Podland News

Apple Subscriptions and Channels are finally coming! With special guest Neil Mody the CEO Headliner.

June 10, 2021 James Cridland and Sam Sethi Season 1 Episode 28
Podland News
Apple Subscriptions and Channels are finally coming! With special guest Neil Mody the CEO Headliner.
Show Notes Transcript

Join James Cridland and Sam Sethi as they discuss monetising podcasts through channels.

Special Guest:
Neil Mody - CEO HeadlinerVideo

News Headlines:


Sponsored by:

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James:

Welcome to Podland. Podland is sponsored by Riverside.fm. The easiest way to record podcasts and video interviews in studio quality from anywhere just by using a web browser. We're using it now. Grab a free hour at Riverside dot. FM and by Buzzsprout used by over 100,000 podcasters like us to host, promote and track your podcast. The first 90 days are free@buzzsprout.com. It's the 10th of June, 2021. I am James Cridland, the editor of pod news here in Australia. I'm Sam

Sam:

secretary, editor of Sam Talks Technology here in the UK. My

James:

name's Neil Modi I'm co-founder and CEO of headliner.app. I'll be on the show later. He will pod lands a weekly podcast where Sam and I delve deeper into the week's podcasting news.

Sam:

Now James, the big story of the week apple have announced finally the release of subscriptions and channels on Tuesday, June the 15th. Are you excited?

James:

Yes. There's lots of lots of apple news. Isn't that? Yes. they finally released a date, which is nice during the 15th for apple podcast, subscriptions and channels. there's a link to subscriptions, best practices in your email and also in pod news today. the launch had been delayed from may. I have signed up for a channel, but I'm not going to be doing anything in terms of a subscription yet, although who knows what the future might hold. but, and you signed up for channel as well, haven't

Sam:

you? I've put 26 podcasts into it, so let's see what happens. that's 25

James:

more than me.

Sam:

And I was going to say something, but I stopped myself. And yes, I've signed up for subscriptions like year and paid my 1799. And I don't know what I'll do with

James:

it either yet. Although actually that's one of the weird things, because I think Podland is on a, different apple ID than. then pod news. I wonder whether it is, if it was then I wouldn't be able to put it into my channel, but I suppose if it is in the same applied idea, I should go and check. Then I could stick it into the channel as well. Couldn't they. I'm sure you should. I should probably do that. that's that's one thing with apple. Of course, they've also just been holding a WWDC, their developers conference this week. they announced all kinds of new things. There was a new privacy feature, which they announced quite a lot of privacy features the app. Privacy reports, which will tell you exactly which domains your apps have been talking to, which I think is going to be interesting for podcasting apps. Cause you will be able to see whether or not your podcasting app is sharing data which might be interesting to see, and also a private relay. And now this will be available for all iCloud plus paid customers. It's a VPN, but apple don't want you to call it a VPN because it's actually a little bit cleverer. In that it does two things. it's got a VPN for your data online, but it also has a completely separate, secure DNS service. So Basically apple doesn't know what website you're looking at and he's just ferrying around your encrypted data. But on the other side, a different company is helping connect you with the websites. So actually apple doesn't know anything about your traffic, which is different to a VPN. So there's some sort of interesting stuff there. The only difference between that for podcasting and where we are currently is that I understand if you're listening to a podcast, which is a insecure podcast, so that's an HTTP podcast, then apple will shove that through this new private relay thing. but otherwise everything just basically doesn't. Change very much,

Sam:

but there is a caveat you have to stay on safari.

James:

you have to stay on safari. So it won't work through apple podcasts as yet, other than the insecure stuff is my understanding. so there's that kind of stuff going on, I suppose they do have to charge for it because it is quite a lot of bandwidth if they're not careful. but there's no reason. Really why they wouldn't open it up to the rest of the operating system. I guess that is a big thing for data and they probably don't want to do that quite yet, but there's no technical reason why they wouldn't do that. And I think that probably makes sense. and there was a FaceTime, announcement. Wasn't there.

Sam:

it sounds like FaceTime is being extended to include your phone platform as well. James surprisingly Android phones are included now where you can have friends in FaceTime

James:

Yes, similar to Skype and similar to Google meet Anyway. I was expecting an announcement about apple podcasts coming to Android as well. that hasn't happened though. So maybe my suspicion of apple podcasts coming to Android will happen later on in the year.

Sam:

Can I just point out they've put back some of the formatting into apple notes now, so you can actually get paragraph spacing, but all of the chapters are gone. No chapter arising still. So please apple bring back

James:

chapters. I I don't use apple podcasts because I don't use an apple phone device to listen to podcasts. So I haven't spotted that chapters are missing but it's it's strange old world. Isn't it? The apple podcasts world.

Sam:

There was one other thing that I thought was quite interesting. It was like a little throwaway line and they were talking about this new, you think we'll share plate, which looks really interesting actually, where you can share films, a share music and, have two friends listen at the same time. What I found amazing was it actually synchronizes the audio or video in real time so that you and your mate aren't. Oh on a lag you no, one's watching it. And nanosecond behind just would spore the whole experience. I thought that was quite amazing as a Peter tech. and you're going to be able to do that with podcasting as well. So You'll be able to listen to podcasts with a friend. I'll be able to listen in real time together. Quite amazing. I thought,

James:

It is quite amazing. I'm busy. They're thinking. Hang on a minute. Hasn't Spotify done this already. And the answer is yes, they have. when did Spotify launch this particular service? July of 2020 it's called a group session and you can listen to music and you can listen to podcasts in a group. on there as well. So in much the same way that apple always does, which infuriates me and I know infuriates quite a lot of people they've announced all of this stuff as if it's brand new and as if apple have come up with the idea or widgets on the home screen. Whew. and then you realize that actually they did that a long time ago elsewhere. So therefore yes, it's a, it's one of those things, nice to see. that functionality is coming to a apple.

Sam:

Sadly not sadly. I did play with spatial audio this week, so they got me, I signed up to apple music for the month just to try spatial audio because I thought I wanted to see the experience and it is actually quite good. Zane Lowe takes you through from mono to stereo to spatial audio. sadly though it's not in podcast for some reason.

James:

maybe it's a thing with relying on RSS, relying on low bit rate MP3s as we do. and maybe that's something else that might come to podcasting in time who knows doubtless, it'll be a Q code podcast doing that first. they seem to have a very cozy relationship and quite rightly so because they do some good stuff. we should watch that space as they say.

Sam:

Now you were a busy life over in Australia this week. James you're in Sydney suited and booted. What are we up to?

James:

Yes. I was in Sydney, not wearing my wedding suit at all to claim it as a tax payment, not at all, that's not happened. but that have been what happened. Yes. I was hosting the first eight hours of podcast day 24, which was a 24 hour long podcast conference. The difference was here in Australia that we were able to do an in-person event, which was lovely. So we did that in the Sydney overseas passenger terminal, which is normally where the cruise ships come in. But obviously there's no cruise ships at the moment. And so therefore we were in there and it was great. A little bit cold. But it was, great to see a ton of people and great to be together for pretty well for all of us the first time for a year and a half.

Sam:

Now, what were the highlights in James? Come on, give me some tidbits of what

James:

happened. there were a bunch of different highlights in Australia, but also across the rest of the world. Adam Boughey spoke in London. He works for the BBC world service used to work at Virgin radio a long time ago. And he. did a whole session on trends and on the future, he's making himself into a podcast. Futurologists good luck with that. Anyway. it's very good. I linked to it earlier on this week. it's on his blog, Adam bowie.com. and there's a good writeup at red tech, which is a European radio and podcast publication about the full 24 hours as well. in Australia. just the loads of really good sessions. there was a session from Corona cast, which is a big podcast here, all about the Corona virus. we had the stars of the show, but also the producer which was great to have on stage and great to be able to talk to him and understand a little bit more about how he puts things together. There was a session on monetization, which I looked after And there's also, a bunch of other sessions around true crime around, all kinds of things. So it was it was a really good day, actually, one of the slightly hair raising things was learning about the lockdown in Victoria, which happened very quickly. And realizing that I had to record a bunch of stuff. And that's never fun, particularly if you're using zoom or that sort of thing. luckily Riverside came to the rescue there which you might have spotted is our new sponsor which is lovely. So what Riverside produces is they have this beautiful browser we've had folks on from the company in the past, on this podcast. Anyway, they produce a beautiful A tool, which you can use in your browser to record both podcast. Audio is we're currently doing, but also record full quality HD video as well. so I ended up using that to record a few panels and a few sessions and then played it out on the big screen at podcast day 24 looked fantastic. Brilliant.

Sam:

I will be going back to Adam Barry's report and to see trends. Now, it appears Facebook's announcing their support for podcasts on pages. How do I set it up, James?

James:

You set it up by hopefully Facebook turning your page on for it. They've sent it to a couple of people, some quite large podcasts. they are launching this on June, the 22nd. And the email that was sent to a few people. Gave a link to set it up, which you basically put your RSS feed into a Facebook tab. and the link looks a little bit like facebook.com/whatever your page is slash settings slash podcasts. And that's all fine and dandy thing. I tried doing it for the pod news page and it's not being turned on for me. So it may be a U S only thing. It may be a big podcast is only thing who knows, but podcasts natively within Facebook rather than a linked to a Spotify from June the 22nd.

Sam:

Okay. Let's assume that we all get it. What's going to be the benefit of having a Facebook page that says you're a podcast.

James:

I think is more than a Facebook page where it says that you're a podcast, it's a Facebook page that will play your podcast. That will have all of your episodes in there that will have, your audio playable within Facebook properly. Rather than the current kludge that they've got with Spotify. So actually it's essentially a podcast app within Facebook that links to your RSS feed allows you to play the audio directly in the Facebook environment. And there are many people who live in Facebook. So from that point of view it can only lead to more listens. One would hope.

Sam:

now podcast hosts. Captivate has unveiled when it calls captivate two.zero, a refresh of the user interface, a new trackable shortlinks tool and Omnish search service for quick navigation and a simpler global one-click distribution service for podcast directories. Now you're involved with a captivate. what's captivate two.zero. Have you seen it? I assume. what's your

James:

thoughts? so I'm an advisor to the company, so I've obviously been aware of what captivate has been planning. And indeed what captivate is planning parts captivate 2.0. Is a really nice refresh of how the product works under the hood. So you can see a bunch of additional functionality in the dashboard that you have. the thing that I love about it actually is the Omni search thing, which is such a good idea. I can't quite remember who they stole it from, but it was a really smart idea where literally it's this search that you type in. And you can search for features. You can search for individual episodes. You can search for, All kinds of things within the dashboard. So you don't have to remember where everything is. You can just search for it, which is really clever. And the other thing that they've added is this trackable shortlinks tool. So it's much like Bitly or something like that, where it will keep some stats on how many people clicked those links, but it's one less third party to go to. because it's based in captivate, based in your podcast hosts. So if you are, for example, adding a click to go and get a free trial of Riverside or go and get a free trial of Buzzsprout then you could do that sort of short link within the captivate platform. And you can see how well that works, directly from your dashboard. Quite a lot of, nice features. But what I think the new user interface also opens up is the chance for additional features to come in the future.

Sam:

Good. congratulations mark. Now, moving on. Ben Thompson from Stratechery. That's easy for you to say as released passport, which is much easier. A suite of tools to allow creators to abuse a podcast newsletter website, and SMS messages as a paid or free service. It's also integrates directly with Spotify. Now, why is Ben doing this? James? Have you had a look at passport?

James:

I had a look at a little bit of passport. What I find interesting is Ben was basically saying, look, I've got this idea for a product, which I can do with lots of third-party plugins and everything else, but actually, I'd like to do it all myself, which sounded very familiar because that's basically what I'm doing with. The pod news platform, And so what Ben has done is he's launched this new tool called passport, which is this suite of tools for all kinds of people that can make stuff. And it's up to you. has how you want to consume. so you can consume Ben's articles on a newsletter. you can instead choose to get those on a podcast. It turns out that artificial voice, which is all a little bit weird. and then, you can sign up for SMS messages and all that kind of thing, as well. but I just thought it was really interesting that basically he has built all of the nuts and bolts to bring all of this together. Rather than using 400 different services out there. and I thought that was interesting just essentially, because it's much like what I've been doing, except obviously as a product that he can sell to other people.

Sam:

Is there a price for passport?

James:

that's what I tried to find out. I can't even find out a signup. form for passport yet. So my guess is that he's released it as, this is what I'm doing. He's invited a couple of people in as alpha testers, but that's about as far as it's got, because I was trying to find out what the price it was. cause I was trying to find out whether or not it was actually worthwhile contemplating moving over. But yes, I couldn't find that out. Maybe I'm just being a bit dim and I haven't actually spotted it. Who knows? Okay.

Sam:

Now talking about the future of podcasting, maybe Benz is the BBC. You are looking to do a little bit of research and if you're interested, you can join in Jemele rhyme. A PhD student in the department of music at the university of York is doing some research with XR stories and BBC R and D. Would you sign up, James?

James:

Have you signed up James? I haven't signed up because I'm not necessarily sure that I've got the time, but if you are a podcast creator, like a proper podcast creator then she is very interested in being able to grill you about some of the things that she would like for the future. I know that some of the things that BBC R and D have been doing is around a radio that is a bit more dynamic. So imagine listening to a radio station, but actually. It begins to know what you like, what you don't like. And so therefore skips the sport or gives you a little bit more tech news in the morning, all that kind of stuff. So I know that BBC R and D had been working on that sort of thing. they do a great job of doing some proper research and development, which very few broadcasters do nowadays. So generally rhyme has given out her email address, which we will link to. if you're a podcast creator interested in helping her.

Sam:

I've got it here. Actually. It's J I r506@yorkdocac.uk. But as James said, we'll put it in the show notes. now James, you're a lucky boy. I have to say you've been given access early before the rest of the world. Really? Twitter is that launched Twitter blue to you Aussies down there. good blue. And so are you a member? Have you subscribed joined Twitter blue?

James:

there are two countries in the world that can join Twitter blue at the moment and that's Canada, and Australia. and two things about it. Firstly. You have to be using a toy phone. you can only sign up using an apple phone. You

Sam:

will never get sponsored by apple. If you

James:

nobody gets sponsored by apple. And by the way, we'll never get sponsored by apple anyway, it's me. Yes. So you have to be using an apple phone. You can't sign up using Android because Twitter don't want the 80% of the world who use Android signing up. So it's only available through apple. Anyway, I suppose I could, if I really cared about it, sign up using my iPod touch. but also, secondly, frankly, you don't get very much for it. I think from memory it's about $4 50 a month. that's about three quid. That's quite a lot of money. so firstly, it's that? Secondly, what do you get for it? You get the option to change the Twitter icon to change the color of it. That's exciting. Just the color. Nothing else. just the color. And you get an undo button which I think allows you to undo a tweet for up to five minutes, which by the way, won't work on anything other than the proper Twitter app, because other services won't know that you've undone a particular tweet, so that's no good, but what

Sam:

you mean it won't roll out through the API.

James:

it'll roll out through the API, but the way that most of these third party apps work is once you post a tweet, it's there forever. it's ingested into their system. so that doesn't matter appear to be a way in the API that I'm aware of where you can signal the fact that this tweet has been undone. And even if you did signal the fact that a tweet had been undone through the API, surely there's no way of actually checking that anybody has deleted the fact that the tweet has been undone. So you've got that kind of side of it as well, but that's all it does. It's a lot of money. Per month for essentially an undo feature, which I'm not sure that I would use because there's also a delete feature. and this changing, icon color, Why on earth would you want that it doesn't get rid of the ads, which is possibly something that I might pay for although a better game is to block any ad that you see block the account of any ads that you see because then guess what they never appear again. so you can just carry on blocking them. That kind of works. But, So why on earth would you join Twitter? Blue really don't know. Really don't understand what the deal is there. You don't even get a badge to show off that you're a member of Twitter blues so far as I can see.

Sam:

then that's it. That's the, that's a showstopper for me. I know you're a verified blue tick, but you know that's the all budget Bonner on there? no, I think. What this is clearly a step in a direction that they want to go in. And it's quite interesting cause we can juxtapose that back to passport from Ben, because I think what I'm seeing with Twitter is this move towards Twitter spaces. They bought reboot, they've got newsfeeds everything's starting to move suddenly. Someone's suddenly nudged the guy in development and he started to code again in Twitter and he's woken up. He's working long sleep. And so I think you can see a direction of where towards is going maybe slower than most would expect, but maybe as a creator, they're trying to provide a set of tools. And this is just one step forward, I guess it's slowly catchy monkey for Twitter rather than deliver a lot quickly.

James:

I guess it's there. And I guess what they are doing is that they are testing it in a few test markets and the beauty of Australia and of Canada, which are roughly the same size is that We are a good test market. we both speak English. it's not the U S so you won't get the large amount of, tech coverage that you would do. So it's a good place to launch something and be relatively quiet about it. And other companies have done the same sort of thing as well. so interesting seeing that bit, it is so utterly uncompelling for me that even if I could turn it on I don't really see why I would want to

Sam:

right now, but I, again, I just say that last week, I think we mentioned that Twitter spaces is going to have a record function very shortly and suddenly you can start to say, okay, I can record my podcast. I can put it into a newsletter. I can start to do certain things suddenly. I think there will be a version of Twitter, blue. It might be Twitter, red or green. You never know that you buy into and that allows you to do more features and functions. So I can see this happening very fast actually in the

James:

run. No, I'm sure. Absolutely.

Sam:

Okay. Just one quick story that grabbed me. That was just a slightly tangental, a female carpenter in Canada who called out sexist language in the construction life podcast was threatened with a $15 million defamation lawsuit by the male hosts for doing so, but after a little bit of publicity, they quickly changed their mind. Wasn't smarter than was it James?

James:

Oh, it was tremendously unsmart of them. So the idiots that produce this podcast via construction life, we're basically talking about Wolf whistling from a construction site. And one of them was very well I'm good at Korean Wolf whistling while it's scraping his knuckles on the floor. so this female carpenter called them out. What she did is she called them out by editing their podcast and arguably taking a little bit out of context or making it amplifying the amount of bad language that the was in there. which isn't cool and I suppose is a copyright violation. But on the other side, these folks shouldn't have said that anyway, in the first place and a $15 million defamation lawsuit, just to put that into some kind of context, the biggest defamation lawsuits in Canada, normally around the eight or 9 million. A dollar mark, or even less than that. so $15 million for essentially calling somebody out for being, sexist idiots is going some but after the CBC got hold of the story and stuck it on their website. It took two hours for them to turn around and say, oh no, we're not going to do that after all. but it just goes to show I think, you have some people who put podcasts together that get very very hurt when when people say nasty things about you.

Sam:

it raises the other point that I think we've been talking about for a few weeks now, which is. Podcasting the wild west right now, who is policing podcasting, who is responsible for making sure that content within podcasts, isn't a defamatory, racist, sexist. and does it require individual users to call out the podcast for it to then be pulled or should hosts be responsible?

James:

and I think in this case this carpenter did the right job, but by calling it out and I think what we don't know is whether or not she called it out to the podcast host that's find out who the podcast host is. That will be fun to do. Wouldn't it, the podcast hosts. For this podcast is RSS podcasting. so the question is did she call out to RSS podcasting and say, what's this stuff on your platform? does RSS podcasting make it easy to do that? Most podcast hosts don't or, we should just doing the right thing by posting a video on Instagram, which is what she ended up doing. at the end of the day, if you're an idiot then you're going to get called out for it. and I think it's absolutely right that you get called out in whatever form makes most sense for that particular person

Sam:

I'm sure someone's going to Sue someone for a lot more money and things will change. Right. I had the place of interviewing a Neil Modi this week. He's the CEO and co-founder of headliner. It's a wonderful application I use and have used for three or four years helping you share audio and video. And I asked him what his headline all about.

Neil:

Hey, thanks Sam. Thanks for having me long time overdue and thanks for using headliner. we're simply just an application that lets audio get out there on the internet. So what I like to say is on the internet, you have to be seen in order to be heard. The internet is very visual. and so audio by definition is not visual. and in order to get out there on the web, in the visual web, which is most of the internet, you need to get audio out there. And the quintessential example is Instagram only allows you to upload a video or a image. And so if you upload an image. You don't have audio, which isn't good for an audio producer. And if you upload video that includes audio. And so we happen to be the best way to get audio out there onto platforms like Instagram, because we converted over to video.

Sam:

and that also is true when I first started podcasting with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, because if I wanted to upload an MP3 to Facebook in a post, it doesn't allow, but it allows an MP4 Twitter's very much the same and LinkedIn's very much the same. So by using headliner, I can circumvent their ability. To upload a video, so I've always looked at headliner is adding the album cover to the front of my audio.

Neil:

that's totally true. I think that it helps people get a taste of your podcast in places where you really couldn't distribute a podcast before. I like to also say it's basically your passport to the internet, You need to show your passport when you get into other countries. So when you get into platforms like social media or even across the web audio, unfortunately is a second class citizen. you just talked about how Facebook shows MP3s. It's a bad thing experience. I know they're working on improving that and Talking about making audio first-class citizen, but largely across the nation internet, audio is a second class citizen. but video is not. and so we just became luckily through some hard work and luck the best platform to convert audio to video. and it's proliferating beyond what we expected

Sam:

Now, what made you start headliner? what was the idea

Neil:

behind it? So actually headliners of pivot for the company. we are essentially second time Team of founders and entrepreneurs. we have a kind of quite close knit, small team that built a company before we sold it Really at the intersection of content and technology. We used to be in the content recommendation space. we're happy to be out of it. we exited that business and we went back to our roots, in founding that company and this one. We just like to be helping people get content out to the internet and helping people find it that nexus of letting people promote their content. And also. Letting people find content is where we found what we love to be doing and where we end up working. so it's I guess what Steve jobs was saying, you can connect the dots backwards. It's pretty easy to see that the two companies are very similar at this point. we just found. A space in audio that had so much amazing content, but no one really knew how to get to it and how to consume it on a very easy basis. And now I know all the podcast fans will argue what do you mean? It's so simple. And I usually say, Hey, listen, my dad's now 83 years old. I tried to teach him like 10 times how to use. His podcast app and try to find new shows and all this kind of stuff, but it really just isn't. That's straightforward. podcasting is really an Island on the internet. You have to go to it to experience it, whereas everything else is usually presented to you. and podcasts just really didn't do a good job about that. So we started with thinking, Hey, we need to make. Creation a little bit easier. So we started with the mobile phone app. Actually the company name was a spare man. A few steps removed from clubhouse or those types of social audio platforms, but essentially you and I could get on a conversation like this with a mobile app, record it and share it out to social media. this was 2015, 16. It had some limited success. Some people really loved it but it really wasn't taking off. And one of the things we saw was when we shared audio to social media people, weren't engaging with it back to what you were saying earlier about how, when you post audio to Facebook, it's not compelling enough or interesting. You have to click on it. It goes off the feed to consume the audio, et cetera. So we collaborated a little bit with w NYC. They had the audio gram generator. We made improvements to it. I don't know if you remember this, but we basically built a way to convert audio to video. and that started getting more traction than our mobile recording app. And so eventually we said, Hey, this problem. Is actually bigger than helping people create with mobile phones. That, again, this was 2016 given clubhouse and all the love of social audio. Now, maybe we are wrong and we can hold on to our thought at that point. But luckily with headliner, it's grown. And so we pivoted into it and it just goes back to our roots, which is helping people promote out content. That's really interesting. And We'd like to think that people are finding podcasts on a whole nother level out there on social media which wasn't really done well before a headliner existed.

Sam:

Now I know you've just brought out a mobile version of headliner. again, give me the thinking behind that one.

Neil:

the thinking with the company overall, and you'll see this kind of, even some of the future things we're doing is going back to just helping people get to amazing audio. and so we're seeing some of the newer platforms be mobile first or even mobile only on terms of creation. And We have users that are mobile only, and we want to help their audio get out just like everybody else. And so if they're on mobile, we need to be on mobile too. And so we'll build for the platforms that we think have a lot of content out there that should get out there to the internet. and so for us, mobile was a bet around that. and we've got, I would say our initial build out. We're still a small team. We're about a dozen people. So I'd love to keep on growing the team. you'll see more improvements to the mobile app this year. I was a little skeptical. I would say about a third of our usage is coming from mobile. one of the key reasons is sharing to Instagram is so much easier on a mobile device our bed is basically, Hey, if people are creating audio in some capacity and you'll see a theme here. Our job is to help them get it and market it out.

Sam:

one of the best things I thought you did from the early get-go was to ask users to tell you who you should be integrating with. So you've now got a really good integration platform. is that pretty much baked out now or are you still

Neil:

growing it still growing? You'd be surprised. so one of the things we just released actually is a way to integrate. just background, video making. so it was a kind of strategic initiative for the company to, again, be wherever people are creating audio. So we integrate with most of the podcast hosts out there. If you're using a host that isn't integrated with headliner, you should bother them. Because at this point, I think we've got. I think eight of the top 10 hosts at this point using us. so we like to just make it easier for our users, right? we do realize that it takes a little time and energy and we're trying to work hard at that, but every step in that workflow that we can eliminate we try to as a as a tool so that You invest in getting your content out there. so mobile was one integrations is another, and then this new thing, which we chatted about, but basically instead of going and creating your video on headliner, now their parties can just background. Make videos via some templates. And so we just worked with Omni our first host. they saw pretty early that look headliners way ahead of what they were going to build. they had an in-house video tool and Rendering large amounts of video is a technical nightmare for most people and, hosts need to figure out what they do best. And a lot of hosts, luckily have decided we do, audio to video better than anyone in the industry. And so it made sense to integrate and yes, it was a bet we made and I think we've been largely successful. just the recent integrations or megaphone, owned by Spotify at this point, which was a long time coming, but we've been integrated for actually a few months, but just got announced. And then we just release something with cast. Did. so you might've seen their announcement. they've incorporated something they call video grams, which are really headliner behind the scenes. So they, instead of going over to headliner, you actually just pick some templates on their side and we just render video behind the scenes. Great. So you're still staying in, cast it as a platform, which is an audio host. And I think you had the CEO on your show a a few weeks ago. I saw that. and it's a great platform for B to B marketers and they want to help. Even eliminate the creation process for their creators. And so they've got a team making templates, they go into headliner, they work on that side, but now the user just clicks a few buttons and gets a video without having to do even the work of creating a video. So that's something new that we just put out yet a different type of integration, basically. So

Sam:

that's fundamentally white labeling. So can anybody come to you now and get a white labeling solution?

Neil:

we're happy to be behind the scenes actually. we have a lot of users come to us directly, But if we get more audio out there shared in the world, we've achieved our dream. and we're doing what we want. And however that's possible is what we think is adding value in the ecosystem through headliner.

Sam:

So there's been a number of companies now. lip-sync Buzzsprout as an example, captivate that are going on a vertical stack. So they're adding audio gram functionality. They're adding hosting. I think lip-sync has been on an acquisition to add in advertising. but equally you look at Spotify, you talked about megaphone, but you look at anchor, they're making, hosting free fundamentally at the bottom. So as. The technology escalator moves up and stuff becomes free or simpler to use, or just, a giveaway. Where do you think you see headliner going forward? Because obviously if other companies are producing what I would call maybe headliner light, but it's just enough. what do you see your. USP going forward then?

Neil:

it's an excellent question. I'll say so Lipson actually integrates with us. Buzzsprout does not, hopefully one day they will. but I think it's a multifold question actually. so on the one side, If headliner light or very easy, simple videos are sufficient for sharing. and I think in some senses, they are like, if I were to just send you a podcast, Hey go listen to this. A one-on-one type of communication. I don't need to make any fancy marketing I don't need a marketer or someone who cares about how that looks. I'm just sharing you one thing. and. That's fine. And I think headliner's unlikely to get involved with that just because of not owning the distribution platforms. I do think the thing we just made where we can be behind the scenes we're talking to a bunch of mobile apps. That can integrate that technology so that it makes it easy and more seamless and a better experience to share to WhatsApp and all the platforms. and so headliner might be a little bit more behind the scenes for that, but where our value prop over time will continue to be is for the people who are looking to really market their podcasts, which headliner light. Won't be enough over time. If you see kind of social media as a whole, it's actually evolved like what the norms are for videos today are much better than where they were three, four years ago. and so the tools have to keep up. And so if you think about doing that vertically for a company, that's a tough proposition. And so we think most will just keep on integrating with us. Some of the giants might want to keep on. building out and competing and that's fine, but I think as a whole ecosystem, better looking videos over time and keeping up with the Joneses and the new platforms is a tremendous amount of work and headliner we'll continue to be the best solution in that space. Okay.

Sam:

So apart from new, just integrating other people into your platform, you've started to integrate your platform into others like canvas. do you see other integrations coming down the track?

Neil:

Good question. We're always looking for that. It really comes down to workflow and where we can eliminate extra work. I think There will be more it just depends on what tools podcasters are using and the marketing teams of four podcasters or at the professional level are using you'll see more, but I think at this point where we are in the industry I think we've got a large set of them and now several others are just kinda going to be doing the same. There's something. We're hoping to do around the social audio space, I would say as well, look, a lot of audio is getting created there. putting aside the question of around quality, a lot of that is making its way to podcasts. So we can do that even earlier in that workflow theoretically. and so that's something we're looking at as well. So an integration with one of the big social audio platforms is very possible as well.

Sam:

Okay. So keep an eye on club.

Neil:

I can't say who but look, we are the leading way to share audio across the web at this point, which is a great position to be. But audio is proliferating onto platforms that it didn't exist a few years ago. and so we need to be there and provide solutions to the creators there. like I said, we don't really mind headliner being behind and the scenes, like our mission really is about helping people get their audio out there to everyone who might consume it. I'm really as a career or as myself, a person I've enamored with the idea that there's just so much amazing content how we can spread it and help make. People consume it is really what our focus is. And so wherever that is getting created, let's get it out there for more people to consume.

Sam:

Okay. two final questions. Would you consider. Adding subscriptions or a marketplace to headliner, because again, one of the ideas I had to pay the, I might create a headliner audio gram or a video. but I want to have a payment mechanism with that. So I can put that somewhere. And then. there's a payment that you guys take or a marketplace that I can post it to. So you fundamentally, instead of saying, put it out to every social end point. Now we're going to create a headline, a marketplace, and you can search through technology podcasts and through other podcasts. But actually you can also put a payment mechanism that says, I'm going to actually pay. Would that be somebody who was that? Is that a stretch too far?

Neil:

It's a bit, we experimented a little bit with this. Actually. We did a kind of a mock-up of headliner meets Netflix. Actually. I don't know if you saw it. this was about two years ago. I think it's really tough to win in the distribution game. Candidly look let me throw some stats out there for you. So podcasting. in the U S I think they just said it hit 150 million people or something like that. I, you guys might know this better than me. these are all really small numbers. I know everyone's in love with that stat, but like the internets, probably something like three to 4 billion people at this point, the earth is 7 billion. So Spotify. And Apple are probably at a hundred million users in podcasting, somewhere in that ballpark. We think that's really still small and early. we actually, if you look at our numbers, extrapolated from how we're sharing to social, we're actually in the same ballpark, we're probably hitting something in the order of 50 to a hundred million users a month. Across social networks. big. but we don't control those, the social networks get them, but we're the means to the end of getting audio out to that many people. So if you think about that, we're aiming for a billion people to be consuming audio through something headliner does. And so if you look at these apps, there are a few hundred million users, the biggest ones in podcasting. So we're actually aiming much bigger. And so to your point do we want to try distribution? we will. but we know how to go about it. without competing head-on because we're competing head on against the social networks or even Apple, Spotify. or some of the big guys I think is maybe a fool's errand for a startup, God bless the ones that have achieved it and gotten somewhere. But I think for us we liked the distributed integrated approach and we think we can get to a lot more users that way.

Sam:

Okay, final question then what's the exit strategy?

Neil:

so this is our second go around. and our first company was in the content recommendation space. And so that company I think we hit about a billion uniques. On the internet on a month, in a distributed way. so we think, again, our goal is a billion as well for audio. and I think we're not looking to exit we've, got approached by several people because of where we are and How many active podcasters are using us and all that kind of stuff. I think, we're an integral part of the podcast ecosystem at this point. but the exit strategy is the simplest one. Just continue to keep on creating value and someone, at some point, we'll give you an offer. You can't say no to maybe, or you say to yourself, like this is how to achieve your dream and it's easier, better for the world. If you do it under. This umbrella. and I think that's what we'll do. And I know that's a very politically correct answer, but I think we don't have to take an early exit. Given most of the team has gone through this before, and we've been through the roller coaster ride. And we're lucky enough to have a profitable company that's growing that we just have to keep on doing what we're doing and getting out there to more users and sharing more audio and good things will come.

Sam:

look. Neil Modi CEO. Co-founder of headliner app. Thank you so much for it. Yes.

Neil:

Thank you.

James:

Neil Modi from headliner I think we've got some exciting namespace talk now. Haven't we?

Sam:

this is ticky corner, I guess the bit where I get most excited now first and foremost, congratulations to you, James, the pod news RSS feed now supports the podcast alternative enclosure. What have you been up?

James:

Yes. Lucky pod news. So I've been producing pod news in a number of different audio codecs for awhile. I actually produced two different versions in AAC and two different versions in MP3. There's a version that everybody hears. And then there's a version that only the erstwhile listeners of podcast radio In the UK here because there are certain things that I need to do to make sure that the pod news podcast is compliant with the UK broadcasting law, but That means that because I'm producing an AAC version and an MP3 version already, I decided to produce one more version. And that's a version in Opus, which is a special, low bit rate codec for use for speech and what the podcast alternate enclosure tag allows you to do is basically list all of those separate versions. In the feed and allows some mobile phones. If they want to some, connections, if they like to be able to choose which they want to get. So if you only want a 32 K version of pod news, rather than the 112 K MP3 that I put out and you want to save yourself. two thirds of your bandwidth bill or even more then you can do that. You can select that low bit rate Opus version on podcast apps that have yet to come out because nobody supports it yet, but that's why I've stuck it in there. So I think this is really good for places like Sub-Saharan Africa where bandwidth is inordinately expensive on mobile phones data costs and all of that sort of thing. Or frankly, just if you're using a. Internet connection, which is just quite slow. You might just want the low bit rate version instead. So being able to signal that in the RSS feed, being able for somebody podcast hosts to automatically flick over to that is I think a good thing. So the more people that support that, the better for them. My point of view.

Sam:

again, looking at. Applications and platforms that are looking to help in the third world, a pot LP, which is a O app is now started supporting more of the podcasting index tags. And it's now supporting person location and funding tags strangely. But Do you know a little bit more about

James:

pot LP? it's a great little lab it's used on these. feature phones. so cheap mobile phones that are available in places like India and. Africa they use a very cutdown app called Caio S and And so what pod LP is doing is it's now supporting the person tag. So it'll have pictures of us in there. it'll happen. The location tag and the funding tag in there as well. and pot LP obviously are going to be one of the first apps to support the alternate enclosure tag as well. One would assume because that will be a significant benefit to many of the people who use that particular app in those countries.

Sam:

Now we'll we, I guess if Buzzsprout support the alternative enclosure tag, will we produce a second stream?

James:

and so if Buzzsprout supports the alternate enclosure tag, as I'm sure that they will, because they already do a lot of audio transcoding to make podcasts sound as good as possible. If they do, then you can expect a low bit rate stream, automatically for Buzzsprout users. one would assume that would actually be a. Good plan for any podcast host because it's using less bandwidth for those people. It's an opportunity to save their money, although cost them a bit more money in terms of storage. worthwhile having a look at, but we will see whether or not there are podcast hosts that wish to support that. But I think automatic production of a low bit rate version for those podcasters who have not opted out because it's probably something that you might want a podcast to opt out of is probably a good thing.

Sam:

Plus pride though, has just added support for the channel tag. Is this the same as the apple channel or is

James:

it just the same thing? Yes. I know. So it gets hugely complicated. This is channel tags in RSS are essentially tags about your show. So the title and you know who it's by and everything else. If you want to add any podcasting, 2.0 tag around the channel. So the location for your podcast as a whole. the funding information feel podcast as a whole or any of that kind of stuff, whatever of those tags you want to add, then you can now add any of those within the Buzzsprout interface, but it's for your podcast, not for individual episodes. So that's the difference. so Lipsin, you can go in there, you can Add individual item tags as well. If you want into your RSS feed, as well as channel tags, but this is where, RSS is use of the word channel and apple podcasts. Use of the word channel are two completely different things, meaning to different things. that's going to be one of those complicated things,

Sam:

The other tank that's been formalized is the license tag, which I think is the most interesting one. It's going to allow podcasts to mark shows or episodes with specific license similar to the creative commons license. so again, I ask, what should we make this podcast, James?

James:

as a thing. so at the moment obviously every podcast is copyright, so it means No one else should copy a podcast, audio and stick it somewhere else. But some people don't believe in copyright and some people would rather use creative commons, attribution, or use, a Mitt license or a GPL license or any of that kind of stuff. what the line since TAC allows you to do is it allows you to say this podcast or this particular show is under creative comments, attribution, or creative commons by and see, which is attribution and not for commercial use. and you can do all of that kind of stuff. I'm I think it's worth a discussion as to whether or not this podcast continues to be copyright or whether or not we allow people to edit and take our words out of context to all of that kind of stuff. And by the way, that there's a license for that as well. Under creative comments, there's a license, which is a creditor commons. By N D license N D stands for non derivative. And that essentially says that you can copy, but you cannot make a difference. Vertiv works. You can't edit, you can't re encode. You can't do any of that kind of stuff. And the question then for a podcast is why on earth would you do that? But anyway so the license tag is, I think interesting. I'm slightly less excited about it than you are, but I think. adding control for creators is a good thing. and allowing a creator to release the license of his or her particular show is probably a good thing too

Sam:

the reason I'm slightly excited by it. I'm wonder whether there's a way to add in a PRS or PPL license. it's one way out and one way in, so let me try and explain. So the moment this is me saying, I'm the creator I've created this content and it's the license I'm going to apply to my content. But one of the things that I know you've talked about in the past is. Including music within a podcast is an absolute no-no for many platforms, but if you've got a PRS license or a PPL license, like I have, then why can't I include that? The content within my podcast is covered by that license.

James:

that's an interesting one and maybe you could do that. that's not currently possible under the current license tag, because there's no specific way to mention a license number, but I ended up talking in front of a bunch of music collection agencies, a month or so ago now. And one of the things that I said to them is that actually use the show notes to to highlight any music which had been purchased and a direct link. To show that the license had been purchased correctly. So that's a link that allows anyone programmatically to check that the music on your podcast is actually legal. I have a feeling that, that went slightly over some of their heads, but I would really like I paid for this track.com/you know, blah, blah, blah, where that blah, blah, blah, is the specific license that I purchased for that specific song on this particular podcast. so that you can actually check that everything is all fair and above board, which by the way you can't do at all. If I was linking to an internet radio station, I have no idea whether or not they're licensed or not, because it's impossible to find out. Some radio stations in the UK are told to put a PRS and a PPL logo on their front page as proof, but there's no proof there and there's no programmatic way that I can check. so it would make a lot of sense to have some kind of programmatic tag to basically say I've paid for this music. But I think, that's a step further, obviously one of the things that you need to get that to work properly is a Webscale ID for a podcast. And we don't even have that yet. And that is probably the thing that I'm most excited by that podcasting 2.0 is currently working on, which is something called podcast. Guhan. And a podcast Gilead is essentially a web-scale ID. So it's an ID that you can work out for any podcast, which should be the same ID on any platform. So at the moment you have a look on Portland on apple podcasts and they've given us one particular ID. You have a look on pod news, it's got a different ID. You have a look on podcast index, it's got a different ID. Again, it got a different number and it's really difficult to match them. So if we're all using the same Goodwill to the same, Global unique ID for a podcast. It would make this life an awful lot easier and enable you to do some much better ways of sharing. how to listen to this particular podcast on this particular platform. And it's actually dead easy in terms of tech to end up doing it as well. So I'm quite excited about the podcast guru it tag which is currently. undergoing work in the podcasting two point I'd get hub, and I would really recommend anyone who's listening to this who hasn't fallen asleep already to go and have a check on what the podcast good tag might do for them.

Sam:

if they haven't fallen in sled, they're about to now, because I'm going to say that the last bit of tech news is there's a proposal to indicate that a podcast is using pod ping, which is the fast, new way using the hive blockchain to get your podcast published. And it's going to allow a podcast directory to know when to stop polling, an RSS feed as well. Again, I think that's quite a nice little way of indicating that you've moved out to the new platform.

James:

I think that's great. And Buzzsprout already supports pod pings. this is, one additional tag that doubtless they will add in there. And I think pod ping is really changing or has the capability. Certainly I've really changing where we are in terms of podcasting, just from a point of view of, when you release a show, you want it available that second. and that's exactly What's pod ping allows you to do I think the more people doing that, the better from my point of view. so pod ping is a good thing. And just because I've been reading the podcast index.social website, I've discovered that there's one person that gives us additional PSATs. Every time we mentioned pod ping and there's another person that gives us additional stats. Every time we mentioned their names. So congratulations to Adam Curry, who's on the front cover of radio, Inc, which is a radio industry magazine. this month. that's a big article focusing on podcasting 2.0, I haven't read it. I'm not a subscriber, but nevertheless, congratulations, Adam Curry being on the front cover. If we say Adam Curry again, maybe we'll get some more SATs. Adam Curry. You say Adam Curry, Sam. I

Sam:

didn't carry the pod farm. Excellent. that's it, he's never giving us any more money now. That's it? that second round you were going to buy with those sides.

James:

Good

Sam:

work. that's it pretty much James, but before we go, what are you been listening to in your podcasting feed?

James:

Let me open up. Let me open up my podcast app. And I'll tell you, Mr. Sathi, hold on there one second. Here we are podcast. pocket casts is now open, right? So at the moment I'm currently listening to two old men being very angry about something. but I better not mention them right now. That would be bad. so what else have I been listening to recently? I'm still enjoying the Lazarus heist, which is a very good from the BBC world service. what I would also recommend to you is there's a podcast called media. Watch it is a video podcast. Woo. I know it's a video podcast. Of a TV show that goes out on the ABC here in Australia, every single week. It's awesome. It's a media show, which basically focuses on all of the bad things that Australian media do, but there's a lot of stuff that is just the same as any other country. and it doesn't exist in the UK in this form. It doesn't exist in the U S in this form. It's a really good show. It's about 12 minutes long. And the beauty of the podcast is that you realize that you don't need the pictures, so you can just listen to it. And everything is, understandable and everything else. I would heartily recommend that it's a very good podcast called media watch from the ABC.

Sam:

I've been listening to Raj, which is a brand new podcast from Mira sail and Jennifer Saunders. It's a spoof on the Indian Raj and it's got classic lines in it, such as the British are never going to go for Indian food. Are they? it's just now for those who don't know, the UK is number one, chosen dish, and here's a little side fact. Did you know what Curry actually means? James?

James:

I did

Sam:

not. It's a mistranslation. It means dish it's from the Indian word KRI. And when the British came back, they thought Kariah was Curry. Brilliant. Yes. So when you say I'm going for a Curry, you're going through dish basically.

James:

Yes. Nice. there you go. what's happened for you in pod land this week, Sam.

Sam:

quite a bit been going on for me. I'm launching a new podcast. Yes. I know James. I'm not doing it with you. it's called the old spice boys. it's with two journalists, Neil Harmon. And Rico famous from the Sunday times and they were the famous guys who if anyone's into football when Liverpool wore white for an FAA cup, final white suits, that is, they would call the spice boys. first interviews. We're going to be having with Robbie Fowler, Harry Redknapp David Platt from the England team, Steve Perriman Rodney mulch, if you want to go back. Yes. It's all about Farsi ball. Yes. For soccer for those in America. but some amazing old boys coming back, Mark Hughes is on there. so I'm producing and co-hosting that one with

James:

them. very nice. And when do you launch

Sam:

that? The first one is going out on the 4th of August.

James:

Very good. Excellent. so we will not mention it again until that week so that we make sure that it goes into the apple charts, assuming that the apple charts aren't frozen again that week, but that's very good and make sure you get some nice photographs for for pod news coverage as well. Weren't you.

Sam:

I will thank you

James:

for Podland for me this week. Obviously it's been a jetting down to Sydney, which was great fun on the plane, on an actual plane going interstate. Very exciting. So very much enjoyed that. And I also, this morning went to the post office with my very interestingly done online application for an Australian passport do you know the most interesting thing, normally these sorts of forms of dreadful and you fill them out and then you have to print them all off and then you take them in and then somebody reads through the form and checks it and everything else, no, this particular one, you fill out the form and then it gives you one page to print out, which is a big QR code. Which you take to the post office and the post office instantly know everything about the form and interestingly no, all of the pieces of paper that you're supposed to have brought with you. So it was a much better way of doing things than printing out an entire form. I was very impressed at that. Well down Australian government. Anyway, so that's what I've been doing this week.

Sam:

I will be getting out and about as well because Matt Degan has announced that Saturday, the 10th of July for the British podcast awards, the tickets are now on sale. So I'll be going to buy a ticket. no, I don't get freebies from Matt. I will be buying a ticket and yes, they are available now from Matt's website, British podcast awards.

James:

And of course the Australian podcast awards coming up a little bit later this year. And that's it for this week, come back to Podland next time, follow us in your podcast app or where it's pod lands.news on the web. And for that person that contacted us and said, you really get through this bit very quickly that's www dot pod land. Dot news. That's the website address. That's how to get in touch with us. And if you have any

Sam:

comments or questions, please tweet us at the bar. And if you'd like to be a guest on the show, do let us know. We are interested in reaching out to many people, not just here in the UK or Australia, but anywhere around the world,

James:

indeed. And if you want daily news, you should get pod news. The newsletter is free or pod news.net. The podcast is in your podcast app, and that's where you're. I find all of the links for all the stories we've mentioned this week. Our music is from ignite jingles. We are hosted by Buzzsprout and sponsored by Buzzsprout and by riverside.fm,

Sam:

please tell your friends and colleagues about Portland. I would love if they followed us too, and we'll see you all next week.