James Cridland's PodNews: Your Daily News Briefing

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


➤The Royal Family are in the news again - but Netflix’s latest move into podcasting comes with The Crown ▸, launched today to accompany season 3 of the show. Presented by Edith Bowman, the twice-weekly podcast delves deeper into the stories, with insights from those involved with the show. Earlier this month, the streaming giant launched a podcast accompaniment to Daybreak. (Netflix / Somethin’Else / Simplecast)

There were over 11,100,000 new podcast episodes in 2018. Listen Notes have developed a new “stats” page, looking into their database of podcasts (which appears to include all in Apple Podcasts). 21% of podcasts are hosted at Anchor, and a further 11% at Soundcloud, the results show. (Some great data for any pitching documents!)

What’s up with European podcasting? Mateusz Sójka looks at data and trends for many countries in Europe. A useful look into each country’s adoption of podcasting.

➤“There are so many trash podcasts, and so many people who need to sleep; why not bring them together?” Science supports your habit of falling asleep to stupid podcasts says Vice.

➤Podtrac have released their top 20 US podcasts ranker. The Daily is still #1; NPR have eight shows in the top 20. The ranker is opt-in and not complete.

➤Richard Davies reckons there are five beautiful things about podcasting, including: “Unlike broadcasting, everyone starts at the beginning of a podcast episode.”

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➤Exclusive: With 18 nominations for iHeart-owned shows, how exactly did the nominees for the iHeart Podcast Awards get chosen? Yesterday, an iHeart executive said it was up to the panel of companies who judged the awards. Today, one person on that panel can reveal that this is not true.

➤Apple’s email to all podcasters yesterday contained a set of specifications for host and guest images… which were wrong. We’ve amended the corrected specifications: they want square, 2400px images, not what they originally asked for.

➤Libsyn’s revenue continues to increase, according to its Q3 2019 report. For its podcasting business, Libsyn earnt US $10.5m in revenue in the first nine months of 2019: up 14% from $9.2m in the same period last year. Libsyn has 67,000 podcasts on its platform, and also owns an internet hosting company, Pair.

➤How is Spotify using podcasting? An interesting example is Harmonize, a branded music podcast “from P&G and Spotify”, featuring conversations about conscious and unconscious racial bias. Using interviews with musicians, the podcast launched with a companion playlist on the Spotify platform.

➤The Wall Street Journal covers the rise of programmatic advertising for podcasts, and the concerns it may erode the medium’s intimacy.

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➤Is podcasting replacing radio? New data from Nielsen suggests that it isn’t: their medium and small market edition of their Audio Today Report has just been released. Included in the data: 90% of podcast listeners also use radio every week (that figure is also replicated in their national Audio Today 2019 report released earlier). These podcast listeners prefer news/talk radio, though, over the most popular format in medium and small markets: country music.

Apple has written to all podcasters announcing a major change: you can now hide new shows until you’re ready to launch them: so they won’t be visible in search until you make them appear. They’ve also published their holiday submission schedule and some revised updates to those selected for host and guest images. If you didn’t get it, we’ve reproduced the email for you.

Spotify is now more popular than Apple Podcasts in Equatorial Guinea and in Sweden, say Voxnest. Sweden is a major achievement, partially because Spotify is based there, but also because podcast listening is particularly high in the country.

➤You’ve only got three years to launch a podcast, says Molly Beck of podcast host Messy. Meanwhile, Malcolm Lemmons has stopped podcasting and reckons you shouldn’t start because it’s hard work.

➤The Spark Christian Podcast Conference has published their conference schedule. The event is in Houston TX, USA, on February 21-22, and is organised by podcaster Misty Philipp: Christianity is one of the most popular podcast categories, but the least represented at mainstream conferences.

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➤The UK’s first all-podcast radio station is to launch shortly. Podcast Radio will be available across London, and was announced this morning at RAIN Summit Europe. “We already have a wide variety of podcast partners to provide content and this will be growing over the next few months as we bring on some big names,” says Gerry Edwards, Podcast Radio’s CEO.

Podcasts on Pandora are now available in their website and desktop app. Pandora now boasts “thousands of shows”, using their Podcast Genome Project announced last year. You can listen to Podnews on Pandora if you’re in the US; if not, here’s what it looks like

➤Data: 24% of audio listening is to the spoken word, not to music. NPR and Edison Research’s Spoken Word Audio Report has been released - the survey reveals that spoken word consumption (which includes podcasting as well as speech radio) has increased considerably in the past five years.

➤Using a little music that you know you shouldn’t? Pex, which automatically scans social media for unauthorised use of commercial music, is now automatically scanning podcasts for music. It can identify clips as short as half a second. (Here’s our guide on how to use commercial music in your podcast).

The nominees for the iHeartMedia Podcast Awards 2020 are out. “In addition, the iHeartRadio Podcast Awards will present three Icon Awards to pay tribute to the creators, organizations and podcasts that have made groundbreaking contributions to podcasting’s expanding role in today’s popular culture.”

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➤63% of the world’s smartphones run Android, say ScientiaMobile, however Apple iOS slightly gained over Android in the last quarter. At least 80% of Android users have the Google Podcasts player, if not app, preinstalled; Android users can also use Spotify, Pocket Casts or other apps, but not, of course, Apple Podcasts. (We’ve updated our Google Podcasts FAQ today).

Forever Dog’s comedy podcasts will be on Stitcher Premium first, the companies have announced. Shows will play first on the Stitcher Premium platform, released ad-free and in multi-episode sets: described as “binge-friendly”.

YouTube have released new terms of service, which allow the company to terminate your access if YouTube think you’re “no longer commercially viable”. The company says this is nothing to worry about. We’ve added them to our unusual terms of service section.

➤The BBC and UK pay-TV operator Sky have agreed a new content and technology partnership. The press release notes “The broadcasters are also exploring a range of other partnership opportunities, including the availability of BBC Sounds on Sky and NOW TV platforms”. NOW TV is a rebadged Roku device within the UK.

Podcation 2, an audio fiction creation event, will take place in mid May in Salem MA. Last time, the event was responsible for the birth of Jupiter Saloon ▸. The press release goes into more detail; applications are being accepted until November 22.

➤Transcriptions come cheap - very cheap, according to this contributor, claiming that Rev·com has cut its base rate by a third to US $4.50 per hour, pre-tax. The US federal government has mandated a minimum wage of $7.25.

➤Storyboard, an app for hosting private podcasts, has launched a new Enterprise plan including single sign-on capabilities.

➤Entries for the Publisher Podcast Awards close on November 22. The event celebrates the best in podcasts from media and publishing organisations, and is open worldwide.

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Spreaker Prime generated over $1m of podcast ad revenue in its first three months, according to the company. More than $600,000 went directly to podcasters. Spreaker Prime launched on July 30, using Podnews sponsorship as part of its launch.

➤A study of over 3,000 16-39 year-olds across eight countries in the Asia-Pacific region reveals that close to three-quarters of them listen to podcasts; 40% on a weekly basis. 36% preferred replayed radio shows featuring their favourite personalities, according to the data from Xtra Insights.

➤Entercom CEO David Field gave the prices paid in cash for Cadence13 ($34m) and Pineapple Media ($14m) in an earnings call; that’s below the reported prices at the time. The company, which owns RADIO·COM, has announced that it’s to get onto Bixby voice assistants

iHeartMedia’s digital revenue, including podcasting, rose by 33% in Q3 2019. Broadcast revenue shrunk by 0.6%; and overall income slid by an alarming 24.6% year-on-year.

Triton Digital paid $8.5m for Omny Studio, it was revealed in owner Scripps’s earnings call. Triton Digital revenue is down more than 10% but is refocusing on core businesses. Revenue at Stitcher is up by 41.4%, says the iHeart-owned InsideRadio.

Is Spotify using WebSub? Our Editor dives into our podcast server logfiles to discover.

Fireside, a podcast host, has a number of additional features including dashboard dark mode, shareable videos, automatic episode tweets, and player enhancements.

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