WARNING: Your Service Provider Could Go Under. How Will You Protect Your Podcast?



Soundcloud, primarily a platform for streaming music, also gained popularity several years ago as a place to host a podcast. But public statements and rumors of cancellation of salary reviews is another sign that all is not well and SoundCloud may not be around much longer. If the company folds, it will be just one in a long line of podcast service providers to disappear – often without much warning, leaving their customers high and dry.

What will that mean for podcasters who currently use SoundCloud? Here at Blubrry, we worry about podcasters who’s podcast feed is tied to the service. If they pull the plug with short or not notice a lot of podcasters will be left high and dry with no way to redirect their podcast feed, migrate their data, and have a seamless transfer. Some shows on the platform have their sole presence there with no external website which would mean the death of their shows. Whether or not SoundCloud gets desperately needed funding their last round was a loan, it’s wise to protect your podcast starting today. Follow these three simple tips:

  1. As a podcaster, it’s vitally important that you own and control your own feedThis protects you in the surprisingly-likely case that your podcast service provider suddenly disappears or experiences an outage. (It happens more often than you might believe, and can occur without warning.) At Blubrry, by using PowerPress on your own website you control your feed. That means that if we disappear one day or simply experience an outage, your feed is still controlled by you – period. And when you control your feed, you can host your media anywhere you want. Check out our step-by-step tutorial that offers specific instructions for migrating your podcast from SoundCloud, Libsyn, PodOmatic and more. Blubrry continues to advocate owning and controlling your whole stack and providing tools that make podcasting possible while not imposing our branb on your shows.
  2. Back up your media files. Hosting files can disappear without warning, and no, a copy on your hard drive isn’t exactly a secure backup plan since they can become corrupted or even lost. Use a cloud-based backup system to give you extra peace of mind. After all, you don’t want to lose that content you worked so hard to create. Having a backup can protect you from a podcast hosting providers demise and allow you to get your show back online quickly, so long as you control your podcast feed.
  3. Make sure you own your brand, not just your show. Without the ability to direct your listeners to your own branded site which you control, you could lose your audience overnight. “The concern I had from the beginning with SoundCloud is their constant desire to send people to THEIR app to listen to our content,” explains Zack East, Digital Media Manager at Midwest Family Broadcasting in Benton Harbor, MI, who recently switched his radio stations’ entire podcast catalog from SoundCloud to Blubrry.  “Even when we embedded players in to our website content, they still wanted people on mobile devices to go to their site instead. Blubrry allows us to keep our listeners on our websites, easily able to listen, download, subscribe and follow our content and gain new fans! “Many podcast services companies seem to care more about using your listeners to their advantage than in helping you build a successful brand of your own. Here at Blubrry, we’ve always been focused on helping podcasters find, reach, and retain their audiences. We make it easy to develop your own brand with PowerPress Sites, an all-in-one podcasting and website solution. With account levels ranging from basic and free to pro, there’s nothing keeping you from having a customized and branded website of your own so that no matter what happens in the world of podcasting, your listeners stay yours always.

 


The Next Track and Apple’s RSS Feed Tags



Big thanks to Kirk McElhearn and Angelo Mandato for being on this episode of the PowerPress Podcast. Before the discussion about new rss feed tags, they start the episode talking about some of Apple’s announcements from WWDC earlier this month as well as the show that Kirk co-hosts, The Next Track. His podcast dissects how people listen to music and has featured many well-known authors, artists and music lovers. They have lots to say on the topic of preparing for your podcast, so if you’re looking for advice and what to do before you start your show, make sure to listen.

Angelo was kind enough to explain the technicalities of Apple’s new RSS feed tags that will be in PowerPress very shortly, and work well with the new iOS Podcast App release in the fall. Be on the lookout for a release of PowerPress very shortly. Thanks for listening and be sure to subscribe to the podcast!

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review, here!

Show notes:

Apple Podcast Statistics Info
Will Apple Fix the Podcast Statistics Issue?
The Next Track
Preparing for and Launching Your Show
Eight Rules for Effective Podcasting


Podcast Statistics 2017: Will Android Continue To Gain Market Share While Apple Slips?



A quick look at Podcast Statistics 2017. Here at Blubrry, we take statistics seriously and devote a large portion of our time and resources to tracking the trends that affect you as a podcaster. As of May 2017 we measured over 50,000 podcast programs. Our statistics have the largest reach in the industry, with a portfolio ranging from amateur podcasters to enterprise clients including ESPN and ABC radio.

When it comes to predicting which platforms will continue to see growth and which will slip, we’re pretty well-positioned to make a very-educated guess. So where do we fall on the question of whether Apple will continue to dominate the podcast market? To put it simply, we anticipate that the tables will slowly turn, with Android gaining ground faster in global podcast consumption.

Apple Vs. Android: Which Will Dominate Podcasting?

“We predict the Apple’s direct market share – not third-party iOS apps – will fall below 50% by midyear 2018, as podcasting continues to become popular on Android,” says Angelo Mandato, CIO of Blubrry.

Mandato’s educated opinion is based on two basic facts:

  • We’ve seen Android podcast consumption nearly double over the past two years.
  • We don’t see Apple’s additional tags to podcast feeds giving them an edge and changing podcast consumption. It’s great to see innovation from Apple, but unless Apple creates an Android podcast app, the trends we see will continue their market share decline.

Following are the numbers we have documented that illustrate this shift:

Apple’s iOS Podcast App/iTunes Desktop market share:

  • May 2017: 55.5%
  • May 2016: 59.7%
  • May 2015: 64.8%
  • May 2014: 68.6%
  • May 2013: 68.7%
  • May 2012: 73.1%
  • May 2008: 73.8%
  • May 2007: 96.5%

Why is this shift happening? While we at Blubrry can’t make any definitive claims, Mandato offers this in-depth look at the trends and technological developments that have informed consumer behavior, as they may serve to act as a narrative explaining Apple’s slow, but steady, slippage:

May 2008 – Early podcast consumption required syncing between a computer and a mobile device.

At that time the Zune App showed great promise with 6.6% market share. The following year, Zune reached over 10% market share of podcast consumption, a level no other app since (other than Apple’s) has achieved. 2008 is an important year, as it was the last year that there were no mobile apps for podcasting.

In 2008, Apple’s desktop market share was 73.8%. It would prove to hold steady between 70 and 80% for the next 5+ years. There were no mobile apps at this time for iOS, Android launched fall of 2008 and the first podcast mobile app for Android appeared in 2009. Desktop browsers made up 5.8% market share. Browsers did not have built-in media players at this time, so podcasters were required to use Flash-based players.

In 2008, a desktop app called Juice (previously called iPodder) spearheaded by Adam Curry, the “podfather” of podcasting, still enjoyed nearly 3% market share.

May, 2012 – A pivotal year in which apps on mobile devices started to dominate the market

2012 was the year we saw podcast consumption shift from desktop computers synced to mp3 players, to apps directly on mobile devices – as well as the start of Android podcast consumption providing meaningful data. We saw modest growth in desktop web browser consumption thanks to HTML5-based built-in browser players becoming the norm. The Podcast iOS app launched only one month later, which quickly displaced more than half of the podcast consumption from iTunes desktop directly to the iPhone in only a few short months.

In 2012, Apple devices dominated the market with nearly 75% market share of podcast consumption.The combined Apple app market share was 73.1% who used either the iOS iTunes app (36.2%) or iTunes Desktop (36.9%). (Before the iOS podcast app launched in 2012, podcast consumption on the iPhone was done directly within the mobile iTunes app.) Apple’s third-party iOS app market share was 1.5%, which included Downcast (0.6%) and others.

Contrast that to Android, which enjoyed an app market share of only 4.7%, primarily including the default media player on Android as well as apps such as BeyondPod and Google Listen (a now-defunct Android podcast app that used Google Reader: both met their demise the following year).

We watched Android consumption stagnate from 2012-2015, due to the lack of a standard way to subscribe to podcasts on Android. And the Zune App, which worked with the Zune media player at the time, had a quickly-shrinking 1% market share.

May, 2017 – Modern podcast consumption

In the ensuing five years, the picture has changed fairly dramatically. At this time, Apple has just 55.5% of the app market share, split between the iOS podcast app (51.1%) and iTunes Desktop (4.4%). Apple 3rd party market share is currently 7.7%, which includes 3rd party iOS apps such as Stitcher radio (1.8%) and Overcast (2%) for iOS.

But while Apple devices still dominated the market as of last month, with over 63.2% combined market share of podcast consumption, Android apps have slowly and surely intruded on Apple’s once seemingly-unshakeable market share, boasting 17.8% market share in May 2017 including apps such as Stitcher radio (1.7%) and many more.

There are over 12 Android podcast apps that support the subscribe on Android protocol (http://subscribeonandroid.com/), which lists the majority of the Android apps used today. As of last month, desktop browsers made up just 12.6% market share, which included Chrome (10.2%), IE/Edge (1.1%), Firefox (1.0%) and Safari (0.3%).

Whether our predicted date for the eventual tipping point is accurate or not, the numbers definitely indicate that a change is coming. Which presents a big question for podcasters: if you knew Apple no longer owned podcasts, how would it change the way you produce and promote your show?


Ad Free Podcasting and MP3’s are Now Illegal? – Your Podcast 007



This episode of Your Podcast was recorded while Todd was on the road. Perfect time for Todd and Mike to talk about some road show tips for recording your show and making the best of it while traveling. There’s a lot of talk happening right now, and they clear up some rumors that are true and some that are not true about podcasting. Thanks for listening and please subscribe to the show!

 

News

  • WWDC Podcast App Update
    *** We didn’t know about the RSS feed tags they added or the episode stats that will be provided in iOS11’s Podcasts app. Coverage on that to come.***
  • Rumor Control! Downloading MP3’s is now illegal (not true).
  • Ad Free Podcasting – Stitcher offering “ad free” podcast listening for a fee.

Tech Support

  • You have to publish an episode before you submit. To be published in a podcast directory, you have to have a podcast first. That means a podcast post in your RSS feed and all the other requirements. Your site (if you are using WordPress) can not be in “coming soon” mode. It has to be published and public. Just like in the phone book, you need to have a phone number before you will be in the phone book. If you want to be in the directories before you first real episode. Record an intro episode (episode zero) and publish. This will get your feed ready to go and get everything submitted before you go with episode 1 or your “launch.”
  • Waiting on iTunes – Changes and new episodes can take 24 hours or more to update in the Apple Podcasts directory (Formerly iTunes). This is the same for most podcast directories and apps.

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


Apple’s Conference, a Twist on a Physical Therapy Show and Music in Podcasts



The guest on this episode of the PowerPress Podcast is Jimmy McKay, host of the PT Pintcast. He chats with MacKenzie about the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, starting Monday June 5th, through Friday June 9th, and the fact that for the first time, they’ll be having a podcaster studio for recording. Jimmy shares why he started his show and how it has and still is changing. They end the show with a passionate discussion on licensed music in podcasts – just don’t do it! Thanks for listening and please subscribe. If you’d like to be on the show, email MacKenzie!

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review, here!

Show notes:

Apple WWDC 2017 – Podcaster Studio
PT Pintcast – Jimmy McKay
Why Can’t Music Be Played In Podcasts?
Phonophage – Alex Card
Email MacKenzie
Blubrry Twitter


The WeCast Podcast App is Available for Subscribe on Android



With so many podcast apps on the market, is there room for a new contender? If you’re looking for a customized, streamlined podcast-listening experience, the answer might be “yes.” WeCast, the 14th app added to Blubrry’s Subscribe on Android service, offers a user-friendly and multi-faceted way to consume podcasts.

“We don’t have all the possible features available on other apps,” explains Eduardo Baião, creator of WeCast. “Instead, we chose the ones that could satisfy the majority of podcast listeners,” including notifications when new episodes are played, automatic download, sharing features, and the ability to backup and sync subscriptions between devices, among others. But the app also one unique feature with the potential to greatly impact the way podcasts are consumed: users can add text, links, and images to a timeline to create a richer listening experience.

“Imagine the following scenario,” says Baião. “You’re listening to an episode of a podcast and someone mentions a topic you don’t know or can’t remember. It could be the name of an actor, a movie title, a character in a video game, or a historical event. Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to look at your smartphone screen and see, at that very moment, a picture or text informing you about that particular topic, such as a movie poster, the actor’s photo, a book cover, a picture of the character, or the discography of a band? You can do that on WeCast.”

The app costs $1.99 to download for both iOS and Android, but Baião believes that it could be a great gateway app for potential podcast listeners who haven’t embraced the medium yet, so if you’re looking for techniques to turn your blog readers into podcast listeners, WeCast could be a way to ease them in. And a couple of bucks may prove to be a small price to pay for a multi-media podcast listening experience. If you’re already promoting Subscribe on Android, it may be worth mentioning WeCast to your listeners to see if they like what they hear – and see.

 


Is MP3 Dead? PowerPress Sites Deluxe Launched! – Your Podcast 006



In this episode of Your Podcast Todd and Mike talk about PowerPress Sites Deluxe – it’s finally here, clarify and explain how MP3’s are not actually dead. After a curious listener emailed them, they addressed some podcasting events, and finished up the episode discussing MP3 encoding tops to save you storage space and bandwidth. Thanks for listening and please subscribe to the show!

 

 

News:

Topics:

  • Is the MP3 dead? No!
  • Using your webhost server for your podcast hosting: Don’t do it! We have been migrating several people’s podcast files over to Blubrry due to their webhost cracking down on the amount of storage used, or the bandwidth used by the media. Often times, when you read the fine print for most web hosting companies, they mention something along the lines of “Large media files are not included or supported in this hosting plan…”

Email from a Listener:

Hi Todd & Mike,

I’m enjoying the new podcast and appreciate hearing your take on various things in the podcast world.

You two mentioned recently attending the NAB show which made me wonder, as I’m getting close to launching my first podcast, what podcast conferences are out there that you would recommend as a good place to learn and connect with others in the podcasting space for someone totally new?

I’m also curious if you have any suggestions for finding other podcasters to possibly connect with locally? Does blubrry have any sort of location based directory?

I look forward to the next episode. Thanks!

Blessings,
Bekah

To answer Bekah, here is a list of some podcast events that we know of:

Tech:

MP3 Encoding

  • Make sure you are saving with a 44.1khz (or 44100hz) sample rate.
  • 128kbps Stereo or 64kbps Mono Constant Bit Rate (CBR).
  • 128kbps Stereo will give you 1mb per minute file size.
  • 64kbps Mono will give you the same quality as 128 at half the size (½ mb per minute) which saves YOU on hosting and bandwidth and saves your listeners time and data on their cell plans.
  • AAC files are OK. MP3s are still the most compatible for now, but this could change in the future.
To ask questions or to comment on the show, contact Todd and Mike here: yourpodcast@blubrry.com

How To Make The Most Of Your Sponsored Spots



A few weeks ago we discussed choosing the best placement for advertisements in your podcasts. But of course, there’s a lot more to a successful sponsored campaign than where the ad actually lives. In this post we’ve compiled four pro tips to help you nail those sponsored ads.

1) Make It Personal.

“The power of podcast advertising is the power of the endorsement,” explains Heather Osgood, CEO of True Native Media, an agency that connects podcasters with advertisers. “The best scenario is a live endorsement ad,” in which the host talks about his or her personal experience with the product or service. Osgood admits, however, that it’s not always possible or practical to personally experience every sponsor’s goods. “If the product or service can’t be sampled by a host, then a live-read ad is best,” she says. As for canned (pre-produced) ads? “True Native Media has not run any canned ads to date,” Osgood says. “Canned ads would only make sense if the ad were dynamically inserted across a number of different podcasts.”

2) Go Above and Beyond.

If you’re working with an advertising network, anything you offer on top of your endorsement or ad might not lead to more dollars…right away, at least. “Most advertisers are thrilled to receive posts on social platforms, but they are not typically interested in paying additional for that reach,” explains Osgood. But that doesn’t mean that going the extra mile won’t pay back in the future. If you’re selling your own sponsor spots and have a decent social media reach, you may be able to interest an advertiser in an integrated campaign that incorporates your podcast, show notes post, website banner ads, and/or social media amplification. And at the very least, giving a little extra effort to your current sponsors might make them more eager to work with you in the future. “I think an effective podcast sponsorship is a three-pronged strategy: banners, text mention in show notes with a hyperlink, plus the host-endorsed spot, followed up with at least 1 weekly social mention with proper disclosure (#ad or #spon),” says Todd Cochrane, CEO of Blubrry. “That way the listener ideally hears the ad, sees the banner, and reads the ad in the show notes, and it’s reinforced with the social reminder.” And if your ad is an affiliate, going the extra mile to promote the brand carefully will net you larger sales.

Bottom line: you have a platform, so why not use it to its fullest extent?

3) Package Thoughtfully. 

While your network may offer you ads that require only a midroll placement, it never hurts to quickly remind your listeners about the sponsor at the end of the show. And briefly teasing the sponsor at the beginning of the show may also help the message stick. “The ideal sponsorship package will include a quick preroll thank you to the sponsor, a midroll 60-second ad, and an endroll thank you,” says Cochrane.

 4) Think About Your Audience First.

Remember that all of the above are only guidelines, and sometimes rules are made to be broken. Maybe the tone of your particular show lends itself more to a snarky review or parody than an earnest endorsement. Maybe your show is so engrossing that a midroll break would be jarring, or so quick-moving that 60 seconds would seem like an eternity. And just because every other podcaster in the world seems to be working with a particular brand, ask yourself: is YOUR particular audience likely to be interested in Casper mattresses or a plug for Squarespace? When done thoughtfully, podcast advertising can offer the best of all worlds: honest and helpful information, presented in an authentic and appealing way, which also happens to earn you money! If you aren’t sure what kinds of products or services your audience might like, survey them to find out. And remember: focusing on adding value for your audience before anything else is the most surefire way to find success with sponsorship.

PowerPress Podcast In Reverse and an Important Blubrry Release



Meredith Adler, a podcaster from North Carolina was MacKenzie’s guest for episode 45. This week they went with a different tactic – Meredith interviewing MacKenzie about Blubrry, PowerPress and podcasting. They briefly discuss a potential new podcasting event, PowerPress Sites (Deluxe is finally out!), as well as Meredith’s show that she started in the fall of 2016. Check out links below for more details and thanks for listening.

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review, here!

Show notes:

What is PodCon?
PodCon Indiegogo Campaign – Donate!

Blubrry Forum
PowerPress Webinar Video
PowerPress Sites
Local Hearted – Meredith Adler show


Turn-Key Podcasting Solution PowerPress Sites Deluxe Is Now Available



Blubrry has long been committed to simplifying the technical side of podcasting so that podcasters can focus on creating excellent content.

With the release of PowerPress Sites Deluxe, podcasting has never been so easy.

Deluxe is a second tier of service for PowerPress Sites, which launched its Basic level in June. The turnkey solution includes hosting, statistics, and a managed WordPress website, as well as an expanded selection of templates, themes, and plugins. Most importantly, PowerPress Sites Deluxe offers the ability for podcasters to use their own domains, (purchased separately,) for their website.

“All of our PowerPress Site options are highly optimized to be blazing fast, and managed by a professional team that keeps the sites secure, backed up, and regularly updated, allowing the content creator to focus on creating content,” says Angelo Mandato, CIO of Blubrry.

“Our goal with PowerPress Sites is to allow a podcaster to scale features to their websites as their show grows. The Basic tier is designed for a new podcaster launching a show, and the Deluxe tier is for podcasters that want to establish their brand, and build SEO and social awareness to their website, via their own dot com,” says Todd Cochrane, CEO of Blubrry.

Blubrry is the only podcasting company to bring a product to market that will scale and grow with the podcaster, as their show and audience evolves. Podcasters can look forward to two higher tiers of service, which will provide podcasters with greater flexibility to build networks and host multiple shows. They’ll also offer additional features, security measurements, and sophisticated customization capabilities. Podcasters with a community of any size can use PowerPress Sites.

As with any Blubrry product, purchase includes free world-class phone support, so you won’t have to worry about the learning curve. We’re here to help you get things off the ground because our goal is your success. Check out the PowerPress Sites plans, and if you have questions, leave us a comment below!