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.


Google’s New Podcasting Strategy – YP30



Recently Google has been releasing some articles about podcasting and how they’ll be diving into the industry in the near future. Google’s new podcasting strategy is already compatible with those using PowerPress and Podcast Mirror. Todd Cochrane is back on this episode and discusses the NAB experience with Mike Dell. Stick around for a few support tips as well.

Thanks for listening to the show and please subscribe at PowerPressPodcast.com.

We love our PowerPress users, please leave us a review.

Topics:

  • Todd’s take on NABshow 2018. He’s been to NAB, CES and other conferences countless times. He’s got some takeaways that some others wouldn’t be able to pick up on.
  • Podcast Movement!: Consider attending summer 2018. This is the main podcasting conference every year and once again we’ll be there not only in attendance but as a partner and exhibitor. Use the code BLUBRRY to get 10% off your ticket.
  • Google’s “new” podcast strategy: Read here their 4 part series posted on Pacific Content. This is step in the right direction for the entire industry, but something we’ve been focused on for many years. We’re looking forward to it improving discovery.
    PowerPress is already compatible with this. If you are using PowerPress (or Podcast Mirror) you are already covered.

Support:

  • Again, we love social media but Facebook is not a good primary way to get help from support at any company (unless specified). Our Facebook Messenger and Twitter direct messages are not actively checked, so if someone is reached out that way we might not know for… a while. Please use support@blubrry.com or the contact form at blubrry.com for our support. Especially if we’ve responded via social media before in the past asking you to contact us via the contact form or email. For other companies, look for their support email or form on their website.
  • Recently Blubrry has been getting a lot of “My last episode hasn’t update in (insert directory here)” tickets and emails. It can take 24 hours or so to get any new episodes listed in most directories. The best thing you can do is check your RSS feed yourself and make sure the episode is there, subscribe to your own show and you’ll know when it shows up.

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


Starting – Or Growing – A Podcast Network? Blubrry’s Enterprise Services May Help You Grow



For the typical solo podcaster, our entry-level, all-in-one PowerPress Sites solution is probably all you’ll need for a while. But if you’re a network with several shows – or are planning to grow – it’s a good idea to find out more about our Enterprise services.

These services can simplify and streamline the publishing process for growing networks, offering customizable, white-label development services and expanded stats that make it easier to drill down on each show’s performance across a variety of factors, including partial download data.

“Networks with 10 or more shows may want to start considering enterprise-level statistics, but it’s typically more cost-effective at 25 shows,” says Todd Cochrane, CEO of Blubrry. “PowerPress Sites Enterprise level is really designed for anyone building a network of shows, so if a network has five or more shows they are probably ready to go to that level.”

Some of the benefits we can offer Enterprise clients:

  • Unlimited programs and episodes: Produce as many shows as you’d like.
  • Syndication (Multi-podcast feed management): Control all of your feeds simultaneously
  • Cover all distribution types: Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, etc.
  • Partial and completed download statistics: Get the details about how many people listened.
  • Streaming and application downloads: Find out how people listened.
  • Reports by network, channel, program, episode and episode groupings: What category do people fall in?
  • 150+ detected applications (Apple Podcasts, Android, Chrome, Firefox, etc.): Learn about the most popular applications.
  • Geographical reporting (country, region, and city) – Discover regions where your show is popular.
  • Unlimited bandwidth and storage: Don’t worry about exceeding a limit.
  • Integrates with WordPress: Works smoothly with WordPress, especially the No.1 plugin, PowerPress.
  • Not using WordPress? Publish directly from Blubrry’s platform.
  • Free media migration tools: Easily move your media from a different company
  • Pricing is dependent on your network’s specific needs, and typically include professional hosting costs and maintenance for your network’s size as well as the ability to rebrand our simplified WordPress-based website service, PowerPress Sites. 

Enterprise services are just one more way that Blubrry is dedicated to being the only media company that offers complete solutions for all podcasting needs. Not sure you’re ready to take your podcast to the Enterprise level? Get in touch today for a no-obligation estimate and find out if we can help you grow.

 


Three Podcasts Nominated For A Peabody Award – YP29



Quick recap of the NABshow in Las Vegas last week where Todd Cochrane, Mike Dell and MacKenzie Bennett were in attendance for the Blubrry booth. Three podcasts were nominated for a Peabody award this year, and one of the next events in the Pod Summit on May 5th in Western Canada. Stick around for these topics and more on Your Podcast by Blubrry. Only Mike is around for this episode as Todd is on assignment. Full show with both hosts coming up in two weeks!

Thanks for listening to the show and please subscribe at PowerPressPodcast.com.

We love our PowerPress users, please leave us a review.

News:

    • Had a great time at NABshow at the Blubrry booth. We were in the inaugural Podcast Pavilion in South Hall Upper. Made some nice contacts with people from radio, TV, digital and podcasters. It was a great show overall and we’re looking forward to heading back next year.
    • Peabody Awards – podcasts nominated. Ear Hustle, S-town and Uncivil: The Raid.
    • PodSummit in Edmonton, Alberta Canada May 5th. If you’re in that area, don’t miss it.

Support:

  • Podcast Titles: How to change them – Look for “Feed Title” in the feeds tab of PowerPress settings if you are using PowerPress.  It takes a few days for it to update in the directories and Apps after you make the change.  Open your feed in Firefox browser to see what your title is currently.
  • Its now “Apple Podcasts” NOT “iTunes”. Apple is making a big effort to change the name of their podcast directory and apps to “Apple Podcasts” or simply Apple when it comes to podcasting. Whenever you hear someone say (or read the word “iTunes”) it should now only refer to the desktop application called “iTunes”.
  • Thank you to Shawn and Dave for covering for Mike last week in support! He got a little behind, but those guys took the brunt of the tickets and emails from me while I was on travel.  You Guys ROCK!

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


Monetize The Easy Way: Inject Ads into Your Podcasts!



Most podcasters don’t start out with sponsors from day 1. But as your show grows, you may notice that your older episodes are still getting a decent, and steadily-increasing, number of downloads as newer listeners go back and “binge listen” from the beginning.

That means you could be leaving a lot of money on the table – and no, it’s not too late to monetize existing content, whether those episodes are months or years old.

Up until now, however, going back and manually inserting ads, promos, or affiliate spots in older episodes has created an obstacle that may not have seemed worth the time and effort involved.

Blubrry is about to change that. Very soon (it’s currently being tested), we will be rolling out an ad injection service that will offer free features to our pro hosting customers. The service will allow podcasters to dynamically insert pre-roll, midroll, and post-roll ads into already-published podcasts as well as future episodes. Podcasters will be able to set up ad campaigns to insert at specific timeframes in an episode, and will be able to upload multiple ads by priority at the designated injection point. We will also be rolling out geographic targeting in midsummer. Podcasters can even set times for ad campaigns to expire, so that ads don’t continue to run indefinitely.

Here’s just one example of how a Blubrry customer might use this service: you could record your own intro and ad together, then inject the segment as a preroll into existing and/or future episodes. Then, the pre-roll segment could be swapped out any time if there was a change, such as different jingle music or a new affiliate sponsor they want to promote.

Since the preroll option will be free for any pro hosting customer, it’s a great way to test out ad injection for yourself. “It’s also important to note that our Long Tail podcasting feature ties elegantly with the ad injection service, allowing podcasters to rebuild their episodes without being charged for replacing their past archive,” explains Angelo Mandato, CIO of Blubrry. While there will be nominal fees associated with some of the features included with this service, a base level will always be free for Pro customers – just one more reason why it’s wise to make Blubrry your podcast host today.


Licensed Music for your Podcast via SourceAudio



Podcasters can now purchase licensed music for their podcasts via SourceAudio and Blubrry. This new relationship comes from the increased risks associated with using licenses for music that do not pertain directly to podcasts. SourceAudio is providing great discounts to podcasts that come through Blubrry. Podcasters can purchase a monthly subscription or a buy out for a single track.

Doug Reed and Greg Riggle join the show to explain why this is such an important part of moving forward in the podcasting industry.

Thanks for listening and subscribe on your choice of podcast app. Think you’ll be a great guest for the show, email MacKenzie with some information about your podcast.

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review here.

Show notes:

SourceAudio and Blubrry: Get the details on subscriptions and buy outs.
Press release: Both companies are very excited about this new opportunity.
NAB: Las Vegas April 8-12, both companies will be attending.
Email MacKenzie: Comments, questions, etc.


Need music for your podcast? Blubrry and SourceAudio make it easy!



Launching a new podcast is a lot of work: choosing a title, learning your equipment, setting up your website, settling on a format. The last thing you want as a new podcaster is to have to worry whether your music is appropriately licensed for use on your show.

That’s why Blubrry is working with the respected music licensing platform SourceAudio to offer music for use in podcast episodes. Podcasters will be able to choose from thousands of tracks specially designed for podcast use, at a discounted rate exclusive to Blubrry. 

There are two options for using this valuable service: subscribe at $9/month, or purchase a single track for unlimited use. Note that all prices are for a single podcast use: if you have more than one podcasts, you can add them to your subscriptions as well for an additional cost.

“We are incredibly excited about partnering with Blubrry,” says Douglas Reed, EVP, radio and library services at SourceAudio. “Blubrry’s reputation in the podcast hosting community is unmatched. We look forward to working with them to provide a terrific and much-needed service to podcasters big and small.”

“Finding legal music available for podcasts has always been challenging, leaving few suitable and desirable options for creators,” said Todd Cochrane, CEO of Blubrry. “This new offering will improve tenfold the availability of legal music for podcast producers.”

Find out more by visiting our Blubrry/SourceAudio information page, or get started right now: subscribe at $9/month, or purchase a single track.

 


How To Use Existing Podcasts To Kickstart Your Radio Network



When radio stations consider creating a podcasting strategy, they typically think in terms of leveraging existing radio talent, resources and content to create podcasts.

But why not try the reverse: leveraging existing podcasts to give struggling radio networks a booster shot – or simply add more great content to your current lineup?

As of April 2018, there are over 200,000 active podcasts and 500,000+ shows total. If you look at the sports category alone, there are thousands of shows and many are dedicated to content that would appeal to a local audience. With that much content being consistently created, there are a number of ways a radio station can leverage existing podcasts.

One would be to sign existing content creators into your distribution channel via content syndication. Radio has already mastered the art of programming syndication for broadcast, so it just makes sense to apply that model to podcasts.

By signing on existing podcast content, program managers can complement their current programming or fill gaps in the current lineup. This could be done creatively by re-packaging content to fit the traditional radio model, or slipping short segments of the content into locally-hosted and produced shows. Podcast creators would benefit both from the additional exposure to their show (offering opportunities to plug their show’s site or even working out a trade agreement to offer them ad spots to promote their podcast) as well as the opportunity to earn more money from their current sponsors by slipping sponsored spots into the body of the show.

While not all content would easily transition to on air-talent podcast content, by following this approach radio stations would be able to fill remnant airtime with content they could sell against with their own sales team. Better yet, podcasters often negotiate their own ad deals and could structure ads so that the radio portion is paid at the radio station’s normal rates for a time slot that they are given.

The world is changing, and in order for radio to stay competitive, it needs to move as fast as the rapidly-changing landscape. Just as radio networks are a natural pipeline for great podcast content, the same can work in reverse. Podcasts are rich soil, ready to be mined for content that with can be radio-ready with minimal production time and cost.

Are you a radio executive or building a content network? Blubrry will be at the NAB Show, ready to discuss your podcast strategy. Contact us if you’d like to schedule a meeting to get proactive and learn how to leverage the massive content pipeline that podcasting has to offer.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash


Music for Podcasts – YP28



Blubrry is proud to introduce a new way for podcasters to get ‘pod-safe’ music on their podcast. Soundcloud has added technology that everyone else has had for podcasts for the past 11 years. The world-famous podcast, Serial, is back in the news again; that is the case from season 1 is being talked about.

Thanks for listening to the show and please subscribe at PowerPressPodcast.com.

We love our PowerPress users, please leave us a review.

 News:

  • Blubrry announces podcast music: Podcastmusic.blubrry.com and buyoutmusic.blubrry.com via SourceAudio
  • Soundcloud: Finally, a way yo schedule a release…something everyone else has had from the beginning.
  • Serial: All the way back from season 1 in 2014. Adnan Syed has been granted a new trial.

Topics:

Support:

  • Changing the title of your podcast: The Feed Title setting in PowerPress will change it everywhere, but with some delay. Most things in podcasting are hardly instant.
  • Apple Podcast Subscribe Links and Buttons in PowerPress: You need to put the link to your listing in the ‘Destinations’ tab of PowerPress settings for Apple Podcasts option to show up in the Subscribe Widget.
  • Remember how RSS feeds works. They are a pull technology, not push. Directories (even Blubrry) update when they pull your feed, not right after you publish a show.

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


Why Radio Should Embrace The Unlimited Distribution Podcasts Offer



When podcasting debuted in 2004, the ability to take audio content on-the-go was still novel and exciting (remember when iPods were new?). Portable audio devices started the digital revolution. Now, it’s a given that consumers will take their media with them and enjoy on-demand access…but most radio hasn’t caught on to the diversity of podcast content and therefore the reason for its global appeal.

Today, most radio content still airs exclusively live – meaning potential audiences won’t hear it unless they happen to be near a radio while it’s playing (and, unless that radio happens to be tuned to a live broadcast. These days, many are not.)

And while the majority of radio has stuck to a dated, linear model, audiences have largely moved to on-demand listening – consuming whatever they want, whenever they want, 24/7.

Unlike the limitations of radio, there are a close to 100 different devices, apps, and sites where a listener can find a podcast. Apple Podcasts is currently the primary player in this space, but Google Play, Spotify, Pandora, apps, and a dozen or so sites make it easy to syndicate and consume the latest podcast content. Podcasting natively has already invaded smart home devices, and you can easily listen on-demand with Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana, Apple HomePod and Google Home.

Blubrry pushed the boundaries in 2016 when we began working with major streaming provider, StreamGuys, to distribute podcasts via internet radio, adopting a linear option for podcasts. Podcast2Radio expands podcasts to Kindle, Apple TV, Aha Radio, Sonos, Alexa, Tunein, vTuner, Xbox One, ZenoLive, Shoutcast and more. Yes, some radio networks allow streaming via apps, buried among thousands of other stations – but by focusing solely on a live format they’re missing out on the opportunities of podcasting.

Radio has power locally, but by not embracing podcasting, networks are missing out on a huge opportunity to spread their message more widely, give their on-air talent a broader platform, and yes, sell more advertising. Just look at Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, etc.: they are winning huge market share of music listeners to include spoken word content rich podcasting.

Fight or flight: radio needs to fight. By diversifying their content and distribution methods, they’ll appeal to the greater masses. They’re fully capable of this: as networks and stations get creative with marketing highlights and new content programming, they’ll find lost audiences.

Part 1 and Part 2 of our NAB radio series illustrates that it is possible to do both. Radio can hit a home run and bring a lot of traffic to their sites, where listeners can get their on-demand fix and satisfaction from their drive time show as well. Podcasting is exploding, but the question is: when will radio stations build a strategy to jump onboard?

At the upcoming NABShow, Blubrry will be speaking to radio executives from around the world and helping them discover their podcasting strategy to compete completely in this quickly growing section of the digital space. Contact us to create an appointment and get started creating your station’s podcast strategy.