Category Archives: Podcast News

SquadCast Introduces SquadCast v2

SquadCast LogoPodcast recording platform, SquadCast, has launched its second version – SquadCast v2. It is designed to empower podcasters and their guests to record high-quality remote interviews that listeners love.

With the popularity of podcasts blowing up all over the world, audio quality has never been more important to podcasters and listeners. Poor audio quality can distract and reduce credibility. SquadCast provides a quality-first remote interview platform that is designed to capture conversations that sound like they were recorded in the same room.

SquadCast has launched the second version of their podcast recording platform. The update includes:

  • Recording high-quality audio for professional podcasters and their guests
  • Mobile and Cross Browser support
  • Flexible pricing with Hourly & Monthly options

More information can be found here.

Podcast guests are remote and mobile. The new SquadCast is launching with full support for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Brave on Desktop and Mobile on Android.

Remastered recording experience. The new SquadCast has been completely redesigned for Mobile and Desktop. The new SquadCast removes all friction from connecting hosts and guests with a redesigned joining experience that reduces six clicks down to one. The new SquadCast features both light and dark modes, emoji, gifs, and maps to add some fun and aid in communication,

The first version of the platform was released in January 2019. After the version two release in July, they will be adding a video recording feature in Q4 2019. In Early 2020, they will release a Network experience for teams with multiple podcasts.

The feedback from podcasters, guests, and listeners are very positive. One online review reads, “I love SquadCast. I show up, hit record, conduct my interview, and leave with great audio that makes editing easy and fun. “ – Liz Covart, Host of Ben Franklin’s World.

The goal of the platform is to empower podcasters to record remote interviews by delivering a simple, reliable, and high-quality experience, designed to always capture your conversations listeners love.

iHeartMedia has been Approved for Listing on NASDAQ

iHeartMedia announced that its Class A common stock has been approved for listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. Upon listing, iHeartMedia’s Class A common stock will trade under the ticker “IHRT”.

As previously announced, iHeart had been evaluating all paths to achieve a listing of its Class A common stock on a recognized U.S. stock exchange following emergence from its restructuring process. iHeartMedia has determined that a listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market is the optimal strategy for iHeartMedia and all of the company’s stakeholders.

As a result, the Company has requested the withdrawal of its previously filed registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. iHeartMedia’s management team met with investors the week of July 15 in advance of a listing date of July 18, 2019.

“This is an exciting time for our company and an important step in the evolution of iHeartMedia. Our listing on the NASDAQ will provide greater liquidity for existing shareholders, allow us to diversify our investor base, and give us improved access to public capital markets in the future,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of iHeartMedia, Inc.

The New York Times Seeks a Head of Audio Product

The New York Times is seeking a Head of Audio Product to lead the development of all NYT listening experiences. The position is based in New York, New York.

We are looking for an entrepreneurial leader with a strong sense of what makes products great to outline a strategy for elevating our slate of audio programming – from shows like The Daily and Still Processing to specials like Calphate and more to come – wherever they are listened to, and to help answer the question: what should I listen to right now?

The person will develop a vision for how NYT can drive listening habits that are additive to what it means to build a relationship with The Times. He or she will set high-level goals that align with business objectives, identify products/features that drive those objectives, and be responsible for delivering work from a cross-functional team.

Requirements include:

  • Minimum of 5 years product experience with multimedia, consumer, and/or subscription products
  • Experience in zero-to-one product development entrepreneurial environments, creating something brand new.
  • Experience with a love for working on cross-functional teams with multiple stakeholders, and steering engineering, design, and editorial partners to focus on the most impactful work
  • Ability to balance strategic thinking with the nuts and bolts of getting features out the door
  • A passion for audio and The New York Times’ mission
  • and more

Those who are interested in the Head of Audio Position can apply on The New York Times’ website about this job. There, you can find information about what you’ll do as well as the benefits and perks that come with the position.

Discovery Channel Sponsors Clear + Vivid with Alan Alda

Discovery Channel and Alan Alda are teaming up on a new partnership that will further both of their missions to advance science communication. As part of the deal, Discovery will become the presenting sponsor of Alda’s popular podcast, Clear + Vivid, as well as a pipeline for science communication training in concert with the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University.

The Clear + Vivid with Alan Alda podcast explores, with depth and humor, the way we relate and communicate with one another. The podcast, which is celebrating its 1-year anniversary, has conducted interviews with over 50 leading influencers from the worlds of entertainment, science, business, music, academia, literature, and politics.

Recent guests have included Secretary of State Madeline Albright, Carol Burnett, Adam Driver, Tina Fey, Sarah Silverman, Cheryl Strayed, Renée Fleming, Judge Judy, the cast of M*A*S*H, and more.

Clear + Vivid with Alan Alda debuted on July 10, 2018, and has amassed nearly 5-million downloads. The podcast, now in its 4th season, has new episodes available every Tuesday. The podcast is independently owned and operated by the Alda Communication Training Company, LLC (ACT).

All of the profits from ACT, including the advertising from the podcast, go to Stony Brook University’s Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, which empowers scientists and medical professionals to communicate their work effectively to a variety of audiences. These profits help support further research and innovation in the field of science communication.

Season 5 of Clear + Vivid with Alan Alda launches in August 2019, and will include a number of well-known luminaries; including Melinda Gates, Robert Sapolsky, Brené Brown, Brian Greene, Laura Brown, and many more.

Stitcher and Wondery Join Forces on Podfront

Podcast Leaders Stitcher and Wondery are joining forces to provide advertisers and brands in the United Kingdom with the ability to buy premium advertising inventory locally and globally into a top-tier roster of podcast shows.

The joint venture, Podfront UK, represents the first time advertisers in the U.K. have the opportunity to directly access a large catalog of household-name podcasts from Wondery and Stitcher.

Podfront UK will open a new path for podcasters to monetize their shows within the U.K. marketplace and will source high-quality podcasts and talent out of the U.K. For a growing international audience. This level of investment marks a pivotal growth moment in podcasts, bridging global content brands.

According to Stitcher’s sales organization, Midroll, the U.K. ranks third in listening across the company’s network of more than 250 podcasts, with listeners tuning in to shows like Freakomomics, WTF with Marc Maron, and Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations. Blockbuster hits from Wondery include Dirty John, and Dr. Death, are also making waves overseas with millions of listeners tuning in from the U.K.

Podfront will be led by podcast veteran Ruth Fitzsimons, who comes to Podfront UK from London-based Audioboom, where she was senior vice president of international Indian and Australian operations. In her new role as managing director of Podfront, Fitzsimons will build a sales, content and marketing team tasked with growing the Stitcher and Wondery networks by monetizing existing listening in the U.K., bringing U.K.-based brands to the U.S. market and expanding to European countries where there is demand.

Blubrry Partners with Stagepass

Blubrry Podcasting, one of the largest podcast hosting companies globally, announced that it is partnering with an Austin, Texas-based company Stagepass to expand monetization options for its users. This move will allow users to increase the ways in which they make income for their shows.

Blubrry, which supports over 100 thousand podcasters and shows, currently has a vast array of services including affiliate, advertising – dynamic advertising insertion – and survey monetization options among its offerings, and can help to provide financial self-sufficiency for its users.

Stagepass is a marketplace for hosts (creatives) to list experiences for auction to their audiences. Experiences on Stagepass are constructed by the creative that auctions them and can be in-person, online, or over the phone.

Experiences listed at Stagepass appeal to audience members who seek deeper engagement with the creatives whose media they consume. The partnership provides Blubrry users an early-mover advantage in a nascent industry.

“We’re excited to be the first podcast hosting company to partner with Stagepass and jump in with a refreshing new take on monetization,” said MacKenzie Bennett, Marketing Service Coordinator, Blubrry. “Now, more than ever, podcasters need to take risks and think outside the box to impress their audience.”

Learn more about the partnership and how you can get started here.

Neilsen Launches Podcast Listener Buying Power Service

Nielsen announced the launch of the Neilsen, Podcast Listener Buying Power Service from Nielsen Scarborough, with iHeartMedia, Cadence13, Midroll-Stitcher’s advertising arm, Westwood One and cabana as charter clients. For the first time, clients will be able to profile shows using program titles collected from Neilson Scarborough to connect specific types of listeners with particular advertisers and specific program-level insights.

In other words, this is the Nielsen for podcasting, which will function similarly to how that system has been used with television shows.

Only Nielsen, with its extensive Scarborough category database has this type of advertiser connection with podcasting. Neilsen Podcast Listener Buying Power Service has an effective sample of close to 30,000 respondents, with the ability to capture results for specific programs.

It also uses target questions on podcast listening with more than 12 podcast genres, over 2,000 retail/plan-to-buy categories and hundreds of advertisers with specific brand names such as insurance companies, automotive, quick service restaurants, home improvement retailers and more. These easy-to-use reports are generated from web-based software and have a two time per year database.

“We are pleased to welcome iHeartMedia, Cadence13, Midroll, Westwood One and cabana as the first charter clients to Nielsen’s Podcast Listener Buying Power Service,” said Brad Kelly, Managing Director, Nielsen Audio.

“As the audio landscape continues to evolve, podcasting is winning the attention of American consumers as another powerful tool in audio’s arsenal. We are proud to empower these visionary clients with the insights that will propel them forward as they continue to lead the way in our industry. This groundbreaking service is growing podcasting beyond direct response by profiling specific brands, leading the way into the future of podcasting.”

Podimo Raises Seed Money Before Launch

Podimo is a Copenhagen-based startup that is building Europe’s “Netflix for podcasts”. The company has raised €6 million in seed funding prior to launch. According to TechCrunch, this round is co-led by Germany’s and Denmark’s Heartcore, reflecting Podimo’s two planned country launches later this year.

Podimo has some information on their website, including a way for people to be notified when the platform launches in their area. Podimo also describes itself as “built for podcasters” and appears to be seeking podcasters who want to put their show on Podimo’s platform.

Podimo is introducing a compensation model that rewards all podcasters for their work – whether it’s a niche podcast with a handful of dedicated listeners, or a well-known show with a massive following. The number of listeners you have and how much time they spend listening determines how much you earn – it’s as simple as that.

TechCrunch reported that Podimo is hoping to capitalize on the rise in consumption in podcasts. They plan on having both a free and paid version of its product with the aim of creating a reliable revenue stream for podcast producers.

The Podimo app will provide users with a way to discover podcasts as well as a recommendation compared to existing podcast streaming and download services. The team at Podimo wants to make it as easy as possible for people to find their next podcast to listen to.

To me, it sounds like Podimo is interested in providing podcasters with a way to monetize their podcasts. The company has obtained some seed money, which could be used (at least in part) on payment for podcasters. I think they are going in the right direction.

But I would feel better if Podimo provided more details about how podcasters will be paid, in what form of currency, and the process involved to receive a payment. Perhaps those details will be provided after Podimo launches.

Tim Ferriss Stopped his Fan-Supported Podcast Experiment

Tim Ferriss, host of The Tim Ferriss Show, announced that he was stopping his fan-supported podcast experiment. The experiment launched last month, and involved removing all ads and sponsors from his podcast, in favor of having fans provide support for the show through subscriptions.

In the post, Tim Ferriss made it clear he was stopping the fan-supported podcast experiment. He said he would be refunding every supporter 100% of what they’ve paid to date. Doing this will take 1-2 weeks. All support subscriptions have been stopped. He asked fans who thought their company/product/service would be a good fit for the podcast to consider becoming a sponsor.

It turns out that most of my listeners have a strong preference for an ad-supported model compared to other options. Many folks have come to use the podcast and 5-Bullet Friday for discovering new products and services, and that has been reflected in the comments since launch. After weeks of consistent feedback from my audience, it’s now loud and clear that my vetting and sharing of sponsors is better received and a better fit.

The blog post includes some information about comments he received about fan-supported podcast experiment and the result of a pre-polling launch. He found that 99% of his listeners “are totally OK with ads, and many of them look forward to finding new products and services through my sponsor feeds.”

Tim Ferriss points out that he “should have known” what the outcome would be before he launched the experiment.

I find this interesting, because I would have guessed that fans of a podcast would prefer to go ad-free in exchange for a subscription. After all, that’s not so different a model than what many podcasters use Patreon for. It turns out Tim Ferriss’s fans prefer the ads and sponsors that he has selected to a subscription system.