Welcome to episode 22 of the Richard Dally podcast where I bring you a UK perspective on the latest news and developments from the world of podcasting and Internet Radio
This week I look at the rumours that Google might be looking to buy Soundcloud, the return of Live365 and what the biggest podcasting trends in 2017 might be.
Websites and articles mentioned in the show:
Grow Your Online DJ Audience and Fanbase With Blogging – : https://www.richarddally.com/grow-your-online-dj-audience-with-blogging-part-1/
Rumours that Google might buy Soundcloud: http://rainnews.com/rumor-factory-google-considering-soundcloud-acquisition/
Live 365 is back: http://rainnews.com/live365-returns-one-year-after-going-silent/
Follow These 4 Mega Trends in Podcasting for 2017 – Steven Goldstein – http://www.amplifimedia.com/blogstein/2017/1/2/4p5pcrbhtrvh7wpp5nxrj97r1p78s0
The biggest trends in podcasting for 2017, Live365 is back, and is Google buying Soundcloud? Welcome to episode 22. I’m your host Richard Dally. Each week I curate and discuss the latest news in podcasting and Internet Radio with a focus on the smaller podcaster and radio host and DJ.
I’d like to start this week with a bit of shameless self-promotion. I have just started writing a new series of articles on my website at richarddally.com. The series is called “Grow Your Online DJ Audience and Fanbase With Blogging”. Obviously, it is aimed at DJs but I hope it might be of interest to podcasters too. Basically, it aims to do what it says on the tin – to discuss how you can build your audience by writing a blog. Part 1 is up now. Part 2 should be online in the next few days and I’ll be releasing more in the series over the next few weeks.
Onto the news now and a story that will be of interest to both DJs and podcasters first. The latest rumour surrounding Soundcloud is that Google is considering buying it. A few months ago it seemed like Spotify was looking at Soundcloud but apparently decided against it and you will recall that Twitter ended up investing in Soundcloud after they also looked at a purchase.
The idea that Google might be interesting in Soundcloud apparently comes from the fact that Soundcloud has recently hired Holly Lim to be their new CFO. Holly was previously an executive with Google. The rumour mill has the possible sale price as $500 million dollars, which is a big drop from the one-billion-dollar figure that was being talked about with Spotify. A Rain News editorial on this story points out that if the sale goes ahead then Soundcloud would be added to Google’s existing line of audio and video products which includes Google Play Music, YouTube and Songza.
DJs will be familiar with Soundcloud as a place to upload and store mixes and original tracks and will also know about the growing challenges with takedowns. It was charging DJs and artists for their pro accounts that allowed Soundcloud to make money. Over the last couple of years that model has changed with many DJs (including me) leaving the platform because of the takedowns. Soundcloud has been working hard to change their strategy and now focuses more on making the user experience for listeners better.
Now I have to say I didn’t realise this but this new strategy has seen an amazing rise in use of the platform – according to Rain News there could be as many as 250 million listeners. Now that Soundcloud has got more of the big labels involved in the platform, the issue of takedowns seems to be getting smaller and Soundcloud is now looking to start monetizing using advertising and new listener subscription plans.
So, has Soundcloud finally found a buyer? I guess time will tell but it does seem like Google is the best fit of the potential buyers so far.
Next up, it looks as if Live365 is back. For those not aware, Live365 was very popular host for online radio stations. It shut down when new royalty rates came into force in the US at the beginning of 2016. Well now the live365 website is back up. Apparently, there are new owners in place for the site and they have posted a message dated 2nd January 2017 that says “We are elated to announce that Live365 has been rescued.”
Rain News, who have been following the Live365 story since the new royalty rates were announced has tried to get more information but it seems the owners are keeping their plans under wraps, at least for now. What Rain News has established is that programmers will be given “easy to learn 24/7 cloud automation. They will also be able to set up their own branding on players, which can be embedded in websites, and also shared socially.
Live365 will apparently be covering webcast royalty payments for music, at least in the US. The new platform will also offer ad insertion and revenue sharing. Pricing for the new service will range from $59/month to $199/month depending on how much music storage space you need and the number of listeners you get. Some of the other features will include unlimited listeners, unlimited bandwidth and 192Kbps bandwidth. It also looks like there will be support for live broadcasting and DJing on the platform.
Definitely good news for US-based online stations. Other platforms have already started to fill the gap in the UK and Europe at least.
So what are the big trends in podcasting going to be in 2017. Well, Steve Goldstein has identified what he believes will be the four biggest in an article written for the Amplifi blog.
I’ll go through them but I would love to get your feedback on the trends Steve has identified and what you think will be the biggest changes in podcasting this year. Don’t forget you can contact me on twitter @richarddally or by visiting my website richarddally.com.
Firstly, it is getting easier to listen to podcasts, but it is still not easy enough. Some 84% of podcasts are listened to using mobile devices and that is only going to increase this year.
Steve notes that podcast growth is about breakthrough content and ease of use. To continue to increase the number of listeners more older people (that is non millennials) need to be attracted to the medium so listening to podcasts on smartphones needs to become similar.
Trend number 2. Two new technologies will make podcasts easier to find and listen to. I’ve talked about both of these technologies on previous episodes but Connected Cars and Artificial Intelligence) should make the process of downloading and streaming podcasts easier. Of course, this will help with the first trend as well!
2017 will see Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto being installed in more new models of car. Both of these have podcast listening apps built in. Looking at Artificial Intelligence, this Christmas saw many people buying Amazon Echo or Google Home devices. With these devices, you can tell it the name of a podcast and they will automatically start playing the latest episode.
The third trend Steve identifies is that the flood of new podcasts will continue. It certainly seems that everyone wants to have a podcast and the number of branded podcasts being launched by big companies continues to increase.
Finally, Discovery is difficult. There are now so many podcasts that just making good content is not a guarantee of success. Steve says that discovery is the key problem for podcasters – how do you become the “needle in a haystack” as he puts it.
So do let me know what you think will be the biggest development and changes in podcasting this year.
Okay So That’s all the news from the Richard Dally podcast for this week. If you visit my website at https://www.richarddally.com you will find all my social media links as well as the various ways you can subscribe to this show. The show-notes for this episode are at htttp://www.richarddally.com/22.
As usual please send me your questions or comments and if there is a topic you would like me cover then you can Tweet me. As always, I really appreciate your feedback. if you’re enjoying the podcast, please leave me a rating and review at iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. Thank you for listening and I’ll see you on the next episode.