Grabbing new app From podcasting to org forward slash apps.

James Cridland:

Our music is from studio dragonfly. Our voice over is Sheila D. We use clean feed for our audio mark from clean feed was at uh city university earlier on this week as well, and we're hosted and sponsored by buzzbrout podcast. Hosting made easy.

Speaker 6:

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