James Cridland's PodNews: Your Daily Briefing

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Acast release their financial results for last year. Revenue doubled for the Swedish podcast company, and it grew to having 110 employees. The company claims 1.3bn listens over the year.
Meanwhile, Netflix shares have plunged after they said they have 130,000 fewer US customers.

➤Matty Staudt, iHeartMedia’s VP of Podcast Programming, is leaving the company to become President of Jam Street Media, a new LA based podcast company focused on podcasts for brands, talent coaching, and consulting for businesses entering the podcast space. He’ll be working with Jessica Navarro, who joins Jam Street Media from Mark Wahlberg’s Unrealistic Ideas. He’ll continue hosting iHM’s Access Podcast ▸.

Sarah Geismer is announced as Head of Creative Development & Production at Crooked Media. Geismer, formerly of Netflix, will lead development for all of Crooked Media’s active and upcoming podcast, television, and film projects.

➤Tweaks for apps and services include podcast app Breaker, which is adding integration with Bullet to produce shareable audio clips for social media; the Pocket Casts app is advertisingin WNYC Studios podcasts (thanks, Kristofor!); podcast host Spreaker’s trim and crop toolhas been improved; remote recording service Squadcast suggests that it will soon be supported on iOS and iPadOS; and Dropbox now has integrations with transcription services.

➤We linked to a New York Times article a few days ago, which promised we’d “reached peak podcast”. How did the article go down? Not well. Try this critique from Air-nandez for starters; and thank you Larry Gifford for adding: “It’s the podcast equivalent of the time I had a clever name for a restaurant and an Easy Bake Oven, and quit after 6 days because I didn’t earn a Michelin star.”

➤Spotify is keen for more Spanish-language podcasts. Mia Nygren, director of Spotify for Latin America, has published a short video, the ABC of making podcasts on Spotify, on Forbes México. She also said that there are now 250,000 podcasts on Spotify.

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Audioboom’s revenue is up by 171%, the company announces today, revealing its financial results for the first half of 2019. The company says it’s growing four times faster than the wider industry, and on the way to profitability. 88% of Audioboom’s revenue comes from the US market, but it also says it’s successfully growing its UK business.

Westwood One release its “Podcast Download - Spring 2019” report, with new data about how people discover and listen to podcasts. It reports that podcast ads are least likely to be skipped (in comparison to TV, radio, print or online); and 31% of new podcast listeners do so because they’ve heard them advertised on the radio.
What’s one of the fastest-growing advertising categories on traditional AM/FM radio? It’s… podcasting. 106 podcasts advertised on the radio in Q1 2019. Just 11 did in Q4 2018.

➤In the UK, the Young Audio Awards announce they are returning for 2020. Young people aged 8 to 18 who are involved in radio, podcasts or audio projects can enter.

AdsWizz and Tapad announce a partnership in the US and EMEA to enhance advertising targeting. “The Tapad Graph enables marketers to identify a brand customer or related household across multiple devices,” says Tapad’s website.

Podcrypt has had a number of releases since we saw it last. It’s a multi-platform podcast player that allows you to listen to podcasts and optionally donate back to podcasts automatically, using crypto-currency.

➤As there are more places to go for your podcasts than ever before, Nielsen release research on the fragmented US television market. The company reports that 18-34 year-old viewers took an average of 9.4 minutes flicking through menus and channels to work out what to watch next. “Think about how much more engagement content providers and platforms could achieve if they took out the guesswork.”, the post adds.

➤Psst. Want a unique podcoaster? Find your unique link at the bottom of Podnews’s email newsletter, and share that with others to be one of the first to grab one.

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Apple plans to make its own exclusive podcasts. Bloomberg reports that Apple has “reached out to media companies to discuss buying exclusive rights to podcasts”. It’s initially unclear what this means for the iTunes API that many other podcast apps use, or, indeed, for Android users.
For an indication as to how important podcasting is for competitor Spotify’s investors, their stock price fell by 3% following the news.

➤The folks behind Single File ▸ have released their podcast as… a cassette. In the comments, we learn many others have been released as a “USB tape”, a USB key that looks like a cassette.

➤US sports network ESPN is to launch a morning podcast; it’s to start in early October. The company have also said that their podcast users have grown 10% year-on-year.

➤Jack Rhysider has published four ways to check the popularity of a podcast. One trick is to use Castbox, he says, which shows both total subscribers and total downloads of a podcast.
As an aside, Castbox lets you claim your podcast, and add your social media and other links to it. Here’s us. Search for your podcast and hit the “claim” button.

➤Spotted - pocinaudio, a searchable database of people in colour involved in the audio industry.

Podyssey has announced a new curated playlists feature. “Now you can simply share your Podyssey profile with friends and they can see all your different lists!”

Will increasing your bitrate mean more listeners? Libsyn’s Rob Walch wrote a piece back in 2016, backed by data, and mentioned in The Feed ▸ this week. Surprisingly, Rob points out that WTF ▸ with Marc Maron is encoded at just 40kbps (at a sample rate of 22.05kHz).

Southern California Public Radio has launched LAist Studios, which “will focus on developing podcasts on issues specific to Los Angeles” CA, USA.

➤Anchor has written how listeners can support podcasts by their friends and family - a good post to surreptitiously share.

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Podcasts are getting shorter, so says podcast host Megaphone, who looked at the top 200 (US) podcasts, and offer the advice to “start shorter than your first instinct tells you to”.
We’ve updated our guide to how long a podcast should be, which contains more data on ideal podcast length.

➤Stagepass, a company that allows podcast hosts and other creatives to increase their income by selling tutorials, retreats, sessions and other experiences, has announced a partnership with Blubrry, a podcast host that supports over 100,000 podcasters and shows. Blubrry’s MacKenzie Bennett calls the partnership a “refreshing new take on monetisation”.

➤Steven Goldstein has an interview with Westwood One’s Pierre Bouvard, highlighting how people are changing their habits when it comes to podcasting.

➤Podtrac has posted their top 20 (US) podcasts for June 2019. The data is opt-in and proprietary (nothing wrong with that, though); in the top 5, based on US unique audience, iHeart’s Stuff You Should Know ▸ has overtaken This American Life ▸.

➤Jamie Perkins writes an opinion piece about how much they love RSS, the technology that makes podcasting work.

➤On 3 June, we reported that Tim Ferris had dropped advertising, moving to a subscription model. Last week, he reversed that decision. “Many of my assumptions were totally off,” he says.
A data point from Tim Ferris: “The podcast passed 400 million downloads a month ago”. We presume that’s 400 million downloads ever.

➤The True Crime Podcast Festival took place over the weekend in Chicago.

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➤Exclusive: There’s been a significant increase in one-star reviews in Apple Podcasts since 1st July, according to analytics company Chartable, which tracks rankings and reviews across a number of podcast directories. Of the most one-voted, four of the top ten shows are true crime podcasts, including the #1.

Obscura ▸ had over 663 one-star ratings by Sunday (without a review). A number of those ratings still appear in the US store at the time of going to press.
Not to worry. Ratings don’t count for the Apple Podcast trending chart. Apple Podcasts is only used by 50% of podcast listeners anyway.

➤Fireside is changing its stats to better align with the IAB standards, it’s told its customers in a newsletter. The company tells us it’s currently considering IAB certification.

➤The open-source podcast directory gPodder is looking for a new maintainer before the end of the year. It’s integrated into several podcast clients.

➤“This Podcaster Is Charging His Guests $275 Per Session, and They Seem to Love It” covers mürmur ▸, from Uluç Ülgen. You also get a Turkish fortune-reading thrown in. Hidden in the story: landlords got concerned with the amount of strangers he had visiting to guest on his podcast, and he was thrown out - twice.

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