Buzzcast

Big Money and Spotify Concerns

July 04, 2019 Episode 3
Buzzcast
Big Money and Spotify Concerns
Chapters
00:00:30
Big money in the podcasting space
00:16:23
More Spotify concerns
00:30:29
Why Buzzcast is not on Spotify
Buzzcast
Big Money and Spotify Concerns
Jul 04, 2019 Episode 3
Buzzsprout

How "big money" is impacting the podcast space, more concerns about Spotify, and why we're no longer listing Buzzsprout podcasts on Spotify.

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

How "big money" is impacting the podcast space, more concerns about Spotify, and why we're no longer listing Buzzsprout podcasts on Spotify.

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:
0:00
There's a core group of people that are obsessed with pistachio ice cream and will pay five times as much for that versus other flavors. And then there are people that think vanilla ice cream that's like, what's your source on that? Well ask me, have I ever paid more for pistachio ice cream? Do you ever pay more for pistachio ice cream? I don't like pistachio ice cream. Welcome to BuzzCast, the show about podcasting where everyone has an opinion and sometimes they're right. My name is Travis had a content Buzzsprout than joining me is Alban and Kevin. So all of this money, all this attention that's now coming into the podcasting space. I feel like every week I see a new article predicting when are we going to hit $1 billion in ad spend in podcasting is it 2021 2024 look at all this money that's coming in.
Travis:
0:46
It's amazing. Yeah. And so, so I want to have a conversation about, you know, that this is happening, this is all this money is coming in, all these bigger players are coming in. What does that mean for independent podcasters? And I think it comes down to one of two perspectives that I'd be curious which one you guys would kind of lean more into. One is the zero sum game, right? That if somebody is getting more attention, it comes at the expense of others or right? So if these big players are coming in and launching these massive podcasts, they're taking away listeners from smaller podcasts or the rising tide lifts all boats idea, right? That any attention at all in the podcasting space is going to be mutually beneficial because even if people come for the big podcasts, they'll eventually find the smaller ones that they might not have listened to otherwise. So I'm just curious like between those two ideas, which one do you think is, is more true or which one I guess is the best case scenario?
Kevin:
1:46
Uh, let me jump in. I mean, I think the second scenario that you laid out rings more true for me and I think that's how my podcast experience has played out. So maybe that's why, you know, it resonates with me. But the idea that there are some, um, more people are hearing about podcast, more people are interested in finding out about podcasts. There are more you know, um, celebrity podcasters coming on in creating highly produced content that's great and enjoyable. I think those are great segues into getting interested in podcasts but just like, just like anything like, uh, game of Thrones is a lead into all this other great content on HBO. I think great podcasts and highly produced shows that get a lot of PR push behind them, big media spends behind them. They are driving people to go find a podcast player that they enjoy, find that show and start listening to it.
Kevin:
2:34
And then when they get done with it or they get done with that episode and another one doesn't come out for a week, there's this huge gap. There's six more days and I want to listen to another podcast. And so I think that's a massive opportunity for anybody who's creating great content to possibly show up in a search of, Hey, well, I'm just going to type in something that I'm interested in and hey, here's this guy out in Idaho who's talking about John Deere tractors and I am a John Deere tractor enthusiasts and right. All of a sudden I've got a new on my podcast.
Alban:
3:00
Yeah, I think there's the, if you're looking at, you're talking about zero sum versus kind of an abundance mindset. I have the abundance mindset. There is much more of a, there's just a ton of people who don't listen to podcasts. Like half of Americans don't have listened to any, so we've got a ton of people to reach. You've got people around the world, lots of different languages that are podcasting is growing exponentially. There's a lot of growth to be had on the bad side. There's a bad side though for all the attention and some of this attention. It almost all is in a couple areas. It's in monetization, especially through ads. And I just don't think that that's worked anywhere on the web. And I think it's kind of a driver of a lot of the negativity on the entire Internet. So I'm a huge, I'm very much against ads in general.
Alban:
3:50
And so I don't like all the attention is around ads. I don't like all the attention that's around monetization. Just for the sake of, hey, we're going to make $1 billion, we're gonna make $2 billion and not thinking about what is that leading people to do and what is it allowing people to do it their lives.
Kevin:
4:08
Well, don't you think some of that stuff weeds itself out though because like, you know, anchor comes out with this platform and says, hey, free podcast hosting and then hey added bonus, we're going to let you make some money doing your podcast. And so there are 100,000 people that signed up within a six month period who said, I want to do that. I can record some audio on my phone and push it into this platform and I'm going to see the dollars roll in. And then all those shows have completely faded out like of the 100,000 podcasts I think when they were acquired, what was their like like 15 or 20,000 that had published an episode in the last 90 days or something like that.
Kevin:
4:39
I really, yeah, it's like that. I think that problem solves itself. I do think people are putting a lot of money behind it and someone's trying to figure it out, but I don't know that anybody will. I mean it's really hard to monetize a show where you only have a hundred active listeners every week and especially if you're doing a CPM model. The idea of having, you know, getting $20 for a thousand listeners and I have 100 what is, I can be $2 or something like that. Like it's not enough money to sustain something that I'm really not passionate about.
Alban:
5:06
I guess I'm, I'm answering the question. Is it a good thing for podcasting be getting all this attention? Absolutely. It's good because listeners are finding podcasting and I think it's a beautiful medium. Now on the bad side is all the attention it's attracting is VC money that wants to get in an on ads and make podcasting just like the rest of the web.
Alban:
5:27
That's a bummer. Its player. People who basically see like luminary, I've got to be the Netflix of podcasting to win kind of killing off the indie spirit, the decentralized bit of podcasting or we've got Spotify, we're going to spend half a billion dollars to become the Netflix of audio. I'm not loving that. Google like, Hey, we're sticking to our search results. It's attracting a lot of attention where people say, hey, maybe podcasting can be the next vehicle of growth for us. It'll serve our interests. Those are all negative and like if more tools were coming out like it doubled, it drove up $50 million in a a competitor to like Hindenburg or something like a good another audio editor like the interest of like Alitu jumping in. I'm like, that's cool because that's helping podcast listeners are and creators. The VC side of it, I'm like, I'm not seeing many things being offered and being invested in the end up sounding like that's going to benefit creators. That's gonna benefit listeners. It's going to benefit other groups of people that just want to get jump in on this. Something that's growing.
Kevin:
6:38
Yeah, it's kind of, it reminds me of when cryptocurrencies got hot and the term blockchain became the thing to do. All of a sudden it was the super bowl two years ago or something like we see, um, IBM. Yeah, well IBM did it, but somebody else did it that was ridiculous I can't remember it. Was it Kodak or was it, I felt like it was like pizza hut or something. They're like, we're going to make your better pizzas because of our blockchain technology or something. It was like everyone just has to say it. Right. And so the idea that like luminary comes out with exclusive content, original content, or who else is doing original content, um, Stitcher premium. Does stitcher, premium I and theory, that stuff doesn't really bother me, but I feel like they're dropping the word podcast. Kinda like these other companies. We're dropping the word blockchain.
Kevin:
7:19
Like you're, it's not really a podcast, right? A podcast is open, it's accessible, and an RSS feed. These shows are not that, there's nothing wrong with somebody coming and saying, well, I'm going to do what Netflix did, but I'm going to do it in the audio space and I'm going to create really great shows for entertainment purposes and I'm going to charge you $10 or $15 a month to have access to that content, but it's not a podcast. And so that bothers me about it. Um, because it just doesn't feel sincere or real and I feel like they're trying to steal something from this community that built something amazing, uh, to use for their own financial gain.
Travis:
7:51
Yeah. They're not, they're not coming in for the betterment of humanity at large. There. They're saying, here's an opportunity for us to make some money on the backs of what somebody else's built. Right. Let's jump in. Let's push a bunch of money into it, change the game, changed the rules of the game to fit our interest. And then we've, when we milked it dry, we can move on to the next opportunity. And there is no thought about creating something meaningful and positive. It's how can we squeeze this sucker dry so we can get some more return on our ad spend.
Alban:
8:20
Yeah. And if you, if you kind of continue with Kevin spotting that this has already happened in the like fake blockchain space. IBM just fired everyone who is doing blockchain less than two years later. And we had a huge like hype cycle and huge crash at crypto cause everyone was like, oh I'm hearing IBM's and all this stuff and Kodak films and you've got everyone pumped up and instantly it's all gone and it was all fake. I really hope that doesn't happen to podcasting where we start having some massive, like everyone's like, oh my gosh, podcasting and shoveling it, jumping into it just to, you know, flip the boat or something. I don't know. Like this is a route we got a really good thing going here.
Kevin:
9:01
Right. I hear what you're saying. I think the idea that luminary spends $100 million to create all these original content shows and they sign up all these people and they do this thing. They do it for six months or a year. They don't sign up enough people to pay that back. VC money dries up and they're out of business. Is that going to have a negative impact on the podcast and community?
Alban:
9:18
Yeah. Could Sour people who they hear podcasting is so great. They jump in to say luminary and they experienced two shows. They like, they never branch out beyond them because some of the shows aren't even available in luminary and all of a sudden they're going, yeah, this podcasting thing is not For me. I'm going back to my, you know, Sirius XM radio or something,
Travis:
9:37
and even coming back to, I guess the original original question, zero sum game versus the abundance mindset. I do think it's positive. I think what will end up happening is that a high quality content that connects deeply with the audience you're trying to reach will rise to the top. But where it used to be easy to kind of be successful by accident, that if you just had three people sitting around talking about the beer that you like and what you're watching on TV, you used to be able to get several thousand people to listen to that, but not anymore because now there's so many options that are widely available that you actually have to be good to be successful.
Kevin:
10:19
And if I can push back on that just a little bit, because I do think that it feels like that to us because we've been in the game for a little while. But if you compare it to other things like youtube, there's how many 50 500 million channels or something on youtube, and that would include people that just created a youtube account or had a Gmail, the g suite account that logged into youtube that would be included in that. But yeah, exactly. And so, and that's what I think we're seeing in the podcasting space. All the numbers that we see about the de facto podcast directory is apple podcasts. And so that has grown from 500,000 podcasts to 700,000 podcasts in a relatively short amount of time, the last six months or so. It's increased by 200,000 shows. But if we, and I don't, I don't know the numbers on this, but I did see somebody put them online and let's just say they're accurate. They said that only, um, 90,000 of those shows had actually published an episode in the last six months.
Kevin:
11:11
And so I don't know that the space is really as crowded as it feels to us because what we used to podcasts or when we first got interested in podcasting, there was maybe, you know, 100,000 shows listed in the directory and there was maybe only 10,000 that were active. And so you didn't have, you didn't go browsing through the apple podcast genres and categories and seeing hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of shows. And let's just go on forever. Um, now it feels like, oh my gosh, there's so much competition. But in the reality of if you think about the potential listeners there are in the world for your content, I think it's still a very, very open space. There's still plenty of listeners for all of us. I don't think it's really that crowded at all.
Travis:
11:48
And I think that brings up an interesting question in my mind, which is, uh, that kind of the bigger players. So like for instance, stitcher just launched season two of their wolverine podcast, which is really great, but they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars producing it. They're playing by different rules. They have a different idea of what success looks like than an Indy podcast here. And so I'd be curious to hear your, you guys' thoughts on what does it mean to, for an Indie podcast to still succeed and gain a significant following in, you know, in the face of all these other podcasts coming out and getting a lot of money. Like what are those rules look like? What are the, what are the things that people can do to grow their following into something that's a little more significant, um, and, and carve out kind of their own, their own niche, their own space.
Alban:
12:37
Yeah. You, the way you asked the question makes me think of what happens to companies where they take VC funding, venture capital, and it fundamentally changes the rules and the terms under which they will say they've been successful. If you give billions of dollars or millions of dollars to Uber, they basically have to be like the de facto way you travel around a city to be successful. But if they'd had been a little start up and they said, hey, we just got to get 10% of New Yorkers to use our new cool cab business, they'd beat their already wildly successful. And the difference is like when you start putting in $10 million into your wolverine podcast, you have to do something very different to be successful than if you're according on nights and weekends. Um, personally, I think what I love about podcasting is people naturally have a genuine voice and it's, you have an authentic voice and there's things you're interested in and there's probably people willing to listen to you. And if your goal is, as an Indy podcaster, I've got to get a thousand true fans. I've got to get a thousand, I got to get 500 people who are into what I meant to. That can bring a lot of benefits to me. I'm getting to speak to 500 people personally on a regular basis. That doesn't obviously work. If your illuminary show or your stitcher premium or any of these others, they have a totally different measure of success. I guess what I'm saying there is you are not trying to go toe to toe with some of these people. Some of these other shows, they're also podcasts, but they have to do something wildly different to cover their costs and be successful than you do. Um, so invest your nights and weekends, but you know, you can change what success means for you.
Kevin:
14:22
Yeah, I totally agree with that point. I don't know that there's a whole lot that I could add. Uh, I will say the, the wonderful thing about podcasting is it reminds me of much of the early days of blogging, like the, the cost to get started and the barriers to entry are lower than they've ever been. It's really easy to grab a decent microphone at a really low price, you know, 50 to $60. You can get a really good sounding microphone. Um, you can get hosting for free if you want. I would recommend that you don't, that you pay a little bit, but affordable hosting starts at like, you know, $12 a month for a really good hosting service and you can put up a wordpress blog for, what is that? Another five or $6. So I mean for less than a hundred dollars startup costs and then ongoing costs of 15 to $20 a month, you can jump into this space and see what you're doing.
Kevin:
15:09
So being able to cover that, like defining success goals that cover that investment and whether it just be, my goal is being able to have an audience, whether my goal is I want to make some money and maybe I'll try like affiliate marketing or something like that to do that. Or whether I'm driving people to my own products because I wrote a book or um, uh, I work as a real estate agent and I want to sign up new customers in my city. And no matter what your goals are, they don't have to, again, you're not going toe to toe with Wolverine, you're not going toe to toe with Conan O'Brien. Um, and the barriers of entry are low enough that I think there's still plenty of opportunity and plenty of space for independent podcasters to give this medium a try.
Travis:
15:49
Yeah. I 100% agree and I just think, uh, just to kind of wrap up, it's, you are not competing with NPR. That is not your competition. Your competition is to be better than you were last episode. And to continue to bring back people that are going to be loyal to you and to your show and what you offer them and to inspire them to tell their friends. If you can do that, you will be successful. You don't have to make hundreds of thousands of dollars. You don't have to have a team of five audio engineers. You don't have to have any of that. And that's what's awesome about podcasting.
Kevin:
16:19
I think it was a busy week in the Spotify world. [inaudible] I'd like to chat about it now. Seems very obvious that they're making a play to become the youtube of audio or youtube or podcasts. And that is super concerning because when they control the platform, then they control everything. They control how we do ads. If we do ads, who those ads are, if uh, you know, like the youtube demonetization scandals that we hear about, they control user tracking, whether we want our users tracked or not. Like they're going to track them because they're going to do targeting, they're going to target ads. I'm by region and by demographics and by all this other stuff that goes along with it, there is a whole mess of problems that is completely opposite of what we have today in the open podcast ecosystem. The great thing about podcast today is I can create, I can create the content that I want. I can publish it how I want, I can monetize it or not monetize it. If I want a, and it's all driven by using an RSS feed. As soon as Spotify gets enough critical mass, they don't need that RSS feed anymore. They, uh, they have a distribution platform, which I bought last year. They bought anchor. And so they, I think we'll move in the direction of, Hey, if you want a podcast, whether you're a podcast creator or you're a podcast consumer, you need to think about Spotify. Spotify is where you go to create content and publish it. Or it's also where you go to consume it and listen to it. And I think that's a terrible, that's a terrible world. Like we don't want another youtube. Youtube has done that in the video space and I don't think we're any better for it.
Travis:
17:53
Well, and I even just think about the, the number of people that are excited that youtube is deciding what is worthy of advertising. They've never won. They've never made a decision and everyone has been like, yeah, that's the correct decision. Um, even though they're a private company and you know, you have first amendment conversations all day, but I think the idea that Spotify could, if, if this works out for them in the way that they hope it does, could potentially be the bull in the China shop saying you're not allowed to run ads on your podcast because we don't like what you talk about or because it falls in this realm of topics or because you know, so and so said something on Twitter and convinced us to step in and demonetize your show. Like that's not something that you currently have to worry about with a podcast cause it's completely decentralized. Right? But that is something that could become a problem if Spotify, if Spotify becomes synonymous with podcasting, right?
Kevin:
18:52
When it's their platform, they create all the rules and we've seen, we've seen this in the youtube world, so it's not like it's not a big leap to get there because we've all seen it. We've all experienced it. When Youtube first rolled out pre-roll and post roll ads in videos and they were what, like 15 seconds or 30 second ads and you had to watch the first five seconds, then you could skip them. Well, in the last year, now they're doing two ads back to back and sometimes you can skip the ads and sometimes you can't and they're also doing midroll ads. So right in the middle of the video it will just cut out and start showing an ad. Sometimes you can skip it, sometimes you can't. And Youtube is being, I'm assuming they're like hyper-intelligent about what ad can we show them that will keep them watching this video and which videos can we put these in and which ones can we not? Because we know they'll bail off platform if we show this ad, the podcasters right now, all that control and creative expression of who we want to represent in our, in our podcast, we have that power. We have that control. As soon as somebody controls the platform, we'd lose all of that.
Alban:
19:48
Yeah. This makes me think youtube is a good example because they've aggregated all of the creators together. So there's definitely a parallel there. But if I'm now just thinking about monopolistic power in the tech world, I think a lot about the SEO space we've got right now, Google, as they continue to push towards mobile and they continue on to seeing, we're kind of maxing out about how many people are going to start, how many searches a month are going to happen. They now are just doing as much as they can to get more ad clicks. And so we recently saw, they started adding the uh, Kevin, what's the name of the little, uh, the little image, that little tiny image that shows up the fave con Fab con favicon. Yeah. So the five icons now popping up in the syrup and then they, instead of having like a big yellow thing around the ads like they used to, or ads on the side, it just says ad it looks like a little favicon.
Alban:
20:42
And so the ads now are like getting looking more and more and more like actual listings. And then they're also taking up more and more of the real estate. So that are now searches where you search on your phone. The first thing you see, you don't see any real results. You only see ads before you start scrolling down for stuff. That's because Google has a monopoly of all search volume. If Bing was almost as good and they are always battling, they wouldn't try to pull that stuff cause they know people just start moving over to bing. But because they control it, they go, hey, we can squeeze a little bit more out. And no one's really gonna throw a fit over it. Well, why are we moving then from a space, one of the very few spaces podcasting where it's kind of like the original decentralized platform. I mean there's whatever, 30 reputable hosts, there's 20 places to distribute a podcast. There's millions of listeners and you don't even have to be in a directory to get to them. You've got to, we have a lot of control, a lot of options and it's Kinda stinks if we're thinking, hey, for the promise of ads, the promise of this revenue down the line, a promise of things that we don't, I don't truly believe will even come to fruition. Like you'll make money off of some of these small shows. What are we doing? We're giving up a lot of the good things about podcasting and we're trading that in for the world that we already live in with video or text on the web,
Kevin:
22:08
right? I mean we haven't even talked much about privacy and I think privacy plays a huge part in the podcast world because the majority of podcasts I listen to, I am listening to in private. But as soon as a tracking gets better in podcasts, then ads start being targeted to you based on your interests or based on what you click on or based on edgy, skipped or didn't skip and they'll get better and better at that stuff. So for somebody like me, if you happen to be, you know, five years down the road riding in my car and we're listening to a podcast together, you might wonder, Hey Kevin, how come when we listen to podcasts in your car, every ad is for the hair club for men. Well that's not great. Like I'm not super excited about all those ads being targeted tonight cause I'm a podcast listener and I happened to have some hair trouble, right?
Kevin:
22:58
And so privacy plays out in a totally different way, challenged it, plays out in a totally different way and the podcast based then I think it does in other realms. Right? Yeah. You guys have any concerns about targeted ads and your podcast?
Travis:
23:12
Well, so I think about it from the podcast, your perspective, right? That when I create an episode, when I form a show, like there's a certain experience that I'm hoping my listeners have, right? I want them to, similar to whenever you create a brand or you're trying to build a website, like you want people to feel a certain way when they interact with your content and so when I create a podcast episode, like there's something in the back of my mind where I want them to come away with something in particular. And so right now I control a hundred percent of that process.
Travis:
23:46
I can have ads, I can not have ads, I can do ads in a way that are organic to the nature of the show versus just, hey, here's some spam so I can make a couple of nickels, right? Like I get to make all those choices. As soon as I give that power to Spotify, then I no longer get to control the listener experience. They get to dictate what it's like listening to my podcast that I created. And so from the podcast or perspective, that's the thing that that I'm worried about is that I will no longer have 100% creative control over my contents because not only will they get to decide how it's displayed, how it's listened to, but then potentially also dictate things that I can and cannot say in the episodes. Right. And I'm not like super controversial. I'm not trying to, you know, ruffle feathers personally, but on principle, like I don't if I'm going to try and connect directly with my listeners, I don't need a middleman telling me what I can and cannot say to them.
Kevin:
24:41
Right. You go from, I can do whatever I want and however I want to, you can play or not play because it's our playground. [inaudible]
Alban:
24:49
yeah, there's, I mean there's a, there's a few reasons that I don't like the ads. One of them is the privacy thing. One is you just, you actually do the exact wrong thing. You try to appeal to a large mass audience. Instead of making a cool niche TV show, you're making two and a half men or whatever, like a show that in my opinion really stinks. But it appeals to a lot of people. So that's the kind of stuff we want to make. It's the vanilla ice cream of TV. It goes, it works for anyone there, but there's always you have to get this tracking down. That's what everybody wants. That's what Facebook's whole goal is. This was Google's whole goal is it's all about tracking to sell these ads. Well that is a massive privacy issue and I feel like the last few years my opinion has definitely changed.
Alban:
25:38
I know the early days of Facebook people were like, well what about all this? They're targeting ads. And I'm like, yeah, I used to get ads for like women's jeans and now I'm getting ads for like books that I might want to buy. That's cool. And I think the initial shift that I kind of liked it some point it gets like really it gets too creepy and it's like too targeted. And if maybe it was only between me and Facebook, that's one thing. But you cannot go more than a week without it being like, oh, Facebook forgot to close this API and the credentials were open for this and 16 million people's data was stolen. You know, he's never, you know, who's never had a breach of my data is like Penguin Publishing has never released all the books I bought because they don't know. They just put out the books and said someone was buying them and we kind of guessed that this type of person we don't know, and it goes in and makes its way. To me, Facebook's whole business model is we've got to know everything about you to target these ads. So they're collecting it and it's probably pretty tough to hold to all this stuff and eventually it just stuff leaks out and it becomes a good target for Buell to steal. Again, it's like podcasts. He does not have this problem right now.
Kevin:
26:53
Right. But it's the road that Spotify is going down. It's the road that Google went down with youtube and Spotify seems to be following suit. So I think the important question is what do we do as podcasters if we don't, if we're not comfortable with the direction Spotify is taking the podcast community, what can we do about it?
Alban:
27:10
Well, there's definitely, there's some who have said don't put it into Spotify. Think of a podcast I listened to exponent, Ben Thompson who was like, you know, if I'm gonna sit here and write about how tech companies aggregate creators or suppliers and purchasers, you know, if I'm trying to write about this all the time, I've got to kind of take my own advice and we can't be involved in Spotify. We have to control the entire relationship. That's a tough sell. I know for a lot of podcasts there's, cause it's like, hey maybe there's 20% more listeners behind this Spotify wall.
Travis:
27:41
It is hard in and just from a podcast, your perspective, like the idea that you are choosing to not put your podcast in front of people that want to listen to it is, is tough to like swallow. Yeah. Right. So let's say you go from, you know, 200 people that listen to your podcast. To 150, but you know that Spotify isn't caching your data and collecting information on all your listeners. Like that's just that that's a trade off you have to make. Um, I think at the Indy podcaster level, the more we can shift the conversation away from how many people listened to your podcast and focus more on what is the positive impact you're making in the world and how are you creating an online community that's beneficial for the people that follow you, then it becomes less of a sticking point, right?
Travis:
28:32
If stats and listens and downloads and how much are you making, like if those are the the key performance indicators that we always talk about, then then I do think it's a fool's errand to try and persuade people that Spotify might not have your best interest in mind, but if the conversation is more about building online community and you want to honor your listeners and be a good steward of their data as best you can, then that becomes a better conversation I think.
Alban:
29:00
Yeah, I think, I think that's an excellent point. It's pretty like well established. If you pick a metric, people will start shifting their behavior to hit that metric and sometimes in not good ways. You know, you think, I think of Wells Fargo right now, like they just were like, hey everyone, get as many accounts as you can and people started signing up fake accounts and it was like a terrible disaster because they said the only metric that matters is number of new accounts. If the only metric we talk about is how much money do you make? How many people listened to your podcast? How fast is it growing? I'm sorry, nobody is going to be very hard for people to say, I'm taking a principled stand and not going into Spotify when I can get 20% more listeners by putting my podcasts into Spotify, I've had five people reach out to me and say, why aren't you in Spotify? I'm not going to do it because I'd take a principled stand. That's hard to do and only metric you care about is listener number in. I think what you just said is perfect. If the metric is what kind of impact are you having, how are you building this online community? How are you building something that's sustainable, something that's a good positive role in the world. It's pretty easy then to say, yeah, it's okay. I don't have to be 20% bigger. I have to be true to myself. And what's true to me is I'm not getting involved in the tracking game. I'm not getting involved in the privacy breach game. I'm getting involved in the Travis telling people daily tips about, you know, your Christian faith, game. Like it's easier to make those, uh, principled stands when that's your metric.
Kevin:
30:29
Yeah, I think the, you know, there's two ways that this works out for Spotify. They have to get a critical mass before they own the platform and they have enough power that they can start exerting their authority and their desires and wishes upon the people who are on their platform and dependent upon it. And so there's, there's, there's two ways. One, they can kind of buy their way in and two, they can kind of lead us in like leading sheep to the slaughter. And I think they're doing both. And so I'm extremely convinced that this is the direction that they're going. They made a massive purchase of anchor, which is a podcasting host. So they brought in a, not only everybody that was on anchor originally, but also anybody who signs up for it from now going forward. And they're continuing to offer free hosting.
Kevin:
31:12
They're continuing to offer their monetization tools through that. And I think they're building it that way. I think we'll continue to see them possibly attempt to buy some other podcast hosts to continue to build even faster. And then they are touting all their stats about how many listeners they're bringing into the ecosystem. And they've been very intentional, I think about driving the story that they're not consuming from other podcatchers, but they're adding to the overall listener base of podcasts. Right.
Kevin:
31:39
So I, my big criticism right now of Spotify is they're doing things to break the openness of podcasting. Yeah. So, I mean the, what I want to put out, and this is probably a shock to you guys, but I don't want our Buzzsprout podcasts that being Podcasting in Real Life, Five Minute Mondays, BuzzCast, and How to Start a Podcast. I don't want them on Spotify until things change. I don't think we should be another pebble on the pile that is building something that is not healthy for the podcast ecosystem.
Travis:
32:08
I can get behind that.
Alban:
32:09
I can 100% tell anyone who's listening that this was a complete Kevin throwin it in there, not the outline thing. So this is not like pre-staged thing. Yeah, I think right now is a good time to say I think our shows aren't going to be there. That doesn't mean Buzzsprout shows like all of our, everyone on our platform should have the complete right to do whatever they want. Our personal shows. I think it probably makes sense for us to say, yeah, we're going to take the 20% hit and listeners and you know, do what we probably think is which is to step back.
Kevin:
32:42
Yeah. And that point is worth clarifying to anybody who happens to stumble upon a show. And listen, if you host with Buzzsprout, you will always have the choice of where you want to put your show and where you don't want to put your show. We're not going to take that away, but I'm saying for us, for this show that we do for us, I don't think it makes sense for us to support a platform that we feel like is not enriching the podcast communities, not pushing it in the direction that we feel is best. And so I want to lead by example there. I want to pull our shows off and if you guys are on board with it, I say we do it today.
Travis:
33:08
Boom. Let's make it happen. Any, any parting thoughts?
Kevin:
33:12
No, I enjoyed the conversation.
Alban:
33:14
Yeah, I had fun. Thanks guys.
Kevin:
33:16
Look forward to seeing you guys next week.
Travis:
33:17
Awesome. Keep podcasting,
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