Enter the 2016 Amateur Podcast Championships

Do you have a little free time between now and the new year? If so, you might consider entering the 2016 Amateur Podcast Championships.  The competition is presented by Monkeys Fighting Robots. The deadline for entry is midnight on December 31, 2016.

The 2016 Amateur Podcast Championships is open to podcasters worldwide who have less than 2,500 plays or downloads per episode. The podcast must be English speaking. The podcast episode that you submit to the competition must be from 2016.

To submit an entry, all you need to do is fill out the form on the 2016 Amateur Podcast Championship website and pay a $10 fee (via PayPal). Those who enter must be at least 18 years of age or older by November 1, 2016. All entered podcasts will be embedded on the 2016 Amateur Podcast Championships competition page for the whole world to listen to, with links back to the original website.

Each podcast will be judged on a weighted scale: 50% content, 40% sound, and 10% production value. Each entry will receive its own personal score.

The winner of the 2016 Amateur Podcast Championship winner will receive a $250 American Express Gift Card and year-long social and digital media push from Monkeys Fighting Robots ($2,000 value). Second place will receive a year-long social digital media push to expand your audience. Third place will have a rotating ad unit on Monkeys Fighting Robots in the FRIENDS section.

Feral Audio Partners with Art19

Art19 announced that Feral Audio has enlisted Art19 for all of its hosting, distribution, analytics and ad serving needs. Feral Audio selected Art19 for its WarpFeed technology.

Art19 was founded by software entrepreneur Sean Carr and podcast producer Matt Belknap. Art19 provides tools for hosting, distribution and monetization of podcasts, bringing enhanced listening metrics and ad service technologies to publishers and advertisers.

Feral Audio is the fiercely independent podcast network founded by producer Dustin Marshall (Harmontown, The Duncan Trussell Family Hour, Call Chelsea Peretti) in partnership with Starburns Industries (Community, Rick & Morty, Frankenhole, and Charlie Kaufman’s Anomalisa). Every show on the Feral Audio network is 100% creator-owned, uncut, and unfiltered.

Art19’s WarpFeed Technology provides near real-time RSS ad insertion which supports improved audience targeting and serving of host-read ads, even though the back catalog content. This allows Feral Audio to generate revenue on a considerable amount of inventory that had previously gone unmonetized.

Homecoming Podcast Will Become a TV Series

Deadline has reported that Homecoming Podcast is going to become a TV series. According to Deadline, Universal Cable Prods. has landed rights to Gimlet Media’s Homecoming, a fictional podcast from Sam Esmail (the creator and executive produce of Mr. Robot).

Homecoming is voiced by established Hollywood actors Catherine Keener (40 Year-Old Virgin, Into the Wild), Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), David Schwimmer (Friends, Orange is the New Black), and Amy Sedaris (Strangers with Candy).

Homecoming centers on a caseworker at an experimental facility, her ambitious supervisor, and a soldier eager to rejoin civilian life – presented in an enigmatic collage of telephone calls, therapy sessions, and overheard conversations. It is an innovated, immersive, audio experience – a psychological thriller unfolding across six episodes of Season One.

Deadline reported that the TV series version of Homecoming will be produced by Sam Esmail through his production company Esmail Corp. Others contributing to the production include: Mr. Robot executive producer Chad Hamilton of Anonymous Content; Eli Horowitz and Micha Bloomberg, creators of the Homecoming podcast; and Alicia Van Couvering, Alex Blumburg, Matt Leiber, and Chris Gilberti of Gimlet Media.

Podlove Makes it Easier for Listeners to Subscribe to Podcasts

Podlove is an initiative to improve the overall technical infrastructure for podcasting. It is both a network for developers to discuss features and agree on standards as well as an incubator for software and file formats under the Podlove name. Podlove has created the Podlive Subscribe Button.

The Podlove Subscribe Button is described as “a universal and easy-to-use button, to subscribe to podcasts with player clients or website clients.” Podlove also describes it as “One button to subscribe to them all.”

It appears to be simple to set up. First, a podcaster visits the Podlove Subscribe Button website. Next, he or she clicks the button on the website that is called “Get the Subscribe Button”. According to Podlove “there is (usually) no step three”.

A podcaster can customize what their Button will look like. You can chose the size: small, medium, or big. The Format can be rectangle, square, or cover. You can select from filled, outline, or frameless for the style. There is an option to put in the exact color you want (by typing in the Hex color code information for that specific hue).

You can also pick the language: Dutch, English, Esperanto, German, Finnish, or French. The example of the Button shows an icon of an ipod. You can change that to be your podcast’s cover image instead.

When you are done, you hit a button that copies the script to your website. Podcasters can then go to their website and activate the Podlove Subscribe Button in the WordPress Widget. WordPress can install the Podlove Subscribe Button Plugin from the Podlove website. Those who aren’t using WordPress can use a generator to create individual script for your website.

Listeners who visit your podcast’s website, and who want to subscribe to your podcast, can click the Podlove Subscribe Button. The listener won’t have to leave your website and browse through iTunes in order to subscribe.

Motherboard is Seeking a Podcast Intern

Motherboard is a multi-platform, multimedia publication, relying on longform reporting, in-depth blogging, and video and film production to ensure that every story is presented in its most gripping and relatable format. Motherboard is seeking a Podcast Intern.

Motherboard, which is part of VICE, launched in 2009. Motherboard is VICE’s science and technology site. Its podcast is called Radio Motherboard.  The podcast is a weekly show about how technology impact’s culture.

They are looking for an intern “who can pitch episode ideas, help with recording and research, be on the show from time to time as well (if they pitch an idea we like, they will have the chance to produce it). The intern will also help out with a new podcast we will be launching this spring.”

In addition, the intern will have the opportunity to write, fact-check, and research for Motherboard’s website, though Motherboard wants the majority of the intern’s time to be focused on podcasting. They prefer an intern who has a strong interest in technology, science, and culture.

Unlike some of the ads for interns you see on the internet, Motherboard is going to actually do internship the right way. The intern must currently be an undergrad or graduate student. The intern will be paid $11 per hour, and will work 20 hours per week max (two or three days a week). Visit the Motherboard website for more details – and do it quick. Motherboard wants to fill this position by January 6, 2017.

DTR is a Podcast by Tinder and Gimlet Creative

The dating app Tinder has its own podcast. It’s called DTR: Define the Relationship and it is brought to you by Tinder and Gilmet Creative.

DTR is hosted by Jane Marie. She is the music supervisor at This American Life, and producer at Epic Magazine and Earwolf.  She also was an editor at Jezebel and The Hairpin and columnist at The Toast and Cosmopolitan. Tinder describes DTR this way:

Part wisdom, part data science, part investigative reporting – its a deep dive into the conversation about dating and relationships in the digital age. From the ubiquitous “hey” as an opening line to first date ‘fails’ to the various ways people Tinder in different cultures around the globe, DTR explores the good and bad, the hilarious and awkward, the wonderful and bizarre aspects of dating in today’s world.

Obviously, DTR is an ad for Tinder that takes the form of a podcast. It’s not the only podcast that is basically a long, yet entertaining, ad. General Electric’s The Message was a creative science-fiction podcast in which the characters use real ultrasound technology that has been developed by General Electric to decode messages. My best guess is that Tinder hopes that DTR will encourage people to use Tinder.

The first episode of DTR was released on December 8, 2016. There will be a total of six episodes.

Spreaker Introduces Chapters

Spreaker has added a new feature to their Content Management System (CMS).  Spreaker is now giving you the ability to add chapters to your podcast episodes.

Chapters are visual markers, taking the form of images, text, and links, that highlight different parts of your episode. With Chapters, you can delineate a clear outline of key points and favorite moments that listeners can get to easily, and create new ways to share your content.

Through the CMS, Chapters can be placed along specific points of the waveform by clicking on “+” and adding all the relevant information you’d like your listener to know. A Chapter can signal the beginning of different segments, or acts, of your episode. Chapters can lead to interviews, include links to outside articles, and add images or infographics.

With Chapters, listeners are given visual clues that invite them to engage with your content in a different way. They’re handy guides that lead to specific moments that are relevant to their interests, without the endless seeking and searching. Chapters also break down long podcasts into easily digestible pieces that they can consume at their own leisure.

Once the Chapters are set, they’ll be visible across Spreaker’s listening platforms. Chapters will appear in the embedded player, Spreaker Podcast Radio for both Android and iOS, and Spreaker.com.

Podcast Movement 2017 has Released a Schedule

Podcast Movement 2017 will take place at the Anaheim Marriott in Anaheim, California. It is for anyone who is currently involved with, or looking to get into, podcasting and the podcasting industry. Podcast Movement 2017 has released its schedule.

Podcast Movement officially begins at 10:00 in the morning on Wednesday, August 23, 2017. They invite you to check out everything that is going on Tuesday, and to get an early jump on registration.

Tuesday, August 22
9 am: Pmx Competition
9 am: PodHack Hackathon (more info to come)
9 am: Partner Workshops (more info to come)
3 pm: First Timers Orientation
5 pm – 7 pm: Early Check-In

Wednesday, August 23
9 am – 10 am: Check-In
10 am – 3 pm: Breakout sessions and panel discussions
12 pm – 5 pm: Expo Hall Open
12 pm – 3 pm: Solutions Stage Sessions
3 pm – 5 pm: Opening Keynotes
5 pm – 7pm: Red Carpet Welcome Party
7 pm – 9 pm: Academy of Podcasters Awards

Thursday, August 24
9 am – 3 pm: Breakout sessions and panel discussions
9 am – 5 pm: Expo Hall Open
12 pm – 3 pm: Solutions Stage Sessions
3 pm – 4:30 pm: Keynote Talks
5:30 pm – 7 pm: Speaker & Sponsor Party
7 pm – 12 am: TBA SPECIAL PARTY

Friday, August 25
9am – 11 am: Breakout sessions and panel discussions
11 am – 12:30 pm: Closing Keynotes

Best Podcasts of 2016 – According to iTunes

Apple unveiled its Best of 2016 list early in December. The list includes the best apps, music, movies, TV shows, books, and podcasts of 2016 across App Store, iTunes, Apple Music, and iBooks.

Podcasts hit an impressive milestone in 2016: globally, Apple listeners consumed over 10 billion downloads and streams over the past 12 months via iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and desktop.  Fresh Air from NPR is the top downloaded podcast of the year.

In addition, iTunes has put together a list of the Best Podcasts of 2016. This grouping of podcasts is described in iTunes as “favorites”. They are simply listed together in one group (and are not ranked against each other). Each is listed with a quote from iTunes explaining why it was selected.

The Best Podcast of 2016 list includes:

Revisionist History – hosted by Malcolm Gladwell – from Panoply
“No one turns history on its head like Malcolm Gladwell. We love his provocative take on everything from satire to Wilt Chamberlain”

How I Built This – hosted by Guy Raz – from NPR
“We were incredibly inspired by hearing the founders of Spanx, Instagram, and other start-ups explain how they made it big.”

In the Dark by APM Reports and reporter Madeline Baran – from APM
“This year’s huge breakthrough in the Jacob Wetterling abduction case fueled a fascinating look at why it went unsolved for decades.”

Jocko Podcast – hosted by Jocko Willink
“Leadership, fitness, military history – retired Navy SEAL Jocko and his guests turn any topic into a riveting life lesson.”

Anna Faris is Unqualified – hosted by Anna Faris
“Anna and her pal Sim have so much fun hanging out and chatting with celebrity friends, we can’t resist joining in.”

NPR Politics Podcast – hosted by NPR’s political reporters
“With their awesome insights and discussion, NPR’s political team kept us up to speed on a truly unpredictable election.”

My Favorite Murder – hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark – from Feral Audio
“After one episode, we adored this show like its hosts adore twisted tales and catchphrases. Their gabfests are always entertaining.”

2 Dope Queens – hosted by Phoebie Robinson and Jessica Williams – from WNYC
“We’ll crash this party anytime. Jessica, Phoebe, and their hilarious guests bring enough energy and fearlessness for 10 podcasts”.

Accused – Cincinnati Enquirer
“Powerful and thought-provoking, the story of Elizabeth Andres’ unsolved murder stuck with us long after the final episode.”

FiveThirtyEight Politics – hosted by Nate Silver and the FiveThirtyEight team
“For the kind of deep political analysis that goes state by state and stat by stat, we love listening to Nate Silver and crew.”

Heavyweight – hosted by Jonathan Goldstein – from Gimlet
“Jonathan Goldstein’s clever look at people’s hidden burdens (their “heavyweight”) is as captivating as it is moving.”

Pardon My Take – hosted by Big Cat and PFT Commenter – from Barstool Sports
“The hosts’ call-it-like-they-see-it sports talk made PMT our perfect companion through the Olympics, the World Series, and more.”

Facebook Launches Live Audio Streaming

Facebook logoSocial media juggernaut Facebook has pushed into multiple new digital media territories this year. The company’s latest bid to become the one platforms that rules them all comes with the launch of Facebook Live Audio:

We know that sometimes publishers want to tell a story on Facebook with words and not video. We’ve even seen some Pages find creative ways to go live and reach audiences with audio only by using the Facebook Live API or by adding a still image to accompany their audio broadcast. Our new Live Audio option makes it easy to go live with audio only when that’s the broadcaster’s preferred format.

We also know that publishers sometimes go live from areas that lack strong network connectivity. Though we alert the broadcaster if their signal is low, Live Audio presents another option for connecting with audiences in real time from low-connectivity areas.

Many podcasters use Facebook to promote their shows, and many podcasters also use live-streaming services for audience interaction. While Facebook Live Audio wasn’t necessarily designed for podcasters, it seems Facebook if finally acknowledging the workarounds audio producers have used to get their content onto the platform. The launch of Live Audio should make it easier for everyone to get non-video dynamic media into Facebook.