Anchor Offers the Easiest Way to Make a Podcast



Anchor is offering the “easiest way to make a podcast, ever” in its newest release. You can now record and post and publish your podcast on major podcast outlets right through Anchor.

In the newest release, Anchor becomes the only platform where you can publish to major podcast outlets like Apple Podcasts and Google Play Music with a single tap of a button on your phone. Available today for iOS and Android, – it’s 100% free, entirely mobile, and so easy to use that literally anyone can make a podcast now.

In the blog post, Anchor explains their motivation. “One of the most common things we hear from people is that they want their Anchor station to be discoverable as an actual podcast.” This new release makes that possible. To quote Anchor’s blog post: “Unfamiliar with RSS? Cool, let’s keep it that way.”

It seems to me that Anchor is aiming at people who are brand new to podcasting and who do not yet have the technical knowledge to record, edit, post, and submit their episodes themselves. Or, it might be for super busy people who want to make a quick podcast and not have to spend time with the technical aspects of podcasting.

Anchor says that it makes recording and sharing audio as simple as talking on the telephone. It suggests you can use their platform to capture your own voice, take call-ins from listeners, conduct remote interviews with anyone, or broadcast full length songs from Apple Music or Spotify.

When your episode is done, and you are happy with it – you can post your podcast in one tap to your Anchor station. Anchor will take care of submission and distribution to Apple Podcasts and Google Play for you.

To me, it seems that Anchor just made podcasting super easy for new people to try. It lets people focus on creating without having to take the time to learn how the technology aspects work, to learn how to edit, or to figure out what an RSS feed is.

On the other hand… some of this makes me cringe. As a person who has done music podcasting in the past, I worry about the legality of broadcasting full length songs from Apple Music or Spotify. It is unclear to me how someone who podcasts on Anchor would know if a song was released under creative commons, released under public domain, or if it was owned by a record label. Hopefully, Anchor has worked out the details and permissions for that behind the scenes.

I’m also cringing about what the quality of the audio might be like. I’ve listened to podcasts on Blog Talk Radio, and while the content may be interesting, I found the audio lacking. Anchor is designed to be recorded on your phone.

And, as always, there is a risk to having all of your creative content located entirely on a platform that you do not own. There have been situations in the past where podcasters woke up one day to learn that their hosting service shut down and disappeared without warning – along with all the content they posted on it.


Spreaker Introduces Follower Tracking



Spreaker has launched follower tracking. It is a new data point that is intended to give you another statistic to help you attract and keep followers. The blog post about follower tracking says: “If you podcast, they will follow.”

One thing that Spreaker’s new follower tracking feature can do is enable you to trace spikes in followers back to actual episodes and marketing decisions. If you see a spike in followers, you can backtrack to potentially determine what caused it. It might be related to your killer social media campaign, or an episode where you interviewed someone famous.

Another thing that Spreaker’s new follower tracking can do is give you more information about your follower count. A random person might play one episode and never return. Your followers, on the other hand, are committed and want to return to hear more. Spreaker’s follower tracking can show you if you’ve kept up with the high-quality content, consistent schedule, and engaging materials your listeners want.

Spreaker’s new follower tracking can also help you get to know your audience really well.

A Spreaker follower is an actual person with a profile you can look at. So, whenever you see a sudden upshot in numbers, find out who else that follower follows and who follows them back, and discover a whole network of communities to tap into.

If your podcast is on Spreaker, and you have a Broadcaster plan or higher, then you can make use of Spreaker’s new follower tracking and the information it provides. The Broadcaster Plan cost $19.99 a month (or $199 billed annually).


Spotify Quietly Opens Podcast Submission Form



spotify logoSpotify made a splash back in 2015 when it announced that it would be bringing podcasts to its popular media-streaming platform. During that announcement, Spotify indicated it would be working with a select group of partners to bring the first round of podcasts into its system. It was unclear at the time if Spotify would ever host an open podcast directory similar to iTunes or TuneIn, or if it would instead be a tiny walled garden, accessible to only a few podcast producers.

Despite pleas from the podcasting community, Spotify remained conspicuously silent on whether or not the company would ever take open submissions from podcasters. In the two years following that initial announcement, Spotify continued to experiment with how to handle podcasts within its suite of cross-platform apps. But the Sweden-based streaming service never made much in the way of official announcements about podcasting.

And while it seems Spotify’s general take on podcasting hasn’t changed all that much, the company has done one thing, albeit quietly, that podcasters have been asking for. Spotify has created an online submission form podcasters can use to request their shows be included within the platform’s podcast offering.

Those who elect to submit a podcast to Spotify should proceed with realistic expectations. The form warns that, “All submissions will be reviewed, and you’ll be notified once approved. Please note submission does not guarantee automatic approval.” And while all podcast-syndication platforms have their own internal requirements for approval, Spotify hasn’t publicized exactly what its criteria is for an acceptable podcast. One bit of advice that has floated around for some time is that, shows with little or no music tend to get Spotify’s approval more often than shows that use a lot of music.

Overall, it seems like Spotify still has a long way to go in order to truly embrace podcasting. But its willingness to consider open submissions is a step in the right direction.


Mozilla Launches IRL Podcast Hosted by Veronica Belmont



IRL LogoThe Mozilla Foundation has been an integral force on the internet since… well, the beginning of the internet. The organization developed the first widely used web browser, Netscape, over tweety years ago. Today, Mozilla is known for its continuing work on the popular Firefox browser, along with many other internet-related projects.

It seems only natural that a company with such deep ties to the internet would eventually produce a podcast about the internet. Mozilla’s describes its new IRL podcast as:

Let’s face it: our online life is real life. We walk, talk, work, LOL and even love on the Internet — but we don’t always treat it like real life. In IRL, an original podcast from Mozilla, host Veronica Belmont explores this disconnect with stories from the wilds of the Web, and gets to the bottom of online issues that affect us all.

Veronica Belmont, host of the new IRL podcast, has created content in the past for CNET, TWiT, Sony, and Revision3. According to her bio on the IRL podcast site, Belmont is also a Product Manager at Growbot.io, as well as a startup advisor, and board member at about.me.

Listeners can subscribe to IRL podcast thru Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other directories.


HowStuffWorks Launches Comedy Division



HowStuffWorks is a leading publisher of informative podcast, video, and editorial content. HowStuffWorks has announced that Jack O’Brien has joined the team to launch the company’s West Coast operations out of Los Angeles. O’Brian is the founder of Cracked.com. He is tasked with HowStuffWorks’ expansion into comedy, a quickly growing podcast genre.

Jack O’Brien joins HowStuffWorks after 11 years as founder and editor-in-chief of Cracked.com. During his tenure, he cultivated the distinct, satirical voice that Cracked is known for, led creative hiring for the publication and hosted The Cracked Podcast. O’Brien’s unique experience makes him the ideal choice to lead HowStuffWorks’ west-coast growth and move into comedy.

HowStuffWorks is excited to invest in comedy as the first step in expanding the types of new shows launching in the coming months. Chief Content Officer at HowStuffWorks, Jason Hoch, said:

We have grand plans for growing and expanding our audience and leadership position in the podcast space. We started by bringing on creative geniuses from iconic brands and our move into comedy is the first of more genres to come. So much of HowStuffWorks listener base has grown up with us and we aren’t slowing down anytime soon.

O’Brien’s hire comes on the heels of Mental Floss co-founders Will Pearson & Mangesh Hattikudur’s addition to the HowStuffWorks family and the launch of the new podcast Part-Time Genius. Earlier this spring, HowStuffWorks debuted the premier of FoodStuff and released the second season of The Stuff of Life.


Gimlet Ended the Twice Removed Podcast



Twice Removed is a podcast from Gimlet that has now come to an end. It was a family history podcast that released a total of six episodes. The last episode was posted on June 16, 2017, and served as a Father’s Day episode.

Twice Removed was hosted by A.J. Jacobs, author of several New York Times best sellers. People who are interested in genealogy and family history might recognize his name from the Global Family Reunion (which he was the founder of).

The Global Family Reunion took place on June 6, 2015. The main concept behind it is that everyone is a cousin to everyone else. This notion raised some controversy among professional genealogists.

The description of Twice Removed touches on that concept: “A new family history podcast hosted by A.J. Jacobs. They say we’re one big family: this is the show that proves it. You will be filled with delight…or abject horror. You never know. It’s family”.

On June 16, 2017, the Twice Removed Facebook page included a post that announced that the podcast had come to it’s end. It stated that the podcast was not coming back for a second season.

…Twice Removed, was one of the most ambitious shows we’ve launched to date. Each episode included months of research, story scouting, genealogy and production. We set a high bar for what we wanted the show to achieve creatively, and the team met that bar consistently. We couldn’t be prouder of what they accomplished.

Ultimately, Twice Removed proved to be too complicated to produce on a consistent basis. As part of our commitment to making the best podcasts possible for our listeners, we decided it was best to sunset Twice Removed, and refocus our efforts on making other great shows. …

The final episode of Twice Removed is titled “Ginny”. Its description says: “A 93-year-old man takes a DNA test, and everything changes.” At the time I am writing this blog, all six episodes of Twice Removed are still on the Gimlet website.


Clammr Is Shutting Down



RIP ClammrMaking podcast audio sharable online is certainly a worthwhile task. When was the last time a piece of audio went viral? After all, it can be tough to easily share long-form content. Or more specifically, segments of that long-form content.

Podcast-clip sharing service Clammr had hoped to be the solution to this problem. But alas, the company has announced it will be shutting down. From an e-mail sent to registered Clammr users:

Dear Clammr Users:

It’s time for our team to move on to new adventures. We write to inform you that we will be shutting down the Clammr service at 11:59pm ET on 2 July 2017.

Thank you for all of the creativity and joy that you have shared with the world using Clammr. We’ve been inspired by the community every day and cherish having had the opportunity to get to know so many amazing and talented people.

We realize that some of you may wish to keep the Clammr clips you created. We have posted instructions with a hack on how to do that in Section XIX of the User Guide. In short, you need to take three steps (1) share the clip to twitter using the Clammr app; (2) go to twitter and copy the url of the tweet; (3) enter the url on a tweet-to-MP4 conversion site to generate an MP4 video file that you can download.

Many thanks and best wishes!

– The Clammr Team

The shutdown was also confirmed by Clammr’s Twitter account:


Microsoft and Gimlet Launch .future



Microsoft Story Labs and Gimlet Creative have teamed up to launch a podcast called .future (which is pronounced “dot future”). Each episode will focus on technologies across a variety of sectors. The first episode was released on June 28, 2017.

The future isn’t random; it’s the result of the choices we make now. Choices about how we think, work, communicate, and learn. Join Microsoft Story Labs and Gimlet Creative for .future (dot future), a new branded podcast that explores tomorrow’s technology today and how it will affect generations to come.

The host of .future is Cristina Quinn. She is a science and technology reporter. She is also the co-host of Trace Elements (from PRX).

As of the time I am writing this blog post, a Trailer has been released for .future. The first episode is titled “Securing a Digital Battlefield”. The episode is hosted by Cristina Quinn, and features five guests. The episode is described as: “In this episode, we examine a new battlefield: The cloud. The information we store in the cloud makes it especially vulnerable to attack. So, what it takes to create a safeguard against bad actors? We explore how a digital Geneva Convention could be the solution.”

An upcoming episode of .future will focus on Minecraft. It is a popular video game that launched in 2009 that allows players to build things. Today, the game has being used in education, communication, and relationships for many people. This episode features poet Victoria Bennet, who used Minecraft as a way to express her grief over her mother’s illness and as a way to preserve her mother’s memory.

Another upcoming episode will focus on Health. It features Chris Dancy, who believes it is possible to know more about your health than your doctor does. He describes himself as a “mindful cyborg” and he has rebuilt his own health by collecting data about himself.


Tidal Launches Tidal On Air



Tidal, a music and entertainment company owned by Jay Z, has launched Tidal On Air. It will feature new podcast playlists hosted by influential names in music and comedy.

The newly launched initiative Tidal On Air will feature the likes of Angie Martinez, Elliot Wilson, Brian “B.Dot” Miller, Stefi Chacon, Cipha Sounds, and Luis Jimenez. The first episodes of “In Real Life”, “Rap Radar”, and “En La Mira” are available for subscribers to the service today.

In Real Life is hosted by Angie Martinez, the iconic voice of hip-hop radio, and Miss Info, hip-hop web’s Voice of Reason. They let listeners into their longtime friendship as they tackle life, pop culture, politics, and everything else that happens off the clock.

Rap Radar  is hosted by Elliot Wilson and Brian “B.Dot” Miller. The podcast is a relaunch of the home of hip-hop’s most revealing interviews. Both Wilson and Miler are true journalists who do an immense amount of research, know how to listen and are driven to get the answers to the questions hip-hop fans want to know.

En La Mira is hosted by Miami-based radio personality Stefi Chacon. She is a producer who interviews the most talked about artists in the Latin pop and Latin urban genres. Stefi Chacon is credited for jumping on the Latin hip-hop wave early by providing a platform for artists when it wasn’t as relevant as it is now.

The Guest Spot is “coming soon” to Tidal On Air. It is hosted by Cipha Sounds. A “guest spot” is a comedy industry term for when a comic who is not booked on the show performs an unannounced set. This podcast will be a conversation between Cipha Sounds, experts on a particular subject (mostly comedians), and a “guest spot” – a person who is not an expert in the field, but still has opinions.

Luis Jimenez is the title of another podcast that is “coming soon” to Tidal On Air. It is hosted by Luis Jimenez, one of the most influential and controversial Djs in radio history. In special-themed episodes, Jimenez will bring his unique perspective and humor to cultural events like Hispanic Heritage Month, Columbian Independence Day, and more.