All posts by MacKenzie Bennett

Cast Feed Validator, Revitalized!



There’s a never ending list of things you need to do to create and promote your podcast. Beyond your fascinating content, you’ve got to publish and make sure it’s out there and accessible to your listeners – all listeners. We’ve made that last part easier for you with our free service, Cast Feed Validator.

This ultimate test checks to see if your podcast RSS feed is working properly – that’s an easy way of explaining what it does, because it really does not much more than that. Podcast directories have requirements to read and play your podcast, and some of them – including Apple – will accept a feed that isn’t actually working the way you want it to.

Run your feed through our test and we’ll tell you what needs improvement and what is flat out broke; quick results for podcast necessities. We took over the service in 2017 knowing it was time for an update.

New Features:

  • Mapping of Apple’s old and new categories. Learn more about that here.
  • SSL certificate tests
  • More in-depth tests on server behavior and metadata
  • Feed tests that look for hard-to-find bugs

This isn’t just limited to Blubrry users, any podcaster can check their feed. A properly working directory is better for the entire podcasting community. Take a look at the new site and test your feed here

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New Monetization Partner: Stagepass



What is Stagepass?

Stagepass is a marketplace for creatives to auction experiences to their audience. Creatives are podcasts hosts, and also include, but are not limited to: speakers, artists, authors, YouTubers, and thought leaders. Each host is verified by Stagepass to let audiences know that experiences with that person will be authentic. Once a host is verified they can link their bank account with Stripe and immediately begin auctioning experiences. Hosts can post as many experiences that they wish and provide pictures and videos to provide more content for bidders on that auction.

Experiences can be in any format – in person, online, over the phone, or over any other medium. The key is that the experience is what the host makes it, and what their audience wants. For audiences, experiences satisfy an emotional need for deeper connection with hosts they have listened to for months and years. Podcast consumption is the most intimate medium, and listeners crave more than just one-directional flow of information – they want to get to know hosts better, tell hem what they like about the show, and experience something more meaningful and visceral than simply listening. Hosts have full control over the pricing structure and can set a starting and reserve price they are comfortable with.

Stagepass was built so that hosts can focus on their craft full-time, by providing value to the people that love them most – their audience. This gives hosts the ability to spend all of their time thinking about their audience, rather than what sponsors want to see in their craft.

Why Use Stagepass?

Flexibility: A tool for hosts to make additional revenue when needed (or wanted). Auctions can be conducted over any period of time, which gives hosts an easy way to throttle income when necessary. If a host needs to make income quickly they can conduct a 24-hour auction. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if a host wants to create anticipation and build interest over time, they can create longer auction periods.

Plays Well With Others: Stagepass is complimentary to other methods of income, including Patreon and sponsor support. Auctioning experiences does not take away from the value that Patreon supporters and sponsors derive from their relationship with the host. Patrons donate due to their appreciation of the art that the hosts create, and sponsorship value stems from the resonance that its products have on target audiences. Hosts can use all services simultaneously and satisfy the value experience of all of their monetization supporters. That said, Stagepass offers more value to audiences and supporters. With podcasting being the most intimate medium, listeners develop a sense of deep connection with hosts of shows, and desire to experience more with those people, in ways outside of the original medium. They crave connection beyond the show, hence the name Stagepass.

Timing: Jump in early, it’s the right time to begin monetizing through experience. Over recent years the demand for unique experience has soared. In a recent study, Millennials, who are now the largest consumer segment of the market, have reported that 72% would spend money on experiences over anything else (Inc.). Listeners are wanting more than one-directional engagement and are looking for experience.

Additional Benefits

  1. Hosts do not have to create additional content like Patreon.
  2. Users can create experiences that provide no preparation or follow-up.
  3. Experiences provide exponential returns with the auction system.
  4. Hosts can create as many auctions that they like.
  5. Users can avoid appealing to sponsors and focus on adding value to listeners.

Read more here to learn about Stagepass and get started in the Make Money section of Blubrry’s Podcaster Dashboard.

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Podcast Advertising Made Easy



You have a podcast.

You’re making money from advertising on your podcast.

But you’re stuck with your current system, which probably means you’re not monetizing your back catalog, and/or you have to re-record and re-upload your file every time an advertiser changes.

What if we told you it doesn’t have to be that way anymore?

Yep. Blubrry has built and launched an easier way to do podcast advertising insertion. It’s for those of you who manage your own ad campaigns and need to build anything from very complex to fairly simple campaigns. And, since it’s on our podcast hosting and podcast stats platform, you can rest assured your campaigns are measured with IAB certified compliant Podcast Measurement stats.

Even better? We built this podcast ad insertion system to be easy to set up and maintain for podcasters. There are a couple different levels, with another coming this fall:

  • The advertising insertion system is available exclusively to our professional hosting customers. Pro customers receive our Simple Podcast Ad Insertion service that includes pre-roll ads for episodes published within the last 50 days ‘free’ as part of their plan.
  • The Full Insertion version comes with pre-mid-post roll and is priced at $49.95 a month with a .10 cent file rebuild. Yeah. It’s pretty competitive pricing, isn’t it?
  • Another level of Dynamic Advertising Insertion, which will include geographic targeting, is expected to be deliver Q4 2019.

Not a pro hosting customer yet, but want access to this awesome podcast ad insertion system? We don’t blame you. So, contact us and learn more here.

Ready to use our podcast ad insertion system but need the nitty gritty how-to details? Read here.

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Podcasting Future Valuations



Did you know that in 2018 podcasting was responsible for $479 million in revenue? The podcasting industry is predicted to break the billion mark in 2021, and in this episode MacKenzie discusses podcasting future valuations overall. The episode starts with a quick recap on Apple changes; nothing to worry about, this is an Apple years in the making. MacKenzie discusses advertising and how the entire industry needs to try something a bit more creative to continue growth if they’ll make it to the billion dollar valuation. Lastly, if you don’t have a trailer for your podcast, you might be missing out on potential new listeners. Stick around to the end to catch the latest podcast MacKenzie was a guest on.

Thanks for listening and please subscribe via your favorite podcast app. If you’d like to be a guest on the show reach out to MacKenzie. She’s always looking for fun, new podcasters that use Blubrry services, specifically PowerPress.

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review here!

Show notes:

Apple Podcast Categories
Apple Kills iTunes: Details on what this means for podcasters.
Your Podcast: Todd and Mike discuss details the upcoming Apple changes.
Podcasters Concerned About Money in Podcasting
Ads Could Limit Podcast Revenue
Include a Trailer for Your Podcast: Data to back it up?
Women in Tech: MacKenzie as a guest on Espree Devora’s show.

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Podcasts Within Educational Institutions



After a long hiatus, the PowerPress Podcast is back. For the most part school is out for the summer, but we’re here to talk about a podcast that works at Penn State University. Before they get to that, MacKenzie and this episodes co-host discuss subscribers. There is quite a bit of misunderstanding of how subscribers are calculated for podcasting, and this will give a better explanation and insight into these numbers – or lack there of.

Jenna Spinelle, co-host of Democracy Works for the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State University, shared her experience getting a show off the ground rather quickly and expectations she has for podcasting in 2019. She has written two articles for Medium on the subject, they’re linked below. She will also be on a panel at Podcast Movement this summer, don’t miss it.

Lastly, they talk about a new partner for Blubrry, Audioburst. Free transcriptions and audio bursts of your podcast. They help you take your content to the next level with easy ways to share sound bites of your show and add a transcription to your website. Learn more with the link in the show notes.

Thanks for listening and please subscribe via your favorite podcast app. If you’d like to be a guest on the show reach out to MacKenzie. She’s always looking for fun, new podcasters that use Blubrry services, specifically PowerPress.

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review here!

Show notes:

Beyond the Download – Subscriber Numbers

Democracy Works

Five Questions to Ask Before Starting A Podcast At Your Organization

Why 2019 will be the year of the podcast in higher education — and what it means for the industry

Audioburst – Blubrry’s new partner

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Learning How to Podcast As You Go



Not everyone is fit to host a podcast, not at the beginning at least. There is a lot of learning that goes into hosting a podcast, writing show notes, finding guests, learning how to interview, the list goes on and on. But the guest this week, Lara, was aware of what she was getting into with a strong background in marketing. They discuss attending events, with the perspective as an attendee and exhibitor, and how they’ve been the fish out of water before. It’s easy to get overwhelmed or lost in the work involved with a podcast, and she has a great outlook on how to tackle everything involved. Speaking of being overwhelmed, they end their chat by talking about streaming services – is there too much content available?

A little about Lara

Lara Zuehlke is on a mission to help women ages 40+ age with grit and grace. Through her podcast, Fit Over 40, and her programs at ZulaFit, Lara offers a mind-body-soul approach to help women let go of the weight (wait) for the last time. An award-winning writer and speaker, Lara is also a certified food psychology coach (Spencer Institute) and certified energy practitioner (ISEE Global). You can meet Lara and learn more at: www.zulafit.com.

Thanks for listening and please subscribe via your favorite podcast app. If you’d like to be a guest on the show reach out to MacKenzie. She’s always looking for fun, new podcasters that use Blubrry services, specifically PowerPress.

We’ve been loving our new desk by the team over at Convo by Design. Josh Cooperman is also a podcaster and knew we wanted something specific to fit our needs. If you’re looking to upgrade your podcasting set up, give him a shot.

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review here.

Show notes:

Events we’ll be attending: PodFest, Proclaim19, Podcast Movement.
Fit Over 40: Hosted by Lara Zuehlke, she works to help women overcome issues associated to mind, body and spirit.
The Streaming Crash of 2019: What services are you paying for and how much are you actually able to watch?

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Set A Podcast Schedule, Stick To It.



Sometimes, podcasting is as easy as setting a schedule and sticking to it. Sure, there are a myriad of other factors that go into the production, publishing, etc. but there is no show if you can’t sit down and record. Sarah Duncan and Pamela Walker-Dees know a thing or two about managing schedules and they decided Monday evenings were their go-to recording schedule for their podcast, Motherhood on Tap.

And in the theme of setting schedules, we might have reordered this one a bit too early. A big topic of discussion on this episode was about Spotify purchasing Gimlet and in the time between recording and publishing, it happened. Regardless, still some good discussion on the topic, as well as Apple stepping up their game a bit once again by providing more opportunities for listeners and creators.

Thanks for listening and please subscribe via your favorite podcast app. If you’d like to be a guest on the show reach out to MacKenzie. She’s always looking for fun, new podcasters that use Blubrry services, specifically PowerPress.

We’ve been loving our new desk by the team over at Convo by Design. Josh Cooperman is also a podcaster and knew we wanted something specific to fit our needs. If you’re looking to upgrade your podcasting set up, give him a shot.

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review here.

Show notes:

Spotify and Gimlet: We were a bit ahead of the game recording this episode, so on Monday, Feb 4th this was all hearsay. As of Wednesday, Feb 6, Spotify purchased Gimlet Media and Anchor.
Motherhood on Tap: Hosted by two crazy mama’s just trying to make their way through parenting.
Apple is trying to ease some podcasting pains: For listeners and creators. Apple stats can now be downloaded, and Siri can now play a podcast for you.
PowerPress Webinar: Wed, Feb 20 3 – 4 ET. Sign up here.

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The Purpose of Your Podcast



People create podcasts for lots of reasons, such as to discuss their favorite whiskeys with their friends, or review the latest Cavs game. Others, are a bit more serious and every once in a while it’s important to evaluate the purpose of your podcast. Kendall Ann Byrd started her show, High Heels and Heartache, to help women recovering from all kinds of unhealthy, toxic or abusive relationships. Almost a year later she is sharing episodes about once a month on topics that range from therapy to the science of accepting trauma.

Before and after the discussion of why a podcast should have a purpose that you’re passionate about, they chat about an initiative from APM and social media trends. While they highly encourage people to check out the podcast pitch exercise, they’re not convinced all the social media trends will be for the greater good of the internet.

Again, apologies for the less than stellar recording quality this time around, but the new studio will be worth it for this episode. More pictures to come.

Thanks for listening and please subscribe via your favorite podcast app. If you’d like to be a guest on the show reach out to MacKenzie. She’s always looking for fun, new podcasters that use Blubrry services, specifically PowerPress.

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review here.

Show notes:

Are you an ideas person: Pitch your show to APM now!
High Heels and Heartache: Hosted by Kendall Ann Byrd, helping people understand the truth about relationships.
Social Media Trends in 2019: Top 5 that will take over the social media world.

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Podcast RSS Feed Misconceptions



An RSS feed is crucial for a podcast, in fact without one you technically don’t have a podcast, you’re just sharing audio. Regardless, they’re not as simple as they sound always, and there are many RSS feed misconceptions out there that podcasters don’t necessarily release they’re falling for. Mike Dell, from Blubrry’s support team and Your Podcast, joined MacKenzie to discuss the introduction of Pandora into the podcasting industry, in a much larger way than the past. As time goes on, more companies will be getting involved in Pandora submissions. Wrapped up with ideas on what a Blubrry podcast bootcamp would encompass. It’s becoming more popular for organizations to put the call out there to teach minority groups how to podcast and get them more involved.

Top 5 Directories

  1. Apple Podcasts
  2. Google
  3. Stitcher
  4. TuneIn
  5. Spotify

Thanks for listening and please subscribe via your favorite podcast app. If you’d like to be a guest on the show reach out to MacKenzie. She’s always looking for fun, new podcasters that use Blubrry services, specifically PowerPress. There is one last episode to be released for 2018, let MacKenzie know what you want to hear in 2019.

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review here.

Show notes:

Pandora is Joining the Podcasting Game: But MacKenzie and Mike are a bit more interested in the podcast genome project.
What Is A Podcast Feed?: From our blog earlier this year, alleviating confusion on RSS feeds.
Futuro Media and various others creating podcast bootcamps: What would Blubrry included in their own?

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Continuous Change in Your Podcast



If one thing is for certain, it’s change and the same can be said for anyone that has a podcast. The latest episode of the PowerPress Podcast talks about continuous change in your podcast. It might not always be on the forefront of your mind but shows do evolve from influence from guests, podcasters, listening to other shows and specific self guided direction. Starting out discussing how frequently podcasters are not always their best marketing team turned into a much longer discussion of taking insight from other and yourself to make sure you’re putting out the best show possible. MacKenzie was joined by Lauren Gombas, host of the show From Blueprint to Solved.

Thanks for listening and please subscribe via your favorite podcast app. If you’d like to be a guest on the show reach out to MacKenzie. She’s always looking for fun, new podcasters that use Blubrry services, specifically PowerPress.

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review here.

Show notes:

Podcasters make for terrible self promoters
From Blueprint to Solved
Why We Need More Women in Podcasting

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