Podland News

Apple channels finally arrive. Facebook podcasts launch next week and who is in the Spotify Green Room? Our special guest is Mark Asquith CEO Captivate. And do we need a GUID for every podcast?

June 18, 2021 James Cridland, Sam Sethi Season 1 Episode 29
Podland News
Apple channels finally arrive. Facebook podcasts launch next week and who is in the Spotify Green Room? Our special guest is Mark Asquith CEO Captivate. And do we need a GUID for every podcast?
Show Notes Transcript

Join James Cridland and Sam Sethi as they ask: Is Podcast hosting no longer a USP? It's fast becoming free. So how can podcast hosts survive? Should they go vertical with more paid features or simply be acquired by the big boys? #fightorflight.

Special Guest:
- 🎧 Mark Asquith - CEO, Captivate FM talking about Captivate v2.0 new platform and features.


News Headlines:

- Apple Podcasts launched Apple Podcasts Subscriptions and Channels.

- New EU copyright rules went into law on June 7, they affect podcast hosting companies. The new law “shifts responsibility for any copyright infringement' by any podcast shared onto the host.

- Anchor will no longer submit new podcasts to Apple Podcasts.

- Spotify has released the Spotify Greenroom app. The app, similar to Clubhouse or Twitter Spaces, includes recording capabilities. It's available on iOS and Android.

- The podcast:guid tag has been finalised. This is a simple method for a webscale ID for every podcast

- Podpage has released v2.0 of their podcast website tool.

- Facebook is launching podcasts next week.

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- https://www.podland.news

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James:

Welcome to Portland. Portland is sponsored by Buzzsprout used by over a hundred thousand podcasters like us to host, promote and track your podcast and 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. It's the 17th of June, 2021. I am James. Cruden the editor of pod news.net here in Austin. And

Sam:

I'm Sam Steffi. The editor of Sam Talks Technology, which is coming back in

Mark:

September. And I'm mark Asquith from captivate and later I'll be talking about captivate 2.0,

James:

Hey, will pod lands a weekly podcast where Sam and I delve deeper into the week's podcasting news.

Sam:

Now, finally, I don't know if we're supposed to have a round of applause or anything, but apple podcasts launched their paid subscriptions and channel service. James, what happened? Was it a worth the wait.

James:

Well, I think it's done. It's been worked out really, really well. I think there's clearly been an awful lot of thought behind it, and it was very nice to see a bunch of new channels appear that has channels from Radiotopia there's channels, from luminary, a Q code plus lemonade of media, so on and so forth. but also a bunch of channels from places all over the world. So here in Australia, the ABC has a channel SBS, which is another public service. Broadcaster has a channel as well, so on and so forth, which is all pretty cool. and we're in a channel to the podcast industry news channel generic name, and that's got both pod land and pod news in there. just for a little bit of fun. But I think it's relatively flawless. It works quite well. obviously it doesn't necessarily work in anything other than apple podcasts. And so therefore if you're one of the 80% of people across the world who has an Android phone, then you don't get any access to any of this tough. But I think it's still a pretty good service for those people who use apple devices. So I think it's I think it's quite smart. Really.

Sam:

UI still has a few tweaky issues. I actually followed the guidelines to put in the header and then it comes out as this absolutely small micro image on the actual channel. So I've got to go back and find out how to put the full width, full screen image. But I agree with you. it's pretty quick. And actually the UI. It looks like it's been updated as well. Cause now in my iPhone, I can go and look at feature channels. and actually they are the biggest graphic in the whole app. So when I look at it, yes. Funny that isn't, it suddenly the one minute

James:

stands out well, can start making money out of it. Then I have to say, I've been very impressed. So when I put the the podcast industry news channel together, I've had folks reaching out from apple saying, this logo, it could be better if you did it this way and and blah, blah, blah. And I gather that they're doing that for quite a lot of people. so I was quite impressed at that. Also quite impressed at the range of different ways that people are using it. So luminary has launched their podcasts onto apple podcasts, which obviously means that it's the first time that luminary podcasts are available globally. if you want to pay for them, but also other people like Sony music entertainment, who we'll come back to later, they have launched a number of new channels and. Some of those are branded, so-and-so uninterrupted and you realize that that is commercial free. Whereas they've also got a set of channels which are so-and-so plus, or so-and-so extra where you get additional content and stuff like that. So some quite interesting business models already beginning to appear in this. and there's also Fox news podcasts, if you want to listen to those sorts of things. So I think all in all, it's been a pretty good and impressive launch and that's what happens, I guess, when you've got money behind you and when you can actually see that there's going to be some cash, here in terms of that.

Sam:

we've got a non-subscriber base on haven't we at the moment, although we've both paid for our subscribers subscription services what would we add? Who could we add to the extras? I wonder whether the reason I say it's, I wonder whether the plus Nexterus become just a footnote for most businesses, a bit like tech crunch, plus, which very rarely anyone actually pays for users.

James:

I guess it, it depends what people are using it for. I, from what I can see, you don't actually have to have anything extra in your paid for subscription. if you don't necessarily want to. So what, what, what we could do for example is we could add another podcast, call it Sam and James. Thanks you very much. And have one show. Which is thanks very much. That's very kind of you. and that one show is the, I dunno two, $2 a month or whatever and would just be a nice way for people to to support the show. You could do that sort of thing. Of course, I've built it in with a different a different podcast. So that might, may not actually work. But from that, from that point of view, you could do that sort of thing. I'm, I'm just quite fascinated by what you could do with some of this income. I think it's a, it's an interesting plan. I'm sure I'll

Sam:

show up big commercial company, so we'll get it right. The other thing that just annoyed me a little bit, which I was hoping for. So I've been in the process of putting up 26 radio stations shows into my re river radio channel, but I was hoping that when the channel went live, there would be an option for four. All listeners to go, oh I just want to subscribe to all your podcasts or subscribe to the channel and it would auto subscribe them to everything. It doesn't work that way or it doesn't work that way, at least right now.

James:

Yes, I agree. And I think it would be nicer if it did. Wouldn't it. I looked at that and I thought, there's no instant way for you to be able to go follow all of these. Now that may be because, the Wondery channel for example, has 63 podcasts in there and nobody necessarily wants to SU to subscribe to all 63 of them, but I'm surprised that they haven't added that feature in, but it's early days. And I think what they've done very cleverly is that they've built in, free periods. If you want that sort of thing they've built in geoblocking. If you want to do that sort of thing, et cetera, et cetera. So I think there's a bunch of very clever tools that they've built in to basically allow businesses to go and play with this. And, and I hope, and I'm sure that they will be learning from all of this as they go forward.

Sam:

Now, a story that I think is massive personally, is the new EU copyright laws went into law on June the seventh their effect, podcasting host companies, it's article 17 of the copyright directive that changes the way that safe Harbor rules work. James explain what's going to happen

James:

well. So at the moment, the way that copyright works is if you are a internet service provider, then you are given quite a few get out in terms of, if somebody posts on your podcast, host a Taylor swift song, then. It's up to the record company to say, Hey, that's a Taylor swift song. Take it down. And as long as you take it down, nobody gets into trouble. that's basically how it has worked, the way that the article 17 of the EU copyright directive, which I don't believe you'll have in the UK, but certainly across the rest of Europe, you certainly will. That. Essentially changes all of that and means that you, as a podcast, host are liable. If somebody uploads stuff into their podcast, that they shouldn't do. But even more than that, it even means that if you run a podcast player, such as, I don't know, podcast addicts or something, which comes out of France, then if there is copyright infringement in that player, even though you aren't doing anything to encourage it you are still potentially liable under certain conditions. So. That is, I think quite a scary thing for how podcasts work, the, the way that podcasts work is that nobody is sitting there approving every single show that you put together, putting it through robots to work out. If you've got music in there that you shouldn't do, perhaps that means that we'll have to have those sorts of robots in there in the future. Who knows? But I think it's quite a big difference. It's something that the eff, which I'm a member of has been jumping up and down for the last two years. And something that, doubtless, we'll see a few test cases going on that said we were supposed to have a few big test cases of the GDPR and not seen too much of that. I believe that Amazon is one of the first people to get fined for the GDPR and for doing something that they shouldn't have done all though, arguably it's quite difficult to actually follow all of the terms and conditions of the GDPR in terms of privacy. So having those, how easy it's going to be to follow these individual copyright rules. And of course, they've gone into law. In every country, across Europe and going into law in every country across Europe actually means that the German version of it is going to be slightly different to the French version, which is going to be slightly different to the Luxembourg version and So who knows what's going to happen there, but could be very, very large. Indeed.

Sam:

were hosted with Buzzsprout, which is not a UK or an EU company, would they be still liable to this? If we had say copyright material within this podcast?

James:

Well, that should be a cut and dry answer of yes, they should still be liable probably. Bark Hudson drive isn't necessarily well, but actually it's not necessarily as easy an answer is that I'm not, I'm not taking the Mick out of your brand new haircuts at all. Of course, I'm not doing that. no, but it should be an easy answer, but it really isn't. actually the problem about international copyright is that there is kind of no such thing. there's a set of agreements, the bone copyright agreement But actually it's not quite as easy as saying, well, we're hosted in the U S and so therefore it doesn't matter. It does matter because Buzzsprout make their podcasts available to people in the UK. Do they market them to people in the UK and Europe? I don't know. do we market them into Europe and the UK? Yes, absolutely. We do. And so, you get all of these complicated and confusing things about how, if you listen to a streaming radio station from Australia in the UK, is that a breach of copyright because the Australians have only bought the music rights for Australia. And weirdly the answer is no, it's not a breach of copyright unless the radio station in Australia has marketed to you in the UK. So it's not quite as easy as saying yes, and it's not quite as easy as saying no brilliant. Oh,

Sam:

well that sounds like a court case in the making. Then

James:

I think it, I think it's going to need a bunch of court cases before actually anybody really understands what you can and can't do, which is normally the way in terms of any new law. But I think in this particular case, it's going to be really complicated.

Sam:

it is one of those things that we've talked about in the past though, which is, podcasts are being put up. No, one's policing them. I guess they are going to have to police them now. and that's an extra cost, I guess, on the podcasting host.

James:

I think so. And I think companies like PACS and similar companies that operate those robots that sit there and work out whether or not you've put a Billie Eilish song into your podcast are going to be, busy and in the money and that's a worry, but it also means of course, that some of the smaller podcasters are going to go away. both podcast hosts and podcasters, because they won't necessarily be able to afford that. So, again, worthwhile having a lookout now, and in fact, talking about podcast hosts, Sam. So while I was going

Sam:

to say anchor have

James:

how yes. Oh, you said anchor that's all

Sam:

right. Yes. Well, I was going to say before I go on to say the story that we are going to talk about anchor, the bit the anchor relates to the last story is the fact that Spotify have global licenses for playing music. So I'm wondering whether moving to anchor and playing your music through their Spotify will give you a license to do that.

James:

Well, I think Spotify do have global licenses, but Spotify don't have global licenses to put that in to a podcast and make a derivative work out of it. And I think that's the thing. So you have a look at Spotify is shows with music product where it's basically a big long playlist because they don't have the licenses to allow you to take that song. Had put that into a podcast and to, edit it and do stuff and talk over it. And all of that, they've only got the license to play it. And then you've got the issue of Spotify is based on a per play basis and it becomes very difficult for them to monitor. As soon as you have individual shows in a download. So, dunno.

Sam:

Well, cause I circumvented that Spotify music play option. So using the road connect and T1 and road free connect software, you can actually just use Spotify with it. So Spotify becomes your system source your microphone, your microphone. So I literally can record and do a complete show and I've been able to upload that as a test and it works. So I guess they're not

James:

tracking it possibly not for long.

Sam:

That may be my problem.

James:

Yes, I think that's probably going to be your issue, there's no doubt that you can technically do it, but, as soon as anchor find that because of course they've got no way of paying for music that, that people use on that service because they don't know what's being used in particular shows and, and my understanding is that is at least that they don't have the, the rights to allow you to do that sort of thing. So they've negotiated their rights very, very carefully. So music rights is a whole, whole different complicated thing and I don't think it's going to be answered very, very easily at all.

Sam:

Okay. So talking about anchor in the future, anchor will only make RSS feeds for new podcasts. If you specifically ask for it's announced that the company will no longer submit new podcasts to apple podcasts under its own account, leaving you to do that yourself. So Spotify distribution is unaffected. what does this all mean for people who use anchor James?

James:

Well, so it makes anchor a little bit harder to use if you want to get into apple podcasts, because you used to just press a button and anchor would under its own account. submit the show straight to apple podcasts and weirdly it would just appear there without any further approval by apple podcasts. I always thought that that meant that there was a special deal going on between apple and anchor. Both companies have said, no, that's not the case, James. so what, whatever you see with your own eyes is clearly not happiness. but but what they've, what they've basically said, they've been making rumbles might mean Yano, who we had on the podcast. Not so long ago, I've been making rumbles about RSS feeds in the future for podcasting and whether or not it needs RSS. what they've basically done is they've turned around and said, we will only turn on RSS feeds for new podcasts. If you ask for one. So they are the only podcast host, which isn't actually by default giving you a podcast, and so, looking at that well, fine and fair enough. I actually think that's probably fine. It'll mean much less. Rubbish in the apple podcasts list it'll mean much less, podcasts, which aren't being updated in there. And that's probably a good thing. I wonder whether or not they were kind of pushed into doing that by apple wanting to tidy their, their directory AARP. I don't know. but up to anchor as to how they do things, but obviously it just means that it's going to be really easy for you to publish into Spotify and much harder for you or at least, ticking some extra boxes and having to understand what it is that you're doing in order for you to be in apple podcasts as well. And maybe that's a cost cutting exercise by Spotify. maybe it's just a way of forcing people to, you're always in, in Spotify, you're not in anywhere else. I don't know, but whatever it is, it's really interesting seeing. And that was just a little medium posts that might mean Yana posted. the other week I'm calling him mini Arno. He is of course, mignonette. cause he pronounces it the American way. But no really interesting. I also did some research on how anchor is currently doing in terms of, the amount of shows available from anchor, which are still being made. So if you look at the last 90 days of shows, then only 19% of shows. So less than one in five are actually still being made. So the rest of those four out of five are sitting there. They haven't been updated in more than 90 days. They are dormant podcasts and. For some of the time, that's great because a dormant podcast doesn't necessarily mean a rubbish one, but in other ways it doesn't necessarily mean that that's particularly good in terms of filling up the apple podcasts, directory full of abandoned shows. So, that was sort of interesting to have a look at anyway. I wonder if

Sam:

Spotify will actually get rid of some of those podcasts and I give them a period of life and then just jettison them off as well, or will they just keep them for everything?

James:

you will kind of assume that if, if I was an anchor I think one of the things I would be doing is to remove podcasts that don't get any downloads in 90 days. So it's fine to leave a podcast if it's just simply not being produced anymore. That's fine. That's what bookshops are. it's full of books that aren't being written anymore. That's the whole point of them, but I think probably fine to basically say, if it hasn't received a single download after 90 days, we will probably remove that particular podcast. And maybe that's a plan maybe that would help tidy up the directory that said you could say the same about Spotify is music collection. I bet there are tons of songs in there that haven't been listened to at all in the last 90 days. Does it matter the fact that they're still there? If the search algorithm is good enough, it probably doesn't matter.

Sam:

I'm suspecting that anchor. Won't do it. It's a bit like Twitter. Doesn't remove. Accounts that have not been used, which is very frustrating, by the way, when you find your handle that you really want is only been used seven years ago with one tweet in it and Twitter won't release it. not that I've had that problem. And I wonder whether anchor is doing it for the same reason. Just

James:

need to know who to talk to. You just need to know who to talk. Not, not, not me, but I was very lucky in getting the pod news handle on Twitter. Somebody else had that. they hadn't used it for 10 years. and if the right people and you ask nicely enough then you can get ahold of them, but it's a very difficult job, Well,

Sam:

I've gone for the trademark routes. So we are trademarking the radio station and that will hopefully then give us the release. But anyway, going back, well, yes, going back to anchor, I suspect they won't release those podcasts because it comes down to the same game, which is they can then report hundreds of thousands or millions of podcasts on anchor, which is really what Twitter does, which is why they don't release them. Because when they go to the. shareholders or they go to the investors, they can say there's 300 million Twitter users. When actually the number of active Twitter users is much, much smaller. and I suspect to anchor will do the same. They'll just do it for the size issue rather than cleaning it up.

James:

Oh, in data, I'm sure that may well be the case. It'll be interesting to see what they do there. Yeah.

Sam:

you had an interview this week with one of our friends of Podland mark Asquith from captivate.

James:

Yes, I did. So I'm an advisor to captivate and I thought I'd have a chat with mark Asquith, the CEO to find out what's coming up and what captivates 2.0, which they've just released actually is no,

Mark:

is it represents the teenage years, the evolution of captivate of it growing up and turn it into a platform that is something that is going to help podcasts for the next five, 10 years. 1.0 was very much, it was proven that we could be a good host 2.0 is making sure that everyone has everything that they need to be a good

James:

creator. You said that it sort of growing up. what are the things that you couldn't do with captivate version one that you can now do with version two? Well, captivate is,

Mark:

is very much for the creator and our goal for the rest of 20 on 2021. And beyond that is, is really to give podcasters varying ways. To monetize their voice, very ways to monetize their shows that are outside of the traditional models outside of the traditional advertising. But that will work alongside that and compliment that if someone gets to the point where they can do that, and 1.0, couldn't accommodate the feature set that we've got coming out over the next 3, 6, 9, 12 months and beyond it just, wasn't in a position where we were happy that a creator would be able to get to things like the new guest booking things like they're paid for private podcasts or the memberships. And, like I said, the varying range of monetization tools and promo tools that we've got London. They couldn't get to them quickly enough using 1.0, so 2.0, lost brought a lot of infrastructure, your updates. It was very much a user experience thing. And that was our main goal was to make everything that would do in to help creators, to promote and monetize, make all those things accessible much easier.

James:

So you making space for more features, some of those features are short links and stuff like that. And how do, how do they work?

Mark:

So short links allow you, you as a creator to, take an unwieldy long link, something that might be a sponsored link, it might be your own link to a course or a landing page or an affiliate link or a partner link. Turn it into something that is two fold. Number one, it's shorter and memorable. As an example would be my Twitter is now marked.live/twitter, and you can get straight to Twitter directly from that. But secondly, it's it's quite a cool little demand. I don't even remember buying that. GM's if I'm honest. the second thing that it does is it tracks and it measures that first party sort of attribution. So our goal with captivate, like you said, we want to give creators varying ways to monetize at their own pace at their own leisure and in their own way, the only way that we can do that, and this is another subtle change to captivate on the left hand side, just above the word analytics, there's now a subsection, which is insights. So with things like shortlinks, we're beginning to be able to connect the dots. We're beginning to be able to tell more stories around the data. Cause being a hosting platform, we shouldn't be, I don't think we, anyone should be applauded for giving data. That's sort of our job. I think our job is to do more with the data for the people, the creators that. Don't care about debt because they've never, they've never needed to care about data. So that's the big thing with things like shortlinks is that, and this better than anyone, our goal from day one has been to allow for the planning of episodes to allow for the host and the distribution of episodes, but also the third part of that to allow for the insights and the connection between all of those elements within a podcast and shortlinks is the first major step towards that. So I love that feature as well. Like it was one of the features that got turned on and I just instantly use it for all of my shows. So it is

James:

really. And so you say that that's one of the features which has been turned on, what other features are coming, then you're going to tell us any of those. Why not? We

Mark:

may as well lead from the front, an advisor told me that. so we've got, our goal is, like I said, it's to help with the varying range of monetization and promotion. Okay. And our job is to make that easier. So we've got things like, I guess, booking everyone that we use is captive every podcast and we'll be able to have a free guest booking platform, to enable them to book their guests and manage their calendars and run that entire system through there. Now, what that does is it links through to our snippets, our episode note variables and so on. So it's making workflow in life easier. We've got the analytics on shortlinks come in, we've got our paid for private podcast in so essentially listener support, which will be again, all within the host and ecosystem. So we can really connect the dots on what's working. and that's sort of a precursor to some of the workflow work that we've got going on as well, around episode planning, around show planning and really just allowing people to control without the need for superfluous tools, without the need for another 10 books at another flashy startup, this is a place. To manage your podcast. this podcast management system is something that we've believed in it and we've known about it since day one, but we've just, able to get it out now. So there's a lot of that side of things come in shortly. And the good thing is that's all a precursor to our dynamic content as well. that's a three module rollout, which will start very, very shortly. It's everything that you would expect from dynamic content, insertion, and inevitably a lot that you weren't expecting.

James:

And are these things paid for extras or what's the plan in terms of that?

Mark:

So our general rules thumb is that if we can give something to someone for free, then we will do so guest booking. Is free, anything around the workflow is free. The only time that we potential and we genuinely don't know about this yet, the only time that we will have to potentially look at charging is where it might cost us. it's rare that we'll incur any costs for anything like that. So the vast majority of these things will just be absolutely free to podcast us. we sort of take the stance that our goal is to give free podcasts in a way, but we don't want to do that in such a way that we give free podcasts in a way, because some chairman and very good looking prominent journalist in the space, ransom data about people that continue to publish their podcasts. And captivate was if not the haze, one of the highest up there for episode publication retention. And there's a reason for that is because it doesn't have a free plan. However, that's not to say that we don't want podcasts as to podcast for free. So as much as we can give to them, we will do. And our goal by the end of 2021 is for captivate to be the preeminent place, to come and monetize your podcast in a way that you want. And if you can make your 17 bucks a month, suddenly you've got free podcasting. That is our job. that's something that we believed in again from day one, it's just, taken us so long to be able to get to version two because of being a bootstrap company. But now, we can really get these things roll in which I'm fascinated by

James:

all of it. I was going to ask about the whole bootstrap company thing, because you were talking about flashy startups earlier on there's been lots of stories about large companies who have earned millions of dollars through venture capital and are now, obviously spending that on lots of development time and everything else. you've not grown that way, have you? No. And it

Mark:

was a very conscious choice It was a very specific set of reasons for that one. and first and foremost, I'm not against investment. I'm not against venture, but for me and Kiran, we didn't want captivate one and we didn't want our user base to experience something that was venture backed, knowing that it might change in the future. Like it's inevitable that anything that is VC backed will have to change because when you've got a runway, when you've got fuel from VC, you can do things that you can't do if you're trying to make the bottom line count. And what we didn't want to do is bait and switch. we never want to say, we'll give you free podcasting for now, or we'll give you $5 podcasts and then force you to a higher plan in the future. So that land grab, we just didn't want to do it. I would much rather have less podcasters serve them better, never, never, ever bait and switched them. And. frankly, we sat in inventor, we've sat on millions of podcast, episodes, millions, and millions and millions of downloads per month. Do we have to take advertising and massive venture management to monetize that because we're not making any revenue? No, we don't. Instead we can give guests back into creators. We can give them a way to succeed. So for us, it was about building a sticky product. It was about building a product that had its own specific brand. It had its own very specific way of going about things. And that really just will never change. And I think, again, this has been an adviser. Like we take beatings from you guys on speed. come on guys, we've got to get these, we've got to get this gamification thing out. We've got to get the, the badges out. We've got to get this thing out and that's. That's been the hardest bit, knowing that we want to do it and that we can do it, but needing to build. Right. Okay. MRR level one is this that allows us to buy two developers, MRR level two is this and that's why I'm Greer gems. That's, that's why I'm Greer from the stress of doing it. But that's something that we believe in. Oh, great. Yes, you are. Yes. You are both getting old, man. but it is something that we believe in we never want bait and switch and that's why we chose to go the

James:

bootstrap path. One of my favorite Podcast hosts is one that had a free forever plan. And when they, last changed, how much downloads you got for free, they also changed the fact that it wasn't called free forever anymore. So, it's always one of those. those interesting things? and I noticed you've recently done a little bit of sort of renaming of Facebook groups and things. You had a rebel based media, which is the overall company, a rebel based media, I think podcast academy. And you've changed that to being a captivate podcast growth group. is that just a little bit of sort of pruning the brand and making sure that captivate comes first these days?

Mark:

it's a little bit of that. the biggest thing is though that we care about teaching podcast is things, and there's a difference between teaching podcast of things and, writing tutorials to gain organic search rankings. that's a big difference. And a lot of people in podcasting do that. we do that because you've got to do as a business, but our main goal is to teach you. And I, the podcast is the things that we never were told we needed to learn in order to succeed. So you don't start a podcast and think, right, we have to better learn SEO or learn email marketing, or learn any of this other stuff. no one tells you that stuff. But when you reach the plateau of you've exhausted your friends and your family, you've exhausted your peers and your colleagues. Those are either listening or they're not, you can't keep asking them, what do you do next? That's the problem. That's when people can't podcast anymore, because it scares them or they feel overwhelmed by it now, The goal with this was that we always had this thing called podcast success academy. And we launched a how to launch a podcast course, which is, I don't say this lightly. Like it really is a flagship course. Like it's the most comprehensive, most high quality podcast launch cost that there is. And it comes with a fantastic Crip sheet. And the intent is shrewd business, as people was to say, well, wait a second, all this other stuff that learn the SEO, because we've got great networks, we can bring experts in and we can do so much more. Let's teach people SEO, but we'll maybe charge them a membership fee of like 30 bucks a month. Well, as captivate it's grown. and as we see that podcast is want more and more knowledge, and we see that there are people desperate to grow their show and they are willing to put the time in, we just conscientiously thought to ourselves. Do what. Let's get rid of the academy and let's build what we call captivate growth labs. So built, direct into captive captivate. You have got, this is launched on the 28th of June. So you've got a full growth lab built in there. The bottom corner of the captivate navigation. And that includes full deep dive courses from people like Amy words from Gavin bell. we've got Rand Fishkin, Rand Fishkin booked him for one on SEO and, and influencer marketing. And this is basically teaching podcasts as the skills that didn't need. And it's all built into captivate courses. You've got templates and resources. you've got our deep dive masterminds, our growth clinics that you've got. And we announced our podcast maker day, which is on the 19th of August, which is, I think an industry first, just a podcast maker day, much like a dev hack day which I'm sure we've all been to where podcast is from any walk of life from the don't have to be captivate podcasters. They can just turn up, define their own goal. And over an eight hour period, have the mentorship, they'll have the guidance. they'll have the safe space to create that and achieve that goal. So the growth lab is something we believe in and that community aspect on Facebook, that's a safe place for them to get involved, for them to share without. Without the judgment that sometimes comes from podcasting

James:

group. Yes. Mark. It's been a pleasure catching up. I look forward to doing so. Are you your, are you going to podcast movement in Nashville in a couple of months?

Mark:

Hoping I've got everything crossed for that. That's why I can't type E I'm. On the whim of Boris Johnson now, man, it's, I'm afraid, but I'm hoping to get there.

James:

of course. nobody wants that. well have fun. I won't be there, but have fun there if you manage to get there and hopefully looking forward to seeing you in the flesh soon. Always. Thank you very much. He's a nice man. Isn't he? Mark Asquith from captivate. He is. And

Sam:

what I found interesting was the short links. We currently use a third party called rebrand lead to create those short links, branded links. so we have potluck.la. And is this, do you think, as I said earlier host companies like captivate, like Spotify with anchor and others lip-sync Buzzsprout are they going to have to go vertical and add more features into the workflow of podcast is in order to justify their hosting costs because hosting has become a commodity,

James:

hosting has become a commodity and I think it's interesting looking at different podcast hosts and seeing what they are doing to differentiate themselves. And it's an interesting conversation when you're talking to new podcasters and they're saying, well, what should I be doing? Who should I be going with? the conversation isn't about go with this particular podcast host because they will get you everywhere. The conversation is about go with this podcast hosts because they also do X, Y, and Z. And I think it's the also do stuff that both gets people to switch podcast hosts, and also it gets people to stick with the podcast hosts that they are currently with. there are a few things that buzz sprout does for example, that other podcast hosts don't do that well. And one of them is supporting the podcast index and supporting a lot of the transcript tags and the chapter tags and all of that kind of stuff. If you were to move to, I don't know, anchor tomorrow or Libsyn tomorrow, you would find that they don't natively support those. And so therefore that may well be something which is keeping people with that particular podcast hosts. So I, I think that every podcast host is now sitting there and working out what are the things that we want to be famous for? And really, the basics of podcast hosting, well, that's there and everybody's doing it. But I think, it's looking at the additional services that each one of these podcast hosts actually gives. And, clearly some of what mark was talking around in terms of the captivate podcast growth academy or whatever it is he called it. that sort of service is really helpful because it's something that is unique content that nobody else has.

Sam:

I know we're with Buzzsprout and they focus on being at the bleeding edge of technology. So implementing new tags and implementing new technologies that seems to be their USP. one other question though, if anchor is basically verticalizing, just by focusing more on Spotify, do you think Amazon Google, and let's say apple are going to buy some podcasting hosts.

James:

people have always talked about apple buying a podcast host and the, talk was that apple were interested in buying anchor and were quite annoyed when Spotify pulled it away from them at the last minute. so I think that I would certainly see, for example, Amazon wanting to buy their own podcast hosts. That would make a bunch of sense. and I would certainly see, a bunch of other people buying their own podcast. Hosts, apple kind of already has its own podcast house. Now, if you are making a paid for podcasts, then you upload your audio to apple. So it kind of is de facto its own podcast host, but it is a course of podcast hosts only for apple that doesn't give an RSS feed. So, there is always that, I guess, but I'm sure that we will see more companies buying more podcast hosts and obviously Buzzsprout is privately owned and may well be one of those as is, captivate as is art 19, which is a big enterprise hosting company they're still privately owned. they could be owned by a large company that, that has a, a big wallet. So. worthwhile having a look at all of that. I think, it is interesting seeing now the enterprise hosts doing a lot of fighting for business, I spotted megaphone they've had a lot of people who have switched over to use the megaphone platform in the last couple of weeks owned by Spotify, of course including all of blue wire, which is a sports podcast in the U S Omni studio as well, doing really, really well. and we should also say rip to Kapeesh FM It was apparently a podcast I'd never heard of it. Anyway. It closed yesterday. the folks working on that are working on a new app, which is called rocket which is a very exciting, Hey, we have got a new feature here in Riverside FM. Sam, I don't know if you've spotted it. It's up at the top next to the word studio. there's a little button marked media. and it's got all kinds of things. I'm going to press a button and let's see what happens powered by Riverside FM. Hey, go. That was an exciting button. Wasn't it? Okay. let's try this one. Oh Powered by Riverside. They're can find it down as well. It's all very exciting. so this is a thing called a media board, which they launched last week. And basically if you've got a road Casta and you've got all of those beautiful colored buttons, it's essentially that, oh, now I'm excited. There you go. And it allows you to do, a little jingles like that. It allows you to do, little sort of, sound effects so that you can make a tremendous joke and then you can go, okay. So you can do all of that kind of stuff. It's very cool. And it works with video as well. And it's part of the Riverside FM clever tools that they've been adding and doubtless, we will see more of those. it'll be good to speak to the folks at Riverside about that in future additions of this, but the media board and it's all new and very exciting.

Sam:

I've actually got wrote a podcast to pro obviously in the studios and I've got the road connect beater, which I wonder also whether that works, which is a free software down by the years of the that has a jingles board on it as well. It'll be interesting. I might play with it after

James:

Okay. You can have so much fun with this, but let's not have fun. Let's move on. can we, before

Sam:

we move on, are you, are you yearning for your Virgin radio days? Is, is DJ Kirtland

James:

coming out? I was never on the air on Virgin radio, but no, that's not what you want. It's definitely not what you want. no talking about radio. though. something which I spotted which is pretty big news. If you're in the UK there's a company called something else, which is a really annoying name because it's supposed to be something else spelled correctly, but they've deliberately spelled it incorrectly. It's one of those. Anyway, they are, the UK is the largest industry and, and podcasts and audio producer. They're the BBC's biggest producer of shows as well. may have just been bought by Sony music entertainment. I'd love to know how much for but Steve Ackerman, Jaz Nelson, too, the folks who have been looking after that company that is a fantastic purchase by so music entertainment. So it's great. C that, so that was nice seeing on the wires earlier on in the day.

Sam:

now talking of podcasting hosts, as we were going up and down in value, in terms of those adding for features, there was a breaking story you wrote about Himalaya scenes. They've gone under.

James:

No, well, no Himalaya. I haven't got under him or they're a quite quite happy they've, but it's slightly into into audio courses and that sort of thing. but this was a story that came out on the verge. That came out in the verge on Friday, I think of last week, the podcasting hype house from how it's a tremendous story. If you haven't read it, you should definitely go and read it. It's a story all about Peter Vincent. Who's always been very nice to me on Twitter. but it turns out if this story is to be believed that the there's been other things going on Himalaya told me all the way back when they launched in 2018, I think 2019, anyway, they told me that they had raised a hundred million dollars worth of funding that it seems was entirely made up. and Peter Vincent ends up being, I believe the correct legal phrases, a colorful personality. You should possibly leave it at that because the Burj have better lawyers than I do. I, they have some, so. certainly worthwhile having a reads. My goodness. It's a story. So have a quick Google for the podcasting hype house from hell and enjoy. That's a good long read from Ashley Carmen. Who's one of their great journalists on that service.

Sam:

Now moving forward, James you've Spotify had something recently,

James:

Spotify something nice. Nice. I see what you did there. Yes, I did. Spotify greenroom has just gone live. It's an app, which is similar to clump house or Twitter spaces. it's gone live on iOS and on Android. The Android version is in testing mode, but it works fine if a bit janky and it's basically clubhouse or Twitter spaces, but it's got loads of people in there. It's their first day. And so many rooms with so many people in, has been quite a thing to have a look at. it's free, I've added support for it in the pod events website as well. So pod.events now supports Spotify green room rooms as well. So it's a really smart thing. I think the interesting thing for podcasters is that it supports recording natively as well. So, and I haven't yet done a Spotify green room. I'm considering having a play with a Spotify green room at some point just to understand how the recording works. but that should be a very exciting thing for podcasts. One would have thought, but I'm certainly worth the worth of play. I think.

Sam:

You say it's in the UK I'm doing a search and I can't seem to find it.

James:

Now, if you're doing a search, you probably won't find it because it is brand new. And the way that both iOS is app store and Android work is that they're a bit slower adding things into the search thing. but you can certainly find links. There's a link in a pod news for it. or I'll, I'll send it over to you right now on the chat. so you can have a quick play. but yes, I had a play with it earlier on given that it was the middle of the night in the U S when I was using it, I was astonished by how many people were there. So it's it could be quite a thing, I think.

Sam:

we talked about it a few weeks back, who was the company that they acquired, James that enables

James:

this. Oh, it was a sports company, which I think it was called the locker room originally. And And they basically bought it, re skinned it and have shoved it live. Now it's got some quite nice integration with Spotify guys account services. So you don't need to reregister or anything else. It just works. And I was quite impressed.

Sam:

Will the ones that you've seen running are they just user driven rums? They're not artists

James:

rums. They were user-driven rooms. there's a lot of rooms in there at the moment, obviously clubhouse versus Spotify green room, because you can, I guess see that all of a sudden a clubhouse which is not the most vibrant place in the world to be right now. you can see that perhaps this is a more natural home for people rather than Twitter spaces. but who knows? but lots of different rooms, but all, clearly run by individuals and, I could start up a room if I wanted to. So so it looks like a pretty good service. It'll be interesting to play around with it a little bit more.

Sam:

So now you've used all three. What's your preference?

James:

probably too early to tell clearly the numbers are there on Spotify green room in a way that is harder to discover on Twitter. Although I gather that there's a new tab, which has appeared in some versions of Twitter, probably on toy phones and Android phones. Don't have it yet to promote Twitter spaces. So you can go and find more spaces to have a listen to. but it certainly seems to me that Spotify green rum from the first day is going to be somewhere, which has an awful lot of people using it. so I I'm quite bullish about what the future of that is going to be or be it that, you don't necessarily have to have one or the other. I'm sure that Twitter spaces will continue to be a bit more of a friend. Related thing as Twitter quite often is you follow your friends and things like that. And Spotify green room, maybe being a, sort of a rather larger, rather more impersonal thing. It's an awful lot of swearing when I listened as well, by the way. I don't mind swearing, but the most of the bros who are on there were getting, having injecting all over the place. So still they go,

Sam:

okay, well, we'll keep an eye on that one. I'm waiting for it to fall over. What would the equivalent of the fail well on Twitter be for Spotify, wonder

James:

when yes. Who

Sam:

knows? Certainly if Beyonce suddenly decides to do a green room, I can imagine that might be a little bit packed.

James:

Well, they don't even do farewells on Twitter now. So Who knows? I'm sure it's

Sam:

in. Got it.

James:

I was just going to say that wasn't the only purchase that Spotify have made over the last week. they also apparently spent $60 million, $60 million on call her daddy talking about swearing. this is another having injecting podcast which is to become an exclusive with Spotify from the middle of next month. That's moving away from Barstool sports. A variety says at $60 million, we'll make it the biggest exclusive deal for a woman led podcast to date. and I've certainly seen Elsie Escobar friend of the show. she has been tweeting and saying that actually call her daddy will probably bring more audiences to Spotify in a better, more engaged way than Joe Rogan did. so I don't know about that, but Interesting to see that Spotify haven't put their massive, great big green checkbook away quite yet. and they're still out there buying new shows to make them exclusive on their platform.

Sam:

Is one that I haven't heard of setting can have a listen to it, but does this strategy work James mean? Can they just keep buying customers by buying leading podcast?

James:

I think somebody noted the other day that Spotify is now hiring for a podcast monetization product manager. and you've kind of thought that they would have done that a couple of years ago. who knows quite what's going on there. will it work or who knows? is it working for them at the moment? Yes, it clearly is because people are moving away from other podcast apps and moving into Spotify. to listen to new shows. So, all of the the latest data that we see coming out and data from Buzzsprout shows this data from research companies show, this is that Spotify is, if not the number one, it's going to be the number one relatively soon. So from that point of view it is clearly a strategy that's working for rest. Spotify is a very expensive one, though. It has to be said, but it does certainly seem that Spotify is doing quite nicely in it.

Sam:

Hmm. Okay. Well I'm sure Daniel's got a plan now. we're going to have a little bit of techie chat. Now we touched on it last week. It's the podcast guru ID tag. it seems it's been finalized. James remind everyone what the gooey tag is. and why is this important?

James:

Well, so it is an ID basically for a podcast. it's a web scale ID. And what we mean by that, when we say web scale, us tech geeks is that it's an ID that works everywhere on the internet because one of the problems about podcasts at the moment is that it's actually quite difficult to know that pod land on apple podcast is the same. Show as part land on Spotify, which is the same show as Portland on iHeart radio on any of the other places where we are. it's actually really difficult because there is no ID that follows us around. There's an apple ID. Sure. There's an iHeart ID. There's an ID in the podcast index as an idea all over the place, but none of those ideas are particularly helpful. So the idea behind the podcast, good is a global universal ID for a podcast, which is a long, complicated looking bit of text. But what that basically means is when you make a new podcast for the first time, you get a guru ID, you get that ID and that follows you around forever afterwards. So you should be able to tell, assuming that people implement this, you should be able to tell that this podcast on this platform is exactly the same as that podcast on that platform without doing the weird and wonderful searches that we're currently doing. If I want to find out where a show is on Spotify, then I have to search for its title and its artist and make sure that its title and an artist is the same and that doesn't always work very well and blah, blah, blah. If it's just the same, do it, then that will be fantastic. so that's the plan basically.

Sam:

Now thing that poses a question in my head is, is this a bit like DNS? how we'll do is be issued, but won't clash.

James:

Well, so the way that it works is that the gooey is worked out in a complicated mathematical way based on your original podcast RSS feed. So if, if my original podcast RSS feed the original podcasts, RSS feed, for example, for this show was on captivate and the guru, it would be a complicated piece of mathematics that was worked out on that original captivate URL. We then moved over to Buzzsprout or our sponsors. Thank you. Buzzsprout and B, when we moved over, the good would have stayed exactly the same. because it doesn't matter. when you move over, it's still the same podcast. So therefore it should still keep the same. Good. So to answer your question, who issues, it, nobody issues it's automatically generated from your original RSS feed. and, and so therefore nobody's in charge of it either which is really helpful. So unlike things like DNS, or unlike the apple podcasts, API, or unlike everything else, no one is in charge of it. It's just automatically worked out from the original podcast RSS feed that you have. and then that stays with you for life. And so from my point of view, I'm very excited about it because I think that companies that are coming into podcasting now, like Facebook like Amazon like others can use this goo ID to basically mean that, you can programmatically work out where a podcast is on all of these individual platforms. If everybody uses that and go into as an identifier and it doesn't change the way that they work, it just means that you can programmatically work out. This is definitely the same podcast here than it is over here. And that's really helpful. Hmm. Okay.

Sam:

Well, let's see if anyone implements it first. Has anyone implemented it?

James:

nobody's implemented it quite yet because there is a podcast going in the pod news RSS feed. And if you want to go and have a look at one and I'm sure that Buzzsprout will be adding them to Buzzsprout RSS feeds. They've been very quick at at implementing that sort of thing, in the past, the devil in the detail is just making sure that if you transfer a podcast from one podcast host to another, that the fluid stays identical. and so as long as people do that, then actually it's not too difficult for anybody to implement. It's just another field in a database So another interesting techie thing is the alternate enclosure tag, which I've been jumping up and down about for the last couple of shows. I was able to put the alternate enclosure tag working in pod news last week. This week, though, I've been able to add a really low bit rate version of that particular show. it started off being a 32 K version of the show. It's now down to a 12 K version and it still sounds really good. It genuinely, still sounds really good. It's saying coated with Opus and already, I believe that pod LP, which is a podcast app that is available in many developing countries that is already using it. So instead of having a three megabyte file to download. To listen to three minutes of me talking about podcasting. it's now around a 300 K file. So it's way, way smaller. It still sounds fine. And I was quite excited about a 12 kilobytes version of it. so that's a nice, if you want to have a play with that and find out what a, what a 12 kilobits, a second stream sounds like, then I would recommend having a dig into the pod news RSS file and seeing what you can make of that.

Sam:

I know I can swear he doesn't sound like Mickey mouse on helium.

James:

It actually, I'm really surprised at how good it sounds and many congratulations and thanks to Hindenburg who actually fixed a bug with their version of Hindenburg journalists pro for the Mac. within two days of me reporting it, I didn't realize it was a bug, but apparently it was so the Opus would go down that low. So so that's all made that worthwhile, but really good. Really impressive. Excellent.

Sam:

I look forward to potlatch being in 12 K in a few weeks time when somebody implements it. Hopefully. Yes,

James:

I hope so too.

Sam:

I hope so too. James, what else has been happening for you or what's going to be happening for you in Portland?

James:

Well, I've been doing a couple of nice interviews. So coming up next week on pod land, we have the man behind Netflix is companion podcasts and he will be telling us what's coming up for podcasts around Netflix in the future. That's a really good chat. So that will be good. and also I've been sort of relaxing after podcast day 24, which was a couple of weeks ago now. And looking forward to a couple more interesting speaking engagements, one, which I've been asked to do in Dubai, which sounds very exciting, but sadly, we'll be speaking at a virtual event in Dubai from this very room here which is a bit of a shame w what's been going on for you in Portland this week, Sam, while getting

Sam:

the River radio channel right on. Apple's been great. so that's been taking up all my time. thanks to who've done a great job of helping me implement all of that. and I'm also James doing a speaker gig in more bare, except exactly like you, it will be from my room here in sunny Cookham Dean, rather than the beautiful shores of Mulberry.

James:

Well, it sounds very nice. Anyway, I'll be sure that I show that you will have good fun with that. Have you been listening to any good and exciting podcasts this week?

Sam:

the arts that is no James, but you probably have, I haven't had any time at all, so bad man.

James:

Well, I'm very excited about the new episode of death in ice valley, which I am 12 minutes into. so very much enjoying that. I also listened to a much vaunted new show which has been promoted all over the place, including in pod news, but also in other places as well. It's supposed to be a very funny and very clever podcast of podcasts written by some comedy people. It was the most unfunny thing that I ever heard in my life. And so therefore I won't even be giving it a name credit. so there we are anyway that's it for this week, come back to Portland. Next time you can follow us in your podcast app or where it's Podland dot news on the

Sam:

web. If you have any comments or questions, please tweet us at potlatch news. and if you'd like to be a guest on the show, do let us know

James:

if you want daily news, you should get pod news. That newsletter is free@podnews.net. The podcast is in your podcast app or smart speaker, and that's where you'll find all the links for all the stories we've mentioned this week. Our music is from ignite jingles, and we're hosted and sponsored by Buzzsprout and Riverside FM. Thanks for

Sam:

listening. Please tell your friends and colleagues about Portland. We'd love it. If they followed us to add, we'll see you next week in Portland. Take care.