Blubrry Presence at NAB and A PowerPress Import Tip



Thanks to Blubrry team member, Shawn Thorpe, for being on the show today. Last episode he provided a PowerPress tip and we talk about another important PowerPress clarification this week. Todd and Mike will be going to NAB, the National Association of Broadcasters, this week April 24-28. Todd will be on a panel about podcasting and radio, and Mike will be enjoying the show. This means he’ll also be unavailable for phone support, but email will still be up and running. We also briefly discuss the changes from iTunes Podcasts to Apple Podcasts. Thanks for listening and subscribe to the show!

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review, here!

Show Notes:

4 Steps Newbie Podcasters Should Follow For The Best Possible Launch



On the blog last week, we discussed RSS feed best practices. But while that post contained great advice for intermediate to advancd podcasters, newbies may want to take a few minutes to understand just exactly what happens when they publish an episode to make sure they aren’t missing opportunities to get their show in front of the largest possible audience.

Here are our best tips from Blubrry CEO Todd Cochrane:

  1. Subscribe to your own show. “If you’ve done that, you can save yourself some pain and embarrassment by checking to see if your show episode shows up in your favorite podcast app,” says Cochrane.
  2. If you haven’t done #1 and you load the podcast listings in iTunes, Stitcher, or any other app to realize that your latest episode isn’t there, keep this in mind: those sites periodically check your show listing and update it. If you’re lucky, that happens within a few hours, but if you publish infrequently it may be up to 24 hours before the episode shows up.
  3. When you subscribe to your own show, most apps actually subscribe you to your feed that you initially submitted to iTunes, Google, Stitcher, Blubrry etc. So while your subscription will update immediately, the other sites will get around to you at some point. Today the Apple Podcasts directory is pulling 325,000 feeds every 3-4 hours, and sometimes they get behind.
  4. It’s really important that you keep your image art in compliance in both image pixel size and in keeping the image smaller than 500k in size. Not doing so will handicap your show’s ability to be updated. Note: your ID3 Album art does not need to be the same spec as the Apple show art. The larger the physical size of the album art embedded in your mp3, the longer it takes your podcast to start playing, explains Cochrane. “All of my episode art is 600×600 .jpg and under 100k, plus the smaller episode art saves you space with your hosting plans.”

It really comes down to some proactive management to keep your show thriving and your anxiety level low.


Apple Rebrands iTunes Podcasts to Apple Podcasts and PodcasterPro® by Adam Curry



In the third episode of Your Podcast Todd and Mike go over some breaking news — Apple has rebranded iTunes Podcasts to Apple Podcasts. Apple Rebrands iTunes Podcasts to Apple Podcasts. They also talk about Adam Curry’s new device for podcast production, some topics around advertising, slow feeds, rebranding your show and even an listener question.
Thanks for listening and subscribe to the show to be the first to get new episodes every other Monday.

News:
Apple Rebrands iTunes Podcasts to Apple Podcasts
– Adam Curry’s – PodcasterPro®
Podcast Movement – Anaheim CA  August 23-25th
For a discount on tickets, use promo code: “blubrry” for 10% off!

Topics:
– Advertising deals – Medical related, and military related.
– Slow, aka cheap hosting service and RSS feeds.
– Sequencing your show in a methodical way.

Listener Question:

from Michael Harren
“Hi gents!

I’m really loving what you’re doing with “Your Podcast ” I’m already a big fan.

Your last episode made start questioning something I have recently started doing in an effort to get my podcast to as many ears as possible.  My podcast lives at mikeypod.com which is a self-hosted WordPress site and I happily use powerpress. A couple months ago I decided to also upload each new episode to soundcloud and mixcloud thinking that if I am clever with my tagging on those site, I might get some new listeners who would then follow the link back to my site.

Now I am starting to wonder if that is not such a good idea after all — do you have any thoughts about this? Am I shooting myself in the foot by taking attention away from my own website?

Thanks and keep up the great work! I’m so grateful for everything y’all do at blubrry!”

Tech:
Rebranding or changing services? You must do it in a particular order to keep your subscribers.
1. Keep your old site/domain alive for a while (30 days is good for most situations).
2. Move your media — if needed (PowerPress has import and migration tools built in).
3. 301 redirect your old feed to your new feed.

If your current service will not 301 redirect your feed, then double post to the new and the old feed for 4 episodes (or 30 days) with an announcement in the old feed saying you are moving and where you are moving to. You must keep both services running for that time to be sure to get most of your subscribers to move.

See: Migrating to Blubrry

To ask questions or to comment on the show, contact Todd and Mike here: yourpodcast@blubrry.com


C’est Cool! Blubrry/Rawvoice Featured In French TV Special



Très bien! Earlier this year, the French cable TV channel Cable Plus produced a program on podcasting – and naturellement, Blubrry staff were asked to appear on the program as experts in the industry. At the 5:28 mark, MacKenzie Bennett, Services and Affiliates Coordinator at Blubrry, describes how Blubrry/Rawvoice provides statistics and demographics information and why they are so crucial for monetizing a podcast – and her interview is dubbed over in French, bien sûr.

Watch this well-produced programme below!


Go With Your Gut For Your Podcast



Michael Harren, composer, performer and — most importantly for this show — podcaster is this week’s guest on the PowerPress Podcast. MacKenzie and Michael discuss the big release of S-Town, his show MikeyPod and Vanitycasting. If you aren’t familiar with the latest NPR show that broke records or know the term Vanitycasting, you’ll get an overview of both in the show.

Michael has been podcasting for more than a decade and tells his story of how his show has evolved over time just as he has. It’s a great episode discussing the possibilities of podcasting. Stay tuned for the PowerPress tip at the end of the episode as well. Thanks for listening!

Fan of the PowerPress plugin? Leave a review, here!

Show notes:

S-Town and Binge Listening
Michael Harren – MikeyPod
Don’t Waste Time Vanitycasting – Check out the Family Guy clip at the end
PowerPress Tip segment music via Matthew Sams – thanks!


The Genesis of Blubrry’s “Own Your Own Podcast Feed” Credo



Here at Blubrry, we have a long history of encouraging podcasters to retain control of their own feed. Simply put, that means that your feed should look something like yoururl.com/feed – NOT yourpodcastservice.com/yourpodcastservice.xml.

Controlling your own podcast feed allows you to take it with you easily should you decide to change podcast service providers, and also protects you against outages or other problems that might occur with your feed provider.

But some might wonder how and why Blubrry arrived at this approach when other companies in the podcast services community advocate controlling the podcasters feed. Following is Blubrry CEO Todd Cochrane’s story, explaining why he took and Blubrry adopted the philosophy of Your Show, Your Brand, Your feed.

“In October of 2004. when I launched my show, I was using MovableType. There were some hacks used to get the feed podcast-compliant. At the time, it truly was a technical challenge, and a lot of folks across a variety of systems were hand-writing their feeds or using rudimentary software tools. In mid-2005, around the same time that Apple opened up Podcast support on iTunes, the folks at FeedBurner – which had been around since 2003 – updated their service to support all of the newly announced iTunes tags.”

Podcasters who didn’t have an easy way to implement those tags or create their own feed ran to Feedburner, says Cochrane. After all, it was an easy fix to what was, at the time, a difficult problem.

But “The geek in me screamed “No!” because, at the time, podcatcher software applications – which are largely extinct today – ruled the roost as the top podcast download and consumption tool,” explains Cochrane. “This was in the iPod days – no iPhone – so in our shows, we promoted our RSS feed in every episode as a primary way to subscribe. Promoting geeknewscentral.com/podcast.xml was a lot easier than promoting Feedburner as the place to sign up for my show. Everyone was very sensitive to their feeds, as a lot of directories launched then and made the mistake of not including shows’ sources feeds in the directory listings, which they often had to quickly correct as the outcry of podcasters was fierce.”

But all the while, Cochrane was producing his show and building his brand while growing a dedicated following around his site where he also fed listeners extra content including daily blog posts and special content surrounding events he attended. So it made no sense, he realized, to hand over his brand to a totally different company that could potentially dilute his brand or possibly control or cause delays in content delivery, like what happens today on FeedBurner.

And sometimes, putting your feed in another company’s control can lead to unexpected consequences. “When we launched RawVoice/Blubrry, and then later PowerPress, we had already witnessed podcast services going out of business and the podcasts that relied on their services, leaving podcasters and their audiences high and dry. I told our team that no matter what, we never want to put any of the users that use our tools or services in that position.”

As a result, the company has built a menu of services and products that allow a podcaster to build their podcast and brand as well as control their feed to exist and thrive independent of Blubrry. “Today Blubrry could cease to exist, and folks that use our tools would only need to find new hosting and stats,” explains Cochrane. “Customers would never lose their show, brand, feed, or audience.”

“It is a core part of the philosophy of this company that we fundamentally believe a podcaster should own and control his own intellectual property. This includes a .com, site, feed, brand, etc. Sure we have some customers that use a Bubrry.com provided RSS feed for their show, but that is less than 1% of our business and usually only when they have very special publishing needs. 99% of our customers own their stack and rely on our tools to power it. We believe if we are providing superior tools, service, and support that we will be rewarded with subscribers using our services.”

Recently, says Cochrane, a few naysayers in the podcasting community have asserted that Blubrry is trying to scare folks into using their own feeds. That’s not true, he asserts. “Our company fundamental beliefs is the genesis of how we developed this philosophy. With 65,000+ podcasters using PowerPress alone we know that our message resonates with a lot of creators out theirs. Podcasters need to weigh their options before launching a show, and if they decide to take control of their brand after launching with another service, we are here to help them.”

While Cochrane realizes he has a fundamental difference in philosophy from other podcast service companies, he believes Blubrry still offers the best possible services and products for those in the podcasting community. “I think our philosophy is a best practice for podcasters. While other services out there are doing interesting things, as a podcaster, first I want to make sure I control my stack top to bottom and use cool tools I so choose and not be limited by any service provider.”


Radio Professionals: Learn From Blubrry CEO Todd Cochrane at NAB Show 2017



The annual NAB Show, where professionals in the fields of media, entertainment, and technology learn, network, and expand their skills, returns April 22 – 27, 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This year Blubrry CEO Todd Cochrane will speak on a panel specially geared toward radio professionals, helping them make the best success of their podcasting efforts.

The panel will help radio professionals create more effective and profitable podcasting programs, answering questions like:

  • How do 2017 podcast download numbers compare to previous years, and what might this mean for radio stations?
  • What is the download reach of the top podcasts in iTunes?
  • How have the IAB’s new podcast metric guidelines impacted podcasts?
  • What are the different platform, OS and device distribution shares?
  • What current trends in podcasting will continue to grow?
  • How can radio benefit from podcasting?

The panel “will also give radio professional insights into how their peers are leveraging the talent within their stations to create the content that they do so well, to build new revenue streams and reach audiences that have shifted to digital media consumption,” explains Cochrane.

There will be an open Q&A to round out the session, so be sure to come prepared with questions.

The session will take place Wednesday, April 26 from 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM in room N253. For more information on the session, click here. Or, take this opportunity to register for the NABShow.


Google SEO Announcement for Podcasters – Your Podcast



 

In the second episode of Your Podcast Todd and Mike go over some general podcasting tips – including a lesson learned from Mike — current news, and lastly tech topics. If you’re not using PowerPress yet but are interested in ensuring SEO for your show, read the Google announcement below and consider updating your website. Thanks for listening and subscribe to the show to be the first to get new episodes every other Monday.

Tips

  • Do not update or let your computer do any kind of update before a recording with someone else. (Mike was on his laptop with a USB headset this episode due to NOT taking this advice).
  • How recording your podcast live can help you become a better podcaster.
  • Editing pros and cons – how much do you edit? 
  • When should you update your show’s artwork?

News

To enable SEO in PowerPress: Feeds Tab — Check the box ‘Include podcast feed links in HTML headers’ — Save Settings. (Make sure you are in advanced mode in PowerPress to see the Feeds tab) 

This is another example of why it’s good to have your own website be where your RSS feed comes from.

Tech Topics

  • Subscribe links – how to populate them (PowerPress and Generator).
  • Why you should be asking people to subscribe to your podcast, rather than saying “Find us in iTunes.”

To ask questions or to comment on the show, contact Todd and Mike here: yourpodcast@blubrry.com


Is “New and Noteworthy” Really The Podcaster’s Pot of Gold?



For many new podcasters, getting added to iTunes’ “New and Noteworthy” section is the Holy Grail. While there is a lot of conjecture about the exact number of downloads and reviews a new podcast needs to amass in the first few weeks after launch to make it to the N&N list, mysterious strategies seem to have allowed shows with less than 100 downloads and just a couple of reviews to make it onto the list. The mystery surrounding the New and Noteworthy list seems to hold new podcasters hostage, with marketers selling “guaranteed” strategies to land a show on the list and podcasters feeling like failures if they don’t make it.

But are there any tried-and-true strategies for landing on the N&N list? And how important is it, anyway?

How It (Really) Works:

All podcasts that exist in the iTunes directory wind up in the “new” part of New and Noteworthy, explains Angelo Mandato, CIO of Blubrry. “There are about 10 thousand rotated through that section, and they’re ranked based on download and play popularity on iTunes itself.” But while “they say” you can stay in the “new” section for 8 weeks, he explains, the truth is a little trickier. “There are 1,200-2,400 shows added each week to iTunes, and they rotate through. So if it’s been 5 weeks and 1,200 shows were added each week, you’ll still be in the new list – but if they added 2,400 each week, your show rolls off New and Noteworthy sooner. It’s not set by time, but how many shows are added at a given time.” That means that if your podcast’s category happens to be seeing a lot of action right now, the chances of your show making it to the top of the list or staying on it the full 8 weeks will go down.

And when it comes to the Noteworthy part of N&N, Mandato explains, it’s out of your hands. “Podcasts in the “Noteworthy” part of New and Noteworthy are hand-picked by Apple staff, and you cannot influence that,” he says. “For example, around the Stanley Cup playoffs, Apple staff may pick 2-3 hockey podcasts to appear in New and Noteworthy.” Of course, putting out a high-quality, consistent show will make it much more likely your show will catch Apple’s eye. And there are other strategies you can employ, says Mandato, such as having a few episodes already published when you launch and then promoting hard so you can raise your show’s visibility. But there’s no “formula” that can ensure that your show appears in the Noteworthy section – it’s more about overall cachet and timing.

Why New and Noteworthy’s Prominence Is Dying Down

While newbie podcasters still covet that prized N&N recognition, Mandato points out that changes in the way podcasts are consumed has greatly reduced its overall effect. “In the iTunes desktop, the New and Noteworthy section was the first thing someone would see when navigating into the podcast portion of the app. That’s why in the past it was rather fortunate to be in the top of New and Noteworthy in particular categories,” he explains. “Today, though, the mobile app has the bulk of podcast consumption, and the mobile podcast iOS app does not display New and Noteworthy unless the user navigates into it. Usually folks navigate into the search or directly into their current subscriptions.”

The Bottom Line

When it comes right down to it, your podcast’s success will be determined much more by long-term effort than any get-big-quick schemes. “Getting on the New and Noteworthy list is great for ego, but there’s very little – if any – long term-gain, in my opinion,” says Todd Cochrane, CEO of Blubrry.

So what’s an ambitious new podcaster to do? While getting on the N&N list might be a nice temporary boost, publishing a quality show, doing plenty of listener outreach, and being consistent and patient will yield much better results over the long haul.

And just as importantly, don’t forget that iTunes is in itself a search engine. “Users rely heavily on searching for podcasts, so it’s important that you have a search strategy for your podcast,” says Mandato. It’s important to note that web SEO and podcast SEO are two very different things, and that using the free PowerPress plugin will help you maximize both.

So there’s the bottom line. Focus on quality, publish consistently, and put the bulk of your efforts into strategies that will help you over the long haul. That way, if you land on the New and Noteworthy list, it’ll be just a nice perk – not your show’s make-or-break strategy.

 


‘Infinite’ insights and ‘Your Podcast’



Mike Dell of the Blubrry team joins MacKenzie on the PowerPress Podcast to discuss the 2017 Infinite Dial Report, an annual study released by Edison Research and Triton Digital that shows the latest information on digital media consumer behavior. Mike and MacKenzie chat about a certain statistic that stands out this year that you’ll for sure want to know about.

They also discuss the new Blubrry show, Your Podcast featuring Mike and Todd Cochrane, RawVoice and Blubrry CEO. The show focuses on how your podcast should be in your control — tune in to learn more.

Lastly, CIO Angelo Mandato stopped by to talk about the difference between web and podcasting SEO, specifically in PowerPress.

Quick note — We will be changing our release day after this episode to Mondays. Look for PowerPress Podcast episode 42 on Monday, April 10.

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review, here!

Show notes: