Pandora has Acquired AdsWizz

Earlier this year, Pandora announced that it would acquire AdsWizz. That same day, AdsWizz confirmed the acquisition in a tweet that linked to a press release on Business Wire. Pandora posted the same press release on their website.

Pandora is the world’s most powerful music discovery platform. AdsWizz has created the end-to-end technology platform that is powering the digital audio advertising ecosystem. From dynamic ad insertion to advanced programmatic platforms to innovative new audio formats, AdsWizz efficiently connects buyers and sellers in digital audio.

Pandora announced that the addition of AdsWizz will upgrade Pandora’s ad tech capabilities, provide its advertisers with greater audience reach, and expand the company’s revenue opportunities.

AdsWizz is one of the few ad tech firms that is completely dedicated to digital audio, serving some of the largest players in the industry. With digital audio advertising growing 42% year-over-year, according to the IAB, the combined offering of Pandora and AdsWizz will capitalize on this trend, making it easier for publishers to monetize their inventory and for advertisers to buy and measure their campaigns.

Once fully integrated, advertisers will be able to transact through AdsWizz’s global marketplace across Pandora and other leading audio publishers. Pandora will support the growth of AdsWizz’s core business and invest in technology development that serves all constituents.

The press release states that AdsWizz will become a subsidiary of Pandora. Alexis van de Weyr will remain the CEO of AdsWizz. Pandora agreed to pay $145 million in a combination of cash and stock, with a minimum of 50 percent paid in cash and stock (with a minimum of 50 percent paid in cash and the remainder to be paid, at Pandora’s election, in either cash or stock. This transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018.

Capture Hot Ideas for Sure – The Wave Notebook from Rocketbook

The Wave Notebook - From Rocketbook - Capture HOT Ideas and Then - Make them DISAPPEAR!

In a digital age, there’s never been a more important time to be able to document what we as podcasters “do.” I don’t know about you, but the value of a good notebook, for to-do lists, sketching, and general day-to-day odds and ends is something I’ve been without for a long time. In it’s place I’ve used:

  • Table Placemats from Denny’s
  • The Back of Something “of lesser importance”
  • An Extracted Piece of Printer Paper

and any one of a number of other things that would make any 3rd Grade Art teacher proud. But what’s left when it’s time to take notes and what’s the “incentive” to hang on to a notebook nowadays when everything is going “digital?” The fact is that all of us have purchased a notebook and made a new pledge to use it, document our activities, to journal and half a dozen other things but how can you do it nowadays and have it stick?

Write Down, Capture It, Catalog It, Zap and Repeat…

Enter The Wave Notebook from Rocketbook. We’re all familiar with Erasable Pens. I’ve been using them since the 70s so that tech isn’t new, and the value of them IS valuable. But after something is put onto paper how can you “get it digital?” How can you hold the value of the notebook you’ve just purchased? The Wave provides you two sizes of notebook (I went with the “Executive Size” (6″ x 8.9″)) and gives you a professional-looking, to-the-point tool that offers a whole lot more. Fill your pages with content within the black borders of the page with doodles, flowcharts, to-do listings, or notes from a meeting. Now the digital magic and cataloging can begin.

Your Thoughts and Skill Sets Captured:

An app, downloaded to either Android or iPhone is used to very quickly scan/capture the image of the page. A series of ghosted/watermarked logos on the bottom of the page allow you to instantly have the scan/captured image be sent to a growing number of online/clouded repositories and so now – all of your notes, sketches, fever-created nonsense and cannot-possibly-live-without-this scribble can live on – forever. The resolution is also remarkable, providing even ME – the picky-bastard artist in the room satiated with my sketches and what I’ve captured.

“So far this isn’t blowing up my need-a-notebook skirt, Mike. Now what?”

If digital capture and cataloging of your hand-created materials wasn’t good enough, how about a little written-hand to text action? You got it. It’s here.

What you’ll also note is that the benefit of the stiffer, more-durable pages within the spiral-bound notebook offer up an almost magical, value-added power. When you’ve filled the book, or need more pages, fear not. While The Wave Notebook retails for $27 (I got mine for $19 on sale), what would you pay for a noteboook – you never had to replace? Let me explain: When the time comes/you want to return to completely-clear pages, simply slide The Wave Notebook into a microwave, place a mostly-full cup of water on top of it, and in 2 minutes (one minute per side), you’ll have – a brand-new, clean notebook to begin capturing your next favorite pen-generated masterpiece.

Click Here to See a Larger Version Now!  Click Here to See a Larger Version Now!  Click Here to See a Larger Version Now!

You can see from the images here that this notebook, process and repository is one to marvel at but I’m curious – what do YOU think? Use the comments below to tell me what this makes you think of and let’s talk more about what you STILL need to “write down!”

Get a Wave Notebook from Rocketbook:

Omny Studio Released Loudness Normalization Tool

Omny Studio has released a loudness normalization tool. Omny Studio customers can now apply loudness normalization settings to their published audio for each individual show or to their organizations as a whole.

The normalizations settings are configured by three values: integrated loudness in LUFS, maximum true peak in dbTP, and loudness range in LU. We also provide a range of presets based on various international standards and also service defaults. These include settings which adhere to Google and Amazon’s specifications for the Google Home and Amazon Alexa smart speaker devices.

Omny studios points out that Podnews conducted a loudness analysis of the top 100 podcasts. The analysis highlighted the lack of uniformity in regards to loudness across the podcasting space.

Omny Studio’s loudness normalization tool is intended to help address this lack of uniformity as well as adhere to the specifications that are required for smart speakers as they rise in popularity. You can listen to some clips on the Omny Studio medium post about this topic. Those clips give examples of the difference in loudness in audio.

On Omny Studio’s Medium post, you can listen to audio with Google’s loudness specifications, Amazon’s loudness specifications, and the EU’s loudness specifications. Compare those to the original un-processed audio, and a clip with the auto-leveling feature applies (and no loudness normalization).

The New York Times Launched the Caliphate Podcast

The New York Times has launched a podcast called Caliphate. It is a new audio series that follows Rukmini Callimachi, who covers terrorism for The New York Times. Caliphate focuses on the Islamic State.

Caliphate is not the first podcast released by The New York Times, and it probably won’t be the last. However, there are a unique thing happening in regards to how listeners can access this podcast. Each episode will be available to New York Times subscribers a week early. This is being done to thank subscribers for their support for this kind of reporting.

The team behind The Daily (another podcast from The New York Times) presents Caliphate. Rukmini Callimachi is a foreign correspondent for The New York Times, and has often appeared on The Daily. In Caliphate, she reports on the Islamic State and the fall of the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Rukmini Callimachi, with producer Andy Mills, journeys to the heart of the conflict to grapple with the most pressing questions about ISIS and to comprehend the power and global pull of the militant group. The New York Times makes it very clear that “this series includes language and scenes of graphic violence.”

While the subject matter of Caliphate may not be for everyone, it is worth being aware of. In this podcast, The New York Times is taking the standard way that journalism is reported – on websites and in newspapers – and adapting it to include the medium of podcasting. We have seen this before in podcasts like Serial. It is significant that a long established newspaper is now using podcasting as a medium for in-depth journalism.

Simplecast Launched Recast Beta

Simplecast has launched Recast beta. It is a listener-driven podcast discovery tool. It allows you and your listeners to share clips from your episodes on social media.

Simplecast offers one-click publishing to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever your audience listens. For $12 a month, Simplecast offers unlimited listener plays, no upload caps, listener analytics, a customizable website, and embeddable audio players with Recast. Simplecast is currently offering a free trial.

Discoverability of podcasts – podcast’s reach – is miles away from perfect, and while we have big plans here too, we began simple: What if podcasts and retweets had a baby? They did! We named it Recast.

The idea for Recast spawned from WNYC’s Audiogram Generator – an open-source social meant to provide podcasters, radio professionals, producers, and audio makers a super easy way to share their work across social platforms including Facebook and Twitter.

Simplecast has an embed player that plays beautifully when embedded in a tweet. However, Simplecast thinks it is unlikely that someone would choose to listen to an entire episode of a podcast via social media. The audiogram is a short video that is designed with a striking visual component. It is intended to attract attention on social media.

Simplecast mapped out the flavor of the audiogram for the purpose of making Recast a personal, intimate experience for the listener. With Recast, listeners can be in control of what’s contained in an audiogram. Recast is the industry’s first, fully listener-accessible audiogram sharing tool.

Radiodays Europe Podcast Day is June 12

Radiodays Europe Podcast Day is a satellite event from the team that brings you Radiodays Europe each year. Podcast Day was created in response to the need to bring together the Podcast world in Europe. Radiodays Europe Podcast Day will take place on June 12, 2018, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The 2018 Radiodays Europe Podcast Day Speakers are:

  • Mélissa Bounoua – Co-founder, Louise Media
  • Joe Copeman – Director of Sales, Acast
  • Leslie Merklinger – Senior Director of Audio Innovation, CBC Radio and Audio
  • George Mullen – Research Manager, Podcasts & Radio 4, BBC
  • Kaitlin Priest – Podcaster, The Heart on Radiotopia
  • Charlotte Pudlowski – Co-Founder, Louise Media
  • Kellie Riordan – Manager, ABC Audio Studios
  • Peter Zezulka – Head of Audience Planning for Radio & Education, BBC

A partial schedule has been released for 2018 Radiodays Europe Podcast Day. It starts with an informal “ice breaker” event on the evening before Podcast Day. It is not an obligatory event. The full schedule for Radiodays Europe 2018 (including events on Sunday and workshops) will be confirmed over the coming months. Here is a basic outline:

Pre-Podcast Day June 11 2018 – afternoon to evening

  • Afternoon Workshop
  • Podcast Speed dating session – Networking ‘A Marriage Made in Podcasting Heaven’
  • Evening ice breaker – time & venue TBC

Podcast Day June 12 2018

  • Registration & Networking opens at 8:15
  • Start of conference – morning session 9:00
  • Lunch
  • Start of conference – afternoon session 13:00
  • End of conference 18:00

Win a Trip to Podcast Movement 2019

Podcast Movement 2018 will take place on July 23-26, 2018. Tickets are available through the Podcast Movement 2018 website. They are already planning ahead for Podcast Movement 2019 – by kicking off their 28 Day Challenge.

The Podcast Movement 28 Day Challenge offers people an opportunity to launch a brand new podcast. Those who participate will have the chance to win an all expenses paid trip to Podcast Movement 2019. The 28 Day Challenge is a wonderful opportunity for people who want to start their first podcast.

Why join the 28 Day Challenge?

  • Take your podcast from zero to launch in just 28 days
  • Learn the basic steps to getting your podcast started
  • Join hundreds of other soon-to-be podcasters in the private Facebook group
  • The chance to win an all expenses paid trip to Podcast Movement 2019.

There are four steps to follow. The first one is to let Podcast Movement know that you are participating in the 28 Day Challenge. You can do that by clicking a button on their website that is called “Take the Challenge”.

The second step is to follow the Daily Steps. When you sign up to participate in the 28 Day Challenge, you are asked to give Podcast Movement your email. This enables them to send you a daily Step or Tip email, each of which is designed to help walk you through the steps of taking your podcast from zero to launch.

The third step is to let Podcast Movement know how you think you’re doing. They want participants to be active in their private online community. Everyone can work together.

The fourth, and final, step is to show Podcast Movement what you made. Send them information about your new (live) podcast. They will share that information with the Podcast Movement community. Doing so could result in giving everyone in the group new listeners.

Podcast Movement will select 1 winner out of the podcasters who complete the 28 Day Challenge. That winner will receive an all expenses paid trip to Podcaster Movement 2019. Two Grand Prize winners will win a PM 19 Pro Pass. Two Second Place Winners will receive a standard PM 19 Pass. Everyone who completes the 29 Day Challenge will get some amazing PM 19 gifts.

PopCon Podcast Awards Ceremony

PopCon was founded by a group of geeks from Indianapolis, In. They celebrate the culture of the creators and fans who love them. The 2018 PopCon Podcast Awards will be held in June.

The second annual PopCon Podcast Awards will be held Friday June 8th at 8pm at the Indiana Convention Center. The ceremony is open to anyone that is an attendee of Indy PopCon (Friday or Three Day Badges).

You can purchase tickets to PopCon through the PopCon website. The page about the PopCon Podcast Awards says that attendance is not required to win. The awards are to recognize the hard work and dedication of creators of podcasts. Podcasts from more than two dozen categories will be honored.

Podcasters are asked to read the PopCon Podcast Awards Criteria and Submission Process. Submission criteria includes:

  • Must have published a minimum of ten episodes.
  • Content is to be submitted from the last 12 months
  • The submission audio must be between 5 minutes and 15 minutes
  • Audio submission recording should include: names of producers/hosts, name of the podcast, where you are located, brief synopses of your podcast (elevator pitch), and description of what they are about to hear. You can submit either a segment of a single episode or a compilation of highlights from one or more episodes.
  • The intro and outro of the podcast (only if you wish to apply for that artistic award)

There are several categories for entry. Pick the one that you feel best fits your podcast. A full list of the categories, as well as additional details about submitting your podcast, can be found on the PopCon website.

Awards to win:

  • Smithie Award: Best-of chosen by fellow podcasters
  • Audience Award: Best-of chosen by general audience
  • Category Award: Chosen by independent PopCon Podcast Awards judges. Each category will have 3 to 5 finalists.
  • Technical and Artistic Awards: Intro and Outro, Editing and Mixing, Sound/Special Effects

Submissions to the PopCon Podcast Awards must be completed by April 30th at midnight EST.

Con Before the Storm Prepares for its 6th Year

Con Before the Storm is a pre-Blizzcon event that is organized by fans, for fans. It is currently on Kickstarter and (at the time I am writing this) has $11,882 pledged of a $13,500 goal.

Wondering what Con Before the Storm is all about? It’s a pre-Blizzcon event organized by fans, for fans. 2018 will make this our 6th year hosting the event and it’s all thanks to the support of the amazing community! Last year we had over 140 backers who helped fund a party that hosted over an estimated 6,000 people!

Con Before the Storm is for fans of Blizzard Entertainment’s games. The event takes place the night before BlizzCon. It is a free event that includes World of Podcasts – which typically includes panels of people who are involved in podcasts about Blizzard’s games.

I have attended two Con Before the Storm parties, and had a great time at both. One of the best parts of the event is that it is an excellent place to meet podcasters who focus on Blizzard’s games, streamers who play those games on Twitch, eSports personalities, and the people you’ve been playing video games with. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to view fan art from talented artists.

The Con Before the Storm Kickstarter has a $24,500 tier. If that tier is reached, Con Before the Storm will be able to make this year’s World of Podcasts a reality. Their vision for World of Podcasts 2018 is to showcase the talent in two rooms, with panels running concurrently from start to finish. It appears that part of their goal is to be able to have every panel equally equipped for recording and presentation this year.