Official Schedule, More Speakers and Panelists announced for Podcast Movement

Podcast Movement logoI thought last week’s announcement of speakers and panelists for this year’s Podcast Movement conference was going to be the last one. But I was proven wrong as a brand new list was dropped earlier today. Here’s the latest round of names you may see if you make it to Dallas/Fort Worth this year:

  • Dean Capello of WNYC
  • Lee Cockerell of Creating Disney Magic
  • Matt Martinez of NPR
  • Linda Holmes of Pop Culture Happy Hour
  • TD St.Matthew-Daniel of NFL
  • Corey Coates of Podfly
  • Peter Weingard of WNYC
  • Carolina Guerrero of Radio Ambulante
  • Ryan Deiss
  • Bryan Moffett of NPR
  • Daniel Dopp of ESPN Radio
  • Sarah Van Mosel of WNYC
  • Jason Doyle of NBA TV
  • Mark McCrery of Podtrac

Podcast Movement has also released the official schedule for the event. Conference goers can use this handy page to break down the conference by day, time and type of event. There’s even an option to create a personalized “custom schedule” to ensure attendees will get to the things they’d like to see most.

Podcast Movement will take place the weekend of July 31st. Registration is open now.

WNYC Launches Podcast Accelerator

WNYC LogoThe idea of an “accelerator” (sometimes also referred to as an “incubator” or “hothouse”) is nothing new in the tech world. Accelerators are often used as a way to nurture startups in their earliest days to see if they can really build a viable product. WNYC, the New York based public radio/podcasting juggernaut, has launched its first ever Podcast Accelerator:

The WNYC Podcast Accelerator will give both established talent and up-and-coming storytellers the opportunity to pitch their big podcast idea and potentially win the chance to produce a pilot. Modeled after successful tech accelerators such as Y Combinator, the WNYC Podcast Accelerator is the first of its kind in the dynamic podcasting space.

Applications for Podcast Accelerator will be accepted between June 25 and July 15, 2015. Five finalists will be selected from the pool of applicants. These finalists will be paired with WNYC producers who will help them refine their show ideas. On September 25, finalists will pitch their shows to a panel of judges at the Online News Association conference where one winner will be chosen. That winner will have an opportunity to produce a pilot episode of their proposed show for WNYC.

Here are the eligibility requirements:

The Podcast Accelerator is open to anyone able to attend ONA and who is NOT a current employee of NYPR. ONA will provide a complimentary registration badge (value: $500) to each finalist. Teams can submit a group pitch, but only one person per team can be comped. Familiarity with audio equipment isn’t required, but is recommended as our work with the finalists is intended to focus on the content itself.

And then the prizes:

Finalists get one complimentary ONA badge apiece, and benefit from a six-week virtual mentoring and training period, in which leading audio producers will help you hone your pitch, including story lines, character development, sound, texture, voice. In addition, you’ll have two virtual meetups with fellow finalists, ONA’s digital director and a WNYC producer to share ideas and progress.

My interpretation of that is, anyone can submit a show idea unless they’re already an employee of WNYC or its affiliated companies. Also, it looks like you can enter the contest from anywhere (unsure if it’s limited to North America or anywhere in the world) but WNYC won’t be paying your way to the finals. However you will receive a free badge for the ONA conference.

Being involved with the Podcast Accelerator could be a great opportuntity for both new and experienced podcasters alike. For more information on the contest, check out the link at the top of this article.

iTunes Glitch Limiting Number of Displayed Episodes

An apparent glitch in the iTunes Store is causing only the most recent 20 episodes of all podcast feeds to be displayed within the iTunes desktop application.

iTunes Screen Shot

The bug appears to be limited to the iTunes desktop application only as both iTunes web listings and the iOS Podcasts app don’t appear to be affected. Also, this bug should have no impact on users who are already subscribed to a show’s RSS feed thru iTunes.

There’s been no official word yet from Apple as to why this is happening. Some have speculated that it’s due to backend work the company is doing on the iTunes Store in order to prepare for the launch of Apple Music. Regardless, if you’re a podcaster – don’t panic! All indications at this time show that this is only a temporary problem and it will be corrected soon.

We’ll keep this blog post updated with new developments as they come in.

Promote Your Podcast with the New Facebook Author Tag

Facebook logoPodcasters are always looking for easy ways to get a little more promotional juice online. Especially when it comes to things like social media accounts. Last week, Facebook announced its new Author Tag, which makes it easier than ever for users to find either your personal Facebook page or your brand page whenever your content is shared on the site.

Facebook’s new Author Tag is somewhat similar to Google’s discontinued Authorship system, which would provide some basic author information for items that would come up in Google searches. In Facebook’s case, anytime an item that’s properly using the Author Tag is shared, that post will include a link back to the author’s Facebook page along with either a “Follow” or “Like” button, depending on how the Author Tag is set up.

Implementing the Facebook Author Tag on your site isn’t terribly complicated. If you’re using WordPress, entering some information into the popular Yoast SEO plugin should do the trick. If you’re savvy with code, you can get the source thru Facebook’s portal for developers.

Facebook’s rollout of the new Author Tag has been somewhat slow. I scrolled thru my own news feed earlier today to try and find some instances of the feature in action. But I didn’t see any. I’m not sure if this is a Facebook issue or if it’s just that content producers haven’t yet implemented the tag . Regardless, it should only be a small investment of time to set up the Author Tag. And hopefully, Facebook will continue to support this new function much longer than Google did with its own Authorship system.

Serial is Hiring

Serial logoThe so-called “podcast resurgence” of 2014 is often linked to the hyper success of two podcasts: Startup and Serial. Last week, we reported that Gimlet Media, the company behind Startup, is looking to expand its staff. This week brings similar news in that Serial is also looking for help in the form of a digital producer.

This isn’t a podcast hosting gig but more of a behind-the-scenes position:

…This person will work with the show’s production team – the host, producers, developer, production manager and coordinator— to write and develop the show’s digital content, including enterprise projects, interactive features, graphics, posts, updates, and the site in general.

We’re looking for candidates who can think through how to translate audio storytelling into a digital space. Most ideal would be someone experienced in working with and managing developers, designers, photographers and video journalists. We’re looking for strong writing, editing and communication skills, as well as an understanding of layout, typography and storytelling in the digital sphere. Candidates should be quick learners with a dynamic, creative approach who are comfortable working in a very collaborative environment.

The job listing also states that the Serial team is looking for candidates who have at least three years in digital media production, preferably in a journalism setting. The ad also emphasizes that the right candidate should be a good project manager who can work in a fast-paced environment and get things done under a deadline.

To learn more about the job and how to apply, click the link at the top of this post.

WTF Podcast Hits New Download Record

WTF with Marc Maron podcast logoYou’ve probably heard of the episode of the “WTF With Marc Maron” podcast in which he interviewed President Obama. That particular episode has set a couple of records. It is the most downloaded episode of Marc Maron’s podcast. It is also the first time a President of the United States has been interviewed on someone’s podcast – and in the podcaster’s garage studio.

The episode of WTF that included President Obama was recorded on Friday, June 19, 2015. It was posted early on Monday, June 22, 2015. The New York Times reported that the episode had been downloaded 735,063 times in the first 24 hours that it was up, and that it was downloaded more than 900,000 times in the first 36 hours that the episode was available.

Those very impressive stats came from Libsyn, which distributes the “WTF With Marc Maron” podcast. The episode with the interview with President Obama broke Maron’s previous record for most downloaded episodes. The previous one included an interview with Paul Thomas Anderson. It was posted January 5, 2015, and had over 200,000 downloads the first day it was available.

I cannot help but wonder if the popularity of this particular WTF episode will inspire other politicians to accept request for interviews from podcasters. It feels like a very big thing for podcasting in general to have the President of the United States come to a podcaster’s home for an interview.

Will future Presidents start seeking out podcaster’s shows to be interviewed on? There’s no way to know for certain. What we do know is that the President’s appearance on a podcast sure sounds like a sign that podcasts are important, worth listening to, worth advertising on, and here to stay.

An Open Letter to CEO Daniel Ek: Make Spotify an Open Platform for Podcasting!

spotify logoDear Mr. Ek,

You made a pretty big splash in the podcasting world when, earlier this year,  you announced that you’d be bringing podcasts to Spotify. Many of us in the podcasting community looked forward to having a new distribution channel for our shows. We learned during the announcement that Spotify would be partnering with a select group of content providers at launch. This seemed logical as a way for you to “test the waters” as far as adding a new type of media to your platform. But we assumed that you’d eventually open up Spotify’s podcasting platform to everyone. And that hasn’t happened.

I’ve been a user of the Spotify application since it launched in the U.S. It quickly became my preferred music player. I spent hours discovering new songs and rediscovering old favorites thanks to your platform’s ease of use and wide ranging catalog. That appreciation for Spotify as a music service created some real excitement at the possibility of others finding podcasts thru your platform. But due to the closed nature of Spotify’s current podcast directory, that’s simply not possible.

Surely, Mr. Ek, you can see that, in the way music listeners want more than just a slice of all of the music being made today, they’d also want more than a small fraction of all of the podcasts being produced? During last month’s announcement, the impression you gave is that you want Spotify to become a true world class media consumption platform. But how can that happen if users are clicking away from Spotify to listen to the podcasts that aren’t available on your application?

If making that simple appeal isn’t enough, consider this: Historically, the two largest podcasting consumption platforms have been Apple’s iTunes and the Stitcher app. iTunes has always been a huge competitor to Spotify and Stitcher was acquired last year by Deezer, another one of your competitors. Both iTunes and Stitcher have massive podcast catalogs because they’re open. Anyone can submit a show to these services and usually get listed within a few business days. And it is these services that listeners (i.e. your customers) will go to when they can’t find their desired podcasts inside of Spotify.

I hope I’ve made it clear, Mr. Ek, that the current state of podcasting within Spotify has negative repercussions. Not only for podcasters but also for the Spotify platform. It’s not often in life you can make a true win-win decision. But opening up Spotify to all podcasters would be one of those rare instances. Why not take advantage of the opportunity now and let us in? We’d love to share our shows with you!

Shawn Thorpe
Podcast Producer and Contributing Editor
Podcaster News

More Speakers and Panelists Announced for Podcast Movement

Podcast Movement logoPodcast Movement, the podcasting conference that’ll take place in Dallas on the weekend of July 31, has been using a “slow drip” strategy in terms of announcing the event’s panelists and speakers. Four more speakers were announced last week using this method. But this week, that drip has turned into a flood with the release of twelve more names of speakers. Here’s the complete list of recent announcements:

  • Andy Toh of BlogTalkRadio
  • Kimberly Falker, host of Balancing Points Podcast
  • Tom Rossi from Buzzsprout
  • Anthony Tran, founder of Marketing Access Pass
  • Srinivias Rao, host of The Unmistakable Creative podcast
  • Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner
  • Dom Theodore of TheBlaze Radio Network
  • Kerri Hoffman of PRX
  • Rob Greenlee of Spreaker
  • Ilana Fox of Audioboom
  • Gordon Firemark, host of Entertainment Law Update
  • Francesco Baschieri of Spreaker
  • Erik Harbison of Aweber
  • Toby Lyles of TwentyFourSound

We’ll continue to post updates about Podcast Movement as more information comes in. Registration for the conference is open now.

What to Do if you Hate the Sound of your Own Voice – PCN Show 018

WAVDo you hate the sound of your own voice? That can be a big problem for podcasters, especially if they intend to edit their own show.

In this episode, I explain a bit about the biology that makes your voice sound different to you when you hear a recording of it. I also share a few tips that can help a podcaster who cannot stand the sound of his or her own voice.

Links mentioned in this episode:
* There’s a Real Reason You Can’t Stand The Sound Of Your Own Voice (from Elite Daily)

* @Queenofhaiku