Spreaker Partners with French Audio Aggregator Radioline

Spreaker LogoThe U.S. is dominating the rest of the world in terms of podcast consumption. But other parts of the world are gaining ground on America’s lead. Research conducted by French firm Médiamétrie found that about 800,000 podcasts are downloaded every day in France. It’s a drop in the bucket when compared to the estimated 46 million podcast downloads that happen every month in the U.S. But it’s still a sizable number and more importantly, it shows that podcasts are definitely being heard on the European side.

Spreaker, a Berlin-based podcasting/live-streaming services provider, has partnered with Radioline, an audio aggregator in France. The collaboration between the two companies will bring Spreaker’s podcast catalog of 27,000 shows into the fold of Radioline’s directory, which currently lists over 25,000 radio stations and 10,000 podcasts from more than 130 countries.

This partnership should help to extend Spreaker’s reach as a distribution platform. It should also bring plenty of new content into an expanding market that’s likely to be looking for new things to listen to.

NMX Virtual Ticket Holders receive Cryptic Message from Event Coordinator

New Media Expo logo Podcaster NewsFrom its humble beginnings as the Podcast Expo to its recent co-location with the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas, the New Media Expo has been a cornerstone event for podcasters. NMX’s place as the premier podcast-centric event has been challenged in recent years by Podcast Movement and its offshoot regional conferences. New Media Expo 2015 took place in April and since the conference ended, there’s been very little noise coming from the NMX camp. Many in the podcasting community were beginning to wonder what was going on.

More questions than answers were created with an e-mail sent last week by New Media Expo coordinator Rick Calvert. The message was sent to those who are holders of the NMX virtual ticket:

As a VIP ticket holder you are entitled to a Virtual Ticket as part of your VIP package. Due to a series of unforeseen circumstances, the Virtual Ticket is very late this year and I feel terrible about it. I also feel awful about not effectively communicating why the Virtual Ticket is late and when it will be available for use. I’m very sorry for making you wait and not keeping you informed.

The delay in your Virtual Ticket took place for three reasons. The first reason is our website was hacked. The second is that we are short staffed. We are making changes within our team and it has left us short handed for a bit. Lastly and most importantly while all this was going on, I had several family emergencies come up in my personal life. I was overwhelmed and honestly just checked out. My staff will tell you they couldn’t reach me either. You may have noticed I have not been online in social channels or anywhere else.

It may sound strange coming from someone who has been hyper engaged online for a decade now but I am a very private person in my personal life. I didn’t want to discuss the nature of my family circumstances or cause unnecessary worry. I realize now, that I should have allowed my team to be more transparent.

I am not making excuses to hide anything or to gloss over the poor communication you experienced in asking about the virtual ticket. I am only letting you know the reasons why it has taken so long to fix this for you. As NMX and the NMX community has never experienced anything like this in the past, we hope you understand. I hope you can forgive me. I promise you that as of now I will be available to answer any and all of your questions going forward.

Again, I apologize for the delay and frustration you experienced in getting answers and I’m grateful for the opportunity to make it up to you.

No updates have been posted since this message was sent. Best wishes to Rick Calvert and his family. Hopefully, things will settle down soon and we’ll hear some good news from the New Media Expo team.

Stream Con NYC is Happening this Weekend

Stream Con NYCIf you’re in the New York area, it’s not too late to attend Stream Con NYC, which takes place Friday October 30th thru Sunday, November 1st at the Javits Center in Midtown Manhattan. Stream Con NYC describes itself as:

…a three-day digital content and creator convention celebrating and connecting digital content fans, creators, brands, and the industries around them in the biggest city in America and media capital of the world!
Stream Con NYC gives fans access to their favorite online personalities across entertainment, comedy, music, beauty, fashion, and style and builds the business of original digital media, bringing together creators, thought leaders, and licensing, branding, advertising, and publishing decision makers.

Stream Con NYC is different in that it hopes to be more than just a gathering for those who participate in the digital media industry. While there will be some typical “industry conference” components at Stream Con, the event is also open to consumers who’d like to attend meet and greets where they just might get a chance to hang out with their favorite “celebrity” creators.

Tickets for Stream Con NYC range in price from $35.00 for a one-day “Fan Ticket” up to $495 to attend the conference’s “Creator Table.” The Stream Con NYC website doesn’t indicate if any of the event’s presentations will be streamed or recorded for later broadcast.

cast.market Aims to ‘Streamline Podcast Sponsorship’

cast.market logoThe podcast advertising vertical is definitely in a growth period. Over the last couple years, more and more players have stepped into the space to try and make it easier for potential advertisers and podcasters to find each other. Of course, this process is nothing new. Services like Blubrry and Podtrac have been doing this since the early days of podcasting. But the recent surge of interest in the medium as an economic engine is drawing a lot of newcomers.

cast.market is a relatively new service that carries the tagline, “We’re creating tools to streamline podcast sponsorship.” cast.market allows both podcasters and those who’d like to advertise on podcasts to sign up for accounts. From there, advertisers can create campaigns. Podcasters can opt-in to the campaigns they like. cast.market then handles the financial transactions to ensure podcast producers get paid:

Our campaign creator makes it easy to get up and running. Craft your message and target your audience. Select a budget and maximum CPM—we’ll take it from there.


We’ll use our analytics engine to offer your sponsorship opportunity to a variety of relevant shows at a competitive price. Podcasters who accept your offer will read your message on the air.


As episodes are recorded, campaign reports provide a high-level overview of your campaign’s success. Listen to delivered messages, view your total impressions, track your budget, and more.

cast.market goes on to bill itself as an “open marketplace” as opposed to “an exclusive network” for sponsorship. The service is already working with an impressive list of shows in all of the usual podcast categories. If you’d like to learn more about cast.market you can register for a free account and sign up as either a podcast producer or an advertiser.

Welcome to Night Vale Podcast is now a Novel

Welcome to Night Vale book coverThe Welcome to Night Vale podcast began in 2012. It gives listeners a glimpse into the creepy, fascinating, fictional town of Night Vale. It is presented as a radio show hosted by Cecil Baldwin, who reports on the strange happenings in the town.

Welcome to Night Vale has become extremely popular over the years. You can find a plethora of fan art, discussion about the podcast, and speculation about the fictional world it exists in, all across Tumblr. Follow @NightValeRadio on Twitter to see information about upcoming book tours and live shows, as well as some rather strange observations about life and the universe.

The creators of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast are Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. The entire podcast is available for free (as most podcasts are). The creators do not allow advertising in their episodes. Instead, they make money via live performances, donations, and merchandise (such as mugs, posters, and t-shirts). They do allow people to make fan art – so long as they are not selling it.

Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel was released on October 20, 2015. It was published by Harper Perennial and, according to the New York Times, Harper Perennial has printed a little over 100,000 copies of the book. The 401-page novel expands on the bizarre, existential, themes that exist in the podcast.

You don’t need to have listened to the Welcome to Night Vale Podcast in order to enjoy the book.

The New York Times noted that if the novel succeeds, it could inspire more podcast-to-book projects in the future. Publishers could start listening to podcasts in the hopes of finding one that lends itself to novelization. I recommend that you read some of the reviews of the book on Amazon. Fans of the podcast are writing reviews that sound as though they were written by someone who lives in Night Vale.

Podcasts Officially Coming to Google Play

Google Play logoIt’s the message we’ve been waiting to hear… forever. Google has made an official announcement that the company will add podcasts to its Google Play service. I guess the years of incessant nagging on behalf of the podcasting community, or the undeniable push of the so-called “podcast resurgence” were finally too much for the search engine giant to continue to ignore our happy medium.

Full implementation of podcasting in Google Play is still a few months away. Following the path of another noteworthy service that recently got into podcasting, Google Play is already working with a handful of content providers:

  • 5by5
  • Dan Carlin
  • Dave Ramsey
  • Earwolf
  • Feral Audio
  • Gimlet Media
  • HBO
  • Head Gum
  • HowStuffWorks
  • Loud Speakers Network
  • Nerdist/Legendary
  • Public Radio International
  • Radiotopia/PRX
  • Sideshow Network
  • Slate/Panoply
  • StarTalk Radio
  • This Week in Tech
  • Tim Ferriss

But unlike that other service, Google is accepting submissions from any and all podcasters thru its Podcast Portal. In order to submit a show, you’ll need a working RSS 2.0 feed that also contains valid iTunes tags. (The submission form suggests either <itunes> OR <googleplay> tags for a few specific fields. If your podcast feed was accepted and is working with iTunes now, you should be fine.)

I submitted my podcast feed earlier today and it was accepted without issue. Now the feed awaits approval by the Google gods. Some podcasters have reported errors while submitting feeds. There’s no official support information yet for the submission process so it’s hard to say what’s causing those errors. Regardless, many users have found that waiting a few minutes and trying again has resulted in a successful submission.


You Can Participate in NaPodPoMo

NaPodPoMo logoGet ready, podcasters. NaPodPoMo is coming! It is an extremely fun podcasting challenge that takes place during November. I participated in the very first one, and in several of the years after that. Every year, I learned something new about podcasting.

NaPodPoMo is the abbreviation of National Podcast Post Month. It was created by Jennifer Navarrete in 2007. NaPodPoMo functions similarly to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Each one requires creative people to produce content during November.

You don’t have to be an expert podcaster in order to participate. When I joined the very first NaPodPoMo, I did it on a whim. I’d only done a little bit of podcasting at the time, in shows that I did with my husband, Shawn. I decided to use NaPodPoMo to learn how to record, edit, and post my very own podcast. I learned a lot about podcasting in a short span of time, and my confidence as a podcaster grew as a result. NaPodPoMo is a great time to start a new podcast – or your very first podcast.

NaPodPoMo is also a great way to get some more listeners to your current podcast. In previous years, I found that many of the people who participated in NaPodPoMo wanted to listen to the podcasts produced by other people who were participating. People left each other comments that got read and responded to. At times, this scenario became a time-shifted conversation.

There is one rule for NaPodPoMo: create and post 30 recorded shows between November 1, and November 30. If you manage to do that – you win! It doesn’t have to be one show every day. If you missed a day because you were too busy to podcast, or started participating after the November 1 start date, you can catch up. You can use any platform you like, and whatever gear you choose.

The NaPodPoMo experience is hectic, a bit stressful at times, as social as you want to make it, and incredibly rewarding. The key is to have fun.

Could Podcasting Influence the U.S. Election?

2016 image by Alan ORourke FlickrIt has been said that Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign changed politics. The use of social media, specifically to draw attention to a particular candidate and his views, had never been done quite that way before. Could podcasting have an influence on the upcoming 2016 United States Presidential election?

In 2008, Obama’s campaign used Web 2.0 tools to organize supporters, advertise to voters (with videos on YouTube), communicate with constituents, and defend against attacks made by opponents. I cannot help but wonder if podcasting is what will end up being the form of social media that has the most influence on the upcoming 2016 election.

The conversation between the podcaster and the politician brings a sense of humanity to politicians who are most frequently seen in staged photo opportunities, pre-written speeches, and debates where most stick to a few key talking points. They get to show a side of themselves that they might otherwise have to keep under wraps.

When Marc Maron had a conversation with President Barack Obama on Maron’s “WTF With Marc Maron” podcast, people took notice. That episode got an impressive number of downloads, as it should have. This was the first time a sitting United States President was interviewed on a well known podcast. The conversation got very serious, and personal, at times.

This week, the Another Round podcast, hosted by Heben Nigato and Tracy Clayton, interviewed former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Another Round is a Buzzfeed podcast.

While some parts of the interview focused on policy, there were also some amusing moments (including a funny story about a robot that you just have to hear). In the episode, Hillary Clinton came across as a fun person to hang around with. I’ve heard it said that people tend to vote for the candidate they’d most like to have a beer with. Could appearing on this episode of Another Round influence “undecideds” to vote for Hillary Clinton?

The Axe Files is hosted by David Axelrod, founder and director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. In his first episode, he interviewed Senator Bernie Sanders, as the two shared a van that was on the way to a Chicago venue that Sanders was going to speak at.

The conversation between David Axlerod and Bernie Sanders was respectful, insightful, and direct. Bernie Sanders came across as a very likable guy. Being on a podcast could, potentially, make “undecided” voters want to find out more about what Bernie Sanders’ viewpoints are.

When a person listens in on a conversation between a podcast host (or hosts) and a guest, it can feel like an intimate setting. Listeners end up getting to know, and possibly feel somewhat more familiar with, the politician who was interviewed on a podcast. As a result, I think podcasting could end up swaying the outcome of the 2016 election.

Image by Alan O’Rourke on Flickr.

Spreaker Studio App Now Available For Windows and Mac OS X

Spreaker LogoSpreaker announced the release of the its Spreaker Studio app for Windows and Mac OS X. The app is available for free via the App Store and Google Play.

Spreaker Studio is an audio recording and live streaming app. The new application allows users to mix high-quality inputs from up to four audio sources like USB microphones, touch-activated sound effects, intro and exit music, and Skype callers into a live or pre-recorded podcast. This four audio source input support eliminates the need for an expensive audio mixer to record more than one microphone at a time for easy mobile recordings.

In Spreaker Studio, new podcasters will find a simple console where audio files, sound effects, voice, music and more can be mixed in one place during a live or recorded episode and then be encoded and pushed to the podcasters feed automatically. Podcasting pros will find improved integration with external equipment and software, including Skype.

The Spreaker Studio app has a pre-installed set of sound effects. It allows users to create a live show or a podcast and have it published on Spreaker’s platform in a matter of minutes.

Cards Against Humanity Sponsors Podcast Network

Chicago Podcast Cooperative logoCards Against Humanity is known for their creation of, as their website describes it, “a party game for horrible people”. It’s the game where players fill in the blanks on one card, with a word or phrase on another card, in order to make the most offensive sentence they can. The company recently launched its own podcast network.

Cards Against Humanity has a large headquarters that is located in Chicago. It includes a podcasting studio that has been operating below capacity. So, they opened up their doors to let others use the podcasting studio. This situation led to the Chicago Podcast Cooperative.

The Chicago Podcast Cooperative (CPC) connects local Chicago companies to podcasts that are produced in Chicago. Right now, they are only interested in Chicago based podcasts and sponsors. The CPC website says: “If you don’t live in Chicago and you’d like to participate, Craigslist is a great resource to find an apartment here.”

Sponsors pay into the cooperative each month to form a fund. Podcasts sign up to read a 140-character pre-roll ad. The CPC pays podcasts a flat $50 per episode.