ABC Calls for Submissions for its One Million Dollar Podcast Fund



ABC Radio wants to hear from podcasters who think they have an idea that could become the next big Australian podcast hit. In September, ABC announced the launch of its one-million-dollar podcast fund aimed at finding up-and-coming Australian podcasters with great Australian stories to tell.

Submissions are now open for funding to work alongside the creative team at ABC Audio Studios to produce these distinctive and compelling podcasts.

Head of ABC Audio Studios, Kellie Riordan, said they were primarily looking for ideas that were original and entertaining and that reflected contemporary Australian life. She said “What we are seeking through this fund is something unique – something we haven’t heard before.”

“The pitches that will grab our attention will be ones that try different formats and feature different voices talking on diverse topics. They need to have a target niche audience in mind – content that can find passionate followers who will share the word more widely in their specific communities.”

There will be a series of stages in the podcast submission process. The first submissions stage – open to all those who wish to pitch an idea – will run until November 17, 2017.

A shortlist of pitchers will then be invited to hone their ideas with some help and advice from members of the ABC team. A final selection will be made in the New Year when the successful podcasts will pitch directly to the commissioning panel. Those podcasts selected for either production or piloting will be announced in late February.

To submit your idea, you need to click on a link titled “CLICK HERE” on the ABC Radio website.


Discover Pods Awards Calls for Nominations



Kevin Goldberg is the founder and editor of Discover Pods. The website was created in an effort to improve the discoverability of podcasts. His goal is to create an unbiased medium to discuss established and popular podcasts, new and upcoming podcasts, and podcast news. Discover Pods is calling for nominations for the 2017 Discover Pods Awards.

…There’s been a TON of great podcasts this year, both individual episodes and entire new podcast channels. That’s why we at Discover Pods think it’s only fitting to recognize the greatest of the year.

Different than some other awards out there, this isn’t a money-grab. You don’t need to pay a fee to be nominated. We just want to recognize the best and most popular.

You can nominate your favorite podcast for each of the categories that Discover Pods has selected right now. (The deadline for that is November 17, 2017). All you need to do to nominate podcasts is fill out the form on the Discover Pods website.

The categories includes some you might expect, like “Best New Podcast of 2017” and “Best Overall Podcast 2017”. They also added some unique categories, including “Desert Island Podcast” and “2017 Mount Rushmore Podcast”.

Discover Pods will tally up the nominations and have a final vote, and the finalists will be announced on December 1, 2017. There will be a round of voting after that. The 2017 Discover Pods Award Winners will be announced on December 15, 2017.


Parsec Awards Announced the 2017 Finalists



The Parsecs are a juried award for podcasters centered around speculative fiction. The 2017 Finalists of the Parsec Awards have been announced.

The podcasts that have been selected as 2017 Finalists for the Parcec Award have made it through the first round judging process and are on their way to finalist judging by the Parsec Award’s elite panel of judges from the worlds of entertainment, writing and publishing.

Those select few whose creativity and technical competence rise above the crowd and impress their judges will receive the coveted Parsec Award at the gala ceremony, which will stream online in November of 2017. (The date of the ceremony has not yet been announced.)

There are several podcasts that have been selected as finalists in the following categories:

  • Best Speculative Fiction Comedy/Parody Podcast
  • Best Podcast about Speculative Fiction Content Creation
  • Best Speculative Fiction Fan or News Podcast (Specific)
  • Best Speculate Fiction Magazine or Anthology Podcast
  • Best Speculative Fiction Fan or News Podcast (General)
  • Best Fact Behind the Fiction Podcast
  • Best Speculative Fiction Video Story
  • Best New Speculative Fiction Podcaster/Team
  • Best Speculative Fiction Audio Drama (Long Form)
  • Best Speculative Fiction Story: Large Cast (Short Form)
  • Best Speculative Fiction Story: Small Cast (Long Form)
  • Best Speculative Fiction Story: Small Cast (Short Form)
  • Best Speculative Fiction Story: Small Cast (Novella Form)
  • Best Speculative Fiction Audio Drama (Short Form)

You can see a full list of the 2017 Parsec Awards Finalists, for each category, on the Parsec Award website.


The Paris Review has a Podcast



The Paris Review has it’s very own podcast, which will officially launch on November 8, 2017. If you visit The Paris Review’s website right now, you can listen to a short trailer episode titled “Coming soon: The Paris Review Podcast”.

The world’s most legendary literary magazine invites you on an audio odyssey through fiction, archival tape, interviews, and late nights with the likes of James Baldwin, Dorothy Parker, and the cutting edge writers of our time. Featuring readings from LeVar Burton, Stockard Channing, Jesse Eisenberg, Marc Maron, Eileen Myles, David Sedaris, Dick Cavett, Dakota Johnson, and more!

The Paris Review is a venerated literary magazine, which introduced the world to famous writers like Jack Kerouac, Philip Roth, and more. The Paris Review Podcast is a brand new Stitcher podcast, with ads available exclusively through Midroll.

The podcast is hosted by The Paris Review editor, Lorin Stein, and Brendan Francis Newman, who is known for his hosting duties of The Dinner Party Download. Midroll points out that The Paris Review has over 910,000 Twitter followers, and one million monthly pageviews. It is obviously popular, and, in my opinion, podcasts that originate from a source that already has a lot of popularity tend to attract a large audience.


Blubrry has Acquired Podcast Feed Validator – CastFeedValidator.com



(Columbus, Ohio, Nov. 6) — Blubrry, a subsidiary of RawVoice, is proud to announce the acquisition of the leading podcast RSS-feed validator, Cast Feed Validator. The move will provide consistency to podcasters, improve uptime of the site and allow for tech and hardware upgrades to the site. It has also acquired PodcastingPlugin.com as part of the package from The Software Group.

Todd Cochrane, RawVoice/Blubrry CEO, stressed that other than upgrades, the site will remain intact and a free resource for the entire podcasting space. “We purchased the site to make sure it is around for the long haul, and there are no immediate plans to change the site,” he said.

Validating a podcast feed is something everyone in podcasting has to accomplish periodically. Podcast feed validation helps content creators and podcast support teams find and resolve issues that can cause sites and apps to be unable to process feeds.

“Cast Feed Validator fits into our mission perfectly in providing tools and services for podcasters,” said Mike Dell, Blubrry customer support coordinator. “This is a big win for podcasters and opens up new possibilities moving forward under the umbrella of RawVoice and the Blubrry family of podcast tools and innovation.”

About
Blubrry is a podcasting community and directory with more than 450,000 shows. Blubrry gives creators the power to make money, get detailed audience measurements and host their audio, video and websites. Whether you are a media creator, advertiser or media consumer, Blubrry is your digital media interface.

Blubrry Podcasting


What is the Value of your Podcast Brand?



It’s never too late as a podcaster to take control of your brand. It’s important though to consider the ramifications of not doing so.

When you say Starbucks everyone knows that company it has global brand awareness. Most podcasters will never achieve global brand awareness but some have. Some podcasts have created massive shows in the content space that has gained them national attention. Let’s look at the Lore Podcast everyone in Podcasting, Hollywood and 100’s of thousands of Lore fans have heard of the podcast and the team behind it has had monumental life-changing success.

Both brands have several common elements of brand awareness but I want to focus on one. Each has their own branded online destination that they own and share with no other! Starbucks.com and LorePodcast.com

Can you imagine Starbucks having an online presence that was at Starbucks.TheirPodcastProvider.com. this would be considered brand suicide.  It also is hard to even imagine that Lore Podcast could have achieved the success it has had today, building its brand at LorePodcast.ThierPodcastProvider.com.

When I started my show, I had already been a blogger for a couple of years, before I became a podcaster. The one thing I learned in the time before I started podcasting was that my website at its own .com started opening doors to people in the space I was writing in, and the brand became as valuable as the guy writing the blog posts. I spent a lot of time building my sites brand, and my own personal authority to go with it so that when I launched my podcast it was just another content angle that for many years dominated the website.

Today Podcasters are joining the podcasting space in the thousands monthly, and they are competing for ears to their shows and their sites. Sadly many of the shows cannot even be found on Google. It’s really not there fault, most podcasters are very creatively and assume that if they create great content listeners will come. Many take the easiest path to start their show in the excitement of getting started on their hosting provider’s sites.

Podcasters often realize when their shows are not growing that they have to find a way break out, part of that process is getting the branding of their show under there full control. Sadly though some never do and are happy being the product for their hosting provider to attract more creators.

My team understood though that a lot of podcasters jump in with both feet, often not knowing these pitfalls. I wanted our customers to have a way to get started fast, and then graduate their shows when they got dialed in through our guidance and provided a simple upgrade path to control their brand, so their shows could become the next Lore Podcast.

Today we see a lot of shows have that light bulb moment and understand the value of separating their brand from their hosting provider’s sites. Not all Podcast Providers provide an upgrade path where a host can bring their own domain, some host would rather the podcaster continue to be a product of their brand and would never suggest they get their own domain.

My teams first and foremost goal is to get a show host started using all the best practices before episode one drops this includes a site with their own domain. To our relief, nearly 80% of our customers are dialed in from the beginning, and we see very low show failure rates. For those shows that get started fast, we make it easy for theirshow.blubrry.net to graduate to theirshow.com by a couple clicks of the mouse.

The number of top-level domains has exploded so finding a domain is no longer difficult. My personal site/show which has resided at the same domain since 2002. The domain and thousands of content pieces on its brand brings in significant revenue. I would not take anything less than 1 million dollars for my sites domain and brand but back in 2002 if someone had offered me $500 I would have sold it without thinking.

In hindsight, I really did not know I was building a brand that would sustain my family and be that valuable. But I do today and I want every podcaster who has started or is getting started podcasting to consider the importance of building your brand, your show, your podcast, straight out of the gate. So hunt down that perfect domain today and align it to your show and quit being the product of your hosting provider.

Todd Cochrane is a Podcaster who has hosted the Geek News Central Podcast since October 2004, and is the CEO of RawVoice/Blubrry who’s services power 80,000 podcasts globally while respecting their brand and content.


Third Coast International Audio Festival Announces 2017 Winners



Third Coast International Audio Festival is based in Chicago. They curate sound-rich audio stories from around the world and share them with as many ears as possible – via radio, podcast, public events, annual conferences, and their website. The 2017 winners of the Third Coast International Audio Competition have been announced.

The 2017 Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Competition awards the following categories: Best Documentary (Gold, Silver, Bronze, Honorable Mention and Directors’ Choice), Best New Audio, Radio Impact, Best News Feature, Skylarking and Best Foreign Language.

The list of winners has been revealed. That being said, we won’t know who won what until the Third Coast Awards Ceremony. It will take place on November 11, 2017, and will be hosted by Helen Zaltzman of The Allusionist.

The winners are:

  • The Accidental Gay Parents, Episode 5 – Hillary Frank, Abigail Keel, Kristen Clark
  • Blink Once for Yes – John Fecile, Steven Jackson, Lizzie ShiffmanTufano
  • Emancipation: A Young Man Leaves Forster Care on His Own Terms – Youth Radio, Noel Anaya, Brett Meyers
  • Heavyweight: Gregor – Jonathan Goldstein, Chris Neary, Wendy Dorr, Kalia Holt
  • Los Casettes del Exilio – Dennis Maxwell
  • Majd’s Diary: Two Years in the Life of a Saudi Girl – Sarah Kate Kramer, Joe Richman
  • S-Town – Brian Reed, Julie Snyder
  • Standing Out From the Crowd at a Trump Rally – Ike Sriskandarajah
  • Quiet Revolution – Laura Irving
  • The Discussion – Rosa Gollan
  • The Traffic Stop – Tracy Mumford, Hans Buetow, Riham Feshir, Jon Collins

60dB is Shutting Down



If you visit the 60dB website, you will see a message titled “Goodbye”. It is unclear how long that message will remain, because the company behind 60dB has become part of the team at Google.

60dB was an app that was designed to bring people today’s best news and stories. It was created by Tiny Garage Labs.

The app featured timely, personalized stories on the topics that people cared about. Originally, 60dB was an iOS app. (At the time I am writing this, it is no longer possible to download the app from iTunes.) Later, 60dB became available on Android, the web, Alexa, Android Auto and CarPlay.

The “Goodbye” message from 60dB, which was posted on October 10, 2017, is where the co-founders of 60dB announced that they will be shutting down 60dB on Friday, November 10, 2017. They also announced that they would be joining the team at Google.

As we considered next steps for 60dB, we came to the conclusion that to accomplish our goals we’d be better positioned if we joined someone with scale who shared our vision for what was possible with digital audio.

The 60dB app will soon be gone, but a handful of the stories have been saved. Members of the 60dB editorial team picked some of their favorite stories from the 60dB app and put made them accessible on Medium. It is called The 60dB Archives.

TechCrunch reported that a Google spokesperson confirmed to them that Google had “purchased some assets” of Tiny Garage Labs, and that members of the team would be joining Google.


Oxford Writers’ House has a Podcasting Workshop



Oxford Writers’ House was launched in the Spring of 2016 as a hub for the writers in the universities and city of Oxford. On their website, they offer resources for authors of all backgrounds, provide Oxford-based academic and creative writing support, and more. Oxford Writers’ House has a Podcasting Workshop.

The workshop is titled “Writing for Audio Drama and Podcasting: an Evening with Robert Valentine and Liz Campbell”. It will be held on November 8, 2017. The workshop will take place in Oxford in the United Kingdom. You can book tickets now.

75 million people listen to podcasts every month. With huge audiences and low production costs the audio drama and podcast form are becoming an increasingly tantalizing form to writers wanting to tell the very best stories to a huge and engaged audience.

Attend the workshop to find out about the opportunities audio drama brings to your writing. It will also teach you all about writing, commissioning, producing, and how to get inspired to write some of your own audio dramas.

Although the Oxford Writers’ house is primarily aimed at helping writers, this specific workshop could also provide inspiration and assistance for podcasters who want to create an audio drama. There is an art to it that is not the same as doing a podcast where two or more people discuss the news of the day.