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Spotify announces a new podcast format with pictures

On Jan 17 we reported on Spotify's aim, in 2018, to become a "podcast destination". Today, Spotify announces Spotlight, which adds visual layers to podcasting. "Spotlight gives fans a deeper insight to their favorite artists, playlists, books, publishers and more by offering contextual visual elements, such as photos, video and text, that appear as users move through each episode." Spotify also announced a set of launch partners: BuzzFeed News, Cheddar, Crooked Media, Lenny Letter, Gimlet...

Duration: 00:01:49

Celebrating ten years of episodes in the party bus

How to celebrate ten-years of podcasting episodes? For Too Beautiful To Live, the answer is a 24-hour live-streamed podcast episode from a party bus, driving all round Washington state, USA. Amazon has just announced that their Amazon Echo smart speakers will be launched in Australia on 1 February. You can pre-order now - the Echo Dot is AUD $49, significantly under-cutting the Google Home Mini's AUD $79 price. (As a reminder: podcasts on these devices are powered by TuneIn). Futuri Media,...

Duration: 00:01:50

Slate say podcasting is now 25% of revenue

Slate, the online magazine, says that podcasting now accounts for 25% of its revenue. It is doubling its staff (from five to ten), and today unveil a newly-designed website that promotes podcasts. This year, they plan to fully shift away from Panoply and do their own ad sales. Damian Radcliffe writes a short history of audio storytelling. Some rather fine pieces of archive audio; and a lovely Steve Jobs quote that podcasting is "the hottest thing going in radio". How's radio working on...

Duration: 00:01:34

BBC forms special team for voice-controlled speakers

The BBC is looking for a "Senior Software Engineer for BBC Voice". The job ad reads, in part: "Our mission within the newly formed BBC Voice and Conversational Interfaces team is to shape interaction with the BBC at both an audience and organisational level through these assistants, and pioneer new formats and technology that bring the BBC to life in an artificial intelligence first world." Data and insight from Mamamia, a podcast producer in Australia - they've hit 40m total downloads...

Duration: 00:01:41

Pandora plans podcast expansion

Pandora is adding (more) podcasts to its app, working on a "deep integration" to help listeners browse and discover new shows - if you like, a Podcast Genome Project. "Pandora is also looking to offer podcasters monetization options that will be superior to the current state of podcast advertising." Yesterday, we mentioned that Spotify might be even better if it contained audiobooks. We discover (in Australia) that it does; though it's one playlist and mostly public domain books. However,...

Duration: 00:01:30

British podcasting data released

RAJAR, the UK audio measurement company, have released their MIDAS Winter 2017 research. Lots in here about podcasting: US data from NPR and Edison Research was announced at CES today: The Smart Audio Report says lots of positive things about smart speakers (two-thirds are Amazon Echo, by the way). The word "podcasting" doesn't appear in the report, although it notices a high degree of use for news bulletins. Google has quietly rolled out What can your Assistant do? - lots of things you...

Duration: 00:01:57

Podcasting goes primetime

2018 must be the year of the podcast, as it goes primetime on US television. ABC premieres Alex, Inc on March 28, based on Alex Blumberg's Startup. As the trailer will show you, it focuses on a man who quits his job and launches a podcast company. Hilarity ensues. Podcast producer Gimlet has a new Chief Marketing Officer: Jenny Wall, described by Variety as an "entertainment-marketing veteran". She's come from Hulu, Netflix, and HBO. (Her first job should be ensuring there's a Gimlet logo...

Duration: 00:01:55

At CES, voice and iHeartMedia gets added to everything

At CES, iHeartMedia announces lots of integrations for iHeartRadio - including cars, Facebook Messenger, TV sticks and robots. iHeartRadio is a music, live radio and podcasting service, and carries third-party podcasts; many podcast hosts have direct integration to get yours listed. Also at CES, lots of activity around Google Assistant, which also allows podcast listening. Android Auto will finally get proper Google Assistant support "starting this week in the US"; Google Home devices with...

Duration: 00:01:57

The 'Serial successor you've been waiting for'

‘Atlanta Monster’ is the ‘Serial’ successor you’ve been waiting for, says The Daily Dot - it's a podcast from HowStuffWorks. In Denmark there is a media support fund from government, and the Center for Podcasting is lobbying for podcasting to be included in it. "Would not it make sense to help podcasting reach all parts of Denmark and all generations, and possibly future-proof and renew the local radio order that is a cornerstone of Danish culture and our democracy?" Podcast host Libsyn...

Duration: 00:01:57

Edison Research expands offices and promotes their people

Edison Research, the company responsible for regular podcasting research in many markets as well as media research and election polling, has announced a major expansion as well as promotions for, among others, Tom Webster and Megan Lazovick (who have both presented the company's podcasting research). The company is based in Somerville NJ, USA. discussing Edison Research's datapodcasting's next ten yearsSteve Bowbrick (day job: BBC Radio 3's digital editor) writes a long (and...

Duration: 00:01:31

Libsyn buys a web hosting company

Podcast host Libsyn, properly known as Liberated Syndication Inc, has purchased web hosting company Pair Networks. Some data points in the announcement: "In 2016, Libsyn delivered over 4.59 Billion downloads. We host over 3.2 Million media files for more than 35,000 podcasts, including typically around 35% of the top 200 podcasts in iTunes." Both companies are based in Pittsburgh PA, USA. On Tuesday we reported on highly inflated figures from iHeartMedia on Podtrac's charts. Yesterday,...

Duration: 00:01:15

Podtrac remove iHeartMedia data after podnews report

Yesterday, we reported on highly inflated figures from iHeartMedia on Podtrac's charts. Nine hours later, Podtrac silently removed iHeartMedia from all of their ratings charts. The company notes on their revised release: "Preloading podcast content is prohibited under IAB podcast measurement guidelines." The new data and statement was not sent to their report mailing list. The revised Podtrac analytics show The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe as the US's most popular short-form...

Duration: 00:01:52

When podcast analytics go bad

EXCLUSIVE: Are iHeartMedia really the number one short-form podcaster, as we reported on Dec 26? No, it would appear that they probably aren't. After a lengthy investigation, we can reveal that the Podtrac figures are wrong - possibly thousands of times too large. Read our full investigation to discover what's happening and how you can check your own podcast for the same error. VentureBeat considers that 2017 was the year of the podcast. Paul Sawers particularly highlights the rush to...

Duration: 00:01:36

Podcast setups and a look ahead to the rest of 2018

Chris Peterson, VP of Podcasting at iHeartMedia is quoted in a re-printed interview in Jacobs Media: "We need to continue to push for even more data and an industrywide standard for podcast listening analytics," he says. Tomorrow, in an explosive article, will publish the results of an investigation into one publisher's analytics that shows significant over-reporting. Tim Ferris shares his podcast setup, on a YouTube video. Also on YouTube, Podcast Movement have added some...

Duration: 00:01:43

Stitcher look back on 2017

Stitcher publish a look back at 2017. They list the most popular podcasts, unusually in terms of total hours streamed. This American Life is #3. 249m15hCommercial radio rules short-form podcasts, claims US radio publication InsideRadio, quoting from the Podtrac data for 'snackable' podcasts. RAIN quotes Podtrac CEO Mark McCrery as saying the #1, Trending Songs: Pop, fulfilled all the “technical definition and delivery rules of a podcast”. We'll return to this subject on Monday. Triton...

Duration: 00:01:29

Irish podcasting: the audio revolution 'has hit'

A piece in Irish website The Journal: 'A hit US podcast is a life-changer - in Ireland it might not even have a sponsor' - and an overview of the Dublin-based Headstuff Podcast Network which also has a studio for hire. If you're looking for the ten best podcasts from the island of Ireland here's a positive list, in which Claire Mitchell says that "the audio revolution has hit Ireland." Best Irish podcast name? Motherfoclóir ("a podcast about the Irish language, in English"). The BBC...

Duration: 00:01:24

Netflix produces a companion podcast to a new TV show

Netflix is producing a "companion podcast" to Wormwood, a documentary series. The podcast, called Wormwood: the companion podcast, debuted on 21 December, and delves deeper into the story. Podcast network Feral Audio is to close in January; founder Dustin Marshall cited personal issues and lamented the professionalisation of the podcast space. Some titles will migrate to Starburns Industries. Event: Jan 18 - Podcast Cabaret in Peterborough ON, Canada. Want to perform your podcast, live?...

Duration: 00:01:34

Podtrac splits their 'top podcast charts' into two

Podtrac released their top podcasts for November 2017 late on Christmas Day: and has split the chart into "snackable" and normal-length podcasts. This split may have been after fierce criticism, which we reported on Nov 20. top 15 "snackable" podcaststop 20 podcastsDick Orkin, the radio creative and voice actor, died on Sunday. He was 84. As this podcast describes, Orkin was known for storytelling to tell a company's story, and for writing Chickenman on US radio in the 1960s. In 1995,...

Duration: 00:01:19

Buzzfeed stops making Another Round - but podcast won't close

Happy Christmas to you! Buzzfeed is to stop making Another Round - but has apparently given the podcast to its hosts, who plan to continue it into 2018. Read their Twitter update for more. via PodcasterNews Apple's new Podcast Analytics: Jacobs Media looks at this new tool from a radio perspective. It's mostly good news, though they find the over-100% consumption figures a bit difficult. Talking about podcast analytics, a technical solution from May this year that allows full...

Duration: 00:01:17

Podcasts to get into GM cars

General Motors announces that it has partnered with eight news and entertainment companies for podcast content. You'll find it within the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system in 2017 and 2018 models. An article detailing the tech behind audioburst, the podcasting search engine. (We covered its launch on Aug 29 and its integration into RSS feedreader Inoreader on Oct 18.) The team at BE Media has produced a special podcast episode on the why, what and how of branded podcasting, with some...

Duration: 00:01:51

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