In the show this week I discuss the launch of original podcasts by Spotify, news of two podcasting documentaries, why Chew TV is in financial trouble because of the actions of some pirates and how one man came to start his own online community radio station.
Websites and articles mentioned in the show:
Spotify is looking for original podcasts by Max Willens: http://digiday.com/media/spotify-looking-original-podcasts/
Turn your friends on to podcasting with the #trypod initiative: http://www.npr.org/about-npr/516454568/top-podcast-hosts-ask-their-listeners-to-try-a-pod
Ear Buds: The Podcasting Documentary:
The Messengers: A Podcast Documentary:
Scotland’s Next Generation of Podcasters: 2017 Scottish Podcast Scholarship Finalists: https://www.thepodcasthost.com/scholarship/scotlands-next-generation-podcasters
eRADIO with Broadcast Bionics: Inside… South Waves Radio: Jamie Dyer writes for eRADIO about setting up an online community radio station: https://madmimi.com/p/590f99?fe=1&pact=2399076-137687953-5489923662-ea0f8345e3e49a5e1f8b2e6bfbdec4c7acf4eff5
Why Isn’t Podcasting Bigger? by Steven Goldstein for Amplifi Media: http://www.amplifimedia.com/blogstein/2017/2/18/rcedeuud4gmlspppzmajpjhqo9fhdg
News first from Spotify. It seems they have been talking to a number of podcaster producers about making shows for them. Max Willens, writing for Digiday, says Spotify is looking for new podcasts focused on music.
To me this sounds like a play aimed directly at radio – looking at ways to produce a more radio-like experience for their listeners. Mark also makes the point that Spotify relies heavily on recorded music and is having to pay some 70 percent of its revenue to record labels and publishers. Adding podcasting to the mix could add another source of revenue for Spotify, while also increasing the overall time spent listening.
RAIN News, reporting on the same story, notes that Spotify has been distributing podcasts for more than a year already.
The first three original shows to be launched between now and February are: Showstopper, Unpacked and THE CHRIS LIGHTY STORY.
Here are the Spotify descriptions:
SHOWSTOPPER brings together two of the most culturally relevant topics of our time: TV shows and music. Through interviews with music supervisors, this biweekly podcast provides a pop culture analysis of our favorite music moments in TV
UNPACKED will travel to festivals around the country (that’s the US of course) for daily interviews with musicmakers, filmmakers, app-makers, food-makers and all manner of creative folks gathering together.
THE CHRIS LIGHTY STORY chronicles how music industry exec extraordinaire, Chris Lighty shaped the careers of some of hip hop’s most beloved artists like 50 Cent, LL Cool J, Missy Elliott, Foxy Brown, and Puff Daddy.
Rob Walch has mentioned this a few times on the LIbsyn podcast but now a press release from NPR launches ‘Try A Pod’ to the world. The aim of Try A Pod is to introduce new audiences to podcasts. During March, the hosts of hundreds of shows will encourage listeners to introduce a friend, relative or coworker to a new podcast, and, show them how to listen if they don’t know how. Listeners will be asked to share stories of why they listen and their favorite podcasts using the hashtag #trypod.
Try A Pod recognises that podcast fans tend to be really loyal listeners, so it makes a lot of sense to reach out to our collective audiences, urge them to connect with friends who haven’t yet caught the podcast bug, and share what makes their favorite podcasts so meaningful in their lives. Why not promote this on your own podcast this March? #trypod
We’ve been waiting for one and now there are two documentaries about podcasting! Podcasters Chris Mancini and Graham Elwood have created a documentary called Ear Buds. Film makers and Comedianss Chris and Graham host The Comedy Film Nerds Podcast.
They were at the 2016 Los Angeles Podcast Festival and while captured a lot of amazing footage and interviews with podcasters such as Marc Maron and many others. Chris and Graham saw that there was a bigger story to be told.
As they describe it, this is “a story about the intensely personal connection in a new medium that brings the fans and the talent, or in this case podcaster, together in a way that’s never been done before. This is a story about the podcaster, but more importantly about the fans, and the relationships that build over time between these people they listen to on a daily basis.”
Ear Buds: The Podcasting Documentary is available for purchase directly from the filmmakers on their official website – earbudspodmovie.com/
The Messengers podcast documentary was funded by an Indigogo crowdfunding campaign and had its world premier at the Podfest 2017 conference in Orlando, Florida last week. The Messengers features interviews with a wide range of podcasters and is narrated by Dave Jackson from the School of Podcasting. The film chronicles the growth of podcasting as well as it’s future.
I’ll put links two both documentaries in the show-notes for this episode at richarddally.com/26
Matthew McLean writes for thepodcasthost.com about the finalists for the 2017 Scottish Podcast Scholarship. This competition is aimed at finding and supporting Scotland’s next generation of podcasters. Over the past three months, anyone currently in education in Scotland was invited to pitch the organisers with their ideas for a podcast series they’d like to create. The winner of the competition gets £400 in cash, professional audio equipment, and a year’s free podcast hosting from Spreaker.
Entries were received from 18 different academic institutions and the judging panel the difficult job of narrowing the entries down to a shortlist of six. The entries are really diverse from a podcast targeted at women who are looking at getting into sports coaching to a comedy podcast starring the multiple characters who host radio programmes on a fictional radio station based in the Scottish Borders.
For the next stage of the competition the finalists have to present and discuss their pitches with the judges face to face. After the interviews an outright winner will be chosen. I love the idea of this. I talked in a previous episode about attending a conference about podcasting at the University of Southampton and it’s clear podcasting is thriving in academic circles.
From the ERADIO newsletter produced by Radiotoday comes a fascinating story about one man’s experience of setting up an online community Radio station. Jamie Dyer started in radio by taking a broadcasting course with a local radio station. At the age of 18, he became a presenter of a show on Boston’s Endeavour.
He was there for two years before moving back to Chichester in West Sussex where despite trying he was unable to find another radio job. Jamie built a small-scale studio in his house and started presenting on licensed online stations. It did not have the same level of impact as my FM years, but it kept him on the road to radio. Four years later he launched online community station SouthWaves Radio.
He calls it a ‘speech and drama’ station, because when he launched, he was inundated with music shows and bands submitting music. Most of the station’s content is talk, discussion and audio drama programming. Jamie says that apart from the BBC, he could not think of anywhere else that offered this kind of content on a mass scale. He is also inspired by the UK and US radio of the 1940s and 1950s when radio was more of an all round entertainment medium.
Jamie believes he is filling a niche and serving the local community in a unique way. He says they have also tried sports broadcasting and that being only an online station has allowed them to produce programming at their own speed, and try different ideas out.
Since launch, most of the station has been paid for out of Jamie’s own pocket but the station is now branching out to form a committee, and trying gain access to funding. Jamie’s eventual aim for the station is to apply for a license to broadcast on FM or DAB.
You can listen to SouthWaves Radio by visiting SouthWavesRadio.co.uk
An interesting article from Steven Goldstein on the Amplifi Media blog asks Why Isn’t Podcasting Bigger? Steven writes that we often see this question being asked online. I think we can safely say it is getting bigger, it’s just that sometimes it is hard to see.
For me one of the obvious measures is Libsyn consistently saying each month that the average number of downloads per episode for shows hosted with them keeps going up. Steven takes a look at some recently published Edison research which splits audio into music and spoken word. Some other researchers lump these together which means podcasts can get lost in the spoken word category.
Looking at the Edison research we know that Americans (and I think we can assume it’s the same with other nationalities) spend more time listening to music than spoken audio. Steven points out that music can be consumed in the background or passively, while speech usually requires the listener to ‘lean-forward’ and listen more actively.
For most people, the time they have available for active listening to speech, whether that is talk radio or podcasts is much less than what’s available for music. I don’t know about you but I find it difficult to concentrate on a podcast while working on my laptop, certainly while I’m writing a document or creating a presentation.
Edison Research’s regular “Share of Ear®” study measures time spent with all forms of audio. The latest study found that music accounts for 79% of time and speech 21% and that the average American (aged 13 and older) listens to about 48 minutes of speech-audio per day. Within the speech-audio category overall podcasts make up 10% of the listening. When you look at a sub-category of listeners – the 13-34 year olds, we see that 29% of speech goes to podcasting.
Steven’s conclusion from these statistics is that new habits are being formed by teens and millennials that are impacting all types of audio listening. Broadcast radio is still the biggest player in the space but podcasting is catching up quickly. Radio is catching onto podcasting and I do think we will see more being done.
Interestingly here in the UK Radio 5 Live – one of the BBC stations is advertising its podcasts on the main BBC TV channels during peak evening hours.
So I’m late getting the podcast out this week. Perhaps that’s a bit fortunate because there has been some major news breaking today which could impact many online DJs. The online DJ live streaming service Chew.TV is in some financial trouble.
They sent an email out this morning to their subscribers and followed it up with a press release. It seems that they discovered in December that their hosting infrastructure and platform had been used by some pirates to illegally rebroadcast a sporting event.
Basically the pirates streamed their live content on the chew infrastructure, while delivering it on their own advert supported websites. This left Chew.tv with a bill from their hosting provider for an extra 20000 pounds for the huge amount of bandwidth the pirates consumed. Clearly there was a lack of safeguards in place to prevent this kind of abuse – and chew admit as much in the press release.
The liability remains with Chew and even though their hosting provider has agreed to halve the bill and spread the charges over a few month, Chew are currently unable to pay their outstanding invoices.
It looks like if they cannot find money to clear the outstanding invoices in the next few weeks the business will have to close down. The Chew team has been speaking to current and potential investors trying to raise money but apparently without success so far. Salaries have also not been paid and staff have been told to look for other work if they can.
In the press release they outline the three options they see for the business going forward:
- Accept that the business has reached the end of the road, allow users to download their content, refund active subscriptions and then turn the Chew site off.
- Get enough new subscription signups to cover the outstanding bills and continue operating. They say that If every active registered user bought a subscription they’d generate enough income to clear what’s owed and continue operating
- Find a new home for Chew, finding a buyer who is willing to take over the Chew business and allow it to continue operating.
The Chew team has reached out to its users and subscribers to ask for their views on the best option. It’s early days but I think we’ll see some kind of crowd-funding campaign being started by the user community to try and save the site. After all, it’s not really a huge sum of money we are talking about.
Of course, even if they get back up and running, there are going to have to be changes in the business model to keep the site viable going forward. Let’s hope for more positive news over the next few days. It would be a shame to lose one of the few legal options for DJs to broadcast live online.