Category Archives: Podcast News

Skype Extends Support for Skype 7 for “Some Time”

As you may recall, Skype announced in July of 2018 that they were rolling out an updated version of Skype for desktop. It was intended to replace Skype version 7, which is also called Classic Skype. It turns out that Microsoft has decided to extend support for Skype 7 for “some time”.

Skype 8 had a bunch of new features added to in, including call recording – something very important for podcasters who use Skype for their shows. The feature would enable podcasters to record a show through Skype without having to use third-party recording software.

When Skype announced the rollout of Skype 8, they said that only Skype version 8.0 would work after September 1, 2018. This gave users the opportunity to update their version of Skype and try it out. It appears that many Skype users were dissatisfied with Skype 8.0, and wanted Skype 7.0 back.

On August 6, 2018, Microsoft Agent Forum Owner Babs replied to a post left on the Microsoft website. The post was titled: “Skype 7 (Skype classic) to be discontinued soon.” The post included a link to the blog post about the roll out of Skype 8.

Microsoft Agent Forum Owner Babs posted the following update:

Based on customer feedback, we are extending support for Skype 7 (Skype classic) for some time. Our customers can continue to use Skype classic until then. Thanks for all your comments – we are listening. Watch this space.

I’ve searched the forum, looking for updates, but haven’t seen any. There doesn’t appear to be any specific information about how long Skype 7 will remain available. But for now, if prefer Skype 7 to Skype 8, you can still use it for your podcast. Hang on to your third-party recording software for a while.

Anchor Introduced Listener Support

Anchor has introduced Anchor Listener Support. It is Anchor’s system that is intended to allow podcasters, whose podcasts are on Anchor, to monetize their content.

Starting today, any podcaster, regardless of audience size or experience level, can collect recurring monthly payments directly from their listeners. There’s never been an easier way to start generating revenue from your podcast.

Anchor Listener Support feature can be accessed by any Anchor creator in the United States. It can be activated from your Anchor dashboard (on desktop and on mobile). This adds a Listener Support button to your public Anchor profile along with a link in your show notes on every app or website where your podcast is available. Listeners can support you from anywhere, even if they don’t have an Anchor account.

Anchor recommends that podcasters ask their listeners to support them in the audio of their podcast episodes.

When a listener clicks through those links, they will be presented with the option to make recurring, automatic monthly payments to support your podcast. They can choose from one of three support tiers: $0.99, $4.99, or $9.99.

The listener will need to enter their payment information, and their charge will be processed by Stripe. Listeners who are on an iOS device, or a Mac with a Touch Bar, can pay with Apple Pay. On Android or in any Chrome browser, they can pay with Google Pay.

Anchor says that when podcasters are ready to collect their money, they can tap the Cash Out button in their Anchor dashboard. Anchor says they will send the money right away.

Anchor will take a 4.5% fee, alongside Stripe’s 5% + $0.10 processing fee from each translation with a podcaster’s supporters. There is also a $0.25 Stripe payout fee when you cash out the money to your bank account.

The ability for a podcaster to get paid through Anchor Listener Support, of course, depends mostly on whether or not the podcaster has listeners who want to use this system to support that podcaster.

As with other systems that pay creators (such as Patreon or Medium) there’s always a chance that you could end up with few or no supporters. It may work for you – but is definitely not a “quit your day job” type of situation.

Podcasters Should Take Control of their RSS Feeds

Who has control of your podcast’s RSS feed? Blubrry posted an informative blog about why it is so important for podcasters to own their RSS feed. Losing control of it can result in big problems.

In the early days of podcasting, podcasters promoted their shows by pointing people towards their show’s RSS feed. It was located on their website, and looked something like: Listeners would come to a podcaster’s website to listen to and download episodes.

Over time, things changed. Today, podcaster are found on Apple Podcasts or Google Play. Listeners generally go their first instead of directly to the podcaster’s page. In addition, there are some podcasting hosting companies and services that take control over the RSS feeds of the podcasts that are using their service. This situation is often presented to new podcasters as an easy way to get started.

However, there are problems that can happen when a podcaster does not have control of their RSS feed. For example, it is possible for Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and other places where people find podcasts to one day decide to remove your content. If that happens to you, the thing that will save your content from disappearing from the internet is its RSS feed that is on your own website.

Another reason that podcasters should take control of their RSS feeds is because it is entirely possible that the service you have placed it on could one day disappear. Such is the case of Mevio. In September of 2005, it acquired Podcast Alley, which was a place where podcasters could host their podcasts for free.

In 2014, Mevio abruptly closed down their service. There were a lot of podcasters who were frantically trying to move their shows somewhere else – and others who missed the deadline and lost everything. I remember there being a lot of very upset podcasters who were unable to find another host for their content before Movie closed.

Keeping control of your RSS feed ensures that your podcast will remain accessible to your listeners.

TPX Announced Partnership with HowStuffWorks

TPX, Canada’s podcast advertising experts, announced a new partnership with HowStuffWorks, the leading for-profit publisher of entertaining and informative podcast content.

The agreement gives TPX (The Podcast Exchange) the first right to market and sell advertisements in the HowStuffWorks podcast network in the quickly growing Canadian market and is made possible due to HowStuffWork’s ability to geo-target relevant host-read advertising.

“This agreement signifies growing confidence in TPX’s position as Canada’s leader in podcast advertising,” stated Jean-Marie Heimrath, President &CEO of TPX. “Our value-add includes published research and in-house expertise to help agencies research, craft, target and curate successful and uniquely Canadian podcast advertising campaigns.”

HowStuffWork’s President and CEO Conal Byrne echoed Heimrath: “As HowStuffWorks Grows year over year, launching new hit shows every month to add to our stable of mega-hits like Stuff You Should Know and Atlanta Monster, we are seeing our audience growing around the world, too – and Canada is no exception. We want to deliver not just the best content for these fans, but the most relevant, highest-quality advertising. We have full confidence in TPX to help get us there in the Canadian market.”

Patreon has Acquired Memberful

Patreon announced that it has acquired Memberful. It is a service for independent creators, educators, and publishers who prefer to have complete control over their membership program, including building their own website, providing customer service, and integrating with best in class third-party tools like WordPress and MailChimp.

Memberful made an announcement about the acquisition:

“Today, we’re announcing we’ve been acquired by Patreon. In Patreon, we found a team that cares deeply about the many of the same things we do. We both see a future where creators work for their audience, not for massive advertising companies as underpaid content suppliers. We both see a future where creators are free to maintain direct relationships with their audience on their terms, unencumbered by the whims of the latest social platform. We both see a future where creators can do what they love while being supported financially by their biggest fans through memberships. Patreon asked if we’d join them in building this future, and we said yes.”

What’s happening to the Memberful product? Memberful says they are now a wholly owned subsidiary of Patreon, but they are still running Memberful the same way. Patreon says the Memberful platform and brand will remain independent, the current roadmap will continue at a faster pace, and existing creators using Memberful will not experience any immediate change to the service.

Patreon states that Memberful will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Patreon, and that Memberful currently has a different pricing model than Patreon which is built around three tiers which will remain unchanged for existing customers.

The Patreon website has information that can help people figure out if Patreon or Memberful is the best choice for them.

IDA Adds Audio Documentary Category

The International Documentary Association (IDA) announced a new IDA Documentary Awards category: Best Audio Documentary. Producers and distributors of nonfiction podcasts and radio programming are welcome to submit stand-alone or documentary episodic series from now until September 5, 2018, 11:59 PM PST. The winner will be announced live at the awards ceremony in December in Los Angeles.

Submissions must have been (or will be) publicly available (posted or aired) between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2018, to be eligible for entry. Only one version of the submission will be reviewed. Revised versions cannot be submitted to the screening committee and may render the submission ineligible.

The Audio Documentary Category celebrates the best in nonfiction storytelling in Radio & podcast. The IDA currently accepts both stand-alone and documentary episodic series. A stand-alone may be either a one-off program not part of any series, or a single or multi-part documentary episode from a series that stands on its own as a documentary on a single subject or theme.

A series is comprised of multiple episodes, conceived and constructed with a beginning and an end, with all of the episodes being listened to in order to create a complete story and/or support a complete theme.

Here are a few more things to know:

  • Submission must be made online.
  • In the online submission, you must provide a link of each of the submitted episodes.
  • The IDA is not able to accept non-English language entries.
  • The submission fee is $85 for IDA members and $125 for non-members.
  • Non-payment of the entry fee will result in submission ineligibility.

Visit the IDA website for more information about the Audio Documentary Category and how to be eligible for it. It is possible to download the rules and regulations as a PDF from their website.

Apple, YouTube, and Facebook Removed Alex Jones’ Content

Last week, Spotify deleted several episodes of The Alex Jones Podcast. The reason was because that content violated Spotify’s hate content policy. Stitcher removed Alex Jones’ podcasts on August 2, 2018. Apple, Facebook, and YouTube have followed with their own bans.

Buzzfeed News reported that Apple removed the entire library for five of Infowars’ six podcasts from its iTunes and Podcasts Apps. Among them were War Room and Alex Jones Show.

Buzzfeed reported a statement from Apple that said:

“Apple does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users. Podcast that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.”

CNBC reported that YouTube, which is owned by Google, has removed the Alex Jones Channel.

CNBC reported that Google said in a statement regarding the removal of the page: “All users agree to comply with our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines when they sign up to use YouTube. When users violate these policies repeatedly, like our policies against hate speech and harassment or our terms prohibiting circumvention of our enforcement measures, we terminate their accounts.”

Facebook provided information about why they removed four videos on four Alex Jones Facebook pages in a newsroom post titled: “Enforcing Our Community Standards”.

It starts with: “We believe in giving people a voice, but we also want everyone using Facebook to feel safe. It’s why we have Community Standards and remove anything that violates them, including hate speech that attacks or dehumanizes others. Earlier today, we removed four Pages belonging to Alex Jones for repeatedly posting content over the past several days that breaks those Community Standards.”

Toward the end of the post, Facebook said: “As a result of reports we received, last week, we removed videos on four Facebook Pages for violating our hate speech and bullying policies. These pages were the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the InfoWars Page, and the InfoWars Nightly News page. In addition, one of the admins of these Pages – Alex Jones – was placed in a 30-day block for his role in posting violating content to these Pages.”

Facebook also removed more content from the same pages that had been reported to them. Facebook took it down for glorifying violence, which violates Facebook’s graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describes people who are transgender, Muslims, and immigrants, which violates their hate speech policies.

On August 2, 2018, Stitcher posted a tweet that said: “Thanks for your note. We have reviewed Alex Jones’ podcasts and found he has, on multiple occasions, harassed or allowed harassment of private individuals and organizations, (1/2)”

Stitcher followed that with a second tweet: “and that harassment has led listeners of the show to engage in similar harassment and other damaging activity. Therefore, we have decided to remove his podcasts from the Stitcher platform.”

Patreon Apologizes for Unexpected Payment Declines

Patreon has apologized for an unexpected issue that caused patron’s payments to be declined. If your podcast has a Patreon, you may have gotten an email about this issue from Patreon. If you are a patron, you may have gotten an email to inform you that your payment was declined.

On August 2, 2018, Patreon posted a tweet on their verified Twitter account. It included a screenshot that said:

Hi everyone. As you know we’re noticing an unexpectedly high number of payment declines. We’re sorry for the frustration this has caused and we’re doing all we can to help creators get paid by working with our payment partners and continuing to retry payments. Some of these issues were caused by external forces, and others by our efforts to create a stable and global platform as we grow and invest in our capabilities.

To ensure payment goes through this month, you can let your patrons know they can update their payment method to a new card, PayPal, or call their bank to confirm the charge as non-fraud.

In its next two tweets, Patreon linked to articles. The first was to an article titled “How do I update my payment information”. The next tweet included a link to an article titled: “I have declined patrons! Will you charge them again?”

As you may have guessed, there were plenty of tweets posted by angry Patreon creators in response to this problem. Some pointed out that they lost patrons as a result of this issue – which means that they are literally losing money from a problem they did not cause. One person wanted to know what Patreon will do about the creator fees taken out of declined pledges.

Other Patreon users felt it was unfair of Patreon to expect creators to ask their patrons to update their payment information. In December of 2017, Patreon announced it was adding a service fee to Patreon’s pledges, and expected creators to explain the new service fees to their patrons. (Later, Patreon announced they would not institute an automatic service fee after all.)

There is another issue that people have been commenting about on Twitter. Some patrons think they have been charged by Patreon twice, as a result of Patreon retrying payments. Others have concerns that Pateon’s effort to retry payments could result in banks and credit card companies locking accounts for fear of fraud.

The Washington Post Seeks a Podcast Host

The Washington Post is seeking a podcast host. The information about this job was posted on the WashPost PR Tumblr. A link about the podcast host job was posted on Washington Post PR verified Twitter account.

The Washington has an opening for a podcast host to join their growing team.

We are looking for an accomplished journalist with extensive experience who has a proven record of reporting and writing on a variety of subjects. This person will be the voice and personality of a daily podcast and will need to lead a show by engaging listeners both on air and on social media.

The ideal candidate will be able to work quickly on breaking news while creating medium-and long-form stories at a high level. The show host will be expected to work on multiple segments each day.

In addition, The Washington Post wants a person who has the ability to collaborate across the newsroom. They will be expected to spot and highlight great work in every department that could appeal to listeners.

For more information about how to apply, and who to contact, please visit the WashPost PR Tumblr. The deadline for application is August 10, 2018