Category Archives: Blubrry

Assist the Blubrry Development Team



HiringThe Columbus office, home to the software development team for Blubrry Podcasting and MacKenzie our Services and Affiliates Coordinator, is in need of an administrative / office assistant. With a small team of developers, we need someone to assist with a variety of tasks associated with the department, such as writing documentation, testing new features, helping to manage projects, etc.

The team needs someone who is comfortable moving from task to task and ensuring that the office runs smoothly. Given the industry that we’re in, a passion for technology is a desired characteristic. If you’re familiar with podcasting – from behind the mic or just a fan – even better.

Positions at Blubrry are never set in stone so depending on your skills, education and interest this could evolve into a higher position. We’re looking for someone to join us in the physical Columbus, Ohio, office 40 hours a week, regular business hours, as soon as possible.

  • Office / Administrative Assistant Skills
    • Technology: Email, calendars, documents, spreadsheets and presentations
    • Communication: Handling incoming correspondence from customers or partners
    • Organizational skills: Schedules, events, email and files
    • Time management: Accurately plan and estimate tasks
    • Strategic planning: Prioritize tasks in order of importance
    • Agile: Quickly adapt to changes
    • Detail oriented: Catch typos, poor grammar and other mistakes
    • Anticipate: Complete important tasks without needing to be asked

This position includes lots of writing for the team and our community, so we’re looking for a skilled, confident writer. This means that a cover letter is very much appreciated. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

You can learn more about the position and apply on Monster here. If you have any questions, email jobs@rawvoice.com.

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Podcast Hosting Options and Your Content



Podcasters have lots of options today when it comes to hosting, which is really incredible considering how things were when Blubrry launched back in 2005. Having been in the space that long gives us a lot of perspective on the ease of which podcasters today can get their message out to the world versus how much more difficult it was five or ten years ago. If you hang out with any of our team members or listen to our podcast, you will quickly learn that we are podcasters first and foremost and very attuned to creator rights in regards to their content.

At Blubrry, we’re committed to providing top-notch services to podcasters. The products and services we provide allow those that use our services to launch their podcast in a way that allows them to control their brand, intellectual property, and of course their podcast feed. We are confident that, three or six months down the road, podcasters who sign on with our services will feel great about the choice they made to work with a company that respects those rights and makes it easy to retain ownership and control of their intellectual property.

By contrast, today we often get calls from podcasters who have realized they made some podcast service provider selection missteps when they launched their shows.

These run the full gambit, but for most, it’s the realization that they are building their show/brand on top of rented land and that they would much rather be promoting their own .com versus promoting the brand or vertical their show is on. With Google, today entering the scene with Google Podcasts the value of building your SEO for your own site is much more appealing than building the SEO of your host.

Today, podcasting is big business, with many models to choose from. While a few of our offerings are free, notably the PowerPress Plugin & basic Podcast Stats, most of our products and services – like hosting and pro stats – have subscription costs. While some podcast offerings out there today are attempting to forge new business models, our perspective in the space requires us to consider creators first and not risk our customers’ shows with business models we have seen come and go.

“Podcasting companies are more than a place to host your media,” explains Blubrry/RawVoice CEO Todd Cochrane. “At Blubrry, we have a diverse team that is involved in support, development, monetization and podcaster advocacy. We work behind the scenes with groups such as the IAB to make sure your podcast stats are IAB compliant. At the same time, we consistently maintain and update our infrastructure and continue to develop new and existing services.”

All this requires time, resources, and yes money – so if a company is providing you a service and not charging you for it, their business model necessitates generating significant revenue to pay salaries, benefits, infrastructure, rent and more. In that circumstance, the value you’re “trading” them is often not well defined, but may include access to and control of your content. We would argue that your content is far more valuable than what we charge you to host it and is, in fact, too valuable to trade away for access to “free” services.

A free podcast host might be a good fit for you if you’re testing out podcasting. However, keep in mind that a free service may restrict your ability to monetize your podcast yourself. You may not be able to access your own analytics, and if your host owns your feed, they may also insert their own ads or even remove your show without warning. The more control you give up of your content and where it lives, the more likely a change to the company’s business model or terms of service will negatively affect you.

At Blubrry we start with the simple premise that there are many benefits to podcasters owning and controlling their intellectual property, and we are committed to creating products and services that allow you to grow your show without our interference. It may not be free, but for those of us serious about building our brands, the cost is well worth paying.

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Happy 10th Birthday, PowerPress!



PowerPress Plugin

From its modest beginning on August 11, 2008, through the dozens of updates that led to its feature-packed modern incarnation, the PowerPress Plugin was born from a desire to help the podcasting community – and that commitment is just as strong today.

When a popular WordPress-based podcast plugin went under in 2007, the team at Blubrry saw the impact it was having on podcasters, and sprung into action to create a solution – and the rest is history.

Among many, many other changes and improvements, the 10-year history of PowerPress has included:

Some things, however, have never changed. The PowerPress plugin continues to be free, and is still cared for by its original developer, Blubrry CIO Angelo Mandato (for more on the history and future of PowerPress, listen to the most recent episode of the PowerPress Podcast.) Now powering between 60,000 and 80,000 podcasts, PowerPress remains stable and forward-thinking: ready to handle a continuing increase of listeners and imminent new technology like implementation into vehicles.

Happy birthday, PowerPress! We’re excited to watch you continue to power podcasts for the next decade and beyond.

 

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Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Dynamic, Condenser: What Kind Of Mic Is Best For Podcasting?



Whether you’re just getting started podcasting or ready to upgrade your equipment, choosing a mic can be one of the most confusing decisions you make. There are a ton of options out there, and podcasters have some very definite opinions about which microphones are best…but first, you have to make two choices.

Cardioid Vs. Omnidirectional: 

A cardioid or hypercardioid microphone (like the Audio Technica AR-2100 or RØDE Podcaster) records from a specific area of the mic, while an omnidirectional mic picks up sound equally from all areas of the mic.

“For podcasting, you’re basically always going to want a cardioid or hypercardioid microphone,” says Brian Thomas, audio engineer and owner of Yōkai Audio. “The polar pattern of a cardioid microphone allows you to focus on the sound you want, like your voice, while minimizing the sounds you don’t want – i.e., everything else.” (For more information on how to use your microphone’s polar pattern to your advantage, check out this thorough article.)

Cardioid/hypercardioid mics are usually the better choice for podcasters for a couple of reasons, says Thomas.

First, very few podcasters are able to record in ideal conditions. “Cardioid/hypercardioid mics allow you use the microphone’s “dead spot” at the back of the capsule to minimize unwanted noise,” says Thomas. “If you have a loud heating duct or rumbly refrigerator, you can point the back of your microphone at it and significantly reduce its presence on your recording.”

Second, if you’re recording multiple people in the same room, you’ll want to be able to isolate your signals as much as possible. “You can point two cardioid mics 180 degrees away from each other and use the dead spots at the back of the capsule to minimize bleed between the microphones,” suggests Thomas.

There may be circumstances in which an omnidirectional microphone is the better choice for a podcaster – for example, if you’re recording on location, and the background noise is an important part of the podcast’s ambiance. And some podcasters use omnidirectional mics to capture the voices of several people at once into a single mic. Beware, though, that since a single mic is capturing the sound, there won’t be a way to separate those voices later to level them out or make isolated adjustments. For all these reasons, Thomas highly recommends recording each individual on their own cardioid mic.

Dynamic Vs. Condenser:

The choice between dynamic and condenser microphones is mostly one of personal preference, but you’ll want to keep a few things in mind. First, condensers are generally more sensitive than dynamic mics, which means you’ll get a crisper, more detailed sound. But, that also makes condensers more prone to picking up background noises you don’t necessarily want (remember what we said earlier about refrigerators, air conditioners and the other less-than-ideal realities home podcasters dal with?) and may also exaggerate lip smacking, breathing and other sounds you’d rather didn’t come across on your recording.  Condenser mics also require an external power source. That said, many podcasters successfully use condenser mics and prefer them to dynamic; just keep in mind your recording location and other factors when choosing.

The absolute best way to choose a mic, suggests Thomas, is to head to a local retailer and try them for yourself. If that’s not realistic, ask around: forums, blog posts and Amazon reviews are a great way to find out which mics are favorites of other podcasters…and why.

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Help Wanted at Blubrry Podcasting



Help WantedBlubrry Podcasting is looking to add an amazing technical support independent contractor to their roster. Podcasters, or those familiar with the industry looking for a night and weekend gig, we want you. Expect 10 hours or so a week after 5PM EST and anytime on the weekends. Best of all, you get to work remotely from the comfort of your couch for a long-standing podcasting leader.

 

Requirements:

  • Master troubleshooter.
  • Great written communication skills.
  • WordPress Ins and outs, including plugins and themes.
  • Our plugin, PowerPress. Comfortable and knowledgeable about getting started, Categories, Channels, and how other themes and plugins integrate.

Most interaction will be via email or our internal ticket system, so comfortable writing and explaining tech details.

Overall:

We’re looking for a person that can interact well and regularly in a remote working environment. We use Slack, Google Suite, and phone, Skype, Hangouts, Gotomeetings and other voice apps. Many podcasters work on the weekends, in their free time, and our goal is to provide excellent customer service 24/7.

Pay dependent on experience. Looking to fill ASAP. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Contact:

Mike Dell
mike@blubrry.com
Customer Support Manager
o: 877-729-8642 ext. 1
m: 231-715-1366
www.blubrry.com

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One Surprising Thing Podcasters Can Learn From Alex Jones and InfoWars



Earlier this week, Apple made big news when the company, citing hate speech, removed 5 of the 6 podcasts hosted by Alex Jones of InfoWars.com. 

What you may not know is that, when podcasts are removed from the Apple Podcast Directory, they also automatically disappear from many other apps. That’s because most podcast apps are powered by the Apple Podcast Directory via an Apple-controlled API. This means that the app owners don’t have to make difficult decisions about content – but it also means that they don’t have the ability to individually control the way podcasts appear on their app, or whether they appear at all.

Apple does it essentially by proxy: because these apps largely do not have their own infrastructure to maintain a master list of shows, what you end up with is one entity controlling 95% of all master show listings across both iOS and Android.

But while Jones’ podcasts have disappeared from most podcast apps, the show can still be found. That’s because Alex Jones actually made one smart move: he controlled his RSS feed right from the start.

“It’s always the extreme cases that bring out the true power of RSS,” says Todd Cochrane, CEO of Blubrry/Rawvoice. “We advocate podcasts controlling their RSS feeds for many reasons, and this kind of event just highlights that necessity. InfoWars is an extreme show, but like it or not, it’s still on the air because they control their own RSS feed.” If their hosting provider had controlled their RSS feed like thousands of shows today they would be off the air.

Sure, most podcasters don’t have such controversial shows that we’d ever have to worry about an outright ban from Apple. But any time your show is completely controlled by another entity – such as a podcast host that owns or controls your feed or Apple Podcasts account – you’re ultimately at their mercy. A change to their platform technology, algorithms, or business model, and who knows what could happen to your show?

But by owning your feed and Apple Podcasts listing, at least you can ultimately control your own content and make a Plan B as the podcasting landscape continues to evolve.

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3 #Podcasting Conferences To Check Out Now That #PM2018 Is In The Books



For many podcasters, Podcast Movement is the big event we look forward to all year. If you made it this year, you’re probably feeling some letdown that it’s all over. If you didn’t, you are probably already looking forward to making your way to Orlando next year.
But while you can snag your PM 2019 ticket now, you don’t have to wait a year to learn, network, and have fun with other podcasters! Here are some events to look forward to, coming up in just the next few months:

Midatlantic Podcast Conference (MAPCON)

Tickets are still available for this event, taking place in Philadelphia/NJ on September 7-8, 2018. Expect plenty of information-packed panels, inspiring keynotes, and opportunities to network with other podcasters from the mid-Atlantic region and beyond

Third Coast Audiofestival

Head to Chicago October 4-6, 2018 to experience this unique event, celebrating audio storytelling via a multitude of platforms. Programming includes two days of learning about the art & craft of audio storytelling, plenty of opportunities to connect with other podcasters and audio content creators, and an awards ceremony honoring the winners of the 2018 Third Coast / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition.  

Werkit

WYNC’s annual gathering of women shaping the future of podcasting will take place November 13-14, 2018, in NYC. This two-day event offers workshops, networking opportunities, live tapings, one-on-one mentoring sessions, and your chance to pitch a show, incubate a pilot and possibly score a development deal with WNYC Studios!
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Taking Your Show On The Road: Inspiration & Tips For The Nomadic Podcaster



Okay, maybe podcasting on the beach is more fantasy than reality. But if you’ve ever dreamed of living a nomadic lifestyle – or just think it would be fun to take your podcast on the road with you when you go on vacation – you might wonder how on-the-go podcasters make it work.

Luckily, with some planning, podcasting from the road is very possible, whether you’re embarking on a series of live interviews cross-country, or just want to record, publish, and edit from a hotel room. Here are some tips from mobile podcasters who’ve been there:

1) Create Smart Systems

“Publishing is so easy on the road as long as you have all the pieces with you,”says Jane Ellen, founder and host of the Glistening Particles podcast. Jane, who travels for a month each summer, finds that having specific systems for recording and publishing are key to helping her continue to get fresh content out weekly.

Recording is, obviously, the first step. Right after recording her podcast, while she’s still in front of the mic, Ellen does three things: first, she records a 10-15 minute audio for her social media person, so she will have the essence of the conversation and topic without having to listen to the entire episode. Second, she records her intro and outro. Then, she stores all the files in Dropbox so she can access them from anywhere. “The whole idea is to minimize the number of touches and have the pieces ready to go and accessible,” says Ellen. And while it’s certainly possible to record while on the road, the versatility of podcasting makes it easy to record as much as possible ahead of time to reduce the need to record in unfamiliar environments.

Publishing is typically easier to do on the road, but it still helps to have systems in place. Jane says she will often edit and mix final audio and writes her show notes while on the road – even while on a plane. As soon as she gets to decent wifi, she can publish the episode. “If I’m only doing editing & publishing all I need are headphones and my MacBook. If I think I’ll need to record some extra pieces or ads, I’ll bring my small Sure MV5 USB mic.”

When schedules are unpredictable and wifi isn’t guaranteed, the key to recording, publishing, and key is to create systems that take advantage of uninterrupted blocks of work time and access to high-quality wifi, when you have it. The more you get done when opportunity strikes and the easier you make it to access everything you need later, the less you’ll have to scramble to make things work in less-than-ideal circumstances.

2) Plan For Emergencies

“When traveling, assume stuff is going to break,” advises Brian Thomas, owner of Yōkai Audio in Kalamazoo, MI and sound engineer for podcasts including Make Light and Crunchy Cocktail Hour. “Bring extra cables, batteries, microphones, and devices if you can afford them. Have a backup plan for what you’re going to do when a critical piece of equipment goes down, starts on fire, or gets a pitcher of beer spilled on it.” When recording while on vacation or doing on-site interviews, that last warning may be more likely to come true than you think!

3) Take Time For Good Sound

Though you may not be able to take your full home studio on the road with you, that doesn’t mean you have to give up on sound quality. No matter where you’ll be recording, here are two simple steps you can take to improve sound quality.

Choose the right place to record. Thomas suggests checking the acoustics in an interior space by clapping your hands together slowly, but as loudly as you can, walking around the room. “Listen to the way the sound of your claps changes as you walk from place to place,” he suggests. “Chances are, your claps will echo or reverberate at least a little. Rooms with high ceilings and unadorned walls tend to have great big booming echoes, which will definitely come through on your recording. Find the space with the smallest amount of echo/shortest reverberation – that’s where you want to record.” This might be a place you least expect, like a walk-in closet, or even the front seat of your car.

Make sure you’re holding your mic to your best advantage.  If you’re using a cardioid microphone (like the Audio Technica ATR-2100 or Rode NT1-A, for example), there will be parts of the mic’s barrel that capture sound much more readily than others. You can use the mic’s “dead spot” to your advantage if you’re recording in a noisy restaurant or outdoor space. “Recording in a public space containing more audio than just the voices of yourself and your guest can help tell the story you’re trying to convey by providing a context, but you don’t want it to overpower your conversation,” Thomas points out. “Use the dead spot to keep those extra noises safely in the background of your interview.” Read more about getting the best possible sound from your mic. 

Above all, don’t let technology stop you. Chances are good that the same setup you use at home can be easily taken on the road with a little modification. For live two-person recordings, the Zoom H6 is a favorite. Other than that, you’ll need reliable wifi at least some of the time, just like you would at home.

And while it can take some getting used to, mobile podcasting can also lead to fresh inspiration and experiences you’d never have in a home studio. Jane Ellen shares her best on-the-road experience: “A person sitting next to me on the plane asked me what I was doing, and after I explained and showed them how to get to my show, I got to see them listen to an entire episode during the flight and give me immediate feedback! It was bliss.”

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Expanding From Blogging to Podcasting



Managing your finances is a challenge that must be met on a daily basis, but Gwen and J from Fire Drill Podcast – Financial Independence, Real Estate, have taken this to a whole new level. Gwen from the podcast joined MacKenzie to talk about the growth from two bloggers to a podcast and the challenges and new opportunities that stem from it. The episode begins with a quick discussion on new Google Podcast app in the future, that is essentially a shortcut.

Next up they talk about why Gwen and J wanted to create a podcast and the success they’ve seen so far. Being in two different states and time zones can make things difficult but it’s all part of the process. You can learn more about their show and backgrounds on their in the show notes below.

Podcast advertising revenue hit another big year, with 2017 overall bringing in 314 million. There was an increase of 86% from the year prior, which displays the attitude change that many media buyers, companies, and large organizations have had. There is an expected increase of 110% growth in the years 2017 – 2020. Podcast advertising is certainly nothing to ignore.

Thanks for listening to the show and please subscribe via your favorite podcast app.

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review here.

Show notes:

New Google Podcast App: Will a shortcut really change the the number of people that use the Google Play Music app for listening to podcasts?
Fire Drill Podcast – Financial Independence: From Gwen and J, learn how they took control of their finances and are taking the careers in their own hands.
314 Million in Advertising Revenue for 2017: That’s a huge increase from years prior.
Podcast Movement: Use the code Blubrry and get 10% off your ticket. See you in Philly!

 

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What Do Podcasters Need To Know About GDPR?



If you’re like most of us, over the last couple of weeks your inbox has likely been flooded with emails from companies you’re connected with, explaining their privacy policies in light of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which regulates the ways controllers and processors of personally-identifying information (like email addresses and names) can collect and use that information.

GDPR can be confusing, and podcasters aren’t always sure how this EU regulation might impact them. Here are answers to some common questions you may have about GDPR and how it affects you as a podcaster:

Which groups or organizations is GDPR really aimed at?

There are two terms defined by GDPR that are important; a controller of data and a processor of data,” says attorney Barry Kantz, General Counsel and CFO of RawVoice and Blubrry. “At Blubrry, we take the position that we are the controller of the data, because we make the decisions about how the data is used, whereas a processor of data is someone who the controller hires to process their data.” 

Is the typical podcaster either processing or controlling data? 

Technically speaking, a podcaster generates the process, whereby we collect the data,” explains Kantz. “An analogy is the customer who walks into a store and makes a purchase. The customer generates or starts the data collection process, and the store engages in. Many podcasters believe that Blubrry is a processor and the podcaster is the controller, but this interpretation would require every podcaster to have a complex legal contract with Blubrry.”

The reason for the million emails you’re suddenly getting? Transparency. “The GDPR requirement is that we implement their regulations and notify users.”

What safeguards can a podcaster put in place to be in compliance? 

As the controller of the data, Blubrry puts all the necessary safeguards into place when it comes to your podcast files. “With audience tools and measurement, Blubrry does not store any personally identifiable information,” explains Angelo Mandato, CIO of Blubrry. “For podcast measurement specifically, we use what is called pseudo-anonymization – a technique where the IP address is randomly changed in a way that it cannot identify the original address.”

But that doesn’t mean that podcasters are totally off the hook. “Being that most podcasters are also website owners, podcasters need to be cautious what information they gather from their web visitors,” explains Mandato. “For example, if you provide a survey for your audience, do not ask for information that may identify the listener, like their email address or name. Being smart about what you do on your website and you should be okay as far as GDPR is concerned.”

Does a podcaster need to make a public statement of some sort to their audience?

It depends. If you are collecting data for a newsletter, or capturing and retaining audience email and data, at that point you become the controller of that data and must comply with GDPR, says Mandato. Since Blubrry isn’t involved with the data collection that happens on your website or via your email list, we aren’t the controller of that information and aren’t responsible for how it is collected or how you communicate with your audience. 

So what’s the bottom line? 

“Podcasters need to realize that if they have listeners in the EU, they do have to make sure their podcast host is GDPR compliant,” says Todd Cochrane, CEO of Blubrry. And even if your show doesn’t currently have EU listeners, there’s nothing to stop it from growing into that market, so that means your podcast host should be GDPR compliant – no matter what.

Also, consider what information you are personally collecting from your audience, maybe without even knowing it. “If a podcaster is allowing comments on their website or has a mailing list, then the podcaster is responsible for making sure they are GDPR compliant,” says Cochrane.

Finally, make sure you are transparent about your data collection practices. There are tools out there to help you – for example, Akismet’s Anti-Spam plugin now adds GDPR disclaimers to the bottom of your comment collection system.

Bottom line: It’s not that hard to comply, so just do it already. “While I doubt the EU will ever go after a podcaster’s website,” says Cochrane, “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

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