Vox Tablet Says: “So Long, Farewell”

Vox Tablet logoVox Tablet is an award winning weekly podcast by Tablet Magazine. It started in 2005 and has been running for 11 years. The show produced an impressive 500 episodes. On June 24, 2016, it was announced that the show had come to an end. The last episode is fittingly titled “So Long, Farewell”.

Vox Tablet was produced by Julie Subrin and hosted by Sara Ivry, who strived to create a Jewish podcast with conversations, stories, and reports from across the Jewish cultural world. Every episode started with music by Jewlia Eisenberg of the band Charming Hostess. You can follow Julie Subrin (@julie_subrin), and Sara Ivry (@saraivry) on Twitter to find out what other projects they might work on in the future.

It is not unheard of for a 500th episode to “take a brief walk down memory lane” and review some of the favorite parts of previous shows. This becomes even more poignant on a 500th episode that is known to be the end of the entire podcast. The last episode also features music from Epichorus, Otran Etkin, and Victoria Hanna, all of whom had been featured on Vox Tablet.

Right now, it is still possible to check out the archive of all the episodes of Vox Tablet and listen to individual episodes, (all of which appear to be available on iTunes). As is true of most podcasts that have ended, it is hard to say for certain how long the episodes of Vox Tablet will remain available.

Radio Facts Seeks 20 Shows for Podcast Port

Podcast Port logoRadio Facts, the most read urban radio and music industry site, is introducing the first all urban podcast site. It is called Podcast Port. They are in the process of finding their first 20 shows to premiere and promote directly to the industry.

COO of Radio Facts, Kevin Ross, created Podcast Port as a means to showcase podcasts that feature black hosts. These shows can get lost in a plethora of other podcasts, and it takes a lot of work to find them. Podcast Port will make it easy for people to find podcasts that are of specific interest to African-Americans.

Podcast Port is “everything that commercial urban radio is not”. They welcome everyone and everything in the African-American community. This includes podcasts about small business, Hip Hop, women, men, LGBT, church, parenting, comedy, real estate, cultural concerns, education, entertainment, money matters, and more.

The Podcast Port site will post news, tips, and profiles in podcasting via their blog. It will also offer direction to clients who subscribe. This includes how to do the best podcast and advice on how to improve their shows. If Podcast Port sounds like a good fit for your podcast, you can submit it for possible inclusion at Podcast Port. They will let you know if they are interested.

Netflix Acquires Rights to Mur Lafferty Novel

Shambling Guide Book CoverNetflix, the popular video on-demand service, has acquired the rights to a novel by veteran podcaster and Podcast Hall of Famer Mur Lafferty. It’s unclear at this time how Netflix will approach the production of Lafferty’s The Shambling Guide to New York City or whether it’ll be produced like a TV-series or a feature-film series. Guide to New York is the first in a series of The Shambling Guides. It was published in 2013 and the book’s listing on Amazon describes it as:

A travel writer takes a job with a shady publishing company in New York, only to find that she must write a guide to the city – for the undead!

Because of the disaster that was her last job, Zoe is searching for a fresh start as a travel book editor in the tourist-centric New York City. After stumbling across a seemingly perfect position though, Zoe is blocked at every turn because of the one thing she can’t take off her resume — human.

Not to be put off by anything — especially not her blood drinking boss or death goddess coworker — Zoe delves deep into the monster world. But her job turns deadly when the careful balance between human and monsters starts to crumble — with Zoe right in the middle.

The Shambling Guide to New York City was followed up by a second guide in 2014 called Ghost Train To New Orleans. Again, it’s unclear as to what Netflix plans for the series, or whether or not Ghost Train was also covered in the rights acquisition.

Amid Controversy, Podcast Awards Winners Named

Podcast Awards logoLast Sunday, the 2016 winners of the Peoples Choice Podcast Awards (commonly referred to as the “Podcast Awards“) were announced. Award winners were unveiled during a live-streaming video presentation, as has been done in past years. The presentation itself went down with minimal issues. But just after the awards were given out, a bit of controversy came into play when it was determined that a specific group of podcasters had used a special web tool to encourage their listeners to vote for specific shows.

Podcast Awards winners are decided by a weeks-long voting content that asks the fans of awards-nominated podcasts to go to the Podcast Awards website and vote for their shows. There was some confusion when it was discovered that a fan of the Diamond Club podcast network had devised something called #HattingTheSystem that directed its users to vote specifically for Diamond Club shows.

It was unclear at first whether or not the Diamond Club’s web tool actually violated the Podcast Awards anti-cheating rules. But upon further review, it was determined that the web tool wasn’t auto-filling the Podcast Awards voting form. It was only directing voters to find the shows that Diamond Club was supporting in the different awards categories. It was then decided that all winners would be allowed to stand.

Here’s the complete list of 2016 Peoples Choice Podcast Awards winners:

  • Peoples Choice: The Fantasy Footballers Podcast
  • Arts: The Beerists Podcast
  • Business: The Bizarre Briefing
  • Comedy: Matt And Mattingly’s Ice Cream Social
  • Education: Scam School
  • Entertainment: We Have Concerns
  • Games & Hobbies: The Angry Chicken
  • GLBT: Diary of a Trans Woman
  • Government & Organizations: Politics Politics Politics
  • Health: Sleep With Me
  • Kids & Family: Hypothetical Help
  • Mature: JuRY
  • Music: Joe and Meg’s Musical Adventure
  • News & Politics: No Agenda
  • Religion & Spirituality: Oh No Ross and Carrie
  • Science & Medicine: Weird Things
  • Society – Culture: The Phileas Club
  • Sports & Recreation: The Fantasy Footballers Podcast
  • Technology: Hak5
  • TV & Film: Post Show Recaps

Disclosure: Peoples Choice Podcast Awards founder Todd Cochrane is the Executive Editor of Podcaster News.

Zillow Group CEO Launches “Office Hours” Podcast

Office Hours logoOffice Hours is a new podcast that has been launched by Zillow Group CEO, Spencer Rascoff. He oversees the company’s portfolio of real estate and home-related brands, including Zillow, Trulia, StreetEasy, HotPads, and Naked Apartments. Episode 1 features the very first guest of Office Hours, Entrepreneur and former CEO of Twitter, Dick Costolo.

In the first episode, Spencer Rascoff and Dick Costolo discuss leadership tips and secrets. Dick Costolo taught a management class at Twitter.

In the episode, Dick Costolo says the key to being a successful leader is “listen, decide, then communicate” (which should not be confused with “decide, listen, communicate”). The first episode of Office Hours has been released on Zillow’s website and on iTunes, where it will be released monthly.

Upcoming episodes will include:

* Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat

* Ellevest CEO Sallie Krawcheck

* Mod Pizza CEO Scott Svenson

* Trello Co-Founder Joel Spolsky

Office Hours was introduced with a question: “When a couple of CEOs get in a room together, what do they talk about?” The podcast lets you listen in as Spencer Rascoff “has the kinds of conversations that can only happen when peers get real: tackling tough questions, sharing hard-won insights, defining what leadership means in the digital age.”

Lance Armstrong Launched a Podcast

The Forward Podcast logoLance Armstrong, a former professional cyclist, has launched a brand new podcast series. It is called The Forward Podcast with Lance Armstrong. It is a weekly show that will feature a variety of guests – who will be interviewed by Lance Armstrong.

Lance Armstrong was a triathlete before he turned to professional cycling. In 1992, he began his career as a professional cyclist with the Motorola team. His career was halted by testicular cancer. After recovering, he returned to cycling and won a record seven consecutive Tour de France races.

In 2012, he was stripped of those titles due to evidence of performance-enhancing drug use. He later admitted to doping throughout his cycling career. In 1996, Lance Armstrong founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation for Cancer (which is now called LiveStrong). In 2000, he authored a book titled It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life. In 2003, he authored Every Second Counts.

The Forward Podcast will involve Lance Armstrong interviewing people from the fields of sport, business, music, and more. The first episode has been released. He interviewed CEO and Founder of the Alamo Drafthouse, Tim League.

In the episode the two discuss many topics. One is gun control. (The episode was recorded the morning of the Orlando shooting). They also discuss what it is like raising twins girls. Both Lance Armstrong, and Tim League, have twins. Other topics include movies, beekeeping, live music, and more.

Say Goodbye to Spreecast

Spreecast logoThose of you who are using Spreecast need to prepare to say goodbye to it. CEO of Spreecast, Jeff Fluhr, announced on June 15, 2016, that he has “made the difficult decision to shut down the Spreecast product.”. The reason Spreecast is shutting down is because they were unable to make it a viable business.

In his post, he points out that Spreecast was launched in late 2011 “as a destination for people all over the world to connect and converse about shared interests, current events, and educational topics.” The Spreecast community included a diverse group of users including life coaches, podcasters, media companies, think tanks, social groups, religious groups, and celebrities.

The Spreecast site will be shutting down, forever, on July 14, 2016. Some changes have already taken place in preparation for the shutdown. For example, you can no longer create new Spreecast events. All events that were scheduled to occur after July 14, 2016, will be canceled. If you have events already scheduled between now and July 13, 2016, you will still be able to use Spreecast for those events.

Those who used Spreecast can download all of their archived events free of charge. (Directions for how to do that are explained in Jeff Fluhr’s post). People who are subscribers of Spreecast, and who do not have any events scheduled, are asked to log into Spreecast and cancel their subscription. All subscriptions will be canceled on June 14, 2016.

Podcasting is DOOMED! – PCN Show 033

PCN iTunes artworkIn this episode, Shawn and Jen discuss the latest “podcasting is doomed” scenario by reviewing two articles that touch on it. Are they right? Or are they being overly dramatic? You decide!

We also talk about that list of most influential podcasters that received a lot of negative comments, point you toward good sources for music in your podcast, and wonder why someone would think that voicemail in podcasts is a new thing.

Links mentioned in this episode:

* E.W. Scripps Buys Podcast Company Stitcher
By Jon Gruber on Daring Fireball

* Large Podcast Advertising Company Buys Large Proprietary Podcast Player
By Marco Arment on Marco.org

* Find great music for your podcast
By AudioBoom on AudioBoom Blog

* The 22 Most Influential Women in Podcasting
By Alex Laughlin on Medium

* For its new personal finance podcast, FiveThirtyEight set up voicemail to hear from listeners
By Ricardo Bilton on NeimanLab

Twitter Has Invested $70Million in SoundCloud

SoundCloud LogoNews items about SoundCloud are so repetitive, they’re starting to sound like a broken record. We’ve reported more than once about how either SoundCloud is rapidly burning thru the money it has, or that it’s taken on more debt in the form of venture capital. This week’s SoundCloud news is focused on the second of those two, as apparently Twitter has invested $70million dollars in the audio platform.

This fact on its own is amusing considering Twitter itself has yet to actually turn a profit. Also, this isn’t the first time SoundCloud and Twitter have been linked financially. In 2014, rumors began circulating that the micro-blogging service was about to buy SoundCloud. But that deal ultimately fell thru. Now the two companies have come back together. But this time, Twitter isn’t going for the full buyout.

Since its launch in 2007, SoundCloud has raised over $193million in funding thru a total of five investment rounds. The money has come from nine different investors, including Twitter. Historically, it’s been difficult for audio-streaming services to reach profitability. The biggest hurdle these kinds of companies must overcome is dealing with the licensing and legal issues that arise around streaming music. SoundCloud has even had to consider giving equity to the major record labels in order to keep them happy.

While it does provide services for podcasters, SoundCloud has always been a music-first platform. It’s hard to say what SoundCloud’s financial standing could mean for podcasters who rely on the service. But if the company doesn’t at least break even soon, SoundCloud’s future doesn’t look very bright.

Two New Documentaries Tell the Story of Podcasting

Messengers logoSince the relaunch of Podcaster News in 2014, we’ve noted again and again how large media outlets misunderstand the nature and history of podcasting. No, the medium didn’t start with Serial. No, iTunes didn’t invent podcasting. Yes, there is actually a lot of important podcasting happening outside of the New York media bubblesphere. Now, more than ever, it’s extremely important to get the whole story about what podcasting is, in front of as many people as possible. And that’s what two new podcasting documentaries are hoping to do.

The first documentary is called The Messengers. Here’s the trailer:

The Messengers features interviews with a wide range of podcasters. The documentary is currently in production and will be narrated by Dave Jackson of School of Podcasting (Dave is also a past contributor to Podcaster News).

The other documentary about podcasting is called Ear Buds. Here’s the trailer:

The producers of Ear Buds have traveled all over the world to document not just podcasters, but also the fans who love listening to the shows produced by those podcasters. The documentary will be screened on Thursday, July 7th during the Podcast Movement conference in Chicago.