Category Archives: Blubrry

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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New Echo With Video and Blubrry Accounts Explained – Your Podcast 005



Todd and Mike talk about the new Echo Devices from Amazon, the Podcast Awards relaunch, Small Batch Audio Kickstarter, and about how Blubrry accounts are organized. Also, we answer the question “How many subscribers do I have?” Thanks for listening and please subscribe.

News:

Podcast Awards – Relaunched and with new rules
SmallBatch.Audio Kickstarter
Alexa Echo Show – Alexa exists in what looks like an “iPad” lookalike, including video and camera.
Alexa calling and messaging enabled

Topics:

PowerPress Sites Deluxe will include the following:
– A fully managed WordPress Website
– More theme options
– Domain mapping
– DNS control
– Email forwarding
– More plugin selections

Tech:

Accounts at Blubrry.com explained:
– Login account – What you use to sign into your overall Blubrry account.
– Show listing – Your show’s listing in Blubrry. You can add hosting, stats, PPS to each listing.
– Hosting or Stats subscriptions – These are hosting or stats for individual shows.

When you ask us to “delete” an account, this means your your login will no longer work and ALL of your serivces and listings will be turned off. We regularly received 2 or 3 deletion requests a week, that then wonder why they cannot login anymore.
We get this question all the time: “How many subscribers do I have?” The short answer is, there is no way to tell, listen to the show for a better explanation.

———–

To send us feedback or questions, yourpodcast@blubrry.com

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Columbus Podcast Festival and Blubrry Updates



If you’re interested to know what Blubrry has been to up, this is a great time to catch up on the PowerPress Podcast. MacKenzie doesn’t have a guest but talks about what the Blubrry team has been doing, such as attending the Columbus Podcast Festival and working on PowerPress Sites Deluxe. If you haven’t heard, Twitter is also up to something new concerning live streaming, with an unknown launch date. Shawn Thorpe graciously shares another PowerPress tip at the end of the episode as well. Thanks for listening and please subscribe to the show!

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review, here!

Show notes:

Columbus Podcast Festival
PowerPress Sites Deluxe
Twitter – Live Streaming

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Midroll Vs Preroll: What’s The Best Place For Podcast Advertising?



For podcasters putting together their own media kits and trying to stab-in-the-dark at rates, it can be confusing figuring how to put a value on different advertising placements. There is a common idea, for example, that most shows aren’t listened to all the way through, which would affect the value of placement later in a show. But that perception is simply wrong, says Todd Cochrane, CEO of Blubrry.

“We know from survey info that, if executed in the first 25% of a show, an ad will have an extremely high chance of being heard,” says Cochrane. “When planning campaigns we look at up to 3 months’ worth of show download trends to see where an audience is in predicting download totals. The percentage of download data we see in our enterprise podcast statistics reporting makes very clear a high percentage of listeners get past the 25% mark.”

And even spots that air a bit later fare well. Going by Blubrry/Rawvoice’s robust statistics, 85% of the time when someone initiates listening to a podcast episode, it is ultimately 75% – 100% downloaded. While there is a 10% margin of error, that’s still a pretty great indicator that most shows are being listened to all the way to the end – or at least, very close.

So knowing that a listener is likely to hear an ad whether it’s placed at the beginning or end of a program, does it matter where the spot appears? The answer is “maybe.”

Heather Osgood, CEO of True Native Media, which connects advertisers with podcasts of all sizes, says that sponsors tend to prefer midroll placement – defined as occurring somewhere within the middle 50% of a program, or at least 25% from either end. “The listener is typically engaged in an activity and won’t get out their phone to forward through the ad,” she explains. “Pricing for midroll is typically the highest priced ad spot within a program, while endroll spots are the least desirable because someone can easily turn off the episode and doesn’t have any incentive to listen to an ad at the end of the program.”

That said, just because a listener hears an ad or hasn’t shut off an episode yet, that doesn’t necessarily mean he or she is paying attention. And it’s hard to find data that draws a clear correlation between the placement of an ad and how likely the audience is to engage with the sponsor or make a purchase.

That’s the bad news. The good news? Right now, many advertisers overall don’t seem too concerned about placement, and may not be tracking conversions at all.  “I have not found that the average advertiser cares much about placement as long as it isn’t at the end of the show,” says Osgood. “I have not to date had an advertiser request a lower rate based on placement, nor have I had an advertiser refuse to advertiser when their desired placement is not met.” She also mentions that engagement and conversions, while a nice bonus, aren’t typically the advertiser’s concern. “Downloads are king when it comes to advertiser interest,” she says.

That doesn’t mean that smaller podcasts should despair, however. “We find that very niche podcasts, while harder to sell, command a higher cost per spot,” says Osgood, pointing out that True Native Media represents shows that have as few as 2,000 downloads per episode within a 30-day period, but that shows that receive 10,000+ find greater success with advertisers.

And regardless of whether sponsors are paying attention right now, it makes sense to ensure that your listeners are truly engaging with your ads. As advertisers become more savvy, they are likely to continue to ask more of podcasters by way of detailed podcast statistics and proving engagement and conversions. Also, keep in mind that if your show commands a loyal audience, you may do very well with affiliate marketing regardless the size of that audience – but while a sponsor might not be too worried about where that spot appears, placement could make a big difference to the success of an affiliate campaign.

No matter what, it’s wise to make sure your audience is engaging with all of your content – including the sponsored parts – to ensure continued growth and a satisfied, loyal listenership.

 

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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 – Your Podcast 003



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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