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.


episode 26: Joe Rogan Moves To Spotify (And What It Means For Independent Podcasters) [transcript]

In this episode, we do a deep dive into the bombshell that Joe Rogan will soon be exclusively available on Spotify, what worries us about Podcast Addict getting kicked out of the Google Play store, the new Buzzsprout Transcripts feature, and some of our favorite podcasting tools for taking your show to the next level.

Read the official press release put out by Spotify and Joe Rogan about the new $100 Million deal.

Watch Travis' session from the Outlier Podcast Festival on the Buzzsprout YouTube channel.

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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.


 2020-05-22  59m
00:00  Kevin
The question becomes, like, Well, what do we do about it as independent podcasters. And I think Joe Rogan, ironically enough, has already given us the answer. Joe Rogan, the guy who's just made more money from Spotify, than probably anybody in the history of Spotify. Never had his shows on Spotify. he withheld his content. And he said, No, I don't like the way that you guys treat independent podcasters and artists and you don't pay him well and all this kind of stuff. And he held out he held his content off of there, built his audience independently, used JRE clips on Facebook, and then posted his own podcast audio through an independent podcast host and distributed third party apps and did it that way. And he just got the dump truck full of money.
00:48  Travis
Welcome back to Buzzcast livestream edition number two, we are trying to up our production quality every single time. So last year was kind of a Jerry rigged solution. This is This time we're going full stream yard. Right Kevin, walk us through the setup.
01:04  Kevin
When you say last year I think you meant to be felt like a year. Although
01:08  Travis
all this all this isolation is getting to me. All my years are running together now.
01:13  Kevin
Right? So we're we continue to test live stream and multi stream platforms. This week we are on stream yard. So far, so good. We were testing it took us about 30 minutes to get it so that everyone's mic didn't have any latency and the feedback in our own headphones. This trick there was to turn off the little audio processing checkbox on my side which I was like the main host. And from there, everything seems to be working pretty good. So we're live in our Facebook group. We're live on our YouTube channel, and we are going to record this week's episode of Buzzcast.
01:44  Travis
So what I like about stream yard is that with the last solution that we have, we're using ECAM live, you could not bring in the comments from the different platforms you're streaming to in the same dashboard. So you kind of had to have like a couple windows open all at once and So with streaming error, though, it just brings him directly in so we can see Facebook comments, we can see YouTube comments. And we can do some stuff on the screen. That is pretty cool. Kevin was already showing some comments on the video and kind of highlighting different people. And so that was cool. So it seems like a pretty robust solution. If you want to do an interactive podcast if you want to do a live q&a episode or something like that. We'll keep using it. We'll keep seeing if this is something you want to keep doing. But we will continue to be guinea pigs for you guys. This episode is pretty news heavy, mainly because there's been a lot of really big news especially recently. We're recording this on a Wednesday, yesterday, Tuesday, May 19. The foundations of the podcasting world were shaking, so to speak. And that the news came out that Joe Rogan has signed an exclusive deal to move his YouTube channel, essentially and his entire podcast archive to become a Spotify exclusive by the end of the year. So we have a lot of thoughts about this. Albin, why don't you kind of kick this off? Cuz I know you've been doing a deep dive. You were actually the first person that I knew that kind of broke the news that this was happening. And so what have you heard in the podcasting community so far?
03:17  Alban
Yeah. So I think it's good just to lay out the exactly what we know about the deal so far. So Joe Rogan came out said podcast is moving to Spotify. September by September, they're gonna have the entire 11 year backlog of episodes. That's all gonna be on Spotify. And then by the end of the year, so sometime a little bit before 2021, the show and the video so everything on YouTube will be exclusive to Spotify. And that's a pretty big deal. We're talking millions of views on YouTube millions of downloads per episode. Joe Rogan experience is considered by many to be The number one podcast in the world, maybe not everyone's favorite podcast in the world, but it's definitely the largest, he has the most downloads per episode. So it's a really big win for Spotify to be able to do that. This is coming from somebody who, for years said, you know, it's all smoke and mirrors over there, Spotify, you don't make enough money when you stream with them. And the deal that at least the details of the deal that we've seen, make it like you make a ton of money and you move to Spotify. If you're Joe Rogan. It's a multiple year licensing deal. So Spotify is not buying the Joe Rogan experience. They're just going to be the exclusive provider of the show for multiple years. We don't know how many multiple years so it's more like when Netflix licenses friends than when they create their own show or buy a show. That money side of it is somewhere north of 100 million dollars. I saw the Wall Street Journal posted. And then I've seen another source that said, it's probably going to be closer to 200 million by the time that it all pans out. So it's a lot of money. And it definitely signaling a huge change for the podcasting industry.
05:18  Kevin
One of the things that's really interesting, that's not opinion based, is I think you guys tell me if I'm wrong, because I don't, I don't participate in the Spotify world. But I think this is gonna be their first foray into video. Right? Like as of now, they don't really have any video on their platform at all.
05:35  Alban
Yeah, about a week ago, I think or maybe a couple of weeks ago, they tested some video stuff. And then I'd preacher James Cridland from pod news asked him about it. And they were like, Yeah, well, I don't know. Like, they didn't say anything. And then what and now we know test. They they were testing some video stuff on the platform. And people were kind of like, Hey, you guys gonna try to do video. And now we know starting September, and then eventually, by the end of the year, there's going to be exclusive video on Spotify from Joe. And that's a pretty big deal. You know, I've seen lots of people try to say, hey, they're trying to move into the YouTube space. That's a pretty big hill to climb, but it's pretty, it's a pretty big deal that they're going to do video now.
06:24  Kevin
So technically, what's I imagine what's going to happen is the JRE podcast is no longer going to have an RSS feed doesn't need one. I imagine that we all know who Joe, the JRE podcast is hosted with, it's not going to live on a traditional podcast host anymore, I'm assuming that all that back catalogue is gonna get moved over to Spotify servers. And then they would need an RSS feed, they would just serve it up straight from there. He's probably going to get a lot of promotion within Spotify. So when you launch Spotify, His face is probably gonna be all over as you're browsing. Probably not. browsing music or browsing podcasts, and they're gonna do everything they can to preserve and build the audience for the JRE show. So one of the things that we've talked about before is like, when does a podcast stop becoming a podcast? And that becomes something different. And one of the one of the terms that we use for it at Buzzsprout, as we call them shows like if it's not, doesn't fit our definition of podcast. And so a lot of people have been talking about that in different podcasting groups. Is this still a podcast? Or is it not? It's really, you know, I mean, it can be fun to talk about stuff, it doesn't really matter to the world at large. Most people who are not in the podcasting industry are running podcasting themselves, that doesn't matter to them, what matters to them. Is this something that I listen to? And do I call it a podcast like my children say all the time that I listen to podcasts on YouTube? And again, we wouldn't fit our definition of a podcast, but to them it is. And so anyway, all that to say is I'm not so interested in that conversation. As much as I am, like, what does this mean for the podcasting world? Not the strict definition of doesn't need to have an RSS feed to be a podcast. But what does it mean for this ecosystem of people who are creating audio and video content and putting it out to the world, independent creators, Joe Rogan, even though he's a big name, and a bit of a celebrity, he still is an independent podcaster. Like, he's not going to work for Spotify. He's not an employee. He's somebody who created something on his own. And now he got a really good licensing deal. So I'd still consider him an independent podcaster even though I might not technically say that this is a podcast anymore.
08:36  Alban
Yeah, I think it's valuable to kind of think through what the incentives are for all the parties involved. I mean, on the Spotify side, Spotify forever has really not like the I mean, I doubt they really enjoy the economics of music, the way that the music industry is set up, the more that you stream, the more that the artists makes. And so Spotify doesn't like Because you pay them a fixed fee. And then if you use the app more than they're paying out more money, they would prefer to own the content or have content. They don't pay anybody anything for. And for a long time, that's been podcast, they moved into the podcast space. And everyone was excited, because they were growing the podcasting listener based so much. Everyone wanted to put their shows there, which were the interests were aligned, because Spotify was like, Hey, we don't have to pay for it. But they started late enough that even now when they have really, really good, they get a ton of plays in Asia, South America, a lot of places that are really podcasting is blowing up the last few years. What heavier Spotify usage than Apple usage. But in the States, Apple is completely dominant. And what they're doing is they're actually just grabbing some of these top shows. So they've also bought the ringer they've also bought gimlet they also have an exclusive deal. With last podcast on the left, and a couple one other show,
10:05  Travis
well, they're negotiating with the Obamas as well with their new media network to have exclusive rights to whatever audio they create.
10:13  Alban
Yeah, so Barack Obama is a pretty big celebrity
10:16  Travis
may have heard of them.
10:18  Alban
They, so they're doing all that because you're only really gonna have one podcast player. And if you're one of the like 11 million people that download every Joe Rogan experience, it's not a podcast, it's an experience, then you you're gonna have to flip over to Spotify. And it's another app and you may already have that app because you listen to music. But the whole play is to get all these listeners off of Apple podcasts off of overcast off of podcast addict, you know, whatever app you're on, and into Spotify, so that they really can start to pull this entire industry together. On the Joe Rogan side, I don't see any way that this does not decrease his reach. Now his reach may grow over the next three or four years while he's on Spotify. But it will not grow as much as it was growing or could grow as an independent. The great thing about podcasting and that it's open, is you've got your work, you're growing a world on YouTube, you're growing, your RSS feed, you're growing it in multiple apps, you have all these different places for people to engage. Now that it's locked up inside of Spotify, I probably will not listen to the Joe Rogan experience. I used to go through and download a couple episodes, if there was an interesting guest. I'm not going to, you know, flip over to a new app to do that. So it is limiting his audience. The thing that Joe gets out of it is like a dump truck of money. So that's the real benefit for him.
11:48  Travis
Yeah, and especially when you think about the video element, because they're going to be bringing the video over as well. How many people that watched how many of the 10 million people that watch the latest 11 musk interview on YouTube are going to say, Oh, I want to watch that video interview. Let me go watch it on my Spotify app on my phone. So I think that's really where it's gonna hit him the most because it's more of a shift in your behavior of how you're consuming that content. And then I definitely agree that in the short term, especially, there's gonna be a lot of pushback similar to whenever Facebook rolls out a change to their dashboard or their newsfeed and everybody's up in arms about we want the old Facebook back, and there's all this hubbub and uproar and then three months later, people get used to it. So I definitely think there's gonna be a seismic shift, probably on the order of magnitude of 80% of his audience, not following him to Spotify. And then over time, try and get that back.
12:44  Kevin
Well, there's some parallels right like Howard Stern, moving to XM. What does it Sirius Sirius when used to be XM, right, XM Sirius or Sirius XM Satellite Radio, whenever the kids call it and I imagine I don't have any research on this would be interesting to look up. But I imagine his, his audience dropped dramatically. But it was still a win for him because he got his truckloads of money. And it's still a win for Sirius because they were drawing in enough people of his fan base. Again, it might have been a small percentage of his fan base, but enough to justify what they were paying him in new subscriptions. So I'm sure everyone at Spotify and the Joe Rogan team are smart enough to have worked all these numbers through and it's going to be a win for them. What I think that we need to think about as independent podcasters is what does this mean for independent podcasters? Is this a good thing or a bad thing? As Spotify gets more clout and more exclusive content or dominance in the podcasting space, they also start to have a lot of control and power. One thing that independent podcasters don't see that much that we do see as a host is the number of like Showtime takedowns that we get from Spotify every single week. And so right now, if you produce a podcast, use a host like Buzzsprout. To put it out, there are dozens and dozens of great podcast apps that you can distribute your content to. If you get booted or banned from any one of those, like the smaller third party independent ones, it's not that big of a hit, because your content is still widely available in these lots of other places. Obviously, it's a big hit right now, if you were to get booted or bumped from Apple podcasts because they were the dominant podcast, distribution app and consumption app. But Apple podcasts does not do take downs like Spotify has been doing takedowns Spotify has been much more aggressive in curating the content that they'll allow on their platform. Apple has been very passive. And the same with like Google podcasts and stuff very passive, not very aggressive. Spotify seems to have shown early on that they are going to be heavy handed in how they curate and manage the podcasts and the content that are distributed on their platform, which is a scary combination with how quickly they are becoming a very powerful player in the podcasting industry. So they're buying a lot of content, and pushing a lot of people into podcast content for the reasons that you guys mentioned earlier. Like the, the licensing fees on it are much lower. So they make a lot more money, the more time people spend on their platform, listening to podcast content versus music. And they're just investing a ton of money and growing the podcasting side of their business and now moving into the video side as well. But it becomes scary, right? Because if they don't like what you're talking about, they can kick you off your platform. So if you build your whole audience around what Spotify is doing, there's a huge risk there, right like that you could get I mean, and in the YouTube world, they call it like D monetized, but Spotify is not really monetizing anybody yet. They just will boot you and so that's That's concerning.
16:01  Alban
Yeah. And beyond, like some sort of censorship concerns. There's also when there is a platform, and it's YouTube is the platform for video online. Everything runs through the lens of is this good for YouTube? And so when it's, hey, do we serve up tons of ads in front of the videos? The only thing they're really thinking through is, is this good for YouTube? They're not saying, Hey, is PewDiePie happy with me serving up these ads this way? They're even their top creators. They're not. That's not who they're stressed out about. They're stressed out about YouTube. And if we consolidate the entire podcasting industry into a platform, then the podcasting industry is subservient to that platform. It serves the interests of that platform. And so Spotify will be able to make decisions that are not based on Hey, how do we keep a vibrant ecosystem of you know, different business models in different ways for people to make money in different ways for the industry to grow and develop, they're going to go well, what right now makes the most sense for Spotify. You know, you just think of how much diversity there is, in written content online. It's just built on top of the web browser and HTTP, how different that is, from something like YouTube, or social media that are built for platforms and for their interests.
17:29  Travis
Yeah. And then you couple that with the news that was not so far in the distant past, where they rolled out their brand new dynamic ad dashboard for podcasting, right. And so you can start to see all these pieces come together, where they're not only trying to get exclusive rights to some of the bigger podcasts in the world to try and drive new people to sign up for Spotify, and choose Spotify as their primary podcast listening app. But then they also want to get on the ad revenue side. They want to become the middleman for all the ad revenue in podcasting. And so if you want to advertise, you know, at least right now, Joe Rogan is maintaining his existing ad strategy of doing host read ads, and getting sponsors that way. But you could totally see in the not too distant future. Spotify says, You know what, you're now using our dynamic ad platform. And we're taking a 30% cut, because that's the cost of playing on Spotify. That makes sense for Spotify, if they have all this attention, and all this traffic and all these people listening to podcast episodes, and they have the ability to dynamically target and insert ads to try and get you to spend money so that they can make money. That is a win for Spotify, even at the expense of the entire podcasting ecosystem.
18:51  Alban
Yeah, and that is the only way that this deal makes sense for Spotify. I think it's good to go back to Kevin's example with Howard Stern and serious XM, that when he signed that deal, the whole thing that was in it for Sirius was, hey, nobody really is doing this whole listening to, you know, online, whatever, satellite radio. But maybe if we bring the million people which is about what it was, who listened to Howard Stern every day and make them buy his extra hardware and set this up and get a subscription, then maybe we'll start having a viable business model, because we will bring all that together. And after they did that was when I think they merged with XM. And then they had one single platform. Spotify wants to do that they're not buying Joe Rogan for hundreds of millions of dollars because they think, hey, the 11 million downloads he gets are going to make us so much money in ads that we actually will make it on this deal. It's not a they're not doing that. They're saying we're going to move the 11 million people that listen to Joe every month. off of another platform, onto Spotify. And then when this deal runs out and for, you know, in four years or whatever it will be, they will still be here. And if Joe moves back to his old host and his old feed, even then when he's doing that, it will, they will still stay on Spotify. And then they will have the ability to run dynamic ads around the podcast. And you know, that way they're able to bring everything together. Yeah. So the way it makes sense for them is if their goal is to try to win and try to win so that they can be the middleman brokering all the ad deals in the podcasting space, and all the content in the podcasting space.
20:41  Kevin
Yeah. What happens when these platforms come in and put themselves as a middleman or like a gatekeeper between the content that you want to consume and the actual consumer is that the content becomes very devalued? Because they start to learn who's interested in listening to the Joe Rogan experience podcast, right. And then even if that podcast leaves, we still know all the people that match the demographic profile for listening to that show. And they're listening to other shows or they're listening to other music. So we can still target them the same way. So if an advertiser is willing to pay 30, or $40, CPM to advertise on the Joe Rogan experience podcast, it's not the message that Joe's delivering that the advertisers are interested in his demographic profile of the person who's listening to that. And as long as Spotify has the data to be able to target those same people, even if they're listening different shows, they can sell that same ad at that same CPM to target the same people, even if they're listening different shows, it's the exact same thing that Google has done. And Facebook has done. I mean, Facebook and Google are ad businesses. Right? And if we look back to the late 90s, early 2000s, when independent blogging was exploding, and there was lots of independent publishers like newspapers and you know, journalism journalists who were doing private blogs and stuff. They were creating this amazing content. And they were either selling their own ads, or they were these independent ad networks that would sell ads on behalf of multiple blogs. Right? That's very similar to what we have in the podcasting space right now. We might create content, we put it out on a podcast host, it gets distributed. And then we can work ourselves. We can work affiliate deals, we can contact advertisers, who we think might be a good fit for our show. Or we can partner up with companies like, you know, mid roll, or 19 or somebody who would sell ads, just based on like the number of downloads that we get or specific information about our show. And then they take a cut. But there's these different silos of people who work in these independent spaces in the podcasting industry. And it's exactly what it looked like, in the early 2000s. With blogging, then Facebook comes along and Google comes along and they start saying, Hey, why are you spending $5,000 on that ad on the New York Times website, when I can target the same exact people for you and sell it to For $1, click, wouldn't it be better? And people are like, Yeah, I don't want to spend $5,000 for that ad, if I can just pay you $1 a clinic. That is what has kind of destroyed independent blogs, and the whole advertising space around independent content websites, like in the blogging world, all those people now consume content on Facebook, and they find it through Google. And those people have taken all the revenue. So the people who create the content are not getting the value out of it that they used to, they used to get paid for the work, and they really don't anymore, they get paid pennies on the dollar. Who gets all the money, Facebook, Instagram. They're the same company, Google. Yeah, it's like these conglomerates that come together. And they say it's not they their models devalue the content and devalue the content creator. Because at the end of the day, all that content is doing is attracting certain people. And if somebody comes along and says I can target those same people for you for a lot less money than where the average Because we're gonna spend their money with the people who can get the same ad in front of those same people for less,
24:05  Travis
right, and we're not against dynamically inserted, or a dynamic insertion technology, it's actually really cool the way it works. The reason that we discourage it so much for podcasters is the math never works out in your favor. Like ever. I've never seen a scenario where someone made more money doing dynamically inserted ads, especially if third party services taking a cut of that. versus if you found your own sponsors, promoted affiliates that you believed in sold your own products created a subscription membership like Patreon. There are so many other ways to make more money. There is not a single podcast in the universe that benefits from dynamically inserted ads apart from I just don't want to lift a finger to try and figure this out. You figure it out and just give me whatever nickels are leftover,
24:56  Kevin
right? And here's here's how it ties back. Spotify is that We don't know exactly what deal Joe signed with Spotify, right? He might very well still do host read ads, he might still be able to sell his own ads outside of Spotify, ad network. Or he may not he may have signed that away, it doesn't really matter. What matters is that at the end of the day, Spotify determined whatever they inked on paper to be valuable enough, because they need to draw more podcast listeners into the Spotify podcasting app. As soon as they get that, well, not as soon as the more listeners they get, the more clouds they get, the more that they connect in people's minds. The idea that when I hear the word podcasting, I think Spotify, the more power that they get, right? And so then they get to curate shows they get to say who's in and who's out. They get to say how much adds costs on podcasts, whether it be host read, or dynamically inserted, doesn't really matter. Again, Apple has had a scary amount of power in this place for a long time. Has but never did anything super concerned. So it's not like, I don't want to feel like we're just picking on Spotify or picking on is that they are moving into a very powerful position they have been for the last year and a half, two years. And all the evidence of the moves that they're making don't look like a pretty happy future. They look like what Facebook looks like. They look like what YouTube looks like. And that's not great for independent content creators, because we've seen what these platforms do. We've seen how Facebook has completely decimated the blogging ecosystem, we see that YouTube is has decimated the online video ecosystem, in terms of the number of creators who actually get compensated fairly for the content that they provide to this platform. It's, it's nothing, it's nothing. There are very few YouTubers that are actually making a good healthy living off of just the revenue that they generate straight from the platform. But if you look at like Google stock, they're doing great. Look at Facebook stock, they're killing it. So somebody He's winning here and somebody's losing. And somebody's doing a whole bunch of work to creating all this content. And that's the independent creator. And so I think it's worth thinking about, the question becomes, like, Well, what do we do about it as independent podcasters. And I think Joe Rogan, ironically enough, has already given us the answer. Joe Rogan, the guy who's just made more money from Spotify, than probably anybody in the history of Spotify. Never had his shows on Spotify. he withheld his content. And he said, No, I don't like the way that you guys treat independent podcasters and artists and you don't pay him well, and all this kind of stuff. And he held out he held his content off of there, built his audience independently, used JRE clips on Facebook, and then posted his own podcast audio through an independent podcast host and distributed third party apps and did it that way. And he just got the dump truck full of money. And so I think if you throw your show in there, you're Just another I've said this before, you're another pebble on the pile of giving Spotify the power that they want to win the podcasting space. And none of us should try to win an open, healthy, vibrant ecosystem, we should figure out how do we encourage the growth of openness and, and keep it open and keep it healthy. As soon as somebody tries to win, like that's the opposite of open, they're going to control it, they're going to close it down. It's going to be a walled garden, and you're going to have to play by their rules. That doesn't sound. I mean, that sounds like what happened to blogs, and when Facebook came in and crushed them all.
28:37  Travis
So before we shift gears, I want to park on that a little bit. As far as seriously considering pulling your content off of Spotify. How would you do that? Let's say that you have 30% of your audience on Spotify right now. And the idea that you're just going to shut that off is, you know, can certainly give you some anxiety of I'm just gonna choose To take a moral stand here and lose 30% of my listening audience.
29:03  Kevin
Well, it's not moral. It's, it's a principled stand. And I think everyone should just make their own decision. This is this is I'm speaking a lot. This is my opinions. Alvin and Travis share some of the same opinions. But we haven't had any of the Buzzsprout produce podcasts on Spotify for quite a while. We didn't have them on the beginning. And then they switched the pass through and we said, okay, we'll give you a shot. And then they launched this whole, you know, ad targeting campaign, and we're touting it. And we're like, we don't want our people who are listening to our shows targeted and profiled. So we pulled it back out. Now they're doing this stuff with JRE again, I I don't fault them for making smart business moves. And if I was a shareholder, I'd be very happy because these are smart business moves. But these are business moves that are in the best interest of shareholders, not necessarily my belief independent podcasters. And so it's it's a, I get it, there's always a cost for doing something like if you agree on principle that what Spotify is doing To the independent podcasters. And the future that they're laying out for us is not in, it's not healthy, it's not something I'm super excited about, it's going to cost you something to stand up against that. And it might cost you 30% of your current listeners. But there's still a way to succeed and grow your show outside of that. It might require a little bit more work, it might take a little bit more time, but you can do it. But anything of value, we all know this, right? anything of value is going to cost something. And so that's the question that I think that we should all struggle with as independent podcasters is am I willing to pay the price to slow down what Spotify is trying to do in the podcasting space, and it might be in vain because, you know, just Buzzsprout holding our own podcast out of Spotify, it's not going to change anything. If everybody on Buzzsprout held their shows out, that might make them I make a difference. I mean, Joe Rogan held his content out of Spotify long enough until they were able to fill the truck full of money and Driving over to his house. And so he made a difference. But in the end, he caved. And I'm not saying that I wouldn't if they delivered that same miles but I was very
31:09  Alban
blessed Buzzcast will move to Spotify for 100 billion plus,
31:14  Kevin
I get it. But it's it's something that we should think about. Because if we do love podcasting, we do have our opportunity to make cast our vote, just like when you're voting for someone in political office, you might not think your vote counts. But we know in the grand scheme of things, it does count. We just we have to get a movement behind it. Right. We've got to get enough people who believe the same things that we do.
31:36  Travis
Yep. So I want to wrap up with the sort of five minute Monday episode harkening back to our our now archives show and just give some tips. So if you're listening to this, and you're thinking, Okay, yeah, I don't want to, you know, be a part of supporting what Spotify is building. How do I transition my audience off of Spotify? Well, the first thing you shouldn't do is just take your podcast off of Spotify. So what you should do is spend the next Few weeks next couple of months, saying, Hey guys, word no longer to be on Spotify in the near future. If you listen on an Android app, here are some other apps you can download that are actually better for podcasts listening. And the links actually work in the show notes and those kind of things. And like, teach your audience and show them how to transition off of Spotify. Before before you pull the plug on it. And then the other thing to keep in mind is once you're not on Spotify, it's not like your podcast stops growing, because you're still everywhere else. Spotify right now is still only between 15 and 30% of podcasts listening. So it's not like you're giving up hundreds of millions of listeners. It's just a small fraction right now. And so if this is something you're thinking about, the sooner you pull the trigger, the better because you'll be able to make that shift and then focus your efforts on growing on these other platforms that aren't doing the things that Spotify is doing. So that's the advice I would give if someone is thinking about shifting a considerable number of listeners off of Spotify, but they don't want to lose the audience that they've worked so hard to build. So let's talk about transcripts. This has been a project we've been working on for quite some time actually in the background. We rolled out a transcripts integration with Tammy, was that like a year ago over a year ago?
33:21  Kevin
Oh, yes. Over a year ago, yeah.
33:22  Travis
Yeah, we built transcripts into Buzzsprout. The reason transcripts are helpful is you can take your audio content that you work so hard to make and turn it into a blog post or use it for search engine optimization and that kind of stuff. But to me recently raised their prices, so it became less ideal to use that service. So then we rolled out our own. And we were using we had our own transcripts built up, and we're offering it as a free feature for people to test out. But it wasn't as accurate as some of the other machine transcribes. So Kevin, why don't you catch us up on what the latest iteration of Buzzsprout transcripts is? And why we think in the long run, this is going to be the best solution for for podcasters.
34:12  Kevin
Right. So Travis kind of laid out the nutshell version of what we've been struggling with for the past year and a half or so. And it's come, it's snapped into focus in the past six months, as soon as Tammy raised their prices significantly, it used to be 10 cents a minute, another 25 cents a minute. So that's not a little price hike. That's pretty massive price hike is like, what 250% you have 250% but just crazy, you know. And so we were losing our minds tried to work with them for a long time about you can't just raise your prices that much overnight. they disagreed. And so we decided to shift our focus and figure out how we can make Buzzsprout more flexible to work with different transcription service providers, cuz there's a lot of them and Tommy's a good one, but they the way that they think They're customers for that. I mean, I don't want to rip on them too much. But that's not a nice way to treat your customers is that the more and more customers that were coming to them and finding them, and then they they've raised their prices like that. So there's the good news is that there's other great options out there. And otter was one that really stood out to us. They're machine learning technology. And I guess they actually cut like, technically they call it just speech to text technology was was really great. It was on par or better in most cases of most of our tests than me. Their editor was a nicer editing experience. But again, that the question becomes, are we going to create an integration that locks a bunch of Buzzsprout customers into one solution? And so we want to try to figure out a way like how can we work with the best of breed transcription services, because things are changing so fast, like there's better ones coming out all the time. And if somebody starts, you know, has a breakthrough in technology at leaps ahead of Tammy or otter or whoever else we integrate with. We want our customers to be able to switch to that pretty quickly as well. So and we've had conversations with a couple of these companies. They're all fantastic people and try and do the best work. But it is they're doing a lot of r&d. And so that stuff's expensive. And I get all that. Anyway, where we landed was the idea that you could use whatever service that you want to the integration is still built in. And then we also built in the ability to import audio files. So if you decide otters are the best solution for you right now, we also have a discount code that they offered Buzzsprout users, when you log into your Buzzsprout account, click on Resources, you'll see it on the right sidebar. If you want to sign up for auto for a year, you get 20% off. And then you can use their transcription service for your audio. And then when you're done export a file a txt file and you upload that to Buzzsprout will format it perfectly, it'll look wonderful and your Buzzsprout account, you can then copy and paste that into your blog or anywhere else. And then what building the system has let us do is that anybody else who comes out like who's gonna be the next breakout star in the transcription world, I don't know. It might be transcript to let's say, transcript. whoever they are, they start killing it. No, it's not a real company. Don't Don't try to Google that. But fictional company transcript do launches next month, and they have great files, well, we can just adapt an importer so that you can import their files as well. And so that's the solution that we leaned on for Buzzsprout was that we want it to be super flexible. We believe in transcripts, we believe they're really helpful for your podcast. And we believe that they're important to provide from an accessibility issue, first and foremost. And then as a side benefit of making sure your podcast is accessible, you might also see some better SEO benefits as well. But again, we would encourage you to use transcripts for the accessibility. That's first and foremost. So whether you get an SEO bumper or not, we still think it's important. Now, that said, we understand that a lot of people podcast as a hobby, or as a, you know, something they just do on the side, and finances are tight, and transcripts do cost money. And so you know, don't feel bad if you can't pay for them. And so what we've also added is the ability to manually Create your own transcript. And then you can just copy and paste it in. So you can just open up a word processor and type out whatever you want. Or if you have a friend or somebody on fiber or somebody, if you can find a way just to get your transcripts written out, you can now just copy and paste them into Buzzsprout will display them as transcripts as well. So those are all the reasons that we love it. We think that transcripts are a responsible way to present audio content, like put a transcript behind it, because people who are hearing disabled like that's, that's such that's a bummer, right? Like they want to consume your content, you're creating good content, but we have a disability, they can't consume it. transcripts are the solution to that. And so we think they're really important, we really do believe in them. And we're trying to provide you all the tools so that you have all the options in the world to be able to get a transcript attached to your podcast.
38:49  Alban
Alright, so there's been a lot of news. It's kind of gotten overshadowed a little bit by the Joe Rogan stuff but podcast addict has for the third time in the last six Months been kicked out of the Google Play Store for linking to podcasts. And, you know, there's been a ton of people talking about this. So give a little bit of context of what happened. All the podcast apps generally link out to the websites for the podcast, they list. They don't host these shows. They're just listing them so that people can find them. When the Coronavirus pandemic hit, Google really cranked up their algorithms to check for content that was talking about like fake cures or was just preying on people or were scammy, which apparently have just been a ton. And in doing that, they have started catching apps and saying, hey, you were linking to the scammy website because some podcasts are scammy. And so they kicked a bunch of podcasts out but this is Concerning because podcasts addict is the number one rated and most downloaded podcast player on all of Android. Well, coincidentally not. I mean, maybe not coincidentally, who knows? At the same time, Google has been doing so much more with their own player. The Google podcast player has been gaining a ton of listeners has been doing really well. It's been well received. They've launched Google podcasts manager. They've been doing quite a bit. And so while it may not be nefarious, at the same time that Google is pushing more into the space podcast addict has found themselves kicked out of the Google Play store multiple times for a week plus. So that's laying a little bit of the, you know, groundwork. What have you guys been reading about this? We've been thinking.
40:53  Travis
So I think the thing that that was alarming to me when I when I saw this news was is one, it doesn't seem like Google is playing fair, especially when you consider that they didn't kick their own app out of the Play Store for hosting the same podcast that got podcast added kicked out. But the other thing that makes me think about is, what does a podcast app when you submit your podcast to an app, and they accept it? You know, if you do anything illegal if you play Ariana Grande a songs without permission, like the lawyers don't go after the podcast app, they go after the podcaster because they're the ones that originated the content. And so treating apps like podcast addict, not just as a place that you can go and listen to other people's content, but as the host of the content itself. mean, that has been that has been a conversation with social media platforms like Facebook, like should they be held accountable for videos and stuff that's posted to their platform or not? You know, how do we kind of manage this whole thing with who's responsible for what so that's, that's the part of the conversation that's interesting to me is these larger players, are they going to start making rules for third party apps that are delivering an exceptional product and listening experience that are different than their own rules, you know, for their own advantage? So that was kind of my, my first reaction was, I really hope this isn't what's happening and a precursor to what's going to happen down the road.
42:22  Alban
Yeah, you can understand why they may have gotten kicked out of the store for linking to these the first time. This is anecdotal. But we spend money on Google through Google ads. And I've seen in the last three months, way more ad rejections in a week than I've had in the entire five years. We've been on Google ads. And the reason that's happened is because they are getting so much garbage thrown at them, they had to start filtering it. So this is me trying to spend money with Google and they're still flagging that stuff going and They would flag a video like this and say, oh, it is this objectionable material stuff that is like not even close has gotten flagged for us. So I know that they are catching things that they don't want to catch. Like they don't want, they want us to be able to spend money. And they have flagged that out of an abundance of caution. I so I get that. Like what Travis is saying. The thing that really kind of stings about it is this has not happened once or twice, or three times. It takes forever for it to get resolved for podcast addict. It's not like this is some guy, you know, working out of his basement and he has like two downloads. This is a massive app, at the same time that the Google branded version has not been hit with the same restrictions, or at least. I mean, maybe that they're smart enough that they built the app in a way that it wouldn't get flagged. But unfortunate podcasts attic is not playing does not seem to be playing on an equal playing field because they are not able to look over and you know, they're not able to tap a engineer on the shoulder and say, Hey, man, what do we do to not get flagged by this new algorithm that's running around? You know, banning apps?
44:16  Kevin
Yeah, I don't do you guys know when they ban it from the store? It doesn't like pull it off of everybody's phone who'd already downloaded it, right? No, it just prevents new down. Yeah,
44:24  Alban
it only stops the new downloads. But podcasts addict and writing about it on line. They've said like this takes a week to get back in a week in the podcast industry right now, when you're the number one app in Google has a app that is quickly catching up to you is devastating. That's not like, Oh, that was a little bit of an inconvenience, like we actually got, you know, Buzzsprout actually has built other apps in the past. If one of those apps got kicked off for a week, it wouldn't have been the end of the world have been very frustrating. But this is like the critic moment for podcast addict. And yet they are spending weeks talking to bots on Twitter. I mean, literally, they're talking to the Google the Google Play. Support. You're on Twitter. And it's just a bot responding saying, how's your question been resolved? And they're like, No, please, for the love of God, get me back in.
45:19  Kevin
Yeah, we know that pain. Google is terrible. When things go wrong. It's like impossible. We pay for Google Apps for email addresses. And our support email box. This was like six months ago, support email box just got locked. They just like not look something suspicious going on, we're locking it. So we have thousands of customers who are trying to email us and you know, questions or help or whatever they want to talk to us. We can't get emails. It's It's insane. And it's frustrating. I don't know what the answer is. I mean, the answer for us is we're gonna find another email provider. You can't just go find another Google Play to distribute your app on. And you can't just port your app from an Android app. iOS like that's like, you know, a massive amount of work. And I get that developers who want to specialize in one platform. It's just unfortunate same thing does happen on the apple side. And their Apple iOS developers who have had the same stories about their apps getting rejected and constantly or pulled from the store for certain reasons. It's, it's, it's part of what you sign up for when that's the business that you're going to go into. I don't think it's a good part of it. I don't think Google's doing it intentionally. But they've got you know, hundreds of thousands of apps in their store. And they've got to build some rules and some logic, and sometimes that logic fails. And it does look bad, especially the same week that they launched a competing app. So if you're an Android user, and you haven't checked out podcast addict, please go try to find them and download them. And let's try to help recover from being half the Google Play Store last week. Let's bump those numbers. Tell your friends podcast addict. Good luck, guys.
47:00  Alban
All right, so last week was the outlier podcast festival. These are a lot of festivals that used to be done in person and now are being done online. And one of the people who was asked to speak was Travis. So you know, like we normally do, and one of us gives a talk, we kind of wanted to run through a little bit about what Travis talked about. So Travis, you want to give us a little bit of an idea of what your show or what your talk was about? And maybe give us some of the high points?
47:27  Travis
Yeah, for sure. So it was it was fun, actually. So I enjoyed it. It was one of those things that like at the last minute, we were given the opportunity to do this. And I was pumped about it, cuz I love doing these kind of things. And so my talk was 10. Ish, because I ended up talking about more than 10 tools to really level up your podcast. And the reason I really enjoyed doing it is because I experiment with all kinds of tools all the time, just trying to figure out how do we make our Buzzsprout shows better, how to, you know, we teach tools and do tutorials and stuff on our YouTube channel. So I was able to go back through and think, Okay, what are the the 10 ish tools that I would recommend to somebody if they were like, Okay, I have a little bit of money to invest in either growing my audience growing, you know, the production value of my podcast, or even branching into some monetization strategies, what would you recommend? And so that was kind of the the framing for this talk was these are pro level tools that are kind of beyond the entry level or the beginner stage. Once you've really committed to your podcast and you're ready to level it up. What should you do? And so I divided it into a couple different sections. The first section was tools specifically for helping the audio quality or the production value of your podcast episodes. And so one of them the first one that I got to mention was Hindenburg. Hindenburg Journalist Pro is the audio editing software that Kevin initially got me hooked on, and now I can't I can't go back I can't go back to a world before Hindenburg because I just love the software so much. And essentially what it is, is, it's all the pro level features that you would get in Logic Pro X, Adobe Audition, Reaper, which are like music studio quality audio editing platforms. But unless you're mixing, like a Kanye West album, you don't need 90% of the features that are in that software. So Hindenburg says, Okay, we're gonna take all those awesome features that podcasters need. And we're gonna put it in this really intuitive interface. So you can make great podcast episodes, even if you're not an audio engineer. So that's why Hindenburg Journalist Pro is so great. I've also found myself saving a lot of time editing episodes. So my editing flow has sped up just because of the way the interface works and how intuitive it is a really appreciate the attention to detail there. And then you couple that with the Publish feature, which allows you to push your final episode straight from Hindenburg into Buzzsprout You can even run it through magic mastering, which is our newest feature we just rolled out. That's all one motion now. So instead of it taking 30 ish minutes to do the mastering and using a third party app like Al phonic and uploading it and all that kind of stuff, that's two to three hours a week, or a month of my time that I get back now just from using Hindenburg. So that was one tool that I got to talk about. Another one that I talked about was squad cast, which is the long distance remote podcast recording software that we really like that we recommend. We're not using it for this episode, because we're using stream yard to do the live stream. But when it's just the three of us, and we're doing our episode, that's our app of choice. We love squad cast, love what they're doing over there. And then as far as growth strategies, some of the tools I talked about were not necessarily the tools that you would think of. So one of them was overcast ads. So a lot of people when they think oh, I'm gonna start running ads to promote my podcast to grow my audience. They think about Facebook Think about Google. But the problem with those kind of platforms is you're trying to shift someone's behavior, like 180 degrees. So on Facebook, it's like, Hey, I'm catching up with my nieces and nephews at their birthday party. Oh, there's that funny, you know, stand up comic that's now everywhere. Oh, and here's an ad telling me to go listen to 45 minutes of podcasts conversation, like this is really hard to get people to shift into that frame of mind. And so with overcast, you're able to promote your podcast directly to people that are listening to a podcast. So it's like in the act of listening to their favorite podcast, your podcast shows up as something else that they can check out. And so we've had a lot of success whenever we use overcast ads to promote our own podcasts, just paying like, you know, between one and $3 per subscriber. And so it's really cool that you're able to track that and see your podcast grow. So if you have some money to spend on ads, we think overcast is probably the best way to do that. And then as far as you know, just marketing your show and continuing to put your best foot forward. So when you do Promote your show people stick around, we talked about the importance of making a good first impression that when somebody shows up to your podcast, if you have lackluster podcast artwork, then that's going to tell them that their their podcast episode is probably going to sound as good as their artwork looks. And so if you have some money to really plus up your artwork, that's a fantastic investment to grow your audience long term. And the service that we really like is 99 designs. Because it's tailored for people that aren't graphic designers, and don't necessarily know what they want the artwork to be at the end. So that's those are the two things that I really like about it. Because the way that sites like Fiverr, or Upwork, or some of these other sites where you connect with a graphic designer to do work for you, is you basically kind of already need to know what you want. You need to find a designer that can do that work at a high level. And then there's a lot of back and forth and there's no guarantee at the end that you're gonna be happy with what you get. So there's a lot Have risk on you shelling out money to hopefully get something that you like. But with 99 designs, the way that they do it is they really shift the focus more towards the designers coming up with their concepts. And then you're choosing between 40 5060 different designs. And so we've done it twice for our own podcast, we did it with how to start a podcast, we recently used 99 designs for podcasting q&a for that new artwork. And we're really happy with both of those. And the investment that we made was on par with what you would give to a professional graphic designer anyways. And so it was nice having all these different options to choose from and be able to iterate on so. So we really like 99 designs if you're looking to really step up your podcast, and then the the newest monetization platform that we've started encouraging people to check out and see if it's a good fit for them is popcorn. The reason that we like popcorn, is that is not because they're necessarily doing anything that makes sense. You know, hosts read ads crazy lucrative, but they make it really easy to connect with kind of the mid to lower tier sponsors, right. And so typically, when you're trying to do a sponsor or negotiate with an ad network, you have to have a lot of downloads, you need to be connected to a podcast network that's negotiating hundreds of thousands of downloads to get access to these sponsors. And if you don't have that, let's just say that you have 50,000 downloads an episode, and you're trying to reach out to the sponsors. Well, who do you talk to who is actually making the decision to spend money on podcast ads, so popcorn just kind of takes all of that really simplifies it. So brands and companies will say, Hey, we have this products. We're trying to promote it on podcasts of all sizes. If you think you're a good fit, send us a proposal. And so you're able to directly apply and you're able to really be creative about how you incorporate it as well. So you can say I'm going to do a pre roll ad where I talked about it for 30 seconds at the beginning of the episode, I'm going to review your product and Then 30 minutes talking about it, or I'm going to interview your co founder and have them on as a guest. And then at the end, encourage people to go check it out. So there's a lot of different ways to that you can negotiate your own value as the content creator, to potentially get a more lucrative sponsorship deal. And in the cut that pot cat popcorn takes is actually relatively small compared to what you would see with these matchmaking services, which typically range between 30 and 50%. I believe popcorn is 10% or less. So if that is something that you want to push into doing host read ads and try to find sponsors, then that's that's a platform that we have our eye on that we think has some upside.
55:39  Alban
So one of the questions we got over on YouTube was, where's the episode of the top 10 things to grow your podcast? Where is this? You know, where is this talk living Travis and how do we get access to it?
55:52  Travis
So we're recording this on Wednesday, May 20, at 4pm Eastern Standard Time, on Wednesday, May 20. That That talk will go live on our YouTube channel. So you'll be able to watch it there. In addition to that, if you want to go and watch some of the other outlier talks, because there were a ton of really great sessions, you can do a pay what you can sign up to get access to the entire vault of all the recordings. And so I think for as little as $5, you can get access to, you know, some really great people, some really fantastic experts in the podcasting space, sharing their thoughts and how to really grow your podcast. But if you just want to see my talk, my little 28 minute spiel, it'll be on our Buzzsprout youtube channel later today.
56:34  Alban
All right, awesome. Well, thanks, Travis. That's, uh, you know, I we love all these festivals and all these days that people are putting together we're not able to hang out in person, but there's a lot of cool podcasting festivals. There's some more coming up in the next few weeks. So if that's something you're interested in, keep an eye out. And, you know, I think we're ready to wrap this episode.
56:58  Travis
We are we are indeed. So if you're listening to this and you have not yet joined the Buzzsprout podcast community on Facebook, you are missing out because we just have a fantastic group over there. And we're always sharing tips and things that we're learning and doing Facebook Lives like this. And so if you are looking to connect with other podcasters if you are looking for a community that can help you and partner with you as you grow your podcast audience, that is a fantastic group to be a part of. And if you haven't yet, gone over to pod chaser and left us a glowing five star review telling us about how we're your favorite podcast. You can do that simply by clicking the link in the show notes. And and we reply to every single one of them. So which is also a really cool part about chaser but that is it for the recorded portion of the podcast. If you want to join the q&a, then in two weeks, you'll just have to be aware that we will be doing these live. And so check Facebook, check YouTube to jump into the QA and yeah for all of you guys that are live right now. After we wrap the episode we will jump into your questions but for everyone Else. Thanks for tuning in, and we'll see you next time.
58:07  Alban
All right, so this week, or last week, there was the outlier podcast festival. A lot of these festivals have gone online that they used to do things on purpose or in person.
58:20  Travis
Just hit restart on that.
58:21  Kevin
I like dub dub dub dub. That whole segment.
58:24  Alban
All right.