Anchor is now IAB Podcast Measurement 2.0 Certified

Anchor announced that it is backed by the industry standard in advertising for podcast analytics: IAB Podcast Measurement 2.0 certification. This certification verifies that Anchor is fully compliant with the IAB Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines. Anchor recommends that you head over to your Anchor dashboard to explore your new analytics and grow your show!

Whether you’re an experienced podcaster or just starting out, now you can make strategic decisions about your show knowing that Anchor’s metrics and definitions are verified to follow the guidelines most widely accepted by hosting platforms, media companies, brands, and creators alike.

Anchor provided a little more about certification and what it means for your analytics:

How will this affect my analytics going forward?

We improved the way plays are counted to more precisely to filter out noise and duplicate traffic. Podcast metadata and non-human downloads, such as those from bots or search engines, are no longer counted towards plays.

Anchor analytics now show your unique listeners in the last 7 days, giving you an additional metric to measure your audience and evaluate the success of your show.

Will my play counts change at all?

Anchor’s analytics were already quite precise and we haven’t undergone any major changes in order to achieve IAB certification. Some podcasters may notice a very slight decline in play counts as a result of more stringent measurement, but for most, everything will look about the same.

Note again that this change only applies to plays moving forward. Previously accrued play counts will stay the same.

Anchor Turns Your Video Chats into a Podcast

Anchor announced that it can turn your virtual hangouts into a podcast with Anchor’s new video-to-audio conversion.

Now, Anchor makes it possible to turn your video files into podcast-ready audio – so the next time you have a great conversation over Zoom, Google Meet, Instagram Live, or your favorite video chat tool, you can share it as a podcast for everyone to hear.

Starting at the end of April 2020, Anchor’s tools make it possible for you to convert your video files into editable audio. So, as you’re keeping up your face-to-face connections through video chats and virtual hangouts, you can easily capture the conversation for everyone to hear by turning it into a podcast.

But, before you do that, it would be wise to let everyone who is in the video chat know that you are going to be recording it and making it into a podcast episode. The following states require consent from all parties that are recorded: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington.

If your recorded video chat will include people who live outside of the United States, you need to find out what the laws are regarding recording in their country. Be smart and ask for permission to record and release the conversation as a podcast episode before you hit the record button.

Obviously, Anchor’s video-to-audio tool is only available to Anchor podcasters. First, record your video chat through your favorite streaming tool and download the file. Next, upload it to your Anchor dashboard on web. You cannot upload YouTube links directly to Anchor. But, if you own the raw video file (.MP4 or .MOV) you can upload it and convert it to audio.

Anchor’s New Audience Insights are Powered by Spotify

Earlier this month, Anchor announced that they have expanded Anchor’s podcast analytics beyond standard podcast download metrics to include true episode drop-off and aggregated listener demographics.

Spotify acquired Anchor in February of 2019. At that time, the companies made it clear that together, Anchor and Spotify would be able to expand the capability of podcast creators, and that new insights would be one way to achieve that vision. The first step in that direction is with the launch of new, Spotify-powered analytics.

Now, your Anchor dashboard (on web in our free app for iOS and Android) includes new charts that provide unique insights about your audience on Spotify, to help you better understand the people listening to your show and what they like about it.

The data comes directly from Spotify streams, as opposed to download counts or the limited data passed down from web players and RRS feeds. Anchor says it reflects down-to-the-second listening behavior that allows podcasters to understand more deeply what keeps their audience engaged, where they’re dropping off, and who their podcast is resonating with most.

To see episode drop-off information for your episodes, Anchor podcasters can click on an episode in their web dashboard. You’ll see an episode performance chart that lets you measure the completion rate of each episode and the times when listeners are dropping off from your show, helping you organize your podcast around engaging moments.

Anchor can now show podcasters reliable demographic information for their listeners, including anonymized and aggregated age ranges and gender breakdown of your audience. Anchor says this data is perfect for tailoring your episodes to your current fans, or for branching out and marketing to people who haven’t yet discovered your show.

Anchor Announced Anchor Trailers

Anchor announced Anchor Trailers. They put together a blog post about best practices for creating a trailer for your podcast.

When you record a trailer using Anchor, we’ll automatically transcribe your words into a beautiful, animated video that you can use to promote your podcast. Embed it on your website, post it on social, and share it all over the world. You never know where your future listeners may be.

Anchor Trailers is Anchor’s latest feature to help their podcasters get the word out about their podcast. Anchor says that trailers are a trademark of successful podcasts and a powerful way to share your show with new audiences. This new feature is an improvement over Anchor’s feature that allowed podcasters to mark episodes as trailers.

It appears that a podcaster who used Anchor Trailers to make a trailer for their show could use that trailer as their official trailer on Apple Podcasts. Anchor Trailers are one minute in length, and podcasters get a warning before their time runs out. It is possible to select some “smart background music” to go in your trailer.

Anchor notes that if the focus of your podcast changes over time, it is possible to create a brand new trailer for your show. Back in 2005, when I started podcasting, we called this type of thing a “promo” and passed them around to other podcasters to play on their shows. The difference is that Anchor Trailers involve animated video, which just wasn’t possible at the dawn of podcasting.

The only thing I find strange about Anchor Trailers is that they encourage podcasters to create a trailer before they’ve actually gotten started on their podcast. It might make sense for a show that has already recorded and edited several episodes to put out a trailer before the podcast officially launches. But, I cannot imagine how a person could create a trailer when they haven’t yet worked out what their podcast is actually about.

Anchor Voice Messages Now Available on Web and Mobile

Anchor announced that listeners of your Anchor podcast can send you audio messages from any device, browser, or in the show notes of any podcast app. You can put the audio messages right into your podcast. No app required.

How it works:

Listeners can tap a link in your show notes to send you Voice Messages, no matter what device or browser they’re using, or which app they use to listen. They can also click the button on your podcast’s Anchor profile. This will take them to a window where they can record a message up to one minute long. Once they hit send, they’re done! You’ll be notified every time someone sends you a Voice Message.

You’ll find your incoming Voice Messages in the creation screen on Anchor’s mobile app and web dashboard. From here, you can listen to all the messages your listeners have sent, and immediately add any into your next podcast episode. For any messages that you want to include, you can add them as segments in your Episode Builder and easily place them wherever you want in your episode.

Anchor did something that I believe will prevent people from using the Voice Messages feature to harass or threaten Anchor podcasters. Anchor does not permit anonymously sent Voice Messages. Senders will need to sign up or log into an Anchor account in order to send a message, so podcasters can see who the Voice Message is coming from.

Anchor Now Integrates with Snapchat

Anchor announced that you can now share Anchor podcast episodes and profiles right to a Snapchat story, which will link back directly so anyone who sees your story can immediately listen in their preferred podcast app.

Tap “Share” from any episode or Anchor profile page, and you will see the Snapchat logo come up as one of the sharing options. This will open a new Snapchat story, with custom sticker and swipe-up feature that deep-links to the podcast. You can add a photo, caption, additional stickers… anything that makes it your own!

After the story is posted on Snapchat, your friends can swipe up to see the option to listen to that podcast episode on any platform where your podcast is available. The podcast will open right in their selected app.

Anchor says that sharing your episode everywhere you possibly can is one of the best ways to grow your audience. Anchor plans to add more ways to do that.

Anchor Introduced Desktop and Mobile Analytics

Earlier this month, Anchor released redesigned analytics for their desktop dashboard. Now, they announced brand new mobile analytics. It lets Anchor podcasters see their analytics on the go.

Anchor’s redesigned analytics includes new features: Estimated Audience Size, Upgrades to current stats, and the ability to see where listeners are hearing you. Anchor podcasters were first able to view these new features in their web dashboard.

Estimated Audience Size is the average number of plays your episodes get within 30 days after publishing. Anchor says this is a great indicator of how many people are listening to your podcast.

Upgrades to current stats have also been implemented. The podcast plays chart in the Anchor dashboard now gives podcasters the ability to see which episodes are driving the most listens. Podcasters can now see when they published each episode and which episodes most contribute to peaks in your plays.

The Anchor analytics now have a listener geolocation chart that lists the countries around the world where an Anchor podcaster’s audience is hearing their podcast. It shows a breakdown of what platforms listeners are using to hear your podcast. There is also a way to sort your episodes list.

Anchor says that they had been asked to give podcasters the ability to see their analytics on the go through the Anchor app. As of March 21, 2019, the Anchor app has the same analytics information that podcasters can access through their web dashboard.

Spotify Acquired Gimlet Media and Anchor

We heard that Spotify was in advanced talks to acquire Gimlet Media. In a surprise move, Spotify announced that it has not only acquired Gimlet Media, but also has acquired Anchor.

The transactions are expected to close in the first quarter of 2019 and subject to customary closing conditions. The terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

With these acquisitions, Spotify is positioned to become both the premier producer of podcasts and the leading platform for podcast creators. Gimlet will bring to Spotify its best-in-class podcast studio with dedicated IP development, production and advertising capabilities. Anchor will bring its platform of tools for podcast creators and its established and rapidly growing creator base.

Gimlet tweeted: “Big news: we are very excited to be joining @Spotify!” It included a Spotify tweet that said “Spotify to acquire Gimlet Media Inc. and Anchor. Read the press release here to learn more about how we’re accelerating growth in podcasting:” The tweet included a link to the Spotify press release.

Anchor posted on Medium an article titled “Anchor is joining Spotify”. It clarifies a few things. Anchor says that it will be bringing Anchor’s suite of tools for podcast creation, distribution, and monetization, to Spotify’s community of more than 200 million global users.

Anchor also said: “If you are already using Anchor to make your podcast, today’s news means great things for your ability to create and build your show. To be clear, the way you create, distribute, and monetize on Anchor does not change. We will continue to operate Anchor’s platform as you know it (but now as part of Spotify!), and in fact will only be getting better.”

Anchor Introduced Anchor Sponsorships

Anchor has introduced Anchor Sponsorships. Anchor says it is streamlining the entire process of podcast advertising.

Anchor Sponsorships gets podcasters paid by matching them with sponsors and helping them easily create custom advertisements for their shows. It’s a new world for podcast advertising, and anyone can be a part of it.

Anchor says that Anchor Sponsorships “revolutionizes the entire podcast advertising process by streamlining it into a single platform.” It claims that Anchor Sponsorships is “the first and only podcast advertising platform open to all podcasters and sponsors of all sizes, regardless of how many plays a show gets, or the size of a marketing budget.”

How does Anchor Sponsorships work? Any U.S. based Anchor podcaster can opt to turn on Sponsorships in any (or all) of their episodes. Once the podcaster does this, Anchor will get to work finding a sponsor match based on factors like subject matter, audience size, location, and more.

The podcaster will be notified when they have a sponsor match. The podcaster will always have the choice to opt into that sponsorship or decline and wait for a new match if they feel the sponsor is not the right fit.

It appears that Anchor podcasters can use Anchor’s creation tools to record an ad for a sponsor. It is also possible to import a pre-recorded version. Podcasters choose exactly where ads will fit into their episodes. Whenever a podcaster publishes a new sponsored message, Anchor will automatically update all episodes that have ad slots, across everywhere the podcast is heard.

How do podcasters who take part in Anchor Sponsorships get paid? Anchor says: “You get paid as soon as your ads are heard by listeners. Rates are based on a CPM (cost per mille, or cost per thousand impressions) set by the sponsor, competitive with podcast advertising standards.”

Podcasters can cash out the total balance directly to any bank account or debit card through Stripe, (Anchor’s payment partner). Stripe takes a $0.25 fee on withdrawal transactions. The podcaster keeps the rest.