Podcast New England is coming to Boston in June

Podcast New England logoThe founders of Podcast Movement have been busy organizing regional podcasting conferences all over the U.S. Their next event is called Podcast New England and it takes place in Boston on Saturday, June 13, 2015. From the Podcast New England website:

…Podcast New England is a one-day conference bringing together a limited number of people who are looking to learn, grow, and network with other podcasters.
This event will be for both new and veteran podcasters alike, as we will present a unique group of speakers who will discuss a wide range of topics…

Podcast New England is a one-day event but it still boasts a healthy lineup of presentations. While keynote speakers are still TBA, there will be six “talks” presented during the conference, each one lasting for about 45 minutes. There will also be the usual lunch break at the midday point and a networking opportunity after the closing keynote.

“Early bird” tickets are available now thru May 30th for $49 each. After that, ticket costs go up to $69 until the day of the conference, when they’ll go up to $99. Podcast New England will be held at the BCA (Boston Center for the Arts) Plaza Theatre located at 539 Tremont Street.

For more information on Podcast New England, hit the website link at the top of this post.

EnhanceCast is Launching in Summer of 2015

EnhanceCast logo Podcaster NewsEnhanceCast is creating a new podcaster advertising platform that connects podcasters with advertisers. They are currently seeking podcasts to join. There is no minimum listener requirements and it is free to join.

In my experience, one of the most difficult thing about podcasting is trying to figure out how to make money from it. Some advertisers are simply not interested in working with podcasts that have less than a certain amount of listeners. Others don’t pay unless the podcaster convinces enough of their listeners to buy the advertiser’s product or service.

EnhanceCast is offering something different. In short, a podcaster can select if they want to do a pre-roll audio ad spot, a mid-roll ad spot, a post-roll ad spot, or all three. The podcaster can set their own price – per 1,000 downloads (for the pre-roll ad) and per 1,000 listens for either of the other two ad spots.

There are no exclusivity agreements or on-going service contracts. EnhanceCast says that all podcasters have to do is endorse the advertisers during their podcast and they will get paid. Podcasters can also get paid extra if they list the advertisers on their website or social media. Monthly payouts are made via Paypal (for all completed ads).

Podcasters are allowed to choose which advertisers they want to endorse. After telling EnhanceCast what ad spots you want on your show, you will see information about the advertisers. Podcasters have the right to approve or reject any ad.

In addition to connecting podcasters with advertisers, EnhanceCast will automatically enhance your podcast with interactive show notes for free. I’m not entirely clear on what that means. The EnhanceCast website also says: We’ll link to your website, facebook page, and twitter account whenever it’s mentioned in your audio. This will increase your leads/likes/sales/sign-ups/subscribers/ad revenue.

It sounds to me like EnhanceCast is trying to give advertisers, and podcasters, an easy way to connect. It’s free to join, so if it sounds interesting to you, it won’t cost you any money to try out. On the one hand, it doesn’t sound difficult to read an ad, verbatim, on a podcast. Personally, though, I think I’d like to hear how well this worked for other podcasters before I jump in.

Iglu Radio is Different than the Big-Box Apps

Iglu Radio logo Podcaster NewsIglu Radio is offering something to podcasters that is different from what the “big-box” apps can offer. This free listener app is for podcasts and independent radio programs. They are focusing on the smaller, community based, podcasts instead of the gigantic ones.

Iglu (pronounced “Igloo”) is the Inuit word for home. The term “Iglu Radio” is intended to describe hometown radio and the on-air hosts behind those microphones. Each of these shows has an attention to their homegrown audience in a way that is not found on nationalized radio programs.

What can they do for your homegrown podcast? One thing they offer is free Push Notifications with embedded graphics that will promote your show and sponsor. Those Push Notifications will route your listeners directly to your program page and will include your show logo.

They provide your listeners with an easy to find host directory. Iglu Radio is only going to house “several hundred programs”, instead of the tens of thousands of programs that other apps include. This will make your podcast stand out from the crowd, instead of being lost in a vast sea of podcasts found on other apps.

It seems to me that Iglu Radio might be a good fit for smaller, independent, podcasts that are trying to grow an audience. It might be especially useful for podcasts that focus on the news and events that are happening in a specific, small, place (like a neighborhood or small town).

Podcasts Now Available thru Deezer

Deezer logoIt seemed inevitable that podcasts would eventually come to Deezer, the streaming service that acquired Stitcher last year. Earlier this month, Deezer added over 20,000 podcasts and radio shows to its catalog. Previously, the platform had only been delivering music to its subscribers.

Deezer is based in France. As such, the new spoken-word content is being rolled out first in its home country as well as European neighbors Sweden and United Kingdom. The company will expand this new offering to other countries over time but no exact timeline has been provided as to when it might reach the rest of the world.

A complete directory of Deezer’s podcasts isn’t immediately available online. But the company is working with partners like Slate, Financial Times, NPR and WNYC to provide its initial spoken word content. It seems only logical that all of Stitcher’s catalog would eventually be rolled into Deezer, and that the Stitcher platform itself would be killed off. Regardless, it looks like Deezer’s podcast directory will be similar to Spotify in that it’s a closed environment, available only to those who have access to a partnership.

If Stitcher is destined to be ultimately subsumed into Deezer, there’s some hope that Stitcher’s partner portal will go with it. In which case, we can expect Deezer’s podcast directory to be open to user submissions. In the end, if companies like Spotify and Deezer really want to compete with Apple in terms of podcast consumption, they’ll need catalogs that carry everything the space has to offer. Not just shows produced by big names and heavy hitters.

Livestream Gets a New CEO

Livestream LogoMedia-streaming service Livestream announced earlier this month that it’s had a change at the top. Company founder and long-running CEO Max Haot has been succeeded by new CEO Jerry Hertzberg. From a Livestream blog post written by Haot:

…I recruited Jesse to succeed me as CEO with the full support of our co-founders and the Livestream board of directors. Most recently, Jesse ran operations at Squarespace and Etsy – two of the most admired technology companies here in New York City – where he was instrumental in helping them achieve scale.

Haot isn’t departing from Livestream. Also from the blog:

…I’m excited to focus my energy on my new role as SVP & GM, Video Products. Going forward, I will be responsible for all of our video production offerings. I will also continue to serve as Chairman of the board.

Hertzberg also contributed to that blog post, stating that this transition was decided upon by the founders of the company. There’s plenty of corporate fluff-speak about “the tireless efforts of our remarkable team members” and “we will be able to move the company forward faster than ever before, with the comfort of knowing that each of us cares about every single detail that goes into building world-class products,” etc.

This change seems to have gone down relatively quietly for Livestream. There’s no information about it anywhere outside of the official blog post. It’s not automatically a bad thing when companies change CEO’s. But many times, it’s an indication that a company is stagnating and looking to get a shot of new blood. Perhaps Hertzberg will be the shot Livestream needs to reach the next level.

5 Tips to Encourage Listener Interaction – PCN Show 017

number 5 by Andreas Cappel on FlickerIn this episode of Podcaster News, I give you five tips that will encourage your listeners to interact with your podcast. All of these tips are easy to do and can be very effective.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Image by Andreas Cappell on Flickr.

Glenn Beck announced as Speaker at Podcast Movement

Podcast Movement logoEarlier this week, Podcast Movement, the podcasting conference that’ll be held in Dallas/Fort Worth, TX from July 31st to August 2nd, announced that it has added Glenn Beck to its list of speakers. Beck is best known for his roles as a conservative talk radio and TV show host. But in recent years, he’s had notable success as a digital media producer, primarily thru The Blaze.

Podcast Movement gave no specifics as to why the conference chose to bring Beck on board. Presumably, it’s because of his growing profile in the new media space. Regardless, like him or hate him, Beck is a true “mainstream” media figure that’ll likely bring some extra notoriety to the event.

It’s worth noting that, along with Beck, Podcast Movement has also booked Sarah Koenig, creator of Serial, as a speaker. And while we can hope that the conference won’t be defined solely in terms of political left-right balance, it’s good to know that Podcast Movement has some diversity in its speaker lineup.

There’s no question that Glenn Beck is a polarizing figure. I’ve already seen multiple comments from people in various podcast-centric forums stating that they won’t attend Podcast Movement due to Beck’s involvement. It’s a somewhat risky move on behalf of the conference, which is only in its second year. Time will tell if this move pans out for Podcast Movement in terms of increased visibility and attendance.


Podcasts Officially Coming to Spotify

Spotify screenshotIt was rumored earlier this year that streaming-media service Spotify could be adding podcasts to its platform. Today, those rumors became truth as Spotify announced it will be enhancing its products with new offerings like podcasts and videos. Until now, Spotify has only provided music streaming with some limited ability to download songs for offline playback. This move brings Spotify more in line with competitors like Apple’s iTunes, which has offered multiple types of media for years.

There aren’t many public details as of yet about how podcasting will work within Spotify. The screenshot shown here was taken from a Spotify promotional video. In it, we see a mockup of the mobile app with familiar and predictable podcasts such as WTF, Nerdist and Startup. Spotify appears to be launching its podcast support with a closed, curated directory instead of a user-driven directory like iTunes.

Spotify will be working with a slate of new content partners to beef up the offerings of its platform. The only names on the list that are particularly interesting to podcasters will be TWiT, WNYC and Slate. The rest (such as ABC, Adult Swim and Comedy Central) will likely be bringing video to the service.

No information is available yet as to how content producers can become Spotify partners. But something tells me Spotify is in no hurry to work with smaller, independent creators. We’ll see what happens over time.

Con Before the Storm has a Kickstarter

Con Before the Storm logo Podcaster NewsThose of you who have attended Blizzcon in the past two years may have heard about World of Podcasts. The event was in its second year in 2014. It included panels of podcasters whose shows focused on one of the games made by Blizzard Entertainment. Since last year, World of Podcasts has gotten bigger and is now called Con Before the Storm.

World of Podcasts is not an official part of Blizzcon. In October of 2014, I interviewed Xia who is one of the people who helped create and organize World of Podcasts. I was able to attend their 2014 event, and it was a blast!

The World of Podcasts event was held the night before Blizzcon started and it featured panels of podcasters whose shows focused on video games made by Blizzard Entertainment. In 2014, there was a whole lot more going on including an art gallery, a Hearthstone tournament, and a fun photo area with backgrounds from Blizzard’s games.

This year, World of Podcasts has grown and become Con Before the Storm. Once again, it will feature podcasters whose shows focus on the video games made by Blizzard Entertainment. This year, in addition to the panels, the event will have a good way for people to chat with the podcasters after a talk has ended. In other words, people who want to connect with the featured podcasters will have an easier way to speak with them at the event.

There is a Kickstarter for Con Before the Storm. It has reached it’s original goal of $5,000 and is now working on funding some interesting stretch goals. For full details, I suggest you check out their Kickstarter. There is still time to get in on some of the rewards that connect to specific pledge amounts. At the time I am writing this blog, there are 25 days left before the Kickstarter ends.

The Con Before the Storm event/party will be held at the Hilton hotel that is near the Anaheim Convention center (where Blizzcon 2015 will take place). Having attending the first and second iteration of the event, I am certain that Con Before the Storm will be exciting and fun.