Glow Stops Processing Payments for Listener Support



Glow announced that they are no longer charging to process payments. If you use Glow to collect listener support, you will pay credit card processing fees, and nothing more.

Many podcasts, as Glow points out, create immense value for their listeners. Despite that, most podcasters are still paying to podcast. Your listeners love what you make and want to see more of it.

Unfortunately, many podcasters are not making money from their podcasts. It can take a tremendous amount of work just to put out one episode. There is a lot of time and effort spent on planning topics, recording the episode, booking guests, dealing with whatever tech issues come up, writing show notes, transcribing the show, and more.

Glow is here for you as you build your podcast business, and that starts with making listener support drop-dead simple and as free as we can make it. If you want to get started with launching your listener support page, you can do that here.

How does Glow make its money? It says it does that “by growing with you.” When you’re ready to take your membership program to the next level, Glow has built what it describes as the world’s easiest and most flexible way to offer exclusive content to your listeners.

In short, Glow is now offering two pricing plans: Listener Support and Exclusive Content.

Listener Support

Collects payments and manage a membership program
$0 per listener per month (plus card processing fees)
Custom Glow Page
One-tap Listener Payment
Apple Pay and Google Pay Integration

Exclusive Content

Offer premium content to membership
$0.55 per listener per month (plus card processing fees)
Custom Glow Page
One-tap Listener Payment
Private Feed Distribution
Feed Piracy Monitoring


Luminary Welcomes Simon Sutton as Chief Executive Officer



Luminary Media announced that Simon Sutton, former President and Chief Revenue Officer of HBO, has joined Luminary as CEO. Matt Sacks, who founded Luminary in 2018, will serve as Executive Chairman of Luminary.

This comes after a series of personnel changes at Luminary. The company debuted in April of 2019. In August of 2019, co-founder Joe Purzycki stepped down as Chief Strategy Officer. Luminary replaced Joe Purzycki with Jeff Saunders, who is now Luminary’s Chief Product Officer. Previously, Jeff Saunders was the VP of Product and Technology at Jet.com.

“It is hard to imagine a more perfect, positive, and transformative development for Luminary,” Sacks said. “Simon is a seasoned media executive who at one point or another ran every functional area of one of the most successful subscription content businesses in the world, consistently growing subscribers, revenue, and profit.”

In addition to successfully recruiting Sutton, Luminary also announced that it had raised an additional $30 million in the first closing of a Series C financing from existing and new investors.

Luminary was founded by Matt Sacks in 2018 with backing from NEA. NEA is a global venture capital fund with $20 billion in assets under management, where Sacks previously was a Principle focused on consumer internet investments.

Sutton’s deep expertise aligns perfectly with Luminary’s approach to world-class talent like Trevor Noah, Conan O’Brian’s Team Coco, Lena Dunham, and Leon Neyfakh, as well as Luminary’s business model.


Audio Production Awards 2019 Nominations Announced



The list of nominations has been released for the 2019 Audio Production Awards (APAs), the premier awards for production skills across radio, audiobooks, and podcasting. The APAs, sponsored by leading audiobook publisher Audible, will be presented at a Gala event on Thursday 28 November, hosted by TV and radio presenter, Tommy Sandhu.

Nominees are from across UK production talent, including audio production companies, in-house producers and freelance producers of radio, podcasts, and audiobooks. Out-of-London companies featured range from Gusman in Falkirk to Sweet Talk in Sussex, via Allergra Productions in Suffolk, and Manchester’s Audio Always and Sparklab.

Nominees include Dame Kelly Holmes, shortlisted for the “New Voice Award”, and DJ Smoochie Shy (“Best Presenter”), while producers Cathy FitzGerald and Hana Walker-Brown each receive three nominations. David Walliams is nominated for Audio Performer of the Year.

The Grassroots Production Award, celebrating working with new and diverse talent, includes nominations for the Prison Radio Association and Radio Wanno at HMP Wandsworth, alongside Carousel, a Brighton-based charity helping learning-disabled artists develop their creative lives through radio and podcast projects, and Amliah, which works with Muslim women.

One easy way to see the full list of nominations is to visit the AudioUK Twitter account @WeAreAudioUK. They have posted a series of Tweets with details about who all of the nominees are. Tickets for the Thursday 28 November event are available through eventbrite.


Renay Richardson Launches Joint Venture with Sony Music Entertainment



Award-winning podcast producer Renay Richardson and Sony Music Entertainment announced the launch of a new multi-genre podcasting joint venture focused on the development and distribution of original programming.

Richardson is a producer who has previously worked for leading podcast platforms including Acast, Audible, and Panoply and a successful independent podcast creator whose credits include About Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge and The Receipts on 1xtra from BBC Radio 1Xtra.

The London-based joint venture, called Broccoli Content, will develop a wide range of original scripted and unscripted podcasts under the leadership of Richardson and drive an expansion of opportunities for unique storytellers around the world to broadly connect with listeners. The agreement further increases Sony Music’s support of global podcast community and marks its first podcasting production joint venture outside the US.

In addition, the Broccoli team will work with 4th Floor Creative – Sony Music UK’s creative division, comprising of Brand Partnerships, Content, Creative, Sync, Podcasting and Digital and Audience Development – to explore a range of podcasting opportunities originating in the UK market, supporting Sony Music artists and podcasting talent.


Simplecast Created a Stickiness Metric



Simplecast announced a stickiness metric. The company wants podcasters to answer deeper questions than they can get from Facebook page likes or website views. Those questions include: Does your show keep listeners coming back for more? Do marketing efforts help attract new listeners? Do marketing efforts create new “sticky” listeners?

While I only selected a few shows for this article, I’ve chosen them to illustrate a few different scenarios of a show’s launch. Show # 1 is a weekly show with a big initial launch day (eg. featured in apps like Stitcher and Apple Podcasts), Show # 2 is a weekly show with an organic growth trajectory (eg. word of mouth or current available audience), and Show # 3 is a daily show and also has an organic growth trajectory.

You can find more information about how Simplecast came up with their data and metrics on the Medium post that was written by Chief Technology Office of Simplecast, Stephen Hallgren.

By “stickiness”, he means listeners who keep coming back to a podcast for more. He expected and hoped to see listeners transitioning from 1 to 2 to 3+ episodes for each episode release. He also hoped to see the percentages for single episode listeners to be low.

Things didn’t quite work out that way with the three shows he gathered data on. Show # 1 pulled in significant numbers of listeners on launch day, but then the number went down. Only 20% of initial listeners returned to listen to at least one additional episode. Show # 2 and Show # 3 had much smaller launch days, but their listeners were more engaged and were likely to keep listening to more episodes.

Simplecast is working on other analytics (beyond stickiness) such as podcast onramps and episode entry points and user behavior across episodes. The concept of stickiness of listeners is interesting.

That said, I doubt advertisers will switch from using IAB information about number of downloads in favor of listener stickiness. Podcasters, however, might find stickiness to be useful for figuring out how dedicated an audience they actually have.


NPR’s Student Podcast Challenge is Back



NPR announced that their Student Podcast Challenge is back. It is a chance for students to compete with young people all over the country for the grand prize: their story appearing on NPR’s Morning Edition or All Things Considered.

Last school year, we received nearly 6,000 entries from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, with more than 25,000 students participating. The contest was a big success – we heard from so many teachers about how much fun they had and how their students got fired up by the project.

This year’s contest will follow the same basic parameters: Beginning in January, teachers or qualified educators can submit student entries in two basic categories: grades 5-8 and grades 9-12. Entries can be as short as 3 minutes and as long as 12 minutes.

NPR says that they are still finalizing and updating the rules for this year and will post them soon. As before, they have guidance on who can enter, how to submit your entry, and updated information about their no-music policy and other key rules. You can find them on the NPR Student Podcast Challenge website.

In Year Two (which NPR is calling SPC2), their goal is to build in more support for teachers and students, based on feedback from teachers and the lessons NPR drew from listening to all those podcasts. NPR will have more training materials and advice on audio reporting, writing, and sound editing production.


Simplecast is Now IAB Certified



Simplecast announced that they are now IAB certified. They had been working with a third-party auditing firm to achieve IAB Podcast Measurement Certification. All Simplecast Audience metrics have been audited, approved, and certified by IAB.

Certification allows for analytics, regardless of the podcast host, to be reported in a standardized way and verified by a third party. Standardized analytics opens doors for creators, advertisers, brands, non-profits, and institutions to use consistent numbers that they can all trust.

Simplecast has rolled out the first of multiple data points to podcasters’ Simplecast Dashboard – the robust Unique Listeners measurement and comparison report.

Simplecast pointed out that as more podcast management platforms have become IAB certified, each provider made core changes to the analytics they report. This typically caused reported download numbers to decrease. Podcasters on Simplecast can expect to see that decrease as well.

According to Simplecast, they need to further refine their repeat download period to a rolling 24-hour window in order to achieve final certification. That change went into effect on October 24, 2019, and it sets Simplecast’s window-length as the same as all other IAB-certified hosts.


Spotify Seeks a Podcast Content Analyst



Spotify is looking for an exceptional Podcast Content Analyst to help build Spotify’s original and exclusive podcast business. Spotify’s mission is to re-imagine the creator and consumer experience to be the audio-first network for the world.

We are looking for a candidate who has a deep understanding of content, thinks probabilistically, and can navigate their way around large datasets. We are looking for a natural communicator who is able to explain complex data and insights to both business and creative audiences. Accompanying this broad set of responsibilities is exposure to many functional areas, as well as senior management across Spotify.

Requirements include:

  •  2+ years of relevant experience in management consulting, investment banking, or asset management and/or at a media/tech company in analytical role.
  •  Knowledge of podcast landscape, prior experience in podcast industry, and/or prior experience in analyzing performance of content is a plus.
  •  Experience writing advanced SQL queries. Experience with R or Python is a plus.
  •  Comfort navigating complex and fluid organizational structures within a dynamic and global company. You will need to build and maintain cross-functional relationships spanning multiple teams and geographies.

To find out more, and to apply for Spotify’s Podcast Content Analyst position, visit the want ad where the job posting is displayed.


Wondery Teamed Up with NBC News and Ranieri and Co.



AdWeek reported that NBC News and Wondery have teamed up to develop a slate of news and politics podcasts beginning in 2020. As part of the multiyear deal, NBC News and Wondery will work together on news and politics podcast series based on reporting from NBC News’ slate of investigative reporting.

Additionally, Wondery will take over ad sales and marketing for NBC News’ existing podcasts, opening up those programs to Wondery’s network of advertisers in the U.S. and U.K. Any new programming the companies jointly develop and produce will be marketed and sold by Wondery’s sales team. NBCUniversal’s sales team will still be able to include the podcasting slate in cross-platform advertising deals. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In addition, Wondery has teamed up with Ranieri and Co., (an Australian and New Zealand podcast company). Ranieri and Co. will be the local representative for Wondery. Ranieri and Co. was launched by former Tribe executives Rob Ranieri and Nick Randall.

Nick Randell told Mumbrella the intimate relationship between listeners and podcasts allows brands to get very back-to-basics with their approach and return to basic storytelling, something he’s delighted to be involved with. Nick Randall said:

You can tell if a radio ad has been inserted straight into a podcast, there’s a jarring experience, because radio ads are created to stand out in a bank of eight or ten ads, so they can be quite aggressive, but that doesn’t work in a podcast when it’s just one ad. You’ve got to respect that relationship and look at it differently.

In the new partnership between Wondery and Ranieri and Co., Wondery will be the entry point for Australian brands to access Wondery’s portfolio of podcasts which include hit shows Dr. Death, Dirty John, The Shrink Next Door, Business Wars, Imagined Live, Generation Why, and Over My Dead Body.