Category Archives: Blubrry

Warning: Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late To Switch Your Podcast Service Provider



It happens to many podcasters: you got set up on a platform that allowed you to start quickly without investing any money up front. The platform may have made it possible for you to get started for free, but it also requires you to direct listeners to the host’s website to listen to your show, or perhaps the host’s branding is all over your podcast site. Now you’ve been regularly publishing for a while and your audience is growing – and you realize you’ve outgrown your original setup.

“Over the years, we’ve seen that many podcasters start on a platform that they wind up graduating from. They learn that the platform is limiting their ability to build their brand and reach their audience,” says Blubrry CEO Todd Cochrane.

If you haven’t already established your own .com or aren’t using a publishing platform like WordPress + PowerPress + Blubrry hosting that allows you to use a streamlined post, upload, publish method, you might wonder if you really need to move to that level yet. We feel the answer is “yes.”

“Over time, we have proven that shows with their own .com, and building their brand on their own branded site versus building their brand on top of a hosting company’s brand, is a better long term strategy,” explains Cochrane. “And a streamlined publishing platform like PowerPress can save the host a lot of time.”

But the most urgent reason to make the switch now is the overall security of your show. “If the platform you’re using closes down and you don’t own your podcast feed,  your show will go extinct. When you don’t control your feed or your brand, your show can simply go away and recovering it will be a big challenge. You’re in a much better position if you switch before there’s a crisis.”

For shows ready to make a move, the transition doesn’t have to be painful! “Our team can migrate podcasters into our eco-system where they get a free WordPress site,” says Cochrane. “We can do everything: migrate the blog posts and media and get their show into a position of not facing an extinction event.”

Once you’ve made this simple move and are safe from losing your show, says Cochrane, you can take steps toward making your podcast even more professional. “Our team can then help guide the podcaster into picking out their own domain and upgrading the free WordPress hosting we provide in PowerPress Sites Basic to Deluxe which includes built-in tools and the best plugins to enhance and brand their podcast website.

Even after the initial switch, we’ll be there for you every step of the way. “Blubrry’s support team offers phone and email support, and when you use PowerPress Sites, our technical team manages, updates, security and backups of your site so you can focus on the content. We provide the best-in-class tools and services without imprinting our brand on your show, meaning you can focus on creating and controlling your own brand,” says Cochrane. Getting started is simple.  Just sign up for Blubrry hosting and we can help you start the transition to taking control of your brand.

Don’t fall for scare tactics that make it sound like you can’t switch providers once you’re locked in. “Moving a podcast to Blubrry is not difficult or risky if it’s done in the correct steps,” explains Cochrane. “The real risk is waiting until things go wrong with your current platform – that’s when it gets much more difficult.”

“Our goal is to keep podcasters producing their shows, getting control of their brand and feed, and then helping them build their sites’ brand around their show content,” says Cochrane. “This will lead to Google taking notice, indexing the show and driving content to the podcasters’ brand versus the podcast host’s brand.”

 

 

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Podcasting Services Updates, Advice and Experiences



Blubrry recently updated PowerPress, Ryan Wheaton of the Branding Brews podcast shares his podcasting experience, and Aaron Mahnke of Lore gives podcasting advice. MacKenzie and Ryan discuss the changes that came in the PowerPress 7.1 update – including the Apple RSS feed tags – and you’re able to download the latest version now. Ryan tells about why he started his show and who he thinks will benefit from listening. If you’ve ever thought about diving into a podcasting network, Lore host Aaron Mahnke, has some advise for you.

Thanks for listening and please subscribe!

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review, here!

Show notes:

PowerPress Update
Branding Brews
How Aaron Mahnke Makes A Living Podcasting (And How You Can Too)
Printful – After the recording Ryan thought of a useful company for merchandise. You can connect it with a number of website platforms. Customers order a product on your site, it gets sent to Printful, they print and ship it to your customer. You don’t even have to pre-order products so no inventory or big up-front costs!

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PowerPress Version 7.1 Including Apple iOS 11 Support Is Here!



PowerPress, the number one podcasting plugin with over 1 million downloads worldwide, has just launched PowerPress version 7.1. Here’s what you can expect from the new version.

New Tagging:

As you may already know, in iOS version 11, Apple added new tags to provide better support for serialized content, and these are now supported in PowerPress 7.1, including:

  • iTunes:type, iTunes:episode, and iTunes:season: These tags were added to support serialized content. “Before this, all podcasts were assumed to be episodic,” explains Angelo Mandato, CIO of Blubrry.
  • iTunes:episodeType: “This tag adds a way to mark special episodes,” says Mandato.
  • iTunes:title: “At the episode level, this is Apple’s solution for podcasters who add episode numbers and other extra information to their blog post titles. The iTunes title should be clean of such meta information, since this information can now be specified by the other new tags previously mentioned.”
  • content:encoded & iTunes:summary: This is a value containing the show notes for your episode. PowerPress has supported these tags for many years.

“We’ve known the content:encoded tag was necessary for years,” explains Mandato. “We have worked with the Apple team confirming we are in full compliance of Apple’s latest documentation.” Check out this helpful PDF from Apple laying out the new and updated specs to learn more about Apple Podcasts and tagging in iOS 11.

Other Additions:

Powerpress Version 7.1 contains a few other upgrades and improvements, such as: 

  • Subscribe on iTunes has been changed to Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.
  • Secure HTTPS websites using Blubrry Podcast Media Hosting are now automatically supported. Media URLs are now automatically converted to HTTPS. You no longer have to edit past episodes if you switch from HTTP to HTTPS.

Please see the change log for a full list of upgrades and improvements.

Something we hope you won’t miss:

A barely-used feature has been removed due to being outdated and seldom-used. The Windows Media Player embed for wmv video and wma audio has been removed. Chrome, Safari, Firefox as well as Microsoft Edge browsers do not support the Windows Media Player embed, providing support for this is no longer practical. In its place will be a play link which will open the media on the device’s default media player.

Some not-so-fine print:

  • PowerPress 7.1 requires WordPress version 3.6 or newer. WordPress 4.8+ is recommended.

Ready to try PowerPress 7.1, the very latest version of the world’s most popular podcasting plugin? Here’s where to get your FREE download.

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Advertising Revenue and Using PowerPress Multiple Times



In 2017 podcasting revenue is making a huge jump and PowerPress can be used in so many ways. Catch up with MacKenzie and her guest, Ken Gagne, as they discuss how much money podcast advertising is slated to make this year and Ken’s podcasts over the years. Podcasting advertising has been a topic of conversation on the PowerPress Podcast multiple times, and it was time for an update on the increasing monetary platform. Ken has never dabbled in podcast advertising, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t able to bring up some good questions and provide some insight about the entire process.

Ken has been podcasting for many years and has been involved in a number of shows. Currently he is the host of Polygamer, which discusses diversity and equality in the gaming industry. When he’s not working on that show it’s common for him to be contributing to other shows as well as teaching about podcasting. He teaches publishing at Emerson College in Boston and includes not only podcasting but Blubrry’s beloved PowerPress as well. Thanks for listening and please subscribe!

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review here!

Show notes:

Podcasting Revenue Will Jump 85%
Polygamer
Ken’s PowerPress Presentation
Emerson College – Ken’s courses

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New Podcast Stats and Tags From Apple – Your Podcast 008



Soundclound may be in trouble, having a Plan B for your podcast if things go sideways, Apple’s new tags and stats and lastly, speeding up support if you’re a Blubrry customer. All of that with Mike and Todd, covering a whole plethora of topics. Thanks for listening to the show and please subscribe on PowerPressPodcast.com.

News:

  • Soundcloud – Rumors they are deferring salary reviews indefinitely.

 

Topics:

  • Plan B – Have one, no matter who you’re hosting with.
  • Apple’s new RSS tags and stats – Coming in iOS 11’s Podcast app update: What is does and does not do (such as giving you stats for the rest of your listeners, like Android or 3rd part apps).
  • Global stats – Blubrry’s insight.
  • Blubrry Stats Refresh! – It’s finalllly working for our pro stats customers.

Tech Support:

  • Help us help you! – You can speed up your support time by telling us your feed address and Blubrry account email.
  • Linking! – Connect your PowerPress / WordPress site to Blubrry (including your PowerPress Site). This also helps us help you if there is a problem. Bonus – you’re included in the Blubrry directory, the largest in the world.
  • Replacing a file – On our CDN a file is propogated to data centers all over the world. If you replace a file on our hosting server, it can take time to get the new version everywhere. To speed this process up, when you replace a file email support@blubrry.com so we can refresh the cache. That helps the CDN get the file to everyone quicker.
  • Support hours – Our main hours are 9-5 ET. And remember our advice, provide the following: File name, feed, and Blubrry account email. We’ll find everything much faster.

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

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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 no 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 brand 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.

 

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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?

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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.

 

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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.
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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!

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