Category Archives: Podcast News

Liberated Syndication Announces New Chief Financial Officer



Liberated Syndication (“Libsyn”) announced the appointment of Jonathan Charak as Chief Financial Officer, effective September 29, 2021.

Mr. Charak will be responsible for all financial aspects of the company, including accounting, financial reporting, financial planning, and financial analysis. Mr. Charak commented, “I am thrilled to be joining Libsyn, which is a true pioneer in podcasting. I look forward to partnering with the incredible executive team as we continue Libsyn’s path as a leader in the podcasting industry and position the company to execute on its growth plans.”

President and Chief Operating Officer Laurie Sims added, “We are excited to have Jonathan join Libsyn. He has strategically led multiple organizations into high growth phases, including organic and acquisition-driven growth. He has previously been the Chief Financial Officer of five separate companies, founded two companies, and has experience in Big 4 public accounting. I believe he will make a fantastic addition to the team.”

Mr. Charak served as Chief Financial Officer and Secretary to the Board at Telular Corporation – a publicly traded Internet of Things business where he helped grow total enterprise value by over 17x during his tenure before the company was taken private through an equity buyout. Most recently, Mr. Charak served as a fractional CFO for multiple companies in several industries, including renewable energy, cannabis, and telecommunications, and was a Co-Founder of a real estate development company.

Primary functions in these roles included capital raising, capital allocation, mergers and acquisitions, business development, investor relations, and financial reporting, planning and analysis. Mr. Charak is a certified public accountant and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University Bloomington.


Captivate Releases Host-Integrated Guest Booking



Captivate.fm, an independent IAB Tech Lab certified podcast hosting, analytics, and monetization platform, has released a fully integrated guest booking and interview management system for independent podcasters.

The system allows independent audio creators to book and manage their guest interviews from one central location that is connected to their podcast hosting. In addition to allowing guests to proactively book shows, hosts can automatically capture all of the relevant guest data for use across their podcast’s workflow, including in the measurement of download uplift based on specific guests and in the automation of episode show notes.

Regarding the update, Captivate CEO Mark Asquith said, “Since I started podcasting in 2011, I’ve been using calendar-booking links for my guests that were provided by third-parties. That works, but it’s not as effective as it should be for the serious modern podcaster; there is no simple link to the other pieces of my workflow which means that I can’t, for example, pass my guest’s bio and social links automatically to my episode show notes, nor could I easily overlay the results of any given guest’s audience onto my own download numbers.”

Captivate has made that easy for the busy creator and in addition to saving podcasters huge amounts of time, it also reduces the cost of podcasting by removing one extra paid service from the podcasting stack.”

Alongside the release of these new features, Asquith also confirmed that the booking platform integrates from day one with the world-class remote recording platform, SquadCast, by automatically creating SquadCast recording sessions when a guest books an interview slot.

SquadCast CEO, Zachariah Moreno said “We’re really keen at SquadCast on making sure that podcasters have the most effective & efficient technology available to them so when Mark, Kieran and the Captivate team spoke to us about being the launch partner for the guest booking and interview management platform, it was something that we got excited about and said ‘yes’ to really quickly.”

The Captivate team is due to integrate this new guest booking and interview management service with the Podcasting 2.0 initiative and Podchaser in its next minor follow-up release.

Launched to celebrate International Podcast Day on September 30th, this upgrade follows Captivate’s recent release cross-promotional feed drops and network features, with the new guest booking & interview management features being available to all podcast creators for free, unlimited use on any Captivate plan.


AudioUK and Podcasting, Seriously Awards Fund Announce Partnership



UK Audio producers’ trade body AudioUK has been announced as a media partner to introduce and publicize the Podcasting, Seriously Awards Fund in the UK.

The Fund has already been running in the U.S. and Canada, supporting independent audio creators to submit work to U.S. and Canada competitions, by covering submission fees for producers, editors, and others.

The Fund supports independent BIPOC and LGBTQ+ audio producers to submit high-quality work to media and journalism awards. The resulting creation of a more diverse set of award nominees and winners increases the diversity of award entrants, and the opportunities that winning an award brings.

The Fund welcomes reimbursement requests throughout the year for awards applies to in the previous 12 months from the application date.

The Fund’s primary partners include Spotify, Acast, AIR and SiriusXM.

It will enable producers to apply for the UK’s many podcasting awards, including the Audio Production Awards (APAs) run by AudioUK.

If any companies or individuals would like to contribute to the fund, they can do so via Patreon.
Chloe Straw, Managing Director of AudioUK, said:

“Supporting initiatives like this is part of our ongoing commitment to making our sector more diverse and inclusive. This Fund has already been working well in the U.S. and Canada and has major backing from some leading podcast platforms and partners. We really hope people will use it to put themselves forward to gain recognition for their work in audio and make our awards ever more diverse and inclusive”.

Nina Robinson, a supporter of the Fund in the UK and owner of AudioUK member company Soundtruism, pictured, said:

“I have been working with Juleyka Lantigua, the founder of the Podcasting Seriously Awards Fund in the US, to expand the fund to the UK. My personal experience as a South Asian woman from Birmingham has motivated me to use my privilege, as a recipient of industry awards, to foster inclusion to benefit others in a meaningful and practical way. My hope is that innovatively and carefully crafted programmes by a whole range of producers and journalists can be recognised and rewarded.”

Juleyka Lantigua, who founded LWC Studios four years ago after a long career in media, said:

“I see the Fund’s UK extension as a natural next step in helping global podcast talent rise, so we can all benefit from their work and enjoy their creative gifts.”


Vib3s Scans Podcasts For A Smart Audio Check



Vib3s is launching its first service of audio quality check for podcasts. The startup company was launched earlier this year in Montbonnot, France, with a simple baseline: beyond contents quality, podcasts audio quality should be considered a crucial ‘make or break’ factor when it comes to grow an audience and turn listeners into returning customers.

That first online service offered by Vib3s prompts podcasters to upload one episode on Vib3s’s website and receive an assessment of the audio quality for the document submitted. Within minutes, the system developed by Vib3s, mixing algorithms and AI, measures several audio parameters while the result of the evaluation comes with a score reflecting the overall audio quality of the podcast.

The podcaster receives an evaluation report by email. The service is free of charge, immediate, and comes with extra advice to improve targeted audio parameters if need be.

Vib3s’s foundations, a blend of technical expertise and taste for entrepreneurial adventures, lie on its three patrons: Jérémie Weber CEO, Matthieu Perréard is the newly appointed COO and Baptiste Vericel is the company’s CTO. Charlotte Lecat comes as a talented addition as Web Project Manager. The startup partners with Paris-based IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique, the French public Research Lab for Acoustics) to boost its technical development and promote fully French-bred services and solutions.

Vib3s’s raison d’être originates from a simple statement: in the early days of podcasts, shows were mainly the creation of seasoned media professionals and journalists, who were familiar with the overall process of content production from capturing to broadcasting and promoting. This landscape has today shifted to accommodate a new generation of podcasters with various backgrounds. For some, podcasting is a hobby, for others an additional promotional tool with communications purposes. The technical background of these new content creators, however, is sometimes too light to handle the usual professional tools and systems, meant for audio technicians.

Industrial and audio professionals should then weigh in to offer user-friendly content creation tools designed for non-professionals, enabling the new creators to deliver without a thorough tech background.

This is the rationale that drove Vib3s into offering its first audio quality evaluation service: simple, user-friendly with swift results, it supports podcasters in guiding them towards a better sound.


Amaze Media Labs Expands its Sports Podcast Network Division



Amaze Media Labs is expanding its imprint in sports podcast networks with the launch of two new networks. The Pigskin Podcast Network and the Basketball Podcast Network will join the already successful The Hockey Podcast Network in providing over 130 top-quality podcasts.

The launch of The Pigskin Podcast Network comes at the perfect time, at the beginning of the 2021 NFL season. The network will consist of nearly 40 podcasts covering the NFL, College Football, Football Betting, and Fantasy Football.

“This year, we saw explosive growth in The Hockey Podcast Network, and we are super excited to bring that same community-based foundation to other sports markets with the launch of The Basketball Podcast Network and The Pigskin Podcast Network,” said Dylan Keyzer, Director of Amaze Media Labs Sports Podcast Division. “We believe we can make a positive impact for fans and podcast listeners across North America and globally.”

The Basketball Podcast Network features over 25 podcasts. It is rounded out by top charting shows which include The Solar Panel: A Phoenix Suns Podcast, The Spurscast the top San Antonio Spurs podcast, and The Grizz Weekly Grind hosted by Memphis Grizzlies TV play-by-play man Pete Pranica.

“It has been a thrill to watch the growth and communities that surround our hockey shows, and we are ecstatic to replicate that with basketball and football. We can’t wait to interact with fans, fantasy players, and bettors from all around the world.” Keyser continued.

The Hockey Podcast Network, which Amaze Media Labs acquired in 2020, has become one of the leaders in hockey content, producing over 45 NHL-themed podcasts and 18 original hockey content themed shows. The network is highlighted by podcasts such as Tales With TR: A Hockey Podcast hosted by former Montreal Canadien Terry Ryan, which is a top-ten hockey podcast in Canada, as well as the top daily hockey betting podcast The Ice Guys. The network’s success has allowed it to bring on major partners like DraftKings, one of its founding sponsors.

With its expanding footprint with sports podcast networks combined with the production of multiple leading branded podcast series, Amaze Media Labs has established itself as a leading podcast platform.


Audacy Announced Steve Perrault as Senior Producer, MLB Content



Audacy announced Steve Perrault as Senior Producer for Major League Baseball Content for its newly launched 2400Sports podcast studio. In this role, Perrault will oversee the creation and production of all MLB team podcasts and be a contributor to national podcast co-produced in conjunction with MLB, following Audacy’s content partnership with the league.

Perrault will co-host a new Boston Red Sox podcast under 2400Sports, which will debut in 2022 and will also serve as an on-air contributor for WEEI (WEEI-FM), the flagship radio station of the Red Sox. This will be in addition to his current role as co-host of the Live BP Baseball Show on the station.

“As we continue expanding our new 2400Sports podcast studio and embark on our new expansive podcast partnership with Major League Baseball, we’re thrilled about adding Steve to our team to launch a new show centered around the Boston Red Sox,” said J.D. Crowley, Chief Digital Officer, Audacy. “This podcast, which will be intensely focused on fan engagement and fan-created content, will lend a unique perspective to everything Red Sox, and we believe Steve truly encompasses the dynamic of the show.”

“I’m beyond excited for this new opportunity with Audacy and 2400Sports,” said Perrault. “We have the potential to make this something really special, and I can’t wait to be a leading force with that. Baseball over everything. Let’s go.”

Perrault joins Audacy from Barstool Sports, where he served as co-host and producer of the company’s Red Sox-focused Section 10 Podcast for seven seasons. He served as a content producer for Bleacher Report since 2015 while contributing to the company’s new baseball brand “B/R Walk-Off” this year.


PodcastOne Announced Judges to Find the Next Big Podcast Star



PodcastOne, a leading podcast platform and a subsidiary of LiveXLive Media, has set its award winning panel of judges to select the winner of Self Made Podcast Edition, an audio competition to find the next big podcast star for the network giant. The storied list of podcast notables and advertising and media industry executives will use criteria ranging from sound quality to host relatability to show promotion paired with download numbers, to determine the grand prize winner.

Selected for the panel are:

Kaitlyn Bristowe, creator and host of Off the Vine, one of the most successful and downloaded podcasts for women. Bristowe is also current Co-host of The Bachelorette and recently was crowned champion of Dancing with the Stars;

Adam Carolla, host and Guiness World Record holder for the world’s most downloaded podcast, The Adam Carola Show. Additionally, Carolla is the former host of the iconic radio and television series Loveline;

Emmy Award-winner Doug Ellin who created the smash HBO series Entourage and host of two podcast series, Hollywood Ways and the Victory Podcast which garnered more than 5 million downloads in its first 12 months.

Internationally recognized broadcast journalist Jillian Hamilton who hosts the podcast Cheating: When Love Lies;

Barbara Schroeder will also serve as a mentor in addition to her judging duties. Schroeder who created the Netflix hit documentary Evil Genius and whose podcast Bad Bad Thing catapulted onto the top True Crime genre charts will provide expert insight with each of the finalists to help them hone their storytelling skills.

Rounding out the group of esteemed panelists are revered and venerated podcast industry scions and advertising industry executives James Ingrassia, Head of Client Services, Oxford Road, the leading Los Angeles-based audio ad agency; DeSha Runnels, Vice President of Media, Ad Results, the world’s leading audio & podcast advertising agency; Sarah Cotenoff, Co-Founder and Head of Partnerships, Podsights, the leading attribution platform for podcast advertising; John Goforth, Chief Revenue Officer, Magellan AI, the leading developer of a data and analytics platform used to analyze podcasts and organize the data; Kit Gray, Co-Founder and President of PodcastOne; and member of the Radio Hall of Fame, Norm Pattiz, Founder of PodcastOne and WestwoodOne.

Self Made Podcast Edition is driven by fans as well as the panel of judges, all listening to see who will take the top prize: a podcasting contract with PodcastOne, and a total package worth over $100,000 including promotion across the network. The competition will culminate in episodes submitted by each of the five finalists via LaunchpadOne. With over 1200 independent podcasts, LaunchpadOne is PodcastOne’s free innovative podcast hosting, distribution, and monetization platform that provides an end-to-end podcast solution. A winner will then be crowned on September 30, 2021 – International Podcast Day.


WARC and iHeartMedia Study Reveals Audio Investment Gap for Marketers



WARC, the global authority on marketing intelligence, unveiled the results of a study conducted in collaboration with iHeartMedia, the number one audio company in the US, on media consumption and audio investment in the US.

The Investment Gap: Understanding the Value of Audio” highlights a divergence between consumption and investment. While 31% of the average consumer’s media consumption is now audio, only 8.8% of the average media budget is allocated to audio, and 25% of advertisers do not invest in audio at all.

According to the study, consumers of every generation are spending more and more time with audio content across radio, streaming and podcast, driven by audio’s ease and accessibility with the growth of wireless headphones and smart speakers adding to in-car, at home, and work listening.

Whilst WARC Data forecasts audio advertising spend in the US to reach $13.9bn this year, a double-digit recovery (+10.9%) from the pandemic’s 2020 cuts, the report highlights a large audio investment gap and the vast opportunity that exists in this mass reach and high engagement audio advertising market.

The study also identified four key types of advertiser attitudes toward audio:

Audio Avoiders, the 25% of advertisers who do not invest in audio at all

Broadcast Believers, who have seen the benefits of radio and are beginning to delve into more forms of audio

Digital Only, those who have started to invest but are missing out on the full suite of audio options, particularly the 90% reach of broadcast radio

Cross-Platform Champions, who explore audio’s full potential and continue to test, learn from and optimize their investments across platforms

Furthermore, the study shows that audio is not a monolith. There are different and critical channels within the audio segment, and they play different roles in the minds of consumers that advertisers should take advantage of.

Broadcast radio reaches 9 out of 10 Americans every month, and is also the number one mass reach media among people ages 18 and over. Podcasts are the fastest growing new audio platform and consistently deliver higher advertising conversion rates than all other digital channels, including social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and even Google. Forecasts from IAB/PwC show podcast ad spend is expected to grow rapidly in the US this year, up to 60% to top $bn for the first time.

The study also highlights the effectiveness of audio advertising at al local, regional and national level and across every stage of the funnel.

Increases brand awareness: Audio delivers wide reach and high frequency. Nielsen Share Shift data shows that adding audio to a TV campaign improves performance by 20% whilst reducing costs.

Creates favorability: Audience members have close relationships with their preferred stations and platforms, audio boosts brand familiarity and consideration.

Sparks conversion: By delivering urgent calls-to-action at the most relevant times and places, audio motivates the actions and interaction brands require.

Whether brands tap into broadcast radio for its mass reach or its effectiveness or dive deeper into podcasting for its highest conversion rates, the study points out how right sizing the audio investment will drive real impact and growth for brands.


The Ambies 2022 Are Open For Submission



The Ambies celebrate excellence in podcasting and elevate awareness and status of podcasts as a unique and personal medium for entertainment, information, storytelling and expression.

The Podcast Academy has expanded the Show Recognition categories to include Best Podcast for Kids and Best Indie Podcast. The Ambies 2022 are accepting entries. The last date to submit your entry is December 3, 2022.

There are two types of award categories to consider for your submissions: Show Recognition categories and Talent Recognition categories. Find the category that is right for you here.

Before you get started with submission(s), please take a moment to review the rules and the entry process. Please note, names and titles entered on your submission form may be used in print and/or online if your podcast is nominated for an Ambie.

Here are some things to know about the rules:

Production companies, individual producers/creators, and distributors of a podcast series which published at least 3 episodes during the period from January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021, are eligible for consideration. Any ongoing podcast can enter, and any miniseries podcast can enter so long as they published episodes in 2021.

English language only, at this time.

ENTRY FEES:

  • Members of The Podcast Academy – $100
  • Non-Members – $175
  • Payments may be made by credit card, PayPal, or bank transfer.
  • Submission reimbursements available for qualifying individuals through The Podcast, Seriously Awards Fund
  • Additional scholarships may be available through The Podcast Academy.

Category Submission Limits: There are two types of category: Show Recognition and Talent Recognition.

  • Show Recognition Categories: A podcast may be submitted into a maximum of three Show Recognition Categories.
  • Talent Recognition Categories: There are no limits on Talent Recognition Categories.

Voting: Regular Members of The Podcast Academy will have one month to listen to nominated podcasts in their assigned categories and vote for winners.

Winners will be announced on March 22, 2022.