The Actionable Futurist Podcast

S2 Episode 8: The Future of Podcasting with Podnews Editor James Cridland

June 10, 2020 Andrew Grill Season 2 Episode 8
The Actionable Futurist Podcast
S2 Episode 8: The Future of Podcasting with Podnews Editor James Cridland
Chapters
2:21
Podcasting is on the increase
3:30
The half-life of a podcast series
4:47
Is podcasting the new blogging?
6:21
How Podnews started
8:18
Producing a daily podcast and newsletter
10:54
The future of RSS
13:33
Apple's dominance in RSS standards
15:14
Spotify as a competitor
17:28
is Google number 3 in Podcasting?
18:44
Is the Jo Rogan/Spotify deal the first of many?
22:06
Will we see the rise of "walled gardens"?
23:28
Apple's dominance with podcast discovery
28:23
IMDB as a podcast directory?
31:03
The importance of measurement & monetisation
35:42
Monetisation beyond advertising
38:51
The future of corporate podcasting
39:37
Private corporate podcasting
40:59
What is the future of podcasting?
42:09
Quick fire round
42:12
Favourite Podcast
42:20
Favourite podcast app
42:24
Apple or Spotify?
42:26
Favourite length of podcast
43:35
The last podcast you listened to
44:11
Three things to take advantage of podcasting
44:25
Subscribe to Podnews.net
44:37
Listen to other podcasts
45:11
Learn how to edit audio
The Actionable Futurist Podcast
S2 Episode 8: The Future of Podcasting with Podnews Editor James Cridland
Jun 10, 2020 Season 2 Episode 8
Andrew Grill

We spoke with James Cridland, Editor of leading podcast news site Podnews.

Podcasting is on the rise, with 96,500 new podcasts in May 2020 alone. On this episode we discussed a number of topics related to podcasting, including:

  • Is Podcasting is on the increase?
  • The half-life of a podcast series
  • Is podcasting the new blogging?
  • How Podnews started
  • Producing a daily podcast and newsletter
  • The future of RSS
  • Apple's dominance in RSS standards
  • Spotify as a competitor
  • Is Google number 3 in Podcasting?
  • Is the Joe Rogan/Spotify deal the first of many?
  • Will we see the rise of "walled gardens"?
  • Apple's dominance with podcast discovery
  • IMDB as a podcast directory?
  • The importance of measurement & monetisation
  • Monetisation beyond advertising
  • The future of corporate podcasting
  • Private corporate podcasting
  • What is the future of podcasting?

Quick fire round

  •  Favourite Podcast
  •  Favourite podcast app
  •  Apple or Spotify?
  •  Favourite length of podcast
  •  The last podcast you listened to

Three things to take advantage of podcasting

  • Subscribe to Podnews.net
  • Listen to other podcasts
  • Learn how to edit audio

More information on James can be found at jamescridland.net

The podcasts and products mentioned on the podcast are listed below

Podcast Festival - podcastfestival.events

The Bugle Podcast

Freenoter Podcast

Audacity

Adobe Audition

Hindenberg Journalist Pro

Sign up for the Podnews daily newsletter at podnews.net

For more on Andrew - what he speaks about and replays of recent talks, please visit ActionableFuturist.com follow @AndrewGrill on Twitter or @andrew.grill on Instagram.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

We spoke with James Cridland, Editor of leading podcast news site Podnews.

Podcasting is on the rise, with 96,500 new podcasts in May 2020 alone. On this episode we discussed a number of topics related to podcasting, including:

  • Is Podcasting is on the increase?
  • The half-life of a podcast series
  • Is podcasting the new blogging?
  • How Podnews started
  • Producing a daily podcast and newsletter
  • The future of RSS
  • Apple's dominance in RSS standards
  • Spotify as a competitor
  • Is Google number 3 in Podcasting?
  • Is the Joe Rogan/Spotify deal the first of many?
  • Will we see the rise of "walled gardens"?
  • Apple's dominance with podcast discovery
  • IMDB as a podcast directory?
  • The importance of measurement & monetisation
  • Monetisation beyond advertising
  • The future of corporate podcasting
  • Private corporate podcasting
  • What is the future of podcasting?

Quick fire round

  •  Favourite Podcast
  •  Favourite podcast app
  •  Apple or Spotify?
  •  Favourite length of podcast
  •  The last podcast you listened to

Three things to take advantage of podcasting

  • Subscribe to Podnews.net
  • Listen to other podcasts
  • Learn how to edit audio

More information on James can be found at jamescridland.net

The podcasts and products mentioned on the podcast are listed below

Podcast Festival - podcastfestival.events

The Bugle Podcast

Freenoter Podcast

Audacity

Adobe Audition

Hindenberg Journalist Pro

Sign up for the Podnews daily newsletter at podnews.net

For more on Andrew - what he speaks about and replays of recent talks, please visit ActionableFuturist.com follow @AndrewGrill on Twitter or @andrew.grill on Instagram.

Intro :

Welcome to the practical futurist podcasts a bi weekly show all about the near term future with practical advice from a range of global experts to help you stay ahead of the curve. Every episode answers the question, what's the future with voices and opinions that need to be heard? Your host is international keynote speaker and practical futurist Andrew Grill.

James Cridland :

Welcome to series two, episode eight of the practical futures podcast. Today's guest all the way from Brisbane, Australia is James Cridland, the editor of the leading source of podcast news, hot news dotnet. With over 28 years in the radio and online business in 2005, James helped launch the first daily podcast from a UK radio station and the world's first radio station streaming app. He offers a truly international viewers of Britain living in Australia, working for companies across the world, including North America. He's also a keynote speaker and consultant and wrote his first podcast RSS feed in January 2005. And also launched the first live radio streaming app for mobile phones in the same year. Importantly, he's worked in the audio industry since 1989. Welcome, James! Thank you so much for having me.

Andrew Grill :

We only spoke last week because you're a guest on the podcast festival, a joint production with my podcasting buddies mean to Dahl and Sam Santhi. That was a live show with your questions thrown in and a producer in my ear. This week has a pre record so we'll move it a bit slower pace, if that's okay.

James Cridland :

Yeah, that's absolutely fine. I'm glad you said that.

Andrew Grill :

Look, I feel like we're on an exchange programme. You're a Britain, Australia. I'm an Aussie in London. What's it like in Australia at the moment? I hear a lot of the lockdown restrictions are lifting.

James Cridland :

Yeah. So they're beginning to lift. I mean, we can't say I'm in Queensland, we can't go anywhere in Queensland. We're not allowed to leave leave our great state, although our state frankly is big enough. So that's all okay. But yeah, things are beginning to beginning to relax. I'm not quite sure what the latest figures were but certainly we We've had, you know, one case one Coronavirus case in the last, you know, week or so, here in Queensland so you know we're doing we're doing pretty well rather better than you guys, I think.

Andrew Grill :

And your site pod news dotnet, which I encourage everyone to sign up for The Daily newsletter. Have you seen an increase in traffic is podcasting? You know, thriving during this pandemic? Yeah.

James Cridland :

I mean, there's certainly been an increase in the amount of people getting it, which is nice and the amount of people, you know, using it. But I mean, obviously, there's been an increase in podcasting as well. So actually, in May, we saw a new record for the amount of podcasts launched 96,500. So, you know, you can clearly see and yes, some of that is going to be due to Coronavirus and the fact that you can launch a podcast if you're at home and you might not, you might be a bit, you know, bored or whatever. But I think also part of that is just because podcasting is actually growing and quite a lot of those we're going to launch anyway. So, you know, tremendous amount of growth there. And certainly the podcast hosts that I'm talking to, they're saying that there's a significant increase in the amount of, you know, the amount of people signing up and the amount of support calls that they're having and everything else, which is all bodes good, I think, for where we're going.

Andrew Grill :

Now, you are the podcasting stat guru, and we'll talk about that in a minute. But what what number of these podcasts will call to sort of survive? I mean, lots of starting up, because people in their bedrooms when they go back to work and things live, do you think there'll be some longevity? What's the sort of half life of a podcast series?

James Cridland :

Yeah, I think that's going to be interesting, isn't it? I mean, quite a lot of podcasts don't last particularly long it it it has to be said. And, you know, that may be by design. It may be because people you know, realise that actually producing great audio is quite difficult. And, you know, and so therefore, they can't necessarily work too hard on that. I mean, if you have a look at the amount of At the amount of active podcasts there are, well there are 1.1 million podcasts in Apple podcasts. And about half of those are active. So that means that they've published one episode in the past 90 days. So about half of them are active, about half of them are inactive. And that's I think, actually pretty good in terms of, you know, the longevity of podcasting. You know, the fact that, you know, half a million is still being currently made, you know, that that's, that's quite a thing. I think

Andrew Grill :

I will often ask, is podcasting, the new blogging and you've been around probably as long as I have online. Do you think that people are now saying well, it's not it's not simple to do a great audio show, but you can actually set something up and, and get your news and thoughts out there, but is is podcasting and blogging?

James Cridland :

I don't think so. I mean, and you know, it's interesting I was talking to I was talking to Turkish television last night, and you know, and I was saying, you know, is podcasting growing and I think one of the interesting things around podcasting, it's been going for 15 years. But it's been a slow and steady growth every single year. So every single year, it's been getting bigger. But what podcasting hasn't been is it hasn't been, you know, a my space, or a Bebo or a vine hasn't, you know, dramatically, you know, increased and then all of a sudden, disappeared again. And blogging arguably was a bit like that, you know, there was a tremendous couple of years where everybody had a blog, and then realise that very few people are actually reading them. And so therefore, the amount of blogs in the world have gone down and obviously Facebook has has come around as well. And I think, you know, podcasting is different in that it has just been slowly and steadily growing, and that's probably good news. I think.

Andrew Grill :

So your own service pod news dotnet. What was the idea behind it and Why do you think it was a gap in the market for what you offer?

James Cridland :

Yeah. So I mean, I was in a pub in Los Angeles. And I was at one of these worldwide radio conferences. It's one of those American things where they invite to foreign people, and they call it worldwide. And so I was there chatting with an American friend, and he was saying, Where do you go to find news about podcasting? And I suddenly thought, you know, I've been running a radio trends newsletter for many years now. And I suddenly thought, well, that's a good question. Because the the was at the time there was one weekly newsletter, and that weekly newsletter, and you know, it's a great newsletter. It's still going now, but it really very much focuses on the US. It focuses on public radio. It focuses on you know, a very small part of what podcasting is and I thought to myself as a Brit As one that's moved to Australia, as one that's worked in Canada worked in the US, it's probably that, you know, there's probably an opportunity there for something, which is a quick, you know, overview of what's going on in the podcasting landscape, but one, which looks at the podcasting landscape, from a much broader view than just having a look at what's coming out of New York and Washington. You know, you know, I think I think being able to also look at what's coming out of the Middle East and India, and the Chinese podcast industry. And all of that is fascinating as well, because that can actually help us understand what we should be doing more. So that was basically the idea. At the end of May 2017, I started doing it and really played around with the workflow. working out how I could produce a product, what that product would be what people actually click on? How I could produce it. And yeah, and I've been doing it every single day, partially by mistake, but every single day since then, really? So, yeah, it's been going okay, I think,

Andrew Grill :

well, it's gonna ask you about the workflow, because for those that haven't signed up yet, you get amazing news stories, I'd love to know we get the stories from the first place. And a company that is a spoken word, if you like headline, it's a two or three minute shot, I suppose. And that comes back to your radio background. So you can get it both ways. And often I get the podcast feed. So I might not always listen to the audio, but I look at the show notes and I go back to the website, but how do you organise your workflow to do a daily newsletter and a daily recording publish?

James Cridland :

I suppose one of the things that I'm very lucky at being able to do is that I do the tech as well. So I actually I've written the code that produces the website, as well as you know, being the journalist that goes and gets the news stories. And the reason why that's important is that literally everything the way that the website works, the way that I put the information in is all designed to save me as much time as possible. Because you know, I still have other jobs, I'm still ready to continue consultants, I still go, you know, I fly around the world talking at Radio conferences. Not that much at the moment has to be said, but still. And, and so therefore, I needed to make sure that it was something that I could continue doing, even if I was busy doing doing other things as well. So one example of that is, there's a bit in the newsletter, which is all about new podcasts, and there's, you know, a little image there and there's a link to to that podcast and a bit more information about it. The image as one example appears automatically because my code has worked on talking about a podcast I know where to get this particular image. You know, blah, blah, blah. So there's a lot of that, of that sort of careful, you know, automation in there just to make it easier and quicker to produce something. But having said that, you know, I'm doing an awful lot of reading. I'm quite active in many of the podcasting communities across the internet places like Reddit, and Facebook and stuff like that. And of course, I know how RSS feeds work, which is always handy. My RSS reader is my friend and I get an awful lot of information out of that. You know, so that's, that's a really useful tool as well. It's interesting, how many places still have RSS feeds, which are there which are available which you know, really helps keep me up to date with a bunch of you know, interesting news that you that you know, otherwise pass other people buy.

Andrew Grill :

We talked about this last week on the podcasting festival, the whole RSS RSS for those listings, too. For really Simple Syndication, and years ago, it was just users that want XML markup to get blog posts out there. And it's been the cornerstone of podcasting. But we did talk last week and we might talk here a bit more about whether it needs to change what's available now and in standards, probably what 15 years old, maybe it may be older, and what does it need to evolve to to allow monetization shownotes all those sort of things and Apple seem to be leading the charge and sort of forcing the standardisation? Is that fair?

James Cridland :

Yeah, I think that is I mean, so you know, RSS as a thing, and I love how it's called really Simple Syndication, it's anything but but as a thing, it was thought up by a chap from Microsoft and a man called Dave Winer, really built to, you know, to move data from one place to another. And then Adam curry who was an MTV DJ at the time. If you remember back when MTV actually played music, he ended up thinking, wouldn't it be a clever idea if you could also link to files through this? He was thinking about it from, to be honest from pirating TV shows, but actually, it turned out that it was a really handy way of, you know, doing podcasts as well doing pieces of pieces of audio. And, you know, so that sort of started going, Steve Jobs or somebody at Apple thought, well, this is interesting, because this is a way of keeping people using the iPod, keeping people you know, picking up that device every single day, if they can get lots of content on there lots of free content on there that we Apple don't have to pay for. Why don't we put podcasts into iTunes so that it will automatically stick new content onto the iPad. And that's basically why Apple jumped in. And why, you know, Apple wanted to make it look a little bit nicer work a little bit better. And so quite a lot of the ideas behind a podcast the fact that you have a category, the fact that you have an image, the fact that that image is square and should be anywhere between 3000 to 1400 pixels wide, all of that stuff was basically Apple wanting to make podcasting look a little bit nicer on their devices. And Apple has really been driving those sorts of standards ever since. So making sure that the categories are correct. Making sure that, you know, you can now Mark things as a serial podcast or as an episodic podcast, you know, and all of that sort of First thing is all basically apples, apples idea. So that's been really helpful. But also that means, you know, conversely, that if you want to come up with a new idea around podcasting, if you want to add a Donate button, for example, then you've got to convince somebody at Apple because Apple has 65% of the market. So it's good news in that we've had a strong leader, it's also potentially bad news because actually, you know, benevolent dictator dictator is, I believe the phrase that some people use, you know, they've been really good for us. But they've also you know, basically told the podcasting world what we should be doing. And you know, it would be I think, useful if there was a couple of challenges to to Apple and currently not really seeing too much. But Spotify is beginning to grow, which is certainly helpful.

Andrew Grill :

You mentioned the S word, which was helpful segue. Not much competition from anyone else. That's a fairly bold statement. I thought some of your stats said that Spotify sometimes had overtaken apple. What's the latest with Spotify? And can they be a real challenge of rebel?

James Cridland :

Well, so the latest with Spotify, and actually, the latest is as, as we speak, busy putting together pod news for what I call tonight what he would call this this morning. And one of the things that pod news is reporting on is that in Canada, when you look at younger audiences, then Spotify is in the lead in terms of podcast use. So Apple, and you would kind of you know, this sounds a bit like common sense. You know, the older folk who have more money, are using the more expensive hardware which is Apple hardware and therefore Apple podcasts and you know and so therefore, you know students and and young folk who are spending their money on other things are probably using cheaper Android phones and using Spotify. So, but if you look at it from if you look at it from the whole world, you can see that depending on who you talk to either Spotify has about a 10% market share or depending on who else is working those those numbers out. Spotify is partially in the lead in some countries but not in others. And certainly in the US, you know, Apple remains the market leader. I mean, I think you know, again, you can have a look at podcast consumption in many different ways. You know, you can have a look at you can have a look at per download, you can have a look at per user and my suspicion is having a look through my stats, because I host my own podcast as well. My suspicion is that if you have a look at it per download, then Apple is still very much in the lead. But if you have a look at it, per user per unique user, then actually Spotify is quite high in there. So Spotify users listen to less podcasts, but perhaps there are more of them. So, you know, interesting times, I think, but having said that, you know, Spotify is still quite small. Google should be the, the third largest podcast app, maybe it is by now. But it's only about 2% of all of all downloads. It's still doing, you know, very, very small numbers. My suspicion is it's going to grow quite fast. They've now got an an Apple App, as well as an Android app. Google podcasts is appearing in all kinds of searches as well. So my suspicion is that you know, it should do pretty well. But what we really need ideally for the industry is we need apple and Spotify and Google to all have about 25% market share, and everybody else crowding around for the remainder. And I think that would probably be good news for all of us. I think.

Andrew Grill :

If you look at why Spotify added podcasts similar to what Apple did around the standards, they want things to work their way. And if you're already got a subscription to Spotify, this is another reason to keep using the app. You wrote a really interesting article on medium a few weeks ago about Joe Rogan's move to Spotify.

James Cridland :

And they use that, does this threaten an open ecosystem for podcasting because Spotify essentially a binding audience? But you also said, do we actually have an open ecosystem to defend it this this whole buying podcast shows, is this an inflection point for podcasting? And you think we'll see more of these platform deals? Oh, I think it's very interesting. And I think certainly if you take Joe Rogan, which is the biggest podcast in the world, by any of the data that I've seen, Joe himself talks about 190 million downloads per month. I'm not quite sure what that figure really is. But nevertheless, if you look, you know, again, let's have a look in in Canada. one out of five of every podcast listener in Canada has listened to the Joe Rogan experience at least once, which is a massive number. So if you were to take all of Canada and put every single person who's listened to the Joe Rogan experience into a city you will get a city as big as as Vancouver, you know, it's a it's a tremendously popular thing. So if a lot of people follow Joe Rogan over from their current podcast app into Spotify, then Spotify will be you know, very, very pleased they can serve ads against those people. They can hope for They sign them up for a subscription because I think it's worthwhile pointing out Joe Rogan will still be free. But you will need to sign up for an account. But it's still free to to have a listen on Spotify, you'll just get ads on there instead. So I think, from that point of view, that's going to be really interesting. It's going to be interesting seeing how many people stick with him. You know, if you've been watching him on YouTube, you won't be able to anymore. If you've been listening on the apple podcast app, you won't be able to anymore. And so how many people will stop listening to that podcast? And what will that mean to the, you know, to that particular show? I don't know. But, you know, it's it's certainly interesting times, and it's certainly not the first as well. Spotify has jumped in and used a bunch of these tools in the past, to grab as many interesting podcasts as they possibly can. So all of podcasts stuff a lot from gimlet is now produced exclusively for Spotify. last podcast on the left is, I believe another one, you know, and so on and so forth. So my suspicion is that we'll see rather a lot more than that. I'm don't know whether Apple will follow my thoughts around Apple is that actually, if Apple were being clever, they would start being friends to podcasters by allowing podcasters to sell podcasts through the Apple Store. Which would be really interesting, because if the only place where I could buy this particular podcast that I really liked, was through Apple podcasts, then that would be you know, just as powerful if not possibly more powerful than Spotify is current, you know, activities. So, you know, we'll wait to see what happens there. I guess

Andrew Grill :

it's a really good idea and if anyone From Apple's listening, hopefully they'll look at that. Now you and I've been around the mobile space probably around the same time when operators decided to have their walled gardens isn't what Spotify doing. And if Apple follows them similar thing, it's just another walled garden. And we can only get podcasts we like from platforms, and then don't have that open ecosystem. And it just all gets a bit messy.

James Cridland :

Yes, I mean, that's what the definition of an open, you know, of a walled garden is, and therefore, that's why people are concerned about the being an open podcast ecosystem. Typically, if you look at most apps, you can type in an RSS address, and it will subscribe you to that podcast. So as one example, Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist is not available on Apple podcasts because he talks nonsense. And so they took him off. But that doesn't necessarily mean that you can't listen to Apple podcasts. You just have to know what the RSS feed is for his podcast, and then you can get get his podcast on Apple podcasts on overcast. On a number of these different services. Having said that, no one does that. The way that most people will listen to a podcast is they will search for it in the directory on their podcast app, and then they will hit a subscribe button, and the directory for virtually everyone with the exception of Spotify and Stitcher and a few others. The directory from virtually everybody is controlled by Apple is run by Apple because Apple very cleverly worked out that they should have an API. And their API would allow anyone to go and grab information about podcasts and stick it into their own podcast app. The API is really there to help them sell music in the iTunes Music Store. But nevertheless, it's certainly it's certainly there for podcast information. And so actually, you know, Apple is running a surprising amount of the podcast directories out there. So even if you're using pocket casts because you don't like Apple very much. That's directory almost entirely is coming directly from Apple. And once alex jones gets pulled out, and exchange is probably pulled out of all of those as well. So I think that's what the concern is around the inverted commas open ecosystem. But I don't think actually that most people use, you know, RSS feeds by typing them in, you know, directly into a podcast app. I don't think that's really, that's really the way that most people will actually you know, find a new a new show or certainly tune into one.

Andrew Grill :

So discoverability becomes the real issue. And you're right with Apple. And I think part of that is because they have humans that verify the the podcast feed, you would know when you put your first episode up, a human Apple listens to it to make sure that we're not being silly and rude. And it gets verified, and I think others just don't do that. But that means there are now a proliferation of these directories and in a way Python uses a directory of sorts, pod chaser. We had Bradley Dave was on the podcast festival last week they went to an aggregation service. Who's gonna win out of these and and how do you monetize those sort of platforms?

James Cridland :

Well, that's a great question. So I mean, you know, there's a, there's a podcast directory called lesson notes, which the bloke that runs it is selling access to that if you're a developer, and you want to do fun things with it, which is, you know, which is neat. Blueberry has had one of those first, for some time now. So yeah, I mean, you know, is there a business in running an alternative podcast directory, I don't know if Apple's giving one away for free. And Apple, theoretically, at least, is doing a bit of a bit of editorial curation. I'm not entirely convinced anybody from Apple actually has a listen, by the way, I think it's rather rather rather more a piece of technical checking rather than rather than human beings have. You know, having a listen. But nevertheless, if Apple's gonna give all of that away for free, then that's how you make a monopoly, isn't it? You know, so nobody else is really going to be able to get in there. And even if you have a look at pod chaser, pod chaser takes a lot of its initial information from the apple directory because again, it's a way of finding new shows and new, you know, the new stuff which is available. So, you know, I think I think we, you know, we have to be careful there. What the reason why pod news has a list of a bunch of podcasts is purely because I wanted to be able to link in a neutral way to where to listen to a podcast. That was basically the the the starting point there. I use an Android phone I don't use an Apple phone to have a listen So therefore a link to Apple podcasts is entirely useless to me. So I thought to myself, right, we will make something that automatically goes off and finds links on Apple on Google and on Spotify in the very least, that's going to be a helpful place to link people to. And that tool has sort of slowly grown so that you can actually see how things work and and check your your, you know, the information on your podcast and the information on other people's as well.

Andrew Grill :

I find that an incredibly useful function of your site. In fact, when I was starting to produce this podcast last year, I discovered all these other places where it should be listed because you think we have all the icons for different sites and it just amazed me number of different apps and platforms. There are where your podcast will go. Just the final point on the discoverability. So you actually reported this week that IMDb is starting to lose podcasts and in fact, pod chaser claim they want to be the IMDb of podcasting. And I think what pod face is trying to do is yes, they take To feed from Apple. But where I like what they're doing is they allow you to give credit to guests. So when the show is published, James Cridland will have been a guest on my show, you can then see where else he's been. And that goes on. I actually like what he had to say, where else has he been? And I think they're the only site that I've seen is doing it really well. But I think discoverability isn't just about shows about genres. It's about people like listening to but you know, is is IMDb themselves a threat to the chase of this world do you think

James Cridland :

I mean in its current incarnation? Absolutely not. I mean, apart from anything else, IMDb isn't even asking you what your RSS feed is so. So from that point of view, that's not necessarily going to work. But you know, IMDb is owned by Amazon, and Amazon, by all accounts are really interested in getting into the podcast space as well. They have a lot of audio consumption devices called Alexa speakers. And clearly they would like to have their You know, access on those speakers to podcasts, as well as live radio. So one would assume that they are spending a fair amount of time in actually bringing their own podcast directory, you know, to actually appear, except what kind of makes sense, wouldn't it? And certainly, you know, the conversations I'm having with quite a few people seems to show that Apple that sorry that Amazon are making some, you know, real real inroads into this. So that should be interesting is IMDb because it's owned by Amazon, a thing that is helping Amazon produce a directory, I certainly hope not having sat down and tried to the the perplexing, you know, way of actually getting a podcast into their service at the moment. I'm now listed as a TV series for some reason. I've got no idea why, but still so but you know, yeah, I mean, it should be really interesting and it You know, pod pod chaser is interesting in that they are keeping a proprietary list of all of the guests and hosts and create a credits for podcasts. Great for pod chaser, because that's obviously a piece of data that they should be holding TSO's Apple as well. So if you go on some of the bigger shows some of the more fancy shows, again you'll you'll actually see a a an image at the bottom of, you know Joe Rogan and Elon Musk and you can click on Elon Musk and find out what else he's actually done. So you know, Apple are doing that, but they're not sharing any of that data with with anybody else. I say they're doing it for the big shows. They're doing it for the big shows, and for mine, which is hilarious. So I'm not quite sure what I've done there. But anyway, so if you go to the bottom of a pod news, podcast, then you'll see a little grilling picture of me, that probably links nowhere but still there we

Andrew Grill :

are measurement monetization. So where do you see the importance of measurement? There are platforms like pod track and charter, which I use and how important is third party verification like IB for, I suppose advertisers wanting to see whether this particular podcast is worth sponsoring?

James Cridland :

Yeah, I mean, you know, I think when we were back, working on the internet in the late 1990s, then people were talking about hits, and they were saying how many hits their website had had. And a hit is just a server, you know, a server log line. So if you if you're, if your homepage had 10 images on it, then every time somebody visited your website that was 11 hits. So it was a completely pointless number, but nevertheless, it was large and people claimed it. And I think that's where up until recently, podcasting was in that we were giving out download figures, but actually what we were talking about today downloads wasn't necessarily the right thing we were talking about, you know, the, the way that some podcast apps, for example, would download an hour long podcast would be to download chunks of it that would last for about 20 seconds each. So 20 seconds, you know, every 20 seconds for an hour? Well, that's quite a lot. And if you're going to count those as separate downloads, then you know, you're talking about three 400 downloads instead of one, which would, which would have been the correct answer. So, you know, making sure that if somebody is talking about a download, if somebody is talking about a listener, or a unique device, making sure that that everybody is talking about the same thing is a really important, you know, it's a really important plan. And that's really where the IB came came on board. So the IB is the internet Advertising Bureau. And this was the US internet Advertising Bureau. By the way, I don't think the UK one has actually signed on to this yet, although the Australian IB has. But the IB has a standard now of what they call a download and a standard of what they call a unique device. And there are a few podcast hosts around nine or 10 of them, who are now certified through the IRB. So if you switch from libsyn to charitable for example, then the download numbers that you see in the dashboard should be the same because they should be worked out in the same way and they'll be roughly similar. And I think that's, you know, hugely important. There are additionally other services like pod track and charter ball and Triton run run one as well, which is more of a sort of a rancour. So it shows you how you're doing in comparison to other people. And that's very helpful. For what charitable and pod sites are also doing is they're doing attribution. So the idea there is I listened to a podcast that has an ad in it for Nike shoes, for example. And then I go to the Nike website and I buy a pair of these fancy shoes. The systems should theoretically be able to work out that I'd heard the ad, and I came to the website and bought those shoes and an attribute that purchase back to the podcaster where the Nike ad was on return that's very fancy and very clever and a bit scary. But, you know, certainly, that's what some advertisers want. I think other advertisers are potentially a little bit more enlightened and don't necessarily want that kind of information because it's not actually that helpful. But nevertheless, you know, all of that sort of attribution stuff is beginning. To be, you know, really interesting, but you know, the very first step of being able to say, this is a download, and I am having 2000 of those per episode. That's a very helpful start. And so the I be, you know, with their work on, on certification on VAT on verifying people's numbers is actually a really helpful thing.

Andrew Grill :

So in terms of monetization, I mean, you've worked in radio, so you know that it's very hard with a, an audio medium to to advertise, either you say the top of the show, this show is brought to you by or you annoyingly have in the middle, a break, and then a non contextual ad pops up. Is this sustainable? And where do you see monetization beyond straight advertising?

James Cridland :

I mean, I think you can do an awful lot with audio advertising and what I like about what you can do with podcasting, particularly if you're listening to podcasting on a streaming platform, which is Spotify, or it could be Be Google podcasts are indeed actually quite a lot of Apple as well, is that you can begin to do clever, targeted advertising based on roughly where you are, what the weather's like, what device you have, you know, etc, etc. So you can actually have an ad for Starbucks that actually talks about, you know, would you like to come in from the rain and warm up with a beautiful, you know, coffee from such and such, if it's a cold, wet, horrible day, or if it's a lovely warm sunny day, then the ad might be for, you know, for an iced coffee or something. So you can begin to do some quite clever stuff like that, which doesn't really which doesn't really get into into any problems from a privacy point of view, because all it's really using is, is a vague location of where you are in terms of a city and the device that you're using. You know, so you can begin to do some quite Crafty Things with that. I think what Most podcasters Our understanding is that there are lots of different ways of monetizing your show. And one way of monetizing your show yes might be slapping a 32nd ad about double glazing at the front of it. A different way of monetizing your show is for the podcast host to actually be talking about a specific product. Because typically that seems to work rather better. And certainly in my old radio world has worked rather rather better there as well. But you can also then see that other people are getting involved in podcasting, purely because it's actually it's a great way to to make them really obvious that they are stars that they understand what they're talking about that they are particular subject matter experts, you know, so actually that is that is probably enough for quite a few people. Other people are talking about doing live gigs and stuff like that. So when when the theatres reopen And then you'll notice there are quite a few podcasts now doing on the world, you know, on the road tours, which is really cool. So, you know, lots of different ways. And I think if we if we're not careful, we look at an annoying 32nd ad, somebody shouting at you about the double glazing as being the only way that you can make money out of out of shows. And I don't necessarily think that that's the case. I think there's so many other ways. And that's, you know, good news, I think for all of us who are in in this industry,

Andrew Grill :

yet, and only concern is probably the way to go. Before we close, I want to just cover the issue of b2b and b2b podcasting. I've worked in the b2b space for quite some time. So corporate podcasting, where do you see it heading and other companies that are doing it? Well? Yeah, that's

James Cridland :

a really interesting question. I mean, there are two definitions of corporate podcasts. So one of them is a is a podcast that he company is doing to be consumed by the public as well. So Trader Joe's being the obvious example that American Airlines runs a podcast which it's really aimed at their employees, but it's open to anybody. So if you're a fan of American Airlines is such a thing exists, which I seriously doubt having flown on them once you can go and have a listen to that particular show and, you know, and that's a really smart move. So there are quite a few of those going on. And I think, you know, the interesting part is now having private corporate podcasts so shows which are specifically for employees, if you are a, you know, large disparate workforce, actually being able to hear from the bosses in their in in, you know, head office to 200 miles away or 2000 miles away. Probably a useful thing. And you know, and we're certainly seeing more of those going on and more launches, from podcasts companies around the technology to actually help that. And, you know, it's another great way I think, I think, you know, as we move into a world where we're hopefully less likely to be doing the daily commute into work, we're hopefully less likely to be spending money in these ridiculously over, you know, over equipped offices in the centre of town that everybody has to get to and then everybody has to get back again at the end of the of the day. If we can get rid of all that stuff and do far more homeworking far more remote working, then having good ways of communicating to your employees is probably an important thing. And podcasting is clearly part of that, as well of course as a 4 million emails.

Andrew Grill :

So The $64 million question, what is the future of podcasting?

James Cridland :

Well, I think more slow and steady growth is I think, the main future, which I think is, is a good future and a good place for us to be. My hope is that we see a bit more of a mix of large names in this space. So good luck, Google. Good luck, Amazon, if you're really getting into it, and good luck, I guess, Spotify. So, you know, so my hope is that we end up seeing that but, you know, one of the things that we do know is that human beings crave other voices, other human beings to connect with. And that's what podcasting offers. It offers that shared experience with a human connection. The podcasting, and radio is a wider, whole offers so well and offers so much better than Facebook. or Twitter, or anything else because you can actually hear what the person sounds like. So the future I think for podcasting is tremendously bright.

Andrew Grill :

Okay, quick fire round. One sentence answer please. Favourite podcast,

James Cridland :

the bugle, which is a satirical news show from the UK but has other people in it as well. It's very good.

Andrew Grill :

The app you use to listen to podcasts is Google podcasts, Apple or Spotify, Google podcasts, favourite length of podcasting minutes.

James Cridland :

What's your favourite?

Andrew Grill :

What's your favourite film? And how long is it? Okay, let's let's just expand this for a moment. So, if you're gonna walk, the podcast length is probably 30 or 40 minutes you're in a car is having a shower, whatever. Okay, you clearly don't have a preference but people keep asking this and I suppose advertisers I will. What's that? What's the right length? Which How long are the shows that we sponsor? I mean, we've been recording for 43 minutes. When people listen to all of this.

James Cridland :

There is a radio consultant called Valerie Geller who answers this brilliantly and she says there is no such thing as too Long only too boring, which I think is a great answer. My answer is actually, a podcast should be as as long as it needs to be, but not a second longer. So if you're making a podcast, make sure that every single minute matters, because that's massively important. If you've got fluff if you've got, you know, if you've got crappy answers or crappy questions, and then edit them out, that's the beauty of podcasting is that it's not live so you can actually post produce and make something sound as brilliant as it can do.

Andrew Grill :

Final quickfire question. What's the last podcast? Do you listen to

James Cridland :

the last podcast that I listened to? Well, it was the bugle. But the last podcast I listened to before that was a podcast called the free noter. And the free nota is a it's a podcast aimed at people who are keynote speakers. And I think that very eloquently shows off the real benefit of podcasting in that you can have a real niche audience of people who do keynote speaking at conferences, and you can still make a great podcast for those people as well.

Andrew Grill :

I must look that up as a keynote speaker, I'll put the link in the show notes. Now as this is the practical futures podcast, what are three things that our listeners can be doing this week to either get into podcasting or enhance their own podcasting experience?

James Cridland :

Three things? Well, I think, number one would be, obviously to subscribe to pod news. It's free. It's at pod news. dotnet. Well, you know, you kind of you kind of have to, so that would obviously be one of them. I mean, I think I am always very surprised by how many people get into podcasting, or start thinking about getting into podcasting without listening to many of them. So please listen to as many as you possibly can, because you'll very quickly learn what works and what doesn't. And that's a tremendous, you know, Tap, you know, copy the bits that work from the podcasts that you love. Don't, don't copy the bits that don't work. And you're pretty well onto onto a winner there. And I also think learning how to edit is a really helpful thing. Learning how to edit audio is a really helpful thing. You may be jumping to use Audacity because it's a free piece of software and it's available for download. It is probably the worst tool that you can possibly use to edit podcasts and audio editor where if you make a mistake, you're stuck with it. Because you know, you can't grab a little bit from a particular interview that you've got rid of earlier and blah, blah, blah. You should be using, basically anything else. But if you're going to take it seriously use a audio editor called Hindenburg which has a free trial and that is a much simpler, much more straightforward but much better way of editing a good long chunk of speech.

Andrew Grill :

Great tip so I actually use Adobe audition only because I've been using Premiere Pro for years for video, and it's got a similar look and feel. But again, I pay for that product because it just works. And it's, it's really easy to move things around.

James Cridland :

And I think, you know, my answer would be, you know, audition is great. audition is a is an expensive piece of software. But if it works for you, it works. audition is a music editor. And that means that it's very good at doing podcasts. But that also means it's got way too much stuff in it. Whereas Hindenburg Journalist Pro, which is the one that I use is a podcast editor and a news report editor. So journalists use it so they're not polishing stuff. They're just making it sound good, really quick editing, it's really quick, you know, fade in and fade out and stuff and it's really good. So if you are learning for the first time, my advice would be to learn a podcast editor not to learn a music editor because there's so much more that you needn't worry about in you know, Adobe, or in Reaper, or in any of those other services,

Andrew Grill :

great tips and great practical tips. Thank you. Now I think you know the answer This question but how can people find out more about you and your work?

James Cridland :

If you're serious about podcasting, then go and subscribe to pod news. It's at pod news dotnet you can be joining 13,700 people who are getting that email every single day and you will also find me on the Internet at James dot Cridland dotnet.

Andrew Grill :

James, thank you so much for your time. Really appreciate it. Great, insightful commentary. Please stay safe.

James Cridland :

Thanks so much for asking me.

Intro :

Thank you for listening to the practical futurist podcast. You can find all of our previous shows at futurists dot London, and if you like what you've heard on the show, please consider subscribing via your favourite podcast app so you never miss an episode. You can find out more about Andrew and how he helps corporates navigate to disruptive digital world with keynote speeches and C suite workshops at futurists dot London. Until next time, this has been the practical futurist podcast

Podcasting is on the increase
The half-life of a podcast series
Is podcasting the new blogging?
How Podnews started
Producing a daily podcast and newsletter
The future of RSS
Apple's dominance in RSS standards
Spotify as a competitor
is Google number 3 in Podcasting?
Is the Jo Rogan/Spotify deal the first of many?
Will we see the rise of "walled gardens"?
Apple's dominance with podcast discovery
IMDB as a podcast directory?
The importance of measurement & monetisation
Monetisation beyond advertising
The future of corporate podcasting
Private corporate podcasting
What is the future of podcasting?
Quick fire round
Favourite podcast app
Apple or Spotify?
Favourite length of podcast
Three things to take advantage of podcasting
Listen to other podcasts
Learn how to edit audio