Tag Archives: podcasting

Get a Deep Discount on Hindenburg Journalist in Honor of World Radio Day



Hindenburg SpecialMost podcasters key in on one digital audio workstation and then use it, sometimes forever, unless they feel a specific need to try something different. (I’ve operated this way myself for over a decade now.) There can be some sizable roadblocks to adopting a new DAW, with getting over the learning curve and the potential expense of a new software package being the largest. But once in a while, a deal happens that’s so good, you can’t pass it up.

In honor of World Radio Day, the makers of Hindenburg Journalist, a full-featured digital audio production application, are selling the DAW for just $1.90:

At Hindenburg we always celebrate World Radio Day by collaborating with other organisations and offering radio producers discounts.

In 2017 the theme of WRD is “Radio is You”. A particular focus area is improving the collaboration between radio stations and the surrounding Civil Society, Non-Government Organisations and Educators.

As this is an area Hindenburg is particularly engaged in, we are teaming up with Cultural Survival to promote their mission to advance Indigenous Peoples’ rights & cultures worldwide.

In 2015, the World Bank adjusted the global poverty line figure to $1.90 per day per family of 4.

This means that a family must earn at least $1.90 a day to meet its most basic food, clothing and shelter needs. A family earning less is generally accepted to be living in extreme poverty.

It is estimated that half of the world’s population, about 3 billion people, live in poverty. Of that, at least 700 million people live in extreme poverty, earning less than $1.90 per day per family.

A large number of these families are Indigenous Peoples, who are furthermore often discriminated against and denied equal access to education, media and services in their home countries.

For the whole of World Radio Day around the world, from 00:01 in Kiribati on the Christmas Islands, to 23:59 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Hindenburg will proudly offer a full Journalist licence for $1.90*. We will match all income from those licences sales and donate all proceeds to Cultural Survival.

As per tradition there will also be big World Radio Day discounts on Upgrade Journalist to PRO and Journalist PRO.

Even if you’re happy with your current DAW, I strongly recommend that you pick up a copy of Hindenburg Journalist at this deeply discounted rate. Who knows? You may find out you really like it!


Stitcher Launches Stitcher Premium Subscription Service



Stitcher RadioPodcast syndication platform Stitcher has launched a new premium tier. Appropriately called Stitcher Premium, the new paid version of the service was announced in a recent e-mail:

…we are launching Stitcher Premium, a new premium subscription option for Stitcher listeners. Stitcher Premium includes:

*Ad-free Listening – Premium removes the extra ads that Stitcher includes in our free product and also includes completely ad-free episodes of top shows like ‘WTF with Marc Maron,’ ‘Comedy Bang! Bang!,’ ‘Stranglers’ and many more.
*Bonus Episodes – extra bonus episodes of popular shows available exclusively on Stitcher Premium. Listen to bonuses from ‘Game of Owns,’ ‘Superego,’ and ‘Harris Football,’ with more still to come.
*Stitcher Originals – over 40 exclusive shows created and produced by Stitcher, from the comedy adventure of ‘Uncle Bertie’s Botanarium’ to the parody of ‘Hardcore Game of Thrones.’ The Stitcher Originals catalog is growing into the largest catalog of ad-free premium audio.
*Comedy Albums – listen to over 120 comedy albums from comedians like Louis CK, Maria Bamford, Aziz Ansari, and Hannibal Buress.

According to its FAQ, Stitcher Premium will replace Stitcher’s previous premium service, Stitcher Plus. Stitcher Premium launch pricing is $4.99/month or $34.99/year. Also from the FAQ, Stitcher reveals that Stitcher Premium will eventually replace Midroll’s Howl app (Midroll parent E.W. Scripps acquired Stitcher earlier this year) :

(Q) I’m also a Howl app subscriber – weren’t you guys bought by Midroll and isn’t this content the same that comes with Howl?
(A) Yes! You can still access your Howl content via the Howl app. We are working on a migration plan for Howl subscribers to Stitcher Premium – stay tuned!

In the e-mail quoted above, Stitcher also noted that podcasters who are currently listed with Stitcher can ask to be included in Stitcher Premium by contacting Stitcher directly. But the e-mail doesn’t say anything about what benefits, if any, come from being included in Premium. Will podcasters who get accepted into Stitcher Premium receive a revenue share from subscriptions? Is Stitcher Premium only for “premium” content that’s not available thru a podcast’s public RSS feed? Hopefully, these questions will be answered soon.


Dropbox Dropping Access to Public Folders



Dropbox LogoCloud storage and file-sharing service Dropbox has proven to be an invaluable tool to many podcasters. The service makes it easy to share files, either thru unique publicly accessible links, or by giving multiple Dropbox users the ability to manage and modify project folders. While those are good (and allowed) use cases for Dropbox, one way podcasters have utilized the service is about to go away forever: Media-file storage and distribution.

It’s true that some podcasters have been taking advantage of a “loophole” in older Dropbox accounts by storing files in their Public Dropbox folders and then linking to those files in their podcast RSS feeds. This process works because Dropbox Public folders have the unique ability to generate truly public file URLs. Yes, it is possible to get a sharable link for nearly any Dropbox file. But most Dropbox share links won’t work for podcasting, as the links themselves are crammed full of code that can’t be read by most podcatchers. Dropbox Public folder URLs are meant to be truly public, and don’t have the limitations of other files being shared thru the service.

But that’s about to end. In an e-mail recently sent to users, Dropbox announced it will be phasing out Public folders for everyone:

The Public folder was the first sharing method we introduced, and since then, we’ve built even better ways for you to share securely and work together with your team.

As a result, we’ll soon be ending support for the Public folder. Dropbox Pro users will be able to use the Public folder until September 1, 2017. After that date the files in your Public folder will become private, and links to these files will be deactivated. Your files will remain safe in Dropbox.

If you’d like to keep sharing files in your Public folder, you can create new shared links. Just make sure to send the new URLs to your collaborators.

Converting Public folders to private folders will kill the ability for those folders to work for media hosting. If you’ve been relying on this hacky solution to power your podcast files, you may want to start looking for a new media host.


Spotify Backs Out of SoundCloud Deal



spotify logoIt seemed strangely appropriate when rumors started circulating earlier this year that media-streaming service Spotify was contemplating a buyout of music/podcast-hosting company SoundCloud. In podcasting terms, the two companies have shared similar profiles as being on the edges of the podcasting space, without ever completely taking the full plunge into the industry. The potential acquisition felt right somehow, if only because it might bring the newly formed SpotiCloud (Soundify? That surely must already be taken.) more into the center of the podcasting space.

But that chance has been dashed, as Spotify has reportedly walked away from the deal with SoundCloud:

The companies were in advanced talks on a deal in September, the FT reported, as Spotify looks to compete with Silicon Valley titans such as Apple and Amazon in the competitive streaming market.

However, the deal has fallen through because Spotify did not want to slow its path towards a flotation with the costs and licensing agreements needed to buy SoundCloud, according to someone familiar with the matter.

The fates of both Spotify and SoundCloud have seemed uncertain for awhile. Both companies have struggled to turn a profit. Spotify is headed for an initial public offering, and it’s possible that taking the company public may save it long enough for the company to build some true staying power. SoundCloud, on the other hand, has taken on a lot of debt thru multiple rounds of venture capital funding. After being passed over on two high profile buyouts (first Twitter and now Spotify), SoundCloud’s next move is anyones guess.


Jukedeck Makes Affordable, Original Instrumental Music



Jukedeck logoMost podcasters look for music to be used in intros, outros, and bumpers. Finding the right music can be a challenge in itself. Navigating the complexities of licensing and legal requirements can make the process even more daunting. Many podcast producers have relied on online sources of Creative Commons music. Or they’ve turned to services like Fiverr to find low-cost composers for their musical needs. And while those services can be used successfully, they do have their drawbacks. It can be time consuming to find the right piece of music or the right music producer to work with. And it’s not always a guarantee you’ll be getting a truly original composition, or that the music isn’t already licensed somewhere else, even if it also carries a Creative Commons license.

Jukedeck is looking to change that. The service lets users input different descriptive variables like “pop,” “folk,” or “ambient” for a piece of music, combined with a related “feeling” setting (example: for “pop,” the feeling options are “uplifting” and “melancholic”) and a time length. Jukedeck takes that information and creates an original piece of music based on the variables.

Jukedeck has a multi-tiered pricing plan for the tracks it creates:

  • Individual/Small Business Plan: Free if you provide direct credit to Jukedeck for the song or $0.99 if you want to purchase the track without having to give credit to Jukedeck. This plan includes a royalty-free licence for commercial or non-commercial use by an individual or a business with fewer than 10 employees.
  • Large Business Plan: This plan has a cost of $21.99 per track and comes with a royalty-free licence for commercial or non-commercial use by an individual or a business with 10 or more employees.
  • Buy The Copyright Plan: For the cost of $199, you have complete ownership of the music you’ve purchased thru Jukedeck.

If you’re in need of some music for your next podcast production, it’s worth giving Jukedeck a look. You can experiment with the different compositions offered by the service using the app on Jukedeck’s homepage.


Podcasters Receiving Phony “Cancellation” e-Mails



No ScamsMany podcasters have been receiving phony “cancellation” notices. These messages are being sent from a source identifying itself as “Podcast Authority,” using the e-mail address podcastauthorityofficial@gmail.com. The “cancellation” notice reads:

Hello (name of podcast producer),

I hope you are well. Unfourtunately I do not bring good news today. I regret to announce that as of today we have choosen to cancel your podcast. There will not be any further episodes of (name of podcast).

We understand this may come as a shock to you. Unfourunately some of the content in the last few episodes has been absolutely unacceptable. We are therefor left with no choice but to discontinue your podcast as of immediately.

I hope you understand why we have had to make this difficult decision and we wish you the best of luck with further ventures going forward.

Yours Sincerely,

Alex

A Google search for “Podcast Authority” and its attendant e-mail address turned up no useful information as to who’s behind these notices. Regardless, these messages are fake and can be safely disregarded by any podcaster who receives them. At this time, these cancellation notices appear to be nothing more than a harmless prank.

Considering most podcasters are independent producers, those producers would be the ones to decide when their shows would be “cancelled.” And while a podcast hosting platform could drop a podcast from its service for any number of reasons, it still couldn’t truly “cancel” the show.

If you’ve received this message from the so-called “Podcast Authority,” just delete it and move on.

Tip of the hat to Andrew from AB Film Review, who forwarded the message to me.

Original image by Widjaya Ivan on Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.


Uber Partners With Otto Radio to Play Podcasts for Passengers



Otto Radio App LogoUber, the popular ride-sharing service that pairs those needing rides with willing drivers, recently announced a partnership with podcast-consumption app Otto Radio to provide customized podcast playlists for Uber passengers to listen to during their rides:

The next time you request a ride using the Uber app, a playlist of news stories and podcasts, perfectly timed for your trip’s duration, will be waiting for you in Otto Radio. Once your driver has arrived, you can sit back and enjoy your ‘personally curated listening experience and arrive at your destination up-to-date about the things you care about most,’ the companies said.

Otto Radio is an aggregation service that sources audio from thousands of online news outlets and podcasts. The service is designed to give users personalized playlists based on their interests. The Uber-Otto tie-in will rely on information in passengers’ Otto Radio accounts, creating properly-timed playlists for the duration of passengers’ Uber trips. (It’s unclear if passengers will need to listen to these curated streams on their own mobile devices or if the audio will be piped in thru the vehicle’s speakers.)

Podcast producers who’d like to have their shows included in this program can use Otto Radio’s claim form to ensure they’re listed in Otto’s directory.


iTunes Announces Winter Content Submission and Holiday Support Schedules



iTunes logoEvery year, things slow down a bit at Apple during the holiday season. And 2016 is no different. Last week, Apple sent an e-mail to all registered iTunes Store content providers to let them know what Apple is planning for the rest of the year.

The e-mail has two sections that will be useful to podcasters. The first section is titled Winter Content Submission Schedules. These schedules are the dates that Apple staff will be available to review new submissions to the iTunes Store. Apple provided a handy chart that shows when you should submit a new podcast, depending on your projected launch date:

iTunes 2016 Winter Submission Dates

Note that this chart applies to the submission of new podcasts only. It has no impact on shows that are already listed in the iTunes Store. The e-mail from Apple also states, “If you plan on launching any Podcasts during this time, we recommend submitting your podcast for approval as early as possible.”

The second section of the e-mail that’s relevant to podcasters is the Holiday Support Schedules:

If you have questions or need support, you can always reach out to our Podcasts Support team. However, keep in mind that they won’t be available on the below dates, and Podcast approvals and response times on or around these dates may be delayed:

November 24 to November 25, 2016

December 24, 2016 to January 2, 2017

Make sure you keep these dates in mind if you’re planning on launching a new podcast before the end of the year or if you find you need help with an existing iTunes Store listing.


Upcoming Gimlet Media Podcast Sponsored by Apple



Gimlet LogoNo single company is still talked about more when it comes to podcasting than Apple. Since its addition of podcasting to the iTunes Store in 2005, most of the podcasting news made by Apple has revolved around podcasting apps and distribution. But that changes this month as Apple will actually be an active sponsor of an upcoming podcast produced by New York-based Gimlet Media.

Gimlet made a name for itself during the so-called “podcast renaissance” of 2014 with the launch of its critically acclaimed Startup podcast that documented the company’s founding. Gimlet followed up the success of Startup with other popular shows like Reply All and Undone. Gimlet Media is now set to debut its latest creation, a fully scripted serialized fiction series called Homecoming. This new show will be voiced by established Hollywood actors Catherine Keener (40 Year-Old Virgin, Into The Wild), Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), and David Schwimmer (Friends, Orange Is The New Black).

Gimlet Media has a proven track record of attracting large audiences to its productions. That past performance may be what enticed Apple to step in as the sole sponsor for Homecoming. Specifically, Apple will be promoting its e-book and periodicals platform iBooks thru this new podcast. The move could be a sign of Apple’s confidence in Gimlet’s latest project, as the tech giant hasn’t sponsored many (if any) podcasts before.

Apple’s move from passive podcast distributor to active podcast sponsor seems like a logical one. While many podcast consumers are likely already using an Apple device, they may still be unaware of what iBooks has to offer. It’ll be easy enough for those listeners to tap over to the iBooks app after an episode of Homecoming and pick up a new book or magazine subscription. The potential popularity of a Gimlet-produced podcast will also get Apple’s sponsored message in front of plenty of non-Apple users as well, since podcasts are consumed across many different platforms.