Podnews Weekly Review

Spotify's innovations, multi-language, and Kim Fox - the Podcast Professor

July 05, 2024 James Cridland and Sam Sethi Season 2 Episode 81
Spotify's innovations, multi-language, and Kim Fox - the Podcast Professor
Podnews Weekly Review
More Info
Podnews Weekly Review
Spotify's innovations, multi-language, and Kim Fox - the Podcast Professor
Jul 05, 2024 Season 2 Episode 81
James Cridland and Sam Sethi

Send James & Sam some fanmail, via Buzzsprout

The latest news and trends in the podcasting industry. In this episode, we discuss Spotify's growing video podcast platform, Buzzsprout's website redesign, the debate around the future of free podcasts, and the podcast landscape in Egypt as explored by guest Kim Fox, the "Podcast Professor" at the American University in Cairo. We also touch on developments in podcast monetization, translation tools, and upcoming industry events like Podcast Day Asia and Podcast Movement. This fast-paced, insider look at the world of podcasting provides valuable insights for both seasoned and aspiring creators.

Support the Show.

Connect With Us:

PoWeR Supporter
Become a supporter of the show!
Starting at $3/month
Support
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send James & Sam some fanmail, via Buzzsprout

The latest news and trends in the podcasting industry. In this episode, we discuss Spotify's growing video podcast platform, Buzzsprout's website redesign, the debate around the future of free podcasts, and the podcast landscape in Egypt as explored by guest Kim Fox, the "Podcast Professor" at the American University in Cairo. We also touch on developments in podcast monetization, translation tools, and upcoming industry events like Podcast Day Asia and Podcast Movement. This fast-paced, insider look at the world of podcasting provides valuable insights for both seasoned and aspiring creators.

Support the Show.

Connect With Us:

James Cridland:

It's Friday, the 5th of May 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 in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

Sam Sethi:

And I'm Sam Sethi, the CEO of True Fans. Well, after Independence Day, America has a king again and we are free of the Tories.

James Cridland:

Anyway, in the chapters today, spotify now has a quarter of a million video podcasts on its platform. Happy 90th birthday. Apple Podcasts, google Podcasts has it gone yet? And do you prefer me in English, or in French, or in Japanese, or more Plus?

Kim Fox:

Hey, I'm Kim Fox, and later we'll be talking about podcasting in Egypt.

James Cridland:

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

Sam Sethi:

Like a child in the backseat of a car. James, Are we there yet? Is Google dead?

James Cridland:

Google isn't, but Google Podcasts is finally, more than a week late is now dead. So, yes, it was supposed to have been turned off last week. It wasn't, it was still available. It was still available for download, which is very strange, and, yes, it's finally been turned off. You can no longer use it in your phone and they've now got rid of it from the Google Play Store for all new users. It still exists in there if you are a current user, because that way you get any updates. If they're going to do that Closing down a relatively popular podcast app but it has finally gone away- Sure, no fingers are creeping back through the old coffin.

James Cridland:

Now, I think that's it. I think it's dead, Jim.

Sam Sethi:

As they say, never build on Google. These days, you can't rely on them anymore. I just, I genuinely believe you cannot rely on Google now. I think you talked about Gmail not supporting standards a couple of weeks ago. I don't think search is holding up well right now. I think they've had their first real competition, I don't know. Good luck, google. And yet the share price is at an all-time high, well done market and yet the share price is an all-time high.

James Cridland:

Congratulations, john spurlock. Um, but yes, uh, no, google, not in a great place. I'm, um, uh, yes, moving as much um away from google as I possibly can. It was very strange, logging into the wi-fi in this hotel, what they give you once you've correctly logged in with your username and your room number, just so that they can monitor exactly what your internet habits are. Once you've done that, then it dumps you into a Google search and I looked at it and I thought what is this page? I've not seen this in quite some time because I've used Cargiv for the last nine months. So, yes, all of a sudden it was oh, this is a bit quaint, isn't it? Anyway, enough about Google, let's talk about our new overlords.

Sam Sethi:

Spotify yes, now Spotify. A couple of weeks ago, or even last week, you talked about them having the ability for you to upload video separately. Well, it looks like Spotify now has a quarter of a million video podcasts on its platform. According to its blog post, the number of creators actively publishing video each month has grown nearly 70% year on year. This looks like they're really going for it, james.

James Cridland:

Yes, it does. I mean, it looks as if they see there being real opportunity in terms of video. I would guess that there are other ways of monetising video podcasts. Of course, additional costs as well, but let's not forget the more listening that happens on the Spotify platform to things that aren't music, the less they have to pay to the musicians, and that's probably part of the thinking there.

Sam Sethi:

I also think it's defensive against YouTube as well, I suppose. But Buzzsprout our sponsors wanted me to make it clear that they have never said they won't ever have video. They won't just do it now due to the high cost. But I think again, I genuinely believe we have ceded. I don't think we are ceding. I think we have seeded video to YouTube and Spotify now.

James Cridland:

But I mean, you are seemingly copying quite a lot from Spotify now, aren't you? You've ended up being a bit of a fanboy, I am.

Sam Sethi:

I'm going to say it, I am an absolute fanboy. I think two years ago, when they were struggling and it looked like they were having challenges, I thought, hmm, probably not going to make it. And they have pulled it out of the bag time and time again. The video stuff they've done really well. I think they'll do a lot more with it over the next 6 to 12 months. If you look at, they've added courses, they've added events, they've added ticketing, they've added merch, they've got polls. It's yeah, okay, a lot of it's proprietary to just Spotify. It's okay, a lot of it's proprietary to just spotify. But do they care? They're growing market share. They are profitable.

Sam Sethi:

Um, I think there was a github post that I put something up about true fans adding blogging to our platform this week. It's an all-in-one app. They're keeping you within the wall garden, so your video is to stop you going over to youtube. And yet a lot of the podcasting hosts and apps are just saying no, no, just go to youtube to watch video. No, we're not adding the medium attributes for audiobooks or courses or blogging or anything else. No, no, we're going to stick to medium because podcast. And then we're watching market share drop, drop, drop and we'll talk about stats later on. But no, I'm sorry, spotify have got this smack on the nose and they are killing it right now. And yeah, I am a little bit of a fanboy.

James Cridland:

Yeah, spotify doing a lot of things. Well, they've just announced that they are going to be doing another interesting masterclass. It's a masterclass on leveraging video on Spotify. We're promised a live watch party and a Q&A. It's on July the 25th. If you want to sign up to that, podnewsnet slash events is worthwhile and they're clearly still working on stuff because they've also told us all that the interact tab in Spotify for podcasters. That's where you can see all of the many millions of responses that you get from people saying what did you think of this episode?

James Cridland:

In Spotify for podcasters. They are doing some work on that on July the 8th, doing some background updates. Maybe there's a man with a beard doing some database migration or something, but anyway, all of that is going on. So clearly, stuff going on with Spotify Also. Spotify, you know, clearly betting a bit of their house, at least on video, and quite rightly so. Edison Research saying that 79% of weekly podcast listeners in the US have listened to podcasts that have video and 72% of those actively watched the screen. So you know, even Edison Research saying that there is some real consumption going on there a sample of two.

Sam Sethi:

Right, if I look at my two children, I say children, adults now, uh, 24 and 19, and they will be cooking with their iphones, watching uh podcasts on spotify. That's how they do it and and they're very happy to do that and they will. And even when I say who skips ads, they don't even skip the ads, they just let the ads sit in the background while they're cooking and eating and watching and they'll just let it run. And that's how they consume and I assume they're not outliers. I assume that's how most teenagers and young adults consume and watch podcasts, I assume.

James Cridland:

So yes, video, who'd have thought it? I'm resisting the whole video push. Who wants video?

Sam Sethi:

We don't need to do video. No, no, no. Now our sponsors, buzzsprout they've had a redesign.

James Cridland:

James, tell me more. Yes, they have. It's a beautiful redesign. It was for customers only earlier on in the week. They've now redesigned everything and they've got a new logo which has a sort of it's a buzz and that is sprouting. It's a buzz with leaves and they've done some you know, crisper greens and everything all looks a little bit nice. The new font family for the company is a font called graphic with a K. It's all very fancy.

James Cridland:

There is a beautiful, beautiful blog post which we linked from the pod news newsletter on Wednesday talking about Buzzsprout's original website 15 years ago, and, my goodness, you have a look at that. It's a work of pure, pure beauty, much more intricate than the current Buzzsprout website and you know lots of sort of backgrounds and very careful gradients and everything else. But, yes, quite a thing. So Albin Brook has done a good job there of making a refreshed Buzzsprout. But also the other thing that I thought was interesting is that they have changed their tagline to really talk about keeping people podcasting, and I think this is exactly where podcast hosts ought to be going is not just giving people the tools to help them podcast for the first time, it's actually giving people tools to keep them podcasting, making stuff easier, whether that's with co-host AI, whether that's with some of the other tools that they have magic mastering and so on and so forth just keeping it easier so that people can just focus on keeping podcasting, and I think that's a very bright move from the people there. So many congratulations.

Sam Sethi:

I believe they also used or worked with Cameron Moll as well, so hat tip to him. So yeah.

Sam Sethi:

Now, last week we talked about the New York Times James starting a paywall to put podcasts and other content behind it. Now it seems that Nick Hilton, friend of the show, thought he'd write a very thought-provoking piece of medium called the New York Times Demonstrate the Bifurcation of the Podcast Industry, and I had to look up what bifurcation was. First of all, he's far too smart for me. But yes, it's the splitting of the industry. But anyway, the comment that he came through with was, fundamentally it's the end of the free podcast. Podcasting 1.0 is now dead, podcasting 2.0 is here and we are seeing the end of free. What's your?

James Cridland:

thought, james. Well, I don't know about that. I think certainly there are some people moving away from ad-supported shows and moving into a paid subscription model. We've seen that over the last couple of years with Apple Podcasts of course as well, but I'm not so sure. I mean A let's not conflate podcasting 2.0 with whatever it is that friend of the show Nick Hilton is talking about. I think that would be a mistake. But I do think that you know there are clearly moves away from ad supported shows, because ad supporting you know, if you go and ask Adam Curry, then ad support, then advertising, you know, will never work. You cannot monetize the network and all that kind of stuff. I do think that there is something in saying that advertising is not necessarily the best way of supporting these types of media. You know services, but you know it's still early. Early days though, isn't it, I think?

Sam Sethi:

we'll. We'll see more. More newspapers are beginning to see this as a revenue stream and I think we'll start to see the doors closing. But you know again, I think if we want to see micro payments and we have talked about you know why has there not been an adoption of it, the pay-as-you-go model, which is what micropayments is, as opposed to advertising or subscription. Maybe that's the window that will open when podcasting isn't free for all. Who knows?

James Cridland:

Yeah, there does seem to be some kind of cyclical thing where and you can see this if you go to podcastbusinessjournalcom slash data, which has a bunch of data that comes in from the rest of the industry you can see this kind of cyclical thing going on where people are. You know where the amount of active podcasts seems to have been slowly going down from about March of this year, and it seemed to do that last year as well. What I should probably do is grab as much of this data as I can over a couple of years and actually see how the data has been going there. But yeah, there does appear to be a little bit of a drop there, which is probably something worthwhile keeping an eye on.

James Cridland:

But in terms of downloads, buzzsprout has the best download data. I'm not just saying that because they're our sponsor. I'm also saying that because, it's true, they have some excellent download data for 98 million downloads on their platform for June and, interestingly, there's a real jump for web browsers. In June, web browsers seemed to increase really quite a lot. Now, yes, it's still small numbers, but web browsers seem to have increased quite a lot, which is interesting. They're now responsible for 8.7% of all downloads to shows on the Buzzsprout platform. Not quite sure what's going on there, sam, apart from maybe they're all using true fans.

Sam Sethi:

Maybe that's, and if that was true, I would be the happiest boy ever.

Sam Sethi:

Maybe that's the thing, I don't know. In fact, very oddly, I was just going to add I had a really good conversation yesterday with Pocket Casts about some of this stuff, talking to Ellie, and one of the things that I also did was I spoke to Alban a couple of weeks ago. We interviewed him about the new Android Buzzsprout app, and Alban said one thing. He said you're fighting too many fires, right? So we're trying to get people to understand Podcasting 2.0. We're trying to get people to understand Sats.

Sam Sethi:

We're trying to now with True Fans, trying to get you to understand what a pwa is, and so often I get, oh, I want to install true fans, but I couldn't find it in any of the app stores. And I'm like, oh my god, and as much as I want to be true to the open ecosystem and I've called Apple Flash 2, and I will continue to call it Flash 2 till the day I die I'm going to have to capitulate. The problem is people are not getting it and no one's giving them any messaging. Apple is consistently messaging. The only way to get anything on their phone is through the App Store, and so you can fight the fight as much as you like, but you have to sometimes give up and I think you know with TrueFans we will see now an iOS and an Android version very shortly. I'm afraid I'm having to give that battle up.

James Cridland:

Yes, I think it's interesting watching that and interesting seeing you know what is capable. I mean, certainly, I have noticed that, you know, even now the Android platform is much better at understanding how these websites can work as mobile apps, and you know, and I'm sure that part of that is just Apple hobbling how their system works. But, yes, very interesting. But I also wonder whether or not the web browser thing is also um, some of these uh companies who are selling advertising um within um games and stuff like that, because those will appear as if they're just a web browser um, and I wonder whether there's just a rise of that as well. It's um interesting times.

Sam Sethi:

Well, going back to going back to my spotify fanboy nearly fanboyish uh moment, I mean that's one of the things that spotify does brilliantly. They are wherever you know. We say wherever you get your podcast and spotify say wherever you get spotify, I mean because you know they literally are on everything and every app and every device. I mean you just so it's the default for nearly everybody because of that Hint Hint app.

James Cridland:

Yeah, no, indeed, and it's good it's on. It's on many, many, many different surfaces. Two other things from the Buzzsprout stats which are interesting. Firstly, apple iTunes is the fifth most popular way of listening to shows, with 2.1% of all downloads. Now, apple iTunes is only available on Windows machines and, frankly, you're only going to use it if well. I'm not even quite sure why you would use it. Why would you use iTunes? Don't really know. Could you have an upgrade? Yeah, I mean that's weird, isn't it? That's a long, long time ago, so that's interesting. But also interesting is Google Podcasts. God rest its soul. It posted in its final month. It posted a 1% share of downloads. So goodbye Google Podcasts. We knew you.

Sam Sethi:

well Now, James, you call yourself a radio futurologist, right? Who gave you that name?

James Cridland:

Well, I normally start conference speeches off by saying a lot of people ask me how I managed to call myself a radio futurologist and the answer is business cards. If you print your own business cards, you can call yourself anything and it normally gets a laugh, which is nice. But last week I saw the podcast professor. I saw Kim Fox. She teaches at the American University in Cairo in Egypt. She teaches podcasting radio and audio courses and she runs Podfest Cairo and I wondered how did she get to call herself the podcast professor?

Kim Fox:

Self-appointed, like you can't wait for someone to give you a title like take advantage of the situation, but it was just something you know. You can change your name on Twitter, just kind of put it out there, like let people know, this is the thing that I like to do. I do very well. I teach podcasting, I do academic research on podcasting and I also have a podcast.

James Cridland:

And you're in Cairo. How did that come about?

Kim Fox:

I don't have a sexy story Like. I saw a job posting and they were looking for someone to teach radio production. The job posting was in the Chronicle of Higher Education, so it is a very known place of looking for jobs, good jobs. I did a little bit of research and I said well, I want to give it a try. I said it's like the lottery you got to be in it to win it. And if I can get the job, then I can decide if I want to keep it or if I want to say no, I'm going to pass. But I did decide to take it. I negotiated out of a long-term contract and took a nine-month contract because we were doing video interviews back in 2008. So this is really pre-zoom days and and that's kind of how I got into it and you came from a background of um what radio and TV?

Kim Fox:

Mostly radio, Worked in college radio, but our college radio was an NPR affiliate, so it was a proper radio station, WOUB in Athens, Ohio. But I also worked at WOSU in Columbus, Ohio. That was the one that let me get away. I was working there and when I got the job offer in Cairo, I said hey, why don't you all give me an unpaid leave to go and explore this other thing? And they said no. So then I thought right. Then I thought, well, this is not really a dilemma, is it? I said, yeah, I'm out deuces. And so, yeah, that was that leap of faith, Like I have no idea what this other job is like, but I'm going to give it a try, because the one that I have is not quite working out and so where am I talking to you, uh, today?

Kim Fox:

well, yeah, I'm in Brisbane visiting. I'm like, who's in Brisbane? I'm like, oh, james Cricklin is here, really, and I did. I went and looked at your Twitter bio like where is he in Australia? This is a big place. And yeah, was here, for everyone told me it would be better to fly into Brisbane. I had a conference at the Gold Coast so took that you know what 30, 90 minute ride or two hour ride up to the Gold Coast for the conference for the International Communication Association Association. But then we had a podcast studies roundtable think tank here in Brisbane at Griffith University and then we toured some community radio stations. Just a lot of fun, a lot of good people, from this part of the world mostly. So I spent a lot of time, you know, in the in the US or dealing with folks from the UK and Europe. So it was nice to come here and really pick up on a different community who are interested in the same things that I'm interested in.

James Cridland:

So what's the podcast landscape like in Egypt and that part of the world? Is it very different to the podcast landscape here or in the US?

Kim Fox:

I think it is. It's really hard to nail down, actually, because Egypt is a really trendy kind of market, meaning people will say I'm listening to your podcast, or your podcast is popular, but then after a couple of months or a year they will fall off as listeners, which will impact, of course, the person who's doing the production. What I'm noticing is a lot of comedians are doing very well, which is kind of a global trend as well. There's a new company out called the Pot Cast Production and they're really nice people, they're amazing and they're getting a lot of funding and they do live shows and, of course, they do the podcast and they have a podcast space. So I think they're going to be the ones to watch out for, because initially they had seed money from within Cairo, but now they have some seed money from Saudi, so I think that's going to be able to elevate them to do a little bit more in the space.

James Cridland:

And are they doing mostly audio or is there quite a lot of video in your world these days?

Kim Fox:

definitely doing video. But the guy that I talked to with the company Islam, he was saying, because I took my students over to do a field trip to talk to them, and he's saying, like we're an audio first company, so they always release their audio first and then they'll do the video, which I think is a smart move in terms of trying to build that listenership first on this on this end, and they can see the numbers. So so what is it doing? What is this particular episode doing in terms of the numbers when it's audio that's released first, before the video comes out? So yeah, some people are going down that road of video. It's hard to say that. What's? Is that going to be a trend? Is that what everyone is going to want or feel the need to do? Because you know, from a heart of podcasting, it's like we don't really need video and that's an added element, more labor to do that part of it. So we'll see.

James Cridland:

And how is it in terms of? Is the money in the industry? I'm wondering whether the advertising market is you know, is as developed in your part of the world as well.

Kim Fox:

Oh, it's definitely developed. I mean, I know this because I teach in a department of journalism and mass comm and we have two majors and most of them are in the integrated marketing communication major. So that's your advertising PR. That is where everyone wants to be and that market is really really huge in Cairo and in Egypt. But it's a matter of getting those audiences to then again pay.

Kim Fox:

So you have to. First of all, you've got to figure out where you're getting your data. So, as a podcaster, where are you getting your data to let this potential advertiser know? This is why it's tricky, and I think sponsorships might have a little bit better of a run, because you could still say well, you can listen to my podcast and you can kind of understand my demo. I'm trying to reach women who are 18 to 34 or whatever. This as opposed to saying, oh, and I have numbers to show that, because if you're new, you might not have the data to back that up. So I think a sponsorship might help on a smaller level, and for me, egypt is just going with whatever works for you. A lot of people are doing passion podcast, so they're not necessarily in it for the advertising, but they have some sort of knowledge to share, or just different kinds of interest.

James Cridland:

Now you run an event in Cairo every year. The last one was, I want to say, march, yeah, so how did that go?

Kim Fox:

It went really well. We had Latif Nasser as our keynote speaker. It was just so much fun to have him in town and he came to campus to talk to the students. Of course, he had a great keynote speech at Podfest Cairo and we got a chance to go around to the pyramids and hang out. And Jasmine Bayoumi was also one of our speakers and she came in from Berlin, so it was just nice to have Latif from Radiolab and Jasmine, who was one she's my former student, so it's like wow. I had her in my first semester at AUC as I was teaching in Egypt, so to see that she's doing so many really amazing things in the podcasting space was really nice to have those two, not just for PodFest, but I always make sure that the keynote speakers come to campus and meet the students as well and get a chance to see what we do in that community, so that was really nice.

James Cridland:

So how many people were there last year?

Kim Fox:

We usually get around 50 to 60. Podfest Cairo is not a profit event and I usually do it by myself and sometimes I get busier than usual. So we usually get a nice small community of folks who come through, lots of regulars who've been to everyone, lots of newbies who are just trying to figure out hey, how is this thing done? Where's my community? That kind of thing. So it's been really a nice event to have on an annual basis. So, like I said, we've done five years, including the one year online during COVID. The other four have been face-to-face.

James Cridland:

So it's a nice event to do and tell me about your students. Finally, Are your students? Are they wanting to get into the radio sector? Are they wanting to get into podcasting? How do they see both of those media? Is radio for the old folk and they're not really very interested in it, or how does it work?

Kim Fox:

We have a commercial radio station. I remember listening to them when I first got to Cairo. It's called Nile FM and I'm like, is that a cool name or what it's like Nile FM? And they're very popular and so you know, you think about a CHR station, the CHR Contemporary Radio in the US. Our students are listening heavily. So when I thought like, yeah, radio's dead, it's like no, they know this station and they listen to that station a lot. Now, that is one of the few private stations in Cairo. So, yeah, are they listening to these other government stations that are on? Like no, they're probably not. So there's that.

Kim Fox:

And then it's just a matter of well, what are you listening to and where are you getting your music and where are you sharing knowledge and things like that. So some of them I've had quite a few who've gone on to do really well in audio, which is amazing. Basant Samut works for Sout out of Jordan. She does really well over there as a producer with that team, and I'm probably forgetting about many of them, but a lot of them are doing really good work. Oh, I have Dina Saladin. She just got a job, I want to say, with Audible in Berlin, and somebody else just got a new job and I was just like, wow, they're doing amazing things, so it's nice to know like it started back when and helping them cultivate their stories and see the passion in radio and audio.

James Cridland:

So where can we go to find out more about both Podfest, cairo, but also the AUC?

Kim Fox:

Oh, just follow me on that platform, the former Twitter, the X.

James Cridland:

And what's your handle on X?

Kim Fox:

Kim Fox W-O-S-U. There's a story behind that too.

James Cridland:

Kim, thank you so much for your time.

Kim Fox:

Thank you.

James Cridland:

Wow.

Sam Sethi:

Her voice is actually quite amazing. I think it's quite amazing. It's one of those. I think she should do another podcast. You know one of those sleep podcasts, and now you can listen to my voice before you go to bed.

James Cridland:

No, she was very good. We spent the day looking at kangaroos and koalas and Tasmanian devils and all kinds of things, so it was good fun to see her. Sorry about all of the bird noise in the background. It turns out that I don't have the equipment to record a podcast, apart from just outside on the deck with my little microphone, but it was great to end up seeing her so hurrah. It felt authentic, james.

Sam Sethi:

I'll give you that Now. James, talking about recording stuff, you've been experimenting recently with audio translations. There's been a French version of you, there is a Japanese version of you, even a female version of you. What are you up to, James?

James Cridland:

Yes, well, I'm playing around with Wondercraft AI, which has a tool in there called Dub, and what you do with it is you upload your audio and it translates it into the language that you choose. So this is a little bit of me speaking a bunch of different languages.

James Cridland:

The Asian Podcast Awards are launched from the airport of Kuala Lumpur. The latest of PodNews net with Riverside your podcast and video From Singapore. The podcast advertising is on the rise. Podnews net from Malaysia is better than the last. From PodNews net with Riverside A quarter million of video podcasts. The latest news from PodNewsnet with Riverside.

James Cridland:

So it's a pretty impressive thing and literally all I'm doing there is I'm uploading the voice track from the daily podcast that I do, saying I would like to hear it in Japanese, which is one of those languages, and it just automatically translates it over. I was actually here in Malaysia. I spoke to somebody from Japan this morning and I was saying what do you think of this? And I played him a little bit of me speaking Japanese and he didn't say this is awful, this is AI nonsense. He said wow, that's actually really good. That's kind of sounds very conversational and very good. So, yeah, I was really impressed at that and with your French.

Sam Sethi:

Was that close? Were you Parisian in style?

James Cridland:

I am told by Mr Hat Philippe Chapeau that I had a Quebec accent, which is interesting. I don't really understand why that might be the case. It may be the British that gets in there somehow. But yes, you know, again, it seemed to work quite nicely. Now I speak a little bit of French and I was able to understand a little bit of it and a few bits where they actually edited out some of the sponsor credit which I thought was interesting. Not quite sure why that was the case, but yeah, but you know, it appears to be working quite nicely. Now, is this a tool that I would use all the time? I'm not so sure, but is it a little bit of fun to play around with this sort of thing? Yes, absolutely it is.

Sam Sethi:

Is it cost effective? I mean, given that you know, if you were, I think you were saying you get 300 credits a month. I mean, and this would cost what? 130 credits to do of a three minute podcast? I mean, is this a cost effective model yet?

James Cridland:

Yeah, I mean, is it cost effective? I don't know about that, it's you know. I mean, it costs an amount of money to make every single show. I think it would cost somewhere in the region of three or $4. And you know what? What do you get back from that? I don't know, but this is very early doors. So this is both voice cloning cloning my own voice, translation and making me speak a different language, and some languages have very different mouth sounds than English does. So I think, from that point of view, that was really interesting.

Sam Sethi:

Will it help you reach a wider audience? I know people like Diary for CEO have been playing with Wondercraft to get into many different languages and it seems that they're getting a wider audience. Would it help Pod?

James Cridland:

News Daily. I don't know whether you would get a lot of people listening to an AI voice on a daily basis, and, from my point of view, of course, the way that pod news earns its money is people reading the newsletter. The podcast is there because I feel that I have to do a podcast. It's there because it is sponsored by the title sponsor, but it's not necessarily the thing that earns the money, and so, from my point of view, I'm not sure that it is necessarily, you know, a cost effective thing to do, but you can certainly see that for some other podcasts yes, you know, it would be interesting to see how they would function if you were to put a Spanish version or another version in there. I would say, though and Wondery have been doing this sort of thing for a long, long time now. What I would say, though, is that you need to be pretty careful in terms of culture, pretty careful in terms of you know, it's more than just translating. There are other things that you need to end up doing as well.

Sam Sethi:

If I did want to do it for a podcast not that I have another podcast if I did want to do it for a podcast, you could use the alternative enclosure. I'm sure to actually put the English and foreign language alternative audio into that, I'm assuming, and foreign language alternative audio into that I'm assuming, because I looked at the actual spec and there is a language option within there which would help apps then to go oh okay, that language is Japanese, because there's no way you'd detect it, or that's French, and then you could actually change the UI a little bit. You could certainly pull in a JSON file on the fly of the transcript. What are your thoughts? I think that's something that I'd love to try and experiment with.

James Cridland:

Yes, I think, thinking on it, really, if you're going to produce, let's just say, a Japanese version of the Pod News Daily show, If you're going to produce that, then you can produce the audio, but you also really need to produce a new image so that the words Pod News are visible in Japanese characters. You need to produce a new description, because that shouldn't still be in English. You need to produce, you know. I mean, basically everything needs to be changed into another language. The RSS standard is pretty clear. It has a language tag right at the top and the language of a particular RSS feed, to my mind, kind of really ought to be in one language. And if you're certainly going to be using you know, if you're going to be using feed recommendation engines and things like that, then you know that needs to be aware of what language something is in, so that if you're in Japan, you recommend the Japanese version to me. So I guess I'm looking at the alternate enclosure specification and I'm thinking it's great that there is a language attribute in there, but I'm also thinking I'm not sure that that's right. Same way, as we're really supposed to have one RSS feed for one podcast.

James Cridland:

I think one RSS feed for one podcast in one language is probably the right move. But it's an interesting thought, isn't it, of whether or not you just have one big RSS feed that has all of the different languages of a particular asset in there, but then you'd need all of the different languages of the description, the images, the transcript. You know all of that and, yes, I'm not so sure, but I don't know. It's an interesting one. Perhaps. If people have strong views either way, then they may like to send us a fan mail. You can click that link that you'll find in the description, or you can send us a Boostergram and we love Boostergrams, those are good. Just press the boost button and if you don't have one of those, get a new podcast app at podnewsnet. Slash new podcast apps. Should we go around the world?

Sam Sethi:

Yes, yes, okay, let's start In the USA. Max Cutler's Pave Studios has launched an independent print and audiobook publishing venture called Pave Publishing House. That's interesting. He's going down that road.

James Cridland:

It is interesting, and I'm sure that there will be a call going out from True Fans Central to Max Cutler saying have you heard of medium equals book, audiobook? But no, I mean this is Will. What do you mean Will? But I think this is interesting. 99% Invisible, of course, has a book out, pod Save America has a book out, and so on and so forth. Again it comes back to is the future of monetising a podcast, just purely the advertising model, and so perhaps that's an interesting side. Perhaps that's an interesting side and the UK.

James Cridland:

Since the general election was announced, there was a 53% increase in unique listens to politics podcasts according to Acast and Podchaser Data, which was nice. The company did an awful lot of advertising for its shows in railway stations in particular. I think railway stations are a brilliant place to advertise a podcast, so I think many congratulations to them for doing that. I got an email from Brad Turpack, who of course, used to run Libsyn, the other day, and he sent a photograph of a podcast advertising itself in Heathrow Airport in Terminal 2, I think. I think it was in Terminal 2. And that again, brilliant place to advertise a podcast. Download this just before you get on your flight. So I thought that was a very clever plan Nice Right.

Sam Sethi:

Moving on James, people and jobs who's moving?

James Cridland:

Who's grooving? Well, we've got somebody called Flick Heath. And jobs who's moving? Who's grooving? Well, we've got somebody called Flick Heath. She has worked for Persephonica, for Moonbug and the BBC and she's now joined Gareth at 1860. She is a production manager there. That company is making a ton of different shows, which is nice.

James Cridland:

And John Wardock has left Cumulus Podcast Network. He's worked there for five years and was executive editor and SVP of the network. He is, as they say, looking for a new challenge and he's a very bright, bright man. I've spent many times chatting to him at various events. It'll be interesting to see where he pops up next. I gather that he's going to Podcast Movement in Washington, as am I. August the 19th. You should be coming to that. There's a new area within the Podcast Movement space called Industry Connect, which is where you can meet people and chat with people as well. If you want to go to Podcast Movement, use the code PODNEWS and that will save you some money, which is nice. And are you going to PODNEWS this year, sam? Have you made that choice?

Sam Sethi:

Yeah, yes, I will be there, james, yes.

James Cridland:

You will be there, you, yes, you will be there. You're not going to greece I'm.

Sam Sethi:

I am going to greece. I'm going to be there next week. I'm, I'm. I'm not here next week with you, as we know, but I will be in washington. Yes, but I I haven't got final details to give you, so yes, well, there we are.

James Cridland:

Uh, something exciting that Sam is planning for podcast movement. So how exciting. And, of course, there's Podcast Day Asia One of the reasons why I'm here in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, today because Podcast Day Asia is happening here, september the 3rd, not in a hotel Smart is the one that I'm currently in but the day includes all kinds of things. Would you like to know what the day includes? Yes, please, yes, well, let's see if I can very quickly bring that up in front of me and sound as if I know what I'm talking about. So this is on the 3rd of September, podcast day.

James Cridland:

We will hear from people talking about how people are listening to podcasts in places like Japan and the Philippines and the rest of Southeast Asia. Emily Kwong is here from NPR, so she will be talking about making some of the shows that she has been making recently. We've got the winners of the Asian Podcast Awards, which should be fun. We've got people talking about getting their podcasts translated into different languages. Roshni Baroni, from India, will be talking about her female-led podcast company from there.

James Cridland:

Timmy from Acast talking about how to make money out of podcasts as well, and a Future of Podcasting panel at the end of the day which I'm looking after, including a bunch of people who I haven't yet confirmed, so I better not mention those. But anyway, if you want to come, it'd be lovely to see you. Tickets are just $99 and even cheaper if you use the code PODN10. And there are more events, both paid for and free, at PodNews virtual events or events in a place with people, and if you're organising something, it's free to tell the world about it. Podnewsnet slash events. The tech stuff on the PodNews Weekly Review.

James Cridland:

Yes, it's the stuff you'll find every Monday in the PodNews newsletter. Here's where Sam and I talk technology for the next 10 minutes.

Sam Sethi:

Yes yes, between you and a beer Right. Moving on, podcast hosting company RSScom has launched a major new update to its podcast web play. I saw this they talked about it on last week's Podcasting 2.0 show with Adam and Dave and yeah, if you go and have a look at the desktop version, it's very, very cool. They've created super chapters and you can go full screen and you can have slideshows. It's very cool. Well done to the boys at rsscom.

James Cridland:

Yeah, it's a really nice experience, so congratulations to them. There's a link in the Pod News newsletter earlier on in the week of um, a show which has that enabled, uh, and is um worthwhile taking a peek at. And actually, you know, I mean it's interesting seeing how all of these web players are working, because all of a sudden they're getting really good, but also all of a sudden they're getting a load of um, a load of plays. Uh, I noticed that. Did you see how well the buzzsprout yeah, embedded player is doing?

Sam Sethi:

now, yeah, and I think I think you know again, I think people are going well, I can run it on my own website. I can aggregate all of my profile together in one place. I look at Matt Medeiros, for example. You look at his website. He's got an embedded player. He's got his podcast. He's got his blog role. He's got an embedded player. He's got his podcast, he's got his blog role. He's got his Everything's all in one place. He's driving it to his brand rather than driving it anywhere else. And embedded players work.

James Cridland:

Oh it is. It's very cool. Ios 18 is continuing apace some of the beta versions of that and Mac Rumours has seen something new in Apple Podcasts. Now I'm not going to mention it because I know that you're not allowed to mention anything in the dev versions of iOS 18, and Apple get very upset with you if you do Well, if you want to see the same feature.

Sam Sethi:

It's already in TrueFans.

James Cridland:

Because, of course it is Catch up Apple. Because of course it is apple, because of course it is um podspace, which is a nordic podcast hosting company, now supports apple podcast subscriptions um the artist, formerly known as delegated delivery, and I noticed that they didn't use that phrase at all.

Sam Sethi:

No, it's been delegated down to the bin. Um, so what is uh? Podcast subscriptions now what? What do they want it to be?

James Cridland:

well, yes, so this is apple's thing, where you pay to listen to a show and um, apple smother the entire um paid for content in uh drm and they also make it impossible to download anywhere other than for a paid user of the Apple Podcasts app for that particular show. So therefore, you have to upload the audio to Apple Podcasts. That's basically what's going on there, and the reason why companies end up working with Apple to do this is so that if you're a podcast hosting company, you can upload your paid for audio straight to Apple without directing your users to use another platform. So quite nice that Podspace is doing this. It's a small Nordic podcast hosting company, but it's one more added to the big list of people who are doing this. It's a small Nordic podcast hosting company, but it's one more added to the big list of people who are doing that Now.

Sam Sethi:

I said, I talked to Ellie Rubenstein, who's head of podcasting at Pocket Cast, last night, and we were talking about they have launched a new Mac and Windows desktop version, which is very nice. You can go and play with that. They're also testing a new beta of a web app. So, strangely, they're going the other way. Um, so they've got, uh, native apps and now they're going to the web. Um, what's going on in this world? But what they are using as a development platform is a tool called electronjsorg, which is actually cool. If you want to build native Windows and Mac desktop apps, then, yes, it's a very good platform to use. Strangely, yes, I might be using it.

James Cridland:

Oh well, there you go. Maybe that's the tool. And finally, some interesting stuff going on around Wavelake. So Wavelake is one of these music streaming services. If you're a fan of Podcasting 2.0, then you will be aware of Wave Lake, because they are one of the larger companies allowing you to listen to tracks and pay in a value for value type fashion as you have a listen to those particular tracks. Anyway, they have partnered with Zebedee, which is one of these payment infrastructure companies. Essentially, I think that they were just doing their own thing using Lightning and now they've partnered with this company. It seems to be part of the big shakedown of these tools in terms of the financial compliance and all of that kind of stuff. Does this mean, sam, that we are essentially moving from a world where everything used to be centred around Albi and now everything's going to be centred around the Zebedee platform, our beautiful open podcasting?

Sam Sethi:

plan? Yeah, not quite, not quite. I mean, look, fountain uses zebedee. They're in.

Sam Sethi:

I think zebedee are invested into fountain. I wonder whether they've invested into wavelake. Uh, zebedee is a wallet provider and it has licenses, which is the critical part, and they use the lightning network. But they also are very heavily involved in uh, nosta and I know wave lake and fountain are very high proponents of the nosta network. Some of the radio stuff that fountain did was all about nosta payments. Wave lake are very keen to use their ticketing with Nostra. So I think you're beginning to see not so much a decentralization to Zebedee from Albi, but you're seeing a split, I think, in the podcasting market between payment provider platforms. I wonder which other one Podverse Podfriends might go there, who knows?

Sam Sethi:

We have upgraded to the Albi Hub. Our Albi API still works. Our payments through Lightning still work. Everything is tickety-boo on that side. We can still sign up non-US people. We still have an issue with US. Now I saw the US ruling come out on what Albee was worried about the crypto tax issue and if you read it in detail, it's really about NFTs. It's not about micropayments and it's not about $20 here or there. What it is is people have been putting significant assets into NFTs and then trading those NFTs and not declaring the tax element of it, and that's what they're stamping down on, not the. You need a small micropayment license. Now, as of next week, we will be a wallet provider. As of next week, we will allow you to use a Lightning wallet on TrueFans and get a new one in the US and in the UK and in Europe and in Australia, and we, in effect, are taking the place of Albi, which they've ceded.

James Cridland:

Well, it's absolutely fascinating times in terms of monetization platforms. I heard Adam and Dave talking about e-cash and mint and all kinds of completely impenetrable stuff that I didn't fully understand. But I mean very clearly that there's stuff going on there which is worthwhile keeping an eye out, and you know, and I'm sure, that you'll be working with all of that too. But, yes, it's certainly interesting times. Yes, let's jump into Boostergrams and Fanmail very quickly. We've just got the one and it's for 10,000 sats. Thank you, adam Curry, who has sent us a quick boost saying support your podcasters with boosts. Yes, we agree. So thank you, adam, for that. Thank you also to our power supporters, dave Jackson, mike Hamilton, matt Medeiros, marshall Brown and Cameron Moll, all of which have gone to weeklypodnewsnet and become a power supporter. We appreciate that. That means money coming in every single month for us, so most appreciated. So what's happened for you this week, sam?

Sam Sethi:

Well, we launched a new blogging integration into TrueFans. So we were talking about Matt Medeiros earlier. We were talking about how you could aggregate on his own website all of his podcasts and blogs, and we've taken that same sort of strategy and we've gone the other way. We've said you can either, if you don't have a blog and you want to, you can create one in your admin dashboard, or you can just put your rss feed and so I'll be putting out you'll be seeing it across all the socials later today examples of that, um. So that's going to be quite interesting. Again, one of the things we're doing is allowing you to have paid blogging so you can turn that on and have people pay for your posts in sats as they scroll down the page, or pay in advance using fiat. So, yeah, we'll see if it works. I mean, again, it's just good fun experimenting with this stuff and seeing what. What sticks against the wall.

James Cridland:

Really no, very cool. And you're on a podcast this week with matthew mclean, the podcast host, talking about what is podcasting 2.0? And why should I care? Which was um, which was very cool Recorded at the London Podcast Show. That's taken its time to come out, hasn't it? Yeah, it has.

Sam Sethi:

But I have to say hat tip to Matthew. We were sat outside in that cafe, which you can imagine is quite noisy, by the Acres Bar and if you listen to the podcast it's crystal clear. Well done, matthew. I don't know, he had a very cool, old-fashioned, in my opinion. It wasn't one of these, you know, um road mike lapel things. It was like a proper solid box with mics and, um, yeah, he's, he's managed to get all the background noise out and yeah, I really enjoyed doing it. Um, if you want to see what's going on with podcasting today, I thought Matthew asked the right questions.

James Cridland:

Exactly, and I'm here in Kuala Lumpur. I sat through a fascinating piece from the Chinese state broadcaster, cgtn, who are using AI to produce a documentary in lots of different languages, and they had three of their Chinese presenters telling us how they did it, and I was looking at the video and thinking they're not actually talking, are they? And it was unveiled at the end of the video that, of course, their voices were also done with AI because they only speak one of the Chinese languages. So it was a very impressive thing, albeit slightly weird. So it was good seeing that there.

James Cridland:

Also good in inverted commas, seeing the Russia Today folk who are sponsoring this particular event. So it's one of the first times, I think, that the Pod News logo has been next to a Russia Today one. So, yes, there's a thing, but still looking forward to being back here in a month or two for Podcast Day Asia. And that's it for this week. If you enjoy the podcast, the newsletter is better. You can find it at podnewsnet, the Pod News Daily as well, wherever you get your podcast, and there are longer versions of all of the interviews we do in the Pod News Extra podcast as well.

Sam Sethi:

You can support the show by streaming sats. You can give us feedback using fan mail or send us a boostergram if you want to tell us more about the show.

James Cridland:

Our music is from Studio Dragonfly. Our voiceover is Sheila Dee. This crystal clear audio, almost today has been through Clean Feed and we're hosted and sponsored by Buzzsprout Podcast. Hosting made easy. Get updated every day. Subscribe to our newsletter at podnewsnet.

Kim Fox:

Tell your friends and grow the show and support us, and support us.

Speaker 2:

The Pod News weekly review will return next week. Keep listening.

Podcasts we love