Welcome to episode 40 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 report on a suspected hack of Mixcloud user accounts, Radionomy shutting down their Internet Radio hosting services, my report on the recent Rain Summit Europe that I attended in London, the tools that Tom Webster and James Cridland use to create their podcasts and a list of some of the best podcasts on the topic of photography.
Websites and articles mentioned in the show:
Mixcloud Investigating Alleged Data Breach Impacting 21 Million Users – https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/7x5g4q/mixcloud-investigating-data-breach-allegedly-impacting-21-million-users?
The Demise of Radionomy Marks the End of Free Streaming for Internet Radio Broadcaster – http://www.radiosurvivor.com/2019/11/27/the-demise-of-radionomy-marks-the-end-of-free-streaming-for-internet-radio-broadcasters/
Radionomy to shutter; Shoutcast offer to internet radio producers – https://rainnews.com/radionomy-to-shutter-shoutcast-offer-to-internet-radio-producers/
Are podcasts a disaster waiting to happen? – https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/nov/27/why-podcasts-are-headed-for-disaster
How I make… The Freenoter – https://podnews.net/article/how-i-make-the-freenoter
How I make… Podnews – https://podnews.net/article/tools-used
Rain Summit Europe 2019 – http://rain-summit-europe.com/
12 Weeks of Christmas: 5 of the Most Immersive and Engaging Photography Podcasts – https://fstoppers.com/education/12-weeks-christmas-5-most-immersive-and-engaging-photography-podcasts-429734
So what was the opening topic in my last episode? Hmmm. I suggest we move swiftly on to some news.
I want to start with some important information for Mixcloud users. It appears that someone is trying to sell the usernames and passwords of 21 million user accounts stolen from music streaming site Mixcloud on the dark web.
Mixcloud are investigating the issue and believe that hackers may have gained unauthorized access to some of their systems.
If you signed up using Facebook authentication, as many people will have done, you’re safe as no password is stored. Mixcloud are saying they don’t think that any passwords have been compromised but they suggest users change their passwords anyway.
Some big news for Internet Radio station owners. I talked about the demise of Live365 a couple of years ago, though they are back in a slightly different form now. Since then, Radionomy has really been the only platform still offering free streaming to internet radio stations.
Radionomy shut down their US services earlier in the year – according to Radio Survivor this was possibly due to legal action from some major record labels who alleged that Radionomy had not been paying royalties correctly.
Radionomy has now announced that it is closing down all of its services globally. They are offering to migrate stations over to Shoutcast for Business which they also own. The big difference between the two services of course is that Shoutcast does not cover any royalty payments and if you host there you are going to have to take care of those yourself.
If this impacts you, be prepared to have to learn a lot about music licencing and how difficult it can be to navigate. My advice to small Internet broadcasters remains the same, look to join an established legal operation and let them handle the licencing while you concentrate on presenting music-based shows.
An interesting article from The Guardian this week discusses what is currently a big topic in podcasting – what seems to be ever more frequent instances of podcasts being accused of plagiarism. This seems to be a particular problem in the popular true crime niche – though of course this could be just a result of the popularity of true crime meaning podcasts are more visible and prone to fact-checking by observant listeners.
Accusations against podcasts range from not crediting sources right though to lifting sections of content verbatim. Of course, you will hear the defence of “fair use” quite often – but it seems many just do not know what that really means.
Jack Seale, the author of this article, asks whether these issues could lead to the end of the podcasting industry and whether regulation is needed to prevent this. Now of course, other media platforms, such as newspapers, have struggled with this same issue and have survived – it seems to me that some best practice guidance would be helpful for podcasters, similar to that used in the newspaper industry. I guess the question is where would this come from?
A quick piece from Podnews now. They have published a piece from Tom Webster of Edison Research where he describes the equipment, software and other items he is using to create his great new podcast – The Freenoter.
James Cridland, who, of course, runs Podnews, also maintains a page describing how he puts his own daily podcast together. This is particularly useful, as James writes about how he undertakes and compiles his research. He also talks about how he manages to publish a daily podcast while travelling.
Thanks to a free ticket from James (thank you!), I attended the recent Rain Summit Europe in London. This is the third or fourth year I have been at the event which has now been running for eight years. This year it was at a great new venue – the Congress Centre.
As usual, Kurt Hanson kicked off the day with his State of the Industry presentation where he covered trends in the online audio space. As you would expect there was talk of new technologies, personalisation and new business opportunities.
An entertaining round table hosted by UK radio legend David Lloyd looked at how some of the big players in Europe are approaching digital audio. Voice search was identified as a key area for growth. One member of the panel posed the question “if a customer asks for your company what will they find in a voice search?”. Typically voice searches are going to bring back just one result so your brand needs to be top of the list.
Adam Pattison of Targetspot – who own Radionomy and Shoutcast that I mentioned earlier – shared his own use of digital media over a week, looking at the range of apps he uses and the number of hours per weeks consuming media on each of them.
The aim was to show the range of platforms that are or could be used for targetable ads and particularly how podcasts could be good for contextual advertising. Definitely interesting to see a company in the advertising industry approaching the topic from a listeners point of view for a change!
There was plenty of other content during the day that was much more focused on the advertisers and how they could measure the success of campaigns for their clients without much apparent regard for the listening experience.
Stephen Goldstein wrapped up the Summit talking about challenges and opportunities in a voice-controlled world. Stephen’s company, Amplifi Media moved into the smart speaker space early on, recognising what an opportunity it was going to become.
Discussing how smart speakers are being used, Stephen noted differentiating the content you produce for them is vital and the name of the skill, or voice invocation sequence you use has to be memorable. He also stated that showing the clear user benefits of your content is becoming more important than ever – why should I bother with your content?
In this space discovery does matter and you must educate your audience – you have to tell them what to do and when to do it. Stephen discussed NPR who have created videos that explain how to access their content on different devices.
All in all, another interesting Rain Summit – well worth attending if you get the chance.
Finally this week, are you looking for some new podcasts to listen to? If you’re a keen photographer like me, check out a list of five of the best podcasts on the topic of photography from Fstoppers. I’ll put a link in the show-notes to the article but I will add one more recommendation from me.
So you want to be a photographer is hosted by portrait photographer Gina Milicia along with her friend Valerie Khoo. They take a somewhat irreverent look at how to get the most out of your photography. Check it out!