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Well, it’s been quite the busy week in podcast-land. Lots of opinion thrown about, a little bit of investigative journalism by yours truly, and an interesting acquisition, so let’s waste no time and get straight to it, with a brief stop-off to mention the football. There, I’ve mentioned it. Now, on with the news.

News

Popular podcast app Pocket Casts joins Automattic

This just broke today: Automattic, the company behind WordPress, Tumblr, and recently Day One, have now bought Pocket Casts. Co-founders Russell and Philip are going to stay on within the parent company. Automattic has a pretty hands-off approach to acquisitions, so I wouldn’t expect any big changes to come as a result. Now, this is pure speculation on my part and based on nothing but hunches, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw another high-profile podcast-tech acquisition by Automattic within the year, given podcasting’s ties to blogging, and the small number of (very good) podcast plugins available for WordPress.

News

How people find your podcast in apps - who indexes what?

I teamed up with Podnews editor James Cridland to discover exactly what bits of your podcast metadata actually surface when people search their podcast app. Did you know for example, that your podcast description is ignored by around half of the apps listeners use? Check out this Podnews exclusive, dig into the data with me, and read my thoughts on how app developers can make our work easier to find.

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News

BBC Sounds launches Audio Lab to amplify the next generation of podcast creators

On Wednesday, BBC Sounds introduced Audio Lab, a podcast accelerator with weekly masterclasses to help you tell your story. You already need an idea and the ability to express it briefly and succinctly, and they want to hear your voice and a sense of what an episode might sound like. But the application process is painless, although it’s only open to UK residents.

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"How my podcast went from 4 monthly listens to 20k per week"

Andrew Gold apparently took his podcast from four listens to 20,000, by applying to be featured on apps like Stitcher and Castbox. There’s a fair bit of blurb to get through but he deserves your clicks for doing the legwork, so I won’t post all his secrets here. Definitely something to check out, as it’s advice you don’t hear as often, even if it still amounts to some degree of luck.

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Want more podcast listeners? Forget marketing shortcuts

Jeremy Enns, founder of the Podcast Marketing Academy counsels us that hopping from one marketing shortcut to another is wasting time we could be spending on building awareness and trust within communities. Lovely bit of advice from this Sound Cartel podcast episode.

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News

Never let an ad slot go empty

It’s jarring to hear someone announce an ad break, only to come back straight away with nothing in-between, so if your podcast is ad-supported, Bryan Barletta of Sounds Profitable wants to make sure you’re filling every slot, even if you’re not getting paid for that time.

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"I'm tired of true crime"

Lydia Wilkins is tired of true crime podcasts. Writing for Discover Pods, she says “There needs to be a degree of standards across podcasts, to prevent disinformation and conspiracy theories spreading , to separate opinion/comment and fact, as well as to deal respectfully with subjects of those impacted by true crime. Times are changing, and we need to look at ourselves with some self awareness”. Can I get an amen?

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News

How to create and host an in-person event for your podcast

Podcast Movement co-organiser Jared Easley has some advice on setting up a meet-up for your podcast. It’s geared towards business-related podcasts, but it’s good advice regardless of the nature of your show. Things like finding other podcasts in your niche that might want to co-host an event with you, or running a micr-con inside someone else’s convention.

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Podcast Business Journal

News

"It's 2021, and Apple Podcasts still can't stay in sync across devices"

9to5Mac correspondent Bradley Chambers is not happy with Apple Podcasts, complaining that it’s no longer for power listeners, and that sync isn’t working across devices. It is, to coin a phrase, a “hot mess” says Bradley., but he appreciates the end-user experience of paying for content.

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News

If you're a podcaster, this is the best advice I can give you about the future of this medium

Podcast consultant Tanner Campbell says we should be thinking less about podcasting being a source of archival audio, and instead focus on a more “live-produced” feel. He foresees big studios pumping more money into original series, and strongly recommends we “create something that can go from podcast, to multi-season series, to film”. Tanner’s a smart man but personally I don’t know what the real takeaway advice here is, other than “can you make it pop?”, but give it a read and maybe let me know what I’m missing?

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Using RSS to solve the problems facing podcasters today is like using HTML to catch a fish

Podcast consultant Tanner Campbell says bolting new stuff onto the RSS podcasting standard is like trying to put a forest fire out with teaspoons of water. He advocates moving to a closed and, in his view, complete solution like Spotify, which provides all your publication, advertising, and monetisation needs. I’ve been a bit public and stinky rbis week about the underlying politics of the Podcast Index, but the bit that Tanner is attacking here is the bit that I wholeheartedly agree with.

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Resources

Handpicked apps, sites, newsletters, tools and more, all designed to make your podcasting life better.

Goodpods

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Goodpods is a relative newcomer to the podcast player space, and one worth keeping an eye on. Its best feature for indies is that its charts now differentiate between indie podcasts and those produced by NPRs, so while the app is still finding its feet, you might want to consider asking your listeners to check your show out on Goodpods.

New podcast reviews

Two new podcasts reviewed recently that might be worth a listen.

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Neutrinowatch

I wanted to give special mention this week to Neutrinowatch. Like the Podcode Briefing podcast, Neutrinowatch is programatically generated, which means each day the episodes change just a little bit. If you want a sense of what can be possible with a bit of Python code, some imagination, and the tech to host your own podcast – as opposed to using a third-party service – Neutrinowatch will provide.

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Seven02 Gaming

If you’re looking to connect with another video game podcast, Seven02 Gaming is newly launched. Episode 5 covers the transition from games to films and back again, plus the new OLED Nintendo Switch.

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So that was the week that was, in podcasting. Thanks again to James Cridland, king of podcast news for letting me play in his sandbox, and to everyone who shared the article. I’ve already had some interesting conversations off the back of it, and of course if you want to discuss it with me, you know where to find me: [email protected].

Enjoy the weekend!

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