Buzzcast

Buzzcast is a roundtable discussion about podcasting from the people at Buzzsprout. We'll cover current events and news, podcast strategy, tools we are using, and dip into the Customer Support mailbag to test our podcasting knowledge. If you want to stay up-to-date on what's working in podcasting, Buzzcast is the show for you.

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episode 41: The Top 3 Stories in Podcasting This Year [transcript]


In this episode, we discuss the impact the global pandemic has had on podcast creators and listeners, why this year featured more company acquisitions than usual, and why the future is bright for podcast creators with Podcasting 2.0.

Join the Buzzsprout Podcast Community on Facebook for a chance to join the beta group for our newest feature.

Listen to Alban's interview with Colin Gray about podcast growth and marketing strategies on Podcasting Q&A.

Check out Podland, a new podcast about podcasting from James Cridland and Sam Sethi.

Subscribe to the Buzzsprout YouTube channel to watch gear reviews, software tutorials, and podcast strategy videos.

Review Buzzcast in Podchaser to let us know what you think of the show.

Buzzsprout's Dynamic Content tool now allows you to save multiple clips in your Dynamic Content Library and track how many downloads each clip receives. Learn more on our New Features page.


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 2020-12-18  36m
 
 
00:00  Alban
Did you see that Prince
00:00
Harry and Megan Markel? Just got
00:03
a show? Yes. Like there's people
00:03
that are really into the royal
00:07
family and kind of see what's
00:07
going on. So if that's you,
00:11
you're obviously going to listen
00:11
to this podcast
00:14  Kevin
or avoid it completely
00:14
because I don't are they
00:16
officially members of the royal
00:16
family anymore?
00:18  Travis
Depending on if your
00:18
team queen or team Harry,
00:21  Kevin
I feel like they've been
00:21
embroiled.
00:23  Alban
I don't have any like
00:23
special respect for the royalty
00:26
we found in this country. So we
00:26
wouldn't have any. But I just
00:31
felt weird. They say their
00:31
celebrity. I
00:33  Kevin
mean, they're no Paris
00:33
Hilton.
00:39  Travis
Well, this is our final
00:39
episode of Buzzcast for 2020.
00:44  Kevin
Is that right? That
00:44
doesn't our next episode drop on
00:46
the 31st.
00:48  Alban
I think our next episodes
00:48
gonna be on the first
00:51  Kevin
year flew by. Feels like
00:51
March though.
00:54  Travis
I think you're the only
00:54
one that feels that way. Kevin.
00:55
Maybe
00:56  Alban
it's weird. Kevin's
00:56
right. It's like it's somehow
00:59
still March. And also, it's been
00:59
a decade, like we're gonna look
01:02
back on and be like, Oh, my
01:02
gosh, so much happened that
01:05
year. And also, it just feels
01:05
like I still haven't left this
01:10
house since March.
01:11  Travis
Yeah, my wife and I just
01:11
started a new. We're going to
01:14
start doing p90x together, I got
01:14
to work off my COVID-19 that I
01:18
gained this year, from self
01:18
quarantining in my house with my
01:23  Alban
call, like a freshman 15.
01:23
You just called it your
01:26
COVID-19?
01:28  Travis
that's accurate. Yes.
01:29  Alban
I don't know. It's like,
01:29
PC, for you to be making jokes
01:32
about that, Travis.
01:33  Travis
Well, my 19 pounds that
01:33
I gained is no laughing matter.
01:37
Needless to say, the global
01:37
pandemic touched every single
01:41
part of our lives, and
01:41
definitely had an impact on
01:44
podcast listening, especially
01:44
back in March, because I
01:46
remember, when we were doing
01:46
episodes back in March, you
01:49
know, people are asking about,
01:49
you know, hey, my listener
01:52
numbers are way down. Is that
01:52
normal? Is everyone seeing that?
01:56
And so I remember we dug into
01:56
our stats to see kind of the
01:59
impact that people staying at
01:59
home, not traveling, not
02:02
commuting, not going to the gym
02:02
anymore was having on podcast
02:05
listening. So what do you guys
02:05
remember from that March, April,
02:09
May timeframe as far as the
02:09
impact on podcasting? Well,
02:12  Alban
I definitely remember me
02:12
it all switched, like in a
02:16
minute, stat started going way
02:16
down. And we kind of attributed
02:22
it to a lot of people's habits
02:22
being broken. I wasn't driving
02:26
into the office still not. And
02:26
before then had an hour of drive
02:31
time every day, mostly a bit
02:31
more than that. And driving into
02:36
the office and back, I listen to
02:36
most of my podcasts. And then I
02:39
realized that I'm looking at my
02:39
podcasting app. And all of a
02:44
sudden, I had like, 30 episodes
02:44
to listen to where normally I'm
02:48
running on empty, or I'm just
02:48
listening to things whereas they
02:51
came out. And it took a while
02:51
for me to figure out which shows
02:57
I was going to drop and which
02:57
shows I was like, oh, When am I
03:01
going to actually listen to
03:01
these? Mostly now I just listen
03:04
on runs. But yeah, I definitely
03:04
remember that when we started
03:08
seeing this huge debt. And it
03:08
was definitely a bummer for a
03:12
lot of podcasters.
03:13  Kevin
Yeah, well, at the same
03:13
time, that individual shows
03:18
their numbers were dipping a
03:18
bit. The number of podcasters
03:22
jumping in and starting to
03:22
create new podcasts was growing.
03:25
Like exponentially. Yes.
03:27  Alban
skyrocketing.
03:28  Kevin
Yeah. And so when Yeah,
03:28
absolutely. Back in March, I've
03:32
got some numbers pulled up in
03:32
front of me back in March,
03:34
April, and may, on an individual
03:34
show basis numbers were down.
03:38
But for the Buzzsprout, like,
03:38
platform, overall numbers were
03:42
up and climbed a lot throughout
03:42
the year. So like, just to put
03:48
some numbers to what I'm saying.
03:48
And March, we did 29 point 5
03:52
million downloads in April 32
03:52
point 4 million, may 41.3, June
03:58
45, July 53, August 59, like
03:58
this, it just keeps ticking up
04:03
and up and up and up and up. And
04:03
so while individual shows might
04:07
have been down the number of
04:07
podcasts were growing, and I
04:11
like that's the part that I've
04:11
been struggling to wrap my head
04:14
around. Because was podcast,
04:14
listening overall down? Or was
04:21
this about more diversity, more
04:21
options, more shows in the
04:26
podcast space, and listeners
04:26
spreading their listening time
04:30
out amongst more shows? You
04:30
know, I don't know that's a
04:33
question that I'm trying to dig
04:33
into now looking at some of
04:35
these numbers and figure out
04:36  Alban
overall, I think the
04:36
actual number of podcast listens
04:41
did go down, especially during
04:41
March and then April, and at the
04:45
same time, we saw the number of
04:45
people signing up to create a
04:49
podcast nearly double month over
04:49
month and when that happened. I
04:54
think that that that further
04:54
depressed the amount of
04:59
listeners That people were
04:59
already getting, all of a sudden
05:02
there's all these new shows to
05:02
listen to. And all of a sudden,
05:06
people don't have as much time
05:06
to listen. And now it's leveled
05:11
back out a lot, you know, quite
05:11
a few of those shows have kind
05:14
of, they started when they were
05:14
in lockdown, and now they've
05:18
kind of moved on, you know,
05:18
maybe podcasting wasn't for
05:22
them. And then you've got a lot
05:22
of other people who, like me,
05:26
they're listening habits were
05:26
disrupted. And then they started
05:29
figuring out Oh, I can listen on
05:29
more on Ron's all listen to
05:33
podcasts from cooking dinner,
05:33
and kind of coming up with
05:36
different times in the day to
05:36
listen.
05:38  Travis
Yeah, I would also not
05:38
be surprised if the sudden
05:41
influx of new podcasters also
05:41
introduced new people to podcast
05:47
listening. I mean, I think this
05:47
is something that year over year
05:49
is always happening, where
05:49
Edison research comes out with
05:52
these polls about, you know,
05:52
this percentage of Americans,
05:56
I've listened to a podcast in
05:56
the last month and like all
05:58
these data points, and it
05:58
continues to grow. And so I
06:01
would not be surprised if, as
06:01
more people started podcasts,
06:04
they started telling their
06:04
family and friends about their
06:06
particular podcast, which
06:06
introduced them to podcasting as
06:09
a whole. And then the long tail
06:09
of that three, four or five
06:12
months later, is that they're
06:12
not just listening to their
06:14
friends podcast that they
06:14
started during quarantine, but
06:17
they're also now discovering
06:17
other shows. So so I could see
06:21
how those numbers while on the
06:21
surface could seem
06:25
counterintuitive actually,
06:25
actually do make sense.
06:29  Alban
Yeah, I think in the
06:29
short term, they're kind of
06:32
stealing place away from
06:32
somebody else. In the long term.
06:35
You're definitely right. We saw
06:35
that when cereal came out. And
06:39
we definitely saw that when
06:39
Spotify launched, because the
06:43
hurdle for a lot of people was,
06:43
I mean, back in the old days,
06:47
you had to download iTunes, do
06:47
your computer separately, and
06:52
then download podcasts and put
06:52
them on an iPod. That was a big
06:55
hurdle. And then you eventually
06:55
had to start downloading Apple
06:58
podcasts to your phone. And then
06:58
Apple made it a default. But
07:02
then for everybody who's on
07:02
Android, or Windows phones or
07:06
something, they had to figure
07:06
out a way to get them and it was
07:09
just like, there's a lot of
07:09
hurdles to getting somebody to
07:13
download multiple things and
07:13
figure out a new a new workflow,
07:17
I guess. And Spotify really
07:17
opened that up. So we saw a ton
07:22
of new people get into
07:22
podcasting. Did you see that
07:25
Prince Harry and Megan Markel?
07:25
Just got a show.
07:29  Kevin
Yes.
07:30  Alban
So like, there's people
07:30
that are really into the royal
07:34
family and kind of see what's
07:34
going on. So if that's you,
07:38
you're obviously going to listen
07:38
to this podcast
07:40  Kevin
or avoid it completely
07:40
because I don't are they
07:43
officially members of the royal
07:43
family anymore?
07:46  Travis
Well, I pending on if
07:46
your team queen or team Harry,
07:49  Kevin
I feel like they've been
07:49
unbridled.
07:51  Alban
Are they technically
07:51
celebrities?
07:53  Travis
Oh, they're definitely
07:53
celebrities.
07:55  Alban
I don't have any, like
07:55
special respect for the royalty.
07:58
And I mean, we we found in this
07:58
country, so we wouldn't have
08:01
any. But I just felt weird. They
08:01
say their celebrity sounds like
08:06
there. There's definitely so
08:06
they different.
08:09  Kevin
I mean, they're no Paris
08:09
Hilton.
08:13  Alban
The American royal
08:17  Kevin
Alright, well, let's get
08:17
back to the numbers. I'll tell
08:19
you this. Let's let's take some
08:19
guesses. What do you think the
08:23
numbers did for the Buzzsprout?
08:23
platform overall from January of
08:26
2020? through November of 2020.
08:26
Up down steady, or do you think
08:30
we
08:31  Alban
are? up? 150%? Okay,
08:35  Travis
yeah, definitely
08:36  Kevin
up by like a lot, a lot.
08:36
So it's up 132.4% for the year.
08:42
So albums pretty close there.
08:42
And I think what's really
08:45
interesting about this is this
08:45
is like, it's a trailing
08:47
indicator, right? When you start
08:47
a new show, you don't have an
08:51
audience, and it takes time to
08:51
build that audience. And so, at
08:55
the beginning of the year,
08:55
Buzzsprout was close to 30,000
08:58
active podcasts, and we're gonna
08:58
end the year close to 90,000. So
09:01
platform wise, overall, the
09:01
number of active podcasts on
09:04
platform has been a three x
09:04
increase, and listenership like
09:08
number of downloads for episodes
09:08
132.4. But remember, that is a
09:13
trailing indicator. So what we
09:13
think is in 21, that those
09:17
numbers would be closer to
09:17
matching the growth of the
09:19
platform. So we think that will
09:19
be closer to 300%. So you have
09:23
to have patience, when you
09:23
launch a podcast, you're not
09:25
going to launch immediately and
09:25
start doing huge numbers. But
09:28
you know, you get 1015 episodes
09:28
in and you being good about
09:32
marketing your show and telling
09:32
all your friends and family and
09:34
fans to tell other people
09:34
listen, your show, then those
09:37
numbers start to pick up over
09:37
time. But it's it's super, I
09:39
think it's super exciting the
09:39
number of people who are jumping
09:41
in starting to create good
09:41
content. It feels more than
09:44
ever, especially for people who
09:44
have been podcasting for a few
09:47
years. That space is becoming
09:47
really crowded. And it certainly
09:53
is if you're at if you're used
09:53
to a small group of friends and
09:56
then all of a sudden you go to a
09:56
party with 20 people that feels
09:58
like oh my gosh, there's a lot
09:58
of people here But then you go
10:00
to a sporting event, there's
10:00
80,000 people like, what we have
10:04
to remember is it's starting to
10:04
feel crowded. But there are a
10:07
lot of people in the world and
10:07
there's a lot of people who are
10:09
looking for entertainment or
10:09
education, or, you know,
10:14
whatever the reason that people
10:14
have this search on a podcast
10:17
and like compare it to what's
10:17
happening in the YouTube space,
10:20
the number of creators and
10:20
channels there, there's a
10:23
massive opportunity. It's not
10:23
too late to get in the game.
10:26
It's not too late to grow an
10:26
audience and talking about, oh,
10:30
well, you know, there's already,
10:30
you know, 1.51 point 6 million
10:34
podcasts in the apple podcast
10:34
directory alone, don't let that
10:37
discourage you. This is going to
10:37
continue to grow for the next
10:41
510 years. If you're listening
10:41
to show if you're interested in
10:43
podcasting, you still have
10:43
plenty of time to get in and
10:46
make a space for yourself.
10:48  Travis
Yeah. And now then, just
10:48
as a quick plug, just did a
10:50
great bonus episode, a
10:50
Podcasting Q&A with our friend
10:53
Colin gray over at the podcast
10:53
hosts.com talking about their
10:56
new book on podcast growth and a
10:56
lot of great strategies, things
10:59
that I learned, like, strategies
10:59
that I learned from that
11:02
interview, so I'll leave a link
11:02
to that in the show notes. If
11:04
you want to go and check out
11:04
that bonus episode we put in the
11:07
Podcasting Q&A feed.
11:08  Alban
Yeah, I mean, one of the
11:08
things Colin and I discussed, I
11:12
think I was quoting numbers from
11:12
my podcast reviews, calm. I love
11:17
seeing the like, people talk
11:17
about this top line podcasting
11:21
number, and they're like, Oh, do
11:21
you see like, there's 1.7
11:26
million podcasts now. And you
11:26
hear that number? And you go,
11:30
Oh, my gosh, this is so big.
11:30
What's the point? Why would I
11:35
ever, like, try to get in? And
11:35
then Daniel J. Lewis actually
11:41
just does a basic. He's like,
11:41
Okay, do you hit these
11:44
thresholds? Do you hit you've
11:44
actually published something in
11:47
the last 90 days? Do you also
11:47
hit the ever publish 10
11:52
episodes, ever? I mean, he
11:52
defines that as active like, is
11:56
that a podcast that's actually
11:56
doing anything? And did it ever
12:00
hit this kind of moderate
12:00
threshold of 10 episodes, he's
12:04
like, if you hit both of those,
12:04
we're now down to 600,000
12:08
podcasts. At least that number
12:08
to me seems so much more
12:11
manageable. I'm like, only in a
12:11
group of 600,000 people. And so
12:17
if you were to sit there and
12:17
say, I'm just going to commit to
12:20
doing 50 episodes, I mean, we've
12:20
been doing Buzzcast. Now for
12:24
like two years, you could just
12:24
say, we're gonna do 40 episodes,
12:30
and we'll do it every two weeks.
12:30
That goes by pretty quickly. And
12:35
then all of a sudden, you're
12:35
actually like getting us like a
12:38
serious listenership. Part of it
12:38
is that you're learning more,
12:42
and you're growing the podcast,
12:42
but I think some of it's like,
12:45
you're just still around, you
12:45
know, we forget how many
12:48
podcasts pod fade? And how many,
12:48
you know, podcasters just really
12:53
are people are just creators.
12:53
They go, Oh, I have a YouTube
12:57
channel. So I started a podcast.
12:57
Yeah, YouTube's for me. And then
13:00
they go back to YouTube, or they
13:00
started podcasting. They they
13:03
find out blogging is more of
13:03
their style. That's all great.
13:06
But you're not in competition
13:06
with them anymore, because
13:09
they're not putting out new
13:09
content. And so there's it's
13:13
still spiels, at least to me,
13:13
very wide open.
13:17  Kevin
Yeah. So if we think
13:17
about the scale of the podcast
13:20
ecosystem, and creators,
13:20
specifically compared to other
13:25
other channels or mediums, like
13:25
we talked, we make the
13:30
comparison a lot to YouTube,
13:30
because it's similar. But there
13:32
are one point like the
13:32
aggressive number in podcasting
13:36
is like 1.71 point 8 million
13:36
podcasts. And as Alvin said, if
13:39
you if you try to narrow those
13:39
down a little bit to active,
13:41
you're going to cut that number
13:41
in half easily. But let's
13:43
compare that to some other
13:43
channels. Let's talk about
13:45
YouTube for a second 37 million
13:45
YouTube channels conservatively.
13:50
And this is not I don't have
13:50
inside access to anything. I
13:52
literally, as Alban was talking,
13:52
I was typing into Google, how
13:55
many YouTube channels are there.
13:55
And the next one I typed in was,
13:58
how many people are on Twitter
13:58
330 million people on Twitter.
14:03
So you decided I'm gonna invest
14:03
in Twitter, I want to create a
14:05
following, you're gonna compete
14:05
against 330 million people. The
14:08
next one I searched for was how
14:08
many blogs are there. So maybe
14:12
I'm gonna start a blog and I'm
14:12
gonna start talking about my
14:13
stuff or communicate my message
14:13
that way. You're gonna compete
14:16
with 500 million blogs. But the
14:16
point is, is like out of all
14:21
these popular channels,
14:21
YouTube's and YouTube and blog
14:24
and Twitter and Tiktok different
14:24
ways to build following get
14:26
message out, podcasting is still
14:26
so tiny. And so in terms of
14:31
competing against other people
14:31
for quality content and being
14:33
able to put a quality show if
14:33
you're putting out something of
14:35
quality, there's massive
14:35
opportunity for you in podcast.
14:41  Travis
Another one of the major
14:41
themes from this past year was
14:46
company acquisitions. It felt
14:46
like especially towards the
14:49
beginning of the year, Spotify
14:49
was buying up a bunch of
14:52
companies and then Sirius XM got
14:52
in the game. I Heart Radio got
14:57
in the game. And so we saw a lot
14:57
of consolidation And a lot of
15:01
trends towards a couple of big
15:01
groups kind of vertically
15:06
integrating their their podcast
15:06
ecosystem in a sense. What were
15:10
some of the bigger ones in your
15:10
mind that stood out as far as
15:14
being the most consequential for
15:14
independent podcasters.
15:18  Alban
I mean, to me, the
15:18
biggest the ones that mattered
15:20
the most were Spotify,
15:20
purchasing megaphone and getting
15:25
Joe Rogan to go exclusive on the
15:25
platform, those were probably
15:28
the two biggest ones. There's
15:28
been a lot of smaller ones like
15:31
I heart media, and Sirius XM,
15:31
which I think in normal times
15:37
would be really, really big
15:37
deals, the Spotify ones are
15:41
massive. And they do show
15:41
Spotify, you know, trying to
15:46
actually win this industry.
15:46
Yeah,
15:49  Kevin
I think what happened
15:49
with Spotify is they're just
15:53
executing really well, you know,
15:53
I think we do express some
15:57
concern about how quickly
15:57
they're moving. But it's it's it
16:00
points back to how effective
16:00
they've been, it's hard to
16:04
criticize them for taking any
16:04
missteps, the content that
16:08
they've secured as exclusive
16:08
content to their platform, the
16:11
other platforms that they've
16:11
purchased to fit in to control
16:14
different or have at least
16:14
influence on different segments
16:17
of the podcasting space. It's
16:17
been really smart. And I hope
16:23
that this turns out to be a
16:23
positive thing for podcasting
16:26
overall. And so I'm going to try
16:26
to remain as optimistic as
16:28
possible. But part of that
16:28
optimum, it becomes a little bit
16:31
easier for me to remain
16:31
optimistic as we see other large
16:34
entities expressing interest in
16:34
podcasting, as well. So serious
16:37
in my heart, they're, they're
16:37
not small by any means. And they
16:41
also have a really large
16:41
interest in podcasting. And so
16:43
that's exciting. where things
16:43
get scary is where we end up
16:46
with, you know, a YouTube, where
16:46
if you are a video creator, you
16:50
have to participate in that
16:50
YouTube ecosystem, or else
16:53
you're really gonna have a hard
16:53
time finding any success. Yeah,
16:56
we don't want that same thing to
16:56
happen in podcasting. And so
16:59
while Spotify is executing
16:59
really well and seem to be
17:02
firing on all cylinders, and
17:02
every move they make seems to be
17:05
like, Oh, my gosh, that's so
17:05
smart, and not so smart, not so
17:07
smart, that can be become scary
17:07
if they're the only ones doing
17:10
it. And so I'm encouraged to see
17:10
other, you know, big players
17:12
also making moves and taking
17:12
this platform seriously. And I
17:16
do remain optimistic that
17:16
they'll always be a place for
17:18
independent creators doing their
17:18
own thing. The analogy that I
17:21
was thinking about the other day
17:21
was when blogging started taking
17:24
off. In the early to mid 2000s.
17:24
There was a company that started
17:28
blogger.com, at some point,
17:28
Google was like, hey, blogging
17:32
is taking off. There's this
17:32
blogging platform that makes it
17:34
really easy for people to create
17:34
blogs. Let's go ahead and and
17:37
purchase that. And it was
17:37
probably a smart acquisition, I
17:40
imagine the numbers worked out
17:40
for them. And a lot of people
17:43
joined blogger, a lot of people
17:43
started blogs. But overall, open
17:48
independent blogging was not
17:48
crushed or done away with and
17:54
other tools innovated, and
17:54
presented more opportunities for
17:58
people to have more creative
17:58
control over their blog, and
18:00
what did they what they wanted
18:00
to do with their blog. And
18:03
today, blogger is still around,
18:03
but it's inconsequential in
18:06
terms of closing down
18:06
independent bloggers, what's
18:10
done more damage is things like
18:10
you know, Facebook and tik tok
18:13
and stuff like that that's been
18:13
more harmful to blogs, then
18:15
somebody coming in and saying
18:15
we're gonna control and own
18:18
blogging. But you know, what has
18:18
sprung up in the wake of that is
18:21
like, you know, WordPress, like
18:21
WordPress now, powers 30
18:25
something percent of the entire
18:25
internet, and you could, you
18:28
know, if you were generous in
18:28
your definition of a blog, you
18:31
could say that those are pretty
18:31
much all blogs, the vast
18:33
majority of them are anyway, a
18:33
lot of them are e commerce,
18:35
storefronts and stuff. But
18:35
independent blogging was not
18:39
shut down by Google coming in
18:39
and saying, Hey, we want to have
18:43
a lot of control or a lot of
18:43
power in this space. And, and so
18:47
I'm starting to become more
18:47
optimistic that what Spotify is
18:50
doing, like there could be a
18:50
silver lining on it. So you
18:53
know, after a rough year of me
18:53
struggling with cash, what is
18:55
Spotify, his real intentions
18:55
here, I want to end the year at
18:58
least in this episode on a
18:58
positive note and say, Hey, as
19:01
independent creators, there's
19:01
always options. And we've seen
19:04
stuff like this happen in the
19:04
past with blogging, and it
19:07
doesn't necessarily mean bad
19:07
things. It could mean good
19:10
things. And so I'm gonna, I'm
19:10
gonna end my year and take on
19:14
Spotify and acquisitions and
19:14
everything that happened in the
19:16
space, I'm gonna say, hey, the
19:16
space is growing. It's exciting.
19:19
Of course, big players are gonna
19:19
come in and want to get
19:20
involved. And I think it's great
19:20
for us. I'm gonna say, you know,
19:25
rising tide lifts all boats, go
19:25
podcasting,
19:28  Travis
go podcasting? Well, in
19:28
two specific stories give me
19:32
more optimism towards the end of
19:32
the year, specifically with
19:35
Spotify than earlier in the
19:35
year. That was when the Miss
19:39
Michelle Obama podcast went from
19:39
being exclusive to Spotify to
19:42
being distributed on an RSS feed
19:42
across all the major podcast
19:45
platforms. That was a big shift
19:45
in their strategy. And then also
19:50
with acquiring megaphone,
19:50
megaphone hosts a couple of 1000
19:54
really big podcasts, like, top
19:54
1% top point 5% of podcasts. A
20:01
lot of those shows are on
20:01
megaphone. And so they've
20:03
started shifting back kind, of
20:03
course correcting back towards,
20:08
what if we're just one of the
20:08
larger players in the podcast
20:12
ecosystem. And then we can just
20:12
kind of be the dynamic ads
20:17
monetization middleman for a lot
20:17
of that ecosystem. Maybe that's
20:20
a better strategy than trying to
20:20
shoehorn everybody over to the
20:23
Spotify app. Because, as could
20:23
probably predicted, there has
20:28
been a considerable amount of
20:28
pushback against Joe Rogan going
20:32
exclusive to Spotify from his
20:32
existing audience saying, this
20:36
deal isn't really working out
20:36
for us like this is not as good
20:38
as what we had before, to the
20:38
point where Joe Rogan has had to
20:40
address it on his podcast, and
20:40
say, I hear you guys. But I
20:44
mean, $100 million, is $100
20:44
million. So you know, at some
20:48
point, I gotta feed my family,
20:48
too, you know, might be steak
20:51
every night, but I got to feed
20:51
my family. that I that I killed
20:57
with my bare hands on my private
20:57
ranch I just bought in Texas,
20:59
whatever it is. So it's it is
20:59
encouraging to see that there
21:03
has been some pushback. And
21:03
there has been some course
21:06
correction from Spotify back
21:06
towards the open podcast
21:09
ecosystem, especially in light
21:09
of what we're gonna talk about
21:13
next with podcasting. 2.0. And
21:13
so, so I think, big story,
21:18
mergers and acquisitions happen
21:18
in all industries. It's it's a
21:23
normal part of the company
21:23
lifecycle, right? You start a
21:26
company, it gets to a place
21:26
where you decide do I want to
21:29
get acquired? Do I want to stay
21:29
independent? When does the math
21:32
work out for me to sell, and
21:32
with as much interest has been
21:36
in podcasting, there, were going
21:36
to be bigger players that come
21:38
in and try and buy their way in,
21:38
it would be much more concerning
21:41
if we didn't see any
21:41
acquisitions happening in the
21:43
podcasting space. Right. So the
21:43
2020 was this year of a lot of
21:48
really big acquisitions in the
21:48
podcasting space, I
21:50  Kevin
think is super exciting.
21:50
I would love to see another big
21:53
player jump in, you know, we saw
21:53
some interest from Amazon this
21:55
year getting into podcasting.
21:55
I'm interested to see what they
21:58
want to do. I just hope that we
21:58
don't see more acquisitions
22:02
around locking up content. Yeah,
22:02
I hope that's not the trend that
22:06
continues. We saw a lot of that
22:06
with Spotify this year. I hope
22:10
they find other ways to grow
22:10
their platforms, and gain
22:13
interest in podcasting, without
22:13
locking content to specific
22:16
apps. So I can't think about the
22:16
year of 2020, without thinking
22:24
about podcasts index, and the
22:24
new podcast namespace and the
22:28
work that we've done there, the
22:28
contributions of Adam curry, and
22:31
Dave Jones, bringing a bunch of
22:31
people together in the podcast,
22:35
podcasting space, you know, app
22:35
developers, and podcast hosts,
22:39
and creators. We needed an
22:39
independent third party to bring
22:44
us all together and not look at
22:44
each other as competitors, but
22:46
to say, How can we better this
22:46
industry by working together, so
22:49
they did a great job of doing
22:49
that, and a lot of good things
22:51
have come out of that. So now we
22:51
have a competitive directory to
22:56
Apple podcasts. And again, I you
22:56
know, we said this a couple
22:59
episodes ago, not because Apple
22:59
was doing anything wrong. But
23:03
just because it's always good to
23:03
have a backup of your backup.
23:05
And so podcast index provides
23:05
that. And so Apple has to change
23:09
course, or tighten restrictions
23:09
around their directory, for
23:11
whatever reason, at any point,
23:11
we now have a wonderful
23:14
directory to fall back on that
23:14
can power third party apps and
23:17
discover, give us the ability to
23:17
still have full podcast
23:20
catalogs. And then another thing
23:20
that came out of that was the
23:23
new podcast namespace, which
23:23
Buzzsprout has been very excited
23:26
about. And we've contributed a
23:26
lot of conversations and code
23:29
and have hooked up all the new
23:29
tags that had been finalized.
23:33
They were finalized on November
23:33
15. And we're going to continue
23:35
to invest heavily in what
23:35
they're doing, because we
23:39
believe it's a really great way
23:39
for independent podcasters and
23:42
independent podcast apps. And
23:42
everybody who's operating in the
23:45
space, who doesn't have the
23:45
backing of a huge company like
23:47
Spotify, or massive production
23:47
team or anything else, to be
23:51
able to get new features and get
23:51
their content, express
23:54
themselves in different ways in
23:54
different apps. And so things
23:57
like creator profiles, location,
23:57
information, transcripts, sound
24:02
bites, all that stuff is
24:02
happening through the new
24:04
podcast namespace. And so we're
24:04
excited to be a part of it. And
24:07
that's a huge win for podcasting
24:07
in 2020.
24:10  Travis
Kevin, real quick, can
24:10
you explain in layman's terms,
24:12
what are podcast namespaces? And
24:12
then how tags work? So we're not
24:17
talking about like the tags that
24:17
you can add, when you upload a
24:20
new episode and Buzzsprout we're
24:20
talking about a different kind
24:22
of tags. Right?
24:23  Kevin
Right. So podcasting is
24:23
powered by open podcasting
24:27
anyways, powered by RSS feeds.
24:27
And if you ever looked at an RSS
24:30
feed, it might just look like a
24:30
whole bunch of, you know, code,
24:33
like you step into the matrix
24:33
for a second, but it's actually
24:35
very readable if you just slow
24:35
down and kind of read what's on
24:38
that page. And you'll see things
24:38
like you know, podcast, colon
24:41
title and podcasts or iTunes
24:41
colon title. The standard RSS
24:45
spec has a bunch of elements to
24:45
find and those are like titles
24:47
and descriptions and includes
24:47
your tags, and then it's been
24:49
extended by Apple years and
24:49
years ago, I think in 2004 or
24:53
five, they extended it with the
24:53
iTunes namespace. And they said
24:56
let's add more things
24:56
specifically for podcasters. So
24:59
they added Did you know or tags
24:59
for artwork and tags for
25:02
copyright and tag a couple other
25:02
tags? They added stuff. And then
25:05
they updated that. Just a couple
25:05
years ago, I think in 2018. with
25:09
things like what type of
25:09
episode? Is this a full episode?
25:12
Is it a bonus episode? They
25:12
said, Is this a, you know, the
25:15
podcast overall? Is it a serial
25:15
or is an episodic since you
25:19
know, Apple introduced their
25:19
original iTunes namespace, and
25:21
then they added a little bit
25:21
more to it in 2018. There, it's
25:24
been very slow. And no one's got
25:24
a good job of bringing everyone
25:28
together and saying, hey, these
25:28
are some new elements that we
25:31
need in an RSS feed that let's
25:31
all agree on, as podcasters
25:36
podcast hosting companies and
25:36
app developers, that they would
25:39
let's agree that they're all be
25:39
useful, and let's all start
25:41
using them and building tools
25:41
around them. That's what that's
25:43
what the podcasts index has been
25:43
able to do as an independent
25:45
group, they don't really have a
25:45
dog in the fight. They're not a
25:49
competitive hosting platform.
25:49
They're not an app competing,
25:51
it's other apps. They're just
25:51
saying, because we're
25:54
independent, because we're not
25:54
competing with any of you were a
25:56
good person or entity to to
25:56
bring all of you together and
25:59
kind of moderate this process.
25:59
And so that's what's happening.
26:04
If you look in your RSS feed now
26:04
from Buzzsprout, you're gonna
26:06
see some new tags, like you're
26:06
gonna see podcast call and
26:08
transcript. Well, that wasn't
26:08
there a year ago. And it wasn't
26:11
possible, because we couldn't
26:11
agree all the people who are
26:14
working in the podcasting
26:14
industry couldn't agree on how
26:16
are we going to put transcripts
26:16
into the RSS feed. So having the
26:19
podcast index, moderate that
26:19
process of talking out, giving
26:22
us all the voice, giving us an
26:22
opportunity to weigh in on the
26:24
pros and cons of all the
26:24
different approaches different
26:26
ways we could do it, and then
26:26
leading us down a path to where
26:29
we can agree. and say, This is
26:29
good. This is what we're all
26:33
gonna do. This is the way to do
26:33
it. Let's lock it in. Let's
26:35
finalize it. And that process
26:35
happened on November 15. Now we
26:38
have an official podcast
26:38
namespace. And we have like an
26:41
official transcript tag. And we
26:41
have an official funding tag.
26:44
And we have official soundbite
26:44
tag. So again, none of this
26:48
stuff in 2019, if you want to
26:48
add a sound bite to your RSS
26:50
feed, I mean, you could do it
26:50
wouldn't break anything. But it
26:53
wouldn't go very far either.
26:53
Because no apps could use it.
26:56
Nobody could point to a spec and
26:56
say this is if we want to add
26:58
sound bites to our app, this is
26:58
how we do it. And now we have
27:01
that. So
27:01  Travis
huge progress. Well, and
27:01
the benefit for podcast creators
27:07
is that for the first time in
27:07
quite a while we're moving past
27:13
the features and stuff that we
27:13
as a podcast post can create.
27:16
And now moving into what is
27:16
possible with an audio show?
27:22
Like what can you do to provide
27:22
value engagement, sharing tools,
27:27
with your listeners to make
27:27
their experience better, and to
27:30
make your job as a podcast
27:30
creator easier as well. And so
27:34
in a very short amount of time,
27:34
we've made a lot of progress and
27:37
really transforming what is
27:37
possible with a podcast. And so
27:40
I think 2021 is just going to
27:40
continue to march in that
27:43
direction of really exploring
27:43
how do we fix find stability in
27:48
searchability? How do we fix
27:48
making podcasts accessible to
27:50
hearing impaired listeners? How
27:50
do we fix you know a lot of the
27:54
the hurdles that podcasters have
27:54
to deal with for monetization.
27:57
And as the industry rallies
27:57
around these standards, and they
28:02
become standard, so that it's
28:02
supported by listening apps
28:06
across the board. And by podcast
28:06
hosts across the board. That's
28:09
just going to make the playing
28:09
field that much better for
28:12
podcast creators.
28:14  Alban
I mean, it's the needed
28:14
counterpoint to what Spotify and
28:20
a lot of other companies are
28:20
doing where they're, they are
28:22
controlling the app controlling
28:22
the creation part. They're
28:26
controlling, you know, the
28:26
technology up and down the full
28:30
stack of podcasting. And what
28:30
that allows Spotify to do is
28:34
it's not every month now we see
28:34
some like Spotify is testing
28:39
video slash audio podcast,
28:39
Spotify is testing q&a features
28:42
Spotify is testing a new
28:42
podcasting. I mean, I've been
28:45
doing this been in podcasting
28:45
for six years. And I can only
28:50
think of two times that we've
28:50
ever added new tags to the RSS
28:56
spec Apple did a few years ago.
28:56
And then the podcast index added
29:03
some just recently. And I think
29:03
that this is needed that we
29:08
don't just have a lot of talk
29:08
about, oh, well, the independent
29:12
space could develop this. Well,
29:12
if that's the promise, then we
29:16
need to start delivering on that
29:16
promise to show people the value
29:22
of the podcast industry still
29:22
being open. Or else people are
29:26
just going to say, Yeah, I hear
29:26
all the reasons why I'd probably
29:30
be better that way. But Spotify
29:30
has got this new cool feature
29:34
that I want to use Sirius XM as
29:34
this new monetization feature
29:38
that I want to use. It doesn't
29:38
make sense to me anymore to kind
29:42
of buy into this open ecosystem
29:42
that hasn't really moved
29:45
forward. So I think that the
29:45
podcasts index and what they're
29:49
doing, this was really needed,
29:49
especially if podcasting is
29:53
going to remain open. And I'm
29:53
very encouraged by how quickly
29:59
they've actually been able to
29:59
Get some tags implemented. Tom
30:02
has been a big part of it and
30:02
being involved. But it's
30:05
exciting to see podcast apps
30:05
actually start adopting these
30:08
tags and using them in
30:08
interesting ways. Maybe it did
30:12
take somebody like Spotify to
30:12
come in and say, hey, maybe I'll
30:15
just fix all these problems for
30:15
you. And everyone's like, No,
30:17
no, we could do it ourselves to
30:17
actually get the industry a
30:20
little bit pushed to the right
30:20
direction. So we just rolled out
30:27
a feature that I hope everybody
30:27
appreciates as much as I do.
30:31
Because I've been asking this
30:31
and kind of lobbying for it for
30:34
a while, we have a way for
30:34
people to set up their websites
30:38
on custom domains. So that's
30:38
like a website that you
30:40
purchased off hover. And now you
30:40
have like my podcast website.
30:45
com, if you want the podcast
30:45
website that we build to
30:49
actually be there. One of the
30:49
downsides to that for a while
30:52
was that those were never
30:52
secure, or at least it said, not
30:55
secure up in the URL box. And
30:55
it's kind of jarring for
30:58
listeners, sometimes it's
30:58
actually kind of a negative
31:01
ranking indicator for Google. So
31:01
those sites weren't ranking as
31:04
highly. And while it's really
31:04
nice to brand, your website, I
31:08
know that was turning a lot of
31:08
people off from actually using
31:11
the Buzzsprout website as their
31:11
go to site for their podcast. So
31:17
what we just rolled out, is
31:17
Buzzsprout now is getting SSL
31:23
certificates for all of those
31:23
websites. So that now when you
31:27
go to your website, on my web,
31:27
podcasts, website.com, and the
31:32
Buzzsprout, stuff shows up
31:32
there, it's secure, you get the
31:36
green little lock up in the URL
31:36
bar. And it's really nice, your
31:40
podcast website will actually
31:40
load faster, because it's using
31:43
a different protocol. And you're
31:43
going to rank higher in Google,
31:47
it's a pretty big deal. I mean,
31:47
for me, it was always a
31:50
difficult sell to say use the
31:50
Buzzsprout podcast website, on
31:56
your own domain until that was
31:56
there. And now that that's
31:58
there. I really think like for
31:58
80% of podcasts is probably the
32:05
right way to go. And I'm super
32:05
excited about this feature.
32:08  Kevin
Yeah, it looks like a
32:08
small thing. But it's actually a
32:10
lot of work to get that set up.
32:10
So big thanks. And shout out to
32:13
the technical team at
32:13
Buzzsprout. For getting that
32:15
done, Brian and Tom, john, and
32:15
we another Brian, I think I'll
32:20
touch that project at various
32:20
points. And big shout out to
32:22
Alvin too, because you pushed
32:22
really hard to make this happen
32:24
for all of our podcasters. So it
32:24
sounds small, but it is a really
32:28
big deal. And it should be a
32:28
huge win if you use a custom
32:30
domain with your Buzzsprout
32:30
site. So very exciting update
32:34
for those people using custom
32:34
domains. Which also leads me to
32:38
a user who requested this
32:38
feature while it was in
32:41
development. I want to mention
32:41
James Kirtland has a new podcast
32:44
that we are proud to be hosting
32:44
on Buzzsprout is called pod
32:47
land. You can check it out at
32:47
pod land dot news, which points
32:52
to a Buzzsprout site and it is
32:52
secure. So he does that podcast
32:55
with his buddy Sam Sethi, and
32:55
they do another podcast about
32:59
podcasting. So if you enjoy buzz
32:59
cast, you might enjoy pod land
33:02
as well. So we encourage you to
33:02
check it out.
33:04  Travis
As we're wrapping up, we
33:04
wanted to give you a little
33:06
Christmas goodie, before we go,
33:06
uh, hints and encouragement that
33:11
if you want to unwrap an early
33:11
Christmas present next week, you
33:16
need to be in our Facebook
33:16
group, the Buzzsprout podcast
33:18
community. How do we tell people
33:18
what it is without telling them
33:22
what it is?
33:23  Kevin
There's an exciting new
33:23
feature coming to Buzzsprout.
33:26
And we think it's going to be we
33:26
think it's good. I mean, it's
33:29
it's been a huge undertaking.
33:29
It's a very exciting feature.
33:32
And it's one of those features
33:32
that is super complex on the
33:36
back end. So we need to let
33:36
people in slowly to make sure
33:38
that nothing breaks as as people
33:38
start using it. And so if you
33:42
would like to help us out and be
33:42
one of those early users to get
33:44
access and test things out for
33:44
us, make sure everything works
33:47
as it should please jump into
33:47
our Facebook group, we'll do a
33:50
post there at some point next
33:50
week. Hopefully, if everything
33:52
stays on schedule, and and give
33:52
you early access, we don't want
33:56
to say too much about what it is
33:56
until we till we drop it and
33:59
start marketing it
33:59
appropriately. Only because
34:02
timetables shift. And we don't
34:02
want to set expectations that we
34:04
can't reach. But, but things are
34:04
looking really good. So far, we
34:07
only have a couple of people
34:07
using it. And they are really
34:09
excited about it's very powerful
34:09
tool. So hop in the Facebook
34:13
group to learn more.
34:14  Travis
Yes, it may or may not
34:14
give you more flexibility in how
34:18
you manage your podcast
34:18
episodes, and doing promotions
34:23
of various sorts.
34:25  Alban
I feel like knowing what
34:25
the feature is Travis that was
34:27
probably too big of a hint. But
34:27
uh, yeah, if anyone wants to
34:31
come over to the Facebook group,
34:31
I think that's probably where
34:34
we'll announce it. Or at least
34:34
that's where we'll kind of get
34:36
our next batch of beta users.
34:36
Yeah,
34:40  Kevin
so if you're an early
34:40
adopter, if you like testing
34:42
things if you don't mind having
34:42
access to a tool one day and
34:44
maybe not the next up in over
34:44
there because we need your help.
34:48  Alban
That was it for 2020 I'm
34:48
not gonna miss this year too
34:52
much. There have been some good
34:52
moments. There's been some bad
34:54
moments but mostly more on the
34:54
bad side. On be
34:58  Kevin
positive.
34:58  Alban
I paused It is that I'm
34:58
thankful that it's gonna be
35:01
2021.
35:04  Travis
And on that note, we
35:04
will see you guys in the new
35:06
year. Thanks for being loyal
35:06
listeners and we'll catch you in
35:09
the next one.