Podcast Movement 2018 Announced a New Track



Podcast Movement 2018 has announced that they have added a brand new track to their Session Offerings. The new track will start at this year’s Podcast Movement in Philadelphia.

The suggestion for this new category came from one of the most respected members of the podcast community, Podcast Hall of Famer Elsie Escobar. Her podcasts include She Podcasts and Libsyn’s The Feed. Part of Elsie Escobar’s explanation of the new track is:

Podcasters have a history of being culture shifters, change makers, fringe dwellers, and risk takers. There is a wealth of podcasts out there that have had a massive impact on society, culture, inclusion, diversity, and creating communities of belonging.

This year, Podcast Movement leads the industry by offering the opportunity to podcasters whose work is heavily embedded in social and cultural topics, serving underrepresented populations and to those addressing social justice issues through podcasting by adding another session track: Society, Culture & Advocacy!

The Society, Culture & Advocacy track is described as: “This track encourages speakers and attendees alike to address some of the most difficult, but also most important, topics head-on. From discussions around diversity, racism, and harassment, to bringing voice to underrepresented communities, we look forward to them happening at this year’s conference.”

Other Podcast Movement Session Tracks include:

  • Creation
  • Technical
  • Industry
  • Marketing
  • Monetization

Podible has a “New Year, New Studio” Sweepstakes



Podible was built with podcasters in mind. They have a “New Year, New Studio” sweepstakes happening right now. Enter to win a brand new studio! You must enter before February 5, 2018.

Podible is giving away a studio setup valued at over $500 to the registered podcast that has the most listens on their platform between January 15, 2018, and February 2, 2015.

If you already have a podcast on Podible, that has gets a good amount of listeners, it might be worth it to enter the sweepstakes. That being said, it is unclear when Podible starts counting your listens. Will they count it from January 15, 2018, or will they count it from the day you enter?

Personally, I’m not sure how someone who starts a brand new podcast on Podible right now would be able to compete with the Podible podcasters who already had a large, consistent, audience before the sweepstakes started. It generally takes time to grow an audience, especially for a new podcast.

To enter the sweepstakes, you must do three things:

  • Enter your email address and podcast name on the Podible website about the sweepstakes
  • Let your listeners know that they can help you will a new studio simply by listening to your podcast on Podible.
  • Check your email and @Podible on Twitter to see daily updates on how you’re doing and who is currently in the lead.

There will be a total of one winner of the Podible New Year New Studio Sweepstakes. That podcaster could win the following:

  • A Microphone Kit: Heil Sound PR 40 Dynamic Cardioid Studio Microphone Bundle with PRSM Shock Mount, Two-Section Broadcast Arm and Microphone Cable
  • An Isolation Shield: LyxPro VRI-20 Portable Acoustic Foam Isolation Microphone Shield, Sound Absorbing, Vocal Recording Panel, High Performance – Stand Mount
  • A Portable Recorder: Tascam DR-05 (Version 2) Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black) with Platinum accessory bundle
  • A Pop Filter: Dragonpad USA Pop Filter Studio Microphone Mic Wind Screen Pop Filter Swivel Mount 360 Flexible Gooseneck Holder, Black
  • And more!

The lucky winner will also receive “Podcast in a Box” services from PodcastPress and consultation services from Scott Doucet & Cole Johnson at Podcast Bay.


Podcast Movement 2018 is Accepting Speakers



Podcast Movement 2018 is now accepting speakers for their event. Podcast Movement 2018 will take place July 24 – 26, 2018, at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. Applications to be a Speaker will be accepted through February 28, 2018.

Everyone who applies to be a speaker will be notified no later than March 15, 2018. You will find out if you have been accepted.  Or, you will be notified that your submission was not accepted.  They aren’t going to leave you wondering about the status of your application.

The goal of the Podcast Movement is to create an event where awesome people in the podcast space can teach and inspire each other to grow as individuals, and grow the industry as a whole.

Podcast Movement 2018 is now accepting applications from podcasters who want to speak at the event. To apply, you will be asked to submit a working title and description of your proposed session or panel, as well as information about yourself and your podcasting experience.

Be aware that Podcast Movement typically gets more submissions for speakers than they can fit into the event. Last year, they had 500 submissions, and they expect there will be more than that this year. There are only a limited number of spots to fill. Last year, Podcast Movement accepted 50 of the 500 speakers who applied.

Interested podcasters are asked to take a moment to review the session types and session tracks, so they can pick the best fit for their submission. You can find plenty of information about each on the Podcast Movement website that discusses the call for submissions.


Gimlet Media Appointed Jenny Wall CMO



Gimlet Media announced that they have appointed Jenny Wall as the company’s first Chief Marketing Officer. In this newly created role, Wall will oversee all marketing and audience growth efforts at the company.

Prior to joining Gimlet, Jenny Wall was SVP, Head of Marketing, at Hulu where she oversaw all marketing, promotion, and creative for the company during a pivotal growth period. Wall will be based at Gimlet’s Brooklyn headquarters.

During her tenure at Hulu, Wall oversaw the launches of the company’s most high-profile Original Programming to date: The Mindy Project, Difficult People, the Golden Globe-nominated Casual, and the Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award-winning series, The Handmaid’s Tale.

Wall also launched Hulu’s commercial-free offering and the Hulu with Live TV bundle. Additionally, Wall dramatically increased Hulu’s brand awareness, overseeing a successful brand and acquisition marketing campaigns, driving subscriber growth.

“Jenny brings over two decades of entertainment marketing experience, with a proven track record for sparking cultural moments through stories that matter, from House of Cards to The Handmaid’s Tale,” said Matt Lieber, Co-founder and President, Gimlet. “She has worked to elevate the most significant new platforms in entertainment — HBO, Netflix, Hulu — and I can’t wait to see how her innovative, risk-taking approach will advance our growth in this new world of audio. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have Jenny onboard as Gimlet enters a pivotal, exciting phase for the company and audio industry at large.”

“I’ve been fortunate to work at some of the biggest innovators in entertainment and media, which is a big reason why I was so drawn to Gimlet — the company that is redefining what the future of audio can be,” said Wall. “I am passionate about entertainment and storytelling, and Gimlet is creating a new kind of media company, at the forefront of where this industry is going. We are creating shows that enrich people’s lives, and I’m excited to bring that experience to many more people.”


Did SoundCloud Reduce its Audio Quality?



SoundCloud LogoEarlier this month, there was some controversy over whether or not SoundCloud had reduced its audio quality. It is easy to see why podcasters and musicians who post their work on SoundCloud would find that idea upsetting. What really happened? I guess it depends on who you choose to believe.

Stereogum reported on January 4, 2018, that the news was first reported on Pigeons & Planes. As far as I can tell, the Pigeons & Planes post is no longer available. Here’s what Stereogum reported:

SoundCloud recently changed its streaming audio format from 128kpbs MP3 to 64kbps Opus, Pigeons & Planes reports, effectively reducing the platform’s audio quality. Although Opus is a higher quality file format and should sound better even with a lower bitrate, users are still noticing a significant drop in quality on both browsers and the SoundCloud Go app.

Several websites that wrote about this included tweets from Direct @DirectOfficial, a New Jersey producer:

On January 5, 2018, Pigeons & Planes posted a statement from SoundCloud:

“These reports are inaccurate,” the statement reads. “SoundCloud has not altered its approach to audio quality. We have been using the Opus codec (among others) since 2016, and we regularly test different combinations of encoding and streaming to offer listeners a quality experience on any device.”

In addition, a SoundCloud representative told Pigeons & Planes: “Furthermore, we store all content from creators at its originally uploaded quality level so we can continually adapt to advances in encoding and playback.”


PodPie Lets You Save Slices from Any Podcast



Podpie is intending to solve a problem that podcast listeners face. You hear something in a podcast episode that is especially entertaining or enlightening. If you want to keep that little nugget, you have no choice other than to save the entire episode. Podpies will solve this problem by letting you save slices from any podcast.

There isn’t a whole lot of information about Podpie on their website. It appears they are ready to announce what they can do – but not quite ready to start offering their services. What is clear is that Podpie is an app, and that you will be able to use the app to save small “slices” of a podcast.

Here’s how it works:

  • Listen to a podcast – any podcast.
  • Hear a segment you like. – “I wish I could save that for later.”
  • Cut and save that segment – Share that segment now, listen to it later, or both.

There is a bright red button on the PodPie website called “Plans & Pricing”. Clicking on that takes you to another page with the following information:

Hey there! You caught us before we’re ready. We’re working hard to get PodPie up to speed so you can finally clip, save, and share all those amazing podcasts you listen to. If you want us to keep you posted on progress and let you know when it’s ready just enter your email below.

There is a place on the PodPie website to enter your email address. Doing so will, it appears, enable them to keep you posted on PodPie’s progress. At some point, they will likely reveal important information like if the app is Android, iOS, or both – and what the service will cost.


Take the Podcast Movement 28 Day Challenge



Are you thinking about launching a new podcast? The Podcast Movement 28 Day Challenge can help you do that. It begins on February 1, 2018. Those who participate will have the chance to attend Podcast Movement 2018, all expenses paid.

Why Join the 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 2018

To join, you need to click a button on the 28 Day Challenge website. (The button says “Take The Challenge” and is orange.) Then, every morning in February, Podcast Movement will send you a daily Step or Tip, helping walk you through the steps of taking your podcast from zero to launch.

As the 28 Day Challenge takes place, all participants will be active in the private Facebook group. Podcast Movement says there will be hundreds of podcasters taking the challenge, and everyone will work together to get theirs launched.

The last step is to show what you made. Send Podcast Movement all the information on your new (live) podcast, and they will share them all with the Podcast Movement community. This will give you your very first listeners.

Podcast Movement will select five winners out of those who complete the 28 Day Challenge.

Grand Prize (1 Winner):

  • All expenses paid trip to Podcast Movement 2018 – including one PM18 Pro Pass, Round trip airfare, and three nights hotel

Second Place (2 Winners):

  • Two other participants will win a PM18 Pro Pass

Third Place (2 Winners):

  • Two other participants will win a standard PM18 Pass

The Sarahs are Accepting Entries for 2018 Sarah Awards



The Sarah Lawrence College International Audio Fiction Awards are accepting submissions for the 2018 Sarah Awards (also called “The Sarahs”). Winners will receive $4,000 in cash prizes – $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place, $500 for third place, $250 for Best New Artist and $250 for Sarahs’ Sarah Award.

All entries must be uploaded between now and Thursday, February 15, 2017 at 5 p.m. EST. There is a $35 fee for all entries. If you miss the deadline, your entry will not be judged.

Other things to know:

  • Payment of the entry fee will be made online through Submittable. You will also use Submittable to upload your entry.
  • Each entry should consist of one audio file (MP3).
  • Entries must have been produced between February 2017 and February 2018.
  • Entries must be between 3 minutes and 60 minutes in length.
  • Entries of all languages are admissible. However, if your work is not in English you must provide a transcript in English.
  • All works must be fiction – no documentaries will be accepted. However, mocumentaries will be happily accepted.
  • All entries may be considered for The Sarahs’ Serendipity podcast.

There is more to it than what I have listed here. Visit The Sarahs website for full details. The winners will be announced and celebrated at an awards ceremony that will take place at the New York City’s Players’ Club on April 23, 2018.


Wixen Music Publishing Sued Spotify



Reuters reported earlier this month that Wixen Music Publishing Inc. has sued Spotify. Wixen alleges that Spotify used thousands of songs (owned by Wixen) without a license and without compensation to the music publisher.

Wixen is an exclusive licensee of songs including “Free Fallin” by Tom Petty, “Light My Fire” by the Doors, “(Girl We Got a) Good Thing” by Wheezer, and works of Stevie Nicks, Neil Young, Steely Dan, and Rage Against the Machine (to name just a few). Wixen is seeking damages worth at least $1.6 billion. They also want injunctive relief.

Reuters also reported: Wixen also alleged that Spotify outsourced its work to a third party, licensing and royalty services provider the Harry Fox Agency, which was “ill-equipped to obtain all the necessary mechanical licenses.”

Scribd.com has a copy of the Complaint filed by the attorneys for Wixen Music Publishing, Inc. In the Complaint, Wixen alleges:

…Spotify has repeatedly failed to obtain necessary statutory, or “mechanical,” licenses to reproduce and/or distribute musical compositions on its service. Consequently, while Spotify has become a multibillion dollar company, songwriters and their publisher, such as Wixen, have not been able to fairly and rightfully share in Spotify’s success, as Spotify has in many cases used their music without a license and without compensation…

Wixen filed the lawsuit in December 29, 2017, at California Central District Court. The case is called Wixen Music Publishing, Inc. v. Spotify USA Inc. Judge George H. Wu is presiding over this case. Justia has more information and may update their information when new things occur.