Big things are happening with Blubrry; we’re moving and hiring! The headquarters and development office in Columbus, Ohio, is moving up town into a much larger space. The board just finished its annual meeting and planning session and is excited about the ideas we’ll be expanding on in the next year. Some very cool things will be shared with podcasters in the next nine months or so. Todd and Mike talk about Apple Podcasts (iTunes) and how the ranking works (and doesn’t work). Apple is cracking down on shows trying to game the system. As Mike heads the support team, he’s well aware of how important it can be for podcasters to remember, ‘Help us help you’ in support. Stick around for the five things you really need to know about your podcast even if you are a very technical person.
Apple Podcasts charts are NOT based on ratings, reviews, downloads or anything other than new subscribers over time (Apple only knows). Also, Apple can (in rare cases) manually place a show. Getting ratings and reviews is NOT going to make you climb the charts. Good for social proof, but that is it.
Just keep making good content: Write blog posts for Google to go along with your show and promote your podcast in appropriate ways, and in the long haul, you will grow your show.
“I get an error… ” When you contact support and tell us you have “an error” please explain what you are trying to do and where you are trying to do it, what the error is and any other information to let us find the account. In most cases, screenshots are not helpful, live links are better. Tell us where to see the problem you are having. It will save a lot of time in letting us help you.
Five things you MUST know (or learn).
5 things you MUST know about your podcast as a podcaster – Even a non-techie one
Where is your website hosted? (Godaddy, Dreamhost, Squarespace, WordPress.COM or ??)
What is your RSS feed address? RSS feeds are the transmitter for your podcast. Learn it, write it down, save it somewhere, but know your RSS feed!
Where are your media files hosted? (Blubrry, in a folder on your webserver, Amazon… )
What email address you use to log in to Blubrry.com?
PASSWORDS to everything. Use a password system on your browser like LastPass or something that will help you remember all the passwords.
Pocket Casts, one of the most popular podcast listening apps, has recently been acquired by a few prominent podcasting community members. RAD, better understood as podcast pingbacks, will have some affects on podcasting. In a day and age when everyone can make their voice known, Blubrry will draw the line at some instances; stick around to learn hate speech vs. violence on a podcast. There are many podcast directories out there, and listing your show in the Blubrry directory is one that podcasters should not miss out on.
Hate speech vs. violence in a podcast. Where does Blubrry draw the line?
RAD or Podcast Pingback: There will be some resistance to adding RAD to apps and directories. It’s unlikely at this moment that Apple will implement it to its platform. They are not the only ones that will be hesitant to add the new statistics initiative as we expect some apps will hold back.
Yearly board meeting is quickly coming up at the Blubrry headquarters in Columbus.
When you move from Blubrry, there is no need to delete your account and listing. Just cancel your subscription/payment plan (after you migrate) and change your feed address in the blubrry.com directory to your new service’s RSS feed and continue to be part of the largest podcast directory in the world. In fact, if you stay on our directory, you can use our free stats and we may be able to find an advertiser for you so you can make some money.
The Blubrry directory will NOT hurt your Google search rankings or take any revenue from your podcast.
Recently Google has been releasing some articles about podcasting and how they’ll be diving into the industry in the near future. Google’s new podcasting strategy is already compatible with those using PowerPress and Podcast Mirror. Todd Cochrane is back on this episode and discusses the NAB experience with Mike Dell. Stick around for a few support tips as well.
We love our PowerPress users, please leave us a review.
Todd’s take on NABshow 2018. He’s been to NAB, CES and other conferences countless times. He’s got some takeaways that some others wouldn’t be able to pick up on.
Podcast Movement!: Consider attending summer 2018. This is the main podcasting conference every year and once again we’ll be there not only in attendance but as a partner and exhibitor. Use the code BLUBRRY to get 10% off your ticket.
Google’s “new” podcast strategy: Read here their 4 part series posted on Pacific Content. This is step in the right direction for the entire industry, but something we’ve been focused on for many years. We’re looking forward to it improving discovery. PowerPress is already compatible with this. If you are using PowerPress (or Podcast Mirror) you are already covered.
Again, we love social media but Facebook is not a good primary way to get help from support at any company (unless specified). Our Facebook Messenger and Twitter direct messages are not actively checked, so if someone is reached out that way we might not know for… a while. Please use email@example.com or the contact form at blubrry.com for our support. Especially if we’ve responded via social media before in the past asking you to contact us via the contact form or email. For other companies, look for their support email or form on their website.
Recently Blubrry has been getting a lot of “My last episode hasn’t update in (insert directory here)” tickets and emails. It can take 24 hours or so to get any new episodes listed in most directories. The best thing you can do is check your RSS feed yourself and make sure the episode is there, subscribe to your own show and you’ll know when it shows up.
Quick recap of the NABshow in Las Vegas last week where Todd Cochrane, Mike Dell and MacKenzie Bennett were in attendance for the Blubrry booth. Three podcasts were nominated for a Peabody award this year, and one of the next events in the Pod Summit on May 5th in Western Canada. Stick around for these topics and more on Your Podcast by Blubrry. Only Mike is around for this episode as Todd is on assignment. Full show with both hosts coming up in two weeks!
We love our PowerPress users, please leave us a review.
Had a great time at NABshow at the Blubrry booth. We were in the inaugural Podcast Pavilion in South Hall Upper. Made some nice contacts with people from radio, TV, digital and podcasters. It was a great show overall and we’re looking forward to heading back next year.
Podcast Titles: How to change them – Look for “Feed Title” in the feeds tab of PowerPress settings if you are using PowerPress. It takes a few days for it to update in the directories and Apps after you make the change. Open your feed in Firefox browser to see what your title is currently.
Its now “Apple Podcasts” NOT “iTunes”. Apple is making a big effort to change the name of their podcast directory and apps to “Apple Podcasts” or simply Apple when it comes to podcasting. Whenever you hear someone say (or read the word “iTunes”) it should now only refer to the desktop application called “iTunes”.
Thank you to Shawn and Dave for covering for Mike last week in support! He got a little behind, but those guys took the brunt of the tickets and emails from me while I was on travel. You Guys ROCK!
Blubrry is proud to introduce a new way for podcasters to get ‘pod-safe’ music on their podcast. Soundcloud has added technology that everyone else has had for podcasts for the past 11 years. The world-famous podcast, Serial, is back in the news again; that is the case from season 1 is being talked about.
Changing the title of your podcast: The Feed Title setting in PowerPress will change it everywhere, but with some delay. Most things in podcasting are hardly instant.
Apple Podcast Subscribe Links and Buttons in PowerPress: You need to put the link to your listing in the ‘Destinations’ tab of PowerPress settings for Apple Podcasts option to show up in the Subscribe Widget.
Remember how RSS feeds works. They are a pull technology, not push. Directories (even Blubrry) update when they pull your feed, not right after you publish a show.
The yearly Infinite Dial report from Edison Research and Triton Digital is out, after their 2018 presentation recently. Podcasts hosting with Blubrry are now starting to show up in Spotify. Enjoy this slightly manic, nicotine-free new episode of Your Podcast.
Podcast discovery: Is there really a problem that needs to be solved?
Echo, Google assistant, Apple Home Pod and Cortana are not perfect. Finding your podcast on them can be a challenge if the name is hard to pronounce, or is too long, or…. or… Your hosting provider (us) has no control over whether your show isn’t easy to find.
Caching, what it is? And why you should care?
– Website caching (Cloudflare, WP plugins, server caching)
– CDN caching (content delivery)
– Browser caching (web history on most browsers now)
– Feed caching (FeedBurner, PodcastMirror, others)
– Podcast directory (just another website) caching
MP3 encoding. We have been getting lots of questions about file formats. The best format for an audio podcast is MP3, 44.1khz (44100hz) sample rate, 128kbps stereo bit rate (or 96kbps mono) -16LUFS (loudness) for stereo and -21LUFS for mono. .Wav files WILL NOT WORK! We recommend Auphonic for final processing of the loudness. It used to be that the lame MP3 encoder was bad, but improvements have made it just as good as Fraunhofer (which is included with Audition, iTunes desktop, and other software). AAC files (m4a) from GarageBand do work 90 percent of the time. BUT, not 100 percent. Mp3 is currently the best way to go.
Video is a whole other ball of worms! (.mov, .flv do not work) Only mp4 and m4v work. Make sure they are optimized for the web or they will not play right away.
Paid consultations: If you are not a hosting customer but still need help or guidance with your podcast, you can hire Blubrry to rectify the issue. See: blubrry.com/contact/ for prices and options.
The Blubrry Alexa Amazon Skill is out, named MyCast. Podcast listeners are able to listen to podcasts in the Blubrry directory by using MyCast. The well-known podcast, Nerdist Podcast has been renamed ID10T, a change that came in early February. Long-time listeners, no worries, more of name change than anything else. Speaking of changes, there is a new writer at PodcasterNews.com – head on over to the site to look out for new content. Lastly, Squarespace has been causing some issues for Blubrry podcasters, which Blubrry is attempting to remedy as soon as possible.
Mike Wilkerson joins the PodcasterNews.com team. He has a couple of good articles over there now, one about Mic Booms and another called “Content Stagecoach: The Booth Junkie” where he talks about a podcast/YouTube series about voiceover and microphones.
Squarespace has been causing some issues with Blubrry statistics. We have reached out to the Squarespace team to try to get resolved, stay tuned. If you are using Squarespace and are having a problem with stats at Blubrry, please contact Squarespace support and Blubrry support.
Again, own your stack! Do not promote anything you do not own as your primary point of presence for your brand. Don’t let others control your RSS feed and your connection to your audience, that you work VERY hard to collect and grow. Always send them back to the Mothership (your own domain).
Do not cut and paste from Word docs or processors or Google Docs directly into WordPress. In WordPress there is a new setting that puts that visual editor into “Paste as TextMode.”
Learn to check your RSS feed when you publish a new post, add a plugin, change your theme or move your website to another web host.
1. Download FIREFOX for a quick look. Load your feed in the address bar of FireFox and it will be much more readable.
2. Use castfeedvalidator.com and/or podba.se.
3. What is listed in the feed will be what people see in the directories.
4. ONLY if you know what you are doing, you can use some of the blog feed validators (w3 or feevalidator.org) to find specific errors. Ignore most of the warnings. PLEASE BE CAREFUL – These “old school” validators know nothing about SSL links (https) or any of the newer podcasting tags or namespaces.
Stats – What Blubrry stats do and do not track.
Mike personal note: Heil customer service is top notch! I have a PR40 (I’m a Ham Radio Operator and that mic is good for HF radio) with the shock mount and the bands for the shock mount got loose. I contacted support over there and even though my setup was over 7 years old, they shipped out a new set of bands to me, free of charge, and priority mail. (I was just asking where to buy them). Very good Bob Heil, you have a great team over there! Todd had the same experience with Blue Mics.
More companies are merging in the podcasting space and digital media companies, the latest of which is, AudioBoom purchasing Triton Digital. It’s important to keep track of what companies you’re using and who they are merging with. Blubrry recently released the ability to submit to Spotify. Hosting customers are able to submit directly to Spotify via the Podcaster Dashboard.
iOS11 is now on 65% of all Apple devices, and the latest iOS update is what attributes to your Apple podcast statistics. Blubrry wants to remind podcasters to be polite and nice to your support people (no matter what company you are working with).
Excited news coming from the Blubrry team concerning Spotify; it will be available to hosting customers. E.W. Scripps is getting out of the radio business, entirely, and headed in the podcasting direction. Apple is also focusing on podcasting more so and is hiring. Catch MacKenzie and Mike at Podfest in Orlando soon, and much more including support information and tips on Your Podcast.
This Week in Tech (TWiT) is suing Twitter for two reasons; and they might actually have a viable case. CES has officially concluded and Todd is back on this episode of Your Podcast to give his recap of 2018. Facebook has some changes coming and listen in to see how they might affect you and your show. Lastly, debating if podcasts will save radio.
Passwords — The biggest problem tech support sees is that people do not write down passwords or remember them. Set yourself up with LastPass or another password management system. It will make your life easier (not just for podcasting).
Program Keywords / Web Friendly Names / Blubrry Directory URLs — Don’t overthink them. They are not THAT important.
NOTE: They can’t be changed after the fact if you are hosting or using stats at blubrry.com.