James Cridland's PodNews: Your Daily Briefing

➽From podnews.net, your complete daily briefing for podcasting and on-demand. Subscribe to get the full newsletter free.


➤Our story yesterday about the BBC blocking its podcasts from Google Assistant and Google Podcasts has got significant coverage from publications like Voicebot, RAIN, ShortMag, RadioToday, and NU·nl. We also hear that French pubcaster Radio France have done something similar, though they’ve not responded to our questions.

Journalist and futurist Ben Hammersley, who coined the word “podcast”, tweeted that “this seems to be insane”. Dave Winer, who added the concept of enclosures to RSS feeds, and thus is held by many to have invented podcasting, also tweeted a link to our story, highlighting the BBC’s requirement for a licence and user data. Juleyka Lantigua-Williams tweeted that the BBC are “setting a bad example and a dangerous precedent, especially for smaller producers like me. RSS feeds are the most democratic way to keep podcasts accessible and manageable.” Francisco Izuzquiza likens it to shooting yourself in the foot before going for a walk, though he doesn’t think it’s bad news for the industry as a whole. And we liked Jonathan “JB” Webb’s alternative headline: BBC says “Not OK, Google”. Top marks.
➤Meanwhile, the European Union’s new Copyright Directive, to be voted on this week, could make it illegal for podcast apps to link to podcasts (or anything more than a “snippet” of text) without a licence or payment; and hard for podcast hosts to effectively operate without large fines for copyright infringement, and a filter for uploads.

➤StreamGuys have announced support for RAD across their platform. RAD is NPR’s podcast analytics technology; Podnews itself already tags our podcasts with RAD tags.

➤Language-learning company Babble has signed Voxnest as the exclusive distribution partner for Babbel’s first US-based podcast, “Multilinguish ▸.”

➤Apple has released iOS 12.2, which displays episode numbers more clearly in the Apple Podcasts app. We’d recommend you use the episode tags - they’re good for accessibility. Meanwhile, Apple announced a lot of things yesterday including a new credit card and a Netflix imitation; there was no news about podcasting.

➤The makers of S-Town ▸ have failed in their bid to dismiss a lawsuit claiming they exploited the story of John B McLemore .

➤Radio World, an industry publication, carry seven myths that broadcasting believes about podcasting.

➤Player FM is keen that we all know that it does not want to be 'the Netflix of podcasting’. “Podcasts were born open and we’ll play our part to keep them open”, says the podcast app.

➤Read More: Click Here


➤The BBC have blocked access to its podcasts by Google; and BBC podcasts are no longer available on Google Podcasts, Google Assistant, and Google search. Our special reportnotes that this may herald the beginning of the end of free and open podcasting.

➤68% of podcast listeners believe that the medium contributes to their intellectual growth. A new podcast app called NoteCast allows listeners to capture snippets of podcast conversations as digital notes, and lets them annotate them further. Developers EX-IQ are gold supporters of Podnews this month.

➤Listening to podcasts on Amazon Alexa isn’t always a great experience. GearBrain writes up better ways to do it on your smart speaker.

➤A new podcast app, Podcrypt, enables you to “automatically or manually donate to verified podcasts based strictly on time listened”: the service uses crypto currency. Podnews is here on this service, and our Ethereum ID is in our main description as requested.

➤Stitcher have announced a raft of new podcasts. Joining the network is actor and comedian Aasif Mandvi (“The Daily Show”); husband and wife duo Devale and Khadeen Ellis; and Bill Nye, the science guy.

TranscribeMeow is an iOS app to help podcasters transcribe their podcasts “right meow”. It’s here.

➤Congratulations to Morris Wheeler, who is Hubbard Broadcasting’s new “Manager of Corporate Podcasting Strategy”.

➤Read More: Click Here


➤If a podcast is too long, two-thirds of weekly podcast listeners do return to a podcast later and continue listening when they have more time, according to a survey of radio fans. 21%, though, say they never come back. (Here’s our advice).

➤Dan Misener looks at two years of the Apple Top 200 Podcasts and discovers a number of trends, including more “Society & Culture” podcasts. (Here’s how the Apple Podcast Charts work).

➤Caution: a company called Planet TV Studios is approaching podcasters with the promise of coverage on FOX Business, a US cable channel. It sounds flattering: but don’t waste your time - they want US $28,000 to highlight your podcast, according to one podcaster who contacted us. If you’ve $28,000 to burn on an average of just 149,000 viewers, at least support Podnews too.

➤Stitcher’s CEO, Erik Diehn, was interviewed about the benefits of podcast advertising by Yahoo! Finance.

➤Anchor has added analytics metrics to its mobile app, so you can even check your download numbers on the loo bus.

➤What’s the difference between radio and podcasting? Podnews’s Editor, in his weekly Radio Tomorrow piece for an Australian radio industry website, points out that podcasters want to help each other. [Even podcasting’s newsletter writers tolerate each other!].

➤Read More: Click Here


➤Google is prepping a web version of Google Podcasts that works on desktop and on iOS devices: and the player is already live. Here’s our podcast in Google Podcasts - on (any) Android phone, it opens the pre-installed Google Podcasts player as normal, while on iPhone or desktop, it now opens a web player. 9to5Google reports that it also syncs playback position to your Google account (and you can ask your Google smart speaker to “resume my podcast”). Still work in progress, it lacks any search, a method of subscribing, downloads, or a front page as yet.

Since these new links are entirely backward-compatible with the old ones, and even now are better than the previous dumb versions, we’ve updated all our links from our podcast pages to point to this new player. Just search on Podnews for your favourite podcast, and click the Google Podcasts link.
Our take: The availability of a capable web player, which works with Mobile Safari, may mean an iOS app for Google Podcasts is imminent. It should also mean that podcast links appear in all Google searches, not just Google searches run from Android devices. The web view also fixes compatibility issues with the Samsung Browser and Opera on Android devices too. This is all big, and good, news. 

Here’s an FAQ on Google Podcasts, and our availability page shows how many podcasts are on the platform (essentially, virtually all of them).

➤The RAIN Podcast Business Summit was a few weeks ago in New York; the website now contains audio from all of the individual sessions.

➤Mind the gap. Rebel Base Media worries about the gap between indie and “big” podcasting, and wonders if it’s a cause for concern.

This Sunday is #shareyourbudssunday, an opportunity for you to share your favourite podcast with a friend. Spread the word!

➤A new vertical podcast app has launched: bitcast·fm is a social podcast app, allowing you to tag, clap and share your favourite bits of tech podcasts. Also, Podbean has updated its app: it now works on Apple Carplay.

➤By default, our voice-activated servants Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Siri are all female voices. Q wants to change that, and have developed what they call the world’s first genderless voice.

➤Read More: Click Here


➤Australians love their smart speakers: 29.3% of all Australians have access to one, which is the highest percentage in the world - beating even the US. Google Home has dominant market share of over 68%; and 55% of Aussies use their smart speakers for podcasts. New data from Voicebot·ai, who released its Australia Smart Speaker Consumer Adoption Report 2019

Patreon is launching new payment plans (for new creators only) in May, including a simpler way of joining the service.

HotPod 200 is out, covering burnout and the Gimlet union. Congratulations to Nick Quah for 200 editions of his “comically lengthy newsletters” (his words).

➤We listened to iHeartRadio Podcast Channel AM 1470, the company’s new AM station in Allentown PA, USA. And we quite liked it, so we reviewed it. (And in audio).

➤Jacobs Media is, once more, bringing the radio industry to Podcast Movement with their now well-known Broadcasters Meet Podcasters portion of the conference. One of those broadcasters that goes is Cumulus, who own the Westwood One Podcast Network. Last year, it earnt US $12.5m “in profitable podcasting revenue” according to CEO Mary Berner.

➤In new data, Nielsen say that 19% of US adults listen to podcasts every week. Edison Research’s recent Infinite Dial says 22% of US adults listen weekly; the two independently researched figures look close enough to us, and both look excellent news.

➤AMillionAds, a clever dynamic ad spot company, has opened a New York office and announced new hires.

➤Anchor has produced, with training company SkillShare, a free introductory course on podcasting.

➤Want a decent press kit for your podcast? Copy this one for Han and Matt Know It All. It’s got everything a writer needs to write about your podcast. As seen below.

➤Read More: Click Here


➤Our Editor, James Cridland, has written an opinion article called Podcasts - what Apple should do next: three simple steps to stop the decline of Apple Podcasts and help podcasters.

➤The Google Podcasts Creator Program has just opened its second round of applications. It “seeks to increase the diversity of voices in the industry globally and lower barriers to podcasting.”

How you can make the most of podcast advertising, by Suchandrika Chakrabarti, was part of a Future of Advertising supplement in The Times last week, and has now been published online. All the contributors to this article are excellent, especially the second one quoted.

➤Podcasts are great for people who have difficulties seeing properly. But making sure that your podcast website is accessible is important too, says Robert W Kingett. (It’s also a legal requirement in many countries).

➤In a statement, Libsyn says its podcasting revenue grew by 30%, and in total the company earned double the amount of revenue year on year: earning over US $22m. The company has $11m in the bank. Congratulations to them. (Cough)

➤We note that podcasts on iHeartRadio have been marked up using OpenGraph as videos, and appear within a Google video search.

➤Rejoice! We have another Netflix for podcasts - an app called Brew is looking at a $5/month subscription. “Brew pays its creators based on their number of unique listens”. They’ve raised a total of $400,000 in a funding round.

➤Sean Clements would like you to clear your throat.

➤Read More: Click Here

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