Speaker Requirements for NMX 2015 Announced

NMX LogoDave Jackson, head of the podcasting track for the 2015 New Media Expo, has released his requirements for those who are interested in making a podcasting-related presentation at the conference.

Dave has broken these requirements down into several different sections. His first requirement is to know your audience:

It always starts with your target audience. We have people who have never recorded a podcast, and we have those who are approaching 10 years of podcasting. Your presentation very rarely will appeal to both sides of that fence. I would prefer a deeper dive on few subjects (with plenty of take always) then to go shallow on a larger number of topics.

Dave then reinforces that the podcasting track is about podcasting, and not things like streaming radio stations. Next, he would like your presentation to be focused. He’s not a fan of, as he puts it, “winging it:”

I see a lot of “Winging it” (especially with panels). In the case of panels it is like those group project in schools where everyone assumes the other people are going to do the work (and then nobody does). When I was on a panel with Daniel J. Lewis and Ray Ortega we met a number of times to first organize our content, and then determine who would deliver what. We timed ourselves so we had an idea if we had enough (or too much) content.

He also states in this section that he will work closely with presenters to make sure their content stays focused and on track but that he’s not going to “tell you” what to present. Also, if you presented at the last NMX, don’t bring the same presentation this time. Dave would like to see new things instead of repeat performances.

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Women in Podcasting: Interview with Xia – PCN Show 005

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 7.21.39 PMEpisode Five of the Podcaster News Show was hosted by me, Jen Thorpe. In this episode, I bring you more news about women in podcasting. This episode features Xia, co-host of The Sundering podcast.

She is also involved with World of Podcasts. The second World of Podcasts event will take place in November of 2014.

Links mentioned in this episode:
The Sundering
World of Podcasts
@PodcastingNews

Spreaker Studio App Now Available For Android

Spreaker LogoThere’s always been a noticeable lack of podcast production tools for Android users compared to iOS. But podcast hosting/live-streaming company Spreaker is working to change that with the release of its Spreaker Studio app for Android. From the Spreaker blog:

We’ve punched up our app to include everything you’ve wanted – the ability to add songs and sound effects while you go live, toggle the microphone, and more so that you can take over the entire production of your own podcast or radio show.

Push REC at the top and choose to go live or record and then publish later. Make sure to adjust the microphone and switch it to ON to keep it on the entire time your broadcast, or hold down Push to Talk to only record vocals when you need to. Want to play songs? Tap on Add New Song to start pulling songs from your device, and set them on the decks. Play as you go, or choose Auto DJ to let the playlist run on its own. And don’t forget to tap on any of the sound effects on the right to add extra flair to your content.

When going live, you’ll get a chance to set up your track’s info before you go on the air. When recording offline, your track will instead be placed in your Drafts collection as soon as you choose to publish it.

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Blubrry Asks All Users To Reset Their Passwords

Blubrry LogoOver the weekend, podcast-services provider Blubrry sent an e-mail to all users requesting that they change their passwords. From the Blubrry blog:

To ensure customers’ trust and security on Blubrry.com, we are requiring all Blubrry.com users to change their passwords.

We learned earlier this week that the Blubrry Podcasting Community was the victim of a hacking intrusion. Please be assured that we make every effort to keep our sites secure, but, like everyone who has a presence on the Internet, we are not immune from such attacks. Your security and your confidence in Blubrry is important to us. This is why we wanted to be upfront and let you know that was an anomaly and we’re taking necessary measures to ensure it is unlikely to happen again.

At this time we have no evidence that anyone’s password has been compromised.
However we are aware that this is a possibility so we are reaching out to you to change your passwords. This is especially important if you use the same password for multiple sites on the Internet.

Blubrry also posted some details about the nature of the intrusion and how they’ve responded:

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Livestream Mobile App Now Works with GoPro

Livestream LogoVideo-streaming company Livestream has added a new feature to its mobile producer app. Now, not only can the app use a mobile device’s built-in camera to capture video, but it can also wirelessly stream video from GoPro Hero cameras. From the Livestream blog:

Today, we’re proud to announce the latest update to the Livestream app for iOS. This update includes an exciting new feature that allows you to broadcast live using your GoPro Hero® as a camera source! For the first time ever, you can share your GoPro video live with millions of people worldwide. All you need is your GoPro camera and the Livestream app for iOS!

This is a pretty cool development, as it really extends the potential of producing live video streams. Previously, GoPro cameras had some limited functionality on iOS thru the GoPro app. But that app is used mostly for just controlling the camera and accessing files. With the Livestream update, it’ll now be possible to actually use a GoPro as a video source. This makes me wonder if support for other camera manufacturers will be added in the future, thus opening up the potential for even greater mobile video functionality.

And while I suspect most podcasters would use this new option from the comfort of their home studios, Livestream has teamed up with some extreme-sports enthusiasts to show off the mobile GoPro/Livestream rig in action.

Women in Podcasting: Interview with Helen Zaltzman

Answer Me This! Podcast logoHelen Zaltzman is one of the hosts of the Answer Me This! podcast. The show’s 300th episode will be released on October 16, 2014. She also does the Sound Women podcast. Helen Zaltzman is also a very wise woman who Tweets things like this:

As such, it seemed obvious that I should include her in my Women in Podcasting series.

When did you start podcasting? What have you been doing in podcasting from then to now?
My first podcast, the debut episode of Answer Me This!, came out on 2nd January 2007. A few weeks prior, at my flatwarming party, my friend from university Olly Mann said, “I need to talk to you alone.” This was rather dramatic, and I thought he was in some kind of terrible trouble – but instead he asked me whether I wanted to do a podcast with him.

Olly and I had done student radio together a few years before, and were both quite keen to get radio work but that hadn’t really panned out. We naively thought the podcast would net us radio jobs within weeks! Radio jobs did follow, but it took a LOT longer than that; and as far as I am concerned at least, the podcast is now an end in itself – I’m absolutely devoted to the medium.

We also hardly expected it to be able to keep it going beyond about three episodes, yet here we are, eight years and 300 episodes later. Our audience and revenue keep growing, and overall, podcasting itself seems to be becoming stronger and stronger.

What was it that inspired you to become a podcaster?
Nothing inspired me to become a podcaster so much as having no reason NOT to become a podcaster! When Olly asked me, I had only ever listened to one podcast (the cut-down Adam and Joe Xfm radio show), and barely knew what podcasting was; so, not knowing what I was getting myself into, and having no real reason to say “No”, I said “Yes”. I had no relevant experience, beyond the ability to talk, and no one to ask, because I didn’t get to know any other podcasters until I’d already been doing it for ages. So we just improvised and felt our way along.

Now, I’m inspired to keep being a podcaster by the incredible feeling of having hundreds of thousands of listeners around the world, listening to a show we make in my living room: that’s crazy! And thanks to the opportunities presented by the internet, and tech being ever more affordable and accessible, someone can have an idea, make that idea a reality, put that out into the world, and have complete ownership of it: I find that incredibly liberating. In fact, it has completely spoiled me for working in big structured systems (although if anyone reading this wants to offer me a job, I am totally available for hire).

Considering my focus here at Podcaster News, I’d love to hear more about the Sound Women Podcast. How did that get started? What’s the main topic? Who does it include?
Sound Women is an organization – sort of a lobby group – that was started up in 2011 by radio producer Maria Williams, to highlight the ridiculous gender imbalance in the British radio industry, off air and on. They published research last year that only one in five radio presenters is female, and that number doesn’t even show how many of those is just a near-silent sidekick, only there to giggle at whatever the male host says. Many big stations don’t have any female presenters AT ALL, just a woman reading the traffic or the news, and they think that’s enough – or maybe presenting one show a week, but never the high profile daily timeslots. And there are no female presenting duos to be heard. The stats are somewhat better behind the scenes, but still, it’s not a particularly hospitable industry towards women. And because the problem doesn’t directly affect the men in charge, they don’t have much incentive to remedy it.

Maria, who has worked in the industry for upwards of twenty years, found she had had enough of this sausage-fest. She has an awe-inspiring amount of energy, so directed it towards gathering together an amazing bunch of women to form Sound Women. I admired them from afar for quite a while, then eventually Maria befriended me and asked me to get involved. I have the very childish habit of shirking tasks that I don’t particularly want to do, eg admin, so rather than take on a role I’d be crap at, I offered to make a podcast for them. It also gave me the excuse to contact people who I admire and ask to interview them; I’ve met such interesting, inspiring people through the show. That’s one bonus of making podcasts – you can use them as a ruse to meet people!

What words of wisdom would you share with women who are considering getting started in podcasting?

The tips I’d give to people of any gender wanting to start a podcast include:

1. Decide a regular release schedule, and stick to it. Preferably as frequently as every week or every two weeks: it’ll help you build an audience; it makes you better, because you’re getting more practice and the lessons sink in quicker; it pushes you through the painful feeling that your show is not as good as you wanted, which can stop you from trying to keep going; and it forces you to do it even when you don’t want to. If you just podcasted when you felt like it, you’d probably never release a show, because – sorry to break it to you – podcasting is not a particularly fun hobby. I’m sure that if we hadn’t decided, at the beginning of Answer Me This, that the show would come out every Thursday, we would have foundered after three episodes.

2. Find a format that enables you to talk and helps you have ideas, rather than one that constrains you. Make that format one that can be summed up in a sentence, so that potential listeners can understand what your show is in an instant.

3. Recruit people you know and exploit their talents. If they’re good at music, get them to make jingles and bed tracks. If they take photos or do design, ask them to make you logos and website artwork. My husband had recording equipment because he’s a musician, so when we decided to make Answer Me This, we made him set up our mics and be our sound man. Poor guy.

4. Wait at least ten episodes or three months (whichever equates to more episodes) before asking critics or potential audience to listen to your show. You may be really keyed up after the first episode or two and be desperate to tell everyone, but over the next few episodes the show will DEFINITELY get better, so wait. Because if those people think the show isn’t very good to begin with, they’re not likely to try it again.

5. Put in effort. Podcasting is quite a lot of effort anyway even at its most basic, so you might as well put in a little extra effort to make the best show that you can. All the best shows I’ve heard involved a lot of effort. This doesn’t mean every show has to be very sophisticated and high-minded (mine definitely aren’t!), but just the best that they can be in themselves. Bear in mind that potentially the listener could be off being entertained by the entire internet, so repay their hard-won attention with something good! I am a fervent editing enthusiast: it keeps the shows tight, but also allows me a lot of freedom during recordings to go off down avenues which might turn out surprisingly great, but if they don’t, I can just delete them and nobody will ever know. And I find it much easier to have a finite amount of material to knock into the best shape possible than I do to create that material in the first place. Rule of thumb: put yourself in the position of a stranger who has no investment in you or your show, but is somehow listening to it: is what you’re giving them a good use of their time? And don’t outstay your welcome. It’s always better to be a little too short than too long.

6. Just go ahead and try it! Don’t be put off by me saying it’s a lot of effort. It can also be very rewarding. It feels fantastic to make something out of nothing. It’s extraordinary to make a show that ends up in the ears of people you don’t know – and who you might never connect with if you met in real life. And the more podcasts the merrier, as far as I’m concerned.

Business Podcaster Summit January 20-29, 2015

Business Podcaster SummitIf you are a person who is looking to boost your business through podcasting a new online event is taking place in January 2015. The Business Podcaster Summit is an online event (not a physical event). This is being produced by Jared Easley and Dan Franks (who helped put on the Podcast Movement event in Dallas). According to their website there will be presentations by some of the top podcasters in the business genre including:

John Lee Dumas
Christian Psencik
Chris Ducker
Kate Erickson
Tim Page
Leslie Samuel
Lou Mongello
Natalie Sisson
Rob Cesternino
Stephanie Sammons
Cole Palmer
Christina Canters

The event will be three days a week for two weeks. There will be two sessions a day. When you add it all up, you are  looking at 10+ hours of live training (and yes it will be recorded if you can’t attend live). The sessions will be 40 minutes with an additional 10 minutes for question and answers.  There will even be “virtual hallways” to network with other podcasters. For more information go to podcastersummit.com the tickets are being handled through eventbrite.com

Pricing

The Standard ticket is $197. If you order before October 31 you can get the early bird ticket for $97.

 


Dave Jackson is the founder of the School of Podcasting and produces The School of Podcasting’s Morning Announcements podcast and is the author of the Book More Podcast Money.

Adam Carolla to Patent Troll: Podcasting Is “Not The ATM You Think It Is”

Adam Carolla Show LogoAfter a 45-day gag order required him to not speak about the settlement of the infamous podcast-patent troll lawsuit, Adam Carolla was finally able to discuss the matter on his show. Carolla, along with his usual cohosts and special guest legal counsel Mike August went over some details of the case. Here are some highlights:

  • The so-called patent troll company, Personal Audio, sued Adam Carolla in a court district in East Texas known to be friendly to these types of lawsuits. Personal Audio also sued Apple under this patent in the same district and won to the tune of eight million dollars.
  • Carolla’s team was spending about $100,000 per month in legal expenses during the lawsuit.
  • Personal Audio stated its patent covers episodic content delivered via the Internet. The company sued NBC, CBS and Adam Carolla looking for royalty payments.
  • The lawsuit was originally filed against Carolla in January 2013. It was scheduled to go to trial in September 2014. In July 2014, Personal Audio approached Carolla about dropping the suit because he had been successful in raising legal defense funds thru crowdsourcing as well as creating a lot of negative PR for Personal Audio by tying the name of the company to the term “patent troll.”
  • Personal Audio initially filed their lawsuit against “Ace Broadcasting,” which isn’t a name officially used by Carolla. When they first tried to serve legal papers at Carolla’s studio they were turned away by Carolla’s staff for that very reason.
  • At first, Carolla wasn’t concerned about the lawsuit as he believed he hadn’t done anything wrong. But Mike August was quick to explain that in patent suits, the burden of proof is shifted from the plaintiff to the defendant, causing the defendant to have to prove they didn’t violate the patent.
  • In the papers served to Carolla, Personal Audio sent a 50-page, single-space document that was a copy of the patent with no further explanation of how the patent had been violated.
  • The patent was originally granted in 1996 based on an idea to syndicate magazine articles online. In 2009, the holder of the patent applied for a sub-patent that would cover newer technologies such as podcasting. The sub-patent was approved in 2012, opening the door to these types of lawsuits.
  • In the original lawsuit, Personal Audio demanded a payment of 3.5 million dollars. Mike August estimated that it’d cost 1.5 million to defend the case, and that’s why Carolla decided to fight the suit and turn to crowdsourcing for legal funds.
  • According to Mike August, Carolla didn’t simply “settle” the lawsuit. Personal Audio dismissed the case because the company felt Carolla’s PR campaign was tainting the jury pool in East Texas which would make it harder for Personal Audio to win other lawsuits.
  • Carolla’s team wanted Personal Audio to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice but they wouldn’t agree to that so the case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning that they can technically sue Carolla again for the same thing.
  • Carolla had raised about $475,000 for his legal defense fund. Had he not accepted the dismissal, the lawsuit could’ve cost him more than a million dollars beyond what had already been raised.
  • Carolla spent about $675,000 defending the case, so even with the crowdsourced funds, he’s still at a deficit over the case.
  • CBS was sued on the same day as Carolla and the jury found CBS had infringed the patent and was ordered to pay 1.3 million dollars.
  • As part of the terms of dismissing the case, Personal Audio had to publicly state that they wouldn’t file similar lawsuits against other podcasters that had publicly supported Carolla. Marc Maron, Chris Hardwick, Earwolf, Jay Mohr  and Joe Rogan were specifically mentioned.
  • Mike August believes that if Personal Audio had to do it all over again, they wouldn’t file another suit against Carolla as they’ve realized that there just isn’t enough money in podcasting to make these types of lawsuits worthwhile.
  • Personal Audio had approximately ten different lawyers from three different firms working on the case. Carolla was using a single legal firm in Texas of three to five lawyers.
  • Mike August states that the podcast patent only applied to Carolla’s website. Since the Carolla podcast is distributed thru multiple channels, this actually lowered the amount of damages Personal Audio could claim in the lawsuit.

Carolla wrapped up the discussion by saying, “I think we’ve struck a nice blow for podcasters. I think the water shall be safe, whether it’s this company, Personal Audio, or other companies that come after that. Which is really that… This is not the ATM that you guys think it is… Go sue somebody else.”

You can download or stream the entire episode thru the link at the top of this article (the lawsuit discussion starts at about 14:53). Keep in mind that The Adam Carolla Show does carry an explicit tag for colorful language.

Resources for New Podcasters

Podcasting is on a huge roll and I could not be more excited for the space. I also see a massive influx of new podcasters who want to join the party and create content. Shows such as the New Media Show, Rob Greenlee and I produce are one of many great free resources for new podcasters.

As new podcasters join the space, it is important to make sure they are exposed to all of the free resources and commentary available to them. Too often these days, novice podcasters are being funneled into paid podcast pipeline-training programs that turn out a bunch of folks doing the same exact thing.

When I hear folks say, “I just finished my 12-week podcast training course and I am ready to start my show,” the thing I am thinking is they probably should be in about their eighth week of creating content versus just finishing a course.

When I started my show, it took me about two hours to figure out the tech and 30 minutes to go to Walmart to get a headset to record my show. Granted, the first 10 shows were not that great. Even now after 982 episodes I still learn something new every day. You can only become good at creating content when you are creating content.

In recent interviews, the two interviewers sent me the same exact questions to be covered. I asked them where they were trained and got the same answer. I am not saying paid consultants are bad, but it’s a concerning trend when shows are following the same cookie-cutter formula. I question whether that’s a smart thing to do when you are trying to break out in the space.

The community as a whole has a significant number of free resources and online forums that can answer about 90 percent of the questions needed to get started. Heck, need advice on Mic, Mixer, Host, Plugins, Skype, Interviews, Co-Host, Guests, Encoding Rates, Software? Answers to questions related to these topics can be found via many of the online resources listed below.

I hate to see folks spend thousands of dollars on consultants, then spend another thousand on their suggested hardware packages before ever uttering a word into the microphone when often the purchase of an inexpensive mic is all that is needed to get started.

I am not down-playing the roles consultants and trainers provide. But when I hear groups that have been formed to do review trading and other things to artificially bolster iTunes rankings, I find it strange they are not asking their audience to do that instead.

Lets us as podcasters help the new podcasters as much as we can. I have compiled a list of shows and online resources that I feel are great starter spots for new podcasters

Shows

Forums and Online Resources

While I know this is not a comprehensive list of everything available, I do feel the above links are great resources for the new podcaster to review and make use of for free. There are thousands of us podcasting, and we should pay it forward and help new podcasters as much as we possible can.