Category Archives: PowerPress

How To Build a Podcast Network



Now that podcasting is solidly in the mainstream of popular culture, and now that there are so many tremendous podcasts out there, a lot of podcasters are beginning to look for that next edge to develop & grow their audience. One good option could be to create a podcast network. Here, we’ll briefly explain what that means and give some ideas on how to do it.

What is a podcast network and why should you build one?

Think about old-school broadcast TV networks: it’s a collection of shows that are cross-promoted, and they share overhead costs among other things. A podcast network is quite similar. A podcast network is a collection of podcasts that have decided to group themselves together in order to make cross-promotion easier, as well as possibly sharing production and overhead costs.

Why should you build a podcast network? Because your listeners are having trouble finding podcasts. We all know that podcast discovery is a big issue, and there are plenty of companies (cough)google(cough) spending plenty of resources to make that easier. One way you can make it easier is by making a podcast network. Putting together a group of shows that could potentially grow each others’ audiences through cross promotion is kind of a no-brainer. But it’s not all that easy with the tools that are currently available.

How do you build a podcast network?

Like most things, there’s the human side and the technical side. On the human side, you need to seek out and/or create podcasts that are in some way related. It could be that the podcast “on air” talent is the same. It could be that the subject matter is similar, or at least somewhat related. It could be that the audience demographics or interests are very similar. So, when you are creating your podcast network and approaching other podcasters to join forces, have a plan and a pitch as to why those other podcasters should join you. Help them understand what’s in it for them with things like revenue and cost sharing, cross promotion, etc.

On the technical side, it’s honestly not that easy right now. You can cobble together a working podcast network with some existing tools. Our CEO, Todd Cochrane, recently spoke with two podcasters who had just launched their brand new podcast network… after 3-4 months worth of work designing & coding. He mentioned to them that PowerPress is actually robust enough that you could create a network with it and in fact many have. And if you’re a Blubrry customer, our real live humans in customer support would be happy to get you up and running. Also—and we don’t usually tip our hat like this—we have something pretty big in store for later this year: Blubrry is putting the finishing touches on a Podcast Network Plugin for WordPress which will make it ridiculously easy to set up and maintain your own podcast network. We noticed that more and more of us are creating podcast networks, we have it nailed with publishing, but we wanted to make it easy to showcase a network. So what we have in the pipeline is going to extend the tools we have today. That’s how we got started way back in 2008, actually. We were podcasting, but the tools were lacking, so we built PowerPress. And hosting. And stats. Be sure to stay tuned for pricing and availability.

Podcast networks are definitely here to stay, and you might benefit from creating or joining one. But it’s still a bit tricky, on the technical side of things, to get one set up. But keep you eyes peeled for our upcoming podcast network plugin to be released.

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How the 2019 Apple Podcast Category Changes Affect Your Podcast



2019 Apple Podcast Category changes affect nearly 75% of podcasts shows. Is your podcast affected by the change?

Chances are your podcast will be affected by the new Apple podcast category change coming this August. For podcasters worried about what will happen to your category listing on Apple podcasts, breathe easy: Apple will map removed subcategories to their top-level category. That means that if you do nothing and your category is affected, you will still, at the very least, be in a top-level category.

Take advantage of this opportunity! If your show can take advantage of the new categories, update your categories immediately. This change is an opportunity for your show to be of the first in these new categories. If you are a Blubrry.com hosting customer, please go to the podcaster dashboard, click on “Podcast Settings” then select your new August 2019+ categories. If you are a PowerPress user, please update to version 7.5 or newer, then go to PowerPress Settings, select the “Apple” tab and proceed to set your new August 2019+ categories.

The most affected categories include “Comedy”, “Education”, “Government & Organizations”, “Music”, “News & Politics”, “Sports & Recreation”, “Technology”, and “TV & Film”. Comedy, Music, News & Politics and TV & Film now have 37 new subcategories to grow into. Sports & Recreation was essentially re-factored and is now simply called “Sports”. Education had many of its subcategories eliminated, replaced with new more appropriately titled subcategories. Sadly Government & Organizations” and  “Technology” had their subcategories completely eliminated. The most shocking subcategory to be eliminated was “Podcasting” found under “Technology” since there are nearly 10,000 shows found in that subcategory today.

Before we dig further into the changes, the 2019 Apple Podcast category changes is a refreshing step forward with improving the organization of podcasts in the Apple podcasts directory. The last category changes were made way back in 2011, and even then, they were only minor changes. The 2019 Apple Podcasts category changes, though, are significant. So significant, you’ll probably re-read this article a few times to fully understand the scope of the changes.

Again: this update is significant! In August Apple will transition from 67 top and subcategories to 112. Every top-level category has been touched, either with the title being renamed or the addition or removal of sub-categories. Of the changes, 51% of the existing categories remain unchanged and 16% are renamed and the remaining 33% removed. There are nearly 70% more podcast categories. Wrap your head around that! 

Using data from the blubrry podcast directory—with over 700,000 podcasts—over 130,000 of these shows have at least 1 required category change. Over 55% of shows that use a top-level category as their primary category now have new subcategories to pick from. Nearly 75% of podcasts are affected by these category changes!

Top-level Apple podcast category changes

The current 16 top-level categories continue, however, 6 have been re-titled. 3 new top-level categories have been added. These new top-level categories include “True Crime”, “History” and “Fiction”. Fiction is the only new top-level category that also includes new subcategories.

Pre 2019 top-level categories:

  • Arts (unchanged)
  • Business (unchanged)
  • Comedy (unchanged)
  • Education (unchanged)
  • Government & Organizations changed to “Government”
  • Health changed to “Health & Fitness”
  • Kids & Family (unchanged)
  • Games & Hobbies changed to “Leisure”
  • Music (unchanged)
  • News & Politics changed to “News”
  • Religion & Spirituality (unchanged)
  • Science & Medicine changed to “Science”
  • Society & Culture (unchanged)
  • Sports & Recreation changed to “Sports”
  • Technology (unchanged)
  • TV & Film (unchanged)

New 2019+ top-level categories:

  • True Crime
  • History
  • Fiction

411 on secondary level Apple Podcasts categories

The secondary level category changes, or “subcategories” as Apple labels them, is much more complicated. Apple Podcasts almost doubled the number of subcategories from 51 to 93. We broke down the changes into 3 segments: removed, changed, and added.

The most ambiguous subcategory titles have been removed in favor of titles that identify the category better. For example “Other” under “Religion & Spirituality” has been removed.

Apple Podcasts subcategories that have been removed

Apple removed 22 subcategories. Shows that fall into these subcategories will now default to their top-level category noted.

  • Business
    • Business News (shows will now appear under Business, see note1)
    • Shopping (shows will now appear under Business)
  • Education
    • Education Technology (shows will now appear under Education top category)
    • Higher Education (shows will now appear under Education top category)
    • K-12 (shows will now appear under Education top category, note2)
    • Training (shows will now appear under Education top category)
  • Government & Organizations (renamed to Government)
    • Local (shows will now appear under Government)
    • National (shows will now appear under Government)
    • Non-Profit (shows will now appear under Government)
    • Regional (shows will now appear under Government)
  • Health (renamed to Health & Fitness)
    • Self-Help (shows will now appear under the Health & Fitness top category, note3)
  • Religion & Spirituality
    • Other (shows will now appear under Religion & Spirituality)
  • Science & Medicine (renamed to Science)
    • Medicine (shows will now appear under Science top category, note4)
  • Society & Culture
    • History (shows will now appear under Society & Culture, note5)
  • Sports & Recreation
    • Amateur (shows will now appear under Sports)
    • College & High School (shows will now appear under Sports)
    • Outdoor (shows will now appear under Sports)
    • Professional (shows will now appear under Sports)
  • Technology
    • Gadgets (shows will now appear under Technology)
    • Tech News (shows will now appear under Technology)
    • Podcasting (shows will now appear under Technology)
    • Software How-To (shows will now appear under Technology)

Note1: We recommend mapping “Business News” to News > Business News
Note2: We recommend mapping “K-12” to Kids & Family > Education for Kids
Note3: We recommend mapping “Self-Help” to Education > Self-Improvement
Note4: We recommend mapping “Medicine” to Health & Fitness > Medicine
Note5: We recommend mapping “History” to the new top-level category History

Apple Podcasts subcategories that have been changed

Apple has changed 11 subcategories. Shows that fall into these subcategories will not be affected other than appearing in a retitled category.

  • Arts
    • Literature renamed to “Books”
  • Business
    • Management & Marketing renamed to “Management” (see note1)
  • Education
    • Language Courses renamed to “Language Learning”
  • Health (renamed to Health & Fitness)
    • Fitness & Nutrition renamed to “Fitness” (see note2)
  • Games & Hobbies (renamed to Leisure)
    • Other Games renamed to “Games”

Note1: We recommend marketing only podcasts use the new category Business > Marketing
Note2: We recommend nutrition only podcasts use the new category Health > Nutrition

Apple Podcasts subcategories that have been added

Apple has added 67 new subcategories. These categories expand upon most of the top-level categories

  • Business
    • Entrepreneurship (new!)
    • Marketing (new!)
    • Non-profit (new!)
  • Comedy
    • Comedy Interviews (new!)
    • Improv (new!)
    • Stand-up (new!)
  • Education
    • Courses (new!)
    • How To (new!)
    • Self-Improvement (new!)
  • Fiction (new!)
    • Comedy Fiction (new!)
    • Drama (new!)
    • Science Fiction (new!)
  • History (new!)
  • Health & Fitness
    • Medicine (new!)
    • Mental Health (new!)
    • Nutrition (new!)
  • Kids & Family
    • Education for Kids (new!)
    • Parenting (new!)
    • Pets & Animals (new!)
    • Stories for Kids (new!)
  • Leisure
    • Animation & Manga (new!)
    • Crafts (new!)
    • Home & Garden (new!)
  • Music
    • Music Commentary (new!)
    • Music History (new!)
    • Music Interviews (new!)
  • News
    • Business News (new!)
    • Daily News (new!)
    • Entertainment News (new!)
    • News Commentary (new!)
    • Politics (new!)
    • Sports News (new!)
    • Tech News (new!)
  • Science
    • Astronomy (new!)
    • Chemistry (new!)
    • Earth Sciences (new!)
    • Life Sciences (new!)
    • Mathematics (new!)
    • Natural Sciences (new!)
    • Nature (new!)
    • Physics (new!)
    • Social Sciences (new!)
  • Society & Culture
    • Documentary (new!)
    • Relationships (new!)
  • Sports
    • Baseball (new!)
    • Basketball (new!)
    • Cricket (new!)
    • Fantasy Sports (new!)
    • Football (new!)
    • Golf (new!)
    • Hockey (new!)
    • Rugby (new!)
    • Running (new!)
    • Soccer (new!)
    • Swimming (new!)
    • Tennis (new!)
    • Volleyball (new!)
    • Wilderness (new!)
    • Wrestling (new!)
  • True Crime (new!)
  • TV & Film
    • After Shows (new!)
    • Film History (new!)
    • Film Interviews (new!)
    • Film Reviews (new!)
    • TV Reviews (new!)

For a full list of the new podcast categories from Apple, please visit the Apple Podcasts Categories page.

Analysis of the changes

After reviewing the changes and comparing the number of podcasts that appear in the various subcategories, we have determined the changes Apple has made will be a net positive for most shows. These new categories and subcategories will now have their own top 200 shows featured within them, which will give over 13,000 podcasts top 200 exposure in the Apple podcasts directory. So, while change can be scary sometimes, in this instance you actually now have a better chance to gain more exposure. Which means it might make it easier to grow your audience.

PowerPress Plugin Users

We have a big update coming to PowerPress in the next few days with all these changes plus a lot more..

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What Is A Podcast RSS Feed?



RSS feeds aren’t exactly user friendly to all, so we wanted to simplify them a bit so that everyone can understand. We explain not only what a podcast feed is but the importance of having one.

What is a podcast RSS feed anyway?

RSS stands for “Rich Site Syndication” or “Really Simple Syndication”. In short, according to Wikipedia, RSS “is a type of web feed which allows users to access updates to online content in a standardized, computer-readable format.” In human language, that means you and your audience can use an RSS feed to consume your content someplace other than your website. Remember blog aggregators/readers? That’s how they work(ed). And, if you have a podcast, the podcast RSS feed is how platforms like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, Spotify, and others get your podcast info: they are more like an old-school phonebook, in that they simply list your information, but your podcast is actually served from wherever you host your media files. Your podcast RSS feed tells them things like your show name, the podcast episode title, the duration, etc. By the way, if you’re looking for an incredibly flexible, fast, stable place to host your podcast media files, be sure to check out our Podcast Hosting plans. Or, if you’re wondering how to get your podcast on Apple Podcasts, check out our step by step guide.

Why you need a podcast RSS feed

Put yourself in your listener’s shoes… or eyes & ears… for a minute. When you post anything to your website, your RSS feed defaults to listing a certain number of your most recent items. For example, WordPress defaults to listing the 10 most recent posts. The thing is, podcast readers will ignore anything in the default RSS feed that isn’t a podcast. So, if you’re publishing a handful of blog posts per month as well as a podcast per week, your default feed will only serve up those four podcasts. Your listeners are missing out.

BUT! If you have a podcast-only RSS feed as Blubrry users do, your listeners will have access to more of your awesomeness because the feed won’t be filled up with blog post content. Just the podcasts. You should have a podcast-only RSS feed.

Three ways to create a podcast RSS feed

Something to seriously consider as you set out on your epic podcasting journey: do you want to own and control your podcast RSS feed? The answer, if you truly care about your own story, is most likely yes. In which case, read on.

  1. The PowerPress WordPress plugin. It’s free. It’s super simple. It’s one of the most trusted ways to share your story with the world. The PowerPress WordPress plugin makes creating your podcast RSS feed ridiculously easy. That’s why there are tens of thousands of active installs, all over the world. We began developing the PowerPress WordPress plugin way back in 2008 because we wanted an easier way to create a podcast RSS feeds for our own podcasts. There is even a step-by-step guide on how to create your podcast RSS feed over at Blubrry.com.
  2. If you don’t have a WordPress site we provide one to every customer for free and it has PowerPress included. There certainly are a plethora of other options, but none are as simple to use or widely adopted and it’s integrated into the free WordPress site for those that do not have one.
  3. There is no three.

Ok. Those are the basics of what a podcast RSS feed is, why you might want one, and how to set up your very own podcast RSS feed. Be sure to check back often for more podcast RSS tips and tricks. And, as always, if you’re a Blubrry customer and you have any questions at all, give us a call. We have real, live humans ready, willing and able to help you build your podcast– including technical support in setting up a podcast RSS feed.

We should also mention that sometimes our corporate customers or podcasters experimenting in the space do not want to go the WordPress route. That’s really ok as we have a solution for you where you can publish directly on Blubrry.com as well and we will provide you an RSS feed from there. We always want to suggest the best solutions first, as we truly believe you should build your brand on your .com this results in the best SEO for your show.

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PowerPress Plugin 10th Anniversary



PowerPress PluginThe PowerPress plugin is officially 10 years old as of August 2018. The free WordPress .org plugin created and offered by the Blubrry Podcasting team has had many iterations over the years and the main developer, Angelo Mandato, joined MacKenzie to chat about these developments. RawVoice Inc, Blubrry’s parent company, started in 2005 right after podcasting began, and we’ve focused on paid and free services for podcasters ever since.

With over 60,000 active installs, Blubrry’s plugin is essential in the podcasting world and will continue to be for years ahead. If you’re not already using PowerPress, you can read up about it and download below. The past few years have been vital for podcasts and they chat about what people should be paying attention to for their shows in the future.

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.

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review here.

Show notes:

PowerPress: Download, reviews, read.me, etc.
Learn more about the plugin on our site.

History of why PowerPress was created.
The future of the plugin.
Achievements made.
Features of the plugin.
What to expect out PowerPress and the podcasting industry.

Reach out to MacKenzie if you’d like to be a guest, have questions, comments, etc. Email mackenzie@blubrry.com.

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How To Take Advantage of Google’s Plan To “Double” Podcast Listening



Google made news last week when the announced a strategy to put podcasts front and center in its content offerings. In fact, according to Google Podcasts Product Manager Zack Reneau-Wedeen, the company has a bold and ambitious goal to double the amount of podcast listening worldwide over just the next couple of years. 

For years Google has prioritized text, images, and video in search results. With Google’s new podcast strategy, podcasts will join this elite class of content and enjoy enhanced ranking on Google search. 

That’s good news for podcasters, but great news for PowerPress, PowerPress Sites and PodcastMirror users, because Blubrry services meet all of Google’s requirements for promotion and distribution. 

Your Feed Matters.

By “owning your podcast feed” – which you do, when PowerPress / PowerPress Sites originates your feed from your website or PodcastMirror which mirrors the metadata in your original feed – your podcast is positioned to take care of this Google search advantage. On the other hand, if your podcast host owns your podcast feed and the links to the episodes and home page link back to your host, it’s your host that will get the benefit of your show’s new search ranking. Those using Blubrry service offerings are in the best possible position as they do not need to make any changes to how they are publishing their shows.

In addition to search discovery, Google’s podcast strategy also will include a plan to recommend podcast content – for example, if someone searches “new diets”, Google might suggest your paleo-eating podcast. This recommendation could happen at the program level, or Google might recommend a specific episode. So, having a centralized podcast website with good show notes and descriptive titles, podcasts can compete with big shows even if they aren’t part of a large network or podcast hosting company. Since podcasts will be recommended based on content, as long as your content is of high value to the listener, your show can be recommended.

Again, the best practice here is that your podcast has a dedicated website, that your podcast feed metadata links to your website, and that you employ good practices of writing descriptive titles and descriptions for each episode you produce. With all those things in place, your podcast will be positioned to take full advantage of audio SEO, and you’ll be able to target Google search results, recommendations within Google, and will even be able to be utilized by smart speakers like Google Home.

Blubrry has been ahead of the curve on this for a number of years in helping podcasters through the Podcast SEO settings in PowerPress to optimize whats in the feed versus what is on the public website. With the metadata always linking back to your brand. Blubrry Podcasting uses the absolute best practices in the space and the beauty is the strategy we have promoted for years aligns perfectly with Google’s strategy.

A big part of the new strategy from Google is curating content for listeners based on their needs and listening habits – i.e. cueing up your travel show based on a listener’s Google Maps use, or news when the listener is on his or her commute. Google may also remember the show that was last played to allow a listener to continue where they left off when they switch from listening in their car commute to listening on their laptop at work or on your Google Home device – so planning for your episode to be consumed across multiple devices is a must. It’s exciting stuff for podcasters, but making sure your podcast is optimized to align with Google’s new strategy is the first step, and key to taking advantage of the growth. 

To take full advantage of Google’s new podcast growth strategy, your podcast website and feed must meet these requirements: 

  1. Expose a valid RSS feed of your podcast.
  2. Feed must contain at least one episode
  3. Feed must have a dedicated <link> to your podcast’s homepage.
  4. The “home page”, RSS feed and audio must be index-able by googlebot. (URLs must not be protected by robots.txt or <noindex> tags)
  5. The “home page” must include the RSS feed meta tag

PowerPress has had supported these requirements through the Podcasting SEO settings in PowerPress. PowerPress 7.4+ will have all of these requirements enabled by default. If you have a previous version of PowerPress, just check the Podcasting SEO settings and enable the Podcast Directory SEO Guidance setting, and you’ll be all set to take full advantage of Google’s efforts to rapidly increase your podcast audience.

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Podcast Equipment and Marketing with David Pollock



If you haven’t discovered David Pollock’s podcast, The 10 Minute Marketer, now is a great time to start listening. He’s this week’s guest on the PowerPress Podcast and had lots to say about Blubrry, PowerPress and some best practices for new podcasters. MacKenzie and David discuss what type of equipment a new podcaster should get – and what you shouldn’t do when buying any. After working in radio David transitioned into podcasting and realized what he was missing out on by taking control of his brand. They end the show talking about reviewing podcasts and sharing your favorite episodes with others. Thanks for listening and please subscribe!

PowerPress SEO Tip:
For example, you can make your blog post title optimized for web SEO by excluding your episode number, but on the new feed episode title allows you to expand on keywords that help with iTunes search. One thing to keep in mind is that iTunes only indexes (their search) your episode and program titles, not show notes.
In the PowerPress menu, select ‘Podcasting SEO’
Select the first option, under section ‘Episode Titles,’ select the first option, ‘Feed episode title replaces post title.’

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review!

Show notes:

How Much Should I Spend on Podcast Equipment?
Rolls Pro Switch – Couch Machine
Blues Brothers – Sold it for a microphone
The 10 Minute Marketer – David Pollock
The Pod People – Paste Magazine
10 Podcasts from the Pod People: Peace, Love, and Understanding in Our Post-Inaugural Times

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Getting Wise About Podcasting



PPPiTunesAlbumArt300Ken Wise recently celebrated his 1 year podcasting anniversary and is the guest on episode 31 of the PowerPress Podcast. MacKenzie and Ken talk about his show, Wise About Texas, that focuses on all kinds of history that pertains to the great state of Texas. As for recent news, well, there’s another podcasting studio available to the public. If you’re in the St. Louis area and looking for an easy podcast recording solution, check this out. Check out the link below for more details. And for those of you out there that are interested in transcripts for your show, there’s another tool coming your way! It’s in beta now, but autoEdit will be available in the future. Those of you looking to test, be aware, it’s open source. MacKenzie caught up on her podcast chronicle – check out the picture below of the new studio setup. Thanks for listening and hit one of the many subscribe buttons to the show!

PowerPress fan? Leave us a review, here!

newblubrrystudio

Show notes:

Wise About Texas
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

2GuysTalking Podcast Studio

autoEdit – Open source tool for transcripts

Email MacKenzie
Blubrry Twitter

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Immortal Podcasts and Creating Networks in PowerPress



PPPiTunesAlbumArt-385Creating a podcast network doesn’t have to be difficult. Mike and MacKenzie talk about how to get one setup in PowerPress on this episode of the PowerPress Podcast. Categories, channels, taxonomies and a whole lot of other decisions are discussed to help you get a better idea of how to start a network easily with the help of PowerPress. Early in the show Mike brings up an article he read that mentioned a podcast host passing away – which got them thinking, what happens to your show after you’re no longer around? For a rather sad topic, they keep it fairly upbeat. They wrapped up the show talking about ending a show when it becomes to much work. Recently Gimlet Media decided to end one of their shows which sparked lots of conversation. Thanks for listening and go subscribe to the show!

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review, here!

Show notes:

Look for: Category Podcasting, Podcast Channels, Post Type Podcasting and Taxonomy Podcasting

Multi-site

Gimlet Media

Contact MacKenzie

Blubrry Twitter

Blubrry Facebook

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Money in Podcasting and PowerPress Sites



PPPiTunesAlbumArt-385In this episode of the PowerPress Podcast MacKenzie talks about who has been invested in, who has been bought and more in the podcast world. She even gives you an update on the release of PowerPress Sites and ponders on recording timing in her podcasting chronicle.Some podcasters may be taking a break or cutting back during the summer, but that does not mean media companies, including Blubrry are slowing down anytime soon. While there is no guest that doesn’t mean there isn’t quality news and information packed in this episode. Next episode will be July 1st and we’ll definitely have lots to talk about concerning Podcast Movement and releases happening around that time for all different kinds of companies.

Events:
New Media Europe! June 18th-19th London, England. If you’re there, be sure to enter to win a prize from Blubrry.
Podcast Movement! July 6th – 8th Chicago, Il. Buy your ticket today using the code ‘Blubrry’ and save $40.
Elite Man Conference! August 6th-7th Plymouth, MA. Save 10% on your ticket using the code ‘Blubrry10’.
Show notes:
Twitter and SoundCloud

E.W. Scripps and Stitcher

iTunes Listing – Don’t Panic

Attend Podcast Movement Blubrry Workshop


Email MacKenzie
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