All posts by Jen Thorpe

TexasPodCon will be in San Antonio



TexasPodCon will hold its first annual event in San Antonio, Texas, on October 25-26, 2019. It is for those who want to add a podcast to their marketing schedule, those interested in learning recording secrets to improve the quality of their production, and who wonder how a podcast can increase their recognition.

The podcasting industry is on the rise and TexasPodCon is amped to share best practices and insider tips that will elevate your podcast and keep your audience listening. From open forums to hands-on demonstrations, we’re excited to break down the barrier to entry in this rising field. Whether you’re a business, solopreneur, agency, or sound enthusiast, we invite you to join us for the first annual Texas Podcasting Conference.

Featured Speakers include:

Gary Leland (Entrepreneur – Crypto Podcaster.Network) recorded his first podcast in 2004, and became known for his Podcast Pickle website in 2005. Podcast Pickle was one of the first directories and user forums dedicated to the growth of podcasting. It was listed in Time Magazine as one of the “50 Coolest Websites” in 2006. In 2014, Gary Leland co-founded The Podcast Movement Conference. In 2015, he co-founded Podcast Dallas. In 2016, Gary Leland was inducted into the Academy of Podcasters Hall of Fame.

Jennifer Navarette (National Podcast Post Month Founder – Brewing Media, Podcaster) began podcasting in 2005. Whether she’s founding an annual podcasting movement like National Podcast Post Month (NaPodPoMo), leading communities (San Antonio Podcasters, Social Media Club, Social Media Breakfast), or training agencies and individuals through her company Brewing Media, Jennifer educates and empowers YOU to tell your story through podcasting.

Melissa Monte (Speaker & Podcast Host – Mind Love) is host of the popular Mind Love. As an entrepreneur and former VP of Marketing, Melissa has applied her strategic mindset to achieve explosive growth. Her show reached #11 in the iTunes Charts. Forbes named her show the #1 Podcast for your Life and Career. She’s been invited to share the stage with top influencers in podcasting like Pat Flynn and Jordan Harbinger.

Todd Cochrane (CEO – RawVoice/Blubrry) founded the Tech Podcast Network in 2004. His personal tech show Geek News Central has been produced twice weekly since October 2004, and he is also the co-host of the New Media Show. He is the founder of the People’s Choice Podcast Awards, and was inducted into the Podcast Hall of Fame in 2016. RawVoice/Blubrry is a podcast media company that represents 75,000 audio and video podcasters in which his company provides advertising opportunities, media distribution/hosting, podcast media statistics, and other services.

Visit the TexasPodCom website to learn more about additional speakers, the agenda for the conference and the sessions it will offer, and more about the venue the conference will be held in. Tickets are still available.


True Crime Podcaster Threatens Legal Action Against Rival



True Crime podcasts have become very popular. Most of the time, the drama is within the story that a particular episode is telling. This time, the drama involves a legal issue between two hosts of two separate True Crime podcasts.

Mike Boudet’s Sword and Scale podcast was once on Wondery, who chose to part ways with Mike Boudet earlier this year. According to Mike Boudet’s website, he returned as host of Sword and Scale in July of 2019. Obscura, hosted by Justin Drown, can be listened to on Himalaya (and other places).

The Tampa Bay Times posted an article featuring Justin Drown in July of 2019. A small portion of the article briefly mentions that Justin Drown “has sparred publicly and privately with South Florida’s Mike Boudet”.

In late August of this year, The Verge posted an article that noted that Obscura had been “inundated with hundreds of one-star reviews on Apple Podcasts.” In the article, the Tampa Bay Times profile on Justin Drown was mentioned. An allegation was made.

This might have pushed Boudet to retaliate in “an attempt to decimate my podcast,” Drown says. He posits that Boudet could have hired an automated service to bombard his show with one-star reviews. Boudet didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The Verge posted a follow up article on September 3, 2019, in which it is reported that Mike Boudet “is threatening legal action against another true crime podcast who claimed Boudet bombarded him with one-star reviews on Apple Podcasts.”

There is a cease and desist letter posted on Scribd, which was posted by Ashley Carman, the writer of both of the articles I mentioned that are on The Verge. The letter is from Lewis & Lin LLC, and is to Justin Drown.

The letter includes the following demands:

  • That Justin Drown “retract all defamatory statements within three (3) days and that you immediately cease and desist from any further such publication” (regarding “review bombing”)
  •  That Justin Drown “contact Verge to have them delete the paragraph from their article”
  • That Justin Drown “remove the posts from your personal and professional Twitter accounts to the Verge article and post a statement on your personal and professional Twitter account”. The letter includes wording that they demand Justin Drown post.

While it is possible for Justin Drown to ask The Verge to remove a paragraph from an article, but he has no control over whether or not The Verge chooses to do so. As far as I can tell, this is where things stand. The drama is obviously not over. One potential outcome would bring the term “review bombing” into a courtroom.


Himalaya Media May Have Misrepresented its Venture Funding



Himalaya Media is a platform for podcasters to create podcasts, connect, and share content with their fans. It appears that the company may have misrepresented the amount of money it received in venture capital funding.

In February of this year, Himalaya Media set out a press release that is still viewable on PodNews, but may have been taken down from other sources. Part of that press release said:

The San Francisco based startup has raised $100M from General Atlantic, SIG and Ximalaya FM and will use this to support the tech innovation, marketing, and content production and acquisition that are driving this launch.

Axios recently reported that Himalaya Media “…didn’t really have that much money in hand, nor were all the stated investors actually on board.”

Axios stated that General Atlantic never invested in Himalaya Media (according to a General Atlantic spokesperson). Instead, General Atlantic had previously invested an undisclosed amount in Ximalaya FM, which is an established Chinese podcasting platform. In its original press release, Himalaya Media listed Ximalaya FM among the companies it received VC funding from.

Interestingly, as Axios noted, Peter Vincer, Himalaya’s original head of partnerships and marketing said that Ximalaya FM is Himalaya Media’s majority owner. This was not mentioned in the press release that Himalaya sent out in February.

Axios was able to speak with Himalaya CEO Yu Wang who said the he removed the press release because “some of the language… was a little bit confusing”. Yu Wang also told Axios that the $100 million was a three-year commitment which mostly came from Ximalaya FM, and that Himalaya Media had only received around $10 million.

This is a mess! I’m not actually surprised by the obfuscation that it appears Himalaya Media has engaged in, though. Himalaya asks podcasters to “claim your show”, which is never a good sign.

It means that Himalaya Media has gone ahead and put a bunch of podcasts onto its platform without asking for permission from the creators of those podcasts. Put all of this together, and it makes me very hesitant to trust Himalaya Media.


Podtrac Announced it is IAB Compliant



Podtrac announced that the IAB Tech Lab officially verified Podtrac’s podcast measurement system as compliant with the IAB Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines Version 2.0.

Podtrac provides the industry with the first podcast audience counts through a redirect that are verified as compliant with the Version 2.0 guidelines across any podcast publisher to easily access verified counts for their podcast.

Podtrac’s Version 2.0 guidelines-compliant analytics apply to all podcast download and unique monthly audience counts provided by Podtrac to publishers in their Podtrac Measurement Dashboard and to the industry at large via Podtrac’s Industry Rankings, which provides a ranking of podcasts across all podcast listening sources by unique US monthly audience.

The IAB Podcast Working Group, comprised of more than 40 member companies, including podcast publishers and hosting companies, developed the IAB Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines Version 1.0 published in 2016 and Version 2.0 guidelines published in 2017. The IAB Tech Lab’s Podcast Measurement Compliance Program is an opt-in initiative, and includes a rigorous audit of systems and technologies used to produce counts consistent with the guidelines.

Since 2005, Podtrac has proactively updated its analysis algorithms based on changes to podcast download behaviors and technologies. Podtrac measures over a billion downloads a month across tens of thousands of podcasts including the most popular publishers and podcasts.


Libsyn is IAB V2 Certified



Liberated Syndication (Libsyn) announced that the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Tech Lab has officially certified the Libsyn podcast statistic metrics.

The IAB Tech Lab Compliance Program ensures adherence and compliance with the IAB Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines V2 for reporting podcast downloads, impressions, and listeners. These guidelines establish a common set of metrics for podcast measurement and a base set of principals for the industry to adhere to.

Podcast advertising has faced challenges due to a lack of uniformity in measurement systems and metrics. Meaningful industry-wide measurement has been difficult to achieve due to an inability to connect, track, and analyze user requests; measurement processes that use dissimilar, proprietary algorithms; and a lack of agreed-upon set of metrics and their definitions. With the Podcast Measurement Compliance Program, the IAB Tech Lab seeks to ensure these common challenges are addressed.

“While we had updated our statistical analytics in late 2017 to best match up with these guidelines, we felt it was important to be officially certified as compliant with the IAB V2 guidelines,” said Rob Walch, VP of Podcaster Relations. “As we enter the 2020 yearly advertising buying season, this official certification will give advertisers the reassurance and confidence in our numbers that they need to place orders with Libsyn hosted podcasts.”


Veritone One Launches Influencer Bridge



Veritone One, one of the world’s largest full-service performance-based audio advertising and media agencies, announced the launch of Influencer Bridge, the first of a series of innovative new advertising services. Influencer Bridge is a pay-per-performance advertising platform for influential audio and video content creators on today’s top media channels like podcasts, YouTube and Instagram.

The platform gives podcast influencers (who make their content available through Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other leading applications), YouTube vloggers, Instagram influences and bloggers with unrivaled access and control in monetizing their content, no matter how large or small their follower base.

Influencers have curated ardent audiences, across a variety of platforms, that are drawn to and trust them to provide advice, insight and recommendations, Influencer Bridge enables today’s content creators to earn money through sponsored content opportunities, allowing them to focus on creating new content for their audiences.

To begin using Influencer Bridge, influencers simply log on to the platform and authenticate their channels. Once this occurs, influencers can select which advertisers they would like to work with and can get to work creating relevant content for their audiences. Influencers earn money once a transaction takes place that is directly correlated to an influencer’s action – for instance, when a follower uses the influencer’s unique promotional code to purchase the advertised product or service.

Influencer Bridge will leverage Veritone aiWARE to listen, watch and understand the content of each podcast episode and YouTube video included in the Influencer Bridge program. This analysis is conducted to help identify new contextually relevant advertising opportunities for premier brands based on the subject matter presented, as well as to provide insights for brand safety and content transparency. Veritone’s powerful aiWARE platform is already being used by over 800 leading TV and radio broadcasts for ad verification, attribution, and ad performance analytics.

The Influencer Bridge service is available immediately, free of charge for content creators. Advertisers pay based on performance measured in actual transactions from specific ads.


London Podcast Festival Launches Audio Fiction Cluster



London Podcast Festival is taking place from the 6th to the 15th September at King’s Place in London. The event is the British Isles’ biggest podcast festival, and one of the largest in Europe – with last year’s LPF attracting over 18,000 visitors from all over the world.

Every year, Martin Zaltz Austwick (of successful podcasts Answer Me This! and the award-winning Song by Song) organizes the Podcast Maker’s Weekend. This is a weekend of events intended to help people break into podcasting: from making their first to show professionalizing their operation. This year, for the first time, the Maker’s Weekend includes and Audio Fiction Cluster.

Organized by a team of volunteers, including Elizabeth Campbell (of Wooden Overcoats and Victoriocity) and Ella Watts (of The Orphans and The Unseen Hour), the Maker’s Weekend takes place at the end of London Podcast Festival on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th September. The entire event is held at King’s Place, and consists of a series of workshops, talks and panels.

This year’s audio fiction cluster will involve two workshops on sound design and production – one from co-producer of Wooden Overcoats Andy Goddard, intended as a basic introduction to the process, and one by legendary sound designer John Dryden, of Tunambay, The MessageLifeAfter and the upcoming Passenger List staring Kelly Marie Tran. Dryden will be doing an intimate talk on sound designing imaginary worlds, for which there are only fifteen tickets available.

Since audio fiction podcasts are made in a wide variety of ways, the Maker’s Weekend Audio Fiction panel with Hedley Knights (We Fix Space Junk, Audible), David Devereux (Tin Can Audio, Rusty Quill), and Meghan Fitzmartin (Red Rhino, The AM Archives) will cover a range of topics – from remote recording to directing an ensemble cast in studio. And because audio fiction does not only concern drama, there will be a workshop on actual-play podcasts from Maxamillian John (Definitely Human, The Infinite Bad) and Elle Sparrow (Flintlocks and Fireballs).


ART19 Offers Listener-Focused Targeted Ads



ART19 announced that its targeted podcast marketplace now includes more than 200 series, from publishers like Headgum, Macmillan, Kast Media, The Paragon Collective, and Techmeme / Ride Home Media. These listener-focused targeted ads will appear across 200 podcasts.

“Our best-in-class deterministic targeting means that ad buyers can craft personalized messages on a listener-by-listener basis,” said ART19’s Chief Revenue Officer Lex Friedman. “We’re bringing the smarts and effectiveness of digital advertising to podcasts.”

Initially focused exclusively on hosting and dynamic ad insertion technology for enterprise publishers, ART19 expanded its focus to include providing direct monetization for its hosting customers earlier this year, with the hiring of Chief Operating Officer Korri Kolesa and Friedman, both formerly of Stitcher/Midroll.

“Headgum is pleased to be a launch partner in ART19’s targeted marketplace,” said Headgum Co-Founder Marty Michael. “Working with a company that loves podcasts and values listener happiness is really important to us, and no one understands how targeted ads can live alongside live reads better than ART19.”

Currently by invitation-only, ART19’s targeted podcast marketplace matches advertisers with podcasts on a listener-by-listener basis, serving millions of impressions each month, using ART19’s Smart Audiences technology. Both brand and direct response advertisers have seen early success since ART19’s marketplace officially launched in April.


Glow Raised $2.3 Million in Seed Financing



Glow Technologies wants to make it easy for your fans to pay for your podcasts. It was built by content creators and fans who saw first-hand how difficult it was to build a business off of creating great content, and they decided to do something about it.

Variety reported that Glow raised $2.3 Million in seed financing from from backers including venture-capital firm Greycroft, rap artist Nas and Jeffery Katzenberg’s WndrCo investment company.

According to Variety, Greycroft led the round with participation from WndrCo, Norwest Venture Partners, PSL Ventures, and Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. Angel investors in the round included Nas and Electronic Arts CTO Ken Moss.

Glow offers a website for your podcast that lets people pay you and listen in any podcast app. Your Glow page is a custom marketing webpage which you can design to match your brand. Place your Glow Page URL in your Episode Notes, on your website, in social media, or wherever else you like.

Listeners to your podcast can sign up for recurring subscriptions or send one-time payments through your Glow Page without leaving their favorite podcast streaming apps. Payments are quick and easy with Apple Pay and Google Pay, or directly through Stripe. Listeners can also pay with credit, debit, or prepaid cards.

There are three options for podcasters who want to join Glow. One is a Landing Page, which, at the time I am writing this blog post, is listed as “Coming Soon”. It is free, and features a Glow Page. Those who are interested in this can join a Waitlist.

Listener Support
You get a Glow Page and the ability to ask listener to support your existing show (Payment).
There is a 12% transaction fee.
For a $5 transaction:
$4.40 goes to you
$0.45 is Card Fees (2.9% + $0.30)
$0.15 Glow keeps 3%

Paid Content
Allow listeners to pay for bonus content, episode archives, or an ad-free version of your show.
You get a Glow Page, Payment, and Private Feed
There is a 20% transaction fee.
For a $5 transaction:
$4.00 goes to you
$0.45 is Card fees (2.9% + $0.30)
$0.55 Glow Keeps 11%

Variety reported that over 100 podcasts have begun to use Glow, including Twenty Thousand Hertz, Techmeme Ride Home, and The Newsworthy.