Category Archives: Blubrry

International Women’s Day, 2019



International Women’s Day 2019

Today is International Women’s Day, a holiday in some places and completely ignored in others. Sometimes it’s a day of protest, sometimes a day to celebrate womanhood, and sometimes both. And, before you wonder when International Men’s Day is, that’s not what we’re here to talk about. We’re here to shine a well deserved light, interview-style, on two of Blubrry’s amazing employees, MacKenzie Bennett and Lena Taupier. They’re integral parts of the team that brings you world-class podcast hosting, IAB Tech Lab Certified podcast stats, and the ubiquitous PowerPress WordPress podcasting plugin.

MacKenzie is Services and Affiliates Coordinator at RawVoice, parent company of Blubrrry.

Lena is Lead Software Developer at RawVoice.

Blubrry (B): thanks for taking some time. I know you have plenty to do, so let’s just jump right in. Are you a podcaster?

MacKenzie Bennett (MB): I am, for Blubrry. Outside of work, I don’t have a podcast, maybe one day.

Lena Taupier (LT): No, but I have become a podcast addict.

 

B: What’s your show show called?

MB: I host the PowerPress Podcast. It’s you guessed it, pretty meta, and all about podcasting news and Blubrry podcasters.

 

B: How long have you been podcasting?

MB: it’s been about three and a half, four years, now.

 

B: Why did you get into it?

MB: When I started at Blubrry four years ago I had never been on a podcast. They wanted to me to host with a fresh, unbiased perspective.

LT: I had listened to a couple of episodes here and there over the years but it wasn’t until I started working at Blubrry that I truly became a podcast addict.

 

B: What’s your favorite thing about podcasting?

MB: People. I interview guests on almost every episode and each time I get to learn about their show and discuss what is new and fun (or awful) in podcasting.

LT: I love that it’s such an open medium where literally anyone who has an interest in a particular area can start creating content that others can consume. I also appreciate how easy it is to listen on the go. Nowadays there’s nothing I’d rather be doing on long drives than listening to my favorite podcasts!

 

B: Speaking of, what are your current favorite podcasts and why?

LT: Freakonomics – This show explores a wide variety of topics, from the cost/benefit of having 6,500+ languages in the world, to the parking problem in America. I really love numbers and statistics and the hosts do a great good job of gathering data to backup their findings so it’s really interesting. Snap Judgement – This show interviews people from all over the world who have interesting life stories. I am always in awe of the diverse and profound life experiences that I hear about in each episode.

 

MB: I’m not a subscriber. Rarely will I listen to every episode of shows I love. For that reason, I love series – ones I can’t skip episodes on. Recently finished Happy Face; typical crime show, but sue me for loving to learn about murderers.

 

B: How long have you been with Blubrry?

MB: 4 years almost to the day! March 9, 2015 was my first day.

LT: 3.5 years and counting!

 

B: What’s it like working at Blubrry?

LT: It’s very fast-paced and exciting because things are constantly changing due to the nature of the podcast industry. As a software developer, I really enjoy that aspect because it means we get to work on new, exciting projects quite frequently. I also really like that we have an open environment where new ideas are encouraged and we have the flexibility to explore and use new technologies.

MB: Insightful. Constantly learning, but also exciting being part of the new releases, services and changes in the industry.

 

B: What are you most excited about in the world of podcasting for 2019?

MB: Hard to say at the moment. Edison Research Infinite Dial numbers just came out and I’m surprised how interested I am at looking forward to digging into what is causing listener growth.

LT: I’m excited about all the tools and technologies that are popping up to help make podcasts more discoverable. For example, as AI transcription from audio to text improves, it will become much easier to search through and discover new podcasts based on specific topics.

B: If you could interview anyone (living or dead)  for your podcast, who would you choose and why?

LT: I would interview Marie Curie. She was the first woman to win a Nobel prize and the only person ever to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences. I would love to hear about her earlier years and what it was like to be a female scientist at that time.

MB: Honestly, my first thought was a pirate. I think they’re hilarious, full of good stories, and would love to get their perspective on my horrible Halloween renditions of them over the years.

 

B: Thanks for chatting, and thanks for what you do for Blubrry! Anything else you’d like to add?

MB: Look out for your other female podcasters. Bond with them, learn with them.

LT: Thanks!

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How to Remove Podcast Episode Numbers From Your Feed



Apple Podcasts LogoApple is Encouraging you to Not Include Episode Numbers in Episode Titles for Apple Podcasts.

Apple is strongly encouraging podcasters to not include episode numbers in the episode titles of their episodes. The fix is fairly simple & straightforward but could be pretty labor intensive if you have a lot of episodes.

How to Remove Podcast Episode Numbers

To remove the episode numbers for your title simply edit each post and remove the episode numbers. Simple, yes. But could be time consuming if you’ve got years of episodes. Better to fix it now, though, than to be smacked by Apple.

How to Remove Podcast Episode Numbers JUST from Apple Podcasts

Apple Podcasts may be losing market share, but they’re still the dominant player. We are of the opinion that they want to clean up the look of the Apple Podcasts directory. But you need to understand how removing the episode number for Apple’s sake will affect the look of your show in other applications. 

So far, here is what we found with the <itunes:title> tag vs. the plain old main <title> tag.
Google Podcasts – Main title
Pocket Casts – Apple title
Podcast Addict – Main title
BeyondPod – Stripped out the number but uses the main title ??
Spotify – Main Title
Tunein – Main title
Overcast – Apple Title
Himalaya – Apple Title

Good news, though, for PowerPress users: you have options you can tailor your episode feed to Apple Podcasts to remove episode numbers just from Apple Podcasts and those that use the Apple Title. So, if you would like to have the numbers in your main title on your site and those apps listed above, and remove it just for the Apple Title do the following:

  1. In the Episodes tab of PowerPress settings, enable “ iTunes Episode Title Field” and “iTunes Episode Number, Season and Type Fields”
  2. Save Changes at the bottom of that page.
  3. Edit each post and click “modify” in the podcast episode area.
  4. Type in the new title for Apple Podcasts in the ‘iTunes title’ box.
  5. Update the post.

If you want to make these changes, If you have 299 episodes in your feed consider lowering that number until you have edited your posts.

Again, this only works in PowerPress. So if you are using a feed using Blubrry.com use the advanced edit button to expose these tags

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Set A Podcast Schedule, Stick To It.



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

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

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

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

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review here.

Show notes:

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

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Podcast Stats Soundbite: Brazil In Bloom



Podcast Stats Soundbites

Podcast Stats Soundbite: Brazil In Bloom

BRICS “is the acronym coined for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.” They account for about 40% of the world’s population, 23% of the gross world product, and are forecasted to grow at a faster rate than the rest of the world. Kind of a big deal. And, when we took a deep dive into our proprietary podcast media download statistics–which go back a decade, we found pretty interesting factoids. In this edition of Podcast Stats Soundbites, we take a look at the Brazilian podcast market. Spoiler alert: it’s large and growing quickly. Might want to pay attention.

  1. In 2009, podcast downloads in Brazil didn’t even make the top 10. Floating somewhere between 13 and 20, Brazil wasn’t really on any podcast market radar. All that changed by 2012. Brazil podcast downloads grew by ludicrous triple digits year over year in 2010 and 2011. And, when they slowed down to only 70%+ in 2012, they had some serious momentum. Brazil’s average Q4 year over year growth rate for podcast media downloads is an astonishing 127% for the past decade.
  2. Brazil is now the second largest podcast download market in the world– bigger than the UK and Australia… combined. The US is still, far and away, the largest podcast market with 660M+ downloads in 2018. But Brazil saw 110M+ downloads in 2018.
  3. Brazil is huge. And growing. Based on our podcast stats, while Brazil saw podcast downloads grow by 33% in 2018, the other top five (USA, Canada, UK, and Australia) saw decreases of 3% – 12%.

The Brazil podcast market is huge and growing. Do you have a Portuguese language version of your show? Do you listen to any? Or, do you have any burning podcast stats questions you’d like us to answer? We have a wealth of data going back a decade.

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Podcasting Equipment: 5 Drool-Worthy Pieces of Gear



Podcaster speaking into microphone

Podcasting Equipment: 5 Drool-Worthy Pieces of Podcasting Equipment

There are plenty of great podcasting equipment lists out there. Easy research, plenty of resources. Make sure you do yours. To produce a podcast you need something to capture the audio, and something to process/edit the audio. That could be as simple as your smartphone, or as complicated as a full-on recording studio. We’re going to assume, for the sake of brevity and sanity, that you have a smartphone, tablet, or computer of some kind with which to process your audio recordings. We’re putting the finishing touches on our office podcasting studio, which is pretty awesome. Check out a picture here. With that in mind, here’s our list of 5 drool-worthy pieces of podcasting equipment.

  1. Rode Podcaster USB Broadcast Microphone. Great for podcasting, this dynamic mic with cardioid polar pattern produces broadcast quality sound. The cardioid polar pattern minimizes off-axis noise. With the USB, you can plug this directly into your computer and begin capturing great audio.
  2. Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones. What good is a great mic if you can’t hear it accurately? Audio-Technica makes some of the finest studio monitor headphones on the market today. These also have a ridiculously flat frequency response from 15-20k Hz, making it that much easier to get an accurate mix.
  3. Acoustic Panels Studio Foam Wedges. You’ve got a great mic, killer headphones, and… a very “bright” room for recording. You speak and those sound pressure waves go bouncing around your room– walls, ceiling, floors– muddying up your podcast audio with unwanted audio reflections. You might want to consider some acoustic panels to spot treat sound on walls in your studio or office.
  4. Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface. Don’t get us wrong: USB mics are great. But, sometimes, you just need something a little… more from your podcasting equipment. In which case, we are drooling over the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 USB audio interface. It has 2 inputs (ever have guests on your podcast?) and 4 outputs. Plus it has the legendary Focusrite preamps and D/A converters. Pair this with your favorite (non-USB) mic and you’re in for a treat.
  5. Zoom H6 Six-Track Portable Recorder. Small but mighty. Mighty, mighty good. This handy little bit of kit will let you take the show on the road. 6 inputs. Records to two SD cards. What. Is. Not. To. Like?!

Forget the Podcasting Equipment and Get Going

Ok. Admittedly, we totally nerded out putting this podcasting equipment list together. It’s really fun to see what gadgets are available, or how prices have fallen. But it’s also easy to fall into the analysis paralysis trap where you go down internet rabbit hole after internet rabbit hole in search of the best deal on the best podcasting equipment in the history of humankind. One of the most important podcasting tips we can ever convey: start. Start podcasting with whatever you have. Your story is good enough to shine through even the muddiest of recordings. So get going. And, of course, we recommend Podcast Hosting, Stats, and PowerPress from Blubrry.

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Podcast Stats Soundbite: A Prediction About Apple Podcasts



Podcast Stats Soundbites

Podcast Stats Soundbite: A Prediction About Apple Podcasts

As part of our continuing series Podcast Stats Soundbites, this week we’re going to take a look at a treasure trove of podcast media download statistics. Specifically, podcast download clients–Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, etc.–some trends we see, and what that might mean for the podcasting space overall.

Podcast Stats Soundbite 1: Apple Podcasts Still Rules

Based on proprietary Blubrry Pro Podcast Stats data, Apple Podcasts, formerly known as iTunes Podcasts, is still the most used podcast download platform. In 2018 it was nearly 3x as large as the next nearest ecosystem (Google’s various devices and apps), and nearly twice as large as Google, Stitcher, Microsoft, Spotify, and Amazon combined.

Podcast Stats Soundbite 2: Apple Is Cannibalizing Itself

From January 2018 through December 2018, Apple Podcasts consumption moved from iOS to WatchOS in a big way. From January through August, Blubrry Pro Podcast Stats data show that Apple Podcasts on iOS grew from ~45% market share to ~50% market share. From September through December, Apple podcasts decreased to ~27% market share. That’s almost half. Where’d that market share go? Primarily Apple Watch, which grew from nothing to nearly 9% market share in that same period. What about the rest of that market share– where’d it go? Death by a thousand cuts. Everything from Stitcher (minor growth from 2.5% to 2.7%), to Spotify (grew from 0% to 1%), to CastBox.fm (which appears to be inversely correlated to Apple Podcasts: when Apple gains, CastBox.fm loses, and vice versa). As a market matures, it is common to see fragmentation as new entrants divide up existing market share. However, seeing such a precipitous drop by Apple Podcasts is not common.

Podcast Stats Soundbite 3: Apple Will Embrace Alexa

Based on the podcast stats data outlined above, we predict that Apple will create an Apple Podcasts Alexa skill as a way to hedge their podcast download market leader position. Amazon reportedly has 100 million Alexa enabled devices in the market. Among the primary use cases for these devices is listening to music and podcasts. So, just as Apple added Apple Music to the growing list of Alexa skills is 2018, it makes good sense, strategically, to have Apple Podcasts represented in this growing market. As an aside, while Google has more Google Assistant devices in the market, Google’s phones and Android also compete directly with Apple’s golden goose: iPhone.

Apple Podcasts is still huge, but it’s losing market share to… Apple Watch and a bunch of (relatively) new entrants. So we’re predicting that Apple’s going to produce an Alexa skill for Apple Podcasts. Bold or blah? What do you think, and why?

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Podcast Stats Soundbite: 3 Surprising Stats about Religious Podcasts



Podcast Stats Soundbites

Podcast Stats Soundbite: 3 Surprising Stats about Religious Podcasts

Maybe podcasting is a modern continuation of the prophets, town criers, and sages of old (which is pretty dang cool, if you think about it). Maybe podcasting is yet another channel where we create self-selecting “filter bubbles” lacking any diversity in life experience or perspective (but there are things you can do to fix that.) Whatever category, whatever reason over the past decade or so Blubrry has had the great fortune to be home to hundreds of thousands of podcasters in our Podcast Directory and our Podcast Stats & Podcast Hosting platforms. This year, we’re going to be focusing a bit on Podcast Statistics, making some predictions, and calling out what we believe are interesting factoids. We hope you’ll come along on this journey with us find some interesting, useful factoids.

The Inevitable Disclaimer

Let’s get this out of the way first: we are not here to promote one religion (or no religion) over another. This is simply looking at the production and consumption of religious-themed podcasts.

Podcast Stats Soundbite 1: Religious Podcasts Dominate

Of the 660,000+ podcasts in the Blubrry Podcast Directory, there are just over 92,000 podcasts in the Religious category. That’s almost half again as many podcasts in the Religious category than the next largest category, Culture & Travel which has nearly 65,000. Religious podcasts account for nearly 15% of total podcasts.

Podcast Stats Soundbite 2: Religious Podcasts Listenership Has Grown at an Astronomical Rate

Over the past decade, Religious podcast listeners (as measured by downloads) has increased by 85%. On average. Per year. 85%. That’s a phenomenal growth rate. Interesting side note: most of that enormous growth rate happened in 2015, when we saw a jump from roughly 110M downloads in Q4 2014 to nearly 680M estimated downloads in Q4 2015. If we remove that anomalous year, the growth rate still averages nearly 30% per year, which is nearly triple the average growth rate of all podcast estimated downloads.  

Podcast Stats Soundbite 3: Religious Podcasts Have Fewer Listeners Per Podcast

Ok. We’ve established Religious podcast have seen huge growth in both creation and listenership. But what about how many listeners each podcast can expect to attract? Well, Religious podcasts fall slightly below average on this measure. Religious podcasts attracted, on average, 8.75% fewer downloads per podcast (4,166 for religious podcasts vs. 4,565 for all categories) in Q4 over the past decade. This makes sense when you consider the massive number of religious podcasts that are created: it’s fragmenting the listener base. 

Not only are Religious podcasts the largest category–by far–but they’re also growing more quickly than average, both in terms of podcasts created and listeners (as measured by downloads). But they are slightly below the average number of listeners per podcast. Be sure to check back next week when we’ll be discussing Apple vs. Amazon and making a fairly bold prediction for 2019.

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Big, Fresh, Juicy Blubrry News.



Blubrry Podcast Stats are Certified IAB Compliant

Ok. We can’t keep it a secret a second longer, so pardon our excitement while we nerd out for a sec. We’ve been hinting at it, and there’s been buzz about it. But we are pleased to finally–and officially–announce that Blubrry has become the first ever podcast hosting company to receive Interactive Advertising Bureau Tech Lab (IAB) Podcast Measurement Certification. Our podcast statistics are now officially certified to the highest set of industry standards. We’re officially official.

Fireworks! Horns! Party hats!

Why IAB Certification Matters

Ok. Seriously, though. Podcasting has come a long way since 2005 when we started providing podcasting statistics, and Blubrry continues to thrive and lead. “This is the gold standard. There are no substitutes or shortcuts to certification of compliance,” said Todd Cochrane, Blubrry CEO. “Ad buyers, networks, podcast hosting platforms, and podcasters now have an audited, certified platform ready to serve them.”

The IAB Tech Lab certification is important because it gives podcast hosting companies, media buyers, and podcasters the confidence that the numbers they’re seeing are accurate to the highest level in the industry. Meaning they can make more informed decisions about advertising & monetization.

The Road to Podcast Stats Being IAB Certified

We were one of several organizations who took part in the auditing and certification process. It was extensive. It was exhaustive. It was independent. And it was based on the standards within the IAB’s Podcast Measurement Guidelines. Plus, we’re in good company: National Public Radio (NPR) was the only other organization certified as of this posting.

As part of IAB’s Podcast Technical Working Group, Blubrry and 31 other podcast and traditional media companies contributed to the Podcast Measurement Guidelines, released in December 2017, that provide strict rules and guidelines as the basis of certification, including downloads, listens, advertising delivery and advertisement play.

Podcast Stats that are IAB Certified and Platform Agnostic

As of today, Blubrry Enterprise customers can label their podcast statistics as Certified IAB Compliant. Blubrry Hosting customers and those shows using the Blubrry redirect with other platforms will quickly follow as outlined in this blog post. Blubrry customers should expect no changes to their metrics as the certified platform system has been in place since 2013. Yeah. You read that right. Since 2013. Even when we weren’t certified, we still built a solid podcast stats platform you trust to accurately portray your audience and their consumption of your content.  

What’s more, and unlike other providers, Blubrry podcast statistics are platform agnostic. Which means our podcast stats services aren’t limited just to Blubrry hosting customers. Although, more than 50,000 podcasters have trusted Blubrry podcast stats for the past decade plus– whether they host their podcast with us or not.

What did the process cover? A ton. Blubrry CIO, Angelo Mandato said “The audit included reviews of our platform architecture, filtering, file threshold levels, identity, aggregate uniques, metrics generation, website player reviews and recommendations, disclosures and external audit of the code line by line.”

Thanks, as always, for your trust in and support of Blubrry. We’re in this because we love podcasting, and we want podcasters to have the best tools available to grow your audience. Keep up the hard work (we will too!).

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Podcast RSS Feed Misconceptions



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

Top 5 Directories

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

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

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review here.

Show notes:

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

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Pro Podcast Stats Getting More Goodies



Podcast Statistics Platform Enhancements

Have you noticed anything new about your Blubrry Pro Podcast Media Download Statistics (podcast stats) recently? We just rolled out some upgrades! In 2017 we added Great Britain, Brazil and Canada reporting. This year we’ve added regional breakdowns for Germany and Mexico– countries with increasing podcast creation and listenership. Along with new countries, we’ve added DMA regions for US metro regions. The DMA metro regions will be separated from the rest of the US reporting to provide clarity for analyzing and monetization opportunities. In a nutshell, here’s what the Pro Podcast Stats platform enhancements are, and what it means for podcasters:

  • Hourly downloads reporting: Pro Stats users will be able to see how many downloads you’re getting during each hour for the first week. This is a great way for podcasters to find out what days/times might be most popular for releasing episodes.
  • In addition to current geographic breakdowns, we’ve added regional breakdowns for Germany and Mexico. Our Pro Podcast Stats users will be one step closer to total podcast world domination.
  • And we’ve added further geographic reporting in the US by adding the ability to report on DMAs (for example, Chicago, Atlanta, etc.) This lets you provide clearer audience data to your advertisers.

Podcaster and Blubrry CEO, Todd Cochrane, said “Podcast stats are crucial for podcasters to grow our audiences. And especially so for monetization. Because Blubrry continues to provide more detailed, accurate information about your content and listeners, you have more control over the future of your show and brand.”

IAB Podcast Statistics Certification Update

We’re also expecting to achieve IAB podcast measurement/statistics certification in the coming days. Which is kind of a huge deal. Look for more on that as it develops, but we’ve been hard at work on it for a while now. The auditing process and proceeding certification reflect the highest standard in the industry set by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, which will set the gold standard for all podcasting organizations. That means you will be able to provide advertisers and media buyers the most accurate, up to date statistics about your podcast, and that they can trust your numbers because our platform underwent a rigorous IAB audit and certification process.

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