James Cridland's PodNews: Your Daily Podcast & On Demand Briefing

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


➤Podnews’s podcast pages, which are really only there to allow us to give a simple link to any podcast, are responsible for 40% of our website’s page impressions - and, judging by our analytics, are used by many people who never use us for anything else. Normal podcast listeners, in other words.

Our pages - here’s an example for The Daily - contain links to “listen elsewhere”, as well as three additional big obvious and official links to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.

The “listen elsewhere” icons are appropriate for your device - so if you try looking on an Android phone, we’ll not give you Apple Podcasts, for example. We also link to some web players, where it makes sense to do so.

We were curious. Where are people clicking? Where are they going?

Above is the answer.

Google Podcasts is easily the most-clicked button. This may be because Podnews has contained Google Podcasts buttons for some time, and many people use our pages to test their appearance in Google; but it may be because most podcast websites never link to Google Podcasts.

Apple Podcasts is next, with a total of 20.2%. During this test, we showed Apple iTunes for desktop users. (We don’t now show it for Mac users).

In a surprise, the RSS feed is next: with 15.1% of clicks. This is a high figure: We’ve always considered RSS feeds to be too geeky for podcast listeners.

Spotify is the last big destination, with 9% of clicks.

➤Exclusive: Listener support platform Supercast has announced it’s achieved $2m in seed funding. The company has also announced a new CEO, Jason Sew Hoy, who joins from 99designs. In a personal blog post, Jason says “what really grabbed me was the passion economy movement and realizing just how big an opportunity most podcasters are missing.” The company will be using its investment to hire a remote team.

➤What podcast buttons should you have on your website? The Apple Podcasts button, obviously - but what other ones? We have some data from our own website - and it seems to uncover the need for at least one button we bet you don’t have.

➤A PRX Podcast Privacy Symposium is taking place today in New York NY, USA. They’ve posted a list of stories to read on the subject. We’d have loved to have been there; they’re not streaming the event, but apparently we can watch #podcastprivacy on Twitter.

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Edison Research have released a top 10 podcast ranker, from its Podcast Consumer Tracker subscription product. The ranker is the top ten podcasts in the US by reach among weekly podcast consumers. It’s based on 4,053 online interviews, making it the most robust reach-based study we’ve seen. Joe Rogan is #1, with This American Life at #2 and The Daily at #3.

➤Acast are opening two new podcast studios in Surry Hills, Sydney. The studios are free of charge for Acast publishers.

Factory Studios have opened The Podcast Lounge in central London: for studio hire and access to their creative team.

➤Andrew Yang, a former US presidential candidate, is to launch a podcast.

➤Paul Bae has announced he is to produce two original fiction series for Spotify. Meanwhile, music website Digital Music News dialed up the pressure on Spotify’s bootleg podcasts problem. “One cannot help wondering how much longer the world’s largest music-streaming service will stand by while criminals flagrantly violate the law,” the website says.

Aaron Dowd has joined Podcorn. He was previously “Customer Success Lead” for Simplecast.

➤Pinecast, a podcast host, was down for some users over the weekend.

➤Peter Jussila posts about his experience with paying to advertise his podcast on Instagram. “We ended up paying $13.83 per new follower - and we got zero visits to our website from the promotion”.

➤Hubhopper, which we discovered was copying and republishing RSS feeds, promised us they’d removed all their copied RSS feeds on Feb 13. It turned out they hadn’t - a number of copied RSS feeds on their platform were only removed over the weekend after we asked why they were still there. “Any and all duplicate feeds that were unintentionally exposed have been removed”, says an email from “Team Hubhopper”; but then, they said that last time.

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➤Podcast advertising works better - with listeners 34% more likely to buy, according to a new white paper from data marketing company Claritas. That increase in 'conversion lift’ is just 2.6% for other advertising like print and live TV. The paper also says that coupon codes and “vanity URLs” miss the majority of actual conversions.

➤Podcast descriptions are probably more important than you think. Our podcast pages already highlight short ones (and notes you should probably make them a little longer); Dan Misener from Pacific Content examines the art and science of podcast descriptions: how they look in different browsers, their average length, and what you ought to include.

Bootleg Podcasts Are a New Frontier for Unlicensed Music on Spotify, claims music website Pitchfork.

➤Those exciting plans from Apple to make their own podcasts? Bloomberg, who started the story in the first place, now say they’re just to promote their TV shows. (Last year, our Editor wrote some ideas for Apple: none of which were “make some content”).

➤The news bulletins are taking over the rankers: Podtrac has published their top 20 podcasts for January. NPR News Now ▸, a five-minute news bulletin mainly driven by smart speakers, is now at #2; Fox News Radio Newscast ▸ is a new entry at #20. Podnews reported on Feb 6 that Sky News’s News Bulletin, which is not available as a podcast at all, is #2 in the Australian Podcast Ranker. (Podnews is also available in your daily news briefing settings).

Spotify for Podcasters has added a method of highlighting a trailer for their new-look show pages: it appears to correctly choose the episode that is marked-up as a trailer for Apple Podcasts. (To set yours, go to Your Dashboard > Catalog > (Your Podcast) > Details)

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Spotify podcast listeners prefer comedy - Apple podcast listeners prefer news - according to new research from German podcast companies Zebra Audio and Podigee. News podcasts are 23% of Apple’s downloads, but just 8% of Spotify’s plays. Apple and Spotify are virtually the same size in the country, according to the research, which is also analysed by NiemenLab.

➤Media Monitors has released a list of the top 25 podcasts as measured by audience recall: with, of course, Joe Rogan at #1 but other, more niche, podcast also appearing. iHeartMedia has the most podcasts in the top 100. (While the research was conducted independently, Media Monitors is owned by iHeartMedia).

➤Data: globally, we bought 44.7% more smart speakers in Q4 2019 than we did in Q8 2018. Amazon had a global market share of 28.3%; Google 24.9%; Apple just 4.7%.

Podchaser has added bookmarks, subscriptions, and a dashboard. The service, which includes a database of podcast host and guests, has also announced a look at Democratic presidential candidates. Pete Buttigieg has appeared on most podcasts (that is, if you ignore Joe Biden, who has a podcast but doesn’t actually appear on it).

Acast has added PBS NewsHour to its network of partners for podcast monetisation. PBS joins the BBC, CBC, RTÉ and RNZ, and also publishers who use more than three initials.

➤No, the podcast 'gold rush’ isn’t over. In fact, podcasting’s golden age is just beginning, says Esther Kezia Thorpe, in direct contradiction of a more pessimistic Digiday piece we linked to recently.
“One of the things that we all have gotten asked lately is this: ”Have we reached 'peak podcasting’? To address that, I shared a finding from the latest quarter of our subscription product, the Podcast Consumer Tracker, which we recently delivered to our subscribers. Between Q3 and Q4 of 2019, amongst the top 15 podcast networks, 10 of them gained reach, and three stayed the same. Just two lost reach, and that by just a percentage point. To me, that’s not an industry that has reached peak anything. The pie continues to grow, and there is plenty of room to add audience, and yes--add podcasts.” — Tom Webster, Edison Research, in an email
CNN has announced a new dedicated CNN Audio division. Hires include Lisa Namerow (ex Pandora); Daniel Kantor; Megan Marcus (CBS) and Ashley Lusk (WNYC).

➤The NAB Show in Las Vegas is going ahead, in spite of worries about the coronavirus.

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➤Irish broadcaster RTÉ has launched The Nobody Zone, a true-crime story set on the streets of London. But In a first for the company, it will be available in five languages: English, Danish, Spanish, German and the Irish language. The Nobody Zone ▸ is a co-production with Third Ear Productions in Denmark, and is published on Acast.

Spotify has redesigned its podcast show pages. Show “trailers” are now given a prominent position at the top of the episode list (so, we’d recommend recording one); it also adds category browsing buttons. (This appears to be rolling out - we see it on iOS, not yet on Android.)

“In a new Spotify for Podcasters feature, creators can now directly select which episode they want to feature as a trailer on their show page.” - we don’t yet see this feature; but it does appear that Spotify does not use the iTunes 'trailer’ type, since our trailer isn’t yet appearing. We’re over here on Spotify.

➤Staples have built some new stores, called Staples Connect, in the state of Massachusetts - and each of these new stores have podcast studios. Spreaker is working with Staples to offer discounts for all Staples Connect Podcast Studios users.

➤The Listen In Podcasting Conference has confirmed its headline speaker. Sarah Koenig is the host and co-creator of the award-winning podcast Serial ▸. The conference is on Jun 25 in downtown Los Angeles CA, USA. Tickets

➤Nick Quah weighs in about The Podcast Academy. “There is a way to approach this cynically: give up trying to fully represent the podcast universe as a whole and instead build the buzziest possible coalition … But the involvement of founding member PRX in particular, which has historically advocated to preserve the open nature of podcasting, suggests that such a bottom-line strategy isn’t in the cards.”

➤The Horse Radio Network is celebrating posting over 10,000 episodes ▸. The podcast network, which has been in operation since 2008, includes a daily morning show, Horses in the Morning, which is now at 2,400 episodes.

I just listened to this podcast is a weekly podcast recommendation newsletter for women. Why women? “Because there are host of topics about women’s health and women’s issues (fertility, egg freezing, health, gender quality) that aren’t covered by the most popular podcasts (e.g. Tim Ferris, Joe Rogan, etc) and we want to make sure women know that there are resources for them.”

➤There are five stages of the podcast listener journey, says Alice Ko, who explores some of the ways to help audiences discover, listen and evangelise your podcast.

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