Buzzcast

Apple Podcasts News from WWDC

July 02, 2019 Episode 1
Buzzcast
Apple Podcasts News from WWDC
Chapters
00:00:35
Podcast news from WWDC
00:07:26
Apple Podcasts search enhancements
00:22:47
New Apple Podcasts categories
00:27:00
Spotify concerns
Buzzcast
Apple Podcasts News from WWDC
Jul 02, 2019 Episode 1
Buzzsprout

Apple makes some potentially huge announcements about the future of podcasting, better search is coming to Apple Podcasts, new podcast categories, and a discussion about Spotify's ulterior motives.

Have an idea for something we should talk about? Post it in the Buzzsprout Podcast Community on Facebook and tag one of us to let us know!

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Apple makes some potentially huge announcements about the future of podcasting, better search is coming to Apple Podcasts, new podcast categories, and a discussion about Spotify's ulterior motives.

Have an idea for something we should talk about? Post it in the Buzzsprout Podcast Community on Facebook and tag one of us to let us know!

Travis:
0:01
Well we can, we can work out our, uh, our therapy session
Alban:
0:03
way higher, like way louder and fuller. He turned our big bottom off
Kevin:
0:07
special mic he got that from like Howard Stern,
Travis:
0:11
it's called Mike technique. Yes... Yes. Yes it is. Oh yeah. yes, I'm totally recording.
Travis:
0:20
There's out there. Travis sounds nothing like this when you talk to them in person.
Travis:
0:27
So this is episode one of Buzzcast. We should probably talk about why what we're doing here. So we're gonna talk about a couple of things. First, we're gonna talk about the apple developer conference that happened a couple days ago where they were releasing updates on apple podcasts, which is nice. It's nice every once in a while to hear from the, the giants in the podcast player industry to say we're going to do things to make this podcast app a little bit better. So, so I'm curious what your initial takeaways were hearing about the death of iTunes and the creation of a standalone apple podcast desktop app.
Kevin:
1:04
I'm really interested, anytime Apple does something in the podcasting space, I get excited because Apple has been, has had a lot of power in the podcasting world for a long time and they've never done anything negative with that, which is, I mean, I don't know how evil or not evil any of these companies really are. Uh, I've never worked at Apple. I don't know anybody, you know, like on a friend personal level that works inside of Apple. So I, I really don't know if it's just that they haven't had the opportunity yet or they really are good people trying to do good things. What matters is that they haven't done anything really harmful to the podcast community. They haven't tried to figure out how they could take the work of independent creators and use that to, um, sell more products or push more online subscription services or sell more iPhones or whatever.
Kevin:
1:51
Not that there's not some inherent advantage of doing that, of having like a podcast player app built into their phones and stuff like this. There's definitely that makes their phone better, but they're not doing it at the expense or at the cost of these independent creators who are creating this content. There's the flip side of that. There are some companies that I'm more concerned are trying to do that. We don't need to talk about them right now. So that said, that's why I get excited about when I see apple making some moves in the space because all of their motives so far seem to be positive and seem to be in the best interest of people who are creating content and they just want to help get it out to as many people as possible. And that aligns with what independent podcasters are trying to do.
Kevin:
2:27
They're trying to create good content and get it out to as many people as possible. So that's exciting. Yesterday the news that came out of WWDC was specifically about a new podcast categories and they also announced some things about searchability, findability and podcasts and episodes. They had mentioned something about being able to have like images of hosts. I don't know exactly how they're going to pull that off and images of guests. So presumably all of this stuff would possibly be like new RSS tags that live in your feed and reference images or something like that. They probably are going to be doing transcription on their side. They might ingest transcriptions to the RSS feed. We don't know that for sure. Uh, but it all sounds like helpful stuff. It doesn't, you know, the, the worry is always like, oh, there's going to be a paid podcast or you know, apple is doing a lot of apple exclusive content, like for Apple TV and they're producing shows and movies and all this kind of stuff.
Kevin:
3:19
And so the concern is, well, you can start doing that in podcasts. I've got some strong feelings about whether that content should really be called a podcast or not. Other people are doing that. Other companies, apple didn't announce anything about that, so I was excited about it. I'm happy about it. I think they're solving real problems that are, that we're experiencing in the podcast community right now, which is discoverability. Uh, if I want to find a podcast talking about a specific topic I'm interested in, it's kind of hard to do that. They're trying to solve that. Uh, I like the idea of giving us a place to have images to create more of a personal connection with your hosts and their guests. So overly, I'm pretty optimistic about everything they announced yesterday. It sounds like apple has a similar vision for moving the podcasting community and industry and space forward. Everything's up as far as I'm concerned. What do you think Alban?
Alban:
4:05
as far as your first question? Just to like what do we think of iTunes? Yeah, that's awesome. Like that's, that's really, really good. iTunes has been hanging around for years. I loved to like the Craig Federighi, any or whatever joke where he's, like we're adding mail to iTunes. He's like, read notes to it. Yeah, exactly. I feel like this is the stuff I'd love to add to our podcast, that one person at our office was like, there's seriously added calendars to iTunes? Yes. I think splitting the apps up is great. I think as far as like saying Apple's not evil, I think it's the opposite. Like we're really lucky there's such a big company has taken such a strong interest in podcasting for a long time and not monetized it. Spotify didn't get until they thought, hey, we could choose some numbers here and we can, maybe we could be the king of podcasts and then luminaries like, Ooh, we're going to do it, but it's all going to be towards a Netflix, a podcasting someday and you get Soundcloud.
Alban:
5:00
It's like we're going to get in there and we're going to do our own thing and like everyone gets interested when there's money to be had and Google's like, try not to search Apple since like, I don't know. I mean I was, I feel like I remember podcasts in iTunes from like 2006 and they've been in there forever and the whole time they're like, here's a bunch of great shows. Hey, we found some good shows. Hey, why don't you use iTunes to find them and we'll sync them. Like never made any money and they'd done it for years. And I feel like they've provided this huge hedge against, you know, kind of bigger companies just saying like, oh, we're going to run rough shot over all the creators. Yeah. You know, it's kind of like a, uh, you know, they're like the, uh, the, what is it, Singapore of like podcasting. It's like it's a dictatorship, but it's like a really good dictatorship.
Travis:
5:48
Well, it's, it's fascinating to be podcasting like you guys have hit on. It's literally the only thing that they don't try to make money on out of like their products. I'm trying to think of other things that aren't trying to bring you
Travis:
5:58
into either like an Apple suite of products, like calendar and news and everything sinking up or Apple Music getting you on a subscription. It is really fascinating. iTunes dying has been something we have known is coming for a while. Like apple said, please stop calling it iTunes. Please start calling an Apple Podcasts like a while ago.
Alban:
6:17
The did you get, see iTunes is not going away for Windows, right? They're like, yeah, we're doing, we're splitting everything up, it's going to be awesome. You guys are gonna love it. Not updating the Windows one yet. That one is getting a new calendar.
Travis:
6:29
Priorities, you know. So Kevin you hit on a couple things that I think are important, impactful for Indie podcasters, which are some of the updates they, it's coming out later this fall and they're going to phase them in starting out with the larger podcasts and that eventually rolling them out to everybody and they sent out an email to everyone that has an iTunes connect accounts. That's what it's called. Yeah. Um, so the first one is a desk. I mean, so I think the desktop app is significant in that it shows that apple recognizes that podcasting is going to be a part of its future, whatever that is, that they see music, they see TV and they see podcasts as the three main content arms that they are going to be serving people with. But as far as like a desktop app, most people don't listen to podcasts on their desktop.
Travis:
7:13
And so, so I don't see it like really changing listenership just because there's a standalone desktop app. Um, but I think it's good. Definitely good news. As far as their stance towards podcasts in general, I was much more excited about the search enhancements that they mentioned. And it's one thing when they announced something and they were like, we're gonna make this and you think it's going to be awesome. And then you just kind of hope that it actually lives up to the expectation that we build for it. You know, they, they talk about how listeners are gonna be able to discover shows based on audio transcripts, topics and people. And so in my mind, essentially what they're doing is they're saying we're gonna expand the metadata that is searchable within the app. Right. Um, which that's something that other podcast players are doing. Google podcasts has started transcribing audio to make it searchable, looking for things via tags and hashtags and things like that. It's kind of been standard practice for a long time. So I think that's going to be really great as far as lessening the importance of making sure your title is exactly correct and then hoping someone stumbles onto it versus the totality of your episode is about this subject and apple can recognize this is the best fit for what this person is looking for.
Kevin:
8:25
Right. Well title tags in podcasts are kind of a joke anyway, right? Like you record this whole episode and then afterwards it's kind of a thing in the podcasting space is that, oh, we'll find a funny little segment and we'll name the episode that or whatever, whatever. Like most of the time episode titles are not necessarily reflective of the content in that episode. So it has been important for a long time to transcribe your podcast. We built transcriptions into Buzzsprout a year, year and a half ago. We've been encouraging our podcasters to transcribe. It's super important in terms of people being able to discover the content of your episodes, but I think what we're seeing now is some bigger companies like Google and Apple, probably others. Spotify with Spotify hasn't said anything about transcriptions yet. Have they?
Alban:
9:09
I don't know, but they're definitely trying to do more stuff around search.
Travis:
9:13
Right. I've got Spotify cued up for a little bit so we can jump into, I want to stick to apple right now though.
Kevin:
9:18
Okay. So let me finish that thought. The, I mean the idea here is that I think they're recognizing that we can't wait around for podcasters to initiate transcriptions anymore. We need to solve this discoverability problem. And that word discoverability problem is kind of loaded, right? There's lots of different sides. Like podcasts will say there's this discoverability problem cause no one's finding my show. And that's really different, you know, cause like the solution to that is, well how are you promoting your show and where do you doing to get the word out? Like nobody writes a bestselling book and then just, you know, goes and puts it on the shelf. Like there's a lot of promotion that goes around that. And then there's a discoverability problem of no there are people who are out there searching for topics that you covered in your podcast, but they're not coming up in search engine results or they're not coming up in their podcatcher, or that's a real problem, and that's what these companies are trying to solve.
Kevin:
10:03
They're saying, hey, we can't sit around and wait for all independent podcasters or everyone who's creating a podcast to go and transcribe it because it's not happening fast enough and there are enough listeners now, there's enough demand. This industry is growing fast enough that it makes sense that if somebody can solve that problem of, I'm interested in this topic, did anybody talk about it on a podcast? If I can solve that problem, that's a huge help for the community. Maybe it's a huge help for my business. Maybe it helps me sell more phones. Maybe it helps me get more subscribers if I'm somebody like Spotify. So there might be other financial motivators behind this, but regardless, it's a good thing for the industry.
Alban:
10:34
Yeah, right. I think that it makes, it made me think a lot about like podcasting, SEO, like the, the way there are men, maybe there's some like parallels between Web SEO and how Podcasting has changed. Like when we had web SEO the very beginning, it's really basic. It's Alta Vista. We're just looking at a lot of like looking at titles and just kind of be like, we're maybe curating lists with Yahoo at one point and then we got a little bit better in Google's actually find some on pages but people are just spamming their pages with like this is the best church, Jacksonville, Jacksonville best church and they're posting all this stuff to get, you know, some, there's something ranked,
Travis:
11:08
making them white fonts on white backgrounds so you can't see it. But it's actually ranking in Google and we,
Alban:
11:13
and we just lived through that in the podcasting space. People were like, check out Travis, all Britain entrepreneur life changer this, this. And it's like, you know that that would be my episode with Travis Albrett and it's like 17 tags on the end of it and it was just a bunch of trash. Like it may have been relevant somewhat, but it's mostly just like I threw a bunch of stuff in there so that people would find it. And now with, if we're going to open up like an actual full transcript and look through what people are talking about, we're going to get a lot better stuff. Right. Once we have a lot more data. And I was even thinking now in the current world of SEO is all about the people love the content too. They go back to Google and look for something else
Alban:
11:54
or do they love what they listened to or read? Did they read all of it? Did they bounce? And I was like, well you know, if you think about Apple's in a good position to learn that stuff, let's say, okay you searched, you found this podcast, we served it up and then you listened the whole thing and listen to it again. You loved it. So that was a great find for that keyword. So I think there is kind of a cool, like I didn't expect that transcript stuff that I was kinda like, man, that's pretty sweet. We could actually see some new stuff in podcasting.
Kevin:
12:24
Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. The, you know, I was having a conversation with someone the other day and we were talking about college and the idea that there is a, a bubble around higher education and all this stuff. And I know Mark Cuban talks a lot about this and I know Mark Cuban appears on a lot of podcasts, but there's no great way for me right now to find out mark Cuban's thoughts on higher education in a podcast form. There are some about like, listen, there are some people who are trying to solve that problem, but they don't have the data like Apple has or like Google has, they don't have the resources that Apple had them who has this. Some, some problems are like I admire the gumption of somebody like Listen Notes going out there and saying, hey, this is a real problem. I think I can solve part of it and they're doing a good job of it. And I loved Listen Notes. Yeah. But there are other problems and I think this might be one of those problems that it's like that is a big endeavor and it requires a lot of resources.
Kevin:
13:12
It requires a big team, it requires a massive data set, it requires tons of computing power, tons of money, and there might not be a ton of money coming back on the other side unless you have other product channels to support it. And so that's why I think there are certain problems that an Apple or a Google or you know, I don't want to say the f word, but like a Facebook might be a better solution to like they're more, they're in a better position to solve these problems than like independent people. Like the guy who's, who's doing a great job on listen notes. But again, there's a massive part of that problem that I don't think he's ever going to solve as well as somebody like an Apple or a Google could solve.
Alban:
13:43
Well he is kind of walled off from that. It would be tough for him to ever fake your out. Someone listened to half of this episode, another person listened to all of it, you know, he couldn't figure that out. Right? But yeah, if a wade and if you're listening, I love listen notes
Travis:
13:58
and what this stuff reminded me of, not the transcription part but the other parts, it definitely reminded me of Youtube discoverability, right? With tags, with eventually suggestions has this problem now so well, so it's, it's a lot easier to be found on youtube than it is in a podcast because youtube is serving up suggested content based on what you've listened, watched before. And they can see your watch time and they can see is this a good video, a bad video? So, so I'm hoping that the direction that apple goes is they start to incentivize good SEO behavior because they can choose to say, we're going to lean more into the transcription versus the tags because we want you to actually have good content and not just know how to game our system. Right? Because recently they started cutting down on the author tag, uh, you know, stuffing, where like you were mentioning like, Oh, Travis, author, entrepreneur life coach. You know, millionaire world changer. Yeah. World or whatever.
Travis:
14:53
Um, they actually started taking podcasts down that were doing that. And so I'm hoping that when they start to provide all this extra searchability in the Metadata, whether it's in the RSS feed or if it's something that January that they generate on their own, um, internally that it motivates good behavior. It inspires good behavior from an industry standpoint. Cause everyone's, as soon as you give it to any kind of marketer that they're going to try and figure out how to break it for their own benefit. And I just hope that the breaking of it is actually in line with growth hack. You know, the ethos. Yes. Growth hacking. Kevin's favorite word. Yeah.
Kevin:
15:23
Well it's a funny parallel you draw there because you know, youtube has its own set of problems, right? Like they want to recommend content but not necessarily for the benefit of this is stuff that you are interested in or searching around. You would hope and you would think, well that's of course where their motivations lie, but it's, it's really not. Because what they want to do is they want to just serve up content that keeps you on platform. So you might be searching for, how do I fix my kitchen sink? But they realize that after you watch one or two videos about a kitchen sink, the next best thing to serve you is a funny cat video. And so they will serve you that even though you're trying to solve this problem. And before you know it, three hours have gone by and you've watched all these unrelated videos and your kitchen sink, is still broken. you're watching Nazi cat videos at this point and the Nazi cat video channel is very grateful for your subscription.
Kevin:
16:09
And so they are [inaudible]. It does have a dangerous, there's another problem there because they're motivated to keep you on platform watching videos not necessarily fix your kitchen sink. And so I just thought it was an interesting parallel. Our hope would be that if we're trying to make content in podcasts more discoverable and serve up relevant content, that it's, you know, at least in Apple's world, I don't know that apple cares how long you're listening to the podcast on your phone. I think what apple cares about is, hey, when I loan find a podcast, I can find it easily on my phone. And that's one of the reasons I love iPhone and I'm going to go buy another iPhone.
Alban:
16:44
Yeah. Let me ask you this. This is something I've kind of thought all these people kind of throw out on Twitter all the time, like discoverability, huge issue in podcasting. I can solve it. You know, like just random companies, like every time luminary talks, every time anyone talks about it, it's this massive problem. And so one point I kinda think, I was like, is this even a problem? Is it even something you would want to solve? I'm sure it just naturally think, well of course it's a problem Alban. But is there a chance that like maybe what's kind of cool about podcasting is it kind of takes a while, you kind of dig around, you sample tons of stuff and it stinks and then he finds something you like and then you're in it for like years and you're like, man, I'm listening to these, you know this show and I love it. And if you find something you love, it's, I don't share many youtube videos of friends, but I share a lot of podcasts and I think it's because it's like, yeah, I know these are hard to find. You know, this is a, here's a cool podcast. Made me think of you. It's kind of a thought I've been batting around. I'm like, do we want to, it'd be in a world where all that comes up is apple. It's like, Hey, check out these 25 podcasts you need to listen to next. Or maybe kind of this is the cool place that you know, kind of this nice place in the world right now.
Travis:
17:59
I mean, my, my initial thought is, I don't know. I mean all the questions that I guess get asked her, how do I grow my audience and how do I monetize? I could, I could retire if I got a nickel every single time somebody asked me that question. Um, and so I think as a podcast here, you naturally want as many people as possible to listen to your content. And it's, it's, I don't, it's almost like there's two schools of thought. There's people that have been in it for 10 years that understand like the specialness of podcasting and they aren't worried about trying to sell, you know, Casper mattress ads and so they don't care if they have 4,000 or 5,000.
Travis:
18:31
They just care that they get to do something they're excited about. And then you have a lot of new players that are like maybe coming from more of like a, almost a radio mindset of like, we need to hit this mass appeal. We need to get hundreds of thousands of downloads so that we can justify these 20 people audio teams to produce these episodes. And so it's almost like a, a battle of priorities. Yeah. Right. That you have the, the classic podcasters that are like, no, we're, we're, we're the rebels, we're the, we're the garage bands you've never heard of, but you share the mixed cds with all your friends because it's awesome. Versus these other guys that are like, what were the record labels? And we're here to sell millions of albums.
Alban:
19:07
But you remember the old days of like Travis who may be a little too young for this, but like did you ever have a my space? Oh yes, you have to. Do you have my space? I had my space. I'm very familiar with my space. I had a sweet blink when 82 custom mice page profile that played all the small things when someone went on it using your top eight, well, I mean yes at the top eight [inaudible] there was a day when all you do is dink around your my space and you have like 50 friends and yet top eight, it was so much like it was fun to like interact with people and you looked at everything. Everyone posted and you built a little community. And then even the early days of Facebook were like that and it was only like your college friends and it was like a big deal in you went to a party and then you added people later and you talked and you learned about each other. And then eventually it was like everyone and everything was on there.
Alban:
19:53
And then Facebook was like, rather than learning a lot about 25 people, you'll learn a very little bit about 2000 people and we'll post all this stuff. And so you're just sifting through, kind of like dropping in for a second with a lot of people. And I feel like I don't want that to be the future of podcasting where it's like, here are the top clips from 2000 podcasts. You could be listening to check out a clip from each one. Maybe you'll connect with one pod, we'll listen to a whole episode once in a while. I liked the world I'm in, where on Wednesdays, like I know my stupid bitcoin podcast comes out and I'm like, yeah, I've, yeah, I love listening to it, but it would be kind of a bummer. I wouldn't wanna listen like little clips of 10 yet.
Kevin:
20:39
Well you just talked about this right on in interview, the interview down a Mixergy, right? You just talked about this like the idea that in the traditional sense, the idea of like monetizing through ads in the CPM world, you need thousands and thousands of listeners. Yeah. You need a lot of M's. You need a lot M's and I, I think the number they could start on around a lot is like 50,000. You need 50,000 plays per episode in order to make a living off of ads that say that you sell on a CPM basis. But that's not true at all in the podcasting world. The idea that you could have a hundred raging fans, you can be just as successful as if you have 50,000 casual fans. Right. And like you have stories about this. Tell me a story about this. Like what that role is.
Alban:
21:21
There was one guy in our Facebook group, I think his name was Jarvis. Yeah. He was like, he had the, uh, it was like a call center podcast and I was like chatting back and forth to them and it was something like he's only getting like 150 to 250 plays per episode. He's done it for six months and if you say that someone, they'd go, Ooh, that's, that's not too hot. 150 250 he plays, that's below average. He was like, it's the best marketing I've ever done because I've connected with some industry leaders. He, I think he got three paid speaking gigs. He got a bunch of like new client leads and these aren't like, Hey, I'll pay 50 buck clients. They're like, I want to hire you to help me run my call center clients. They're massive clients. That's the power of podcasting is connecting with 1505002000 people that really matter because that's all you can never interact with anyway. If you could connect to the thousand most important people for you, you'd be like wildly successful. Right. It's like podcasting is saying like, Hey, stop focusing on everyone ever. Not like your third aunt's cousin or your third aunt's like friend, like that's like a Facebook's become for me is all these people who I don't even know if I've ever met. I'm excited to maybe be in a world that you're only really connecting to a few people, but you're building strong connections that matter.
Travis:
22:46
Yeah. So the other thing that apple announced was they were reshuffling, redoing some categories, which got everybody really excited, especially those that have technology podcasts like us, because now we have to figure out what we're going to categorize our podcast as since technology is going away completely. Um, and so I'm just curious what you think about these new categories now. Some of them make sense. True crime. That's, that should have been a category a long time ago. That's like 30% of podcasts that anyone knows anything about new books category. Yep. Um, and then the renaming some categories and then they're discontinuing others. Um, what do you think about this? What do you think about apple deciding that we're gonna we're gonna kind of reshuffle some things based on how we see the, the current landscape?
Alban:
23:34
I think, I mean there's definitely some, so I pulled up the list. We're getting books. Business News is knocked out. We got some that have been renamed. Um, there's like a new kids section. There's true crime and it's not like these are new things. They were just fit into bad categories. They're fit into the wrong categories and now we're apples can be a little bit more explicit getting them into the right ones. Apple more than anyone knows the landscape of podcasting is these categories, but people are kind of misusing some of them and I think it's great. I think they're probably in the best position to pick them
Kevin:
24:14
right to. In today's world, there's, there's two ways really to find a new podcast to listen to you. One, we already talked about a friend or someone you know talks about or recommends it or you follow them on Twitter or something and they say, Hey, I appeared in this podcast anyway. Like you hear about it from somebody and you end up finding this podcast and listening to it. The other way that you find podcasts is you open a directory, most likely Apple podcast directory, and you start sorting through it like new and noteworthy, the top 200 most popular across all categories, or you dig into a category and you see the 200 listed there. Right? And so that's, it's, it's not a great way of finding new podcasts. So what they're doing is you're introducing a little bit, a little more fidelity into that process.
Kevin:
24:55
I still don't think that that's gonna make a huge impact in the podcasting world. It sounds like their big impact is going to come from this transcription stuff and, and new tags and being able to s like improving search. The search is absolutely the area where there's the most opportunity for us to pick up some ground on this discoverability problem with podcasts. It's a good idea. I think there's going to be a lot of pushback. Like they didn't, they didn't include this category or they killed this one, which I loved, but they're doing the best that they can and I imagine they're doing it for like very scientifically. They've got a ton of data. They understand better than any of us. The, the podcasts that are in their catalog right now and are available, what people are listening to, how much they listen to. And they probably spent a lot of time and energy. I know that the team at Apple, at least the people who we have interacted with care a lot about podcasts and they tried to do their jobs really well. So I think it's, again I'm super excited about what they're doing and I think they're moving in the right areas. Categories. I don't think it's that huge of a deal even though there is probably going to be a lot of controversy and discussion about it.
Travis:
25:54
Right. Cause cause on one hand you have the people praising it because they're like finally the category I've been waiting for. And then others are thinking, well I had the perfect category. Now it doesn't exist. And so if somebody complaints about the removal of religion and spirituality, dash religion, I'm going to, I want to see the person who complained about that loss but we'll find them. We'll find the right man. So I think that the thing that's helpful to keep in mind if you're on the losing side, quote unquote the the, the your podcast quarter category is going away is they can't keep all of these categories and keep adding to them because then it becomes unwieldy. Like you can't even manage it if they have 50 categories and then each of those have five sub categories. It's like you just get lost in it, so they have to keep the number at a certain amount to actually make it manageable and then you just do the, you can. And remembering like you said Kevin, that it's a very small piece of the larger pie of how people are finding you. Search is really the big thing that we're, we're hoping comes through and see some marked improvement.
Kevin:
26:54
Right. And word of mouth is the king
Travis:
27:00
about Spotify. We just started, we just got finished heaping praise on apple for being a great, a third party in the podcasting space. Spotify has been making some moves as well, and they don't necessarily have the best track record of being an independent observer of things because they're a software company first. They're not a hardware couple.
Kevin:
27:21
But being an independent observer or like as a supporter of the independent community? Yes,
Travis:
27:26
both. Well, so, so apple has been kind of like a, a neutral player in the sense of they're not trying to force certain outcomes that are beneficial to them versus Spotify, which as Kevin alluded or not, Kevin, Alban alluded to, they got into it because they saw
Kevin:
27:43
opportunity to expand their audience this way. Apple did not get into podcasting and hosting this podcast directory and getting people interested in podcasts and helping them find things to listen to in order to sell apple music. Yeah. Right. But what Spotify is doing is they're trying to sell music. And as part of that, the way that business model works is that every time you play a song through Spotify, they have to compensate the artist. Right. And so the more music you listen to, the less money they make. And they offset that with ads on their free plan. And if you go premium, they have less ads or no ads, but they pay out what they would pay to the advertiser. They pay it to the artists instead. So now what they can do is they can bring in this free podcast content and the more you listen to that, they don't have to pay anybody.
Kevin:
28:28
Right. They don't pay podcast creators for that content. They can still serve ads around it if you're on their free plan. So they can still make that money there. And if you go premium because you enjoy listening to podcasts and you say, Hey, I want to listen a little bit of music now they've just up sold you a music subscription and anytime you're listening to a podcast on premium, you don't have to pay the artists. Yeah. So it's very different than what apple did, how they entered the space. And I think their motives for entering this space.
Alban:
28:53
Yeah, you can make the argument that apple was not really like totally just doing it out of the goodness of their heart. They did sell iPods initially and then i-phones but what their goals always aligned with podcaster's goals, the creators and the listeners were as Spotify, you kind of see them Oh path where like the servant ads around it. It's all about building Spotify up, which could end up hurting the creators or can be not as good of experience, for the listeners.
Kevin:
29:24
Right. What's, and I think if I, if when I spoke about podcasts and Spotify initially, if that came off super negative, I apologize because I don't think that they're all bad. What Spotify is doing by entering space. I think their motives are different than what apples were. And so I want to be clear about that. And I also want to be clear that if there is anything I'm concerned about them doing in the podcasting space, it's that they're starting to create original content, right? And they're calling those podcasts and they're putting them right next to independent real podcasts. And in my mind, a podcast is something where it's a, it's an audio file that you put on the Internet and then you make it freely available to the world via an RSS feed. Okay. And so the idea that they're creating original content shows and calling them podcasts and putting them right next to what I consider a real podcast is concerning to me.
Kevin:
30:11
I don't feel like that's a real podcast. I feel like your [inaudible], they are usurping the term podcast for their own benefit and that is to, hey, you enjoy these podcasts from these independent creators that we don't compensate them for, but you get to listen to free in our platform and you could listen to on any platform. We also have these other highly produce shows that are amazing, but if you want to listen to those, you have to pay us money. But it's all podcasts and I don't know, I don't think that's fair or right. And I don't think that's accurate. These are shows that are on the Internet and they are shows, but they're not podcasts, but they're calling them podcasts. They're putting them right next to regular podcasts and they only play on their platform. So is it really a podcast? And I think that's dangerous for the community because there's already a lot of confusion.
Kevin:
30:56
This is a new thing, a new space for a lot of people. More and more people are starting to step into podcasts, and if I, if somehow Spotify does performs this trick of convincing the world that you need a Spotify premium subscription to listen to some podcasts, then that's a bad thing
Travis:
31:12
because then people might think all podcasts are require you pay something to listen to and they they, is that what you're saying?
Kevin:
31:23
That's part of it there. There's other, there's, there's another company called luminary that's doing something similar. Right. And because this model is concerning, some of the bigger podcasts have said, we don't want our content to appear on luminary. I think the New York Times has pulled their content from luminary, Gimlet, Joe Rogan, Mark Marin. Yeah. There's lots of podcasts, big name podcasts that have pulled their content off of that. It's a listening app and it's a original content provider.
Kevin:
31:53
That's what luminary is doing. And so it's very confusing for somebody who's new to the space, who doesn't understand all the politics that are going on behind the scenes because now there's more and more money involved, right? So everything starts to get political and and stuff. But you have a podcast player that's now available for me to download on my phone that I can't find the New York Times podcast on. Well, why not? That's a real podcast. It's an RSS feed. Let's get gets publicly available. I can listen to and overcast, I can listen to it too in pocketcasts. I can listen to it in costos. Why can't I listen it to to that in luminary? That's a problem that's causing like fragmentation and confusion and it's not good. And I think it all stems from the idea that these companies like luminary and Spotify are creating original content and they're calling it by the same name. They're calling it a podcast when it's really not a podcast.
Travis:
32:46
Well, I think ultimately the question is if in order for it to be a podcast as it has to, does it have to be 100% free for it to be a podcast in every sense of the word? I think that's, that's more the question that you're, you're getting at, right, Kevin? Like if something, if you have to pay to listen to something, you're saying that that would not be a podcast in the sense of how we've defined
Kevin:
33:08
it's not really pay or not. In my mind, it's the idea that I create a webpage and I put it out on a, on a web server somewhere, and then it's that webpage only works in safari. Right? It only works in one company's browser. Well, that's not a, that's not a good webpage. Right? Yeah. We shouldn't be calling that a webpage. A webpage, by definition should I should be able to choose my browser to view your webpage. Right? Luminary is the IE8 of podcasts, right? So it's not really about hey or not, and I think that's why I was a little bit confusing. Like, it doesn't bother me that some content might be pay and some not open. Right? It's not based on RSS.
Kevin:
33:45
Yeah. Like you guys carry with you. There are podcasts are audio files that are put on the Internet that are tied to and distributed through an RSS file. And that creates this ecosystem where anybody can create a player as long as it adheres to those standards, that RSS Open Spec. If you can read that file and then you can play the audio file attached to it that it references, then that is a podcast. Right? But they're creating these shows that don't have RSS feeds and they're still calling them podcasts. And that's what I'm saying is concerning. I think that is not helpful for moving the podcast industry forward. Now it might be helpful for moving the online audio community forward and we might have some great content and, and you might find a show on luminary that you love and you don't mind paying their fee to listen to it. And I don't have a problem with any of that. Audible has been doing this for years. I do audio books but they're not distributed during with RSS Feeds and they don't call them podcasts, but they're online audio.
Kevin:
34:41
Right? Yeah, and I think Spotify might be going in a similar direction like it. To me, it's hugely concerning that they bought a hosting platform and ingested all the shows from that platform. Like it's possible that Spotify has visions of becoming the youtube of online audio. Meaning that if you want to create an independent show, if you have something to say, you should log in to Spotify and upload your show there. Much like if you do in the video world you would log into Youtube and upload your stuff there and once that starts to happen, then we don't need RSS feeds anymore because all the content is going directly to the provider and all the viewers are going directly to that provider. And then you have a youtube in the audio world and that's not great because they get to set their own rules. They get to decide, hey, we don't want people skipping ads anymore.
Kevin:
35:29
So they disabled skip ad button. When an ad is playing, they get to decide how long ads are, how short ads are, what the cost for ads are, who gets advertise and doesn't, or we object to your content. So we're demonetizing you and all the problems that come along with the youtube world then start to fall into the podcasting world, which we don't have right now. And I don't think we want, it's enticing to think as a podcaster that boy, if there was a youtube a podcast, that would be great. Cause I would just click a button that says monetize my podcast and all of a sudden the cash would start flowing in. It's not the reality. Most of Youtube burrs are not rich. Most of these tubers are not fulltime youtubers, only a very few are. And the few that are really making it big are not making it big through checks from Google. They're making a big through brand deals and hustle and hard work that they're doing outside of the few dollars that they get from Google for the dynamic ads that get inserted before, during, and after their shows. So I get nervous when people start talking about the idea of somebody going to be the youtube and podcast and that's a good thing,
Alban:
36:30
you know? Then they also start like extracting all the profits end up going to one spot. It all goes to youtube or it all goes to Spotify. A lot of the things we love about podcasting I think kind of die off. Um, the minute that we start turning it does probably provide a more professional ecosystem. More, more professionals would come in and actually create podcast content full time. But it does feel like a lot of the magic. And one of the things I love about podcasting Kinda just end up not being as important.
Travis:
37:02
Alright. Anything else you guys want to chat about before we wrap up this episode? Is that it? That's all our topics. It's all our topics. Yeah. We, we breeze through them at a brisk pace. That's it. Nice chatting with you guys.
Podcast news from WWDC
Apple Podcasts search enhancements
New Apple Podcasts categories
Spotify concerns
×

Listen to this podcast on