There Won’t Be Another PodCon



Hank Green announced on Medium that they will not be doing PodCon again. This news will probably disappoint people who were hoping to attend PodCon 3. According to Hank, Travis, Justin, Jeffery, Joseph and Monica, “The short version is: We couldn’t make it sustainable.”

The Medium blog post includes a list of the main reasons why they weren’t able to get PodCon “to a safe, sustainable place.” The reasons include:

We couldn’t fundamentally change PodCon to make it make more financial sense.

Large podcasts have a successful and sustainable business model in live show touring. “This can make it difficult to attract creators who can sell tickets without paying them the amount they would doing a touring show. We also wouldn’t want podcasters to negatively impact their livelihood just to help out for free.”

The “evening out” lie show system also works well for podcasts fans. “Many of their attendees said they would rather have an evening out than a two day event.”

Conventions are expensive to run and attend. “We wanted to run a show that paid staff a living wage, paid for the travel expenses and lodging of all invited guests, looked and sounded fantastic to audiences, and invited a variety of guests without thinking only about whether they could sell tickets, but also the value of the perspectives they could provide. We couldn’t do that in a sustainable way and we’re unwilling to compromise on any of that stuff.”

Sponsorships were extremely difficult to sell.

Those who want to go and get a piece of PodCon can visit their merch site and buy some leftover PodCon merchandise.


Patreon Explains their Copyright License



If you have a Patron account for your podcast, you probably got an email from Patreon reminding you about their upcoming Creator Plans that will launch on May 7, 2019. Part of that email mentions that copyright license that creators must sign.

It is well worth taking a closer look at Patreon’s copyright license.

By posting creations on Patreon, you grant us a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, sublicensable, worldwide license to use, reproduce, distribute, perform, publicly display or prepare derivative works of your creation. The purpose of this license is strictly limited to allow us to provide and promote memberships to your patrons. We will never try to steal your creations or use them in an exploitative way.

Patreon says that the state of copyright law requires them to receive a comprehensive license in order to host the copyrighted work of their creators. “Otherwise, our creators could sue us for copyright infringement for doing any number of normal things with their creations.”

Patreon posted details about why they require specific parts of the license:

Royalty-free: You can’t ask Patreon to pay you in the future you decide you no longer want to have your creations hosted on Patreon.

Perpetual: Once you post it on Patreon, Patreon is not legally liable if a copy of it remains in their database even after you delete it.

Irrevocable: You can’t post it, and then change your mind and ask Patreon to ‘remove it or face legal liability’.

Non-Exclusive: This is to ensure you can license it to anyone else you want to license it to.

Sublicensable: Patreon uses all kinds of third party services to host their content. For example, Amazon Web Services (AWS) hosts most of Patreon’s data. Patreon needs to be able to sublicense the right host your creations so they are protected from legal liability.

Worldwide license to use: If someone in another country loads Patreon.com, Patreon is not liable for copyright infringement.

Reproduce: Patreon can make copies of this in more than one place on their database.

Distribute, Perform, Publicly Display: These just cover different forms of showing your creations to patrons and internet users alike.

Prepare derivative works of your creations: If Patreon does something as simple as resizing an image, that is creating a derivative work. When running a website, there are tons of things that they do to slightly alter creations in various ways.


From the Margins to the Center is for Podcasters who are Women of Color



From the Margins to the Center is the first podcast incubator of its kind in Denver, Colorado. It is a podcast incubator for women of color. It is brought to you by AMPED, Lantigua Williams & Co., House of Pod, PodcastsInColor.com, and Arts In Society.

Applications close on Thursday, May 9, 2019. Those who qualify can apply through the From the Margins to the Center website.

This month-long program will take place at House of Pod in Denver, Colorado for 28 contact hours of podcast instruction over four weeks. The program will include a keynote session with Juleyka Lantigua-Williams, who founded an independent production company, weekly classes, and one-year membership to the House of Pod recording studio, and access to open drop-in sessions. Additionally, participants will be paired with leading women producers of color as their mentors.

The most promising produced from the program, as selected by the AMPED Board, will be eligible for a $5,000 grant to support the first season of their podcast. The incubator will be free for all participants, and childcare during each class will be included. Housing and transportation will not be included.

Program Teachers:

  • Juleyka Lantigua-Williams, Founder/CEO of Lantigua-Williams & CO and Executive Producer of 70 Million and Latina to Latina.
  • Berry, Founder and Producer of Podcasts in Color, the largest online directory of podcasts produced by women of color.
  • Cat Jaffee, Founder and Producer at House of Pod, Executive Producer of SAPIENS: A Podcast for Everything Human.
  • Paul Karolyi, Managing Editor and Producer at House of Pod, Founder and Producer of Changing Denver.

Applicant Requirements:

  • Be 18 years of older
  • Propose an original idea for a podcast that has not yet been made
  • Be creative and dedicated to launching their own show.
  • Identify as a woman.
  • Be a woman of color, meaning that they identify with an ethnicity or race that is non-white
  • Be able to be present physically for the Monday kickoff keynote and all four evening sessions
  • Be interested in learning about the world of podcasting, so they can produce their own product for themselves
  • Be a podcast listener

Acast Acquired Pippa



Acast announced the acquisition of Pippa, a technology company offering hosting, analytics, and monetization for podcasters. With this acquisition, Acast is offering a marketplace for advertisers, cutting edge technology for creators of any size, and discovery tools for listeners. Until now, Acast’s tools have been available only to podcasts with an established number of listeners.

Pippa will bring Acast a consumer-facing offering that will enable any podcaster to sign up to host their show with just one click, whilst also having the ability to make money from their podcast from day one through Acast’s sophisticated monetization tools.

Together, Pippa and Acast represent a comprehensive solution for all podcasters, whatever their size. When Acast was founded in 2014, the company pioneered dynamic ad insertion for podcasting, bringing scalable monetization to the forefront for podcasters.

Pippa’s simple, sleek, easy to use platform complements Acast’s depth of revenue solutions and pushes podcast creation and distribution to the next level. Pippa was part of the first Techstars music program in 2017 and is the first company from that program to be acquired.

Pippa announced that they are thrilled to have been acquired by Acast.

Joining Acast represents an important, necessary, and extremely exciting leap forward for Pippa. Acast’s reputation as the premier podcast company in the world is well deserved. We’re honored to join their team and – with you – to continue crafting the future of podcasting together.

Pippa wants “Pipster” podcasters to know two important things about their service:

  • Pippa is here to stay. Your podcast is safe and sound with Pippa – and our superb service will continue to run with all the bells and whistles you’ve come to love.
  • Pippa is already working on awesome new stuff. Joining Acast is an opportunity for use to flex harder and work faster, so you can look forward to some really exciting stuff in the months to come.

Luminary is Having Problems



Luminary is getting a lot of attention right now, and most of does not reflect favorably on the premium podcast app. It is going to have to work really hard to change the minds of podcast creators who are skeptical about Luminary.

One big problem with Luminary is that it added a bunch of podcasts to its app without asking permission of the podcast creators. While Luminary is not the first to do this, it should have known better.

The philosophy of “its better to ask forgiveness than to ask permission” is sketchy, and makes podcasters angry. If your podcast is on Luminary, and you don’t want it to be there, you have to give Luminary a bunch of information before they will remove it.

Another thing that bothered podcasters about Luminary is that it appeared to be re-hosting the podcasts that were included in their app. Marco Arment tweeted “Luminary’s responding in this thread, claiming (I think) that they’re proxying, not caching – still re-serving, but making a new request to the publishers’ servers for each request. If so, that’s still a copyright issue and still breaks most stats, which de-dube by request IP.”

Later on April 25, 2019, Marco Arment tweeted: “Confirmed, the @hearluminary podcast-masking proxy URL’s are now serving HTTP 302 redirects. Glad they responded quickly. Should’ve been done properly from the start, but at least they fixed it. If they don’t pull any more proxying shenanigans, I’d consider this resolved.”

Podnews reported on April 26, 2019:

It emerges that Luminary has, since launch on Apr 23, been running a proxy server for podcasts: breaking podcast analytics and making dynamic ad insertion difficult. Our site logs showed that they were using a service from Cloudflare. The company said in a statement yesterday that they have stopped doing this: we’ve confirmed the removal on web, on Android, and it also looks to have been removed from iPhone. We explain what a proxy server is, and why it matters for podcasts.

Podnews also reported:

Luminary is also being criticized for removing links in show notes, including the removal of donation links and truncating show notes; the company also removes all main website links for podcasts, and the company is incorrectly crediting show creators, too, using the itunes:owner instead of itunes:author data from the RSS feed.

The Verge reported that a Luminary spokesperson says the company is hopeful that it will soon be able to offer The Daily (a podcast from The New York Times). The Verge also reported that Luminary is in conversations with Anchor, “but Luminary doesn’t appear to have made progress yet in being able to distribute Spotify’s core collection of hit series like Reply All.” In addition, Gimlet Media’s Homecoming will not be on Luminary.

HotPod reported that The Joe Rogan Experience requested to be removed from the Luminary platform. The reason, according to Joe Rogan’s team, was: “There was not a license agreement or permission for Luminary to have The Joe Rogan Experience on their platform. His reps were surprised to see the show there today and requested it be removed.”

For what it’s worth, Luminary tweeted information that it wanted to share. The tweet said: “We heard your concerns this morning and would like to share some information with you about #Luminary.” The tweet includes an image filled with words in which Luminary explains how their technology works. It includes: “To be clear, Luminary has never hosted or cashed audio content for any open RSS feed podcast.”

Luminary also tweeted a response to Podnews: “Hey @podnews, let’s have a constructive conversation without allegations of bad faith. Our response is below.”

The tweet includes an image filled with bullet-points including: “Luminary has in fact had publishers ask not to be included on our free tier. However, Luminary has numerous publishers who want to be on our free tier, including many who reached out proactively voicing support, asking to be included, or reversing decisions after gathering facts.”


78th Annual Peabody Awards Announced Winners



78th Annual Peabody Awards will be held on May 18, 2019. Ronan Farrow will host the ceremony. The Peabody Awards Board of Jurors selected thirty winners from 1,200 entries from television, radio/podcasts, and the web in entertainment, news, documentary, children’s and public service programming.

The 2018 Peabody Awards winners in the News and Radio/Podcast categories have been announced.

The 2018 Radio/Podcast Winners are:

Believed – Michigan Radio (NPR)

A searing account of how Larry Nassar got away with abusing hundreds of women and girls for more than two decades, this podcast is also an amazing exploration of the cultures that enabled this abuse. Reporters Kate Wells and Lindsay Smith peel away the successive layers of the case, starting with Nassar’s veneer of being a “good guy” to the many institutions that failed the survivors. Using numerous interviews and primary source materials, they carefully piece together the survivors’ collective story while zeroing in on key issues the story brings to light. The result is a laudable balance between revealing the victimization perpetrated by Nassar with a determination to give the survivors agency, strength, and a right to tell their stories.

Buried Truths – WABE (WABE)

Journalist Hank Kilbanoff and his Emory University students investigate the death of Isaiah Nixon, a black man gunned down outside his South Georgia home in 1948 for exercising his right to vote. With intensive research of FBI documents, microfilm of archival newspapers, medical records, NAACP reports, and primary evidence held in private collections, the podcast has the appeal of the “true crime” genre but constantly strives for deeper historical understanding. The largely forgotten incident gains new immediacy when read alongside Georgia’s more recent struggles over voter suppression, helping us understand how the past touches the present.

Caliphate – The New York Times (The New York Times)

When the tanks rolled out of towns and cities liberated from ISIS control, Rukmini Callimachi moved in, searching for diaries, receipts, computer files, anything that would help her answer the key question of this gripping podcast: why did people join ISIS? Callimachi and audio producer Andy Mills present their answers in absorbing style, wedding storytelling, reports from Iraq, and interviews with a wide range of subjects – from Abu Huzafah to a Yazidi girl tortured by ISIS troops – to produce a wonderful example of what longform audio reporting can and should sound like.

Kept Out – Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, PRX, PBS Newshour, and the Associated Press (Public radio stations nationwide)

Although some might assume redlining – the practice of discouraging non-white people from living in certain neighborhoods by manipulating rentals and homebuying – a thing of the past, this report found people of color are still far more likely than whites to see mortgage applications denied in 61metro areas across the country. The review of 31 million records also unearthed redlining in ethnically and racially diverse areas. The series prompted investigations in several states, inspired the establishment of a $100 million affordable housing fund in Philadelphia, and forced banks to open branches in underserved areas.

Monumental Lies – Type Investigations and Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX (Public radio stations nationwide)

Exploring the contested history surrounding monuments in the South and the Southwest, this nuanced report adds depth to current debates about how the public should mark troubling chapters of our history. The investigative teams explore how “Lost Cause ideology” often substitutes for historical accuracy by sending black and white reporters, individually, into Beauvoir, a Mississippi site dedicated to Confederate president Jefferson Davis. Listeners hear what “truths” each get told. The series also addresses how monuments to racist pasts is a national, rather than regional problem, as Southwestern states memorialize monuments of settlement and colonization.


Stony Brook Southampton Offers Audio Podcasting Fellows Program



Stony Brook Southhampton / Manhattan is accepting applications for their Audio Podcast Fellows program. The application deadline is May 31, 2019. Those who are interested can apply by clicking a link on the Stony Brook Southhampton website about the program.

The Audio Podcast Fellows program offers a year of advanced hands-on training to introduce students to the most current information on every aspect of audio podcast production, from storytelling and writing, to audio editing and sound, to marketing, production and distribution.

Fellows will work on a variety of shows with Stony Brook Southampton’s production partners, while producing a portfolio including a podcast pilot that is ready to take to market. Admission is selective and limited to ten Fellows at each site.

Accepted students will have the opportunity to work in a studio on other podcasts as well as their own.

Throughout the program, students will take advantage of two Stony Brook classroom and recording locations: the newly renovated David Rakoff Studio on the Southampton campus, and the Center for Creative Writing and Film in Manhattan.

The program will include field trips to conferences, live recordings/shows, and studios around the city.


Universal Music Group and Wondery will Make Podcasts Together



Universal Music Group (UMG) and Wondery have announced an agreement to develop premium original podcasts drawing upon the breadth and depth of UMG’s renowned musical catalog as well as its iconic roster of artists and labels.

Podcasts produced under the agreement will be available globally on any platform Wondery makes its content available. Wondery, with credits that include Dirty John, Dr. Death and Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football, Inc., is the fastest company to join Podtrac’s Top 10 New Podcasts, holding both the #1 and #2 spots in 2018.

The premium original podcasts created by Wondery and UMG will serve as an “extension of the compelling narratives and content that UMG is already creating around its artists, labels and catalog.”

The podcasts will also become an incubator for UMG’s growing slate of critically acclaimed film and television projects, as well as a meaningful platform to reach audiences with content from short and long-form programming from the company’s Polygram Entertainment and its numerous record labels worldwide. UMG has been developing and producing podcasts since 2012.

Podnews points out that this joint agreement does not mean that Wondery can start using all of UMG’s songs. Podnews states: “UMG owns the recordings, but not typically the publishing rights for the songs, which would also need to be agreed.”


Cadence13 and Chris Hardwick are in a Legal Battle



TMZ reported that podcast company Cadence13 and Chris Hardwick, of the ID10T website, are having a legal battle involving money. It appears that TMZ has both sides of the situation.

According to TMZ, Cadence13 has filed a lawsuit against Chris Hardwick. Cadence13 claims that Chris Hardwick bowed out of a deal to produce a weekly podcast and failed to pay back the rest of his $1 million cash advance.

It appears that Chris Hardwick signed a two-year deal in 2018 to create four podcasts per month. Cadence13 claims that Chris Hardwick stopped making new episodes of the podcast in June of 2018.

The timing coincides with a Medium post written by Chloe Dykstra in which she reveals the emotional and sexual abuse she experienced from someone she used to date.

She didn’t name the person in her Medium article, but described the person as someone who was 20 years her senior and who went from being a “podcaster to a powerhouse CEO of his own company.” That description could fit Chris Hardwick.

Cadence13 claims that it paid Chris Hardwick $1 million in advances, and says that he has not paid back the full amount after stopping his ID10T podcast. It appears that Cadence13 has recouped about $394K in ad revenue, and that they are suing Chris Hardwick for the remaining $606K.

A lawyer for Chris Hardwick contacted TMZ. The lawyer claims that Cadence13 owes Chris Hardwick $3 million and filing their lawsuit is their attempt to try and avoid fulfilling their obligations to pay him. The lawyer also claims that Chris Hardwick has delivered over 30 podcast episodes since October of 2018 and hasn’t been paid a dime.

In addition, the lawyer for Chris Hardwick says that the law firm representing Cadence13 in its lawsuit is the same one that “conducted a comprehensive investigation and exonerated Chris of the baseless allegations of (emotional and sexual abuse) referenced in the filing.” The lawyer says Chris Hardwick and his team will “take all appropriate steps to recover the millions of dollars which C13 contractually owes him.”