Podcast Awards Nominations

The 12th Annual Podcast Awards nominations open on July 1st.

The 12th annual event is shaping up to be an interesting year with the new site, new rules, and voting process. The changes made by the Podcast Awards committee in response to significant process inequity over the past two or three years are on the surface, appear to prevent virtually handing the win to a group of shows that teamed up for group nominations and group voting. The changes to voting process appear to attempt to level the playing field, and according to the podcast awards rules page restored the spirit of the awards.

With the awards being boycotted by a small number of shows that are part of the Diamond Group due to the rules change, controversy does continue.

“Todd Cochrane the Awards founder said it’s unfortunate what’s happened the last couple of years. He said his reaction following the awards last year was not the best, and to a point, he felt upon review what the Diamond Group did was within the rules, it sure definitely was not in the spirit of the awards. The mocking and off-channel discussions showed a small percentage of the participants were in it for sport.” He goes on to say, “I did not create the awards to have them manipulated, but in hindsight, the committee should have made the changes as soon as I reacquired the awards.  He states the Awards Committee worked really hard to bring equity back to the event”

With the Podcast Awards about two weeks away, it will be interesting to see how the process flushes out.  As has been often by the founder, the awards process is never perfect. You can register all the way through the end of July but remember nominations open on July 1st.

SoundCloud (Probably) Needs More Funding

SoundCloud LogoThe topic of SoundCloud’s shaky financial future has been covered here often in the past. And the latest news to come out of the Berlin-based music/podcast distribution company doesn’t do much to improve SoundCloud’s outlook.

A Hacker News user known only by the username throwaway-sc posted this question to that website’s message board:

SoundCloud has deferred salary reviews until the next funding round is complete.
Over the last few years, travel between offices has been restricted to business critical travel only. More expensive food items have started disappearing from our kitchen.

Employees used to get a small bottle of champagne on their birthdays & employment anniversaries. This doesn’t happen anymore.

All of the above feels reasonable.

However, they recently announced that the July 1 salary review that everyone was promised will be deferred. There is no information about back pay or a date about when the next salary review will happen.

Salary increases are predicated on the next round of funding. They anticipate that the round will close over the next couple of months, if not weeks.

I’m sure that everyone here will have been in similar situations before.

What did you do? And, how did you decide whether to continue working or start looking for other opportunities.

It’s worth noting that this is an anonymous post on the internet. There’s no way to confirm its authenticity. In the replies that follow the original post, other Hacker News users condemn throwaway-sc for even mentioning his employer’s name.

But if this post holds any voracity, it proves what we probably already knew; SoundCloud is still struggling financially and will need to raise more funding in order to keep going. The company’s already gone thru multiple rounds of venture capital and debt funding. How much longer can SoundCloud continue to operate on borrowed cash?

Vote Now for Ignite Podcast Movement Presentations

Ignite Podcast Movement logoA new offering at this year’s Podcast Movement conference in California is the Ignite event that will be held the night before the conference officially opens. Ignite is described as a series of five-minute presentations (called Sparks) consisting of 20 slides that automatically advance every fifteen seconds. Sparks are designed to keep things moving so presenters stay on their toes and audience members remain engaged.

Spark submissions for Podcast Movement’s Ignite 2017 have closed. Now conference organizers are asking registered attendees of Podcast Movement to vote on the Sparks that have been submitted. On the voting form, attendees are shown a list of different Sparks with descriptions provided by the presenters who created them. Attendees are asked to select one of three choices for each Spark: Gotta See It, Sounds Okay, and Meh, I’ll Pass.

While the form is technically open and accessible to anyone, the form instructions stress that only registered attendees of Podcast Movement 2017 should be placing votes. These votes are limited to one vote per person. Spark submissions will be removed if Podcast Movement determines there has been cheating on any Spark’s behalf. There’s also a bit of advice for overeager self-promoters:

You cannot post this on your blog or share it in your podcast asking the public for votes, however, do encourage your fellow PM attendees to head this way and vote for their favorites!

The Spark voting form asks for an e-mail address, and that’s presumably how Podcast Movement will determine which votes are legit and which are not. The voting form for Ignite Podcast Movement 2017 can be found here.

Tung Podcast Player Goes Open Source

Tung logoTung, self-described as “a social podcast player,” has gone open source. Tung’s developer made the announcement via Reddit earlier this week:

Some of you may have seen my posts about tung.fm in the past. It’s a social podcast app I developed for web and iOS – “Discover podcasts by sharing comments, clips, and recommendations with your friends.” Well, now it is completely open-source…
I would like to invite anyone here who’s interested to contribute. I would especially love it if someone made an Android client.
I chose to make it open source so that it can have maximum benefit to the community.

Tung is a podcast consumption and sharing system that is currently available thru the web or as an iOS app. Podcast listeners can find their favorite shows on Tung and leave comments, share clips, and make recommendations. More from the Tung website:

Tung is a streaming podcast player designed to help you discover the best podcasts – the ones recommended by your peers and friends! With Tung you get a feed of what your friends are recommending, commenting on and sharing clips of.

While listening to a podcast, you can easily make an audio clip of any moment you find interesting and share it directly to Twitter and Facebook. And in the feed you can listen to clips your friends made of the most interesting or funny moments in a podcast.

Anyone interested in contributing to the further development of Tung as an open source project can do so via Github. The Tung app itself can be accessed thru the links above or on the iOS App Store.

PodCon is a Celebration of Podcasting

PodCon will take place in Seattle, Washington, on December 9 and 10 of 2017. It is a place where people can get together and really just “get into” podcasts for a couple of days. Tickets are on sale now.  PodCon started by raising money through crowdfunding on Indiegogo.  That campaign has now closed, with $243,746 raised by 3,022 backers.

There is an interesting description on the PodCon website about how it got started:

PodCon is the result of a conversation between four people:

Hank Green (who has run a bunch of conferences and conventions)

Joseph Fink and Jeffery Cranor (who created Welcome to Night Vale)

Travis McElroy (who produces more podcasts than any other known human.)

PodCon will bring together a diverse group of podcast pros in Seattle, Washington for two days of live podcasts, performances, discussions, workshops, and weirdness. You can expect live podcasts from your favorite creators, special guest performances, panel discussions for both creators and fans, expert-led creative workshops, and “a whole bunch of wacky weirdness.”

Featured Guests Include:

  • Gaby Dunn – Bad With Money With Gaby Dunn
  • Dylan Marron – Welcome to Night Vale
  • Phoebe Judge and Lauren Spohrer – Criminal
  • Rod and Karen Morrow – The Black Guy Who Tips
  • Roman Mars – 99% Invisible
  • Franchesca Ramsey – Last Name Basis
  • Aaron Mahnke – Lore
  • Kevin T. Porter – Gilmore Guys
  • Hank and John Green – Dear Hank and John
  • Dr. Sydnee McElroy – Sawbones
  • Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy – My Brother, My Brother and Me

There are two types of tickets. You can purchase a General Admission ticket for $100.00. Or, if you want to attend PodCon (but cannot make it there in person), you can purchase a Remote Attendance ticket. It costs $30.00.

The Remote Attendance ticket works like this: You buy one. PodCon happens. A few weeks after the event, PodCon sends you password protected podcast links with audio recordings of almost all of the panels, performances, and live recordings. I’ve never heard of a podcasting conference offering this to ticket buyers.

The First Annual ShoutOut Live Festival

The First Annual ShoutOut Live Festival will take place on August 5, 2017, in Bedford Way, Russell Square, London. It will bring the best podcasts out of the US and highlight the best of the UK for a full day of banter, commentary, and recklessness.

The Lineup Includes:

  • The Brilliant Idiots – Charlamange Tha God and Andrew Schultz (Loud Speakers Network)
  • The Friend Zone – Dustin Ross, HeyFranHey, and Assante (Loud Speakers Network)
  • Another Round – Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton (BuzzFeed)
  • Melanin Millennials – Imriel Morgan and Denelza (ShoutOut Network)
  • Mostly Lit – Alex Reads, Reckless Rai, and Derek (ShoutOut Network)
  • How to Kill an Hour – Marcus Bronzy, Dev, Nick Bright, Ace and Funk Butcher
  • Blacticulate – Ade Bamgbala and guests
  • 90s Baby Show – Temi Alchémy and Fred Santana (Radar Radio)
  • Pink Matter – Sam Rae and Jameela Joie
  • Artistic State of Mind – Juliana and Stephen (ShoutOut Network)
  • The Unoriginal Podcast – Ciara, Dayo and Fredi
  • Off the Cuff – Fols and Mr Vans
  • Ground Ego – Haych and Miss Al (ShoutOut Network)
  • The SRSLY Podcast – Carolina Crampton and Anna Leszkiewicz (New Statesman)

Tickets are available now. ShoutOut Live has put together a description of the various ticket options.

General Admission: Access to both stages and all podcasters on the lineup, seating is first come first served so make sure you grab a ticket an arrive nice and early to catch your favs. There are no standing options available for the Live! Stage.

Guaranteed Seating: Some shows might be incredibly popular so we’ve reserved a limited number of seats up front for the fans that want to park up for the day.

VIP: The VIP ticket will get you guaranteed seating up front at the Live! Stage and backstage access to the podcasters for a meet and greet.

Discover Only: You won’t have access to the Live! Stage. However, you’ll get to discover and experience over 8 UK podcasters throughout the day as well as panels and talks about media, broadcasting and production from the insiders. This room will be thoroughly entertaining all day.

RadioDays Europe Podcast Day

RadioDays Europe (RDE) is about radio’s future, but also about sharing experiences from the best of radio today. RDE was born in 2010 as a response to the European industry, public and private, to come together to discuss the new media challenges, across borders. RadioDays Europe Podcast Day will take place on June 15, 2017.

Podcast Day is a new event focused entirely on the fast-moving world of Podcasting. It will be held in the Rai Convention Centre, Amsterdam, Netherlands. (RDE has stated that the venue for Podcast Day 2018 will be Vienna.) Podcast Day will offers sessions about content, storytelling, platforms, audiences, and the business models for podcasting.

Speakers include:

  • Rebecca Bach-Lauristen and Peter Albrecthsen – Producers, Denmarks Radio
  • Daniel Anstandig – CEO, Futuri Media
  • Caroline Bratt Pouron – Content Strategist at P3, Swedish Radio
  • Dennis Christensen – Head of Audience Research, Danish Radio
  • Matt Deegan – Creative Director, Folder Media
  • Eric Deihn – CEO Midroll Media
  • Pablo Fernádez Delkader – Innovation and Product Development Manager, PRISA Radio
  • Ruth Fitzsimons – SVP International Operations & Content Partnerships – AudioBoom
  • Laurent Frisch – Head of Digital, Radio France
  • Tore Hauerbach – Digital Editor, Danish Broadcasting Corporation
  • Runa Henriksen Jorstad – Crime Reporter, NRK
  • Elizabeth Lane – Research Manager, BBC Radio 4, Radio 4 Extra, Radio & Music Multiplatform
  • Casja Lindberg – Controller SR P3, Swedish Radio
  • Martin Liss – Media & Management consultant
  • Jon Manel – Podcast Editor, BBC World Service
  • Brendan McDonald – Co-creator & Executive Producer, WTF
  • Leslie Merklinger – Senior Director of Audio Innovation, CBC Radio and Audio
  • Jason Phipps – Head of Audio, The Guardian
  • Nick Quah – Founder, Hot Pod
  • Colm Roche – Co-Founder, Radio Wolfgang
  • Rune Schwartz – Innovation Chief, Bauer Media Denmark
  • Paula Szuchman – Vice President of On-Demand Content, WYNC
  • Irina Tjelle – News Reporter, NRK
  • Claire Tonti – Creative Director and Head of Advertising, Planet Broadcast
  • Helen Zaltzman – Podcast Host & Producer, Podcasts – The Allusionist & Answer Me This

Apple Podcast Announcement Wrap-up – PCN Show 043

PCN iTunes artworkApple’s announcement this week at the end of the Worldwide Developer Conference is some of the biggest podcasting news to happen in years. That’s why I’ve decided to dedicate an entire episode to it.



New Features for Listeners, Stats for Podcasters Coming to Apple Podcasts

Apple logoApple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) is wrapping up this weekend in California. While Apple made plenty of announcements during WWDC, the tech giant may have truly left the best for last (at least, if you’re a podcaster).

Today, Apple announced major changes to its podcast spec. The first such spec changes the company has made in years. Apple also announced that it will finally be providing at least some listener data to podcast producers.

Acknowledging recent trends in the podcasting space, Apple will now provide support for seasons, preview episodes, and bonus episodes within its podcast RSS feed spec. That means it’ll be easier for podcasters to organize episodes by season, so listeners can download and listen back to episodes in the correct order. The preview and bonus episode options will make it easier for podcasters and listeners alike to identify episodes that might not be part of a podcast’s regular production cycle.

There’s been a lot of industry pressure as of late on Apple to provide listener data to podcasters. Acquiescing to these demands, Apple will begin providing some actual listener data to podcast producers:

Apple said today that it will be using (anonymized) data from the app to show podcasters how many people are listening and where in the app people are stopping or skipping. This has the potential to dramatically change our perception of how many people really listen to a show, and how many people skip ads, as well as how long a podcast can run before people just give up.

While this might look like the holy grail to some in terms of listener metrics, it appears that this data will be limited to listener activity from the iOS Podcasts app only. Not the cross-platform iTunes desktop application. And of course, it won’t pull in data from any services outside of the Apple ecosphere.

It’s not yet clear when Apple will allow podcasters to access listener data. The full implementation of the new Apple Podcasts RSS spec will likely coincide with the release of iOS 11 later this year. If you’d like to see what the new RSS tags will look like, Apple has released a document that covers the changes it’ll be making to the spec.