Podnews Weekly Review

From Podcast Movement Evolutions: the Podnews Report Card and the Indian podcast market

March 29, 2024 James Cridland and Sam Sethi Season 2 Episode 67
Podnews Weekly Review
From Podcast Movement Evolutions: the Podnews Report Card and the Indian podcast market
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

We're live in Los Angeles - and we interview Gautam Raj Anand from Hubhopper about podcasting in India.

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James Cridland:

It's Friday, the 29th of March 2024.

Speaker 2:

This is the Pod News Weekly Review, live at Podcast Movement with James Cridland and Sam Sethi.

James Cridland:

I'm James Cridland, the editor of Pod News here in Los Angeles in California.

Sam Sethi:

And, strangely, I'm Sam Sethi, the CEO of True Funds, also here in LA.

James Cridland:

Strangely, yes, we're here for Podcast Movement Evolutions and it's all very exciting and you can probably hear we're just sitting in the speaker-ready room, which is all very exciting. Anyway, in the chapters today, the Pod News report card has been unveiled. When is a listener not a listener? Pocket FM, which is an India-based audio platform, has secured $103 million in funding and Hi, this is Gautam Rajanand, the CEO and founder of Hubhopper.

Gautam Raj Anand:

I shall be on the show later to discuss the growth of Hubhopper podcasting in emerging markets.

James Cridland:

He 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.

Speaker 2:

Live from Podcast Movement. This is the Pod News Weekly Review.

Sam Sethi:

James. Right, let's kick off. Wonderful keynote. I'm not saying that because I'm your friend. I'm saying that because it was a wonderful keynote. Quick highlights what was the highlights of the keynote?

James Cridland:

Well, the highlights of the keynote were, obviously, I was very good and very handsome and very funny. No, that wasn't the highlight at all. The highlight of the keynote, I mean really it was two. It was well, it was three things. It was looking back at the year, looking back at what podcasting has gone through, and all of that. Then having a look at the PodMuse report card, which we'll get onto in just a second, and then finally a video from Adam Curry, the podfather himself, which got a number of rounds of applause. He's really good. I'm imagining that 80% of the people there were, oh my God, it's Adam Curry, this is amazing. And 20% of the people there were who's this man Exactly? Rather worryingly. What's he talking about and what's he got to do with the whole podcasting thing? He invented it. That's what he's got to do with it. Anyway, that was really cool.

James Cridland:

The Pod News report card was really interesting. It was just having a look at whether you know some of the apps have got better, some of the directories have got better, whether people had specific issues with specific apps. Apple did pretty well again, seemingly number one in most of the results, which was good to see. Lots of people moaning about the Apple ID, though, and actually the whole thing of getting a new podcast into Apple. Yeah, it's still too new for YouTube. It's not easy. So that was really good. Lots of quite negative comments about YouTube. Imagine my joy. I'm meeting the product manager of YouTube Music at 2 o'clock this afternoon Excellent. Imagine how that's going to go down. Sneed of his security. Imagine how that's going to go down. But yeah, but all in all, a very positive thing. It's really nice to be able to take a bellwether of the industry every year, and if you want to go and take a peek, then you'll find the latest report card in the pod news uh newsletter excellent now.

Sam Sethi:

Um, generally, how has uh podcast movement evolution been for you this year?

James Cridland:

yes, be good. It's been um much more positive than uh it's been in uh, the past. I think denver, in colorado, there was this feeling that you know um sort of deer stuck in the past. I think Denver and Colorado, there was this feeling that you know sort of deer stuck in the headlights type of thing. I think people understand what's going on with the industry now. I think people are comfortable about where the future is going. So, yeah, so from that point of view, yeah, I thought it was it's been quite positive.

Sam Sethi:

You've been on a stage having a nice polite conversation with other people in the industry yeah, I think my opening line was advertising is the emperor's new clothes and it doesn't work. Yeah, that went down well, didn't it? No? So, uh, me and rob walsh were on a stage together, which is with the first um, and uh, I called out fundamentally, I'm not saying advertising doesn't work, it does right, people buy advertising and I place it in ads and they're all great well done.

Sam Sethi:

What I'm saying is that, actually, fundamentally, the metrics and the tracking are all based on a belief system, not a known system. Like, you don't know if I listen to the ad, you don't know how long I listen to the ad, you can't measure it and you can't measure it. So, on that basis, you're just telling me that so many people listen to the whole of this podcast and please believe us that they listen to your ad. Right, and when I ask people to put a show of hands up for how many people skip past ads, fundamentally most of them did that. Yeah, so these are things that we had, but it was a lot of fun talking on stage. That I asked from Rob was why isn't Libsyn supporting the podcast in 2.0? His answer was you're all bullies and you bully us, so I won't do it.

James Cridland:

Well, there we are. Yes, Well, there we go, anyway. Good, what can you say to that?

Sam Sethi:

Not a lot, but we shook hands at the end and politely walked apart, but I don't think that me and Rob are going to go for a drink together. Let's put it that way no, brilliant. Now, moving on, what's this, james? Spotify is now offering video courses in the UK.

James Cridland:

Yeah, I thought that this was interesting. They are offering video courses, so if you want to learn I don't know learn how to be on a panel and not have a big argument, then you can go and then you can learn how to do that in Spotify video courses. It's a new idea. It's only available in the UK, which is interesting. The idea is that you can watch maybe one of the courses and then you might want to pay for the rest, so it's another income stream for Spotify. Currently working on it Looks like an interesting and good idea, and I think you have already spotted that there's an opportunity in the podcasting world as well, haven't you?

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, barry at Podhome and I were talking about Barry's got a number of online developer courses that he's done through RSS delivery. So medium equals courses was something that we added to test it, and it's part of phase seven of the podcast namespace anyway. Yeah, um, and so we added it and it works. And with the value for value model, barry set a value for what he wants, his own minimum for what he wants paid, so he's not doing what I'd say was podcasting. So he's saying, yeah, I want you to pay as little as this, but you can pay more. Yeah, um, and I think that's interesting. I was going to ask you a question there how is spotify charging from books and courses? Are they going through the apple pay model or they got their own model? Because I've never really bought anything?

James Cridland:

yeah, I believe at the moment that they chuck you out to their website and they then take the payment for themselves, right? So therefore, it's not. You know, you don't pay the Apple tax, the Apple 30% tax, so I believe that that's how it works?

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, because when I looked at the audiobooks, every one of the books was included with my subscription.

James Cridland:

Yeah, you get a certain amount. I think you get 30 hours or so included in your subscription and then you pay for the additional stuff, so which you know I think makes a bunch of sense. But yeah, I mean another thing that Spotify is selling and good news for audio potentially, and Spotify have also paid more than nine billion dollars to the music industry last year, they say, which is always nice to see too.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I mean is that, although top end, how? How evenly distributed was that?

James Cridland:

Well, I mean, it'll be going to the record companies, so it's up to the record companies to do a good job of passing the money on, of course, which they may or may not do, so who knows?

Sam Sethi:

All right Now, James, when's a download, not a listen?

James Cridland:

Yes, this was an interesting blog post from Dan Meisner, canada's Dan Meisner, who doesn't like the word listener, and he believes that downloads are done by downloaders and listens are done by listeners. I think there's a lot of quite sloppy language in podcasting, and I think one of the things, things, one of the reasons why I'm very excited about standards and making sure that we use the same words to describe things as each other is precisely this that there's a lot of confusion out there with even things like a listener versus a download, let alone anything else. And so dan um is um, basically picking us up on some of the language that we use, and um, yeah, I think that that makes a ton of sense yeah, I read that whole report.

Sam Sethi:

The thing that I mean I think I knew already, but worriedly was with spotify and apple, anything over zero is considered a listener. Well, with autoplay, when it skips onto the next track, next track, like for an episode, I might have done that by mistake, but that's now registered as a listener. That's clearly not the right thing to do, right.

James Cridland:

Yeah, I mean, you know it doesn't register as a download until you listen to 60 seconds or more, but, weirdly, if you're a listener then then yes, you're absolutely right, it's, it's anybody that's listened to more than zero seconds. Um, yes, it doesn't seem to fit into the iab definition. It doesn't seem to fit into you know too much. And again, this is why I think a podcast standards group is a good idea. Um, to just firm up some of the language that we're all using. I mean, even apart from anything else, I think ACAST calls a host red ad a sponsorship, rather than a host red ad. I mean, you know, surely it makes sense for the industry as a whole to call, you know, to call something the same thing, to help advertisers, to help other people understand what's going on. So I think, just you know, yeah, aligning languages is always a good plan.

Sam Sethi:

Well, Dad, if you're listening, I'd love to get you on to the Pod News Weekly Review to talk more about this.

James Cridland:

I'm sure he would be delighted to take part okay, uh, drink, drink.

Sam Sethi:

We're going to talk about ai, james.

James Cridland:

Oh, brilliant, yes, yes, um, uh, interesting. A number of different content guidelines, um, that were changed this week youtube now requiring disclosure about the use of ai in certain circumstances. So youtube's YouTube now requiring disclosure about the use of AI in certain circumstances. So YouTube's new content guidelines very interesting. They basically say you have to tell us if you're using AI to firstly, make a real person say or do something they didn't say or do. B alter footage of a real event or place, or. C generate a realistic scene that didn't actually occur. So if you're using ai to make stuff up, then you have to say so, unless it's obvious, in which case you don't.

James Cridland:

Apple podcasts also sent me an email in typical apple form. Sent me an email saying we've updated our content guidelines. Gave me no further information. So, of course, thanks apple. So I have to sit there and run a diff on the previous version of the content guidelines and the new version of the content guidelines and there's a a few bits of eu legal language in there, but the main change is again, um, ai. So if you use ai, then you have to mention that it's very unclear what they mean by use AI. We use AI for some of the descriptions potentially, and is that using AI? I don't know, but anyway, apple are asking for the use of AI to be prominently disclosed in both the audio and the metadata, and Apple also want their transcripts to be correct as well. So yeah, a bunch of AI things. I think just these companies are getting worried.

Sam Sethi:

This feels like covering your backside, because there's no way they're going to be tracking every podcast and listen to every episode. I agree, so I think this is. We told you that you couldn't do this. Therefore, when you get sued, we are not going to get sued, because we warned you and said that you had to mark and you forgot to mark.

James Cridland:

I agree, I agree, I think I think it's a lot of legal backing.

James Cridland:

The one conversation that I've had with someone from Apple here has been around transcripts.

James Cridland:

He, or indeed she, was saying that weirdly, some of the podcaster-generated transcripts that are being submitted to Apple are actually worse than the automated ones that Apple would actually generate for themselves. And so, firstly, they said, stop doing that, stop just generating automated transcripts that you don't actually go and check. And then, secondly, I was saying well, would it be interesting to have a tag in the podcast transcript tag to say whether or not this is completely AI, auto-generated, or to say whether a human has actually checked this? I mean, so if I go into the Buzzsprout app and change the transcript, which I can do, then that should flag to Apple that a human has actually checked this particular transcript. And maybe if no human has bothered to actually check it, then at least Apple knows that, that you know this is an automated transcript from the pod news weekly review, for example. Um, and I shall fess up now, I don't normally check the transcript for this particular show, wow yeah, wow, okay news to me, breaking news.

Sam Sethi:

Anyway, there we are, okay, uh, yeah, I think, uh, I think transcripts will have to get better, um, but yeah, it's a good way to flag it now. Moving on, james, this was a storage that really flummoxed me. Yes, um, I'd not heard of pocket fn particularly, and then when they came out that they'd raised a series D D, not A of 103 million dollars, not rupees, I was like, wow, who the hell is Pocket FM and why did they raise the money? Tell me more.

James Cridland:

Well tell me more about series D, not A. What does that mean?

Sam Sethi:

It's the fourth round of raising, so you'd have your seed round, then you'd have your series A, so the valuation is basically very low. You're probably in the five million valuation for the business and rate a million and then, as the business grows, you fundamentally are saying that we're worth more, so we're going to raise b, then c, then d.

James Cridland:

okay, that's all it is. Well, there you go. So, yes, it's um, it's an audio platform, um, it has audio books in there, it has podcasts in there, various other things as well. It's actually raised more than £196 million so far. Four rounds, yeah, yeah, which is quite a thing. Now, interestingly, the way that it works is you buy coins and then you spend coins on the content within the app. They heard you, james, on the content within the app. They heard you, james, the fairground token. Well, yes, and I'm there thinking well, that sounds interesting. Why can't we be doing that? Why can't we be, instead of talking about sats and bitcoin and all of this other stuff that quite a lot of people are quite worried about, why can't we basically turn around and say, oh OK, well, you know, it's just coins.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, you could. And I loved what Rohan Nayak, who's the CEO, said. Pocket FM's business model is microtransactions, not subscriptions, and what he's saying is that he's using their own coin to do what we say about value for value. Yeah, and what's nice about the way he's done it? He can set that coin value to anything he wants. Yes, yes, yes, I think that's one way of doing it. So how have they got?

James Cridland:

away with that, because Pocket FM isn't a bank right, but it kind of is a bank in this particular case, because it's an in-out purchase, like a game, right?

Sam Sethi:

So fundamentally they're not saying that the coin has any intrinsic value outside of their platform, Just as by a gun on one of the gaming platforms or a new car skin. Yeah, so fundamentally there is no real value to the coin. Okay, so it can do that that makes sense.

James Cridland:

Yes, so it's because you can't turn a coin back into money, no right, which, of course, with sats you can't.

Sam Sethi:

So it's a very good way of doing it. I am. I met another uh platform that's starting to do that, called she economy. Um, I know who's been doing that, so I think what was really interesting to me, though, was in the pitch deck they gave for investors, they've talked about pay as you go right and microtransactions. So clearly the investors understood the model of V4V and understood that that has long-term potential value. Otherwise, you're not raising the 103 million. I don't care who. You are right, yeah. So what really pleases me about this deal is more that it actually rubber stamps the model of microtransactions more than it does SaaS right, so, yeah, really good deal.

James Cridland:

No interesting. And I wonder how much of that is because it's an Indian company, because it's based in India, because it's because, you know, indian people are paid in slightly different ways and all of that. I wonder whether that particularly lends itself to that it wasn't the only Indian company who you have ended up talking with.

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, I didn't realise this was India Week, but it must have been.

James Cridland:

Who did you end up talking with?

Sam Sethi:

Well, I often term myself a coconut brown on the outside, white on the inside because I'm very culturally unaware of what's going on in India. Yeah, and so I picked up the phone to Gautam Anand, who's the CEO of Hubhopper, one of the big platforms for hosting out in India, and I wanted to know more about Hubhopper, but also I wanted to know more about what's going on in the Indian subcontinent in terms of what mobile devices, what genre of podcasts they listen to. So, yeah, I asked Gautam tell me more about Hubhopper.

Gautam Raj Anand:

Started about eight and a half years ago. I was actually on a very different career trajectory at the time. I was working at Barclays. I essentially thought I wanted to be a banker all my life, and this was predominantly because my entire family was from that background, and I found myself choosing possibly the most boring job within the corporate bank that I was in. As I mentioned, I was at Barclays, so I was a senior risk and research analyst straight out of college.

Gautam Raj Anand:

As you can imagine, with that kind of role, I had to spend a large amount of time on my own copious amounts of time on my own. Adding insult to injury, what Barclays had done is they had put firewalls across most platforms that one would normally visit to bide their time and make their workday slightly more fun. So I couldn't visit all of my usual suspect platforms and serendipitously happened upon podcasts and I'd never consumed a podcast before. And when I say I'd never consumed a podcast before, I think I can speak for the entire nation at that point in time in the verbiage of podcasts. So I started to actually listen to podcasts as a way to upskill myself at work and, you know, just learn things on the go, as one usually does, and very quickly. However, I started to fall down this Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole, where I started to replace all of my consumption habits with podcast consumption. I didn't even know when it was happening. It was very subconscious for me. So I started to ditch the newspaper in the morning and I was listening to news related podcasts on my way to work. On my way back from work, I was listening to hobbyist content. While at work, I was listening to, you know, self-development, self-growth content, and I was listening to a large amount of true crime and horror content in the evening. I'm also somebody that doesn't like sleeping in silence, so I found podcast to also be a great aid for that. So I started to sleep with the speakers in my pillow, which is not necessarily the most advisable thing to do, and, especially if you're married, I can tell you, don't tell your wife that you have this weird quirk until you're married to them. So I still do that. Till today, 14 hours a day, I listen to podcasts.

Gautam Raj Anand:

It was basically during this journey of mine, this consumption journey of mine, that a few thoughts and questions started to gnaw on the back of my mind, and I wasn't able to shake them off at the time this was about 2015-16, podcasting was already a subculture in the world, but you cannot imagine what a subculture it was in India. It was not even a subculture in India. It didn't exist, and I saw that there were a large amount of opportunities and headrooms for this space. So it was, of course, aiding with multitasking, which, with people's dwindling attention spans on the one side and people's insatiable appetite for content increasing on the other side, it felt like a no-brainer that people are going to turn to audio in the days to come. The second thing was that it was passive. It consumed less bandwidth. And then, when I started to go a little bit deeper luckily my boss didn't know this at the time, but I started to spend a large amount of my research time where I was supposed to be researching other organizations and other industries. I was researching the podcasting industry at work. Good my thing, good use of time.

Gautam Raj Anand:

From the standpoint of a total addressable market, the podcast market had very strong potential for growth because it had lower barriers of entry in terms of literacy, both on the creator side and the consumer side. It had lower barriers in terms of language, both on the creator side and on the consumer side, and it was a cheaper medium to create in as well as to consume in. But yet there was a discord between the fact that all of this opportunity existed and it was a cheaper medium to create in as well as to consume in. But yet there was a discord between the fact that all of this opportunity existed and it felt all rosy and amazing on one side, but then on the other side you just weren't seeing this growth taking place at all.

Gautam Raj Anand:

So I wanted to actually understand this a little bit more and by this point I think I reached a slightly unhealthy level of obsession with the medium. So I spoke with my family. They were incredibly supportive and I left Barclays and I wouldn't even say to set up Hubbopper. First year was just exploratory. I was just trying to understand the space so left Barclays and set up shop at a coffee shop initially where I created a bunch of alias email accounts so that it looked as though I had a larger team than I had. So I had various different names.

Gautam Raj Anand:

As they say, got them, fake it until you make it, fake it until you make it hours speaking to different people across the industry, across the radio industry, across media conglomerates, across individual creators, across potential listeners, across. I would actually sit in ubers this was a really fun experiment where in india you would actually have non-music audio content interspersed with music content on the radio, because there are not many radio channels that are there. So you're actually seeing, you know uber drivers that were listening to what you would call podcast content and then I would ask them whether they've ever heard the nomenclature podcast and none of them had and they essentially would shrug me off and, you know, sort of pawn me off as somebody that was wasting their time. And even when I spoke to people about podcasts, there was always a belief system that people had that it was content that was only meant for the West and it was essentially content that was not necessarily relatable. And I think a large amount of this is also because of how the name of podcasting came about, which helped the Western market in adoption, but not necessarily the Eastern market. So with the Western market you saw the word podcast come from the word of iPod and broadcast coming together and it was an amazing marketing stunt from well, apple didn't do it consciously, but essentially it benefited Apple very greatly.

Gautam Raj Anand:

But from the rest of the world that were more Android focused, they started to look at the word podcast and they started to associate it with people that had Apple devices, which came from a very specific demographic of society, so they didn't feel that it was necessarily content that was meant for them, while at the same time you were looking at this entire populace also being very addicted to storytelling related content, listening to religious narratives 24 hours on loop, so they had big patterns of consumption in non-music audio content but weren't necessarily pinning that along with the word podcast. So there was a little bit of confusion with the word and the terminology on one side, with understanding what the space was about. And then, finally, I think the biggest problem statement that we found was when we went and started to speak to creators or people that wanted to create in the audio space and just I was appalled and shocked to see how fractured and fragmented the creation process was, because, at least from the creator's perspective, at that point in in 2015, they thought they needed to go to a studio or they needed to purchase equipment at home, which cost them money. Then they needed to go to audacity, which would take them a large amount of time or they would give the work to a post-production expert, would cost them money. Then they would need to find something called a hosting platform. They didn't know what a hosting platform was which would create a syndicated feed for they didn't know what a hosting platform was which would create a syndicated feed for them. They didn't know what a syndicated feed was. Then they need to take that syndicated feed and manually go and deposit it into consumption site platforms and, ironically, all of the consumption site platforms at this time, because this was before music platforms had adopted podcasts. These were only platforms like your Stitcher, tune in cast box, playerfm, etc. So their podcast would launch in these platforms but then there would be no uptick for their shows, so they'd get no consumption, they'd get no analytics, they couldn't understand the analytics and they couldn't go to any brands. So all of these things sort of taken into you know, sort of consideration together, it was no surprise to me that, while there was opportunity in this space, the space wasn't growing because the supply side was choked and the supply side was very fragmented.

Gautam Raj Anand:

So, after bouncing around a little bit, what we started to do was we started to try and solve this problem at its core in trying to make the creation process a lot more seamless and try to make the process a little bit more horizontal, so that somebody that comes to our platform should be able to if not to 100 degree, at least to an 80 degree perform all of the requirements in their podcast journey under one roof itself, whether that's hosting, whether that's recording, whether that's distributing, whether that's editing, whether that's analytics, whether that's getting their embedded players or their micro sites or creating private podcasts, whatever have you, and then we'd aid in a system along that and they could also listen on the platform.

Gautam Raj Anand:

So that's the thesis through which we were trying to build this, trying to limit the fragmentation, and very luckily, the market picked up on that endeavor and, as one often states, the market often tells you what it needs.

Gautam Raj Anand:

So we understood another thing that the market needed in a very dire way, which is that the creators needed distribution to platforms that were pertinent to them. So we couldn't wait for platforms to go live with podcasts, because that would be a very long journey for us. So instead we started actually going to platforms that already had content but not podcast content, and started to take them live with podcasts. So if you're looking at companies today like streaming giants, like Ghana or Wink MX Player or Daily Hunt, et cetera, et cetera, we took about 15 platforms live with podcasts that never had them before. So, from the creator's perspective, they were now being able to host, record, edit, distribute, get analytics, create marketing collateral all of that but also, more importantly, they were landing up in front of audiences that were pertinent to them, and this was very important from emerging market context. Yeah, so that's pretty much where we're at and it's been a wonderful journey thus far, man.

Sam Sethi:

It's a great journey. Some questions in my head. I love the fact that you know podcasting because of the association to the iPhone. You were telling me when we're offline that I think it's 98% adoption of Android in India. Yeah, and there's a very specific that I think it's 98% adoption of Android in India.

Gautam Raj Anand:

Yeah, and there's a very specific connotation to Apple devices in India, which is that Apple devices are meant for tier one city folk that are very fortunate, that come from a large amount of privilege, etc. And Android phones are essentially used by well 98% of everybody else.

Sam Sethi:

So there's also another operating system out in India called KaiOS, and I think there's a very popular platform called PodLP out there.

Gautam Raj Anand:

Yes, there is. So we've spoken with the folks at PodLP and KaiOS is basically. It's been built on the kernel of Android itself and it's been purchased by Jio. So that is a very interesting play, because there's an entire world of phones called feature phones, which is somewhere. If you think about the phones that we used to have back in the day, which are the Nokia phones that we all used to carry around, and smartphones, and imagine if both of these had a baby, that's a feature phone, so they have the ability to have basic applications on them, and KaiOS is basically a very dumbed down version of Android and it's growing very rapidly.

Sam Sethi:

Yes, so, in terms of the platform itself, you said it started off with I would have guessed mainly English speaking podcasts, but since you've been going about eight years, what is the predominant language? Has it moved to Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati I mean, there's so many dialects in the Southeast Asian community or is it predominantly still English?

Gautam Raj Anand:

No. So actually, if you want to look at the top languages, we have people making content in 22 languages currently on on hubbub, which is quite cool, but the top languages are hindi, english, tamil, marathi, spanish because we also do have creators from other parts of the world bengali, malayalam, which is what folks speak in predominantly places like bangalore, and, and then punjabi would sort of be at the bottom end of this yeah, and I would imagine then, in terms of saturation, india would have most podcasters.

Sam Sethi:

Pakistan, bangladesh, sri lanka where would they rank against India?

Gautam Raj Anand:

Oh, I would say quite a way behind. Like, even if you're looking at our creator breakup today, you will see creators from Pakistan, bangladesh, sri Lanka, but our second highest creator cohort comes from the States, after India, and I have a thesis on this. I think because when we look at our distribution, we distribute podcasters to a slew of platforms which they otherwise don't necessarily get access to. I think probably creators that are either looking to reach emerging market audiences or diaspora that's sitting in these markets does find HubOper appealing because they want to reach audiences outside of the usual suspects, where we also distribute YouTube.

Sam Sethi:

Right, and so in terms of one question I'd like to ask you. We've talked about Android phones and feature phones. One of the things in the West is we have generally very fast broadband, so podcast sizes tend to be quite large. We don't really consider having small podcasts in terms of, you know, downgraded audio so that the file size is small. Is that file size very critical in India because the phones and the cost of broadband and access is expensive?

Gautam Raj Anand:

There are two points that I'd actually add here. That's a really good question because it's a layered question. On the one side, so we distribute about north of what 220,000 odd podcast episodes and the average episode length is 16 minutes. So it's much shorter than what you'd see in the West. And now there are two reasons for this. One is because most people on average will have started their consumption journey when they were children by consuming on the radio.

Gautam Raj Anand:

And in radio, as I mentioned, consumption was very interspersed between music and non-music, because there are only about 12 radio channels and they're all fighting for the same amount of time.

Gautam Raj Anand:

So people's consumption habits weren't necessarily in consuming hour-long conversational radio, which you see in the west. Over here, people are consuming very short, you know, bursts of content, and that's kind of, I believe, translated when people have moved from offline to online. However, when you look at broadband as another factor, I actually believe India is an outlier here, because India is the cheapest internet on earth, number one, number two it's actually shockingly better in terms of quality than one would imagine in terms of the breadth and what we've seen over the last four or five years, while podcasting has been growing, the availability of 4G and 5G capability across India is phenomenal, even across tier two, tier three cities. But yes, I will say that because the general length of an episode is shorter, automatically the file size is shorter, and because the file size is shorter, it's not necessarily that much of a problem. So I think the consumption habit has automatically solved this problem statement to quite a large degree.

Sam Sethi:

You talked about short podcasts, but that to me sounds very odd. I understood why, from you know radio consumption, but India's super famous for Bollywood and three four-hour films. So it seems very odd that you've got, you know, a nation that's used to consuming long-form content that then goes to short-form content for audio.

Gautam Raj Anand:

That's actually such a good point that you bring up. I think it's because when people consumed audio content, they were used to consuming it in a shorter format. But when people were consuming immersive, movie based content, it was meant to be a family experience that everybody went to the cinema hall together and then they enjoyed this hyper reality kind of experience with Bollywood. So they're considered very different in that way, in terms of what the consumption experience itself needs to give folks. And you also see people, I'd say, in India, consuming in a sort of staggered format. So they'll consume a little bit, then they'll stop, then they'll come back to the same episode, then they'll consume a little bit again, then they'll stop, then they'll come back again. So that's, I would say, one of the reasons why you'd probably be seeing this.

Sam Sethi:

So what are the biggest podcasts in India, then? What's number one? What's the genres that are number one? Is there a standout podcast? You know the Joe Rogan of India.

Gautam Raj Anand:

So, if I was to ask you this question, what do you think it is? Because I think that'll be a fun game in terms of consumption first, and then I can tell you.

Sam Sethi:

In terms of creation, what do you think is the highest I would say spiritual and meditation type podcasting, and then maybe bollywood related gossip celebrity podcasting. Um, I'm not sure. As I said, I'm the original coconut. I'm brown on the outside but white on the inside. I have a very poor knowledge of india and what what culturally is being influenced there I think you're underplaying yourself because your first initial thought was correct.

Gautam Raj Anand:

The top by a long mile in terms of consumption there is I mean it is ridiculous is religion and spirituality. And, anecdotally, everybody knows that christian sermon podcasts still are among the largest in terms of the number of podcasts being churned out in the world. But in terms of consumption, just the sheer difference between this category and the rest is, I mean, it's earth and moon level difference. And I'll give you an example as to why. So. Imagine a user base that is coming to platforms to consume one podcast which only has one episode, and they'll come and consume that same episode, which is called Hanuman Chalisa, and they'll listen to that same episode for 12 hours. And they'll come back the next day and they listen to the same episode again for 12 hours without the expectation of a new episode ever coming again. It's such weird. I would say it's such an outlier behavior pattern that exists Because these people never want a new season, they never want a new episode, they're very happy with that one episode and that one episode will last them forever. So you're looking at religion and spirituality essentially leading the fray here.

Gautam Raj Anand:

Post that comes education and self-development, because a lot of people still associate podcasts directly with education and self-development and self-growth, so they're trying to upskill themselves with podcasts. Then comes horror and true crime, because I think across the world that's probably a genre that definitely does really well. However, I recently did hear that in Indonesia is one of the only markets on earth in which the true crime genre does not do well at all. I don't know whether this is factual or not, but I heard this anecdotally. After horror comes romance and you can call it light erotica, which is pretty much what does well.

Gautam Raj Anand:

Bollywood is very low on this list in terms of consumption. Yeah, it's very low on this list. On the creator side, you will see storytelling content being created the most, interview-based content being created the most, then self-development, self-growth content, along with business content. Then you see the arts, and then comes religion and spirituality in terms of creators creating this content. So if I was to prescriptively ever tell anybody which genre should they create and if they just wanted to have a successful podcast in terms of downloads, I would say go with religion and spirituality, because not too many people are creating it, but if you're creating in it, you're automatically going to be a bestseller.

Sam Sethi:

Now one of the trends we're seeing in the West certainly is celebrities getting into podcasting. We go from Meghan Markle. We got you know TV actors and actresses doing very well within the genre. Some people say that the celebrity driven podcast is becoming a bit passe. You know it's. Oh no, you've got a podcast. Have you're an actor or an actress? Your agents asked you to do one. But um, again, looking at the indian or the south asian, disparate is the bollywood actor and actresses, who've got massive markets. Are they trying to get into podcasting as well?

Gautam Raj Anand:

yes, they are, but I would not say that they're leading the fray. So, again, if you look at the West, my favorite podcasters are folks like Aaron Mankey, or shows like Casefile or Bedtime Stories or how I Built this, etc. And I think a podcast, in terms of its longevity, is going to be more successful and much more impactful if the person who is creating that show is known because of the podcast itself. The brand of that person is not larger than the podcast and they came into the world of prominence because of the podcast. I said now look at aaron mankey. He's gone and created books, he's written books, he's created audiobooks, he's got an amazing deal with Amazon. You've got folks like Mr Ball and similar scenarios, and we've actually got data because we've got celebrities who have created their podcasts via Hubbopper.

Gautam Raj Anand:

I don't know whether I should be saying this, but because I'm speaking at a slightly more macro level, I think I can say it. It's fair. You'll see a massive consumption spike for the first two, three episodes, which will peter out, yeah, and as opposed to, I believe, a much more healthy graph, which would basically be like a, not a U-shaped graph, but a graph that's, you know, sort of growing incrementally but growing steadily, month on month on quarter, year on year. I generally think that those podcasters are even from a brand's perspective as well as from an audience's perspective it's more worth your while and more worth your money. I hope I'm not Something that's very differing from your opinion on this.

Sam Sethi:

No, no, there are a lot of celebrities who get into it, who aren't very good and who peter off. I mean Sarah Ferguson, the princess, the Duchess Sarah Ferguson, who was married to Prince Andrew. At one time she produced a podcast, two or three episodes in. It was awful. I don't think Meghan Markle has done very well either, but you know there are other celebrities who do well and build an audience over time. The one thing you didn't mention was cricket. I'm amazed as a podcast genre, I would have thought that would carry a lot of weight within the South Asian community.

Gautam Raj Anand:

You know, I won't lie in the fact that I'm amazed at times as well, and I wish I had a very quick and sharp retort to tell you why that was, because I personally do not understand why that's not the case. I think maybe it's because of a lack of really well-created shows within the cricket genre. We have, I would say, about 20 odd shows I'm just giving you a rough estimate that have been created on hubbub. They've had good uptake, but I don't think that there are any call-out shows like, like. If you throw certain categories at me right now, I'll be able to tell you the call-out shows that exist within this subcontinent.

Gautam Raj Anand:

But if you throw cricket at me, I can probably share four or five names, and some of these names are, let's say, driven predominantly because they were originals by platforms. So they're I'm saying podcasts and air quotes, because they don't have an RSS feed. So essentially, they're being powered and they're being pushed into the world very aggressively because of those platforms itself. But we would never see those numbers because either platform X or platform Y or platform Z is purchasing this content and is pushing this content out like a Michelle Obama type podcast in which it's marketing dollars, that is, in the growth of the podcast.

Sam Sethi:

So in terms of platforms, you know, obviously here in the West we see Apple, spotify and now YouTube becoming the dominant players. Is that mirrored in India as well?

Gautam Raj Anand:

No, they would not be in your top five At least, I mean, I can speak for the 200 or 1000 episodes that go out from HubHopUp. You'd see in Indian platforms, certain Indian platforms that do very well, in no specific order, platforms like GanaWink, hungama. You know these platforms actually do incredible numbers and definitely not platforms to miss. If you're a podcaster, you should definitely think about these platforms because they have less competition on them, they have less creators on them and they have a large amount of users. So it's a nice hotbed where you've got less supply and nice healthy amounts of demand.

Sam Sethi:

Now, one thing I read in podcast daily was the government's cracking down on Google Play Store, much like the EU crackdown on Apple's store, with the fees that they're charging. Do you think that Google is going to reduce its fees or do what Apple's done, which is dig its heels in and do the minimum that it has to do in order to comply?

Gautam Raj Anand:

I think they will, the minimum that it has to do in order to comply. I think they will and, again, I can't say for certain. But I'm very fortunate to be part of a few different groups on within the startup ecosystem which have, I mean, if you are to state, the top 100 entrepreneurs of the country who drive change at a government level. These groups essentially have all of those folks. So I am very fortunate to be a passive person within these groups that is able to read this information prior to them coming out in the news. So I read the discussion that they have, I read what they're thinking about as a plan of action to go to the government with, and then, three hours later, I'll see an article about what was discussed on that group and it's completely surreal to see and they're a very strong community of folks Touchwood, touchwood for every entrepreneur in this ecosystem and they're all together driving change. Each of them is very powerful in their own right and when they come together they're an iron fist.

Gautam Raj Anand:

I cannot state in any scenario that I am a strong contributor in this. I am passive on this Rolodex of you know Goliaths, but that being said, I definitely believe Google will have to make certain changes they already have. In fact, they've had to backtrack a little bit. So they removed many of the major applications, I think three weeks ago, from the google play store, and there was a massive uproar because the folks that you're removing these applications from it's not because of any. I'm not saying that they're not to be trifled with for any other reason other than the fact that they built the startup ecosystem and you're talking about the startup ecosystem in one of the most active startup ecosystems on earth today, which is India.

Gautam Raj Anand:

So by unceremoniously removing all of them, without letting them know, from these platforms, I don't think it's justified at all. And then they pretty much weren't conversing for a little bit of time until government intervention also came in, and now they've reinstated those platforms back. They've come up with a half-baked solution to solve problems, but I definitely do believe that there will be a point in which, you know, sort of a nice middle path or mid-ground will be reached, because I don't think it's fair for innovation. I think these companies, some of whom are very fortunate to be on very large margins, some of whom aren't fortunate aren't operating on such large margins. It does a major disservice towards innovation. So I definitely believe that a middle ground has to be reached.

Sam Sethi:

Last couple of questions then, gautam, how do podcasters monetize their content in India?

Gautam Raj Anand:

That's a phenomenal question and I actually, when I was at the IndiePodCon, when I was at PodFest this is one of the questions I pose to podcasters in the West often and whenever I'm speaking with podcasters in the West, and I always thought that the answer would be different than what I hear from with podcasters in India. But it's actually not that different and what we prescribe to folks is to not put all of your eggs in one monetization basket. So if you've got four or five different method there are about what? Five, six or different methodologies to monetize your podcast, whether that's hosting ads or whether that's programmatic, or whether that's you selling merchandise from your podcast to using affiliate links or, let's say, hypothetically, you doing live shows or a couple of other direct and indirect ways. Your patreon methodologies are locking your episodes with private podcasts or another format.

Gautam Raj Anand:

I think what at least we tell podcasters is to take two or three of them and a basket of monetization methods according to the show genre that you're in, and then, according to that, you should devise a monetization strategy instead of putting all of your hopes and eggs in one basket.

Gautam Raj Anand:

So if you are a pop culture show, then you should play on getting a host, getting a hosted campaign potentially, which is not as active as in the West, as it is in the East, unfortunately, because it's not as organized of a market.

Gautam Raj Anand:

On the second side, you should be focusing on merchandising and you should be focusing on something like patronage. However, if you are a business acumen related podcast that is teaching people something invaluable which may aid them because it's content that would otherwise be locked, in that scenario, you can have a private podcast version of your specific podcast. You should have a patreon element to your podcast and you can have a hosted ad. So it depends from podcaster to podcaster. I would love to hear your opinions on this as well. I think overly monetizing a podcast is unattractive for the listener, but if you do it in two or three different ways that are strategic, it actually both increases your overall quantum that you can monetize but at the same time, it de-risks you. So you leverage across a couple of different things at once, but I would love to hear your thoughts on this too well, my thoughts differ from james slightly.

Sam Sethi:

I think the west has relied on downloads as a metric, which I think is the emperor's new clothes. I think it's complete falsehood. I think, in terms of downloads don't equal listens don't equal play. So I think we've been telling advertisers, oh, I've got x thousand downloads. And then apple came in and removed most of those downloads because they were just auto downloads and people started moaning that their download numbers were halved and advertisers then said, well, oh, you said you had ten thousand, you've only got three thousand, and you know, the numbers all dropped and everyone was moaning and it was like, well, yeah, the emperor's new clothes have been found out.

Sam Sethi:

This, you know, advertising model is not what it was and I think you know I always argue that if I was a company wanting to advertise in podcasting, I wouldn't feel confident, because you know, if my ad was number three in the list of a show, so pre, post mid, I wouldn't be confident that anyone listened to it.

Sam Sethi:

And I've asked numerous people about their podcasting behavior and more than often it's oh, yeah, as soon as I hear the ad, I skip it. As soon as I hear the ad skip, and yeah, so. So as an advertiser. If I was doing, I'd be like oh so you can't tell me really how many people listened. You can't tell me if my ad was actually listened to and more often than not, I probably guessed that most people will skip my ad. But hey, I'll give you some money for your podcast. So I think advertising has a massive change to come and that there are a lot of ideas around. You know time listened, percent completed, uh, value paid, which you know again, is a very early model about relating to micro payments and bitcoin. But you know, even if you just had time listened and percent completed, that would be better than downloads.

Sam Sethi:

And I think, on top of that, I think there are other models coming along in the future that will come. That will be better for advertisers, but right now I think it's what we have. James will tell you it's the model that exists, that's all we have today. So let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater and you know, just poo, poo downloads. But I think if the industry is to grow, I think we need to change and we need to add value back to advertisers, who feel then that there is a true value in promoting it.

Sam Sethi:

I think host-read ads and we're seeing one of the big networks in America called Twit this week in tech with Leo Laporte they're famously being host read ads and they're struggling madly now because of programmatic and dynamic ad insertion and all these other types of formats which they don't want to take on board. They feel that's a very different model to theirs. And, of course, advertisers just want to do this at scale rather than do host read ads which aren't at scale. So I think that's another challenge and, fundamentally, I also think, with the way that advertising is going, we don't have the right reporting tool. So the IAB, again, I don't think, provides the right support to podcasters. So I think we've got a massive problem and I think CPM rates, although they've remained fairly steady, on growing massively.

Sam Sethi:

And I think sponsor related podcasts really only appear at the top of the list. You know, the big podcasts get the sponsors and the big advertisers, but at the bottom the long tail I think people still struggle, although I think there's great value in the long tail because you've got a very focused value in the long tail because you've got a very focused, dedicated audience. Even if you've got 50 people listening to your podcast, you know it's clearly 50 people in a genre that an advertiser specific advertiser might want to reach. Last thing to ask you one of the things you and I've been talking about offline is the idea of podcasting 2.0 and the next generation of podcasting. Now you have already started to add some podcasting 2.0 tags to Hubhopper. What have you been working on?

Gautam Raj Anand:

Yeah, so we have about seven, I think, right now. So we have, you know, the generic ones, we have funding, we have GUID for episode, we have episode itself. So in total, about seven that we have out right now and definitely want to play around with getting a bunch more in the days to come. I keep reading about Podcast 2.0 and definitely find it incredibly exciting and I think it's super exciting the couple of things that you were mentioning.

Sam Sethi:

One of the tags I was wondering whether you supported was the transcript tag, which clearly Apple's now popularized across the mass market. It's been there for probably about a year or so in the podcasting 2.0 apps, but now suddenly, with apple adopting it, suddenly everyone's gone. Oh, transcriptions a great idea. Do you have transcriptions within hub hopper? Yes, we do yes because I would have in the multiple languages that you have.

Gautam Raj Anand:

That would be quite essential really yeah, and you can also create transcripts for your show within hub opera itself.

Gautam Raj Anand:

So what we've tried to do one of the endeavors that we keep doing because this is something that podcasters in india definitely need and in emerging markets is they need their turnaround times to get shorter.

Gautam Raj Anand:

So wherever we see an opportunity for turnaround times to get shorter, we try and jump in. An opportunity for turnaround times to get shorter, we try and jump in there. So, whether that's actually in filling of the information, the RSS itself, whether that's in leveraging AI for that to make things a little bit quicker there, whether that's in the creation of that cover art right now we have an integration with Canva whether that's in the creation of their show notes that we're using the transcription for, and whether that's also in the creation of their episode titles and going forth from there, creating social collaterals. So we both create their transcript and we also have the transcript tag out. But once again, I think offline, we were seeing that we haven't necessarily pushed a few of these into podcast index. So looking to do that request soon. So the ones that we have right now are also locked podcast guid, episode guid, license funding.

Sam Sethi:

So these ones are there excellent, so it's good to see that you're growing. That, I mean, mean there's obviously about, I think, 30 tags, so you know there's room for growth, as they say there. Gautam, thank you so much for your time. I mean it's been fascinating hearing about your personal story, but also the growth of podcasting in India as well. So thank you so much.

Gautam Raj Anand:

No, thank you so much for your time and thank you for the opportunity. I've truly enjoyed this a lot and look forward to speaking with you both online and offline, once again.

James Cridland:

People News on the Pod News Weekly Review. So, jumping into People News, jordan Fox has been named as the CEO of AdResults Media. He's joined from a creative and digital agency called Laundry Service. Creative and digital agency called Laundry Service, adresults Media is a pretty big podcast buying company that claims to have been the first podcast ad company to have bought ads on podcasts, which is quite a thing.

James Cridland:

Events and awards the shortlist has been announced for the New York Festival's Radio Awards Also the Arias in the UK. The nominations have been announced for the New York Festival's Radio Awards also the Arias in the UK. The nominations have been announced for that too. And, of course, the Ambys were given out this week. Did you go to the American Podcast Awards? I did not go to the American Podcast Awards, no, but you can watch the Ambys in full on their website, which was was good podcast of the year ended going to slow burn from slate podcast. They did a show all about becoming justice thomas the justice, the judge, who seems to be taking money from all kinds of people. That was good, uh. One of the things I did notice, um is that um, a podcast called wait for it, uh, which is apparently best indie podcast, although it was hosted by prx um. That um ended up winning three awards, so that was the most awarded um show from. Oh, it's big. Ron Never heard of it but seems to have done very well. So there's a full list of that on the Pod News website. The next big event to go to is the podcast show which is in London at the end of May. I've heard there's a very good keynote right at the beginning of that, so I'm looking forward to that.

James Cridland:

And exciting gossip about a big party. I can tell you the exciting gossip it's all gone a bit. Pete Tong, oh no, pete Tong is the DJ for the Spreaker. And Now who is it Spreaker? And somebody else Probably Acast. It usually is it's with Spreaker and Triton Digital. That's Triton Digital, yes, so the party in the middle of the conference. Pete Tong will be the DJ.

Sam Sethi:

Is there anybody who actually plays some music, unlike Paris Hilton, who just stood behind some decks the last time?

James Cridland:

I have no idea how music DJs work. I thought you were one, Not one of those. I did go to a nightclub once, but I basically told the DJ who was in there, just play some songs. I'll just talk over it and give the sponsor a couple of credits.

Sam Sethi:

So at this point can I ask you to reveal because you did mention it on stage your DJ name? I was called James.

James Cridland:

Andrews.

Sam Sethi:

Oh, there you go.

James Cridland:

Google, james Andrews. Nobody could, yes, nobody could. Anyway, podfest Asia has been announced, which is going to be in Manila, in the Philippines, which is happening on May the 8th, and plenty more events to come, including Podcast Day Asia, which is happening at the beginning of September. More events, both paid for and free, of course, at podnewsnet. Slash events is the place to go. The tech stuff on the Pod News Weekly Review.

James Cridland:

Yes, it's the stuff you'll find every Monday in the Pod News newsletter. Here's where we do all of the tech talk. Here's where Sam talks technology. What have we got here, Sam?

Sam Sethi:

Well, I saw this story you wrote from Eric Nance about creating a podcasting data dashboard. Oh, that sounds interesting. I went and had a look at it and I'm totally flummoxed. First of all, it's actually telling me, because it's basically saying a couple of things fail, a couple of things duplicated, and I was like, oh okay, no, not that interesting.

James Cridland:

No, I think it's a tool to spot duplicates in the data, other data issues and things like that. It's done by somebody that uses the R stat software to do other things and I think it was a good piece of work from him. I think it's going to be very helpful to get rid of the duplicates in the podcast index, because there are quite a lot of them. So, from that point of view, super useful for mere humans to have a look at it. Possibly not quite as useful, but um, yeah, but it's a nice thing to end up seeing anyway. Um, so that's all pretty cool and um, yes, uh, you've been talking to all kinds of people, haven't you?

Sam Sethi:

yeah, sorry, that's. That's. That's my problem now I, I obviously. We had uh, eric prodimo on a couple of weeks back talking about activity pub on his new book. Yes, and I think he's beginning to catch on to adam and dave. I listened to the friday night show. I had had myself braced for a criticism from adam, followed by praise, nearly, nearly praise. Well, I know it turned around in the space of 10 minutes. Um, from, oh, that sounds so fitting.

James Cridland:

Oh, this might be interesting yes, I did, I did hear that. I did hear that he sounded uh, yeah, um, I mean, I think, uh, the big question that he was asking is where does all of this data get stored?

Sam Sethi:

and we have an answer now oh, do we have an answer now? What's the answer? John spurlock, who's a super smart person, and I decided to sit down and try to thrash it through. So step one is we've created the activity stream. Step two, we will publish that to your personal client of like Mastodon, for example. Okay, right, so James, listed to this, you put it into your must-sell client and anyone who follows you gets to see it and then can click on any activity. Back, elton, I can see it because we're all using the same social interact tag endpoint that the creators declared for that episode.

James Cridland:

And do I get Daniel J Lewis very concerned about wanting control of the comments and stuff like that? Does he get the control.

Sam Sethi:

So you get two controls. So in Trueans, for example I think I talked about it a couple of weeks ago we've created the ability to say what verbs will be published. It's not auto-publishing anyway, unless you choose to auto-publish. So that's your first control. And then the second control is you are the owner of that social interact tag who's in your own client, right? If you so wish, you could just delete a comment there or delete the whole post, right, right? So I think, look, it's not fully baked out and it's not fully formed, but I think there's the semblance of an idea that's being formed. I think it's worth pushing a little further well worthwhile.

James Cridland:

Um, taking a peek at it, sounds as if you're on the, as you call it, the friday night show, the podcasting 2.0. Uh, podcast adam and dave. Um april 19th, it says here. So, um, they've clearly got a set of exciting guests coming up. Oh, for me then you're gonna be.

Sam Sethi:

I've got yes, um, so yeah, I'm looking forward to that. And and also, if you want to listen to Daniel and I talk about more in depth about podcast activity streams and the activity pub and the potential use of it, listen to the last episode of the Future of Podcasting. Worth a listen.

Speaker 2:

Boostergram, boostergram, corner, corner, corner On the Pod News Weekly Review.

James Cridland:

Oh yes, it's our favorite time of the week. It oh yes, it's our favourite time of the week. It's Boostergram. Corner, sam and I share all of the boosts that we get from this. If you don't see a boost button in your podcast app, then you should be getting a new one, podcasting2.org. We've got two One from Andrew Grumet, who we both met, didn't we? He is part of podcasting history. The man who coded up iPodder that was then very quickly changed its name to Juice Podder. I think, yes, yes, after a cease and desist from Apple, but he was super cool, wasn't he? Yeah, we ended up having some food with him and yeah, that was nice.

Sam Sethi:

I'm a little worried about what he's doing now with Space Rockets. But yeah, that was nice. I'm a little worried about what he's doing now with Space Rockets. But other than that, from podcasting to Space Rockets, that's quite a leap. But yeah, that's his main job. So he sent us a row of ducks two, two, two, two saying cringy AI tunes for the win. I think he liked your tune that we did for us.

James Cridland:

Yes, that was almost as bad as the one that Todd Cochran is now using on the front of the new media show, which is just awful, just awful. So, yeah, really good to have met you, andrew, and good luck with the space technology. Yeah, he's coming on.

Sam Sethi:

We've got a date booked, so he's coming on the show shortly, cool.

James Cridland:

Well, that should be good. And 10,000 cents from Adam Curry. He's clarifying, of course, that the value-to-value model doesn't require any particular payment technology. So crypto and things like that aren't necessarily not the Bitcoin is crypto, but you get that kind of thing. Anyway, he's saying that it doesn't require any particular payment technology. All it requires is an ask. No agenda has pioneered it and done it for 16 years. Adam says just with PayPal and Leo Laporte because we were mentioning that last week Leo Laporte needs to get over the mental block of asking. Also, adam adds I think it's a little catty. Also, you need a quality product, ooh. So thank you, adam. Yes, absolutely. Um, uh, you can ask for, uh, pounds and dollars, uh, just as easily as you as you can ask for bitcoin and sats and, uh, everything else. So, um, what has else has been happening for you this week?

Sam Sethi:

uh, sam, uh, well, being here at the Podcast Movement Evolutions. I've really enjoyed meeting everybody who we generally talk to remotely. One of my personal successes, I think, is getting three or four hosts now to commit to using the alternative enclosure. I'm really pleased. I've been banging that drum for a while so I feel that's now the pennies dropped um. And the other one is I'm going to be the new evangelist for the podcast standards projects are you?

James Cridland:

oh well, there you go. Well, that'll be fun podcast standards project. Yeah, yeah, so I so. So you've got no work to do, because they haven't done anything in in years. Yeah, that's it.

Sam Sethi:

Well, I I spoke to ben and alberto and's it. Well, I spoke to Ben and Alberto, and I spoke to Mark and I spoke to Todd and I said, look, none of you are actually doing anything with this really, because none of you take ownership of it. Yeah, and I said it fundamentally needs somebody. Now. I gave them a year ago a couple of names to throw into the hat and nothing came of it and I said, look, I fundamentally do the job anyway within reason through what we do here at Pod News and what I do for my own self with True Fags. So why don't I sort of take a more formal role of doing it and come up with a plan of how we can progress this further? So, yeah, that's a little announcement for you.

James Cridland:

James. Well, very cool. Well, that's exciting. So you can learn more about the Podcast Standards Project at podstandardsorg, I think to be fair, it's been quite quiet over the last year or so. There are six podcast hosting companies who are in there. There are six podcast players who are in there. Who's podfans? I don't know that one, oh yes, it still says podfans, oh dear. And there's a very good media partner on there as well. It would be lovely to see a little bit more movement and action. So the fact that you are going to be involved with that is really good. And in fact, there is, I happen to know, a Podcast Standards Project meeting in 25 minutes. I wonder where I've got to get to. I wonder where I've got to get to too, exactly, yes, so that should be fun. So excellent news. It's nice to see that happening.

James Cridland:

So what's happened for you, james? Well, I've been all over the place since we last spoke. Where did I last speak to you? Oh, we were in Munich, weren't we? Yes, I went to Oslo earlier on in the week, where my bags stayed for some considerable amount of time. And buy an AirTag. That's what I would say If you are doing any travel stick an AirTag in your luggage, because you can then tell the airline, as I did, where your bag is when they lose it. So there's a thing. Then I spoke at Radio Days Europe, which had a podcasting summit and other things such as that, and yeah, so that's been fun. And then, of course, flying here, I ended up going to the Griffith Observatory, which overlooks LA. It's a rather lovely place. Did you get on the swing? I didn't go on the swing. I don't even know what you're talking about.

Sam Sethi:

We up there, the unsubtle, it's on in between the trees, an old swing, oh yeah, and you can literally. It takes you off the edge and then back oh, that sounds.

James Cridland:

That sounds like something that my travel insurance wouldn't offer out doing that, and I'm looking forward to uh home. I'm flying home on Saturday, so this time next week we'll be back into our normal quiet studio setups instead of in this relatively noisy room. But there we go, and that's it for this week. Thank you to Gotham for being our guest earlier on. You can also listen to the Pod News Daily. Subscribe to the Pod News newsletter for more of these stories and much, much more. You'll find that at podnewsnet.

Sam Sethi:

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James Cridland:

Our music is from Studio Dragonfly. Our voiceover is Sheila D. We're hosted and sponsored by Buzzsprout Podcast hosting made easy. Get updated every day. Subscribe to our newsletter at podnewsnet. Tell your friends and grow the show and support us. And support us, the Pod News. Weekly Review will return next week. Keep listening.

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