Con Before the Storm Revealed World of Podcasts Participants



Con Before the Storm is a fun event that takes place the night before BlizzCon. Part of the Con Before the Storm event includes World of Podcasts. This year, over 55 podcasts are being represented for 2018’s World of Podcasts.

Full disclosure, I will be attending Con Before the Storm this year and representing the Shattered Soulstone podcast (which is about Diablo III) in a World of Podcasts panel. I am not being paid to attend the event. This is just for fun.

There are several World of Podcasts panels that will be happening before and after BlizzCon 2018. The first two panels will be live on Twitch.tv/conbeforestorm

Pod Before the Con – Blizzard (October 28, 2018, 4pm ET)

  • The Bard’s Tavern– Jay the Bird
  • Freezing Nomad Podcast– PerfectNomad
  • Kulle Story Bro– Dean
  • Off Curve – Steve Lubitz
  • Realm Maintenance– Rho
  • The Sundering– Ceraphus
  • Technically PVP – Andallyn
  • The Nexus Trolls– Aurumis

Pod Before the Con – Warcraft (October 28, 2018, 7pm ET)

  • All Things Azeroth– Medros
  • Dungeon Fables– Aliandras
  • FrazlCast– Frazley
  • Halfhill Report– Toshmifune
  • Unshackled Fury– Berzerker
  • WoW Challenges– Stone
  • WoW! Talk!– Nick Zielenkievicz

BlizzCon Kickoff & Podcasting (November 1, 2018, 5pm-6pm, Anaheim Hilton)

  • Azeroth Coast to Coast– Akari
  • Convert to Raid– Pat Krane
  • Well Met!– J.R. Cook
  • Dark Moon Herald– Kevin Oldscratch
  • Lagging Balls– Thyst
  • The Starting Zone – Spencer Downey
  • Westmarch Workshop– Leviathan

Heroes of the Storm (November 1, 2018, 6:15pm – 7:15pm, Anaheim Hilton)

  • CORE– Scott Johnson, Jon Jagger, and Beau Schwartz
  • Gankbush Squad– Bacon
  • Heroes News– Jules Scott
  • Lords of the Storm– Ryan Reider and Gizmo
  • Into the Nexus– Kyle Fergusson

Hearthstone (November 1, 2018, 7:30pm – 8:30pm Anaheim Hilton)

  • Around the Hearth– Adam
  • Blizzlet– Stormraige
  • Coin Concede– RidiculousHat
  • The Happy Hearthstone– Andrew Brown
  • HearthCasual– Kevin Ellis
  • Legend of the Innkeeper– Espo
  • Value Town– Chris Chan

World of Warcraft (November 1, 2018, 8:45pm -9:45pm Anaheim Hilton)

  • Azeroth Roundtable– Ben Bumhoffer
  • Countdown to Classic – Josh Corbett
  • For Azeroth!– Jocelyn Moffett
  • Merely a Setback– Shoeboots
  • The Training Dummies– Rob
  • The Tauren & The Goblin– Katie Grace
  • The Worgen’s Howl– Frostee

Overwatch(November 1, 2018, 10pm – 11pm Anaheim Hilton)

  • Enter the Iris– Icy
  • It’s High Noon Somewhere– Blevins
  • Omnic Lab Podcast – Rob May
  • The Owl Recap– Andres
  • Overwatch League Network– Totemlydrunk
  • Watchpoint Radio-Bob Schissler

The Storm (November 2, 2018 – Time and Location: To Be Announced)

  • Behind the Avatar – Leeta
  • The Cavalry– Melisaa Schissler
  • Corpse Run Radio– Grandnagus
  • The Game Case– Cuddles
  • Hero Power – Zerotio
  • PWNCast– Belle
  • Shattered Soulstone– Jen
  • Twister Nether Blogcast– Hydra

PodSquad is Seeking Beta Testers



PodSquad is a podcast app for growing audiences on social media. They are currently looking for podcasters who would like to be beta testers of the PodSquad app. PodSquad is for podcasters, producers, and influencers.

Engage in social media in step with your normal listening experience. Create memes and audiograms to turn social media followers into new listeners.

The founder of PodSquad is named John Lee. He is building PodSquad, a podcast app for indie podcasters to grow their audiences on social media. If you are an indie podcaster, then John is inviting you to get early access to PodSquad and help them shape the final product of the PodSquad app.

As you might expect, there isn’t a whole lot of details out there about PodSquad. That’s not unusual for something that is not yet in beta. The beta app is coming.

If you want to be a PodSquad beta tester, then you need to visit their website and enter your email address. Your email will be shared with Podo (the maker of PodSquad).


Blubrry Podcast Directory Tops 600,000 Shows



Blubrry Podcasting, a podcast services leader in the industry, recently celebrated 600,000+ shows in their directory. The directory, allows for anyone, Blubrry user or not, to listen to a podcast and see a list of the show’s episodes, all for free.

The directory, which was introduced in 2006, has seen significant growth in the podcasting industry since 2014. In 2017, the directory included more than 120,000 new shows; they project over 180,000 new podcasts this year, an increase of 50 percent over the previous year.

Podcasts are updated hourly, show hosts can claim their show, which includes a link to their show’s website. As opposed to other directories, there are also multiple ways for listeners to subscribe via Android or Apple devices and most importantly share the podcast.

“Surpassing 600,000 shows in the Blubrry Podcast Directory, which has been around since we launched Blubrry, provides infinite opportunities to podcast listeners and allows us to track ongoing in the podcasting space,” said Todd Cochrane, CEO of Blubrry.

Blubrry will continue to monitor trends in the market, release data and relevant information on the podcasting industry based on discoveries made analyzing the hundreds of thousands of podcasts and the near 50,000 podcasts measured by our IAB compliant Podcast Statistics.

As much growth as the industry has seen, however, there is a great deal of room to grow in specific categories.

“Many of the typical topics are covered well by various podcasts,” said Angelo Mandato, CIO of Blubrry. “But the directory, as large as it is, shows us that there are many categories that are underserved.”

“Categories such as ‘Kids and Family’, “Games and Hobbies’, and ‘Government and Organizations’ are severely underrepresented,” Mandato said. “This presents notable opportunities for podcasters to fill these topics.”

In fact, Mandato said, “The largest category is ‘Religion’. Many congregations have gravitated toward podcasting in recent years, and made it an essential component of their service.”


Anchor Adds Smart Background Music



Anchor has introduced smart background music that can be used in podcasts that are on Anchor. There are 100 background tracks to choose from that intelligently mold to your audio. In addition, Anchor added brand new Sound Effects and Interludes tools.

Anchor points out that the perfect blend of voice, music, sounds and transitions in a podcast can be difficult to pull off. It takes time to find the perfect music and to ensure that you have the rights to use it. Not everyone knows how to create unique sounds or to properly edit a podcast. This is why Anchor has added smart background music.

The smart background collection library had over 100 beautiful, podcast-ready background tracks, free to use with no restrictions. A lot of the new tracks come from Blue Dot Sessions. The library can be browsed by mood, name, or keywords.

Each track will intelligently adjust in volume so that it sounds natural with your recording. Here’s how it works: the background song automatically starts at full volume. Then after an intro, the music dips and your recorded audio comes in. The song loops until your segment is done, and then at right at the end, the music swells back up, and fades out. This means your background music sounds really polished, never outshines your voice, and takes just a second to apply.

The new Sounds and Interludes include sound effects or musical interludes. Many of the interludes are short “stingers” that match the background tracks. Anchor says that you can also import your own background music, sounds, or interludes to easily reuse whenever you want to.


Twitter is Launching Audio-Only Broadcasting on Periscope



Twitter announced that they are launching audio-only broadcasting on Periscope (on iOS). In other words, they are enabling podcasters to use Periscope as a way to do live podcasts for their listeners. It doesn’t appear that this was Twitter’s intended use for the audio-only broadcasting feature – but that’s how I suspect it will be used.

Richard Plom, Staff Engineer of Periscope, wrote the following on Medium:

Broadcasting with audio only in Periscope is something the community has been asking for, and have been doing already by covering the camera lens. Sometimes people are not comfortable being on camera, but they still want to broadcast and interact with others via Periscope’s powerful chatroom feature. It was requested that we build this feature for #HackWeek, but after some research and focusing on the core of the problem we realized we could get it done in three days.

His Medium post also has a brief explanation of how audio-only broadcasting on Periscope works:

The iPhone microphone produces the audio stream and we continue to use that as-is. The camera produces a video stream that we immediately discard, and instead we create dynamic video animations informed by the audio data that we render on the iPhone in real-time. The audio stream is sent to the audio visualizer renderer which takes the raw audio bits and generates the waveform and volume levels indicator. This new stream is sent to backend instead of the one from the camera.

And, there you have it. Periscope made it easy for podcasters who don’t use video to do an audio-only podcast on Periscope. I don’t think most podcasters will decide to switch to Periscope exclusively as a result of this new feature. But, I can see the Periscope audio-only broadcasts being used as something “extra” for fans to enjoy.


iHeartMedia to Acquire Stuff Media



With over a quarter of a billion monthly listeners in the U.S., and over 131 million social followers, iHeartMedia has the largest national reach of any radio or television outlet in America. Recently, iHeartMedia announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Stuff Media, LLC, the leading for-profit publisher of entertainment and informative podcast content, which includes HowStuffWorks (HSW) podcasting platform.

iHeartRadio, iHeartMedia’s all-in-one digital music, podcast, on demand and streaming radio service, is already partnered with all major publishers and features more than 20,000 podcasts ranging from NPR to WNYC to ESPN and Gimlet, and the iHeartRadio Podcast Network hosts more than 750 iHeartRadio Original shows.

The acquisition will enable iHeartMedia to leverage Stuff Media’s original content, programming, and experienced podcast management team and to further expand its podcasting platform. The Wall Street Journal reported that a value for the deal of $55 million. The transaction is subject to bankruptcy court approval.

Conal Byrne will join iHeartMedia as head of its podcast division. Stuff Media’s podcasts will maintain their branding and remain headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with Byrne continuing as President and CEO of that studio as well. Byrne will report to Darren Davis, President of the iHeartMedia Networks Group and iHeartRadio.

Chris Peterson has been promoted to EVP of the podcasting division for iHeartMedia, and will oversee the full slate of iHeartRadio Original podcasts, as well as manage the affiliate relationships for the company, and will report to Byrne.


Stitcher has a Brand New Look



Stitcher announced that they have a new look. They are no longer using their previous logo, and have replaced it with one that has new colors. Stitcher has also been investing in its app, and has become the primary brand for E.W. Scripps Company’s podcast operations.

The new look embodies our history and where we’re headed in the future. The bars are reminiscent of sound. The colors are meant to be energetic and exciting, and together they demonstrate our commitment to all listeners, all creators and all types of podcasts. Used as mirrors of one another, they can create a “window” that opens up into the podcast world.

Stitcher has been investing in the Stitcher app. Their newest iOS release literally moves the app’s navigation options to your fingertips, making it easier for you to get what you want with fewer taps. Similar updates are on their way for Android.

Midroll Media announced the following on the Midroll blog:

Stitcher, a leader in podcast content creation, distribution, and advertising, today unveiled a new logo and brand identify, reinforcing its place as a leading player across the podcast ecosystem as it becomes the primary brand for The E.W. Scripps Company’s podcast operations.

The same blog post says that Stitcher is now the parent company to Midroll and Earwolf. Other networks of original content also fall under the Stitcher umbrella. Stitcher is a wholly owned subsidiary of The E.W. Scripps Company.


The PodFest 2019 Website is Live!



Podfest 2019 will take place on March 7-9, 2018, at the Wyndham Orlando Resort in Orlando, Florida. Podfest announced that their new website is now live. It is where to go to keep up with news about Podfest 2019.

Podfest Expo is a community of people who are interested in and passionate about sharing their voice and message with the world through the powerful mediums of audio and video. We’re proud to unite as many people as possible to learn, get inspired, and grow better together.

Podfest wants to elevate the podcasting community with these 3 Pillars:

World Class Education: Whether you’re just starting out and want to launch your podcast, or want to discover the latest, cutting-edge and data-driven success strategies for growing your audience, we facilitate learning on a whole new level.

Inspiration & Ideas: Podfest has a focus and dedication to bring speakers and workshops that will both inspire you and spark new and innovative ideas in the way of creativity, content, creation, audience growth, monetization and more.

Community & Networking: Podfest enhances to their community with dedicated mingling time, an outstanding (and proprietary) networking event, and after parties.

Speakers have not yet been announced. Visit the Podfest 2019 website for more details when they are released.

Tickets are available for purchase now. Choose from: Creator Ticket ($277), VIP Ticket ($497), or Inner Circle Experience ($1,500). Each comes with specific benefits.

Workshops include:

Podcast Startup Workshop: This is a hands-on workshop where you’ll learn exactly how to launch and grow your podcast! It is a full-day workshop on March 7, 2019.

Boss Lady Workshop: Facilitated entirely by women podcasters, for women who want to podcast! This is a half-day workshop on March 7, 2019.

Pecha Kucha Sessions: 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each, creating a unique and fun take on delivering value very quickly! This is a half-day workshop on March 7, 2019.

Vidfest Expo: This year, PodFest 2019 is featuring an entire day dedicated to Youtube and video content creation education facilitated by experts! This is a full-day workshop on March 7, 2019.


PodUK will Happen in February of 2019



PodUK is the UK’s first podcasting fan convention. It will happen on February 2, 2019, at Millennium Point. Tickets are on sale now.

PodUK is a one-day celebration of UK Podcasting, with Panels, Q&A’s, Recordings, and Workshops ranging from podcast creation to fandom culture. We aren’t particularly interested in the corporate side of podcasting; PodUK is all about establishing a light-hearted, geek-centric environment for podcasting and podcaster fans.

Tickets are on sale now (through Eventbrite). The Early Bird ticket is £15.00 (including the Eventbrite booking fee). The General Admission ticket is £20.00 (including the Eventbrite booking fee). There are Disabled Access tickets available, and there are more details about that on the PodUK page. There are also a limited number of press passes available.

PodUK recommends that attendees read their Terms & Conditions before you purchase a ticket. A schedule for the event has not yet been posted – but is “coming soon”.

Guest Podcasts include:

A Scottish Podcast  – Matthew McLean is an audio drama writer and producer. He’s founder of the Audio Drama Production Podcast, and work as Head of Audio at The Podcast Host, where he produces Hostile Worlds.A Scottish Podcast, the horror-comedy audio drama series.

Podcraft  – Hosted by Colin Gray, Podcraft is the long-serving “how to podcast” series. Colin is also the founder of The Podcast Host, as well as running the space/science audio drama/documentary hybrid series Hostile Worlds, and is creator of the “podcast maker” tool Alitu.

We Fix Space Junk –Following in the footsteps of Harry Harrison, Brian Aldiss and Douglas Adams, We Fix Space Junk is a sci-fi comedy podcast from Battle Bird Productions, written by Beth Crane (Upholstery, Ronnie and the Other World) and produced by Hedley Knights (The People’s Rock).