All posts by Jen Thorpe

AccuRadio Will Stay on the Internet



AccuRadio, one of the two leading brands of pureplay online radio in the U.S. and featuring over 1,100 curated and personalizable channels of music, announced that it would NOT be shutting down its online streams and moving to various AM ready frequencies, as it had announced earlier.

“We appreciated the outpouring of concern from listeners who were afraid they might not live in one of the 38% of U.S., markets that would have an AccuRadio AM transmitter,” noted COO Ben Husmann. “We thought would cover almost everybody, but we have realized that some of our listeners might indeed not be in an AccuRadio AM market, nor willing to move to one.”

In AccuRadio’s original plan for its move to broadcast radio, all 1,100 of AccuRadio’s curated music channels were going to be available on the broadcast version of AccuRadio, albeit only one on any given day. “Some listeners were also dissatisfied that, given the fact that we would be cycling through, 1,100 channels, their favorite AccuRadio channel would only be available for one day every 3-1/2 years, which some listeners felt was insufficiently frequent,” Brand Manager Todd Manley noted.

The deciding factor, however, noted Senior Music Director and Social Media Manager Eric Bowden, was the realization that AM radios typically do not have a “skip” button. “We just assumed that it was a base requirement for an audio product in the modern era,” he noted.

In conclusion, CEO Kurt Hanson noted there would be no change in the AccuRadio listeners who live outside of those 38% of U.S. markets that were going have an AccuRadio AM signal could order their favorite AccuRadio channel on a set of forty 90-minute stereo cassettes. All orders received on the first of April will be promptly refunded.


New Audioburst Platform Brings Podcasts to Any App



Audioburst the audio search and delivery platform, announces the launch of its Platform for Apps, the world’s first podcast feed for mobile apps. While providing incremental, recurring revenue for the thousands of app developers looking to increase app monetization, it also offers consumers personalized, up-to-the-minute audio content within their favorite apps.

“At audioburst, our mission is to champion the entire podcast ecosystem, making content accessible to users while also benefiting creators and publishers,” said Amir Hirsh, co-founder and CEO of Audioburst. “With this new product launch, we are taking another step towards achieving that goal. We are bringing a wealth of content to users in their favorite apps, helping podcasts reach new audiences, and driving mobile app engagement and monetization.”

Podcasts have gone mainstream in the last year, with over 100 million Americans regularly listening. The Audioburst Platform for Apps capitalizes on this monumental shift in consumer behavior – away from visual content on screens and toward audio content – to layer podcasts, talk radio, and more into apps that don’t currently deliver audio content.

From travel and navigation apps to casual games, fitness, music, shopping, and more, audio content is the perfect accompanying layer for apps interested in boosting user engagement and retention. An engaging audio player is available for apps interested in introducing audio for the first time via SDK, while apps with an existing player can integrate content via API.

The ability to provide audio-hungry consumers with the content they seek is what drew Zen Labs Fitness, the publisher of one of the world’s most popular and highest-rated running apps, C25K, to Audioburst.

“Audioburst’s solution is a great fit for our running community,” said Bradley Duong, co-founder at Zen Labs Fitness. “Our users are already out there, trying to improve their physical well-being. Adding a dynamic feed of informative and entertaining podcast highlights helps our runners on their self-improvement journey. We expect this innovative solution to boost user engagement and significantly increase our revenues.”

Additionally, Perfect365, the Webby-award-winning, augmented reality beauty platform, is incorporating Audioburst’s beauty playlist into its app to enrich user experience.
 
Audioburst’s AI technology listens to, analyzes, and indexes hundreds of millions of minutes of audio content, including podcasts, radio, and more. This customizable source of content is segmented to short audio clips – or “bursts” – that are then aggregated into playlists. Users enjoy a recommended content stream based on trending topics, past behaviors, and defined interest areas. Content is updated 24/7 from thousands of sources and optimized by Audioburst’s patent-pending technology, resulting in the ability to uniquely personalize every experience.


Liberated Syndication Announces Launch Partnership with Samsung



Liberated Syndication (“Libsyn”) announced its partnership with Samsung to help bring podcasts under the “Listen” Tab within the Samsung Free application. Samsung Free is available on compatible Samsung Galaxy devices. The “Listen” tab will be available with an update to compatible Galaxy S21, Galaxy S20, Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy S10, and Galaxy Note 10 series starting today in the United States. Libsyn podcasters can add their shows to Samsung Free on a limited basis at launch, with expanding access over the coming weeks.

“Providing podcasters with access to the newest platforms offering podcasts is critical to promoting audience growth,” said Libsyn President and Chief Operating Officer, Laurie Sims. “We are excited about the relationship with Samsung and the opportunity to expand access to podcasts on Samsung Free and all of Libsyn’s 75K+ podcasters.”

“The past year we have all seen a shift in where and how we consume media,” commented Vice President of Podcaster Relations Rob Walch. “Having native support for podcast discovery and consumption on the Galaxy series will give consumers even more choices and opportunities to consume podcasts and that is a win for everyone.”

“With podcasts growing in popularity, they serve as a source of news, information and entertainment for millions of Americans,” said Avner Ronen, Vice President, Product Development at Samsung Electronics America. “We are thrilled to partner with Libsyn and their broad network of podcast syndication and development so Galaxy customers in the U.S. Can enjoy easy access to their vast collection.”

Podcasting has experienced a surge in popularity on numerous fronts. German consumer data firm, Statista forecasts the number of podcast listeners to surpass 160 million in the United States alone, by the year 2023. “It is paramount that our hosted podcasts are available for consumers through all of the fastest-growing and accessible mediums,” Sims added.


Blubrry Podcasting Launch Partnership with Samsung



Blubrry Podcasting announced that they are a Samsung Podcast Launch Partner. Blubrry Podcasters can get their show on the Listen Tab of Samsung Free.

This is an incredible opportunity to have your show reach a large segment of Samsung users here in the United States. Samsung has a global mobile business and we look forward to podcasting being highlighted on the “Listen Tab” of the Samsung Free.

Engadget reported that Samsung has added a podcast section to its Free App, which is where Samsung users can access a selection of complimentary TV shows, movies, games and news articles.

According to Engadget, the section, officially known as Samsung Podcasts, is rolling out to Galaxy S21, S20, Note 20, S10, and Note 10 devices. As long as you’re logged into your Samsung account on Free, you can start listening. According to Samsung, there are “thousands” of podcasts to check out on the app, with popular networks like This American Life, NPR and iHeartMedia represented.

Blubrry Podcasters who are interested in being highlighted in the “Listen Tab” of Samsung Free can start by filling out a form. Blubrry Podcasting will follow up with each show that submits. They ask for your patience, as this program is just kicking off.


Acast Signs Tortoise Media to Host and Distribute Slow News Podcast



Acast has signed Tortoise Media, to its network of publisher partners which includes the BBC, the Guardian, Financial Times, Economist, gal-de and Hearst.

The partnership with Acast will enable the fast growing audio-first media platform to distribute its journalism podcasts, including The Slow Newscast and Sensemaker, to every listening platform, and monetize its content for non-members through dynamically-inserted ads and sponsorship through the Acast Marketplace.

Tortoise Media launched in 2019 with a slow news approach to journalism with a membership-subscription model, focusing on the in-depth stories that really matter – in the UK and around the world.

Its slate of podcasts launched with the weekly Slow Newscast, hosted by former Guardian and HuffPost journalists Basia Cummings. The podcast takes a considered approach to news podcasting and is Tortoise’s flagship podcasts.

More recently, at the start of 2021, Tortoise launched Sensemaker, a daily news podcast that examines one story every day to help listeners make sense of the world. Episodes typically run for five minutes and distal topics such as the race for Covid-19 vaccines into digestible podcasts that can be listened to in the time it takes to brew a pot of coffee.

Tortoise studios is headed up by Ceri Thomas, former Editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme and Panorama, and Basia Cummings, former Editor at The Guardian and HuffPost. Its four part series My Mother’s Murder was recently number one in Apple’s UK News category and The Slow Newscast was one of Spotify’s favorite new shows of 2020.

“As an audio first publisher Acast was the logical podcasting partner of choice for Tortoise’s growing podcast journalism,” said Ceri Thomas, Editor and Partner at Tortoise Media and Co-Head, Tortoise Studios. “We’ve seen a significant rise in listeners of our podcasts in recent months. I look forward to building on our success and unlocking our audio strategy as a new revenue stream through Acast’s bespoke podcast monetization model.”

“Tortoise Media is one of the most exciting news organizations in the world right now, and its approach to the newsroom is exceptional, especially at a time where it’s critical to take stock and consider the facts of an unravelling story,” said Sam Shetabi, director of UK content at Acast. “Adding Tortoise to our growing number of publisher partners strengthens our growing journalistic podcast offering, and is indicative of the flexible and powerful podcasting solution Acast offers publishers for hosting and monetization.”


Podcast Radio Expands to Britain’s Second Largest City



Podcast Radio, the UK’s 24/7 station that plays and talks about podcasts, is now on the air in Birmingham, Britain’s second largest city.

As well as Birmingham, Podcast Radio is also heard in London, Surrey, Manchester and Glasgow.

Podcast Radio CEO Gerry Edwards says: “We’ve wanted to expand to Birmingham for some time now. We’ve been waiting for space on the digital transmitter multiplex there and as soon as the opportunity arose to further expansion, we grabbed it.”

Podcast Radio launched just over a year ago and is an independent platform for discovering and promoting podcasts through digital broadcasting and an online radio-like experience. It features sample episodes of podcasts from all over the world introduced by ‘podjocks’ who also interview content creators.

Gerry says: “Our mission is to help people discover and choose podcasts from the millions available using that most trustworthy of media – radio. We had an incredible first year and we have plans to grow even more both in the UK and internationally in the next 12 months.”

Podcast Radio – which earlier this month announced an equity investment and airtime sales agreement from US podcasting company Evergreen, based on Ohio – has also started promoting its own original podcasts which it airs and makes available on major podcasting platforms.


Edison Research Released The Infinite Dial 2021



Edison Research released The Infinite Dial 2021 study. Findings from The Infinite Dial have become the barometer on digital audio and other digital media consumption, and is widely used and quoted by broadcasters, podcasters, online radio publishers, ad agencies, and the financial community. A total of 1,507 persons were interviewed to explore Americans’ use of digital platforms and new media.

Podcasting continues its significant and steady growth while the overall audience is more diverse than ever, according to The Infinite Dial 2021 from Edison Research and Triton Digital. Along with podcasting, smart speaker ownership and online audio consumption showed notable gains in this year’s survey.

Here are some interesting findings in The Infinite Dial 2021:

Approximately eighty million Americans – 28% of the U.S. 12+ population – are now weekly podcast listeners, a 17% increase over 2020. The overall monthly podcast listening audience is now more diverse than ever: 57% of monthly podcast listeners are white, 16% Latino, 13% African American, 4% Asian and 10% of some other background.

Sixty-two percent of the U.S. 12+ population, around 176 million people, are now weekly online listeners, an all-time high for this category.

One-third (33%) of Americans 12+, approximately 94 million people, now own a smart speaker, an increase of 22% from last year and nearly five times what it was in 2017 (7%). Of those who own a smart speaker, 34% have three or more of the devices in their household.

The Infinite Dial marks a significant year for the study, as the media measurement was done almost entirely during a time of quarantine or some level of restriction due to Covid-19. The historical data in The Infinite Dial provides pre-Covid trending capability.

“In the near quarter of a century that the Infinite Dial has been the survey of record for digital audio, the space has never been more vibrant, or more diverse, than it is today,” said Tom Webster, Senior Vice President at Edison Research. “Podcasting, in particular, has made great gains with women and non-White audiences, and truly reflects the diversity of America.”

“We are pleased to partner with Edison Research to unveil the results of the 2021 U.S. Infinite Dial,” said John Rosso, President of Market Development at Triton Digital. “The results of this year’s study are exceptionally interesting, as they provide insight into Americans’ consumption of radio, streaming audio, podcasts, and usage of smart speakers during a time of unprecedented disruption into our everyday lives”.


Kangaroofern Inaugurates Australiasia’s First Podcast Summit – Podfiesta



Kangaroomfern launches the inaugural virtual podcast summit – Podfiesta in the Australasia region on April 10-12, 2021. The company invites independent podcasters who wish to strengthen their networks and gain knowledge on cutting-edge technology of the podcasting industry, to register and obtain tickets by visiting the official Podfiesta event page.

Podfiesta is introduced to the Australiasian podcasting community by Kangaroofern with the key objective of creating a knowledge and experience-sharing platform for the new-comers and veterans of the field. The podcast summit theme “we are stronger together” aptly suggests the need for building a unified common forum to share one’s perspective with like-minded people outside their respective podcast listener base. The two-day podcast summit provides an open platform to discuss, share and gain support from the specialists in the industry.

25 well-respected podcasters will address the participants through a series of speeches and well-curated topics that would cover the entire podcast management process. In addition to the speeches, Podfiesta will conduct an exhibition that features the latest revolutionary technology and services offered by the leading podcasting companies in the region.

The participants will also be provided with an opportunity to have one-on-one discussions with veteran podcasters, and secure partnerships with leading podcast management companies through full conference registration. Participants who purchase tickets will also be contributing to a humanitarian mission as a percentage of the revenue earned through ticket purchases will be donated to reputed organizations striving to eradicate racism.


iHeartRadio Announced New Slate of Original Podcasts



iHeartRadio announced a slate of new iHeartRadio Original Podcasts. Launching one new show per month this year, the podcasts will shine a light on the curious tales, historical oddities and stranger-than-fiction true stories that are often left out of history books.

iHeartMedia has continued to invest heavily in podcasting, from acquiring HowStuffWorks in 2018 to producing an ongoing slate of more than 750 iHeartRadio Original shows like The Ron Burgundy Podcast; Fake Doctors, Real Friends; You and Me Both with Hillary Clinton; among others. These shows and more are distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network and are available on iHeartRadio and all major podcast platforms.

“We are excited to share our newest slate of iHeartRadio Original Podcasts focused on the curious true stories left out of history books,” said Jason English, Lead Executive Producer of iHeartRadio Original Podcasts. “This spring you can spend time with the Black cowboys who found freedom on the high plains after the Civil War; get a first-person account of the most insane government project in American history; and meet desperate World War I veterans who camped outside the White House for months during the Great Depression.”

The first fascinating historical podcast in the slate, Black Cowboys, available now, tells the story of what freedom looked like for Black Americans after the Civil War. The podcast shares a more honest version of the settling of the Wild West and shines a light on the one-in-four cowboys who were Black.

Upcoming podcasts include Operation Midnight Climax, which details the stranger-than-fiction events that took place at a CIA-run brothel in the 1950s; The White House Coup, which chronicles a club of powerful Wall Street millionaires in a plot to overthrow President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR); and other little-known odd histories of historical figures and events.

Black Cowboys – Available Now

Host Zaron Burnett’s father didn’t want slavery to be his son’s dominant image of Black people in American history. So every night, he filled Zaron’s dreams with these incredible stories of Black cowboys. Despite what Hollywood traditionally has shown, one in four cowboys in the American West were Black and their stories tell a bigger, braver, more honest history of America. Black Cowboys is written and hosted by Aaron Burnett, with special guest appearances by his father.

Operation Midnight Climax – Launched March 17

Host Noel Brown details the insane true story of a secret Cold War project as it spins out of control. George Hunter White operated a CIA brothel in the 1950s where, as part of the mission, sex workers were hired to lure patrons to a safe house to be dosed with LSD and observed from behind a two-way mirror. White’s experiments didn’t end there – enemies of the state, strangers on the street, and even his own friends became unwitting targets – because the fate of the nation depended on it. Operation Midnight Climax is written by Jake Rossen, whose most recent book “Action Park” The Untold Story of America’s Most Dangerous Amusement Park” is being developed for a TV series.

The White House Coup – Launching this April

Ben Bowlin will host this limited series podcast centered around one of the great untold stories in American history. In 1934, a decorated Marine Corps Major General named Smedley Butler came to Congress with explosive allegations: a powerful cabal of Wall Street millionaires was plotting to overthrow FDR and wanted Butler to lead a half-a-million-strong army of veterans in the coup. After the fact, mainstream media started calling the whole thing a hoax – but is it possible the plot got a lot closer than the public realized? The White House Coup is written by investigative journalist Alex French, whose work has appeared in Vanity Fair, Esquire, GQ, New York Magazine, and This American Life.