Welcome to episode 39 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.
On the show this week – with only 50% of podcasts launched in the last year publishing an episode in the last three months, is podfading a problem? Rights owners fighting back against music streaming manipulation and a new book on podcasting from a British podcast producer.
Websites and articles mentioned in the show
How many of the 706,000 podcasts are still in production? – https://www.amplifimedia.com/blogstein/2019/6/18/aois8fo8unrw5g1sb3ippzcw4aq0jw
Music industry signs code of conduct for stopping stream manipulation – https://rainnews.com/music-industry-signs-code-of-conduct-for-stopping-stream-manipulation/
Jordan B. Peterson’s interview with Joe Rogan – https://www.jordanbpeterson.com/podcast/s2-e11-a-conversation-with-joe-rogan-part-one/
Jonathan Levitt: Podcasting and Predictions | Ultrarunnerpodcast.com Podcast episode – https://ultrarunnerpodcast.com/jonathan-levitt-podcasting-and-predictions/
The most comprehensive guide to podcasting ever (probably).: A guide to everything you need to know to plan a podcast, start podcasting and grow an audience by Chris Huskins https://amzn.to/2xkQ37t
There has been a lot of discussion recently about the concept of podfade. There are now over 700,000 podcasts on Apple Podcasts. According to Todd Cochrane of Blubrry, about 3000 new podcasts are being released each month.
Steven Goldstein of Amplifi Media explored this in a recent article for his Blogstein newsletter. He asked Cochrane how many of the 700,000 podcasts had podfaded. The answers was that only 18% of these podcasts had published an episode in the last three months.
Now this might seem like quite a shocking figure but several podcast industry commentators have pointed out that of course there are plenty of podcasts that have ended naturally at the end of a season or for other reasons. What about if a host passes away? You know, often podcasts are very personal endeavours and there has likely been no thought or plan for passing it on to anyone else.
Tom Webster and James Cridland both point out that the percentage of television shows made in the last few years that are still being produced is probably as small, if not smaller.
Another stat highlighted by Todd Cochrane is that he estimates that of podcasts launched in the last year, at least half have not produced an episode in the last three months. 2018 saw an explosion in interest in podcasting and the ease of launching for free that new platforms provided has undoubtably contributed to this. It’s clear people experimented with podcasting with many never getting beyond their first “test” episode, let alone the seven episodes that is sometimes touted as a milestone for publishing consistently.
So what’s the problem that these orphaned podcasts cause? Well it’s probably not much of a problem really but Goldstein feels it clutters up the indexes and could negatively impact search as shows are not purged from podcast listings.
How would listings be purged anyway? I’m not sure how you can decide what should be removed. The only thing I have seen discussed that does make sense is to delete shows where the RSS feed does not resolve correctly which means episodes can’t even be downloaded.
Anna Washenkio, writing for Rain News, reports that a group of music industry organisations are trying to fight against the manipulation of music streams. They have agreed a new code of practice which includes 21 points aimed at preventing people artificially inflating stream counts.
Why would someone what to inflate the number of listens to their online station or a specific artist or even a track on a platform? Well, money of course!
Music licensing payments are based on the number of plays so copyright holders earn more money if there are more streams. Stations may be able attract more advertisers if they can point to higher streaming counts.
Anna notes that methods use to manipulate counts include the use of bots, other automated processes, false accounts, and “pay for play” approaches to skewing stream counts.
Rights holders who sign up to the best practice agree to support investigations into possible streaming manipulation and to take action if manipulation is discovered. Streaming services who agree to the new code will be expected to implement controls to stop data manipulation.
Twenty-four organisations have signed the code. These include Spotify, Deezer, and Amazon plus some major record labels and rights organisations.
It’s going to be interesting to see how much if any impact this will have on streaming numbers – it’s not clear whether investigations and findings will be made public. Also will organisations like Spotify who pay out money based on the number of streams want to demand money back where manipulation is discovered. I guess the answer is yes based on their current attempts to claim money back from artists following changes to the US royalty rates.
If you’re looking for inspiration on how to build your podcast I can recommend a couple of podcast interviews. Firstly, Joe Rogan sat down with Jordan B Peterson to discuss how he got into podcasting amongst many other things. This is an in-depth discussion lasting more than two hours over two episodes. As I said, it’s not all about podcasting as they discuss Joe’s other interests before getting to the topic of podcasting.
Joes talks about why he likes the longer format shows that he produces, even when people have told him he should edit them down. If you’ve not listened t to the Joe Rogan podcast, some episodes run to more than three hours and every one is getting millions of downloads. Joe and Jordan discuss this huge growth in the podcast over the 10 years that it’s been running.
For my second podcast recommendation this week, you may know that I am interesting in running and especially long-distance running. One of the best podcasts on the topic is the Ultrarunnerpodcast. The host, Eric Schranz interviewed another ultra runner, Jonathan Levitt, about his podcast. They discuss choosing a format for your podcast, the technology you need, how to book guests and how to find advertisers.
If you are interesting in distance running and ultramarathons, one of the most popular blog posts on my website is a list of what I think are some of the best podcasts on the topic. I’ll put a link to that in the show-notes at richarddally.com/39
Finally, I wanted to mention a fairly new book on Podcasting that I’ve just finished reading. Written by UK Podcast producer, and ex-radio presenter, Chris Huskins, this 200 page book provides some great ideas to help you plan, build and grow your podcast. I met Chris last year at a podcast meetup – he really knows his stuff and I recommend you pick up this book.