Podland News

Podcasts, Podcasts everywhere but not a mention of RSS anywhere! We discuss Apple's podcast subscriptions, Facebook's podcasting app and Google recommendations

April 22, 2021 James Cridland and Sam Sethi Season 1 Episode 21
Podland News
Podcasts, Podcasts everywhere but not a mention of RSS anywhere! We discuss Apple's podcast subscriptions, Facebook's podcasting app and Google recommendations
Chapters
0:43
Apple Podcast Subscriptions
17:42
Facebook Podcast Player and Audio Rooms
25:28
Apple Podcast Connect
34:36
Spotify Charts
35:49
Netflix Podcasting Job
41:14
Apple core Media
Podland News
Podcasts, Podcasts everywhere but not a mention of RSS anywhere! We discuss Apple's podcast subscriptions, Facebook's podcasting app and Google recommendations
Apr 22, 2021 Season 1 Episode 21
James Cridland and Sam Sethi

Join James Cridland and Sam Sethi on this week's jam-packed show about Apple subscriptions and Facebook's entry into podcasting with the help of Spotify. 


NEWS

  • Apple Podcasts is adding paid Podcasts Subscriptions in May. As a podcaster, you can set your own price for your own show.

  • Apple Podcasts will take a 30% commission of the subscription price for a subscriber’s first year, dropping to 15% for additional years. Podcasters can set pricing, and availability, by country. Apple Podcasts is available in 170 territories.

  • Paid podcasts are hosted by Apple, not by your podcast host. 

  • Apple Podcasts will not give you access to any personal data about your paid subscribers, like their emails or names.

  • The launch of the new Apple Podcasts Connect tool has been plagued with bugs and technical issues; and has impacted other apps. We would recommend NOT logging in at this time.

  • Many podcasters say their shows have completely gone missing within Apple Podcasts and third-party apps that use Apple’s API.

  • Our theory: All shows transferred to the new system appear to automatically have their RSS feed removed from Apple’s public API

  • One way for third-party apps to continue operating is to use PodcastIndex.

  • Apple Podcasts Connect also changes your categories, too.

  • Within the next few months, the Facebook app will include a podcast player, as part of an upcoming set of “social audio experiences”. The podcast player will work in the background, and offer live captioning; “RSS” wasn’t mentioned in the release 


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MORE: 


Buzzsprout
Podcast hosting and a whole lot more

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Join James Cridland and Sam Sethi on this week's jam-packed show about Apple subscriptions and Facebook's entry into podcasting with the help of Spotify. 


NEWS

  • Apple Podcasts is adding paid Podcasts Subscriptions in May. As a podcaster, you can set your own price for your own show.

  • Apple Podcasts will take a 30% commission of the subscription price for a subscriber’s first year, dropping to 15% for additional years. Podcasters can set pricing, and availability, by country. Apple Podcasts is available in 170 territories.

  • Paid podcasts are hosted by Apple, not by your podcast host. 

  • Apple Podcasts will not give you access to any personal data about your paid subscribers, like their emails or names.

  • The launch of the new Apple Podcasts Connect tool has been plagued with bugs and technical issues; and has impacted other apps. We would recommend NOT logging in at this time.

  • Many podcasters say their shows have completely gone missing within Apple Podcasts and third-party apps that use Apple’s API.

  • Our theory: All shows transferred to the new system appear to automatically have their RSS feed removed from Apple’s public API

  • One way for third-party apps to continue operating is to use PodcastIndex.

  • Apple Podcasts Connect also changes your categories, too.

  • Within the next few months, the Facebook app will include a podcast player, as part of an upcoming set of “social audio experiences”. The podcast player will work in the background, and offer live captioning; “RSS” wasn’t mentioned in the release 


---
MORE: 


Buzzsprout
Podcast hosting and a whole lot more

james:

Welcome to Podland. Podland sponsored by bud sprouts. The easiest way to host, promote and track your Podcast there@buzzsprout.com. It's Thursday, April the 22nd, 2021. It's my brother's birthday today. I should give him a ring. I am James Credlin the editor of pod news.net here in Australia.

sam:

And I'm Sam Sethi. The editor of Sam Talks Technology here in the UK.

james:

Land's a weekly podcast where Sam and I delve deeper into the week's podcasting news. And it's been quite a week. Hasn't it? Sam,

sam:

I'm gonna say this week's big stories. Wow. What a week? Apple Podcast. Facebook. Podcast and there's even more so I'm hoping you're sat down or if you're on a long walk, you'll need a really long walk, whichever way this is going to be a fun pack show. So James, let's start off with the big one, I guess is Apple podcast subscriptions now. Tim cook gave it the grand amount of time that it was Reverend Lee Jew, 75 seconds of attention. That's all they gave. well done Tim in a one hour, 20 minutes share what did he say? Go on, tell us

james:

what he said. I can do better than tell you. I will actually play him to you. The first 20 seconds was talking about how Apple. Brought podcasting to the world, which is almost true. And then we had Tim cook saying this we're making the biggest change to Apple podcasts. Since it's debut. This starts with the newly designed Apple podcasts app. Every show in episode has a beautiful new page, making it easy to follow, listen, and share. We're also introducing channels to help you find new shows from your favorite creators. We're also introducing Apple podcast subscriptions, which enables you to unlock new content as well as additional benefits. Like ad-free listening early access and much more. So now you can help your favorite podcasters build their business and fuel their creativity. Apple podcast subscriptions launches in 170 regions and countries next month. These major updates will make listening to podcasts easier and more enjoyable than ever before Apple CEO, Tim cook there. So the first thing that he talked about was the new app, which we've already talked about. Subscribe changes to follow. it'll have a thing called channels in there, which is a way to group shows and it will have a smart play button, which is quite cool. It will help start a listener with the right to episode of the podcast. So if you go and listen to West cork, for example, and press the play button, it will start you at episode one. And if you go and listen to the daily auto pod news, it will start you with the latest episode, which is all pretty cool. So that was lovely, but it was all about the other announcements. Wasn't it. Sam?

sam:

I guess we've talked about subscriptions coming to Apple podcasts. you've gotten actually signed up. maybe we'll talk about that process later on in this podcast, but now that the subscriptions are here, what'd you think of

james:

them? I think that the subscriptions by themselves are really well thought out. it was what I was asking for. When I wrote an article back in March of mystic Cridland back in March of 2019, I had a big list of things that Apple should be doing. And number one was allow us to sell Podcast subscriptions. And I'm really pleased. What they've done is allow us to sell Podcast subscriptions, not just bundle everything Into a service where we don't get the chance to set our own pricing or set our own access or all of that kind of stuff. So it's actually done really well. So you can do things like you can set your own price for your own show. There's no exclusivity. So you can. Also sell your Podcast for subscription in Spotify. Assuming that Spotify doesn't have an exclusivity or in your own app, and that's all good. You just have to sell it at the same price, but that's fine. You can offer free trials. You can do all of this kind of stuff. And one of the really nice. Things from my point of view is that you can set different pricing for different countries. So you can, it looks like, at least produce a version of your Podcast, which is paid for the U S but also give a free version of that same Podcast out to let's say Africa, for example. So I think that there's some really clever things in there and it's actually a pretty good. an intelligent move from Apple.

sam:

That's two things you said there that I wanted to pick up on one. They didn't make it exclusive. So could you have the really odd situation where you've got. Your Podcast. I know you just said you can set different pricing, but could you set your pricing on Spotify totally different. Why would you do that? Why wouldn't they try and make it exclusive so that you just weren't on other platforms?

james:

Are they thinking well, what they're asking for is they're asking for parity. if you are selling your Podcast for four 99 in your own app, then you can sell your Podcast for four 99 in Apple podcasts as well. So they're asking for price parity, and I think that's absolutely fine and fair enough, but they're not asking for exclusivity. So they're not saying you can only sell your podcast through Apple podcasts and nothing else. And I think that's probably the right move so that hopefully Spotify will copy Apple's pricing. To allow us therefore to say in our podcast, you can subscribe on Apple and on Spotify. And wouldn't that be a simple and straightforward call to action so that's what's going on there. And I think that's totally the right move. I think your friend

sam:

of mine, Matt Degan actually asked exactly for that didn't they? Yes,

james:

he did. Did. And I think he's absolutely right. he's basically saying, make it. As simple as possible, but probably the onus is on Spotify to copy Apple's pricing there, because Apple is large enough and arrogant enough not to care about anybody else in the market. And I think Spotify will probably take a look at this and take some ideas out of it. Now

sam:

Apple have the Apple tax. So how much is it going to be that I have to pay Apple for the privilege of selling my Podcast?

james:

so if you're selling apps, for example, then you have to pay a hundred us dollars a year for the privilege of being In the app store. So there is a similar price for podcasters who wants to make their podcasts available in terms of Apple podcasts, subscriptions. And that's $20 a year. So that's not that's not too bad. Once you've paid your $20 a year and your in Apple podcasts subscriptions, then Apple podcasts will take a commission. The commission is 30%. Of the subscription price for our subscribers first year. And then that drops to 15% for every subscribers additional year, which 15% actually isn't too bad. If you consider the cost of accepting credit cards, the cost of, running a payments, service, the cost of all of that 15% isn't bad. 30% is a bit rich. it's quite a lot on the other side of this, at least it will turn podcasting. Within Apple from being a cost center into being a revenue center. And that's probably a good thing for all of it. I

sam:

wouldn't hold your horses on the 30% right now because the Senate judiciary subcommittee is hearing in the next couple of days about competition in the app stores. And you've got testimony from Google, Spotify title, and many others, and that's on the 3rd of May. So I wonder whether that 30% tax. Will be reduced, but who

james:

knows? Somebody was moaning about the price of this on Twitter. And my response was, would you rather pay 30% of $2 million or would you rather pay 15% of $200,000? I would. I would rather pay 30% of a much larger figure. Thank you very much. And I genuinely believe that the ease of being able to press the button and subscribe to a show in Apple podcasts is going to make it that different, that easier to sell Podcast subscriptions and therefore you should be able to earn significantly more money than you can with anything like supporting cast or super cast or Patrion or any of these other platforms, because it is so much easier and simpler, but we'll wait and see and find out.

sam:

Okay, so that's good. So we know the price. It's $20. It's 30% commission. There's no exclusivity. But the one thing that stood out for me was that you can't access your own data. So you won't know about your customers listening, no name, no email, which is what Patrick is saying that you can get with them. Big issue.

james:

I think it's probably a big issue to some Podcast is that would like to gain personal information about their subscribers. I can also see it from the other side and, I don't necessarily want people to gain my email address and have to And be able to spam me left right. And center asking for more cash. so I can see that too. Now, Ben Thompson writing in his newsletter, strategic Curry, he's criticized that because he's basically said it locks podcasters into Apple's platform forever. What it essentially means is that you can't email right. All of the people who are supporting you through Apple and saying, actually, I'd rather that you supported me through Patrion. So I can see that. I think Ben's got a good point of view there. And Nick Hilton writing in his blog, he has been saying that. This has the capacity to potentially mean that small, independent publishers that don't want to charge for their Podcast will be basically hidden because Apple won't want to promote podcasts that aren't earning the money. And I think there's something to be said for that too.

sam:

Now, the other thing that did jump out of the page at me was paid podcasts are hosted by Apple, not by your podcast

james:

host. Yes, that's interesting. Isn't it? So you will upload files or flak files. Apple we'll do the audio conversion into AAC or MP3 or whatever it is that they will use. They will also add DRM to the audio files as well. Now, to be fair, I think that all Podcast hosts should be taking a WAV file. And producing the best possible audio quality file that they can from that Buzzsprout does that, who's our sponsor. We upload, we have files to Buzzsprout, Buzzsprout take that and produce a spangly exciting 192 K file for us. And they'll produce 96 K files for many other people as well. And I frankly think that's the best way of doing things so that Podcast hosts can produce much lower bit rate streams in much more exotic. Codex in the future. so I'm not too worried about that, but what I think is interesting is that essentially means no more RSS feed, because it means that you will upload your audio directly to Apple. And Apple is. Completely in charge of it. And it also means a lot of faffing about if you're going to do this on more than one platform, because you need to upload where files, which are slow to upload on all kinds of different platforms. If you're going to do this on a number of them. it'll be interesting to see quite how far that goes, but is this a way for Apple to finally bypass the RSS feed? I think that's an issue.

sam:

also, is it a way of Apple dipping their toes into bypassing podcasting hosts? if you just charge for the wildfire we do the process with Buzzsprout of uploading our farm. That's a manual process we do every week. And then we leave butts sprout to do the clever stuff with the RSS feed. But if I were to put it straight into Apple what if I put my free one next year? When they announced that suddenly they are my hosting partner.

james:

and it could be, and people have talked about this, that the $20 a year that you pay to be part of the Apple podcasts program, where you can start selling your subscription perhaps in the future. That might also just be a basic Podcast hosting. Cost that you can just use Apple as your podcast host, but of course that means that your podcast is only available in Apple. now Apple of course would love that. I'm sure. But I think that's interesting seeing that Apple is, not going to be using any other podcast hosts. You could argue on the other side, That they've got no alternative to doing this because the whole point is a paid for Podcast that nobody else can get. And so RSS feeds are all open. there is no way of making an RSS feed, a very private RSS feed. there are a few very boring and tedious technical ways, but in most cases there are no real ways of making that a private feed. So you end up with all kinds of interesting leakages there. So maybe Apple has felt they've looked into the technical side of this and the only way that they know that they can provide a secure. feed is for you to upload the audio directly to them. So maybe let's fair to them, but it also

sam:

means it bypasses the fact that your Podcast can't be shared to other Podcast apps. So the Apple directory has been broken.

james:

indeed. if you're charging for your Podcast, then of course that means that they're no longer open podcasts anymore and they can no longer be consumed by RSS anywhere else. so paying for a podcast in this way. fundamentally breaks how podcasting works.

sam:

Okay. Now Cridland, what else was in your document? You got subscriptions, right?

james:

Well, second thing that I said was once you've got subscriptions, then you can afford to launch on other platforms you can afford to launch on perhaps windows you can afford to launch. On Android and as it so happens, if you take a look in the terms and conditions for the Apple podcasts program, then there is an exciting clause, which does actually mention windows. An Android it's clause 2.3, in case you're wondering and what they've also said, if you look into one of the many amounts of words that they've written about this, they say something like, we will confirm exactly the. software and hardware required to subscribe to Apple podcasts once that is launched because Apple podcast subscriptions is going to be launched in may. And I wonder whether or not we are going to see a launch of Android. certainly Apple have made no announcement about that, but who knows?

sam:

let's watch and see you, whether you're going to be popping your core cause it's on Android, but who knows? I won't hold your breath, James. That's what I was saying. Don't hold you back.

james:

we will see, I would be really surprised. If come the end of may. We don't have an Apple podcasts app for Android. We've got Apple TV on all manner of devices. we've got Apple music on all manner of devices. Why would they not launch Apple podcasts onto Android as well? But let's see,

sam:

I reckon may the third and that'll happen. I'm so upset that actually may the fourth, wasn't the day for that trial. Cause that would have been may the fourth be with you,

james:

of course the unofficial Australia day, may the eighth, may eight. Anyway.

sam:

Now, what I love about you is that you've sat down, looked at all these clauses, you've looked at another clause about transcriptions in clause 2.2 C.

james:

yes, but clause 2.2 C allows Apple podcasts to make transcripts and more importantly allows you to be able to opt out. Of transcripts. So you can actually say as a Podcast publisher. No, I do not want automated transcripts made of my shows. so it's fascinating reading all of these individual clauses. Nathan Gathwright who's the chat behind him. Plink he has done a great job of going through even more clauses than I did. and transcripts is I think a good thing. And if Apple is producing those automatically for every page Podcast good on them.

sam:

So James, it looking very good so far with. Apple subscriptions, but who's going to be part of the launch. Who's joining the Apple Podcast

james:

policy. So there were quite a few people. PRX is joining lemonade. The media Q code Pushkin industries tend to foot. Plus I think one of the interesting things is the different business models. So PRX is offering four different channels that you can pay for including a kid's Podcast. One and one from Radiotopia Pushkin industries has a model where you can pay less. If you pay an annual fee. So, all kinds of interesting models in there. NPR is also going to be there with a paid podcasts on both Apple and Spotify. They've said you'll still be able to listen to NPR stuff for free though. all of that is looking pretty good. So

sam:

James looks like Apple subscriptions has finally arrived. Is it worth just all jumping on board and trying Apple connect,

james:

it may well be worth us trying Apple subscriptions in terms of trying Apple connects, which is the new backend system for Apple podcasts. I think the answer would be a slightly different one. Should we talk about that? After we talk about what Facebook is planning on doing.

sam:

Cause now Mark never likes to be left out of a party. He joined clubhouse house briefly just to check it all out. And then of course he went away and did a copy and paste. So now he's launching Facebook podcasts. It says the social media giant is about to get into audio and Podcast, a podcast discovery product, and an audio only version of rooms. Have you seen it or what do you think of it?

james:

I've taken a look at it. Let's hear what Mark Zuckerberg had to say earlier. He was talking on not clubhouse, but discourse would you believe? And this is what he said. One of the things that we've found is that there are. 170 million people on Facebook who are connected to a page that's for a Podcast already. So they've expressed that they want to get updates from the Podcast. They want to get that content, but we just literally don't have a format today for that page or people who want to share Podcast to put that out to the people who want to follow that. So we're going to build that there, the creator tools for people doing Podcast to share it, but then. On the consumption side, you know, an experience where you can just discover that and feed start playing it, put it in the background, maybe go to a different app, have it keep playing, or just be able to multitask and do different kinds of stuff. So the podcasts are obviously a big thing already but I think just unlocking the ability for people and creators to share long form content there is gonna be. So when I listened to that, I'm there thinking, how does this guy ever have normal conversations? Does he go into shops? And he says, You know, I'm really looking for some uh, really good hydrating beverage. Um, I haven't the faintest idea what he just said, but let me try and work out vaguely what it means. It's gone to the

sam:

Marc Andreessen school of speech

james:

design. It's just Talks very quickly. And then there's big gaps and then talks very, very quickly and makes no sense whatsoever. But What he's announced is or what they have announced is a Podcast player within the Facebook app which will work in the background. Wow. it'll offer live captions. It'll be part of your Facebook page. and if I were you, I would add the podcast category to your Facebook page. Cause that'll make it work. He's also announced live audio rooms, which is essentially clubhouse. Hooray but there's actually a little bit of a difference here because with the Facebook version, The press release says with live audio. Cause it's going to be called live audio with live audio creators will be able to turn a live conversation into a podcast for everyone to listen to later, which is exactly what clubhouse should have done. Isn't it, Sam? should

sam:

have done day one. but they didn't. And I think what's interesting for me is if I would walk down the high street and if I said to them, have you heard of clubhouse? We turn around and go, no, but they've heard of Facebook. And of course Mark's jumped onto the bandwagon quick enough, I think. to prevent, people actually using clubhouse. The

james:

other thing, which is interesting about their live audio rooms, their clubhouse alike is that you'll be able to charge. So you can either charge for access altogether for the room, or you can accept tips as well. you have to use Facebook's currency, which is called stars rather than real money, but you buy those with real money. So it's much the same sort of thing. So again, it's what clubhouse should have done. Charging for access to some of these things. And Facebook has very much jumped on that and seen what they can do there.

sam:

Digital currency stars. is this new or is this something that's been around for a while?

james:

I think it's been around for awhile. They've had a digital currency for things like games anyway. So they've been playing around with that sort of stuff for a while. So I think Facebook stars has been about for a bit. And I guess it's much the same as Google play tokens or, all of the other weird and wonderful. micro payment mechanisms that some of these things use so I don't think that bit is new. I think it's just new that you'll be able to use that to charge for access to your clubhouse alike live audio room. they've also added. Something called sound bites, which is short form creative audio clips, a bit like audio boo, where you can record little clips of audio and stick them into your newsfeed. And they've added an audio creation tool as part of the app, which has got noise reduction in there. It's got little clips of copyright cleared music and sound effects and all that kind of stuff. and I think a lot of this is just what Facebook are very good at doing is making things easy. particularly on the consumer side. And I think what Facebook has done is focused very much on making audio creation easy and simple. And we know another company has done that, which is anchor an anchor have done a very good job of doing that. So Facebook can do a similar job. great. Fantastic. I think it should be very interesting to have a lookout.

sam:

Facebook will pay you for every star. You receive 0.0, one of a us dollar.

james:

So it's a scent for a star, which is all lovely.

sam:

Isn't it? So I think what's confusing for me because Facebook is confusing is you've got Facebook pages. And so it looks like I'll have a Podcast player tab. And then I've got a Facebook group that I've got to create in order to create my live audio room. And then somehow I'm going to magically save that into a podcast format. Although we don't know whether I can then extract that out of Facebook as an RSS feed. That's not clear. So is it now I walled gardened Podcast that I can't take anywhere. that'll be interesting to find out and then I can really publish it or I can listen to it on my Facebook page or others can listen to it on their Facebook page. I guess somehow my live audio will go there.

james:

It's confusing, isn't it. And certainly when you look at the press release, they don't use the magical phrase RSS anywhere at all. So not only do we have Apple playing around with their own Podcast hosting, but also now we've got Facebook potentially playing around with theirs. Although depending on who you read. And whose press release you read, apparently Spotify has something to do with Facebook's podcasts as well. And I think if that's true, that would be a very clever move by Facebook because that would mean that Facebook don't have to go away and get every single podcast out there to submit their podcasts to the Facebook podcasts app, because nobody wants to do that. Ain't nobody got time for that.

sam:

Hang on JJ. You have now because you don't have to submit it to all the other app players because Apple's turned off the API.

james:

who knows? let's let's get onto that show. Yes.

sam:

sorry, I've jumped the gun. Keep going young, man.

james:

so I think from Facebook's point of view, I think that's a very clever plan so that if they start with Spotify catalog, then they will start with a catalog of over 2 million podcasts and that's pretty good and should hopefully open podcasts up to tons, more people, or at least open on demand, audio up to tons, more people.

sam:

one of the other things that I wanted to point out was that this isn't a new relationship. Is it Spotify and Facebook have been in bed before. Pfizer Garcia who was the international product manager for Spotify, told us that, the original deal to get music into Facebook was. Created by one of his deals. And it was the thing that you see on the side of Spotify where, you can see what your friends are playing. If you connect your Facebook account to your Spotify. So it looks like they've just dusted down that old deal and added the podcasting back to it, I guess one of my predictions, I think it was in one of our earlier shows. Is who's going to buy Spotify because I suspect it's either Netflix or now maybe Facebook, but Spotify won't live on its own.

james:

Could well be Facebook. so yes, interesting to a C and you've made a couple of predictions you were calling me, Mr. Cridland earlier on was I will call you Mr. Sethi now, because one of the predictions that you made is that Apple would fiddle around with a directory API,

sam:

ice, that they will turn it off now. I said to you yesterday on a back channel, James, have you done it yet? Because I was about to do it. And you said, don't stop. Wait. And I went, ah, you've signed the forced the impact with the devil. Have you, okay. So tell us what

james:

happened. So I logged into Apple Podcast connect, which is the. Backend system. If you're a podcast host Podcast publisher it's the backend system for you to get in and add your podcast to Apple podcasts. Let me tell you, do not do this. Do not log in. Firstly, it may well take you over 24 hours because there's a bug there. Secondly. Once you do that once you're in to the system, what the Podcast connect system seems to do is it seems to have a little tick box that says, would you like this podcast to be in Apple's public API? Now for new shows, that's turned on for existing shows, that's turned off. So once you get into Apple podcasts, connect unbeknown to you, your podcast has been taken off. The Apple podcasts, directory API, which means that third-party apps, can't see your show and pod news disappeared from Apple podcasts as a result of me doing this. But worse than that, what that also means is that because the current Apple podcasts apps are using bits of the Apple public API at the moment that actually takes you off Apple podcasts as well. So that was a big mistake. so the pod news Podcast was off for about three hours in total. there are many other podcasters out there who say that their shows have gone missing for much, much longer. and it seems to be all coming back to this new. checkbox that we've got, which essentially stops you from appearing in Apple's public API, or if you put it the way that you put it a few weeks ago Sam are Apple going to turn off their public directory? And the answer is yes, they've given now podcasters the option of coming out of the public Podcast directory that they give to other apps. So I think that's a dreadful. thing to do, it may be something that they've done by mistake, but it's a very efficient way to kill your competitors like overcast and Castro and everybody else who rely on the API.

sam:

It was an inevitable solution. Really? Wasn't it. If you're going to. Turn on subscriptions and make people pay for access to a podcast. You don't want that to be free somewhere else. And that's the only way I think they could have done it. I guess the other way would have been to maybe talk to those other podcast apps and maybe tell them what's going to happen so that they can actually maybe include a payment mechanism as well of some sort. But I thought they were going to do that.

james:

I might say suspicion is that the paid-for Podcast will, would never have appeared in the API anyway, but the fact that they are now offering any Podcast, the opportunity to come out of the public API, which means that you won't be an overcast, you won't be in Castro. You won't be in pocket costs. You won't be in any of these other places that takes Apple's API. And the fact that they have, whether by mistake or on purpose opted every Podcast out of that. When they go into the new Apple podcasts connect I think that's a bit worrying now. There are ways for third party apps to continue operating and that's to use the Podcast. Index that has an API, which has a by iTunes ID end point, which gives you all the information you need, including the RSS feed URL and Marco Arment, who does overcast has moved very quickly to integrate Podcast index. So if you're a user of overcast, you won't notice any difference. but the fact that Apple never communicated this and by the way, the fact that Apple's still haven't communicated any problem. with the Apple podcasts connect to anybody is a bit shameful, to be honest. And you've got all of these poor Podcast hosting companies who, if you're working on support for these podcast, hosting companies, just imagine how difficult it must be to be on support and to be answering all these questions from people who now can't find their podcast on Apple podcasts or anywhere else, and not having been told about. Any of these new services that's a very bad way for any company to behave. the fact that Apple, I know that they're talking to Podcast hosting companies today about some of the things that they've done. there's too little too late. And the fact that Apple haven't even acknowledged that there are problems at the moment is not good.

sam:

we know that their secret squirrels, nothing was going to ever be told. of course Adam Curry and Dave Jones must be doing back flips if they can still do backflips.

james:

I think Dave Jones is worried because obviously that means the could be an awful lot more traffic to the Podcast index API, on the other hand, This is exactly what a lot of people, including you have been warning us about is the fact that Apple may well turn that API off tomorrow and we'd be stuck. And what Apple haven't done here is that they haven't turned it off. Let's be clear, but what they have done is that they have made it very possible for any Podcast to come out of the API. and the fact that they have either on purpose or not pulled any Podcast off this API is just a real worry. I hope it's a bug, but you never know with these things and Apple podcasts are not giving any. view on whether it's a bug or not. what's the phrase that I have to use here. Apple podcasts does not have a statement for me,

sam:

I guess, expression, it's better to ask forgiveness than ask for permission. It seems to be Apple's mantra here.

james:

yes, perhaps. Perhaps, but what a shame, because they've done such a good job with the subscriptions. And then to my mind ruined it all by this ham-fisted buggy implementation of this new Apple podcasts connect service. I

sam:

mean, but the one thing you did say was that if I created a new Podcast, it was turned on automatically, which doesn't seem to make sense to me. Why would they have it default on. For a new Podcast, which means that any third party app would still then get the new Podcast, but they've turned it off for existing.

james:

I think it may be a bug. and if it's a bug which of those two is the desired behavior. Justin Jackson, who runs a transistor, who's a podcast host. He posted really interesting tweet showing how. Easy it is to submit from transistor how easy it is to submit a podcast into Spotify. It's literally one click and you're done. And then how easy it is to submit a Podcast to Apple podcasts. And the quick answer is it's not easy. it's a quite a concern, I think for where the future of Apple podcasts might be going. And I hope it's just a mistake. but it's not good either way.

sam:

the Podcast index is hit over 3 million Podcast. if you're interested in the Podcast index, I certainly recommend you go over to the Podcast index.org site and have a look. They even have a. Podcast index social website, which now hosts a regular video chat every weekend. I think a lot more people are going to be interested in what Adam and Dave done outside of, the inside geeks like us. Who've been looking at it for a while. I guess this is my one question. What Adam and Dave have got, is this whole system called value for value, which is not a competing system to Apple subscriptions, but it's another way of people paying creators for their podcasts. And you kindly put Podland and pod news onto the system with Adam and Dave, and we've been owning Satoshis from doing it. How are we doing on that? By the way? any updates? So we are, we now flooded. are we completely overloaded?

james:

I will tell you as we talk. there's a page all about this on the pod news website. If you just search for Bitcoin then that's the plan. So we are currently standing on 17,765 sat. So 17,000 sat let's find out what 17,000 sat means in real money. it means $12. We've got enough for one pint of craft ale, as long as we share it. So that's nice. now

sam:

Adam and Dave did actually put up a tweet about this not the fact that we've got $12 but they did put up a tweet. It says the Podcast index Twitter account says, wake me up when any podcast app developed. Pur can add the subscribe button and share a percentage of the revenue. So I don't think Adam and David too worried about subscription

james:

announcement and they hit me right.

sam:

So in summary don't right now go and do Apple Podcast connect, unless you're a masochist and want to spend time discovering where your podcasts went to. and Facebook. we'll see what it does when it comes out. So moving on from Apple and Facebook, let's get back to Spotify. Spotify is rolling out new Podcast charts, top podcasts, and top episodes. Is

james:

this a chart? Yes, it's another chart. Brilliant. that's what we need, isn't it. but it is again, Spotify, I think muscling in on apples turf Apple has very cleverly been running their own Podcast charts for a long time. And it's very unusual to get a press release about a Podcast without mentioning how well it's done in the Apple podcast charts, which is an entirely pointless thing. Now, Spotify has rolled out their own charts as well. So top podcasts is based on recent listens. Top episodes is going to be based on listens over the last 24 hours. And there's a us only Podcast charts website, which is very clever of them because that essentially means that even if you're just in the press, you can actually get some information there in terms of how particular Podcast is doing in Spotify as Podcast charts. so that's Spotify muscling in, on a Apple again.

sam:

wonder what else they're going to do now coming up? let's talk about Netflix, Reddit, Himalaya, and Google notice. No Amazon again this week, but anyway, that's another story. Netflix, I noticed a job that you'd posted there, which was for the head of audio Podcast, programming, editorial, and publishing. I didn't know Netflix did Podcast,

james:

James. No, they've done a few. They've done a few companion podcasts to their TV shows. Maybe it's for this who knows? or maybe it's for something else, but interesting to see Netflix hiring you'll find that job@podjobs.net. so that's a nice thing from Netflix. The Reddit news. Is, and you will be delighted about this. Sam Reddit has a clubhouse clone now. Brilliant.

sam:

Excellent. Just what the world needed. have you gone and looked at it yet?

james:

they haven't quite launched it yet, but it will be based on subreddits. So if you are in the. Sub radiative. I don't know the Brisbane subreddit, then you will automatically get a clubhouse clone for that Brisbane subreddit. So that's all very exciting. Isn't it? Subreddit is a group if you're not on Reddit. And so another club has clown. Brilliant. That's what we need. Himalaya. Sam, do you remember him a layer? A couple of years ago, they spent $100 million worth of money in a new Podcast platform. They sponsored a pod Fest one year. They got lots of money in, and there was a story in axial saying that the $100 million was mostly rubbish. mostly made up. now they have sent a tweet out in a reply to somebody moaning about how rubbish their app is. They sent a tweet that says actually we are quote, transitioning away from podcasts towards audio courses. So Himalaya no longer involved in podcasting, which is interesting.

sam:

I first came along and found Himalaya couple of years back when we were looking at what's going on in China, in podcasting. And it's very big, there it's an Andreessen Horowitz investment. That was one of its backers, strangely Andreessen Horowitz in the clubhouse. given, what's announced today on Apple. I'm surprised at Himalaya I've made that decision because they set the bar early on, allowing you to upload your Podcast into Himalaya, set your own price for the subscription. And if you have a look at the charts in Himalayas, some of the Chinese meditation podcasts were actually in the millions of downloads. If you were charging one 99, and you're getting millions of downloads happy bloody days. I would've thought so. It doesn't make a lot of sense either the numbers were wrong or something's gone old. don't know why they get out when Apple was just getting in.

james:

Yes. yes, but who knows? by Himalaya, we hardly knew you. And the final story was around Google episode recommendations or rather a few things from Google. firstly they've added episode recommendations on their website now. so their website is. at parity to their apps in terms of finding new stuff to listen to which is nice. and their recommendations have actually been undergoing quite a lot of work over the last couple of months, including there's a local recommendations. Now, if you don't live in the U S so you don't see the same things all over and over again, and what Google podcasts have. Promised in their app is that they have promised a sort of a thumbs up thumbs down button. I think it's a heart button actually, where you can tell the app what you particularly so that it can recommend more of this kind of stuff to you. So they're doing some work there and also weirdly they've spent some money or they're going to spend some money on feed burner. so then the transitioning feed burner, which is an RSS service, they're transitioning that to new infrastructure later on in the year. It won't look as if it's a piece of technology from 1998. That still has buttons on there where you can share things too delicious. getting rid of all of that, and they're actually spending a little bit of money genuinely. That's still in there. so they're spending a little bit of money on that. so that should work quite nicely. They've got a couple of things in there where if you have a look at an RSS feed in there, it links you to some quotes podcatchers and. Some of the pod catchers are so out of date that the buttons don't work or they take you to a completely random website. So it's a very strange thing. But anyway, feed burner is going to have some money spent on it who saw that coming.

sam:

Oh, please, someone's budgets got extra money. They have to spend before it's taken away from them. Now one of the things that. I just thought about when you were talking about this is, it feels like today from what we've talked about, Apple potentially, if it's not a bug turning off the applied API direct trade, not talking about RSS, Facebook famously doesn't allow Google to index its content. So how the hell are you going to get any of the content out of Facebook into Google? and how are you there for we're going to recommend are they gonna only go to the Podcast index now? Because if all of this stuff's getting turned off, where's Google going to get its content from.

james:

Google doesn't take its content from Apple. Never has. And so maybe that's the nice thing here in that Google has just essentially used its massive, great big web spiders to find Podcast feeds out there. So from Google's point of view, nothing changes. and I think that's probably good news. and that's mostly how Podcast index is working now. it's essentially a lot of scraped and found feeds from the rest of the internet. so hopefully apples changes if they are deliberate changes won't harm that kind of stuff too much.

sam:

I've got one last question for you which is about Apple core media, because a couple of weeks ago you identified that both sprout was claiming that Spotify was ahead of Apple in terms of Podcast in its directory. And then Alban on their Podcast, talked about why they've changed from Apple core media. Tell me more because it seems that's still rumbling around.

james:

it is still rumbling around. And what it basically is Apple core media is a software library, which quite a lot of iOS apps use. If you are streaming a podcast and by streaming, if you press the play button and it plays while it's still downloading. so if you are streaming a podcast in that way, it's not technically streaming, but let's ignore that bit. Then your phone will probably use a library called Apple core media. And I will call media. It's very difficult. It's not impossible, but it's very difficult to change the user agent of that. So that essentially means that a podcast hosts just sees Apple core media as being the user agent. The thing that is asking for the Podcast, and it doesn't know whether it's Apple podcasts or whether it's pocket casts or whether it's Castro or whatever it might be. What some Podcast hosts have been doing. Cause there's no standards around this. What some podcast hosts have been doing is that they've been saying Apple core media, that's all Apple podcasts and lumping it into the Apple podcasts number. That is what I think is going on with Libsyn's overall public stats. Libsyn will not tell me. But That is definitely not going on in terms of buzz sprouts, public stats, they take Apple core media out of those numbers. Now they unfortunately hide Apple core media's number rather than just publish it as Apple core media or publish it as unknown Apple app, which is what it really is. And I wish that they would publish it publicly on their global stats, but that's just the way of these things. So you end up with this bit of a mess at the moment where I personally think both people are doing it wrong. I think Libsyn are doing it wrong by claiming that they're all Apple podcasts plays because they're not. And I think Buzzsprout are doing it wrong by cleaning that none of those are Apple Podcast plays. Cause they clearly are. I think this is one point where you need to apply a sample and basically say, okay, 75% of all. Those are Apple podcasts plays the rest of those aren't and this is how they break down and you apportion them. Correctly. that's my own personal view. Having looked into this rather a lot still haven't written the article on it. but I think it's interesting and there are lots and lots of apps out there that I have discovered use Apple call media as a user agent. So we're not always getting the full story from any of the stats. It sounds

sam:

like it won't matter what starts anyway, because how many people you've got in your directory may not be a relevant

james:

metric. Yes. I think you're absolutely right. So all fascinating stuff what's been happening for you this weekend? Podland Sam.

sam:

the radio station still James,

james:

I should point out. I'm not hurrying you up on a, I'm not hurrying you up because somebody has just put a burger on my desk for dinner at all. I'm just literally asking you what's happened for you in Podland this week, Sam. Wow. Very

sam:

rapidly, nothing. James,

james:

I am currently working on Podcast day 24 on the Australian leg. More information on that on Monday. if you read pod news, you'll find out information that on Monday, if you are in Australia or New Zealand, it is very good and exciting news. Watch out for that. And that's it for this week. If you've enjoyed your trip to Podland come back again. Next time you can follow this podcast in your app or visit the website at Podland dot news. And thank

sam:

you for listening. If you have any comments about anything on the show today, send the voice comment to questions at Podland dot news or tweet us at Podland news. And of course, soon you'll be able to this up. Thanks, Brooke, audio thing, whatever that is, but we don't want it. So yes, just keep those

james:

simple. If you want daily news, you should get the daily pod news newsletter. It's free@podnews.net. And that's where you'll find the links for all the stories. We've mentioned this week, the musics from ignite jingles, we recorded with Riverside FM for a bit, and then we use clean feed for a bit. We edited with the Hindenburg pro and we're hosted and sponsored by Buzzsprout.

sam:

I will see you in Podland next week. Tell your friends about us and please keep falling. Thanks a

james:

lot.