Podland News

Like London buses, you wait years for a subscription service to turn up and two come along at the same time. James and Sam analyse Spotify's new subscription service and compare it with Apple's alternative subscription service.

April 30, 2021 James Cridland, Sam Sethi Season 1 Episode 22
Podland News
Like London buses, you wait years for a subscription service to turn up and two come along at the same time. James and Sam analyse Spotify's new subscription service and compare it with Apple's alternative subscription service.
Chapters
0:40
Spotify Subscription Service
5:55
Open Access Platform
14:01
Facebook Podcast Player
25:46
Riverside FM raises $9.5m
28:06
Apple Podcasts Clustergeddon
37:45
SiriusXM has bought 99% Invisible Inc.
41:36
Acast claims the future of podcasting is Dynamic RSS
45:27
Buzzsprout supports Canva
47:59
Headliner now supports Soundbites
Podland News
Like London buses, you wait years for a subscription service to turn up and two come along at the same time. James and Sam analyse Spotify's new subscription service and compare it with Apple's alternative subscription service.
Apr 30, 2021 Season 1 Episode 22
James Cridland, Sam Sethi

Join James Cridland and Sam Sethi on this week's thought-provoking show about Spotify's new subscription service.


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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Join James Cridland and Sam Sethi on this week's thought-provoking show about Spotify's new subscription service.


NEWS:

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MORE: 


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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
James:

Welcome to Podland. Podland sponsored by bud sprouts. The easiest way to host, promote and track your Podcast therapist. sprout.com. It's Thursday, April the 29th, 2021. I'm James Cridland, the editor of pod news.net here in Australia.

Sam:

Hello, I'm Sam set at the editor of Sam Talks Technology here in the UK.

James:

Hey Sam Podland is a weekly podcast where Sam and I delve deeper into the week's Podcast news. Gosh, it's been a week. It's been so busy.

Sam:

So like London buses, you wait years for a subscription service to turn up and to come along and got ones too brilliant.

James:

That's what you need. Yes, it was Spotify as turn. Wasn't it.

Sam:

It was Dade. Spotify has announced their paid subscription service, which is hosted on anchor. NPR is a launch partner and unlike Apple, who will take 30% of your subscription revenue, Spotify say they won't charge you until 20, 23. After which it's 5%. Come on, James. You've had a play with the Spotify subscription service. What's your thought?

James:

Yes. I've had a look at it. I haven't had a play with it because you can't have a play with it because that's one of the things apples. Podcast subscriptions is available in 170 countries and territories. I'm not quite sure why they have to say that, but they do. So there we are. whereas Spotify is not even available in the U S yet, but that's basically where it will be available from the get-go. So it's not available here in Australia. It's not available for you in the old country. it's not available anywhere. but the first thing is the price it's not free. Spotify say that Podcast creators will keep a hundred percent asterisk of the money. And then when

Sam:

you

James:

and then we, you, and you follow the asterisk down to the bottom of the page, the asterisk is processing fees still apply. So that's payment fees for your credit card or for that sort of thing. Now, I don't know how much Spotify going to charge for that Stripe charge in the U S 2.9% plus 30 cents. So my expectation would be that Spotify is pricing would be similar to that. who knows it could be a little bit more, whereas Apple's fees do include payment processing. So that's one thing which is different. us only not even available to everybody in the U S there's a wait list that you can join. and so there we are. but the other thing which I saw was really interesting about where you can, the big difference between Apple and Spotify is that you can't actually buy a paid subscription to your Podcast in Spotify. Why is that? if they were going to do that, then Apple and Google would want up to 30% of the money, which is, a think that Apple and Google do because that's how they make their money out of the app stores. So instead. If you're listening to presses the button to subscribe, they get thrown into a website on anchor. And then there are asked to enter their credit card details because presumably they can't share the same credit card details as Spotify users. And in any case, quite a lot of people buy Spotify on a voucher system anyway. so that's going to be quite a different experience, the Apple experience, which will be just like buying an app, you'll press a button. It will possibly ask you for your password or ask you to squint into a camera or something. and that's basically that for Apple, for Spotify, it's going to be rather a lot more complex hated. So I think that's an interesting one. Isn't it?

Sam:

I think we highlighted a few weeks back that Apple's was going to be a seamless process because they've got Apple pay. and how worse Spotify going to actually increase your subscription, which strangely they are increasing subscription costs anyway, across European, but. Does this open up the fact that I think Spotify need to go on a little acquisition hunt, maybe a knock on the door of Jack Dorsey and see if he doesn't want square anymore, or one of the other providers, because I think Stripe's too expensive for them, but they need to go and find their own payment mechanism. Maybe even come out there. I say it of Google and apples stores, because I don't think it's beneficial to them

James:

anymore. they have obviously made they made a complaint a couple of years ago to the European union and the European union are the people who are taking this quite seriously. There's currently a commission investigation on app stores with both Apple and Google. So that's, going to be interesting to watch, but I guess the one positive side of. Being thrown out to a website to purchase the Podcast is that you don't have to listen in the Spotify app. So if you don't want to listen in Spotify, but you'd rather listen in PocketCasts or in Castro, or even in Google podcasts, then you can, because it works in a very similar way to super cast or to Patrion or to supporting cast or any of these other services where they will also give you a private RSS feed, which will work in any podcast app apart from Spotify, because Spotify doesn't deal with RSS feeds, but thankfully anchor obviously are going to give you access in Spotify as well. So that's really interesting. So Apple, obviously your stuck in using Apple's hardware, whereas If you buy a paid Podcast subscription through anchor, you can listen on anything you like, as long as it understands RSS feeds. So that's interesting

Sam:

when the irony being that you could actually use that private RSS feed in Apple

James:

podcasts. Yes, indeed. the reason why I'm sounding a little bit frazzled this afternoon is that I have been spending a long time looking at the traffic that the new Apple podcasts app is sending through the internet and trying to understand whether Apple have changed rather more than I thought they have. And the quick answer is yes, they've changed an awful lot. I should have a look and see what happens if you add a private RSS feed into the system and see what happens there.

Sam:

the open access

James:

platform. that's another thing. which is even weirder. So if you want to, and this again is something that Apple won't be doing. If you want to, maybe you are a subscriber to, I don't know, wired magazine. so you've got a relationship with wired magazine. You've paid them some money. And one of the things that wired magazine promises you is access to their own Podcast. Spotify could give you the access to the wired exclusive Podcast through Wired's websites, but Spotify would actually deal with all of the techie stuff under the hood. So that's what their open access platform is about. It's basically enabling other websites to handle the billing and the login. but I keep it all in the Spotify stroke anchor system. which again is a really interesting, I think quite niche, but a really interesting feature that they're currently working on. it'll be interesting seeing how they do that and this is quite some way off, I would've thought, but

Sam:

from what I can read here, it says it's not supporting private RSS feed or any other arbitrary RSS feeds it's sporting OAuth. So it's that crossover handle and repeat back.

James:

Yes. I think, authors for the open access platform. whereas, separately they're doing this private RSS feeds. and I think this is one of the things that I've been struggling with over the last week or so there is so much information. It is so complicated. and particularly looking at all of the nitty gritty as I like to do, because I think that's where you find the real stories. My goodness. There's a lot of information.

Sam:

if you take the, some of the marketing spin, which I love Dissecting Spotify says it will help create is retain direct control over the relationship, which is what this is all about. Supposedly with the open platform and with the ability to make your payments elsewhere. But I think it's also a Digger, Apple. the fact that, you can't get your email out of Apple from your subscribers, but guess what? Spotify will allow you to get that if you already have another subscription list. And it's also that little dig at the beginning, I know we talked about the asterisk, but we won't charge you for, two years type thing and you will have a hundred percent. It's all these little snide digs, Apple's charging heavily. We're not, and at the same time, you can take control of your users and emails and subscribers. So is it open V closed or Spotify trying to claim they're the open platform

James:

heavens help us if they help us, if they are doing that. good Lord. I think Spotify is trying to pretend to be more open here. And I think to a degree, they are, you could host your Podcast on anchor and it's playable everywhere. You can monetize through megaphone and that's available everywhere and Spotify. Yes. It has its own player, which can do other things as well. And they've basically said in the past that, RSS is all nice and good and everything, but actually we'd like to do some other things as well, which are as has can't do. but I think you're right. That actually there is a bit of a play here from Spotify to be a little bit more open. and to recognize that people consume podcasts through lots of different places. the new financial results came out from Spotify overnight for me. And, they are back in profit. The figures are all good, but only 25% of users of Spotify are using the app for podcasts. Now only 25% sounds low, 89 million people a month. Sounds a little bit better, but nevertheless, you can see that they are hungry for more than just 89 million people. And so the fact that they have an anchor as a consumer Podcast, hosts megaphone as a enterprise podcast, host the fact that they are wanting to monetize all of that stuff, is really interesting and exciting. I think.

Sam:

in that report as well, they're claiming that Spotify had 2.6 million podcasts on the platform up for more than 2.2 million podcasts at the end of 2020. So they're showing growth. And Daniel X said that the music and Podcast paid audio business has room for five to seven times growth from their current position. So they really are saying that they think that the paid podcast and audio business is the way they're going to go

James:

forward. it's interesting. I think somewhere in the region of 90%, 95% of their revenue is still not coming from advertising. So it is coming from, paid for stuff and you can see that, Daniel lack would be very keen to see a little bit more of that. in bad news, apparently the Joe Rogan experience is doing very well. wow. So there's no very well until last week. So there's no accounting for taste, is there?

Sam:

no, but I think he's gonna get his little, his wrist slapped again, or maybe it's just PR Cause he was saying that young people in America shouldn't take the vaccine. Yes.

James:

Yes. He's a, he's an idiot. Richard idiot though originally. no, you're absolutely right. Renegade's born in the USA was the number two show with Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen, but interestingly they also say that was the most popular internationally, which leads me to suspect that perhaps Joe Rogan does best in the U S and that he doesn't do as well as we might think outside of the U S thank heavens.

Sam:

Sorry, you say telling me that Americans traveling a board, don't do very

James:

well. I'm saying that, Joe Rogan particularly doesn't do very well. nobody's traveling abroad at the moment. so there is always that

Sam:

Now one thing that I did pick out in that report was Morgan Stanley put out a client note saying that Spotify was overweight,

James:

which apparently is a good thing. It's

Sam:

a good thing. Yes. They're saying that it's currently trading at $298 and that it's going to go up to $350 in the next 12 months. So they're very bullish on Spotify.

James:

I was sent their client notes by a friend of mine who said, Morgan Stanley is quite realistic in terms of this kind of stuff. I think it's really interesting.

Sam:

So I guess my question to you is Spotify can't remain as a standalone company. In my humble opinion, I have long said that either Netflix will buy. Spotify because they have to then do something. Netflix are struggling They're flat-lining in their subscriber numbers. There are. And if you look at Apple, Amazon as their main competitors, they both got what they call the triple play. they've got films, TV, and music and podcasts. And if you want to add that into it as a fourth category it seems an obvious synergy to stick Netflix with Spotify. do you think anyone will buy Spotify or would you think they can grow on their own?

James:

Tony aleck is very bullish. certainly in the book that I read about Spotify is history. which is in a previous Podland and we interviewed the editor in a previous Podland Daniel aleck was very keen that basically Spotify would continue to be an independent company owned by nobody. But I wonder how realistic that is, as you say, Apple is very much all of those things TV and audio, so is Google. So is Amazon. So it's going to be difficult to see Spotify compete, just doing audio, but perhaps they will do in the future. I don't know. I think the obvious is Netflix to go away and buy them. I don't know whether you know much more about that bit.

Sam:

it seems that if you have a look at the board of Netflix and you have a look at the board of Spotify, there's quite a synergy between the two in terms of X CFOs and investors. I did talk to somebody who was in the early days at Spotify who did one of the early deals, which we're going to talk about later, the Facebook deal. and he did say, just watch this space. he certainly is very thoughtful on the fact that he does think that Spotify will not stay stand alone. And he does think that they will eventually sell to now, will they sell to Netflix or will they sell to Facebook? That's a to throw a fly in the ointment because of this week's deal that Facebook started to do with Spotify,

James:

you're right. So Facebook is to add a Podcast player in its app powered by Spotify. one of the things that I thought was interesting there is that it's being rolled out to 27 markets. And none of those are in Europe. Anybody would think that the Europeans have a higher degree of privacy law than anybody else on the planet.

Sam:

does that mean that we're not European here in the UK? That we can get it?

James:

I know you are still, subject to all of the European laws until you decide to revoke them all you crazy British people. So you still have GDPR is still part of UK law. and the GDPR, I would assume because it's not being rolled out to any European markets, this new Podcast player within the Facebook app. I would presume that part of that is a GDPR concern because otherwise, why would you hold it back, you know, give it to Australia and New Zealand, but don't give it to the UK or Germany seems as strange. but so that is in. the Facebook app. Now, what I've discovered is that it seems to work for some of my friends using their fruit-based mobile phones. I'm using proper robot based mobile phones as I do. it doesn't work very well. It plays the first 30 seconds of a podcast or a clip of music and then stops. whereas people on Apple phones are seeing a consent page, which basically allows Facebook to link your Spotify account, up and then everything all kind of works. So I'm not quite sure that it's rolled out entirely properly yet, but quite interesting and exciting though, if that's the case.

Sam:

third year reporting that the current way it's integrated, it's just temporary and that Facebook are working on building a proper Podcast player for the app.

James:

some of the screenshots of Facebook's announcement had a Facebook page for a business. and there are lots of these different tabs and a Facebook page, and there was a tab called Podcast. And in there you could see individual episodes and everything else. so you can see that is quite canny because that does two things. Firstly, it means that individual podcasters or brands will be adding their RSS feeds directly into the Facebook website on this new tab in their Facebook page. So that's quite clever because that. I think helps Facebook with the real reason that they have just done this, a Spotify deal. And that's that Spotify obviously have 2.6 million podcasts in their app. Whereas Facebook have zero and you don't make a compelling podcast app by having zero podcasts to listen to. so perhaps that's the start to actually get us used to consuming audio within the app so that then we can start properly adding our RSS feeds into the Facebook app.

Sam:

Again, the Facebook and Spotify deal. Isn't new. Spotify has had to deal with Facebook in the past. if you use your Spotify. App or on your desktop, certainly you can connect your Spotify account to your Facebook account and see which of your social graph friends are listening to what music and I guess who's the winner in this deal, James, is it Spotify or thanks book,

James:

I guess for now it's probably Spotify. I think, you and I were both chatting to somebody about this and apparently Spotify spent over a year negotiating the rights for. Distribution on Facebook, which to me is astonishing because it's, basically a link. but I can understand that, the record companies are very worried and concerned but I think it's a tremendous opportunity for Spotify because at the moment, the only way that you can really share stuff is by going into the Spotify app and doing a search in Spotify and finding stuff for you to then go and share. So right now, I think it's a great opportunity for Spotify to convert more people and to encourage more trial in the future though, once Facebook builds their own tool for Podcast, at least if not for music, then, again, all bets are off. I think.

Sam:

One of the interesting things, this person, obviously we can't say who. a source said that Facebook could also make subscription payments for customers acquired through this channel available through the Facebook wallet. So going back to that Spotify allowing you to have your payments elsewhere, it could be a way that Facebook take the payment for listening to podcasts on your Facebook site.

James:

I think it's clever. And I wonder how much of it is Facebook wanting to encourage use of their virtual cash, Facebook stars but also, Facebook just wanting more credit card information, wanting, more people to be using the financial side of it because currently, I mean, I haven't given Facebook, my. My credit card information. I'm not sure that you would have done, either because we're both sensible people. Exactly.

Sam:

Keeping Mr. Zuckerberg, my credit card. Oh well, there goes my bank account.

James:

so it's interesting to see what's going on with Facebook. And what that future is going to be like. particularly if they put it in properly, I guess on the other side, you've also got other companies who are really interested and excited about this world, Sirius XM, which owns AdsWizz and simple cast and has just bought some somebody else who we'll get onto in a minute. they also own Stitcher and AdsWizz, they've seen revenue going up an awful lot Pandora, which they also own appears to be going down. but I quite liked this quote, which I'll play from Jennifer wits, who is the Sirius XM CEO. She was speaking in serious XMS earnings call yesterday, and she's not entirely sold on subscriptions. We are really well positioned to offer subscription products. You know, we have subscription products across our brands today. Including a Fisher where for some time we've had a premium Podcast, subscription and market, which does provide capabilities for listeners to listen to podcasts ad free, to get early windows and to have premium, exclusive content. So we can be nimble if that's really where the market heads and consumers want to go. we certainly have the opportunity to monetize and help content creators monetize through subscription. I'm not optimistic that consumers are going to want to have a lot of micro audio subscriptions, but again, if that's the path that we see evolving, we have the opportunity to pursue that as well. So I think what she's basically saying there is, I don't think that anybody really wants this, but Stitcher is in a great place to be able to offer that. if it turns out that people do actually want that, I don't know what your thoughts are on that. Sam.

Sam:

I think people do want it. as I said, a couple of weeks back, there's a flight to quality and I think people are beginning to get ad sick. They don't really want to be bombarded with ads. And I think if you have an alternative way of making a payment and it's a micro payment that helps you a support, the creator be removed the ads. I think people are going to try it. And if it works, you know, you have that subscription failure to remember where you subscribe to anything. I think people are gonna subscribe to lots of podcasts and then forget, and then look at their bank statements going, what's that one 99 for again, and then go, Oh, I can't be bothered to find it.

James:

I completely agree. And if Apple are clever, then what Apple will do is they will bundle them all together anyway. And so you won't actually know too much about what it is that you're spending this money on.

Sam:

I've got a question for you, James. Now, given what you need. I now know about the pricing of the subscription services and given what you know about the availability in terms of rollout, where would you put your Podcast? Now, if you are a new podcaster or you were an existing Podcast, would you say no, I'm going to put myself exclusively on Apple and I'm just going to make it so simple to use Apple pay, or I'm going to start with anchor and I'm going to put it on Spotify and I'm going to have the jumping from website to website, but actually eventually I'll get a subscription. Where would you recommend people go to?

James:

I don't think that I need to recommend that because I think you can do both. so as long as you are selling a subscription to a Podcast, not a a channel is a group of podcasts, which you can sell a subscription to an Apple podcasts, but not in Spotify. So if you're going to look at a specific shows subscription, then firstly I'd say. most podcasters would be well advised to not charge for their Podcast. Number one, but if you really want to charge for your podcast, you can be on both because Apple doesn't have an exclusivity clause. The only thing that Apple wants is parity of pricing. So you can already see this with luminary, which is selling sponsorship in their own app, but they're also selling sponsorship to the same shows in Apple podcasts for the same price. if you can basically say you can subscribe to an ad free version of Podland, which this is basically you can subscribe to an ad-free version of Podland for $3 99 a month in Spotify and Apple. Then that's great. And you can be in both. So that's certainly what I believe to be the case. Apple definitely doesn't have an exclusivity clause. I'm asking Spotify what the deal is there. but my suspicion is that they won't have an exclusivity clause either because we already know that NPR is going to make its podcasts available for subscription ad free in both. So my suspicion is go for both. if you really want to spend money on. a subscription, if you really want, your audience to buy a subscription to your podcast, which is a questionable thing, anyway, be on both Spotify and on Apple. The only annoying thing is that you'll have to upload your podcast at least twice once to anchor because the Spotify thing only works with anchor and once to Apple directly because the Apple thing only works with their own hosts. that's the only annoying thing, but I would be there on both.

Sam:

The one thing I did see was Ben Thompson on Stratex Curry was doing an analysis of first year, second year because obviously Spotify charges will change and apples will change in the second year. And they were similar in price, but I guess we'll see whether 30% Apple tax will remain. We'll have a big swing factor on whether you stay there because you have to, sell a lot more podcasts in order to get the same output of revenue.

James:

you have to sell a quarter more podcasts to basically get the same amount of cash with Apple. But on the other hand, it's so much easier to buy in Apple. I do come at this and think there's actually no reason necessarily why you wouldn't make considerably more money with Apple, even if they are charging 30%. And remember that 30% includes the payment fee, it includes all of the customer service and everything else that you would otherwise have to do for yourself. and so I know that lots of people are jumping up and down going 30%. How dare they, I think it's probably, fine to be honest.

Sam:

I guess the market will decide to be contagious in a few years' time.

James:

So moving on from the subscriptions, a Riverside FM, a friend of Podland has announced a bundle of additional funding. Haven't they? Sam

Sam:

indeed they announced a further 9.5 million and the company is also debuted. It's a magic editor feature to automate recording, editing and uploading. Now we do like Riverside FM here. What's this magic editor. They sound very bus sprouty to me.

James:

we had Nadav on a couple of weeks ago on this very podcast and essentially there's a lot of cleverness in terms of noise reduction in terms of making sure that everybody sounds the same volume, for video, it will automatically edit the correct image onto the screen. So when I'm talking, for example, it would just have me when you're talking, Sam would just have you and it would do all of the camera switching automatically. So there's a bunch of stuff that they're busy working on. I have to say nine and a half million. It's got to be difficult for them to get through. sponsorship is available. but I'm busy sitting there going, that's a lot of money if you look under the hood as well. Interestingly, what Riverside does is it is to a degree selling another company's software in much the same way that clubhouse is. so clubhouse is stuff is actually a different company under the hood. whereas companies like clean feed, which we're actually using today clean feed have their own hardware in all kinds of different locations around the world to make this work. So perhaps it is literally just that 9.5 million they actually need to help pay their suppliers and everything else. I don't know.

Sam:

again, I think it's probably another acquisition down the road for somebody.

James:

sure. for somebody like zoom that might be useful, but certainly for a large Podcast host that would be useful to altitude. For example, this week added a a remote recording tool as well. So if you make your Podcast on the attitude platform, then you can use their remote recorder have the interview, and then that will automatically dump the audio files from that into your episode editor. So you can go ahead and start editing them which is very clever. And you can possibly see that a podcast host would be interested in doing that kind of a deal in the future.

Sam:

Now I thought we'd drop in Riverside there before we get you on your soap box. cause the next story is about the Apple gettin the absolute mess that is created by Apple podcasts connect. I'm going to be quiet for probably listeners for the next 10 minutes while James tells you

James:

look, I really liked what Apple have done with Podcast subscriptions. I think that is a very brilliantly cleverly thought out thing. And I think they've completely listened to their audience of Podcast creators. Clearly Jake Shapiro has been involved with that. who's a bright man is working for Apple. Now I think Apple podcast subscription is a really cleverly well-thought-out product. Apple podcasts connect though, is their new replacement for iTunes connect. And it's just been, a week of not working. So Evo Terra, por Evo, Tara spent seven days without access to any of the tools. So this is the tool that you use if you're going to submit a Podcast into Apple. And if you're a Podcast producer, as Eva is to withhold access to somebody like that for seven days or Paul collagen or any of these other Podcast producers, that's a bad thing. And particularly not to say anything publicly, not to even acknowledge the problem. Is a concern. there's a fascinating thing. it used to say, when you went into this system, we're just transferring your account over. This may take up to two hours. I think it said, and they've recently updated that page. So now it has, this may take up to a day. So there's clearly something going on there. The good news is I can exclusively report that Evo is in Evo is finally managed to get access. Now, there is one interesting thing which kind of ties us back to Spotify earlier, which is that There's another way in to the Apple podcasts system. And that's something called iTunes site manager. Now, most people have never heard of iTunes site manager, but if you work at the BBC or at NPR or at large Podcast producers, then iTunes site manager is the thing that you use to put podcasts into the system. It bypasses some of the approval process. but it's the way that you get your shows into Apple. I think it's also the way that anchor uses to automatically get shows into Apple podcasts as well. that is also going away. That's going away at the end of may. They've just said. we'll see what that means for people like NPR and the BBC, but that also probably means that anchor, you may have to fall back to registering your own Apple ID and all of the usual pain that the rest of us have to go through if you use anchor in the future. that's going to be interesting to have a look at I just think it's been terribly badly managed. I've contacted Apple and I said, there are clearly so many problems with it. if you've got a statement at the very least a statement that just says we're aware, we know we're working on, it would be at least helpful, but no statements, I believe the phrase I have to say is we were not supplied with a statement.

Sam:

I think saying things like we've been having issues with the crawler, hoping to have it resolved today, hoping to have it resolved today.

James:

it doesn't fill you up with any sort of confidence at all. the thing that annoys me about it is, and I probably said a bit of this last week as well, when you get transistor, for example, having to put a page on their own website with all of the issues that Apple podcasts currently has. And if you work for a podcast host and your support team know nothing about this, because they haven't been briefed by Apple. I have no information about from Apple about what's going on, but they need to go back to paying clients and explain what the issues are. And the only thing that they can do is just go back into, I dunno. so it's just really hard. And I think that Apple have dealt with it incredibly badly. They've done the subscriptions incredibly well. They've dealt with this stuff incredibly badly. there is one interesting change though, which is both a change which is good for privacy, but also may change the way that things work. if you, I have the Apple podcast app on your phone, the old version of the Apple podcasts app, the version that didn't come out this week with iOS 14.5, the old version of the Apple podcasts app used to itself check all of the RSS feeds that you were subscribed to. So you didn't have to worry. if Apple iTunes had fallen over, you didn't have to worry because your subscribers were directly connected to you. And so if you released a brand new episode, the subscribers would see it because their phones were connecting directly to your RSS feed. That was the case. That's not the case anymore. I've spent the afternoon putting my iPod touch through a proxy so I can monitor where the traffic is going from it. And all of the traffic, whenever you refresh your list of feeds, all of that traffic is going through an API on the Apple podcasts websites. So that's a big change because that actually means that if the Apple podcasts, crawler falls over, which it's done with fair monotony over the last couple of years, when it does fall over, then if you don't see a new episode appear on the Apple podcast website, that also means that your listeners won't get that new episode either. And that's not been the case until now. So that's a big change that I've discovered that I need to write up properly for the newsletter, because that's probably an important thing.

Sam:

I'm trying to understand this because often when I've posted or published a podcast, Spotify gets it instantly. Or, I say instantly within a couple of minutes, Apple, I'm like refreshing, refreshing nothing's happening. I'm going, is this publishing? And eventually, probably 30 minutes later or whatever it drops. now neither of those are using web sub. So it's not a thing that they're both using. That's different. Why does Spotify get it fast? And why does Apple

James:

take forever? Because Spotify, I mean, certainly you can go to a page on pod news to see how our RSS feed is being looked at. it's a pod news.net/about/rss-stats. And you can have a look at that and you can see every single call to our RSS feed. So 16,000 calls per day. and you can see when Spotify is checking it, when, overcast is checking it, blah, blah, blah. And certainly it used to be the case that you could see that the Apple podcasts, storefront, which is what I've been calling that particular service their crawler essentially used to call significantly less than Spotify. So Spotify appears for me and I publish a daily podcast, but Spotify appears to come knocking every five minutes to check whether I've published something new in terms of the Apple podcasts storefront and it still pops along, but let's have a quick look here. It's only checking 20 times a day, checking 19 times a day. and it seems to be checking once every 90 minutes. So there's your answer. Spotify checks every five minutes or so Amazon music seems to check every minute. Wow. Gosh, there's a thing. whereas Apple podcasts store,

Sam:

they didn't have to pay for AWS.

James:

Exactly. although I do so maybe that's it. whereas Apple podcasts, storefront, which is their crawler is only coming along, as you can see every 90 minutes or so. so that, would explain what's going on there. there's clearly an issue in terms of or maybe not an issue, but it's clearly the way that Apple podcasts actually works. there is also no. Feed refresh button anymore in the new Apple podcasts connect. So you can't even give it a bit of a Keck once you've uploaded and you show which you used to be able to, you can't even do that, tell you that. I think there's going to be more pain to follow in terms of all of this.

Sam:

when you're looking at his stats, can you tell me one thing, what does Google do? Because Google uses web sub. because Google instantly shows the episode. So how does Google show up in your stats though?

James:

so even though Google uses web sub so it does automatically come and grab my Podcast. As soon as it changes. I can tell you that yesterday Google podcasts and search, which is the Google bot came to read my RSS feed 367 times. so that is quite frequent. so just so that we're aware, Spotify is 398 times a day. So it's much the same sort of thing, probably every six minutes or so. so I think Google is just checking as, as often as it possibly can. And again, I'm a different Podcast to many because it's a daily Podcast. and that does tend to mean that you're so RSS feed gets hit an awful lot more, So there's your answer.

Sam:

Why don't they all just support website? It would make life easier.

James:

it would. But I could also see I think Dave Jones has said that actually a website isn't necessarily that. Perfect. and there are technical reasons why, which I don't fully understand, but he's looking at something called Hydra which we'll do an even better job at all of this, frankly. I don't fully understand it, but one day I will and then I will be able to report on it

Sam:

Now moving on. let's go back to Sirius XM. you mentioned earlier they bought 99% invisible company owned by Roman Mars. What's that all

James:

about? Yes. Roman, hi, I'm Roman Mars. that's my Roman Mars person nation. It's the only person nation I can do. and I can only say that. So there we are. And I can't

Sam:

tell you if it's accurate because I've never heard

James:

Roman most. Oh my goodness. And you're doing a show about podcasting. so it's a great show is 99% invisible I'm Roman Mars he's got a long history with PRX, the public radio exchange in the U S he actually started his podcast network called Radiotopia with some crowdfunding money. And has done very well in terms of all of that which has been nice. but what he basically said in a long interview with the New York times is he has basically had enough of trying to run a business and go out and sell the advertising and everything else. And he just wants to make stuff. He just wants to be a creator. That's what he is. and so the whole, dealing with advertising and dealing with, running a business and employing people I wouldn't necessarily say bored with it, but he's just not particularly interested in it anymore. and so I think good on him. So Sirius XM has bought that company they currently own, or currently make two podcasts, 99% invisible. And what Trump can teach us about constitutional law, my guess is that one's not long for this world, but anyway those podcasts will remain free to everybody. According to the New York times, they didn't give any terms. And I did go through the Sirius XM quarterly results today to see if there were any terms in there, but there aren't, but what Roman Mars is going to be doing is he's going to be giving $1 million from the sale to support Radiotopia shows. So one would imagine that he got paid frequently more than $1 million. so there is the resource, so that too.

Sam:

I know that I hadn't heard the 99% invisible podcast. I'm not on my own though. Nick built in this week said, what does 99% invisible sale to Sirius XM mean? We're all saying that today, but they aren't trees. Absolutely nothing. Or as he put it in a little bit less flowery language, less than an effing zero, if you're an indie Podcast. So that is 99%. Invisible is a Relic of the podcasting world as it was when it started in 2010. So yes, I haven't heard it. Clearly. Nick built a doesn't care about it. Is it just the market, another merger and acquisition, just. but it doesn't affect most people. I

James:

think calling it a Relic of the public, the casting world is what it basically is it's a very heritage show, which has clearly got a lot of public radio roots in the U S and that's roots in terms of where it came from rather than roots here in Australia, which is something quite different. I think here, it is certainly an old world, indie Podcast that delves into interesting things like decorations of manhole covers in Japan, for example. and there's nothing wrong with that. It's a great listen. It's a really nicely done show. It is a little bit cliched. It is a little bit in PR. but nevertheless, it's a nice show. I think it's just interesting and I think it's a sign of the times that Roman Mars is basically gone. Do you know, I can't be done with all of this business stuff and trying to keep up with the complication of the podcasting landscape, which is so much more complicated than it was when he started his show in in 2010. He just wants to, he just wants to make stuff. And, I think I think wanting to go back and just make life simpler for yourself and wanting to create again is a great thing.

Sam:

Especially when you've got loads of money in the bank account, indeed much easier to do that. Now, a cast another host is coming up with the quite dramatic claim. It's claiming the future of podcasting is dynamic RSS. Now we've just talked about RSS. We talked about Spotify using OAuth. We've talked about the fact that there's website and even hydro. Popped his little head up. but

James:

I think a hundred has quite a lot of heads. I think that's the point. exactly.

Sam:

according to a post by Matt McDonald, D R S S is the company's brand for custom feeds, which the company says allows personalization for audiences,

James:

dynamic, RSS.

Sam:

What is dynamic RSS James called Sunlighten.

James:

Matt McDonalds comes from radio public. he's got a good grasp of the technical side and that's why he's now I think he's VP of product or something equally exciting for a Podcast. And presumably he's the reason why a cast bought radio public and it was a strange old blog post, which was basically saying RSS is really good. But we think here at Podcast, we can do something clever and starts talking about dynamic RSS, which has a different RSS feed to every listener which is fine. But Podcast apps don't work that way anymore. Podcast apps now have a central place that looks at your RSS feed and that's all you really need to worry about. I look at that and I think I don't really understand what they're talking about. They are talking about private feeds as well in there which comes back to subscriptions and I suppose that's fine. And fair enough. Pod news itself serves dynamic RSS feeds. So I do survey a different RSS feed depending on which company is connecting. To me because that's nice. Cause I can then do some interesting things with the audio format and with file sizes and all kinds of interesting things that I'm doing under the hood. But I wonder whether this is essentially it's a blog post to hit a KPI of make ACAS sound interesting and clever. but I think it's just putting a badge on something that everybody's already doing. Isn't it? I dunno.

Sam:

it may well be, when I was reading that I was going, is this what Brian Barletta does Is it dynamic content insertion? Is that what personalization and dynamic RSS stands for?

James:

it isn't, it could be used for that, but then dynamic content insertion is a much better way of using that. so actually changing the audio file that you are downloading, which is pretty well guaranteed with the exception of Spotify. It's pretty well guaranteed to be served directly to that one person every single time. but It's more likely to be used for subscriptions. It's more likely to be used for giving somebody specific episodes or a specific, compilation, RSS feed, but, I'm still struggling really to understand. What the blog post was all about other than, and it succeeded to get people to talk about a cast and say, Oh, why aren't they doing some clever things over at ICAST? and I made a career of doing that Virgin radio, so I don't have a problem with people saying that, So I think what we should do, and the reason why we haven't had any interviews on this podcast over the last couple of weeks is that we've all been incredibly busy, but I think what we should do is see if we can have a chat with Matt. cause that'd be good cause the might be something there. and we should also have a chat with a friend of mine who is a economist in the music world. and has thoughts on podcasting as well. And I think it would be good to have a chat with him. And he's got a book out too, and I'm not going to mention his name because he might turn around and say no. but we should see if we can get them on for next week. I think

Sam:

people have bought had just mean you anyway. it would be nice to have another voice Now, last story of today Canva and Buzzsprout who sponsored this show bus pro now integrates with canvas to make it easier to find your artwork. You can find it in your Podcast settings, within Buzzsprout. and. I've tried that have you had a look at it yourself? I just tried it

James:

yesterday. I haven't had a look at it, but what I do now is that getting decent Podcast artwork is something that quite a lot of Podcast has struggled with, particularly when they're starting up, which is why you'll see a bunch of obviously produced by the anchor system Podcast artworks from anchor users and what I think Buzzsprout has done. And I think quite rightly is that they have linked with something that makes good looking Podcast artwork, because that was a pain point that their customers had actually found. you say you've given it a go, is it any good?

Sam:

look, let me put my cards on the table here. One, I think having an integration with Canberra is great headliner and another app I use uses that as well. I feel that

James:

common feeling however, coming on

Sam:

yes. the problem is that I use Canva to create artwork and it's a brilliant product. I, forget Photoshop, God. I spent years trying to learn that and wasting years of my life. Canvas is amazing. And actually its valuation shows that a lot of people like it. The problem, both headline and Amber sprout have done is that when you get to that point where you say, Oh, I just want to inject my existing artwork. You can't, you, it only takes you to, would you like to create a new piece of art? And it's no, I've got my artwork in there. Just let me link to that please. And I'm guessing there's an API that they're both using headliner and Buzzsprout and all that Canberra's allowing them to do is create new stuff, but not allowing them to link to your existing account where all of your existing artwork is there. unfortunately, as much as I love the fact that they've made that step forward, it's two steps forward. And one step back for me.

James:

I think the canvas brilliant it was founded by Melanie and cliff and Melanie was at the university of Western Australia. So presumably in Perth somewhere and Canva is now based in Sydney. So therefore I must say good, positive things about it because I'm nearly on Australia and therefore it's always nice to see Australian companies doing really well. But I think it's exactly the right thing to do to lower friction. but whether or not it could be a slightly better integration who knows.

Sam:

Now I mentioned headliner, which is my other favorite podcasting app that I use. And it's great for taking cover art from canvas, slamming it with your MP3, creating an MP4, and then creating that audio gram or creating a full episode and putting that out into social media. And a lot of people do that headline of this week announced that they've gone one step further. they've now added support for soundbites, which is a Podcast, two dot Oh tag, which is already supported by bus sprout. And to take it even further, you can now take your Buzzsprout soundbite and in the RSS feed, put it through headliner and it will automatically take that soundbite and create an audiogram. So again, removing that friction through multiple steps of trying to get your. Distribution of your Podcast, annual promotion of your Podcast done with headliner.

James:

That's very nice. So it makes it easier to share a clip of Podcast, which sounds A good plan. I also liked the phrase a soundbite. It sounds very reminiscent to something that Facebook has said that they're going to launch as well. Isn't it?

Sam:

Yes. Strangely, as they say, Mr. Zuckerberg, sorry, Sam bites already taken, do these billionaires not read the internet. we had a, what was his face trying to create that clubhouse clone Mark

James:

Cuban.

Sam:

Yes. Yes. Him. he was nicking people's branding as well.

James:

yes. I believe that he has successfully trademarks the side brand and I also very much like him and all of his team of lawyers. but yes. I enjoy every so often saying Mark. Cuban's fireside, not Dan Benjamin's fireside. but yes, it's an interesting trademark kerfuffle is that one, but I believe that they both do have trademarks, which is weird because I didn't think the trademarks worked that way.

Sam:

Anyway no, they come because you can have a trademark for a different use.

James:

But it's the same, it's the same. it's the same what's the phrase category. It's the same category, which is the really weird thing. So you would have thought that they wouldn't be able to both get, I think it's category 31 which is for that sort of thing. it's 41 category, 41 and 42. Mark Cuban's fireside has a registered trademark. Ah, damn. Benjamin's fireside has a service Mark in classes, 41 and 42. So there's an SM and there's an R in a circle. And Mark Cuban's Farside are in circle and Dan Benjamin's fireside M both have the same,

Sam:

I'm glad you cleared that up cause I'm no wiser.

James:

I'm only saying this because this week pod news is now registered trademark in Canada, as well as in the U S which I'm quite excited by and more on the way.

Sam:

I did a trademark this week as well. river radio now is a registered trademark.

James:

Yes. Oh, that's exciting. Is it a registered trademark pending

Sam:

it's going through and unfortunately one other river radio in the UK may not be very happy with me soon, but that's ah,

James:

yes. let's just make sure you don't put it into a Podcast that hundreds of people might listen to.

Sam:

let's leave that out. one of, one of the things that I would love if our friends at bus sprout are listening is could you please extend the soundbite in bus sprout to two minutes and not the one minute maximum limit? Yes.

James:

Ah, now I wonder whether that's a Buzzsprout thing or whether that is the soundbite thing is the Jones. Yes. I wonder if I wonder whether it's a Podcast index, whether it's the spec or not. It'd be interesting to find out what that is. I can't tell you for a minute.

Sam:

Let me tell you why I wanted to extend. So Twitter allows a two minute 22nd soundbite. LinkedIn allows a 10 minute soundbite and Facebook allows a unlimited soundbite. So if you could put your full episode up there when I was doing more of my podcasts on Sam Talks Technology, I realized that if I just do a two minute soundbite for. the audio clip, I could then put that across all three social media platforms. And two minutes is significantly just enough to give you a taster of the podcast or the interviewee one minute is really clipping it. And given that Twitter is the limiting factor. Two minutes, 20 seconds. two minutes would be great if it's Dave Jones, please David increase it. and if it's Buzzsprout open, please increase it to.

James:

You say, there you go. this is clearly how we do things.

Sam:

A feature

James:

request, live feature requests live right at the end of a long Podcast. What else has been going on for you in Podland this week?

Sam:

I'm still getting Mr. And Mrs. working. I love the product. It's got a few things I needed to fix, or maybe I just need to read the manual, but it's getting there. So live broadcasting is working to a playlist and it's podcasting it out directly, but there are a couple of minor bugs in it, but it's. A

James:

brilliant product. and other Australian classic along with Wi-Fi as well, which was an Australian invention. Oh, there you go. You've learned something. finally, now, what

Sam:

have you been up to James? Less about me, more about you.

James:

So I'm currently planning the Podcast day 24 Podcast conference, the Australian leg. this is a brilliant thing it's coming up very soon. On the 7th of June, you can buy tickets now at Podcast day 20 four.com and it's a 24 hour Podcast conference. Don't worry. Everything is available on demand after the event. it's going on in Australia, in the UK and in North America. And I'm putting the finishing touches. He says desperately tried to fill up some holes in the Australian side. So more information about that coming very shortly.

Sam:

Now is there a code I can use James? That will help

James:

me. I'm glad you asked. Yes. there is a code P news day 21 is apparently is nice and easy short P news day 21. it's a nice, easy, short coupon and that will save you some money. Not quite sure how much, but it will save you some money. so that's good. And Podcast day 20 four.com is where you want to be. 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.

Sam:

Thanks for listening. If you have any comments about anything on the show today, and boy, was there a pack show, send a voice comment Two questions at Podland dot news or tweet us at

James:

Podland news. And we're looking forward to getting back into the swing of doing interviews and stuff from next week as well. If you want daily news, you should get the daily pod news newsletter. It's free@podnews.net. That's where you'll find an awful lot of texts over the last week or the musics from ignite jingles. We recorded with clean feed this week edited with Hindenburg pro and we're hosted and sponsored by pod sprout.

Sam:

And we'll see you in Podland next week. Please tell your friends about us and in the words of Apple, please keep following.

James:

And in the words of Apple it's broken, I'm really sorry.