Twitter is Launching Audio-Only Broadcasting on Periscope



Twitter announced that they are launching audio-only broadcasting on Periscope (on iOS). In other words, they are enabling podcasters to use Periscope as a way to do live podcasts for their listeners. It doesn’t appear that this was Twitter’s intended use for the audio-only broadcasting feature – but that’s how I suspect it will be used.

Richard Plom, Staff Engineer of Periscope, wrote the following on Medium:

Broadcasting with audio only in Periscope is something the community has been asking for, and have been doing already by covering the camera lens. Sometimes people are not comfortable being on camera, but they still want to broadcast and interact with others via Periscope’s powerful chatroom feature. It was requested that we build this feature for #HackWeek, but after some research and focusing on the core of the problem we realized we could get it done in three days.

His Medium post also has a brief explanation of how audio-only broadcasting on Periscope works:

The iPhone microphone produces the audio stream and we continue to use that as-is. The camera produces a video stream that we immediately discard, and instead we create dynamic video animations informed by the audio data that we render on the iPhone in real-time. The audio stream is sent to the audio visualizer renderer which takes the raw audio bits and generates the waveform and volume levels indicator. This new stream is sent to backend instead of the one from the camera.

And, there you have it. Periscope made it easy for podcasters who don’t use video to do an audio-only podcast on Periscope. I don’t think most podcasters will decide to switch to Periscope exclusively as a result of this new feature. But, I can see the Periscope audio-only broadcasts being used as something “extra” for fans to enjoy.


iHeartMedia to Acquire Stuff Media



With over a quarter of a billion monthly listeners in the U.S., and over 131 million social followers, iHeartMedia has the largest national reach of any radio or television outlet in America. Recently, iHeartMedia announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Stuff Media, LLC, the leading for-profit publisher of entertainment and informative podcast content, which includes HowStuffWorks (HSW) podcasting platform.

iHeartRadio, iHeartMedia’s all-in-one digital music, podcast, on demand and streaming radio service, is already partnered with all major publishers and features more than 20,000 podcasts ranging from NPR to WNYC to ESPN and Gimlet, and the iHeartRadio Podcast Network hosts more than 750 iHeartRadio Original shows.

The acquisition will enable iHeartMedia to leverage Stuff Media’s original content, programming, and experienced podcast management team and to further expand its podcasting platform. The Wall Street Journal reported that a value for the deal of $55 million. The transaction is subject to bankruptcy court approval.

Conal Byrne will join iHeartMedia as head of its podcast division. Stuff Media’s podcasts will maintain their branding and remain headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with Byrne continuing as President and CEO of that studio as well. Byrne will report to Darren Davis, President of the iHeartMedia Networks Group and iHeartRadio.

Chris Peterson has been promoted to EVP of the podcasting division for iHeartMedia, and will oversee the full slate of iHeartRadio Original podcasts, as well as manage the affiliate relationships for the company, and will report to Byrne.


Stitcher has a Brand New Look



Stitcher announced that they have a new look. They are no longer using their previous logo, and have replaced it with one that has new colors. Stitcher has also been investing in its app, and has become the primary brand for E.W. Scripps Company’s podcast operations.

The new look embodies our history and where we’re headed in the future. The bars are reminiscent of sound. The colors are meant to be energetic and exciting, and together they demonstrate our commitment to all listeners, all creators and all types of podcasts. Used as mirrors of one another, they can create a “window” that opens up into the podcast world.

Stitcher has been investing in the Stitcher app. Their newest iOS release literally moves the app’s navigation options to your fingertips, making it easier for you to get what you want with fewer taps. Similar updates are on their way for Android.

Midroll Media announced the following on the Midroll blog:

Stitcher, a leader in podcast content creation, distribution, and advertising, today unveiled a new logo and brand identify, reinforcing its place as a leading player across the podcast ecosystem as it becomes the primary brand for The E.W. Scripps Company’s podcast operations.

The same blog post says that Stitcher is now the parent company to Midroll and Earwolf. Other networks of original content also fall under the Stitcher umbrella. Stitcher is a wholly owned subsidiary of The E.W. Scripps Company.


The PodFest 2019 Website is Live!



Podfest 2019 will take place on March 7-9, 2018, at the Wyndham Orlando Resort in Orlando, Florida. Podfest announced that their new website is now live. It is where to go to keep up with news about Podfest 2019.

Podfest Expo is a community of people who are interested in and passionate about sharing their voice and message with the world through the powerful mediums of audio and video. We’re proud to unite as many people as possible to learn, get inspired, and grow better together.

Podfest wants to elevate the podcasting community with these 3 Pillars:

World Class Education: Whether you’re just starting out and want to launch your podcast, or want to discover the latest, cutting-edge and data-driven success strategies for growing your audience, we facilitate learning on a whole new level.

Inspiration & Ideas: Podfest has a focus and dedication to bring speakers and workshops that will both inspire you and spark new and innovative ideas in the way of creativity, content, creation, audience growth, monetization and more.

Community & Networking: Podfest enhances to their community with dedicated mingling time, an outstanding (and proprietary) networking event, and after parties.

Speakers have not yet been announced. Visit the Podfest 2019 website for more details when they are released.

Tickets are available for purchase now. Choose from: Creator Ticket ($277), VIP Ticket ($497), or Inner Circle Experience ($1,500). Each comes with specific benefits.

Workshops include:

Podcast Startup Workshop: This is a hands-on workshop where you’ll learn exactly how to launch and grow your podcast! It is a full-day workshop on March 7, 2019.

Boss Lady Workshop: Facilitated entirely by women podcasters, for women who want to podcast! This is a half-day workshop on March 7, 2019.

Pecha Kucha Sessions: 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each, creating a unique and fun take on delivering value very quickly! This is a half-day workshop on March 7, 2019.

Vidfest Expo: This year, PodFest 2019 is featuring an entire day dedicated to Youtube and video content creation education facilitated by experts! This is a full-day workshop on March 7, 2019.


PodUK will Happen in February of 2019



PodUK is the UK’s first podcasting fan convention. It will happen on February 2, 2019, at Millennium Point. Tickets are on sale now.

PodUK is a one-day celebration of UK Podcasting, with Panels, Q&A’s, Recordings, and Workshops ranging from podcast creation to fandom culture. We aren’t particularly interested in the corporate side of podcasting; PodUK is all about establishing a light-hearted, geek-centric environment for podcasting and podcaster fans.

Tickets are on sale now (through Eventbrite). The Early Bird ticket is £15.00 (including the Eventbrite booking fee). The General Admission ticket is £20.00 (including the Eventbrite booking fee). There are Disabled Access tickets available, and there are more details about that on the PodUK page. There are also a limited number of press passes available.

PodUK recommends that attendees read their Terms & Conditions before you purchase a ticket. A schedule for the event has not yet been posted – but is “coming soon”.

Guest Podcasts include:

A Scottish Podcast  – Matthew McLean is an audio drama writer and producer. He’s founder of the Audio Drama Production Podcast, and work as Head of Audio at The Podcast Host, where he produces Hostile Worlds.A Scottish Podcast, the horror-comedy audio drama series.

Podcraft  – Hosted by Colin Gray, Podcraft is the long-serving “how to podcast” series. Colin is also the founder of The Podcast Host, as well as running the space/science audio drama/documentary hybrid series Hostile Worlds, and is creator of the “podcast maker” tool Alitu.

We Fix Space Junk –Following in the footsteps of Harry Harrison, Brian Aldiss and Douglas Adams, We Fix Space Junk is a sci-fi comedy podcast from Battle Bird Productions, written by Beth Crane (Upholstery, Ronnie and the Other World) and produced by Hedley Knights (The People’s Rock).


Breaker is the Social Podcast App



Breaker is a social podcast app that is available now on the App Store and coming soon to Google Play. Breaker is community built. They listen and act upon user feedback, building what a podcast listening app should be (for everyone).

We love podcasts and think it should be easier to share them with your friends. With Breaker you can see what your friends are listening to, tap a heart to “like” and episode, send it to a friend, and join in the comments. You can also see the top episodes the entire Breaker community is liking and listening to right now. It’s everything a modern-day podcast app should be.

Features include:

  • Discover: Personalized recommendations for you. Discover the most popular episodes by day, week, and month.
  • Save Episodes: Download new episodes from your favorite shows.
  • Follow your friends: Follow your friends and see which episodes they listen to and like.
  • Skip silences: Save time by skipping silences and listen from 1/2x to 3x.
  • Share: Share episodes on Twitter and Facebook or send to a friend on Breaker.
  • Sleep timer: Set a sleep timer for 15, 30, 45, 60 minutes, or the end of the episode.
  • Inbox: Send episodes to friends and chat about them in your inbox.

Podcasters can sell their podcasts on Breaker. Listeners can pay to unlock your content instantly. You get to choose what content you offer on Breaker Upstream. Common uses include ad-free streams, exclusive early-releases, special edition content, or behind-the-scenes episodes.

Any podcaster, big or small, can monetize their content with Breaker Upstream. There is no minimum audience size or requirements to join. Whether you have an audience of 1,000,000 or 1. Podcasters can choose their own price, can charge for individual episodes or a monthly subscription free.

For any Breaker Upstream account created before the end of 2018, Breaker will take a low introductory fee of 4% of sales. Payment processing fees from Stripe and Apple also apply. Breaker says that the majority of payments will go to the podcaster.


Anchor Added Editing Tools



Anchor has unveiled new editing tools for Anchor podcasts. These tools are available now in Anchor’s iPhone, iPad, and Android apps. The editing tools will be coming soon to Anchor’s web platform.

Now you can edit your podcast audio without needing anything but Anchor, available for free on iOS and Android. Like everything else from Anchor, these new editing tools make your life easier by providing everything you need to make your podcast sound great, and nothing you don’t.

Features of Anchor’s editing tools include:

Trim: Quickly trim the start and finish of your recording without needing to go into a heavy editing workflow. This is great for those times when you may have a false start at the beginning of your recording or a sign-off at the end that you decide to include in the podcast.

Split: You can split a recording into multiple segments, and use them together in one episode or spread across multiple episodes. The split tool comes in handy for inserting transitions, voice messages from your listeners, your intro jingle, or any other audio into your existing podcast.

Rename segments while editing: Remove any audio you don’t want to use with a single tap. As you split up your audio, rename the segments you want to keep without breaking your workflow, so editing is lightning quick and your segments are easy to find and manage later.

Smart Flags: Add flags while you’re recording so you can easily come back to important points when you’re editing (either to remove them or to highlight them in your podcasts.)


A Pod Connection Comes to Atlanta in October



A Pod Connection is a conference for podcasters, radio hosts, and bloggers It will take place at Le Meridien Atlanta-Perimeter on October 5-7, 2018.

Whether you’re a novice Podcaster or a Pro, this event is for you! A Pod Connection is a three day conference filled with Meet & Greets, Live Shows, Expert Panels and unlimited networking opportunities with podcast lovers just like you! Grab your tickets now and let’s Connect!

Featured Podcasts include:

The Panel ATL – An Atlanta based podcast featuring a rotating cast of POC with unique backgrounds, age ranges, and different sexual orientations. You can catch up with The Panel every other Monday, as they discuss sex, love, and dating as well as social issues and current events from our communities.

Petty Party Podcast – In Petty Party, five Dallas natives reunite to have sophisarachet conversation discussing topics truthfully but with a hint of pettiness. Consider this your modern day Gossip Girl, but no filter. So grab your cups and join the party.

Unicorns Talk Podcast – Pour up a glass of wine and snuggle in to your favorite spot for a weekly girl talk about Black women, our healing, and manifestation. Unicorns Talk Podcast is for life-livers, life-lovers, and life-enhancers. Join host Latrice Sampson Richards, a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Life Coach, as we inspire each other with our stories, get real about our struggles, and learn the skills we need to move our lives forward.

Clearly Misunderstood – This is the home of the hottest opinion on entertainment news in talk radio! Clearly Misunderstood features a group of talented hosts: K. Janae, Soul Du Jour, and OhMarlinGreen. It is a weekly podcast based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but catering to the world.

Social Complex – Just two educated brothas with a hint of no f*#cks given. Listen in each week as they dive into everyday situations in a complicated manner.

Schedule:

Friday 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – Podcast Meet & Greet
Saturday 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM – A Creative Breakfast Think Tank Session
Saturday 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM – Panel
Saturday 12:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Live Shows
Saturday 3:15 AM – 5:00 PM – Panel
Sunday 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Brunch

A Pod Connection is currently looking for event sponsorship. They posted a tweet with more information about sponsor packages and how to get in touch with them for more information.


SquadCast Updated its Features



SquadCast enables podcasters to do remote interviews, in studio quality, from anywhere. The SquadCast Platform connects podcast hosts and co-hosts. It also helps with scheduling.

SquadCast helps podcasters to schedule recording sessions, invite guests with emails or links and organize recordings. It offers HD interviews that are recorded in lossless WAV.

Scheduling interviews with Guests was always part of the vision for SquadCast. They have moved away from the full Calendar page where Sessions could be scheduled that was in the beta app based on feedback from podcast hosts.

We moved forward by ditching the Calendar page & enhancing the scheduling flow within Studio. This improved the overall experience by removing any need for navigating between two pages. Hosts are either in Schedule or in Studio & switching between the two became seamless.

SquadCast has landed on a design improvement that called for adding two tabs, Future & Past, to the schedule. The Future tab is sorted in chronological order and the Past Tab is sorted in reverse, ensuring sessions stay organized.

Other features include:

Quick Session: A button that automates the scheduling process and joins you to the session immediately.

Request Backups: A button right within the Recordings panel that, when clicked, will open a dialog where SquadCast asks for some contextual info that’ll help them to move faster. Once submitted, a support ticket is opened with the SquadCast team that is pre-populated with session info.

Podcasters do not need to copy and paste the Session ID into the Intercom. SquadCast typically turns around a request for backups within a few hours.

Session Invite & Update Emails: SquadCast has decided to not only tailor email invites to Hosts and Guests, but also to send emails when a Session is updated. This ensures that everyone stays in sync and that all calendar events stay up-to-date as the Host dials in Session details.