The Audio Newsroom with Hala Taha
#8: Enter the Greenroom [June 23rd 2021]

#8: Enter the Greenroom [June 23rd 2021]

June 29, 2021

Welcome to The Audio Newsroom! Your go-to news platforms for the latest in the Podcast Industry.  I am your host, Hala Taha, along with my co-hosts of the day Steve Olsher and Raven Blair Glover.

 

Don’t expect us to be going anywhere anytime soon!


Hear it first from the movers and shakers in the Podcast Industry, from executives on product updates to top podcasters on the latest trends and insights.

 

Hosted every Wednesday @ 3pm ET exclusively here in Clubpod -  the biggest podcast club with over 63K members & followers! Recorded and replayed on our new podcast released every single Monday!

 

Today’s Stories

Facebook launched Live Audio Rooms and podcasts earlier this week.

  • The initial slate of podcasts, the social media platform says, will include "The Joe Budden Podcast," the hosts of "The LadyGang," Jess Hilarious of "Carefully Reckless," and Nicaila Matthews Okome of "Side Hustle Pro." 
  • Refresher: 
    • In April, Facebook announced that it'll bring podcasts to the app as part of its initiative to bring social audio experiences. 
    • Last week, Facebook published its terms of service for podcasters on the platform – The Verge's Ashley Carman called this a "relatively standard agreement," but pointed out the lack of clarity. PodLink's Nathan Gathright dove into them on a Twitter thread. 
  • Live Audio Rooms seems to be Facebook's response to Clubhouse, the audio-only social platform. Users can listen in on and join live conversations by various public figures and across a spectrum of topics. 
  • The hosts of Live Audio Rooms can invite up to 50 speakers and there's no limit on the number of listeners. 
  • As for podcasts, the app now allows listening to them while browsing Facebook, either on a mini-player or a full-screen player. The show keeps playing even with the phone display turned off. 
  • To get listed, you need an invite directly from Facebook: and they’ll only play in the US. 
  • “Later this summer, we’ll roll out additional features, like captions and the ability to create and share short clips of a podcast,” says Fidji Simo, Head of Facebook App.
  • Ashley Carman at The Verge keeps breaking the podcast news with the update/reminder that Facebook will eventually add a feature to let users share clips.
    • Creators will have to opt in to allow clips of their shows to be made. 
    • Ashley says that Facebook gave her the option to publish her show Why’d You Push That Button?.
    • The Verge story also comments on the fact that Facebook announced a product called “Soundbites” in April to create short shareable clips and she speculates that these two things will go together.

Spotify officially rolls out Green Room

  • Spotify’s live social audio. 
  • The formal rebrand comes a few months after the Swedish platform acquired Betty Labs, which operated a sports-centric Clubhouse competitor called Locker Room. 
  •  
  • The rollout includes a whole new look for Green Room — which still exists as a separate standalone app, though I’m guessing it will be absorbed into the main Spotify platform at some point in the future — as well as an expanded presence on both iOS and Android in over 135 markets globally.
  • Spotify also had another smaller announcement last week: The company has acquired the horrifically named Podz, a startup that’s seemingly premised on using machine learning to create podcast-preview clips that listeners could use for the purposes of better discovery. A relatively quiet acqui-hire, it seems.

Apple Podcast Subscriptions Are Here!

  • Apple announced that the much-delayed rollout of their previously announced Apple Podcast Subscriptions service is now available worldwide and listeners can purchases subscriptions to their favorite channels where new shows and early access to new seasons are available.
  • The announcement also listed a large variety of shows and formats that are now available from companies like the LA Times and Pushkin Industries, NPR, and the Washington
#7 Understanding Podcast Analytics [June 9th 2021]

#7 Understanding Podcast Analytics [June 9th 2021]

June 10, 2021

Welcome to The Audio Newsroom! Your go-to news platforms for the latest in the Podcast Industry.  I am your host, Hala Taha, along with my co-hosts of the day Steve Olsher and Raven Blair Glover.

 

This is our 4th week and don’t expect us to be going anywhere anytime soon!

 

Hear it first from the movers and shakers in the Podcast Industry, from executives on product updates to top podcasters on the latest trends and insights.

 

Hosted every Wednesday @ 3pm ET exclusively here in Clubpod -  the biggest podcast club with over 60K members & followers! Recorded and replayed on our new podcast released every single Monday!

 

Libsyn Completes Its Acquisition of AdvertiseCast, the Podcast Advertising Company, for $30M. 

  • In March, Libsyn planned to raise $25M in new equity commitments for the acquisition of podcast advertising company Advertisecast. 
  • Currently, the $30M was paid $18M in cash, $10M in newly issued Libsyn shares, and $2M in the form of an earn-out 
  • including $8m from Libsyn Director Eric Shahinian’s Camac Partners
  • Camac now owns 12.2% - and $1m from Chairman Bradley Tirpak.  
  • Libsyn President Laurie Sims said that "AdvertiseCast is a perfect fit with Libsyn's strategy to provide independent podcasters robust tools." 
  • Earlier this year, Libsyn acquired Glow, a podcast monetization startup. The company plans to use Glow's podcast membership programs and technology to provide monetization options for the 75,000+ podcasts on its platform. 
  • They’ve also agreed a new bank loan agreement. The company is currently without a CFO, after it was found to have underpaid $3.2 million in taxes over the past five years.
  • Richard Heyse, the CFO of Libsyn, had resigned as the company gave the stock market an update on their incorrect financial reports. Libsyn underpaid a number of different taxes between 2015 and 2020: mistakes worth around $3.7m in unpaid tax and fines. The incorrect returns have also put Libsyn out of compliance with a number of bank loans.
  • Libsyn’s previous CFO, John Busshaus, also resigned in October 2019 and is currently taking the company to court for wrongful termination: claims that Libsyn denies.

 

Linktree and Spring Team Up to Give Creators More Social Commerce Tools

  • Spring, the merch ecommerce company formerly known as TeeSpring, and link-in-bio service Linktree have announced a new agreement that allows digital creators to host virtual storefronts within their social profiles.
  • The integration will allow social influencers to create storefronts that link from their profile
  • The partnership will basically allow fans to purchase items–which can range from physical products like T-shirts or hats to NFTs and other digital goods–directly from the page without having to follow a secondary link to the creator’s store.
  • Linktree claims to have more than 14 million users including major brands like Red Bull, ASOS and Facebook, while Spring boasts around 450,000 verified creators. The combination of the two companies could help make social commerce easier for the growing creator economy.

According to a Forbes Contributor: “The Drop-In Audio App Clubhouse Is Dying. It Was Fun While It Lasted”

 

  • John Brandon held a Clubhouse chat recently, inviting people to chat about productivity. It’s the subject of a new book he’s writing
  • In the app, he started inviting people when he was testing Clubhouse which led to many people joining in on the conversation, but now most people have turned off notifications or ignore them as they join other rooms.
  • He also noticed a few users could always rely on to join a chat were not even members anymore. 
  • When he posted about the Clubhouse room on my Twitter feed, all he could hear were crickets (not sure what that means)
  • “It’s been replaced by something more worthwhile: meeting with real people.”
  • Other reasons:
    • You still can’t record a chat. 
    • They only recently added Android access. 
    • The invite system starts penalizing you right away if you invite too many people
#6 VC Firm Declares Podcasting a Hobby [June 2nd 2021]

#6 VC Firm Declares Podcasting a Hobby [June 2nd 2021]

June 4, 2021

Welcome to The Audio Newsroom! Your go-to news platforms for the latest in the Podcast Industry.  I am your host, Hala Taha, along with my co-hosts of the day Steve Olsher and Raven Blair Glover.

 

This is our 3rd week and don’t expect us to be going anywhere anytime soon!

 

Hear it first from the movers and shakers in the Podcast Industry, from executives on product updates to top podcasters on the latest trends and insights.

 

Hosted every Wednesday 12-1pm ET exclusively here Clubpod -  the biggest club for podcasters with 60K followers! Recorded and replayed on our new podcast launching today, and released every single Monday!

Apple Podcasters Will Need To Wait

  • The planned end of May debut of Apple Podcast Subscriptions came and went without a rollout but rather an announcement 
  • Debut will now take place this month in June - The hang-up is technical glitches. 
  • Apple says it has been “delighted” by the response with “hundreds” of submissions from publishers worldwide. 
  • There have been widespread complaints by podcasters since last April of problems with Apple Podcasts Connects. 
  • In some cases, podcasts and episodes have gone missing, and in other cases podcasters have not been even able to sign-on to the system. 
  • Apple is also making “additional enhancements” to its new Library design in the coming weeks. The new version of iOS allows users to mark all episodes as played, recover old episodes, and remove downloads.
  • Apple announced last month that it has expanded its affiliate services program to allow podcasters to profit whenever they recruit a listener to sign up for a subscription. 
    • The program will give producers a 50% cut on the first paid month of every subscription membership. If the special link they send leads to the sale of a podcast subscription costing $10, the podcaster will earn a $5 commission.
  • More details about Apple Podcast Subscriptions could come next week when Apple holds its annual Worldwide Developers Conference June 7.

VC Firm Declares Apple’s Podcasting a Hobby

  • A new blog from LoupVentures titled “Podcasts Are Apple’s Hobby, Spotify’s Career” was an appropriate comparison of the two companies’ recent product announcements in the podcast space as Spotify has been pouring money into podcasts while Apple has been content to merely tread water.
  • “Loup Ventures is a research-driven venture capital firm” and they felt that Podcasting had reached critical mass in America as an entertainment medium with “roughly 40% of Americans age 12 and older listening to podcasts monthly.”
  • After helping mainstream podcasts through the iTunes store in 2005, Apple has done little with the medium since. Meanwhile, Spotify has aggressively pursued the podcast opportunity, investing hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire ad technology and exclusive content.
  • Loups’s contention is that strategies for both companies make sense because “Apple’s future growth or profitability does not hinge on the success of its podcast marketplace” and “In order to achieve mid to high-30% gross margins, similar to Netflix, Spotify must add high-margin revenue, which is what makes podcasts attractive.”
  • Apple podcasts appear to fall into the hobby category, primarily aimed at:
  • Maintaining leadership in an important content category.
  • Providing high-margin incremental Services revenue.
  • Fails to onboard creators
  • Podcast ad market is growing at more than 50% this year, at $1.3B in expected revenue it will likely be less than 1% the size of Apple’s total revenue this year. 
  • Conclusion: It makes little sense for Apple to make podcasts a central focus when it has growth opportunities in massive addressable markets, including AR and Mixed Reality
  • Spotify podcasts are central to its long-term success, primarily aimed at:
  • Increasing profitability, as podcasts offer the company better margins than music.
  • For Spotify, which did about $9.5B in revenue in 2020, pushing the podcast ad market to $10B in annual revenue over the next decade and capturing 50% plus share would add $5B in annual revenue and be transformative for the company.
  • According to a new market forecast, Spotify’s U.S. podcast listenership will surpass Apple Podcasts for the first time this year when 28.2 million U.S. users will listen to podcasts on Spotify at least monthly, compared with 28 million via Apple Podcasts.
  • According to Forbes The 90-day moving average of Spotify’s podcast mentions rose by 67% year-over-year, whereas Apple’s rose by 45%.  (Forbes)
  • Annual podcast ad revenue is less than 5% the size of radio ad revenue and about 1.5% of TV advertising. 
  • The daily average amount of time spent listening to podcasts is about 10% the amount of time spent listening to radio and about 5% the amount of time spent watching TV.
  • Therefore podcasts are under-monetized compared to radio by a factor of 2x, and TV by slightly more than 3x.

 

Triton Digital Releases the April 2021 Latin America Podcast Report

 

  • Triton Digital, the global technology and services leader to the digital audio and podcast industry, announced earlier this week the release of the latest LATAM Podcast Report.
  • The Latin America Podcast Report lists the Top 100 LATAM podcasts consumed by listeners who are located in Latin America.
  • The Top 100 podcasts account for a whopping 28M downloads in total during this reporting period
  • Top 3 Podcasts were:
  • 1 - LOS40 MX - La Corneta from Prisa Radio with 832,378 downloads 
  • 2 - Leyendas Legendarias from Sonoro ATC with 708,589 downloads 
  • 3 - Titulares Deportivos from Grupo BluRadio with 303,112 downloads
  • As we reported last week in regards to the growing space of Latin Podcasting Networking -  IHeartMedia is set to launch a New Podcast Network called ‘My Cultura’ Elevating Latinx Voices and Stories
  • A special limited podcast series with Lin-Manuel Miranda, hosted by Eva Longoria, launching next TUESDAY!!
  • Latinos represent 18 percent of the U.S. population, or more than 60 million people, and they are listening to podcasts more than ever before. 
  • A quarter of Latinos aged 18 and up in the U.S. have listened to a podcast in the last month, according to an Edison Research report published June 30 in 2020.
  • The report also found that the majority of Latinos started listening to podcasts within the last year.  
  • Spotify has invested in podcasts for Latin American markets, including Fausto and Se Regalan Dudas in Mexico and Café da Manhã in Brazil.
#5 Public vs Clubhouse [May 26th 2021]

#5 Public vs Clubhouse [May 26th 2021]

June 3, 2021

Welcome to The Audio Newsroom! Your go-to news platforms for the latest in the Podcast Industry.  I am your host, Hala Taha, along with my co-hosts of the day Steve Olsher and Raven Blair.

 

This is our second week and don’t expect us to be going anywhere anytime soon!


Hear it first from the movers and shakers in the Podcast Industry, from executives on product updates to top podcasters on the latest trends and insights.

 

Hosted M,W,F 12-1pm ET exclusively here Clubpod -  the biggest club for podcasters with 60K followers! Recorded and replayed on our new podcast launching today, and released every single Monday!

 

Robinhood competitor Public is launching in-app live audio programming today!

  • Another Clubhouse competitor
  • Public, the trading and social networking app, is the next app to get into live audio. 
  • Like many apps before it, the company says it’s planning to roll out live audio features starting this week under the name Public Live. 
  • Unlike its competitors, like Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, Public will initially program these chats with moderators it pays, meaning not just anyone can start a conversation. 
  • It’ll host about three events a week, and users will receive a push notification to join, along with a badge inside the app allowing them to hop into it. 
  • Topics might include coverage of an upcoming IPO, the day’s news, or analysis.
  • The first chat will be between Scott Galloway, who co-hosts the Pivot podcast and is an investor in the app, and Stephanie Ruhle, an NBC News senior business correspondent and MSNBC anchor. 
  • It’ll be live in the app today and won’t be recorded for publication anywhere else. Other future hosts include Nora Ali, a former Cheddar News anchor, and Kinsey Grant, co-founder of Thinking is Cool and the former host of the Morning Brew Business Casual podcast.

Work-from-Home Leads to Enormous Shift in US Audio Consumption

  • As a significant share of American workers shifted to at-home employment in 2020, naturally their audio consumption patterns were deeply affected as well. 
  • Data from Edison Research’s Share of Ear® survey allows its clients to quantify those shifts and also to predict how things might shift again if and when people go back to commuting to offices and other work locations.
  • the latest Share of Ear release shows a clear difference in listening between those working primarily at home vs. those not working from home.
  • Among employed persons who work from home, nearly three-quarters of their total audio consumption (72%) happens at home. Meanwhile, among those who work away from their homes, only 29% of their listening happens at home.
  • From Share of Ear data in 2020, we know that a tremendous amount of listening had shifted to home as a result of quarantine restrictions. 
  • While almost everyone was spending at least some increased time at home during the pandemic, it is those who shifted their work to their homes where we see the major growth
  • Audio consumption rises on computers and other devices such as internet-connected televisions, so we can see that at-home workers are using various audio devices at home.”
  • As quarantine restrictions continue to evolve and the American workforce continues to adapt to workplace changes, Share of Ear® will continue to track these findings as we see normality resume.

 

APPLE iOS 14.6 and macOS Big Sur 11.4 now available with new Apple Podcasts subscriptions

 

  • Apple released its latest update Monday, and it’s largely focused on audio and podcast improvements, including several bug fixes and that group together shows based on the creator. 
  • This new OS update will allow Apple Music subscribers to enable lossless audio or Dolby Atmos once it’s available next month, and it also debuts Apple Podcasts subscriptions.
  • Podcasts users can now subscribe to content in the app for extra perks like ad-free and bonus content, as well as early access. 
  • Apple is also improving the Podcasts app with the ability to mark all episodes as played, recover old episodes, and remove downloads.
#4 Twitter and Tickets [May 24th 2021]

#4 Twitter and Tickets [May 24th 2021]

June 2, 2021

Welcome to The Audio Newsroom! Your go-to news platforms for the latest in the Podcast Industry.  I am your host, Hala Taha, along with my co-hosts of the day Steve Olsher and Raven Blair.

 

This is our second week and don’t expect us to be going anywhere anytime soon!


Hear it first from the movers and shakers in the Podcast Industry, from executives on product updates to top podcasters on the latest trends and insights.

 

Hosted M,W,F 12-1pm ET exclusively here Clubpod -  the biggest club for podcasters with 60K followers! Recorded and replayed on our new podcast launching today, and released every single Monday!

 

Twitter Gets Ready to Launch It’s Own Ticketing Space

  • Twitter has detailed its new Ticketed Spaces, which will be powered by Stripe to handle payments which allows users to charge admission to their live audio chat rooms in its "Spaces" feature, as they seek to attract more content creators - it was initially being piloted for those with 600+ followers.
  • Twitter introduced Spaces last year to compete with viral app Clubhouse, which as you know, catapulted the audio chat trend yet still remains limited as an invite-only app.
  • Hosts will receive up to 80% of revenue after app-store fees are taken out of ticket sales after Apple and Google’s in-app purchase fees are taken, and will roll out within the coming weeks to users with at least 1,000 followers.
  • Although only US users will be able to host these ticketed spaces for now, anyone around the globe can purchase access.
  • Requirements: Anyone who wants to charge has to have 1,000 followers, have hosted three spaces in the past 30 days, and be at least 18 years old.

Google is Revamping Its Podcasts

  • 9to5Google decompiled some lines of code that Google released about Google Podcasts recently and they found  a number of great usability upgrades for longtime users.  
  • Google is addressing one big complaint from users that follow a lot of shows. Currently, swiping through a carousel is not the fastest way to find a specific podcast.
  1. The “Home” feed is now labeled, allowing a “More” button to be added at the right. This opens a new “Subscriptions” page that leverages a grid view.
  2. “The feed of unplayed episodes in “Home” adds an overflow in the bottom-right corner of each item. It lets you quickly “Mark as played,” something that previously required opening the episode page and then the top-right corner menu.”
  3. “Another change today sees the “Activity” tab renamed to “Library.

 

Soundcloud Launches a New Clubhouse Series

 

  • SoundCloud is launching a new weekly artist event series on Clubhouse hosted by DJ, producer, entrepreneur, and former MTV host, Jasmine Solano and headlined by  “First on SoundCloud” 2021 
  • Artists include: Charmaine, Ela Minus, Kid Quill, Lourdiz, Otis Kane, Payday, Sofia Mills, and SoFaygo.
  • As part of First on SoundCloud’s new accelerator program, each week one artist will invite their closest collaborators, friends, and fans to join them in a live, deep-diving conversation into their individual creative journeys. 
  • The events will focus on each artist’s story, connecting them with other artists, influencers, entrepreneurs, industry leaders and fans 
  • This will include in-depth conversation of ideas, resource sharing and inspiration for creatives everywhere on respecting the hustle that drives career success!
#3 Spotify Takes on Audible [May 21st 2021]

#3 Spotify Takes on Audible [May 21st 2021]

May 26, 2021

Welcome to the third edition of The Audio Newsroom. Your go-to news platforms for the latest in the Podcast Industry! 

 

I’m Hala Taha, celebrity podcaster, and CEO of YAP Media, and join me as we dive into the fast-moving news world of Podcasting.

 

Netflix is Hiring For a Podcasting Department

  • Netflix is pushing further into audio and has posted a job for the Head of their Podcast Department that asks for 12 years of experience in audio, with “audio/podcast programming” experience. 
  • The move mirrors other streaming video platforms such as HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+ who have moved into audio content.
  • Jonathan Bing, spokesman for Netflix, said in a statement without further elaboration, and I quote: “Podcasts are an excellent way for fans to connect with our stories and talent, and our marketing team plans to make more of them,” 

Spotify Takes on Audible

  • Spotify announced a new partnership with audiobooks platform storytel, which will allow existing Storytel subscribers to connect their account through Spotify to access their audiobooks within Spotify’s app.
  • A competitor to Audible, Storytel offers audiobooks in a variety of languages  for a fixed monthly price (around $20/mo, but varies by market). 
  • Its unlimited library access may make it a better deal for people who listen to more than one audiobook per month.

 

Apple launches an affiliate program for paid podcast subscriptions

  • “Apple Services Performance Partner Program,” which already existed to help market other Apple services, is officially expanding to include paid podcasts!
  • “Apple Services Performance Partner Program for Apple Podcasts” will be open to anyone where they can share these new affiliate links. 
  • Basically, when users convert through the affiliate link and subscribe to a premium podcast, the partner will receive a one-time commission at 50% of the podcast subscription price, after the subscriber accumulates their first month of paid service!

 

#2 Major Podcast Acquisitions & A Podcast App Exposing Subscriber-only Shows [May 19th 2021]

#2 Major Podcast Acquisitions & A Podcast App Exposing Subscriber-only Shows [May 19th 2021]

May 23, 2021

Welcome to the second edition of The Audio Newsroom. Your go-to news platforms for the latest in the Podcast Industry. It’s already Day 2 and it’s getting hot in here!

 

I’m Hala Taha, celebrity podcaster, and CEO of YAP Media, and join me as we dive into the fast-moving news world of Podcasting.

 

Sounder Acquired Podnods, Bringing Cutting-Edge Audio Discovery and Analytics to Creators

  • Sounder, the industry’s first end-to-end audio management, distribution, monetization, and analytics platform built with and for creators,
  • Podnods is a leading podcasting discovery and analytics technology. 
  • Podnods’ AI-driven technology will be incorporated into the Sounder platform. 
  • As part of this acquisition, Podnods Co-founder and CEO Mercan Topkara will become Sounder’s new CTO

Castos announced yesterday that they’ve acquired Podiant, a hosting, marketing, and distribution platform along with their founder Mark Steadman.

  • They say that they are perfectly aligned in “focusing on great content and connecting with their audience.”

Castbox is not allowing you to enjoy subscription-only shows!

  • Leaked podcast feeds from dozens of subscription-only shows, including Wetzel’s and The Last Podcast On The Left, are available to stream through Castbox, a smaller app for both iOS and Android, just by searching for them.

 

#1: The Clubhouse Android Take Over Begins [May 17th 2021]

#1: The Clubhouse Android Take Over Begins [May 17th 2021]

May 21, 2021

Welcome to the Audio Newsroom! A podcast where we bring you the latest in the podcasting world!

 

The first Awards for Excellence in Audio were handed out Sunday night, with Cameron Esposito hosting. A few notable awards were:

 

  • Dying for Sex was named podcast of the year Sunday night during the Podcast Academy’s inaugural Awards for Excellence in Audio, also known as the Ambies.
  • In addition, Wind of Change was the night’s top winner, taking home three awards, including best host, best reporting and best nonfiction scriptwriting. In all, awards were handed out in 23 categories.
  • Also during the ceremony, WTF With Marc Maron was honored with the Governors Award, which “recognizes a podcast or individual for the compelling impact they’ve had on the industry.” Teenager Therapy received the Audio Impact Award, which “recognizes an individual or podcast that has made a significant, positive impact on its listeners.”

 

NOVA Entertainment has today announced the launch of the NOVA Entertainment Podcast Network, the latest evolution in the digital audio offering of Australia’s leading audio entertainment business.

 

Also big news coming from Spotify, they are now allowing full song use:

The New York Times reports on how podcasts on Spotify are taking a new approach to using licensed music to avoid copyright issues. Spotify allows creators to use full songs from Spotify’s music library for free, with Spotify taking a greater cut of ad revenue.

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App