All posts by Blubrry

Podcast Partial Download Reporting



Blubrry Hosted Stats Just Got Even Better with Partial Download Reporting

Sometimes, big improvements come in small packages. Such is the case with a brand new feature you’ll find in your Stats Dashboard if you’re a Blubrry Podcast Hosting customer: Partial Download Reporting. (not a podcast hosting customer yet? We have great podcast hosting options for just about any podcaster.)

Partial download reporting: what it is and why you need it

Blubrry was the first podcast host with an IAB Tech Lab Certified podcast stats platform. Kind of a big deal, if we do say so ourselves. That industry leading stats platform just got a great upgrade. Partial Download reporting, now available as a free upgrade to our hosting customers for a limited time, partial download reporting helps podcasters understand their audience’s consumption patterns better. Our proprietary system sifts through your downloaded data to determine which downloads were complete and which weren’t. That means you’ll be able to tell when & where you might have lost your audience’s attention. Which means you have another tool in your arsenal to keep improving your podcast content, pacing, and format.

 

Read more here, or go to your stats dashboard and check it out.

Get partial download reporting for free today.

If you’re already a Blubrry Podcast Hosting customer, this is a limited-time free offer. This is a premium feature of which there will be a small upgrade fee beginning July 1.

Gimme My Stats!

If you’re not yet a Blubrry Podcast Hosting customer, sign up today. This is a limited-time free upgrade when you sign up for hosting.

Host With The Most!

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The Benefits of Podcast Transcription



The Benefits of Podcast Transcription

In case the benefits of podcast transcription aren’t readily apparent, we’re going to walk through a few considerations. But let’s start with your goals as a podcaster. Ultimately, it’s likely something along the lines of sharing your unique point of view with people who find it interesting and/or beneficial. A secondary objective (which is actually a possible result of the first goal) is to maximize revenue potential. With those two end points in mind, the next questions are strategic: where do you want to “play” and how do you want to win? Leveraging podcast transcription might be a great way to win.

Podcast Transcription Enables Promotion

Share out snippets and soundbites of your podcast.

Let’s face it: audio is amazing, but getting people to click an audio link is only going to appeal to a certain percentage of your potential audience for a particular use case. You’ve got to get them hooked first. Yes, you should absolutely have podcast shownotes available. But those don’t always have a promotional angle right off the bat. That’s where podcast transcription comes in: you can share out the most tantalizing snippets and leave people wondering and wanting more.

SEO benefits.

Yes, Google is indexing audio and video files, but text still reigns supreme (for now). While there are many factors involved in a solid podcast SEO plan, a key one under your control is on-page content. That’s the combination of words, pictures, and other media you put on your website. Search engines crawl your page to determine what it’s about so that when someone searches, those same search engines know where to find relevant content and serve up a link to the searcher. There’s a lot more to it, but that’s the gist. And transcribing your podcast makes it that much easier to turn your podcasts into blog posts (on-page content) that are keyword-rich. To make podcast transcription even easier, Blubrry has partnered with Audioburst, an industry-leading audio transcription and sharing service. Best part? It’s free for Blubrry Podcast Hosting customers. Yeah. Free.

Consumption-side considerations

Sometimes, listening to a podcast is simply not the best option. And, in the interest of making it as easy as possible for as many people as possible to consume your content, options other than audio are probably a good idea.

Let them ponder

A NYT article examining the benefits of audiobooks vs. print concluded that “Print may be best for lingering over words or ideas, but audiobooks add literacy to moments where there would otherwise be none.” For podcasters, this might mean that if your audience wants to ponder an idea for a while longer, give them the option to read.

Make it quick

Audio podcasting can be a great, immersive experience–we’ve all felt it, getting lost in the story, being moved to another place in our minds. But, sometimes, we need info and we need it quickly. Maybe we simply don’t have enough time to focus on a linear audio podcast; maybe we want to figure out what the podcast is about before we commit to listening. Either way, skimming/reading is faster than listening. Transcribe your podcast and you make it skimmable for the use cases where that’s preferable to diving in ears first.

The good news is, podcast transcription has never been easier. There are plenty of paid audio transcription services available and they run the gamut from awful to amazing, with price points all over the board. Google is your friend if you’re curious. But, if it’s something you’re considering, you might want to check out Blubrry + Audioburst: it’s free for Blubrry customers, and does way more than simply and quickly transcribing your podcast.

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Not All Free Podcast Stats Are Created Equal



Podcast Stats Soundbites

Not All Free Podcast Stats Are Created Equal

Free. One of the most powerful words in the English language. Many podcasting platforms available today use some sort of “freemium” business model to entice eager podcasters to join their system. Typically its free podcast hosting, with a limited feature set, all designed to move the podcaster up the line and into paid services. There are even a few out there who are completely free, all the way, except for the minor detail that they own the podcaster’s hard work. Nothing is truly free in the long run. Given the massive growth in the podcasting space over the past year or so, we thought it was time to talk about versions of free stats.

Not So Basic Podcast Stats

First, let’s define terms. In an ideal world, Podcast Statistics (or, “podcast media download statistics”) provide content creators and media buyers detailed network delivery statistics, analytics and audience demographics, and track how the media is engaged. Other podcasting platforms offering podcast stats often list them as a feature, and a basic one at that. Podcast Stats from Blubrry, on the other hand are anything but basic. Even our “Basic” Free Podcast Stats. If you’re in podcasting, you have a story to tell to the world. And you might even want to make a little money on it too. In order to monetize, you need to the size of your audience– how many people consume your content. But that’s not enough. You also need to know what devices, where they are, how they’re finding you, when they’re consuming your content, and who is linking to you (a signal that you are considered “authority” on a topic). That’s the data sophisticated media buyers and brands will need in order to evaluate if your podcast & audience are a good fit for telling their story. And all that data is no good if it’s delivered to you an a confusing or unusable format. Blubrry’s Free Podcast Stats provides all of those things. And while we obviously want podcasters to check out our paid services, like Podcast Hosting and Pro Podcast Stats, we haven’t hamstrung our Free Podcast Stats. It’s a fully functional, robust analytics and reporting platform.

Podcast Stats Alternatives

Over the years, we’ve seen podcasters use a variety of methods to arrive at actionable audience insights. The approaches fall into a few categories: FeedBurner feed stats, web server stats (e.g. AWStats), JavaScript web stats (e.g. Google Analytics), and URL shortening hit counters (e.g. Bit.ly). For an in-depth analysis of the relative strengths & weaknesses of using these tools for podcast stats, please take a look at our writeup. The short version, though, is that each of those only gives you a partial view of your audience, where they are, and when & how they consume your podcasts.

Why Blubrry Podcast Stats Are so Fresh

Of the options listed above, only Blubrry Free Podcast Stats will give you the critical information you can use to grow and monetize your audience & podcast. Blubrry Free Podcast Stats measures downloads from websites/web pages as well as from your podcast RSS syndication feeds, including popular desktop and mobile Web browsers. We also report on 100+ desktop and mobile podcatchers including Apple Podcasts, Stitcher for iOS and Android, and many more.

When multiple downloads come from the same unique IP address, our proprietary algorithm filters and determines which are actual downloads (sometimes multiple requests for a single media file from the same unique IP address result from only one end-user). Even better? Blubrry includes both our calculated download total and the unique IP total. We do this so you can see the difference between the actual unique download total and the reported download total. Even even better? You don’t have to host your podcast with Blubrry to receive these Blubrry Podcast Stats benefits. Blubrry was started over a decade ago by podcasters, for podcasters. Sure, we hope you find enough value to explore our other offerings–we are in the business of podcasting, after all. We want you to have the best tools to tell your unique story and share your individual perspective, so we continue to offer free Podcast Stats.

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Podcast Marketing Tips: When to Outsource



Podcast Marketing Tips: When to Outsource

Podcast marketing and administration can be difficult. Maybe you got into podcasting as a business from the get go, maybe you started your podcast as a passion project, maybe it was a little bit of both. Regardless of where you started, you’re at or approaching the point now where you’re feeling overwhelmed… or, at least like you’re not giving the proper things the proper amount of attention anymore. As your podcast grows, there are inevitably more things that need more from you. Bigger podcast, bigger appetite. Guess what? That’s normal, and you’re not alone. In fact, it’s a sign of success that you can’t handle it all on your own anymore. So, embrace it. And do something about it. Maybe it’s time to think about farming out some of your tasks. Here are things you might want to consider as you seek sustainable ways to continue to grow your podcast.

What podcast marketing and administration skills are you best at?

First, you need to take an honest look at yourself and your strengths: what areas of podcast marketing and administration are you truly skilled at? Are you a podcast editing whiz? Are you great at sourcing & securing guests? Are you able to build buzz for your podcast on social media? You should consider focusing primarily on the things you’re best at, and farming out the other things to people better suited to doing them.

What podcast marketing and administration tasks do you love doing?

You wouldn’t be where you are without your passion for podcasting and your particular point of view. Never lose that. But what do you absolutely love doing? Podcast social marketing? Podcast editing–weaving a cohesive, compelling story from disparate threads? As your podcast continues to grow– even if you’re starting/have started a podcast network–make sure you hold on to at least one of the things you’re passionate about.

What is it worth to you to continue doing those podcast marketing and administration tasks?

This one is all about opportunity cost. We all have choices to make. If we make the choice to continue handling podcast social media marketing ourselves, what might we have to give up, and/or what might we miss out on because of that choice? For the things you’re best at and the things you love, consider only focusing on the items that tick both boxes: skill and passion. Direct others on the rest, if you’re able.

What is your budget for outsourcing?

If you’re bringing in professional podcast editors, social/marketers, web designers, producers, and the like, they don’t come free. What are you able to set aside each month–and for how long–in order to give these folks enough time to produce results for you and your podcast? What else could you do with that money? What will it cost you not to bring in others?

What does success look like?

We love experimentation. But we are also in the business of podcasting (podcast hosting, podcast stats, and podcast websites), which means at least some of those experiments have to pay off. So, before you pull the trigger and bring on a podcast editor, a podcast marketing consultant, or anyone else, make sure you have clearly defined and measurable objectives. That way, you’ve all decided what success looks like ahead of time, so it’ll be easier to recognize when you hit or miss.

It might not feel like it–down in the trenches, slogging it out to grow your podcast–but the fact that you’ve gotten to the point that you can no longer do all the things your podcast needs in order to keep growing is a good thing. It’s a signal of success. Congratulations. And, sure, it also means you’ll have other challenges to deal with. But keep at it. The world needs more podcasters, not fewer.

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Podcast Sites, Feeds, and SSL for Apple Podcasts



Podcast Sites, Feeds, and SSL for Apple Podcasts

First, some definitions. What is an SSL Certificate? According to Symantec, “SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and, in short, it’s the standard technology for keeping an internet connection secure and safeguarding any sensitive data that is being sent between two systems, preventing criminals from reading and modifying any information transferred, including potential personal details. The two systems can be a server and a client (for example, a shopping website and browser) or server to server (for example, an application with personal identifiable information or with payroll information).”

SSL for Apple Podcasts is Coming

While it’s certainly not “official” policy yet, you can probably see it coming at some point in the future: SSL will become increasingly important to podcasters. It’s already happened for “regular” websites: sites–even non-ecommerce–rank better in Google search results if they have a valid SSL certificate. Amazon requires SSL to be on their Alexa ecosystem. So, it’s no stretch of imagination to see that Apple may require SSL to be in the Apple Podcasts directory.

Apple has mentioned that at some point in the future they’re going to require SSL to be in the Apple Podcasts directory. Also, not just any ol’ SSL certificate will do. It’ll most likely need to be from one of the SSL Certificates accepted by Apple.

SSL on PowerPress Sites is Super Simple

Good news, though if you’re on PowerPress Sites. You can switch your podcast site and podcast feed to SSL literally with the click of a button. Go to PowerPress Site Settings and click Set Up SSL. Then, wait a few minutes and you’re done. One little click and you’re good to go.

If you’re on Blubrry (without WordPress or PowerPress) or Podcast Mirror your feed is already SSL.

Otherwise, contact your hosting provider– they most likely have documentation to help you get your podcast site and podcast feed set up with SSL.If you’re not using an SSL cert yet, you’re probably ok. For now. But it’s coming, and it’s fairly simple to set up. Might want to get a head start.

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Transcribe and share your podcast



We’re all cyborgs now. Sort of.

Ever wished someone would transcribe your entire show, cut it into segments, and share those out on social or other distribution/discovery channels? Wish no more, if you’re a Blubrry Podcast Hosting customer. Instead of humans doing the dirty work, though, we’ve partnered with Audioburst. Through this partnership Blubrry customers gain transcripts, social sharing of audio clips, and broader distribution and discoverability.

We, along with Audioburst, today announced this awesome partnership that will allow Blubrry hosting customers to have access to Audioburst’s suite of tools and the Audioburst library of searchable voice “bursts.” This library uses some pretty sophisticated tech to listen to, understand, segment and index the content to be searched and generate new cross-platform distribution.

Amir Hirsh, co-founder and CEO of Audioburst, said “Our mission is to empower podcasters and radio professionals with a robust solution for monetization, distribution and discovery. The integration of our Audioburst Creators platform gives Blubrry’s thousands of creative community members the unmatched tools to transcribe, increase exposure and earn money.”

If you’re a Blubrry hosting customer, you’ll be able to transcribe full episodes, create short clips called ‘bursts’ of your audio or video content and then share those bursts on social media platforms. This can extend the life of your content using modern AI programming to highlight specific segments that can even further earn revenue and listenership.

“This partnership with Audioburst is exciting for our Blubrry customers as I’ve been a big fan of their technology for some time,” said Todd Cochrane, Blubrry CEO. “The audio bursts, automated transcripts and indexing of audio content will allow Blubrry customers to reach new listeners and engage with a wider audience.”

You can sign up for Audioburst for free within your podcast dashboard, and have your personalized content created within minutes. Bursts, transcriptions and new content can be found on any one of Audiobursts distributions platforms where users specify topics and categories for results.

It really is that easy. And I, for one, welcome our new robot partners. If you’re not already a Blubrry podcast hosting customer, we have one of the most widely-used podcasting platforms, and are the only podcast hosting provider to have our podcast stats platform certified by the IAB Tech Lab— one of the highest standards in the industry. That means when you monetize your hard work and particular point of view, you can trust you’re giving your advertisers audience stats that are held to extremely rigorous standards.

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Podcast Stats Soundbites – Smart Speakers



Podcast Stats Soundbites – Smart Speakers

In this edition of Podcast Stats Soundbites we take a look at intelligent assistants and smart speakers. Smart speakers–speakers that contain or work with Google Home, Alexa, and Apple HomeKit to control smart home features, start vehicles, and play music & podcasts–growth surged in 2018. It’s the latest in the tech giants land grab for an ever increasing slice of our lives. But what impact, if any, will the growth of these gadgets have on the podcasting space?

Podcast Stats Soundbite 1: Smart Speaker Podcast Download Growth Rate

In 2018, smart speaker growth was fast. Really fast. Like, “they’ve gone to plaid” fast.

According to Blubrry’s proprietary, IAB Tech Lab Certified, podcast statistics, year over year growth from February 2018 through February 2019, market share of podcast downloads via smart speaker grew at a rate of more than 2,500%. No. We didn’t miss a decimal. 2,500% growth, year over year.

Podcast Stats Soundbite 2: Smart Speaker Podcast Download Total Market Share

But–and there’s always a but–smart speaker use for podcast listening is still relatively small compared to other channels. Podcast downloads via smart speaker accounted for only 1.8% of total downloads. Small, yes, but it’s now larger than podcast downloads via tablets. And if we extrapolate to February 2020, with straight line growth based on the 2018 pattern, podcast downloads via smart speaker could be closing in on 3% market share.

What Might This Mean for Podcasters?

For starters, you probably shouldn’t freak out and change all the things. But, it’s probably a good idea to make sure you are positioned well for discovery via voice search. Just like traditional text-based search, it’s important to be at the top of search results for queries related to your podcast. But, given the user experience for smart speakers, that top search result becomes even more important. One easy thing to do: make sure that your audience knows to ask their smart speaker for your show.

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International Women’s Day, 2019



International Women’s Day 2019

Today is International Women’s Day, a holiday in some places and completely ignored in others. Sometimes it’s a day of protest, sometimes a day to celebrate womanhood, and sometimes both. And, before you wonder when International Men’s Day is, that’s not what we’re here to talk about. We’re here to shine a well deserved light, interview-style, on two of Blubrry’s amazing employees, MacKenzie Bennett and Lena Taupier. They’re integral parts of the team that brings you world-class podcast hosting, IAB Tech Lab Certified podcast stats, and the ubiquitous PowerPress WordPress podcasting plugin.

MacKenzie is Services and Affiliates Coordinator at RawVoice, parent company of Blubrrry.

Lena is Lead Software Developer at RawVoice.

Blubrry (B): thanks for taking some time. I know you have plenty to do, so let’s just jump right in. Are you a podcaster?

MacKenzie Bennett (MB): I am, for Blubrry. Outside of work, I don’t have a podcast, maybe one day.

Lena Taupier (LT): No, but I have become a podcast addict.

 

B: What’s your show show called?

MB: I host the PowerPress Podcast. It’s you guessed it, pretty meta, and all about podcasting news and Blubrry podcasters.

 

B: How long have you been podcasting?

MB: it’s been about three and a half, four years, now.

 

B: Why did you get into it?

MB: When I started at Blubrry four years ago I had never been on a podcast. They wanted to me to host with a fresh, unbiased perspective.

LT: I had listened to a couple of episodes here and there over the years but it wasn’t until I started working at Blubrry that I truly became a podcast addict.

 

B: What’s your favorite thing about podcasting?

MB: People. I interview guests on almost every episode and each time I get to learn about their show and discuss what is new and fun (or awful) in podcasting.

LT: I love that it’s such an open medium where literally anyone who has an interest in a particular area can start creating content that others can consume. I also appreciate how easy it is to listen on the go. Nowadays there’s nothing I’d rather be doing on long drives than listening to my favorite podcasts!

 

B: Speaking of, what are your current favorite podcasts and why?

LT: Freakonomics – This show explores a wide variety of topics, from the cost/benefit of having 6,500+ languages in the world, to the parking problem in America. I really love numbers and statistics and the hosts do a great good job of gathering data to backup their findings so it’s really interesting. Snap Judgement – This show interviews people from all over the world who have interesting life stories. I am always in awe of the diverse and profound life experiences that I hear about in each episode.

 

MB: I’m not a subscriber. Rarely will I listen to every episode of shows I love. For that reason, I love series – ones I can’t skip episodes on. Recently finished Happy Face; typical crime show, but sue me for loving to learn about murderers.

 

B: How long have you been with Blubrry?

MB: 4 years almost to the day! March 9, 2015 was my first day.

LT: 3.5 years and counting!

 

B: What’s it like working at Blubrry?

LT: It’s very fast-paced and exciting because things are constantly changing due to the nature of the podcast industry. As a software developer, I really enjoy that aspect because it means we get to work on new, exciting projects quite frequently. I also really like that we have an open environment where new ideas are encouraged and we have the flexibility to explore and use new technologies.

MB: Insightful. Constantly learning, but also exciting being part of the new releases, services and changes in the industry.

 

B: What are you most excited about in the world of podcasting for 2019?

MB: Hard to say at the moment. Edison Research Infinite Dial numbers just came out and I’m surprised how interested I am at looking forward to digging into what is causing listener growth.

LT: I’m excited about all the tools and technologies that are popping up to help make podcasts more discoverable. For example, as AI transcription from audio to text improves, it will become much easier to search through and discover new podcasts based on specific topics.

B: If you could interview anyone (living or dead)  for your podcast, who would you choose and why?

LT: I would interview Marie Curie. She was the first woman to win a Nobel prize and the only person ever to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences. I would love to hear about her earlier years and what it was like to be a female scientist at that time.

MB: Honestly, my first thought was a pirate. I think they’re hilarious, full of good stories, and would love to get their perspective on my horrible Halloween renditions of them over the years.

 

B: Thanks for chatting, and thanks for what you do for Blubrry! Anything else you’d like to add?

MB: Look out for your other female podcasters. Bond with them, learn with them.

LT: Thanks!

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How to Remove Podcast Episode Numbers From Your Feed



Apple Podcasts LogoApple is Encouraging you to Not Include Episode Numbers in Episode Titles for Apple Podcasts.

Apple is strongly encouraging podcasters to not include episode numbers in the episode titles of their episodes. The fix is fairly simple & straightforward but could be pretty labor intensive if you have a lot of episodes.

How to Remove Podcast Episode Numbers

To remove the episode numbers for your title simply edit each post and remove the episode numbers. Simple, yes. But could be time consuming if you’ve got years of episodes. Better to fix it now, though, than to be smacked by Apple.

How to Remove Podcast Episode Numbers JUST from Apple Podcasts

Apple Podcasts may be losing market share, but they’re still the dominant player. We are of the opinion that they want to clean up the look of the Apple Podcasts directory. But you need to understand how removing the episode number for Apple’s sake will affect the look of your show in other applications. 

So far, here is what we found with the <itunes:title> tag vs. the plain old main <title> tag.
Google Podcasts – Main title
Pocket Casts – Apple title
Podcast Addict – Main title
BeyondPod – Stripped out the number but uses the main title ??
Spotify – Main Title
Tunein – Main title
Overcast – Apple Title
Himalaya – Apple Title

Good news, though, for PowerPress users: you have options you can tailor your episode feed to Apple Podcasts to remove episode numbers just from Apple Podcasts and those that use the Apple Title. So, if you would like to have the numbers in your main title on your site and those apps listed above, and remove it just for the Apple Title do the following:

  1. In the Episodes tab of PowerPress settings, enable “ iTunes Episode Title Field” and “iTunes Episode Number, Season and Type Fields”
  2. Save Changes at the bottom of that page.
  3. Edit each post and click “modify” in the podcast episode area.
  4. Type in the new title for Apple Podcasts in the ‘iTunes title’ box.
  5. Update the post.

If you want to make these changes, If you have 299 episodes in your feed consider lowering that number until you have edited your posts.

Again, this only works in PowerPress. So if you are using a feed using Blubrry.com use the advanced edit button to expose these tags

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Podcast Stats Soundbite: Another Bite at the Apple



Podcast Stats Soundbites

Podcast Stats Soundbite: Another Bite at the Apple

Podcast stats aren’t just for nerds anymore– at least, not if you want to learn about market trends and grow your podcast. As part of our regular series on podcast stats, this week’s Podcast Stats Soundbite is as American as Apple Podcasts. Yeah. We’re going to make another Apple Podcasts prediction.

Podcast Stats Soundbite 1: Apple Podcast’s market dominance is a marriage of convenience.

As previously discussed, Apple Podcasts is still, far and away, king. Now, maybe this one is obvious, but to remain at the top of the hill, you have to outcompete all comers. But a challenger only has to be right once to topple the big kahuna. Especially if you’re the market leader because of convenience. Think about your own experience: podcast discovery is less than intuitive, to get your podcast on Apple Podcasts you don’t actually upload it there (which is super confusing to podcasting newcomers), and on and on. Ok. We’ll be more blunt: Apple Podcasts is the Internet Explorer of podcasting.

Podcast Stats Soundbite 2: Apple Podcasts will drop below 50% market share in 2019.

Yep. You read that right. Based on our proprietary, IAB Tech Lab Certified, podcast stats data, we see an industry shift underway. We have Apple device data back to 2007, and Android data going back nearly a decade. And the trends are plain as day. So plain, in fact, let’s take another step out on this branch and make an even bolder prediction: Apple Podcasts will drop to ~35% market share in 2019.

There are simply too many other options out there. Especially with Spotify attempting to muscle its way into the podcasting space. Which, honestly, we think is a good thing. More competition forces all of us to stay on our toes, and keep our platforms top notch.

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