Welcome to episode 29 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
In the show this week I discuss the first British Podcast Awards, statistics from the 2017 Podcast Consumer Report by Edison Research, the renaming of iTunes Podcasts and the launch of Upload Radio in the UK on DAB.
Websites and articles mentioned in the show:
James Cridland reports on the British Podcast Awards – https://media.info/radio/news/the-uks-best-podcasts
New Media Europe on the British Podcast Awards – https://newmediaeurope.com/british-podcast-awards-2017-winners/
A history of British Podcasting – https://newmediaeurope.com/real-history-british-podcasting/
Edison Research – The Podcast Consumer 2017 Survey – http://www.edisonresearch.com/the-podcast-consumer-2017/
Download the Podcast Consumer 2017 Presentation at – https://www.slideshare.net/webby2001/the-podcast-consumer-2017
Upload Radio – https://beta.uploadradio.com/
Upload Radio to play user generated content – http://radiotoday.co.uk/2017/04/upload-radio-to-play-user-generated-content/
Last Saturday saw the inaugural British Podcast Awards. So I bought my £26 ticket and went along. First off I guess I should address the elephant in the room. At the start of the awards ceremony one of the organisers said “these awards are the very first of its kind in Britain”. As I mentioned when the awards were first announced, these can’t really be called the first ever British Podcast Awards. The first UK Podcasters Awards were launched by Mike and Izabela Russell in 2015 and these were also held in 2016. I also believe they will be held again this year.
Podcasting has, of course, been around in the UK since the term was first coined, in around 2004. Now, I’m certainly not looking to get into the politics of the history of podcasting in the UK (and there is plenty of that, believe me!) but I do think there should be some recognition of the existing awards.
Now, of course, the two awards do seem aimed at different markets. The UK Podcasters awards are focused on the independent podcaster while the British Podcast Awards are, this year at least, dominated by bigger media organisations.
As I said, I attended the awards and I have to say the event left me pretty underwhelmed and maybe just a bit angry. My £26 got me a couple of free glasses of wine and a bit of finger food but no seat for the awards themselves. Two-thirds of the space was reserved for sponsors seating and the rest of us had to stand at the back!
Host Olly Mann started his introduction by slagging off BBC reporting on podcasting which seemed a little strange given a lot of BBC people were there. He then announced a number of “rules”, including that winners would not be allowed to give speeches and that they would have to pose for a photo and go backstage to talk to the official media podcast. Okay – not particularly strange rules but odd to announce them on stage I thought. Anyway, Olly fairly quickly asked a winner a question and them allowed him to make a short speech – so, so much for the rules!
I won’t go through the winners. I will put a link to the results in the show notes if you are interested. To be 100% honest I think I had only heard of two of the entire list of nominated podcasts and I listen to at least 15 hours of podcasts every week! All but a couple of the winners were from media organisations and quotes from the judges praising winners included things like “highly produced” and “best use of sound design”. To top things off Olly made fun of the fact that over 100,000 listeners had voted for the Listeners Choice Award. Virtually all the nominated podcasts in this category were independent podcasts of course.
I do think these awards have their place but judging by those I spoke to in the audience it is always going to be focused on the established media organisations. I think we will see the UK Podcaster Awards making more of their focus on independents and hopefully the two awards can then run happily in parallel.
Have you missed your regular dose of podcast stats? Well, Edison Research has produced its Podcast Consumer 2017 which provide more information from Edison’s two large, long-running studies of US listening, The Infinite Dial and Share of Ear. Additional podcast listener findings are presented, including income, education, and employment data.
- Podcast consumers are generally younger, well-off, educated, and technology savvy
- The balance of sex continues to lean slightly male with 56% male and 44% female
- 31% of podcast listeners earn $100k or more, compared to 22% of non-listeners
- 63% of podcast listeners are employed full-time, compared to 49% of the general population
Survey respondents who listened to a podcast in the past week reached 15%, and among those weekly listeners, the average time spent listening to podcasts was between 1 and 3 hours for 36%. For 22%, the average time was between 3 and 5 hours.
- Weekly listeners are keeping up with an average of five podcasts in the past seven days
- The average time spent for weekly podcast listeners is just over 5 hours in total
On listening habits the report says “Most podcast consumers listen to most of the podcast episodes they download, and the vast majority listen to at least most of each episode.”
So what do all these stats mean? Well let’s caution that these are statistics from the US and may not represent the UK very well. My gut feeling is that the UK audience is slightly older. It’s probably also smaller in percentage terms.
It’s a shame we don’t have good listener figures for the UK – hopefully that will be rectified before too much longer. For now I’ll say that podcasting continues to grow steadily and podcast fans really love their podcasts.
News from Apple now. iTunes Podcasts is now Apple Podcasts. The rebranding includes new logos and badges for use on websites and a new twitter handle – @applepodcasts. Apple suggests taggin @ApplePodcasts on Twitter when talking about your shows, saying that they love to share great shows, special episodes, and help listeners to know what to listen to right now.
I don’t see anything sinister in the name change. Apple has been removing the ‘I’ branding from products for a while now. Will it help podcast discovery? Probably not, but hopefully it provides a clearer platform for Apple to start promoting its podcast services more. Time will tell.
Would you like to be on the radio? I talk a lot about online radio but now a DAB radio station has launched in the UK that allows anyone to run their own show. Upload Radio is initially available in In Gloucestershire, Wrexham/Chester/Liverpool, and Surrey/South London and can be listened to using a DAB radio receiver. It can also be listened to through the Radioplayer app.
The station has been set up by Matt Deegan – a busy man who runs the British Podcast Awards, co-runs the Next:Radio Conference with James Cridland as well as running his own media company and DAB multiplex network.
To be a part of Upload Radio all you need to do is to record two 29-minute chunks of audio, and one 30-second promo. Once you upload the show to the website, you then add a tracklisting and then pick an available time slot from the station’s schedule. At the time of launch it costs £20 for an hour.
As well as the broadcast slot you pick, the station has a 30-day catch-up system, so once your programme has been broadcast on-air, it’s available on Radioplayer on-demand for a month after that. Now the cool thing about this station is that you can include as much music as you like. You can also include advertising, as well as promoting other stations, platforms and events. The station is licensed for PRS and PPL in the UK and your £20 fee includes all licensing costs. It is worth noting that the station is licensed by Ofcom so you do need to be a bit careful to follow rules on things like swearing – basically don’t do it!
I think this is a fantastic idea as a station. It’s something I definitely plan to try soon. What’s attractive is the potential reach Upload Radio provides through DAB and Radioplayer.