Category Archives: Blubrry

4 Steps Newbie Podcasters Should Follow For The Best Possible Launch



On the blog last week, we discussed RSS feed best practices. But while that post contained great advice for intermediate to advancd podcasters, newbies may want to take a few minutes to understand just exactly what happens when they publish an episode to make sure they aren’t missing opportunities to get their show in front of the largest possible audience.

Here are our best tips from Blubrry CEO Todd Cochrane:

  1. Subscribe to your own show. “If you’ve done that, you can save yourself some pain and embarrassment by checking to see if your show episode shows up in your favorite podcast app,” says Cochrane.
  2. If you haven’t done #1 and you load the podcast listings in iTunes, Stitcher, or any other app to realize that your latest episode isn’t there, keep this in mind: those sites periodically check your show listing and update it. If you’re lucky, that happens within a few hours, but if you publish infrequently it may be up to 24 hours before the episode shows up.
  3. When you subscribe to your own show, most apps actually subscribe you to your feed that you initially submitted to iTunes, Google, Stitcher, Blubrry etc. So while your subscription will update immediately, the other sites will get around to you at some point. Today the Apple Podcasts directory is pulling 325,000 feeds every 3-4 hours, and sometimes they get behind.
  4. It’s really important that you keep your image art in compliance in both image pixel size and in keeping the image smaller than 500k in size. Not doing so will handicap your show’s ability to be updated. Note: your ID3 Album art does not need to be the same spec as the Apple show art. The larger the physical size of the album art embedded in your mp3, the longer it takes your podcast to start playing, explains Cochrane. “All of my episode art is 600×600 .jpg and under 100k, plus the smaller episode art saves you space with your hosting plans.”

It really comes down to some proactive management to keep your show thriving and your anxiety level low.

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Apple Rebrands iTunes Podcasts to Apple Podcasts and PodcasterPro® by Adam Curry



In the third episode of Your Podcast Todd and Mike go over some breaking news — Apple has rebranded iTunes Podcasts to Apple Podcasts. Apple Rebrands iTunes Podcasts to Apple Podcasts. They also talk about Adam Curry’s new device for podcast production, some topics around advertising, slow feeds, rebranding your show and even an listener question.
Thanks for listening and subscribe to the show to be the first to get new episodes every other Monday.

News:
Apple Rebrands iTunes Podcasts to Apple Podcasts
– Adam Curry’s – PodcasterPro®
Podcast Movement – Anaheim CA  August 23-25th
For a discount on tickets, use promo code: “blubrry” for 10% off!

Topics:
– Advertising deals – Medical related, and military related.
– Slow, aka cheap hosting service and RSS feeds.
– Sequencing your show in a methodical way.

Listener Question:

from Michael Harren
“Hi gents!

I’m really loving what you’re doing with “Your Podcast ” I’m already a big fan.

Your last episode made start questioning something I have recently started doing in an effort to get my podcast to as many ears as possible.  My podcast lives at mikeypod.com which is a self-hosted WordPress site and I happily use powerpress. A couple months ago I decided to also upload each new episode to soundcloud and mixcloud thinking that if I am clever with my tagging on those site, I might get some new listeners who would then follow the link back to my site.

Now I am starting to wonder if that is not such a good idea after all — do you have any thoughts about this? Am I shooting myself in the foot by taking attention away from my own website?

Thanks and keep up the great work! I’m so grateful for everything y’all do at blubrry!”

Tech:
Rebranding or changing services? You must do it in a particular order to keep your subscribers.
1. Keep your old site/domain alive for a while (30 days is good for most situations).
2. Move your media — if needed (PowerPress has import and migration tools built in).
3. 301 redirect your old feed to your new feed.

If your current service will not 301 redirect your feed, then double post to the new and the old feed for 4 episodes (or 30 days) with an announcement in the old feed saying you are moving and where you are moving to. You must keep both services running for that time to be sure to get most of your subscribers to move.

See: Migrating to Blubrry

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

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C’est Cool! Blubrry/Rawvoice Featured In French TV Special



Très bien! Earlier this year, the French cable TV channel Cable Plus produced a program on podcasting – and naturellement, Blubrry staff were asked to appear on the program as experts in the industry. At the 5:28 mark, MacKenzie Bennett, Services and Affiliates Coordinator at Blubrry, describes how Blubrry/Rawvoice provides statistics and demographics information and why they are so crucial for monetizing a podcast – and her interview is dubbed over in French, bien sûr.

Watch this well-produced programme below!

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Go With Your Gut For Your Podcast



Michael Harren, composer, performer and — most importantly for this show — podcaster is this week’s guest on the PowerPress Podcast. MacKenzie and Michael discuss the big release of S-Town, his show MikeyPod and Vanitycasting. If you aren’t familiar with the latest NPR show that broke records or know the term Vanitycasting, you’ll get an overview of both in the show.

Michael has been podcasting for more than a decade and tells his story of how his show has evolved over time just as he has. It’s a great episode discussing the possibilities of podcasting. Stay tuned for the PowerPress tip at the end of the episode as well. Thanks for listening!

Fan of the PowerPress plugin? Leave a review, here!

Show notes:

S-Town and Binge Listening
Michael Harren – MikeyPod
Don’t Waste Time Vanitycasting – Check out the Family Guy clip at the end
PowerPress Tip segment music via Matthew Sams – thanks!

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The Genesis of Blubrry’s “Own Your Own Podcast Feed” Credo



Here at Blubrry, we have a long history of encouraging podcasters to retain control of their own feed. Simply put, that means that your feed should look something like yoururl.com/feed – NOT yourpodcastservice.com/yourpodcastservice.xml.

Controlling your own podcast feed allows you to take it with you easily should you decide to change podcast service providers, and also protects you against outages or other problems that might occur with your feed provider.

But some might wonder how and why Blubrry arrived at this approach when other companies in the podcast services community advocate controlling the podcasters feed. Following is Blubrry CEO Todd Cochrane’s story, explaining why he took and Blubrry adopted the philosophy of Your Show, Your Brand, Your feed.

“In October of 2004. when I launched my show, I was using MovableType. There were some hacks used to get the feed podcast-compliant. At the time, it truly was a technical challenge, and a lot of folks across a variety of systems were hand-writing their feeds or using rudimentary software tools. In mid-2005, around the same time that Apple opened up Podcast support on iTunes, the folks at FeedBurner – which had been around since 2003 – updated their service to support all of the newly announced iTunes tags.”

Podcasters who didn’t have an easy way to implement those tags or create their own feed ran to Feedburner, says Cochrane. After all, it was an easy fix to what was, at the time, a difficult problem.

But “The geek in me screamed “No!” because, at the time, podcatcher software applications – which are largely extinct today – ruled the roost as the top podcast download and consumption tool,” explains Cochrane. “This was in the iPod days – no iPhone – so in our shows, we promoted our RSS feed in every episode as a primary way to subscribe. Promoting geeknewscentral.com/podcast.xml was a lot easier than promoting Feedburner as the place to sign up for my show. Everyone was very sensitive to their feeds, as a lot of directories launched then and made the mistake of not including shows’ sources feeds in the directory listings, which they often had to quickly correct as the outcry of podcasters was fierce.”

But all the while, Cochrane was producing his show and building his brand while growing a dedicated following around his site where he also fed listeners extra content including daily blog posts and special content surrounding events he attended. So it made no sense, he realized, to hand over his brand to a totally different company that could potentially dilute his brand or possibly control or cause delays in content delivery, like what happens today on FeedBurner.

And sometimes, putting your feed in another company’s control can lead to unexpected consequences. “When we launched RawVoice/Blubrry, and then later PowerPress, we had already witnessed podcast services going out of business and the podcasts that relied on their services, leaving podcasters and their audiences high and dry. I told our team that no matter what, we never want to put any of the users that use our tools or services in that position.”

As a result, the company has built a menu of services and products that allow a podcaster to build their podcast and brand as well as control their feed to exist and thrive independent of Blubrry. “Today Blubrry could cease to exist, and folks that use our tools would only need to find new hosting and stats,” explains Cochrane. “Customers would never lose their show, brand, feed, or audience.”

“It is a core part of the philosophy of this company that we fundamentally believe a podcaster should own and control his own intellectual property. This includes a .com, site, feed, brand, etc. Sure we have some customers that use a Bubrry.com provided RSS feed for their show, but that is less than 1% of our business and usually only when they have very special publishing needs. 99% of our customers own their stack and rely on our tools to power it. We believe if we are providing superior tools, service, and support that we will be rewarded with subscribers using our services.”

Recently, says Cochrane, a few naysayers in the podcasting community have asserted that Blubrry is trying to scare folks into using their own feeds. That’s not true, he asserts. “Our company fundamental beliefs is the genesis of how we developed this philosophy. With 65,000+ podcasters using PowerPress alone we know that our message resonates with a lot of creators out theirs. Podcasters need to weigh their options before launching a show, and if they decide to take control of their brand after launching with another service, we are here to help them.”

While Cochrane realizes he has a fundamental difference in philosophy from other podcast service companies, he believes Blubrry still offers the best possible services and products for those in the podcasting community. “I think our philosophy is a best practice for podcasters. While other services out there are doing interesting things, as a podcaster, first I want to make sure I control my stack top to bottom and use cool tools I so choose and not be limited by any service provider.”

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Radio Professionals: Learn From Blubrry CEO Todd Cochrane at NAB Show 2017



The annual NAB Show, where professionals in the fields of media, entertainment, and technology learn, network, and expand their skills, returns April 22 – 27, 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This year Blubrry CEO Todd Cochrane will speak on a panel specially geared toward radio professionals, helping them make the best success of their podcasting efforts.

The panel will help radio professionals create more effective and profitable podcasting programs, answering questions like:

  • How do 2017 podcast download numbers compare to previous years, and what might this mean for radio stations?
  • What is the download reach of the top podcasts in iTunes?
  • How have the IAB’s new podcast metric guidelines impacted podcasts?
  • What are the different platform, OS and device distribution shares?
  • What current trends in podcasting will continue to grow?
  • How can radio benefit from podcasting?

The panel “will also give radio professional insights into how their peers are leveraging the talent within their stations to create the content that they do so well, to build new revenue streams and reach audiences that have shifted to digital media consumption,” explains Cochrane.

There will be an open Q&A to round out the session, so be sure to come prepared with questions.

The session will take place Wednesday, April 26 from 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM in room N253. For more information on the session, click here. Or, take this opportunity to register for the NABShow.

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Is “New and Noteworthy” Really The Podcaster’s Pot of Gold?



For many new podcasters, getting added to iTunes’ “New and Noteworthy” section is the Holy Grail. While there is a lot of conjecture about the exact number of downloads and reviews a new podcast needs to amass in the first few weeks after launch to make it to the N&N list, mysterious strategies seem to have allowed shows with less than 100 downloads and just a couple of reviews to make it onto the list. The mystery surrounding the New and Noteworthy list seems to hold new podcasters hostage, with marketers selling “guaranteed” strategies to land a show on the list and podcasters feeling like failures if they don’t make it.

But are there any tried-and-true strategies for landing on the N&N list? And how important is it, anyway?

How It (Really) Works:

All podcasts that exist in the iTunes directory wind up in the “new” part of New and Noteworthy, explains Angelo Mandato, CIO of Blubrry. “There are about 10 thousand rotated through that section, and they’re ranked based on download and play popularity on iTunes itself.” But while “they say” you can stay in the “new” section for 8 weeks, he explains, the truth is a little trickier. “There are 1,200-2,400 shows added each week to iTunes, and they rotate through. So if it’s been 5 weeks and 1,200 shows were added each week, you’ll still be in the new list – but if they added 2,400 each week, your show rolls off New and Noteworthy sooner. It’s not set by time, but how many shows are added at a given time.” That means that if your podcast’s category happens to be seeing a lot of action right now, the chances of your show making it to the top of the list or staying on it the full 8 weeks will go down.

And when it comes to the Noteworthy part of N&N, Mandato explains, it’s out of your hands. “Podcasts in the “Noteworthy” part of New and Noteworthy are hand-picked by Apple staff, and you cannot influence that,” he says. “For example, around the Stanley Cup playoffs, Apple staff may pick 2-3 hockey podcasts to appear in New and Noteworthy.” Of course, putting out a high-quality, consistent show will make it much more likely your show will catch Apple’s eye. And there are other strategies you can employ, says Mandato, such as having a few episodes already published when you launch and then promoting hard so you can raise your show’s visibility. But there’s no “formula” that can ensure that your show appears in the Noteworthy section – it’s more about overall cachet and timing.

Why New and Noteworthy’s Prominence Is Dying Down

While newbie podcasters still covet that prized N&N recognition, Mandato points out that changes in the way podcasts are consumed has greatly reduced its overall effect. “In the iTunes desktop, the New and Noteworthy section was the first thing someone would see when navigating into the podcast portion of the app. That’s why in the past it was rather fortunate to be in the top of New and Noteworthy in particular categories,” he explains. “Today, though, the mobile app has the bulk of podcast consumption, and the mobile podcast iOS app does not display New and Noteworthy unless the user navigates into it. Usually folks navigate into the search or directly into their current subscriptions.”

The Bottom Line

When it comes right down to it, your podcast’s success will be determined much more by long-term effort than any get-big-quick schemes. “Getting on the New and Noteworthy list is great for ego, but there’s very little – if any – long term-gain, in my opinion,” says Todd Cochrane, CEO of Blubrry.

So what’s an ambitious new podcaster to do? While getting on the N&N list might be a nice temporary boost, publishing a quality show, doing plenty of listener outreach, and being consistent and patient will yield much better results over the long haul.

And just as importantly, don’t forget that iTunes is in itself a search engine. “Users rely heavily on searching for podcasts, so it’s important that you have a search strategy for your podcast,” says Mandato. It’s important to note that web SEO and podcast SEO are two very different things, and that using the free PowerPress plugin will help you maximize both.

So there’s the bottom line. Focus on quality, publish consistently, and put the bulk of your efforts into strategies that will help you over the long haul. That way, if you land on the New and Noteworthy list, it’ll be just a nice perk – not your show’s make-or-break strategy.

 

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PowerPress Tops 1 Million Downloads!



Here at Blubrry, we’re pretty proud of PowerPress, the FREE podcast publishing tool that powers more podcasts worldwide than any other plugin. But now we really have something to celebrate: On March 10, PowerPress surpassed 1 million downloads, pulling even further ahead of the pack when it comes to podcast management and distribution.

“PowerPress was created by Blubrry to fill a void,” explained Todd Cochrane, CEO. “The WordPress podcasting plugins at the time were plagued with compatibility issues and poor support.” The plugin was launched in 2008 and quickly became the most popular plugin on the market. “The industry’s response was phenomenal,” says Cochrane. Approximately 18 percent of all podcasts found on iTunes use PowerPress, more than any other service or platform, and the plugin now powers more than 65,000 podcast websites ranging from single podcasts to radio stations and podcast networks, the biggest having over 600 shows on a single install.

There are many reasons PowerPress has been downloaded 6X as much as any other podcasting plugin, but perhaps most important is the ease of use and all-in-one experience it allows.

“PowerPress allows individuals to manage podcasts directly from their WordPress website,” explained Angelo Mandato, CIO of Blubrry and the main developer of PowerPress. “By combining the website experience with your podcast, podcasters can leverage the synergy created between web visitors and podcast subscribers. With more than 100 iTunes compliant features, users can manage multiple podcasts in both audio and/or video.”

For thousands of podcasters, PowerPress has served as a free, easy-to-use introduction to the top-notch services Blubrry provides. But the real magic happens when PowerPress is used in tandem with other Blubrry products, such as hosting and professional podcast stats. The products work seamlessly together, allowing podcasters to create, publish, and distribute their podcasts – plus share new episodes on social media and check analytics – all without leaving their WordPress dashboard. And we don’t stop with creating great products: we’re here to help you every step of the way, with free podcasting tutorials and top-notch customer service. 

If you haven’t tried PowerPress, now’s the time to discover how easy and streamlined podcasting can really be! And if you’re one of the million-plus who’ve already downloaded the plugin, we’d love to hear what you think.

Leave us a comment below: what do you love about PowerPress? Why do you think it’s the most popular podcasting tool?

 

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Opportunities and Marketing Your Podcast with Michael Arias



Big thanks to Michael Arias for being our guest on this week’s episode of The PowerPress Podcast with MacKenzie. Michael’s show The Dental Marketer is only six months old, but he’s already seeing ways to profit. We talk about new opportunities that arise — personal and professional — and learn how Michael found his niche and discovered how passionate he is about podcasting. After talking about his show, MacKenzie and Michael discuss live podcasts and how they’re gaining in popularity. Thanks for listening and please subscribe!

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review, here!

Show notes:

How to Produce Podcasts That Create Innovative New Opportunities
The Dental Marketer
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram
Live Podcasts
Blubrry Twitter
Email MacKenzie

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5 Reasons Radio Professionals LOVE Blubrry



The best talent and minds in the radio industry can boast a strong understanding of a century-old medium. But while radio professionals see the huge potential in podcasting – both as an additional revenue source as well as an opportunity to build stronger brands by delivering on-demand content – it isn’t always easy to for a mass media company to launch a podcasting program.

Luckily, Blubrry has a solution for that.

“We are a small media market within a medium media market,” says Zack East, Digital Media Manager for Midwest Family Broadcasting in Benton Harbor, MI,  “Our consumers are thirsty for local content, swimming in a sea of out-of-state and corporate television and print.” Still, while management understood the value of podcasting, rolling out an organized effort to begin producing podcasts proved difficult until the company discovered Blubrry’s all-in-one solutions.

Here, East shares the five things he most appreciates about being a Professional level Blubrry hosting customer. 

Ease of Use:

While most of the company’s on-air talent was already producing some podcasts, the popular service they were using was cumbersome and required a lot of extra effort from the already-busy staff. After switching to Blubrry, he says, “we spoke with our staffs across six radio stations and explained how they never have to insert code again, that they could do everything in one step inside their station’s WordPress website, that they didn’t have to deal with more usernames and passwords, and that their podcasts will show up among their station’s blog posts,” explains East. “Needless to say, it went really well! And, as we all know, if it’s easy to do, there’s less chance someone will ‘forget’ to get it done.”

Accessibility for Listeners:

Ease of use for the listener is also key, says East. “I am a big believer in accessibility. The more accessible material is to the consumer, the better chance they’ll give it a listen.” Blubrry’s Subscribe on Android feature was a particular hit with the staff, many of whom use Android devices and had found the process of subscribing to podcasts time-consuming. Blubrry’s attractive, innovative media player was also well-received as a great way to introduce less technologically-oriented listeners to the world of podcasts.

A Streamlined Solution:

With six radio stations housed under one roof and a lean management team, there isn’t always a lot of time to individually coach each on-air personality through a lengthy process of publishing, promoting, and sharing podcasts. That’s why Blubrry’s suite of complementary services was such a breath of fresh air to East and his team. “This idea of keeping podcast content and stories or blogs all in one place is just magical. Who would have thought that we could easily marry a lot of tech together with such little effort? And, if we are able to explain to our listeners that EVERYTHING you hear on the air – the stories we talk about, the songs we play, the chance to see our social media or listen live, can all be found at the same website – they’ll be more likely to use us and come back,” he says.

More Opportunities To Monetize Content:

Of course, any media company’s primary goal is to be profitable, so a podcast program has to promise more than just personal satisfaction. East is finding that the “easy button” nature of Blubrry’s services has made it much easier to define the benefits and potential for sales staff and advertisers who may want to sponsor a podcast or even buy a client-focused podcast of their own. And the staff workload is so much less. “We don’t have to create a brand new website just to help them host a podcast either,” he says. One great example is the company’s new Meet the Makers podcast, which focuses on crafters of beer, wine and spirits in the company’s region and was the network’s first client-focused, sponsored podcast, all created using Blubrry’s professional-level hosting services.

World-Class Stats:

In any media buy situation, potential advertisers want to know one thing: how many people are listening, and who are they? Blubrry’s top-notch analytics make it easy for the team at MWFB to determine and communicate those numbers. “When we talked as a radio company about how we could monetize what we produce for our podcasts using our local sales staff, metrics were the number one concern. Most of our stations’ staff had been podcasting using other random services, most of which have no analytics for free. Since our sales staff is used to using our listening and digital infographics to help sell our products and audiences, it was integral that our podcasts also have just as much data. We were ecstatic to find out that Blubrry had data we didn’t think we could track from podcasting – most of it for free,” says East. “And, having data accessible to our airstaff, our clients and our sales people helps all of them justify the time and money spent on these sometimes major projects of producing a great product.”

Here at Blubrry, our focus has always been on handling the technology details so that talent can concentrate on what they’re best at: creating high-quality, compelling content. That goal explains why a small-but-mighty, locally-focused broadcasting company decided to trust Blubrry with its fledgling podcasting program. We believe that other broadcast companies, big and small, could learn something from that kind of forward thinking – and we’ll continue to be here, creating the products and services that fuel their success.

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