All posts by Todd Cochrane

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.


Tech Podcast Network – CES 2018 Coverage Plan



The Tech Podcast Network who has long covered the CES Show in January is changing tactics for 2018. For the first time the members of the Tech Podcast Network made up of 84 separate podcasts are going to focus on a segment of the exhibitors that in the early years where there bread and butter of content.

This year the TPN team made up of shows you love and trust will have their broadcast studio at the Sands Expo Hall. The team’s blog post says what we have found is the startups and vendors at the Sands are more aligned with what our teams and audience have come to expect from us. CES has grown so massive they say that it is impossible with the number of folks they will have on the ground to cover it all. The TPN team will be broadcasting from the lower level of Sands Exposition center the full four days of the show to their knowledge, they will be the only group that will have a dedicated broadcast studio in that hall.

This means a big change for the vendors that are accustomed to seeing the TPN team in the North Hall at LVCC. This opens up a huge opportunity for all the startups that found it hard to come see the team in the past at LVCC. This will also give TPN ready access to the Sands second-floor vendors who are introducing innovative products on their own.

New this year will be a roving live team that will transmit back to the broadcast studio allowing them to broadcast directly from the vendor’s booths. Broadcast appearance applications are open on the team’s coverage page at TPN.tv.


Proven Social Media Strategies for Podcasters



Many podcasters struggle with trying to build their audiences, yet we find podcasters that only have their podcasts on their hosting provider with limited information being posted about each episode. It’s like they purposely want to fail. The following presentation was presented at Podcast Movement 2017 to a standing room only crowd, and also repeated on International Podcast day. This is not a video teaching you how to tweet, but proven social strategies to grow an very large audience. If your struggling or just want some new ways to build your show I cannot stress enough how valuable this presentation is.


Google is your Friend



As I approach my 11th anniversary in podcasting I want to share a few secrets that gain me new listeners every single day. Having been podcasting since October of 2004, this strategy has been an integral part of my podcast growth throughout the years. It is so effective that I invest nearly $15,000 dollars a year — for paying writers, attending events and more — building my audience through this strategy.

I was a blogger before I was a podcaster, not a great blogger as I always tell folks, but when I started my podcast I probably had 300 to 1,000 people a day who visited my tech site to read my spin on what was happening in the tech world, and that played a major role in my show growth strategy.

I was one of the very early podcasters and quickly grew an amazing audience. Before I was on my 50th episode, my audience was pushing 50,000 listeners per episode. The numbers continued to climb, but at a certain point the growth stagnated.

Meanwhile, I continued to pump out a lot of articles each week on technology, and even in those early days I noticed that Google was driving me more and more page views every month to those articles. Since my blogs’ beginning, my writing team and I have averaged around a 1,000 regular blog articles a year, plus another 200 to 300 interviews from tradeshows, and of course my 100 or so podcast episodes annually.

Today, Google drives 40,000 to 50,000 page views a day to my site. On each and every page of the 15,000 articles on my website there is a big, fat and juicy iOS and Android Subscribe button, and a portion of those daily visitors subscribe to the show. While not all of them stay subscribed, a portion does. That adds up to a lot of new listeners each and every month.

Let’s do a little math. Let’s use a baseline of 20,000 page views. As we know, daily bloggers can get to 20,000 Google Search views in a couple of years. Twenty-thousand page views x 30 days = 600,000 page views. So let’s say that .0025 percent of those visitors subscribed — that’s 1,500 new subscribers. Let’s assume 50 percent do not stay subscribed — that is still potentially 750 new listeners each month or 9,000 new listeners each year. I will tell you my percentages are better than .0025

I will also tell you I have never been in New and Noteworthy, but what I do have is a sponsor that recently celebrated 10 years of continuous sponsorship of my show. The question people ask all the time is how I did that. With new subscribers coming in each month, they help keep my new customer conversions at record levels.

For those of you not worried about new and noteworthy and/or your show rank in iTunes, you have an exceptional opportunity to grow your audience in the long haul by supplementing your podcast content with a written blog post.

Of course some of you need a blog, a platform and your own domain name to do this. For those of you that have your podcasts hosted on a third-party podcast site that is driving your SEO to the gutter because of the other sites on that service, maybe it is time to reconsider your strategy on building your show.

We all know building audiences is not easy, but the pay off can be big. For the first five years, I grinded out all the articles myself. As my show grew and revenue grew I was able in five years to afford to pay writers who I trusted to write for my site. Ninety-percent of the writers on my site today came from my audience.

I still write a handful of articles each month. The Google traffic value from the 15,000 articles on my website and the ongoing new articles weekly drives an incredible amount of new eyeballs to my very visible podcast subscribe link.

Every article on my site is original, no sponsored post, and/or ghost writers. Google and the rest of the search engines love original content. With more than 2,000 interviews on the site, I also have great page rank from those corporate luminaries I have interviewed who have linked to my site from theirs.

Writing one or two articles a week is probably not going to help you. You need to put up a meaningful blog post every single day, except show days. It’s a grind, but it is one of many strategies I use to build audience. Oh, and for all those folks that say blogging is dead, they can just keep thinking that.

If you want to see that strategy in action visit my personal site @ GeekNewsCentral.com


One Click – Subscribe on Android Update



The team at RawVoice / Blubrry are making progress headway in their One Click – Subscribe on Android brand agnostic initiative to fix the challenges with subscribing to a podcast on Android.

PowerPress – Implementing
Podcast Addict Ver 3.0- Implementing
Beyond Pod – Implementing
Podcast Republic – Implemented and Released
Podkicker Pro – Implementing
Podcatcher Deluxe – Implemented and Released
PlayerFM – Implementing
Spreaker – Implementing
Blubrry – Implelmenting

If your Android Podcatcher or site you work with is not on the list, you should ask  them to review the developers page on the SubscribeOnAndroid.com website and support the initiative.


It’s Time to Grow Your Podcast Audience with Android



Let’s talk about the Android platform in our digital space. If you want to double, triple or quadruple your audience, you need to be paying attention to the hundreds of millions of Android users that are waiting to be your next listeners.

In October 2004 when I recorded my first podcast, there were only a small number of devices with which to sync a podcast. Mobile devices only had rudimentary Internet connectivity. The iPod was new and the iPhone was still three years away. Yet in July of 2005, Apple had the foresight to build podcasting into iTunes.

This was great! We could sync our podcast content by hooking up a cable; iTunes would load our subscribed podcast to the iPod. We podcasters thought at the time that we had gained mainstream acceptance. But in July of 2005, independent innovation largely stopped, and over time, podcast directories were largely abandoned. The introduction of the iPhone in 2007 changed the world and caused the already Mac-heavy creation community to largely ignore everything but iOS.

Ten years later Apple still dominates the podcasting audience share, which is great for Apple but handicaps content creators looking to build their podcast audiences because other devices are largely ignored.

The Apple podcasting team has done a great job of promoting podcasts and highlighting popular shows by featuring them. Yet, podcasters crave — and need to — be featured in new and noteworthy mediums. Had independent innovation not slacked off in July 2005 and subsequently died, the landscape would be much different.

Many potential listeners out there do not own an iOS device. Many have an Android device or two and/or a Windows Phone. For now, let’s focus on Android: In our latest release of PowerPress, we have helped podcasters kick start audience growth on the Android by adding the ability to create a subscribe page. You can read about it here. On the page, we include the links for iOS as well free Android app recommendations and instructions on how to subscribe to the show.

So why am I harping on Android? Well Angelo Mandato, RawVoice CIO and the man behind PowerPress and our Podcasting Stats platform, sat down with his analysis tools and some statistical spreadsheets to plot out some potentials:

With Android doing dismally in Podcast Audience Share (10 percent to 12 percent) it is obvious that there is huge potential for audience growth. According to IDC, Android dominates with 84.4 percent of the worldwide smartphone market share. The U.S.-based market share is likely closer to 50 percent. With Android listeners only making up a small portion of the overall listener pool, content creators could easily double the number of listeners from the Android platform.

With that many prospective listeners out there and most shows only expecting incremental Apple listener growth, we all have to focus on building the Android listener base. By providing uniform subscription instructions via the PowerPress subscribe page and subscribe sidebar widget. The tens of thousands of PowerPress users can help move the bar as a collective. My No. 1 goal this year is to help podcasters gain Android market share.

On a side note, having just completed my team’s annual winter retreat, and actually putting the final touches on this piece at the United Lounge at O’Hare, I can say the roadmap for 2015 is going to be incredible, and I cannot wait to share with you what’s coming.

Meanwhile, go get those Android listeners.

Todd


IAB Podcasting Committee



In the middle of November, RawVoice joined the Interactive Advertising Bureau, aka IAB.net. We had a couple of reasons to join but there was one pervading reason: The formation of a podcast standards committee.

We wanted to make sure that we and the tens of thousands of podcasters and companies we represent have a voice in the proceedings. The initial document that the IAB is working on is a white paper on the state of the podcasting space that will include common terms, definitions and will detail where the space is today in regards to advertising and the technologies used.

The committee will work on podcast advertising standards that — when published — will have far reaching effects for the community. While this standards document will take some time, when completed there will be a large variety of standards that will include measurement rules, validation requirements, ad units and their definitions akin to what print, broadcast and digital have today.

We foresee podcast statistics systems such as my company as having validation and certification processes. The insights we gain from the committee will benefit all shows using out services.

Having everyone play from a single playbook of rules and standards is important to the industry, as well as ensuring that the podcast media is being measured accurately. All of this will make it easier for the media buyers to buy podcast advertising.

If you do not know who the IAB is, I encourage you to read about them at their website, as it details the breadth of the trade group and their objectives.

As part of the podcast standards committee, we will work to secure transparency for the media creators. The members of the IAB are largely corporations and we want to make sure the voice of the media creator is not lost. Once we get our head wrapped around the process, our goal is to provide feedback to our customers and give them some time to provide input into the process.

This is a pretty big deal: When I first checked there were 32 people working on the committee / document from a wide swath of companies that all have some skin in the game when it comes to podcasting. We’re looking out for the media creators’ interests, after all we’re media creators ourselves.

Todd Cochrane
CEO RawVoice
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