Podland News

Clubhouse, SoundClub or Fireside? Music Fair Usage, New Spotify Play Book and Maps.FM

February 11, 2021 Season 1 Episode 11
Podland News
Clubhouse, SoundClub or Fireside? Music Fair Usage, New Spotify Play Book and Maps.FM
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Join James Cridland and Sam Sethi on this week's show

Interviews with:

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Previous Episodes: https://www.podland.news

Buzzsprout
Podcast hosting and a whole lot more

James:

Hey, shall I hit the record button?

Sam:

Go for it. Otherwise we'll be here all day.

James:

Come to Portland. Podland is sponsored by buzz sprouts. The easiest way to host, promote and track your podcast there@buzzsprout.com. It's Thursday, February the 11th, 2021. I'm James. Cridland the editor of pod news here in Australia and I'm not a cat. And I'm Sam.

Sam:

Sethi the editor of Sam Talks Technology here in the UK and I have a dog

Jaime:

Wolf, and I'm Jamie from match cast. And I'll be on later to talk about Sam

Jonas:

club and I'm Jonas lay at Harvard, a letter. I'll be talking about Spotify

Wayne:

and I'm Wayne Parker. I met star FM and later on, we'll be talking about location and

James:

maps. Well Podland is a weekly podcast where Sam and I delve deeper into the week's podcasting news, which I cover daily@podnews.net. Please get

Sam:

involved with this podcast. Send us a voice message at two questions at Podland dot news, where you can tweet us at Podland news. Now coming up in this week stories, the first story that we wanted to talk about was a music. Fair usage. James, you wrote a piece about music, fair usage. What was

James:

that all about? Yes. Well, I wrote a piece a long time ago on how to use commercial music in podcasts. And the basic answer is no. Don't and some people say fair use, fair use. And you say no, it's far too complicated to basically say yeah, fair use will probably be okay. So the easiest way for me to write a simple article about how to use commercial music was to say no, Don't use it. Literally the people who wrote the book on fair use literally ended up saying actually it's not quite as simple as that. And so they have written Patricia after Heider and Peter jazzy have written a really good article on how fair use works in the U S. What you can do with it and what you can't do with it. And they basically say as long as you know what you're doing, as long as you know, what the courts call fair use, then go ahead. And it's a really interesting article as well.

Sam:

Read. This has been a bugbear for many podcasts thinking. Justin Jackson over at transistor FM has published five pieces of music for free as Podcast intros that you can use. And these listed a whole bunch of sites as well, where you can get fair use or free licensed music. So there are places you can go, but I've got one other problem, which you probably know very well is I've done music podcasts in the past, and I've published them. Let's say to Facebook or snippets to Twitter, and certainly on Facebook, the Copyright Gestapo for the music suddenly comes down and blocks the Podcast or blocks the video. And that's even when I have a PRS license. So I'm legally as a radio licensee, have a license from the UK to broadcast music. But that doesn't seem to work

James:

internationally. And I think this is one of the difficulties is that actually there are a ton of robots out there. There are a ton of things out there, which are busy working out, whether or not that is somebody's music. And they don't know whether you've signed a contract. They don't know whether it's your actual music. There's a lot of stories about individual music, composers. Who've played their own music and then get chucked off YouTube because of copyright violation. I mean that. Stuff is mental. And I think this is one of the difficulties with music licensing. interestingly, I'm actually speaking at a conference for some music collection agencies in the next couple of weeks. And they've asked me, could you please explain how podcasting works, which is going to be really interesting. So I'm looking forward. To that. I better not say too much more about that, but , um, you know, so that, that should be an interesting time, but we've seen so many companies promising all kinds of different ways of licensing, commercially available music, and it's really not come to much. So it'd be wonderful if that was fixed. and in fact, it is fixed on one thing it's fixed on Spotify. Tom Webster friend of the show, he's got his own music show or other podcasts with music. It's called deep six and it's on Spotify and it's very good. And there's another one from Brad Hill, which is all about cover versions and brand rights reign. So yeah, there are other ways of doing it, but it's only really things that work on Spotify because again, they have the licenses to do that sort of thing. Yeah. It's the only

Sam:

way I think, but it gives them that advantage and. I wonder whether other platforms will start to try and get a global license because clearly PRS and the equivalent in the USA are not going to

James:

talk to each other. Yeah. and I think it'll be really interesting seeing whether or not there is a more global view here and a global way to buy licenses. I think that there's quite a lot of Podcast as who'd be very happy to spend a couple of hundred dollars. On licensing a piece of music as long as they can actually legally use it, but that clearly isn't actually happening right now, apart from of course on Spotify. Now talking about Spotify, I mentioned a new book the other week it's called the Spotify play. It's the history of Spotify. It's a great book to read. I spoke to one of the authors Jonas lay on Harvard, and I asked him why Spotify is so interested in podcasts.

Jonas:

Spotify has succeeded in becoming the world's biggest streaming service for music, but that's other people's content and it's never going to be super profitable. Most likely. I think that one reason is that they want to sell their own content and become a Netflix for podcasting. So to speak investors on wall street, appreciate a business bottle like that. One reason is that they want to be able to produce and distribute their own content and make Spotify more profitable. The other reason they want to maintain their users, I think they've tried to develop video and television services that hasn't worked very well. And they've arrived at this. Strategy of trying to become the, sort of the King of all audio. They want to own your ears, not just music, but also podcasting and eventually, maybe audio books as well. They've started a little bit with that, dipping their toe in that business. Also,

James:

we're really illuminating about the TV work that they've done. When did they start doing podcasting and other non musical audio content? Well,

Jonas:

Spotify is a large it service in late 2008 in Europe. And the next big challenge was entering the U S market. And once they'd done that in 2011, then I think they started looking at all kinds of other alternatives and video and television was part of the plan to start out with. And so they invested heavily in that failed and around the same time, I think they started. Looking into audio books and stuff like that a little bit. I think Daniel, Eric likes to talk about something in Germany in 2012, I think in earnest, they'd probably started working on this and maybe at three or four years ago. And then of course they, they moved in heavily in 2019, investing in the companies such as Gimlet. And and now they've invested about a billion. Dollars in this area. so it's the new, big thing. In the past

James:

two years, somebody was saying that Spotify have invested more in the podcast industry than the podcast industry is worth. Do you think that's fair?

Jonas:

I'm not sure about those numbers, but is it a, the sort of the turnover, annual turnover? The Podcast thing industry is comparable to what they've been investing. Yeah. they're doing this. To secure their own future. And I think some of the price tags look pretty big, but I think they need some exclusive content and they need to move in to this area in a way that, that people will take notice. They're hoping that this field can grow substantially in terms of advertising revenue and also other ways of. People subscribing to

James:

podcasts. so how does owning their own content help? Because I was reading the results recently about they were saying, you know, that no, the amount of Podcast listening that we have won't change the amount of money that we're. Paying the record companies. Do you think that's a longterm view of theirs or do you think that inevitably the record companies are going to get less money out of them? I don't

Jonas:

think that's a long-term view. I think they wanna keep their podcasting revenue and I think they want to keep the record labels happy. A few years ago it looked like they, they were going to be a sort of a self publishing platform for music. And I think they stepped away from that because th the record labels didn't the they didn't like the way that sounded. And and now the they're gonna negotiate so that they can have, and share the music revenues in the same way with the record industry and let them lead the way in terms of music and still just be a platform for that. They're gonna want to make money on podcasting, on, on the Podcast ads and maybe special subscription services when it comes to podcasting and Definitely keep the money on, the exclusive content that they produce. So more to come. And a lot of those dealings are fairly secretive. So I don't know exactly where they're at, but I'm sure that they're negotiating. with the music industry. Yeah.

James:

There's certainly a secretive company. Aren't they? I wonder what kind of company you think Spotify is now? Is it still a Swedish company or is it being driven very much by U S values? These days two

Jonas:

Swedish founders are still in control of the company and They still live in Sweden and Stockholm is still had the headquarters, but New York is a bigger office. So Stockholm and New York are the two most important offices and Daniel Eric spends a great deal of time in New York also. So it's still pretty much a Swedish company, but of course, most of the 6,007,000 employees are, uh look, our work outside of Sweden. At this point. And I think in terms of values I think Netflix has been an important, uh sort of inspiration for them through Barry McCarthy who came in and was the the CFO for many years at Spotify. And even after his departure I think Daniel has. In recent years become a kind of a tougher boss and in the Netflix manner, viewing the company as a team, not as a family, that is he's demanding of his lieutenants. And if they don't perform, then they step aside and he wants them to view. There are a role at the company in terms of two year mission and so on, so that this is not a forever place. You're you? You're here as long as you're the best performing player on the field. And then when you're not anymore, you're exchanged for somebody else. And and that's the way a company should be run. So I think they've been inspired by Netflix in a lot of ways in terms of business model and in terms of how to run a business. Yes.

James:

I read that bit in your book and I was there thinking, Oh my goodness, that doesn't sound like a company that I want to work for. I don't know. that's definitely not a Swedish way. Is it?

Jonas:

Who's used to say these days. I think that in a lot of ways it's still a Swedish company when it comes to values like parental leave and. It does want to provide a good life work balance. It does want to have generous terms when it comes to parental leave. And a lot of those things that are considered Swedish, but when it comes to their top performing bosses they want to behave like an, like a big tech company and at that level, and be able to shed skin and Evolve and change rapidly. So rapid growth, rapid change. I think it comes with the territory. If you want to be a successful big tech company. I don't take us a very cynical view. I think it makes sense for them to step up in this way. And I'm sure that some people will get squeezed. A company that's evolving and changing so quickly will make a lot of mistakes and will hurt a lot of feelings. And. Force people away that could have stayed, but it's part of the way when you're developing

James:

quickly, I think. Yeah. Yeah. I heard somebody the other day saying that Spotify was very clever in that they had bought both the largest consumer podcast hosts in anchor and the largest business consumer host in terms of megaphone. And I thought, yeah, I'd not considered it that way around, but yeah, absolutely. They've just gone out and bought the number one in those markets, which has been really interesting. Your book says that both Google and Microsoft were interested in buying Spotify. And I'm curious, where do you see Spotify in five or 10 years time? Will it still be independent or will it have been subsumed by someone

Jonas:

when Daniel lik gets up on, on various tech stages and Stockholm and other parts of Europe, he always gives the advice. Don't sell your company to a big American firm or a big Chinese company. Keep on developing a company and be independent and. us Europeans, we have to develop big tech companies also. and and he said that he's going to invest a third of his wealth in, uh startups from Europe and so on. So he's patriotic in that sense. And I think he means it. I think he's proud that he's independent still. he doesn't talk about that. He's negotiated with Google and Microsoft and a few other kinds of companies, 10 cent also. but he has, and I think that his reason for selling the company would be, can I strengthen the company by merging it with somebody else? And I think that if they'd let them be in charge of a combined YouTube, Spotify something over at Google. Then he might've sold his company to Google, but they didn't. And he didn't, he felt underappreciated is is what our sources tell us. and those negotiations in 2000, uh 10 and again, in 2013, I believe so. um I don't think it's going to sell but maybe he'll merge with it Netflix or Disney or something and he'll do it if he feels that he can. keep on leading the company in a way that will be positive for its shareholders and for the users and so on. If he can strengthen the consumer and sort of offer and the product, then he might. But I think he'll be reluctant to

James:

you think he's likely to be like Jeff Bezos and just get bored. It doesn't

Jonas:

look that way. but I do think that he might do what Jeff basis does and step back and become a executive chairman or something like that because he sometimes is not super interested in the day-to-day and more interested in the sort of grand chess board and the strategic long-term thinking it's entirely possible. He's also interested in him and other companies, particularly in the digital health sector. So it was sort of at some point handing over the day-to-day rains to somebody else. I wouldn't put that past them, but I think he wants to be in control. this is, I mean, he was so young when he started Spotify 23 years old and it's, he's very synonymous with the company is what our sources tell us. And kind of sensitive to journalists covering his company and writing a book like this and so on. Uh but also, um very involved in in, in the main sort of points of, uh growing the company and evolving the company. so I don't think he's going to Hand it over and do something entirely different. anytime soon I expect he'll be involved in Spotify for a long time to come.

James:

the book is called the Spotify play. How CEO and founder Daniel act beat Apple, Google, and Amazon in the race for audio dominance, my short snappy title. It's published by diversion books and it's out now in all good bookshops, Jonas texts, skull to her

Jonas:

texts to me,

James:

James. What'd you think of my Norwegian there Sam if we do

Sam:

this once a week, you'll be bilingual eventually before you die.

James:

As long as the only thing I have to say is the

Sam:

word. Thank you. Can I story? Me and my friends wrote a book many years ago called how to order a McDonald's in foreign languages. And the best one we had was Swahili, which was Mimi in the sale way. And that was basically how to order a McDonald's quarter pounder in Swahili.

James:

The easy way to order a McDonald's when you're overseas point and you say meal number four, please. Cause they're all numbered. They're all numbered, which is brilliant. you spotted another thing about Spotify didn't you

Sam:

Dubai has been hosting antisemitic content, according to Joseph Cohen, writing in the Jewish Chronicle. Now this is a topic that we've. Tangentially talked about James through several of the shows that we you've done. And it's a little thing that I guess I want to know the answer who's policing. The Podcast now famously this week, we've been seeing the platforming of, I think one of the Kennedy's was D platform last night from Instagram. we're seeing blocking on Twitter. We're seeing blocking in clubhouse. So Marc Andreessen block. The whole bunch of journalists. And then when he went on to clubhouse, all those journalists were blocked from actually going into the room in clubhouse because he had blocked them. So blocking de platforming is happening, but in podcasting, no one seems to be doing it. And how are we going to. Police are already just going to let the laissez Faire people do it. And then they'd take people to call for defamation if

James:

they get found out. Do you know what the search results that has led the most amount of traffic to pod news last week was Nope. The wool room. Because I wrote a story about the war room, which of course has been de platformed from loads of places. And I wrote a story about that particular Podcast, which I think is interesting at the end of the day, neither you or I are American to the best of my knowledge and. Clearly the Americans have a strong belief in their first amendment. Their first amendment doesn't actually stop any of this de platforming from going on. Of course, but I suspect that we are a little bit more relaxed about companies taking stuff that they don't agree with off their platform than many people in the U S and certainly, you know I was on the Podcast index. Podcast a few weeks ago with Adam Curry. And Adam very strongly believes that you should be able to say whatever you want on a podcast, whatever you want, no matter how incorrect it is, you should be able to say whatever you want and there's conversations going on in the Podcast index about all forms of sense, uh proof hosting for your audio and everything else. And I'm just there thinking, you know what, if there's racist material lifters, anti-vax material, if there's Material, which is harmful in some way, then I think it should be pulled off. Don't you?

Sam:

I think the platforms, the social media platforms are finally beginning to take what they have as a platform. And what's pushed out as content on their platforms and take some ownership of it, Whether they were forced by government to remove the anti-vaxxer posts, or they were forced by government to do what they're having to do in fear of section two 30 reforms that Trump started, but may still go ahead under Biden. Oh, by the way, it's the 25th anniversary of section two 30. So it may need a little bit of a amendment, but other than that, clearly now the conversation's moved to podcasting and podcasting is. Basically, it's not being monitored and that's the same in clubhouse. We have seen reports of rums where a racist communications they're sexist, communications So I'm just, I'm thinking audio generally isn't being policed. And should it be because there are fear would be that Charlie is the other end of the scale, China just banned the clubhouse. So yeah. Is it a free speech platform Podcast in James or is it just something that we haven't caught up with? And maybe we just need to say Podcast hosts have to start to look at what they allow on

James:

their platform. Yeah, I think certainly post moderation. Which is where someone says, you sure you really want that on your platform? And the podcast host goes, Oh no, we don't want that on our platform and kick people off. I think that's absolutely the right thing to do. And that's fine. Under section two 30 right now, the whole idea of post moderation. And it works in the UK law as well. I think where you're expecting a audio platform to listen to every podcast before it gets published, then that's a very different kettle of fish. And I don't think that we should be going anywhere near that, but certainly if a podcast is racist and unpleasant, And a podcast host is told it is then a podcast hosts should at the very least have a listen to it and make a decision as to whether or not they want to pull it down. I've reported as I think I've said here before a very racist Podcast to a major podcast host, and they've just turned around and said, Oh And I don't think that's the right thing to

Sam:

do is not the right thing to do, but let's see if anyone takes someone to court. Maybe let's say any way that people then start to take it more seriously.

James:

Now let's talk about toys in particular toy phones. as you know, I have an Android phone at a very good phone. it does all kinds of things. It's very good. You though, I believe. Sam you have a toy phone. That's right. Isn't it. I too, yes. It's got a picture of fruit

Sam:

on it. Yes. The Tim cook special. I have a, I have an iPhone 11 plus max because I just think size matters. And, but that means I can also play with the new iOS 14.5 beater, which I will load later today. It says that Apple has finally added the ability to set a default music streaming service. Which means that I can ask Siri to use Spotify and say something like, Hey, Siri, play the lazy song on Spotify and it will do

James:

it. Yes, very cool. And from what I read, there is also a default Podcast streaming service on the system as well. So again, you can actually set Spotify as your preferred podcast app, if you are that way inclined. Interesting seeing that Apple is again, catching up. To what Android and indeed the Alexa has had for quite some time now

Sam:

it got to the point of view where Apple will never be the first out the door they are the toys to the hair. Really. They're just going to see what the market's doing and then build a feature in, and for the majority of people out there who aren't tech savvy. It'll feel like it's at the bleeding edge enough for them. So yes, on my Alexa, I could say Alexa, play Podland news and it will use my default player and that player could be Spotify. And I've done that for some time now, but yeah, if you want to now in your iPhone, that would be great. I think it's mainly. For Apple to catch up in their home pod market with Google home and Amazon Alexa? No,

James:

I did notice as well. I was looking at my Pod news is Podcast stats for yesterday, and I discovered that the most popular Podcast app yesterday wasn't Apple podcasts, which it normally was it's Siri. Because I'm available on the Apple Siri news briefing service. So if you say Siri, play the latest news from pod news, podcasting news, and then my dulcet tones will appear. And I thought, wow, that is really high. Google news is also really high, but I've never seen Siri being number one. So who knows, maybe people are using Siri a little bit more to ask for podcasts these days now. I

Sam:

knew tag went live called location a few weeks ago, which is all about where a podcast is about, but it's not a new thing.

James:

Is it James? There's been a thing called maps FM for awhile maps.fm. It's a website and it's really cool. It's a clever way to discover podcasts. I'm not just saying that because I'm an advisor to the company. It's really cool. Anyway, so I spoke to the CEO of the company, Wayne Parker. And I started by asking him what map's FM actually is. XFM

Wayne:

is the combination of podcasting and mapping. And we think it creates a great new form of discovery. A lot of Podcast of the 90 million episodes out there, a significant number of them are connected to a place. And that means we can put them on a map. And if we put them on a map, we enter both a local element and we enter a time machine. And we add to that podcast episode, all of the power of a map. And let me start by saying first that a listener has a new form of discovery, and we know how podcasts are typically discovered now for the variety of means, but on a map, that means that if you're in a city, your own city, Or a place where you're visiting. You can look at the pins on the map and say, what's that. And then when you click on the pin, you might see that it's opened up the door to a podcast about a place or about a story, about

James:

any number of things. So give me an example, maybe I'm on holiday in San Francisco, shall we say? Or the Bay area? What sort of thing will I find? So as you

Wayne:

would look around in the Bay area, you would see a pin at the golden gate bridge. And if you didn't know the history of that sort of remarkable structure, you could listen to a podcast about that. Or if you looked at the North end of the Bay, you would see a pin. And if you clicked on it and you would say, what is San Quentin? San Quentin is a prison. And that would lead you to the Podcast ear hustle, which is produced by the inmates. And in that form, you could. Dive into something that you might not have known existed, or even if you had heard of San Quentin prison, you might not have known where it was. And now you've got. A different connection to it. You might look at Penn's down in Silicon Valley and click on one and, Oh, there's a computer history museum and hear a podcast episode where the director of the museum talks about his relationship with Steve jobs. And what would Steve jobs think about the privacy issues today? And it's really surprising his answers to that. So that's some of the things, and it would vary everything from those things I mentioned. Two, a history of surfing over on the coast to the change in color and the salt beds at the South end of the Bay.

James:

Now none of this information is in the RSS feed as yet. So how do you get the information on what place or Podcast is about? So we

Wayne:

are, you know, coding those meaning. We find a latitude and the longitude in order to connect those. So at maps, FM. We are building and refining the engine that will do that for podcasters. Now you have having said that you've done this really wonderful thing. You and others have created this location tag, which means going forward for where it's supported, that the podcasters will be able to add. Their own location. We're trying to bridge to that period of time, which out. So it could be, we think a fairly long period of time before everyone's on board and also then add a human curation to that because maps have limited real estate. So if you looked at that map of the San Francisco Bay area that you mentioned, and you put. Hundreds of thousands of pens there you lose the advantage of the discovery. So we're doing two things is we're geocoding each of those episodes, and then we're adding a human curation

James:

to it. That's interesting. And if I'm a Podcast app, for example, or I don't know, maybe I'm Tesla or somebody, can I use the maps, FM data to offer my users something special inside the app? You can,

Wayne:

yes. Then that's part of our model is the. Maps FM data is free to listeners and it's free to podcasters. And then we will have API APIs available for custom uses of the data. As you said, for an automotive company or someone who wants a map worldwide of all the true crime locations. Not that kind of

James:

thing. And if I run a podcast about a specific place or specific places, maybe I do a travel podcast. Maybe I do a podcast about breweries around the world. which would be a very fine thing. I should do that. then how can I get into maps, FM? just contact

Wayne:

us@parkeratmaps.fm. That's me Wayne Parker parker@maps.fm. And we'd love to talk to you. We are always looking for partners and other people to help us move this

James:

forward. Where do you see the future of Podcast? Discovery going, is it going to be more based around things and places, and is location going to be more important as we go forward?

Wayne:

I think it certainly will be a great new form of discovery. There are lots of podcasts that just don't fit this model. Certainly a political podcast that has no connection to a particular place. Doesn't but then if you've got 19 categories and you think about. Location being five or six or 7% of that. It's like a whole of the total, it's like a whole new category. So I think of it that way as you have all of these main categories now, and then we're going to add to this, whether it's done explicitly that way as is a whole new maps category. So you asked me the question, let me ask that to you. Or where do you see this going?

James:

I suspect that it's I think that location is really interesting. I think, in certain places, you know, wouldn't it be great if you were driving on a long distance drive across the U S or across Europe? And you could for the next half hour here, a podcast, which is all about the place where you are driving to so that you actually get there and you are educated, you understand about this place and you get much more value out of visiting that particular place. I think there's a bunch of really interesting things that you could do with that. And I also think it's, yes, another. A tool that we can use to help people find more podcasts. What, with the being, I think Spotify say 2.2 million podcasts out there. I think Apple podcasts it's a little bit less, but not much. that's a lot of podcasts. And so anything more that we know about a podcast should certainly help people find a great find a great show. Yeah. Yeah.

Wayne:

and along the way on that trip to the, see the pins, click on the pins as you go, because, and I've done that and discovered and driven past a place and clicked on the pin and heard the audio episode. Just tell me that the Lake drains automatically, but they don't know where the water goes. Do you know, just surprises like that, that you find as you're travel?

James:

I think it's a great thing. And I think, the more of that than we can do, and of course, you know, really helpful on not just in your car, but really helpful in things like airplanes as well, so that you could actually program the in-flight entertainment. If I'm flying to LA, for example, then I could actually learn more about LA and the parts around LA that I want to have a listen to. So I think there's a great opportunity for loads of things to come here. So yeah, I'm really excited about what maps FM might be able to accomplish in this. thank you

Wayne:

very much. We, in as people go to maps.fm, they will see we're still on a little bit of a demo mode, but we're coming out of that soon and look forward to hearing from people and getting

James:

their feedback. thank you for your time. I appreciate

Wayne:

it. I'm honored to talk with you. Thank you, James.

Sam:

So James listening to that it sounds exciting that you can do that, but is this just in the interim before the location tag is adopted by podcasting hosts?

James:

I think to an extent it might be, but I think what maps FM has been doing is they've been doing a lot of human curation as well. And so I think yes, anyone can put a location for their Podcast now in the RSS feed, if. If they're on a supported host and Buzzsprout now supports that as well, who are our sponsors? That information isn't necessarily always going to be correct or always going to be. And so I think it's nice that maps FM are a little bit more human in terms of how they curate all of this kind of stuff. So they should hopefully stop things like spamming and all that sort of thing. So a

Sam:

story that caught my eye, James is something that you wrote about, which was fireside. Now this is Mark Cuban's new app, where hosts can talk to fans live and monetize their conversations. Have you heard of another app? Like that

James:

sounds vaguely similar sense. Hide in a club house. maybe that sounds. Vaguely similar to that clubhouse.

Sam:

What's this clubhouse

James:

talk about? And what clubhouse is basically, yeah. Being saying with a new funding is that they will be testing things like tipping, ticketing, and subscription. And so that of course makes perfect sense. So Mark Cuban clearly wants to be in on the game. He shown how intelligent he is because he's launching a podcast app or what he calls a Podcast app, which has the complete Zeit Geist of what's going on in the world at the moment with clubhouse. And he's also shown how dim he is by not actually doing a quick search for the word fireside in the web. Podcast cause there's a really good podcast hosting company run by Dan Benjamin called fireside. He is of course not particularly happy about this. So hopefully Mark Cuban will be a good boy and changed the name of his product away from a product that already exists in this space. But anyway it looks interesting. what's your take on it?

Sam:

I think first of all, If they're going to change the name of far, so they better change the logo as well, which is pretty crap. Christmas scene, a gay, an absolute thumbs down. yes, I think the problem with all of this and it feels like Mark Cuban. I have a lot of money. This might be a big. Platform space to get into. Now he's got a great co-founder in Fallon. Fatemia who sold at her last company for a lot of money. They might produce something, but will people migrate to it? I doubt it. And I think clubhouse probably, as you said, are announcing ticketing and subscriptions. They'll probably roll that out. I think clubhouse is now over 30 million people on it. A fireside hasn't even launched. I think it will be a massive leap for people to abandon clubhouse, to go there. They might abandon clubhouse for Twitter spaces. But I doubt they're going to abandon it for fireside or a future name of fireside. And of course, Mark Zuckerberg, couldn't keep out of the news kitty. So I, you probably saw he jumped on clubhouse this week to have a little conversation, which set the Twitter RT and all of the Silicon Valley lovies into a spin about Mark. Zuckerberg's going to buy it instantly for $16 billion. this was the conversation that was going on. But of course, last night, Mark Zuckerberg, or somebody said in the New York times that Facebook is going to have their own version of clubhouse as well, just because he can't think of new ideas. So if you can't beat them, join them. And

James:

on the other side, I would say that, lots of people have been calling this Podcast apps because there's something to do with audio, And so therefore audio means podcasts, but th they really aren't what Pharcyde, Mark. Cubans far side and what clubhouse and what some of these other ones are, is that they are new apps, which are going to significantly harm the conference market. That's what they really are. And if I could pay $3 to listen to Mark Zuckerberg, talk and see if he's actually a human being and not a robot, then that will be $3 that I would spend. I probably wouldn't spend $300. Yeah. And an airline ticket and a hotel stay so that I could watch him even smaller than he would be on my mobile phone on some large stage somewhere. So I look at things like clubhouse, and I think, actually I would be more concerned if I was a conference organizer than a podcaster. Yeah.

Sam:

And sound club. What's the launch to this week in Taiwan. And the reason why I mentioned it, because we are going to talk to Jamie , who's going to tell us a little bit more about it, but what they've done is they've put. Celebrities and TV personalities on stage within sound club and they're actually charging for those people. So exactly what you said, they're saying, we don't see this as a Podcast killer, although it is part of a Podcast app called sound on, they see it as a means to create virtual conferencing and charge through monetization. So we decided to talk to a friend of ours. Called Jamie . She's the CEO of match cast to tell us more about sound on the and sound club,

Jaime:

which was acquired about two weeks ago. Literally 10 days ago is one of Taiwan's Podcast hosting platform. And what happened was just recently, just literally yesterday, they've launched a sound club. Which is the equivalent of Sam clubhouse in Taiwan. Now, interestingly, it's a little bit of a different premise as compared to clubhouse because clubhouse is deemed to be a, an audio social platform where else a sound club is mixed in with the sound on hosting platform, the hosting Podcast player. So it has a very different premise, but I think it's interesting given the fact that, they will not shy about going out and saying, look, this is Taiwan's version of clubhouse. And it's meant to be clubhouse for Asia and language obviously is this big differentiator it's going to be obviously Chinese first then followed by potentially other languages.

Sam:

So what features have they added recording monetization with two of the features I read they've added an Android client as well because that's a big bug bear of many clubhouse users.

Jaime:

Correct. So I think if you look at the way that they have done sound club, is that it's built into the actual Podcast player. So it's a very different, I would say UX experience is complex to cop house. So what happens if you're just launching the sound on player and want to listen to podcasts, it works that way without asking you for any credential, but the moment you want to launch the song club, which is, has a prominent sort of middle. Button within the app itself, it would ask for your Taiwanese number. So you will actually have to have the Taiwan mobile number in order to register. So it's not open for China is yet, but I would think that aspirationally that's where do you want to go? Especially with the Chinese language. And so right now, it's actually almost impossible to test a feature without a Taiwan mobile phone. And it's gone in a bit of a heat from everyone else because when it launches, it says it's meant for the world. In terms of all the Chinese speaking audience and then everyone in Singapore, obviously Malaysia or anywhere else outside of Taiwan could not get onto the platform. And I think given the fact that it is embedded within the Podcast player, give it a different premise as opposed to something like clubhouse, which is dreamed up from scratch without incorporating with any Podcast. What I think some club is looking to do is very much looking at a very different version of clubhouse and potentially having creator conversation. Which is possible. So they will not. Abash about saying that. Look, we won a platform where. host and creator could converse with their fans and ordinary people who is listening to the app content. So it's definitely, I think monetization for Podcast is there is actually thinking in terms of what I thought clubhouse could go, which is hybrid events. So being able to buy, say tickets to an event on the SoundCloud. And then imagine talking to your favorite celebrity, talking to your favorite host. And I think it's going to be backed by the fact that I'm 17 live in Taiwan is actually an entertainment platform. So therefore it has that credential to be able to pull in some celebrity big names onto

Sam:

the platform itself. That is a very logical way of going forward. Clubhouses heritage was the founders actually had a podcasting app before called talk show and. Various members in the town halls that they've held in clubhouse. They've stated very clearly. They're going to be adding recording capabilities back and monetization. So I think. There's going to be this real merger of many platforms, SoundCloud clubhouse. And also, I don't know if you've heard Mark Cubans launching a platform called fireside as well. So we're beginning to see everyone realizing this real time. Immediacy of starting a platform and being able to talk to your fans and have an interaction. The monetize destination would be very good to see when it starts. And I think obviously given theorists propensity to pay for stuff Himalayas already doing that, I think it'll be great to see whether SoundCloud gets that first. And what the take up is, what's your feeling?

Jaime:

Yeah, I think it would be interesting. So obviously I think we've been looking at clubhouse for a bit and share some of my feedback on LinkedIn. I think the challenge with clubhouse, it is still predominantly U S driven kind of a social media app platform. So when it comes to language and all the other sort of surfacing content that is based on language or country is not really there. But interestingly, just this week, I think just maybe two days ago, clubhouse has a new feature update. And when I log back in, I start seeing a lot of Chinese rooms, Japanese sort of Korean language based room. So I think they might be doing some geo-targeting that's already happening within the app. Second thing, let's not be shy of the fact that Sam club is a copycat version of clubhouse for Asia. Interestingly, it's going to dominate what it thinks is going to be Chinese market. We're predominantly, you're going to have Chinese app user who actually wants to go in and just basically talk to celebrity of content creators in Chinese and Mandarin. So that's where it's going and whether it can actually permeate into different markets, like perhaps Indonesia, which speaks to the HASA Indonesia, I think that's timing has to tell. And then the thing, I think to be honest, I think everyone that is fussing all the club housed. Replicas of club house. I actually kept people or podcasters like us. They're not your mass media people. They're not your regular folks on the streets that are knowledgeable about clubhouse. So I think in order for it to peak and become a mass adopted social media or a player or a platform that everyone uses, it has to get past the threshold things that single one platform for everybody. So where I think sound club is. It's intent is to be the first in the market and then see where that leads. And obviously it has the advantage because it has an app on enjoy. And so I think it tends to elaborate on that. And with the fact that China has Ben clubhouse, potentially, if it opens up that registration to Chinese and as well as Hong Kong people that it could pull in that crowd. Into its own version of the clubhouse for Asia, which it thinks that's what Sam club is going to be

Sam:

there. China just banned clubhouse. Is that because I think what I read was people are free to talk about issues because it wasn't being monitored by the Chinese government. So the converse of that is, is sound club going to be monitored as a platform by the Chinese government. Therefore, will people want to go on there and talk freely? How will that restraint it?

Jaime:

Yeah. Interesting question. What Chinese government obviously is fearful of is in the political considerations complaints or other type of conversations around things that are deemed not ideal, but West SoundCloud is it's actually looking at from an entertainment perspective. So you're not going to have a lot of political conversations. You're not going to have a lot of. Social conversations where I think it could ring fence it without real need for moderation. And obviously you mentioned about Mark Cuban. I read a little bit about it. It seems that it's putting moderation up in front center, creating that curator program. Again, I think not everyone is agreeable to having moderation on platforms, social media platforms. So it really depends on whether Chinese is going to say, okay, I'm just going to go into song club. To find my tribe and talk conversations that are, not sensitive or do I see myself wanting to go to clubhouse and have that sort of unfiltered conversation with people from around the world? I think that's the unique part of the

Sam:

difference. Yeah. I think clubhouse has got a big issue with not moderating. It's that fine line between censorship and. Moderation and privacy and the right to free speech. And they're going to have to tread carefully. Cause I have heard already that there's reports of rooms with far right extremists, peer to fault people talking about sex is conversations. And I reached out to clubhouse and asked them, are they recording these rooms? And it seems that in the T's and C's, they're not recording the rooms, so they have no way of moderating these rooms. So yeah, he could put up a nice, we're just going to talk about flowers in this room and then talk about anything you want in the room. And I think it will only take one example of where somebody. Record because you can record clubhouse forums and it's defamatory or it's racist or sexist. And I think they'll have a big problem, but we will see I'm sure clubhouse. Now they're worth a unicorn. $1 billion have enough money to fix them. Jamie, thank you so much. Thank you for telling us all about sound club.

James:

Awesome. Thanks Sam. Jamie on sound club, very clever of them to launch sound club on the day that clubhouse was banned in China. That's a very clever plan. I was listening to a clubhouse room the other day. And what somebody was saying on there is they're actually pointing to the company who's Technology clubhouse uses. And essentially it's just an API that anyone can use and anybody can gain access to clubhouse or paying handsomely. For the use of it. But it, it seems that actually creating a clubhouse is really easy and really simple. And the thing that's holding clubhouse back isn't necessarily their own technology because frankly, they don't have very much of it. It's the Technology in this. Third-party API that they using, but also that clearly shows how easy it is for anybody else to make another clubhouse, because they can just use the same open set of API APIs that have been used to produce that. So testing stuff. what was

Sam:

interesting was sound on. Basically, it was only bought a couple of weeks ago and they flipped the whole product. And within 10 days they'd had an Android client monetization subscriptions, and that's everything that everyone on clubhouse has been waiting for.

James:

Yes. Yes. there you go. People can code very quickly if they're if they're given a good rule,

Sam:

a billion dollars, maybe now, James, you've been busy over the weekend, writing on your other platform or medium, you were talking about how to get a billion new listeners. Now that sounds exciting. How'd you get billion, new listeners, James.

James:

Yeah. So I was writing this on my personal blog, which I put on medium for a number of random reasons, but. one of the things that I was thinking about, and actually it was after we were talking a couple of weeks ago to Melissa from Podcast festival in Africa, she was talking about the expense of data costs. And I actually went to work out how much it will cost you if you were to download this American life in South Africa. So if you look at the money that you would pay in. Data costs based on the average wage in South Africa, downloading one episode of this American life would cost $3 52. In data charges downloading one episode of this podcast, because we're a little bit higher quality in terms of audio bandwidth, not in terms of content would cost you even more. I was looking at that and thinking there's probably an issue here. Podcast index is working on a new tag called alternate enclosure. And what that essentially allows you to do is it allows you to add alternate enclosures, alternate pieces of audio oriented video that your podcast app could automatically switch to or offer for you to switch to. So if I'm on some very expensive South African data, then maybe it could offer a lower bit rate a version of the same show so that it costs me less to download and listen.

Sam:

Is new. video platforms have had various versions of video options. So whether you want to watch it three 60, four, 87, 20 or higher, I don't get it. Why can't we, or why haven't we done this in podcasting

James:

sooner? th the reason why is that some people did do it. So Stitcher ended up doing this quite some time ago, and I think Stitcher re encoded everything to 48 K or even 32 K so that it worked in cars. Cause back then most mobile phones were 3g, mobile phones and cars and mobile phones didn't really go together very well. And. Podcast people got really upset because they really cared about the audio quality and they really cared about getting the accurate stats and everything else. And so they said, no Stitcher stop doing that. And Stitcher ended up stopping doing that. Yeah. I just wonder whether that's a very Western view and a view where, I noticed that yesterday Virgin media in Ireland basically said everybody now gets unlimited mobile data. Um we're not charging for mobile data anymore, and that's going on in Ireland. It's going on for T-Mobile customers in the U S and various other things as well. I just wonder whether that is a very Western view. And there are lots of people in the developing world who pay an incredible amount for their data charges. Once you incorporate their average monthly wages into this, why Podcast hosts, don't offer. A low bit rate version of their podcasts. I really don't know as an alternative. So I'm not saying, this podcast is in 192 kilobits stereo, and I'm not saying that we should be going out as a 32 K. You know, mano MP3. But what I am saying is that perhaps there should be an alternative for people like that to choose if they want to. And that's what the alternate enclosure is all about. You wrote about a

Sam:

company who's even gone further below the line of

James:

32 K. So this is a piece of technology called Opus. It's not new, actually. It's been going for quite some time. I think that one of the two major. mobile phone operating systems deals with it. And I think unfortunately, it's Android Opus will go all the way down to six K, which is an incredibly small amount of data. And it sounds quite astonishing. So here's a little clip.

Jaime:

Hi, you're listening to. And we're here today with Rin

James:

Hyatt. So I, I mean, that's not fantastic quality, but it's only six K and it's still perfectly listable too. It sounds like an am radio.

Sam:

It did sound a bit like the first transmission of Sputnik, but anyway but it was,

James:

yeah, the music did at the beginning. Yeah. Yeah. I'll give you that.

Sam:

I'll give you, whereas at the other end of the spectrum, James, there's a Q code recording in Dolby. Atmos. What's that one? Yeah.

James:

So Q code is a big Podcast company based out in. Los Angeles. Steve Wilson, who used to work at Apple podcasts is now working there as well, which is why all of their press releases only mentioned Apple podcasts and nobody else. But anyway, they are apparently recording all of their podcasts in a format called Dolby Atmos, which is surround sound. no Podcast app yet supports it. So probably. A, bet on the future there, but it does show that there's some sort of clever thinking going on about audio quality. iHeartRadio has also just announced what they're calling iHeart, 3d sound, but the rest of us are calling. Just binaural audio, which is which has existed for many years, but actually can sound really good for drama, podcasts and stuff like that. so lots of thinking about audio quality, lots of thinking about new formats and new ways of listening. And I think this new alternate enclosure tags should certainly help with that. That's

Sam:

all I can think of is recording a pantomime Podcast and shouting it's behind

James:

you. Well, that's what a surround sound is. I'm sure. best at if you say I don't quite understand. I remember. Lots of surround sound demos when I was at the BBC and surround sound was supposed to be the next big thing, but the surround sound demos were always, you know, you'd walk into a room and there'd be 30 speakers in the room and you'd walk around and you think, Oh , well, that's very nice. You can hear the, you can hear the elephant from over there and the cheetah from over there. but I can't kind of see how it works with. Headphones, maybe I should read up a little bit more if you know, whether surround sound works with headphones, then please send us a comment to questions at Podland dot news. We'll get another voicemail. Sam if we try hard enough,

Sam:

we try. Now that's it for this week, I'm afraid. So James, what's coming up for you in Podland this month.

James:

I'll be moderating a session about the pandemic and speaking about the future of radio at the radio festival in India, on world radio day, which is on Saturday happy world radio day. Sam. Thank you.

Sam:

I will be under a table plugging in my radio station. So yes, I'll be thinking about radio day.

James:

How lovely. And that's it for this week. If you've enjoyed your trip to Podland come back again. Anytime you can subscribe on all the major Podcast players or visit our website at www dot, we must get that a record. So to that Podland DOT's news.

Sam:

And if you enjoyed this episode, thank you. And please tell your friends by sharing on your socials. We'd love to have your comments. As James said earlier, from anyone on the show and send a voice comment to questions at Podland dot news. Or send a tweet to Podland news. If you

James:

want daily news, you should subscribe to the daily pod news newsletter. It's free@podnews.net, or just ask Siri or a smart speaker near you to play the latest news from pod news, podcasting news. That's where you'll also find the links for all the stories we've mentioned this week on the website. Obviously not. On the smart speaker, music is from ignite jingles. We used squad cast and zoom for our interviews this week. See if you could spot which it was edited by me on Hindenburg journalist pro, and we're hosted and sponsored by Buzzsprout.

Sam:

We'll see you in Podland next week. Keep listening.