page title icon Episode 003: Doug Imbruce, Descript, and Backtracks

Doug Imbruce of PODZ, Descript Improvements, and New Tech from Backtracks

Roman “Backtracks”, Pedro goes budget for a listener, and Tanner finds vindication in his disdain for RSS (Really Superannuated Syndication) during the midroll interview with Doug Imbruce of PODZ.


  1. [00:05:25] Pedro gives some budget options for editing your podcast, including one web-based solution we’ve previously discussed on the podcast.
  2. [00:17:11] Doug Imbruce suggests that podcasters need to realize it’s not actually the content drawing anyone in – it’s the personality of the creator(s).
  3. [00:30:45] Roman gives us the deets on Backtracks, a platform that recently unveiled gyro-driven, real-time metrics to track listener behavior while they’re listening (we talk practical applications in storytelling and non-storytelling podcasts).

Automated Transcript from Episode #003 (expand to view)

Automated transcripts are not 100% accurate. Please use this transcript only for cursory reference. If you need to quote any of our content, please contact us.

Tanner Campbell: Hey folks. Welcome back to real talk podcasting. My name is Tanner. I’m joined by my cohost Roman for Coke, cheque and Pedro Masia. How are you guys doing good. Doing good. How are you doing great, man, by you Roman you’re chilling. Fabulous. My understanding Robin is that you are home alone tonight.

[00:00:19] You have no limitations. We could go six hours long and nobody’s gonna be upset about it. Sure. Folks, we’re not going to go six hours long. We wouldn’t do that to you. But we do have some housekeeping to take care of right at the top. First of all, wow. We got a lot more downloads this week. Then we got last week and that’s really cool.

[00:00:34] And we also got a couple of reviews in one to shout out to be Evans. Thank you B, and to Firefly, IJ, you two said some really nice things and your five star reviews and we just really appreciate it. Also, we’re going to do something a little different. In this episode, we’re going to be interviewing someone from listen to pods.com.

[00:00:52] So we had talked about the pods app a couple of episodes ago in our first episode, if I’m not mistaken, it’s amazing. I can’t remember. We’ve only done two, so it was 50% chance. It was the first one. I, and so we’re going to kind of segue. Not segway. We’re going to wedge that interview in between the first half and second half of our show.

[00:01:09] But this time around, we’re going to put the questions at the front, from our listeners, and we’re going to put the news review at the end, and we’re gonna put the interview in the middle. So if you like that, if you think that was the right thing to do, go to rtp.link forward slash yes. And if you hated it, go to rtp.link forward slash no.

[00:01:30] And just by going to that address, we’ll get your vote. You don’t have to do anything else. I will know if you thought that was a good idea or a stupid idea, and then we’ll act accordingly.

[00:01:44] Roman Prokopchuk: Sid Meadows asks, should you add the episode number and titles? You be punished for that. Apple has come out informally saying that they don’t prefer numbers and titles and things that are, fillers or things that don’t necessarily make sense and fluff the title where you should put the number is when you upload your audio, whoever your audio host is where you select the season.

[00:02:09] If you do select one and the episode number that is taken and then pulled by. Apple podcasts. So you don’t necessarily have to do it. If you have something in terms of content and that’s a numeric 

[00:02:22] Tanner Campbell: order,

[00:02:23] Roman Prokopchuk: but you don’t necessarily have to, I’ve not seen the show get punished for putting it and I’ve tested that, but it’s frowned upon and they’ve informally said not to do it.

[00:02:39] Tanner Campbell: And if you and the reason that they told you not to do it, isn’t just what Roman just said. They don’t want you. Apple’s really good. Not good, but very well good too. But they’re also very finicky about user experience, as you might expect from a company like Apple and the reason they don’t want the numbers in there is first of all, because they put the numbers there for you.

[00:02:58] So it’s redundant, but also, as Roman said, it’s fluff. Nobody cares that it’s episode 612. First of all the app already tells you it’s episode 612. And second of all, that’s less space you can use in the title for SEO reasons. And for actually describing to the listener, what in the world they can be expecting.

[00:03:18] And Roman will tell you, but the title is a sweet spot for describing what people are supposed to be expecting from that episode. Yeah, the title is one of 

[00:03:26] Roman Prokopchuk: the strongest things that you can theoretically optimize or do some research in terms of the variation of things that you want to include in terms of what you’re talking about, topically in your show to draw in that traffic.

[00:03:38] So if you do add things like I had of that, 

[00:03:41] Tanner Campbell: like the 

[00:03:42] Roman Prokopchuk: episode number or something else, or, reiterating the show name. And the title and taking up that space, your losing valuable real estate, where you can actually be adding value for things that can cast a net to actually draw relevant 

[00:03:57] Tanner Campbell: traffic to that episode.

[00:03:59] And for those of you who might be asking what about if you’re not on Apple podcasts? Is it going to say the episode name on Spotify? Is it going to say the episode number on on overcast and the answer to that is it depends on the platform. But some platforms, Libsyn being a good example of this.

[00:04:14] They actually give you a field where you can create a title specifically for Apple podcasts, without the title, rather without the episode number. And then the primary title would go out to everywhere else. So if you really want to put your. Episode number in your titles and you use Libsyn or other ones that allow this there’s the alternate field.

[00:04:34] I think captivate does this as well. Although I don’t pay attention to it because I would never put it in an alternate name. You can specify a separate name for Apple podcasts and you can get the best of both worlds, but to go with what Roman has said, this is the title of your podcast. Episode is a place where you can actually have impact on searchability.

[00:04:50]It is a, I don’t know if it is in the code, but it seems like it probably would be an H one tag Roman. Do you know if it is. That’s a 

[00:04:57] Roman Prokopchuk: good question. It is in the H one tag, they have it, but I also saw some interesting things from a coding and a SEO perspective that I’d like to look into more and actually write something up, more formal to analyze and come back 

[00:05:14] Tanner Campbell: with my findings.

[00:05:16] Look at that, Sid asked a question that he thought was going to be easy. And we’re going to, we’re gonna get Roman to write a blog about H one tags, which will be riveting. No doubt Bader. You want to take the next question? Yeah. This next question 

[00:05:25] Pedro Maciel: comes from Ferris asking about how to edit. He said he was non-techie.

[00:05:31] And he’s on a Mac and he wants it to be either free or less than a hundred bucks. So this is where, what we talked about. Last episode, a gr studio.fm would come into play it’s web browser based, and you can do everything right from your Mac hoping up a Chrome browser or internet Explorer or whatever browser you use.

[00:05:51] And you’re able to record, you’re able to edit, you’re able to push it out to all the platforms. One touch distribution you’re even able to have guests. I think it’s up to seven. I think that’s what we talked about last week. So that would be an idea. And if you’re not looking for a web based, but want to actually get an digital audio workstation that you would take your zoom audio out from there is WAV pad is one that’s free.

[00:06:19] Garage band is free on the Mac. It does get a little tedious, but some YouTube videos could walk you through that and have you, streamline that in no time. So those are some, some options and I hope that answers your question there. Ferris. Our next question comes from a ravine.

[00:06:36] He wanted to know how do you deal with the RSS feeds and submitted them to all the players that are out there, all the different platforms. So Roman, you want to take this one? And 

[00:06:46] Tanner Campbell: Roman, just before you answer this, Ravi asked this from the position of isn’t even worth it. There are so many of these, not just like, how do you deal with it, but do you need to deal with it?

[00:06:57] Yeah. 

[00:06:57] Roman Prokopchuk: So obviously you want to submit to Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google podcasts, and from those, a lot of podcasts players aggregate and scrape and pull into them. But some of them, and a lot of them actually only take a few minutes to set up. So let’s say Amazon music. That takes probably two minutes for me personally about two months ago, I was trying to look at, top players and podcast consumption platforms around the world.

[00:07:27] So in India, Ghana and geo sovereign are the main players. So it took me probably five to 10 minutes for each submission I got approved about. A week. And then India was my sixth, most listened to a region or country. And in about two weeks, that jumped to number two behind the U S so I think for 20 minutes, it’s fair to say that amount of listenership building in an international market is worth it.

[00:07:55] So the next question comes from Mike ham. He actually mentioned that currently he has a interview based show, but he would like to work in more episodes. In between them in terms of solo episodes. So is it going to add a lot of time and is it too much content if you’re adding value to the structure of your show and you can format it where it’s doable in terms of your process and workflow currently, in terms of the time you dedicate to your show, that it definitely is because you’re already sharing in terms of the subject, matter of your show, knowing your show in its niche.

[00:08:30] And if you have. Segments that may be you structure them maybe 10 to 20 minutes, obviously shorter than your interviews, that would definitely add value to your audience. And I think wouldn’t be too much of a burden for your production process. 

[00:08:45] Tanner Campbell: And our second and last question for this episode comes from Billy Thorpe.

[00:08:48] Billy asks, what beer do you all drink while editing and recording? I’ll tell you the beer that I drank while editing. Cause I’m the one that does, that really depends on what beer I have in my fridge. It’s whatever is there. Sometimes that’s a Mickle tra sorry, everyone. I apologize for that.

[00:09:04] Sometimes it’s a Stella as it is going to be tonight. And other times, if I’m really lucky up here in Maine, we only have IPA’s seems to be the only kind of beer that exists in Maine much to my great chagrin, but if I can get away with it, A nice dark stout of any variety, because they’re so rare.

[00:09:19] Appears like finding gold or a four-leaf Clover. What about you, Pedro? I 

[00:09:23] Pedro Maciel: love Sam Adams, Boston lager. I’m more of a lager person, Stella as well. And then, like you said, whatever’s in the fridge, make a local church, Corona, premier. Those are my goals 

[00:09:33] Tanner Campbell: and you’re afraid sometimes that’s a minibar. So sometimes you might get real lucky.

[00:09:37] Yeah. Sometimes I might get real 

[00:09:38] Pedro Maciel: lucky and have a little shot of Jack, a little bit of vodka, depending on what it is. But a lot of times it’s just a mini fridge that I have to say. I talk myself 

[00:09:47] Tanner Campbell: with a water. It’s got the, it’s got like Zephyrhills water with a tag on it. Don’t drink this. We’ll charge you $5.

[00:09:54] Yes. What about you? Roman? 

[00:09:56] Roman Prokopchuk: Allagash white and I stock winter 

[00:10:00] Tanner Campbell: ale. That’s my dude drinking some main beers down there in Jersey. Love it. And our last question is not actually a question at all. If you go to rtp.link forward slash Haiti, you’re going to discover a guy who calls himself the Haitian chef. And I have a soft spot for Haiti.

[00:10:17] I went there in 2011 to do some. Relief work following the earthquake of 2010 was installing some bio sand water filtration devices to combat the cholera epidemic down there. I, and really fell in love with the country it’s and it’s people who were unbelievably positive even given the complete disaster they were surrounded by and are still to some extent surrounded by and the Haitian chef whose name is Stefan.

[00:10:41] And again, you can go to rtp.link forward slash Haiti to find out more about the Haitian food and wine festival. He also has a mission. That’s all about bringing and maybe elevating is a good word, traditional Haitian cuisine and helping young people who are interested in becoming great chefs in Haiti to be able to afford to go to culinary school.

[00:11:02]He himself is a graduate of Johnson and Wales. And my sister was a graduate of Johnson and Wales. Actually, she went for pastry and it was a very expensive education. I think he said he spent 40 grand on it and his organization down there in Haiti. He’s on the South coast, by the way, we reminisced about that because that was the area that I was an impetigo.

[00:11:17] He’s putting kids through culinary school that he’s helping to teach for. I want to say it was around like $5,000, which is significantly less. So definitely go to rtp.link forward slash Haiti, learn about that organization and see what you can do to get involved. His website’s currently under construction, so I can’t send you there, but the link I just gave you will take you to the Facebook page and you can learn more about it.

[00:11:39] And if you want to get involved, you can. And with that, we’re going to jump into our discussion with Doug and Bruce, who is the CEO of pods, the app that we talked about in our previous episode, in a previous episode, which you can find more about@listentopodswithaz.com, or you can just listen to this interview and learn more about right now.

[00:12:00] Doug Imbruce: I think we really hit a nerve with it. With audio creators do, you can call them podcasters, but we think the medium of podcasting itself is really legacy and it, we’re audio is right now reminds us of where the web was or the, the internet itself. About 20 years ago,

[00:12:18] you had these incredibly thoughtful, passionate subject matter experts creating into this. Legacy format and publishing into siloed directories that are decades old, which don’t do. I only want to say great job. Don’t do any job connecting the right listeners with the right creators.

[00:12:39]The reason that platforms like Tik TOK and Twitter have scale is that they’re able to generate. Enough signal because of the frequency of consumption to personalize the experience, to elevate that long tail and connect the right creator with the right consumer at the right time. And that’s why with pods, yes.

[00:12:56] What before he was a great discovery app, but what we really invested in it and where we started was building this transformational MLA or. That could automatically create short form content, deliver it in a feed and mimic the discovery and consumption patterns and environment. Of every other form of digital media that have really grown the creator

[00:13:16] Tanner Campbell: class

[00:13:20] that is Doug and Bruce, the CEO of the pods app. And boy, Oh boy. If you think we liked the pods app before. After getting a chance to talk to this seasoned veteran of entrepreneurship within the tech space and getting to hear the passion in his voice and the heart of his mission. We like him all the more.

[00:13:41] And that goes for all the others at the pods team, an interview originally published on tech crunch, which we will link in the description of this episode. Bruce mentioned creator tools for podcasters. So the first thing I asked him was whether or not any of these creator tools would be aimed at helping podcasters to monetize more easily.

[00:14:01] Here’s what he had to say. 

[00:14:02]Doug Imbruce: Patrion and Glo and other companies that have begun this process, thinking about how to help creators make podcasting or audio content creation, a lucrative and full-time occupation which it should be for far more people. They all innovate on one side of the equation.

[00:14:18] They build one side of the experience. And I think that makes sense because our traditional podcasting RSS. All the tools that have that made podcasting so wonderful, this open ecosystem, they, quite frankly, in order to be effectively monetized, they need to be replaced. And the only, marketplaces that have been successful when you look at other forms of digital media really, it’s not rocket science, right?

[00:14:41] Text and video. These influencers are creating content that doesn’t even, it’s I scroll through Instagram and I listen to podcasts. And I’m like the gap here is just so significant and from a personal place, that’s why the team you works so hard. Yes, of course. We want to create, and then, great outcomes and builds a profitable, company and then have a great exit.

[00:15:02] But, we were just shocked when this sort of dawned on us that there’s no kind of high-quality platform that leverages all of the obvious and existing network effects of social media. In audio. So 

[00:15:15] Tanner Campbell: this is really interesting because like right now you’ve said some things in that statement.

[00:15:19] That’s like blasts to a lot of people who’ve been in this game for a long time. I am somewhat known for being extremely critical of the RSS spec, because I think it’s obnoxiously limited and I think it needs to die. But there’s a big concern within the artist, community, creative community that if you take away the.

[00:15:37] Open and free nature of that and replace it with something that’s a closed system that you do something to permanently damage, the medium or the art form is some people view it, but at the same time, you’ve also said some things in there about there is no high quality way of delivering these things that aren’t technically like offline.

[00:15:52] Maybe you want to print it to CD or make the wave available on like a band camp or something like that. And with all these new technologies that are becoming it’s so funny because we’ve been talking about this week and the prior week we talked about binaural audio recordings, three-dimensional audio, like how great does that audio sound when being delivered at 96 kilobit per second on a crappy data connection?

[00:16:15] Not so good. Wouldn’t it be great. If we could get lossless audio streaming, how are we going to do that with the existing limitations to be in the podcast hosting providers don’t want to host, one gig size wave files for a 20 minute audio experience. So I think that it’s very obvious something needs to change.

[00:16:32]It’s reassuring to hear somebody else. And somebody in your position talking about that same thing, it’s so funny, 

[00:16:38] Doug Imbruce: it’s a speak to podcasters or true craftsmen craftswomen and artisans and recent that they gravitate towards the medium as they have these, this deep subject area expertise, because they’re passionate, thoughtful people.

[00:16:49] But the idea that this honoring like this legacy, format, it just doesn’t make any sense to us. RSS is from another era. And I think like the community at large, pushing towards it’s really funny like I’m going to be so Spotify stream on, but like Spotify, I fi I understand there’s a segment of the market that really cares, but look at the sense of clubhouse where I think you guys all met.

[00:17:11] I think audio creators need to understand, and this might be, I certainly can work on Microsoft awareness as well, but I think audio hunters, easy to understand it’s about them as people. And, I think the same thing could have been said for bloggers a decade ago. I just, I was just looking at Twitter this morning and Alex Lieberman, he spoke about how the barrier to entry on podcasts is very low.

[00:17:30] Various success is high because there’s infinite competition, finite attention, bad share-ability bad discoverability. And then someone named Matthew Lowry, who I’m sure is important. I haven’t had his profile yet. He wrote this could have been tweeted about blogging, except that was pre Twitter.

[00:17:44] I worked at Yahoo and not to disparage my former employer, but I think similar from when the web removed from this directory driven format to search, I remember as a teenager reading about this lawsuit where webmasters had sued Google because Google was indexing and presenting snippets of their webpages.

[00:18:02]And I think that’s an example of just, the traditional resistance to formats evolving. Ultimately of course, was Google good for the web and for. I guess that’s a use a term to age myself, but webmasters, I think it was. And I think that, hopefully it’s pods, but I think there will be some company that innovates the audio format and that demonstrates how it can help these individual audio creators grow as personalities first.

[00:18:30] And audio professionals second. No we’re focused on personalities. I think that, when we advertise the ability to add your pop, your ads, your podcast, to our index, for us, it was more about building a database of audio personalities, not about technically indexing, RSS feeds. So we have a process that when we get a submission, we look up and create a profile on the personality.

[00:18:48]And we’re building a list of creators. Who will be approaching two tests, the first version of our creator tool within the next 90 days, we hope so that was more about personality profile and the technical process of indexing RSS feeds. 

[00:19:03] Tanner Campbell: So there’s a considerable amount of AI behind this. More than maybe you’ve talked about previously more than people might think.

[00:19:09] It’s not just about finding content that people might find interesting. There’s you’re building profiles of personality profiles now, Roman and I have a person. Yeah. 

[00:19:18] Doug Imbruce: That’s a great personality. So there should be a 

[00:19:20] Tanner Campbell: profile of match. So that’s interesting. It means that, you’re familiar with pod chaser I’m sure.

[00:19:24]And I like what pod chaser is trying to do. But it’s almost like the. Pod chaser experience is directly removed from the listening experience. They’re two separate things and it seems like you’re trying to bring those two things together. So is there, and I’m going to pass this over to Roman and I’ll prep this question on that Roman pick it up.

[00:19:42] There must be something more planned for within the app. Some more user based experience profiles, things like that. Roman, do you want take it from here? Yeah. 

[00:19:50] Roman Prokopchuk: So things that are being done in terms of, I think the biggest kind of hurdle for. Independent podcasters is obviously growing an audience. If they’re starting from, phase one where they’re not carrying over some kind of notoriety from some kind of other audience.

[00:20:06]Is there any plans for having something in app to build a, community with the listeners around the show, more so some kind of interaction or engagement and maybe something in app in terms of helping podcasts there’s markets such as I love the audio clip, it’s superior to most audio grams, and obviously it has the machine learning.

[00:20:29] Picking that best piece of audio. So the availability to share and take that, off platform in terms of converting it to the right sizes and utilizing it for podcasters to, in my opinion, save a lot of time and promote the highlight or the main point, and that can really connect with their audiences.

[00:20:48] Doug Imbruce: Yeah, 100%. We hoped that the investment in this transformational layer, this as you referred to it, this kind of AI platform was useful to listeners, but we also distribute every video that’s created. Every highlight, we call it to the podcast or themselves via email. And obviously you can imagine that the next step would be allowing folks to.

[00:21:09]Customize, customize those videos. We’re also working on voice fingerprinting texts. Once we ingest a podcast, this is part of the reason why we build personality profiles. We actually identify the Hearst’s voice. And as soon as every new podcast is published or new piece of audio, whether credited our app or on another platform is indexed live, be able to actually attach the avatar, which avatars of hosts and guests appearing in those audio grams.

[00:21:32] It has been something we’ve had a lot of great feedback on, obviously it’s a personality driven medium. So you want to see the personality? Yeah. I 

[00:21:38] Roman Prokopchuk: mean that, that’s awesome and saves a lot of time because as Tanner mentioned, like a platform like pod chaser, it’s supposed to be meant more of a, a connection point for potential listeners and for pod-casters.

[00:21:51] But a lot of what’s being done is manual. So having that tagging and association automatically have that audio. Across, I would probably the show that we’re speaking about it. And then I guess other shows, correct. If I was being a guest on another show, it would tag it as 

[00:22:07] Doug Imbruce: well, a hundred percent.

[00:22:08] That’s we’re trying to build a database of 

[00:22:10] Roman Prokopchuk: voices there. Yeah, no, that’s awesome. And creating a portfolio or like a, body of work for me to easily highlight, the interviews I do on other shows as well as. You know this show and anything else. I think that’s an awesome feature.

[00:22:22] Doug Imbruce: There should be a landing page, pods that coasts less, Roman pay with all of your appearances. The fact that it doesn’t exist already, given that Elon Musk is talking about colonizing Mars and like the, we think like I’ve always talked about the most state-of-the-art method of tagging and podcasts is literally mentioning your hosts and guests names and then saying, Hey, go look them up on this platform or that platform.

[00:22:40] It’s just such a low hanging fruit guys. There’s just so much to do. And we sit around and products. Brainstorms all day long and we ask why hasn’t this been done yet? And I think it’s because it’s requires the know really talented team and it really tells the team requires a lot of capital.

[00:22:54] And I think just now that the venture community is waking up to the fact that audio can be a big business. And I think the growth of clubhouse is really exciting and is a great talent for us and has made our capital raising a lot easier. 

[00:23:09] Roman Prokopchuk: Yeah. And speaking of clubhouse, obviously this, friendship and podcasts formed out of clubhouse and us having similar, points of view minds and why we’re there.

[00:23:19] And I think the big thing is, why we did the podcast and how the launch ended up going is. Us adding value to begin with and building a listener base that would be interested in the subject matter of the show who would be creating. So it was like a pre-built launchpad. So if there’s a way, obviously moving forward in the app where it’s like a more personal connection where guests and hosts can interact after the fact or the actual audience has some kind of, foothold or touch point to the actual host, I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from listeners.

[00:23:52]On a clubhouse and it’s really added in terms of that feedback to the overall content creation and what I should maybe do more of, or do less of in terms of the show as 

[00:24:03] Doug Imbruce: well. No, look, I think clubhouses. Done many things, I think they were like the first product team to realize that the benefit of audio or is it’s highly collaborative and leverage that into really reducing all the friction around around creating content.

[00:24:16]The engineering at the edges, it’s just like a little bit the notifications and things is okay, it’s brilliant. But I think that, high quality audio creators such as yourselves I’d seem to feel a bit overwhelmed by the experience. I think that, it was launched into a pandemic and we’re obviously, the largest captive audience.

[00:24:32] In history. So the idea that all the content is live is great because it creates urgency. And again, it’s brilliant social design, but we feel that as you scale up the quality spectrum and think about, how do you allow for the effortless low-friction creation of more permanent high quality content?

[00:24:48] We can net a lot. Yeah. There. And one of the things we think about internally is that, Snapchat is the clubhouse because of, in the world of photo and video where it innovated this very casual kind of many, too many. A femoral photo and video experience, but then Instagram focused on a bit higher quality creators with a one-to-many experience and much more robust creation tools and succeeded, differently.

[00:25:10]And so is there a world where clubhouse and pods split the world of audio between them? I, I hope 

[00:25:15] Tanner Campbell: so, but do you mind if I ask the question about fireside, do you guys have any. Are you in contact in any way? Do you guys know each other within the space? You’re all operating within a very similar, we’re all talking about audio right now.

[00:25:27] So I’m just curious as to whether or not there’s any cross-pollination between these two platforms. 

[00:25:31]Doug Imbruce: The, it’s similar to your industry, everybody knows each other. And it’s actually funny cause I, just everybody else read the clubhouse news, obviously Mark Cuban, such an exciting personality.

[00:25:42] And I think. Similar to, our efforts with Katie Kirk and prep, really Paris Hilton. We think firesides really smart, similar to this app called dispo that I’m sure you’ve heard of which launched you need to launch like product. And then as product people, this is of frustrating to us.

[00:25:55] I think high quality product has been replaced by high quality personalities and you need that influencer and that piece of it to successfully launch anything, and in audio, I think, you really can’t get much done without the sort of patient zero creator. And it’s exciting that Mark Cuban is going to be that for fireside.

[00:26:13] And this is my CTO at quickie. My first company was actually the CTO of the founder of firesides company. So yes, we know them. I think you’re going to see, many apps like fireside. I remember when quickie launched into kind of the six month period that defined. Mobile video, there were dozens and dozens of apps that attempted to address this, like again, explosion of content being created on the device, similar to, there’s going to be, I think, many companies launched to address the explosion of audio creation because it’s consumer technologists, you work alongside platform shifts, right?

[00:26:44] So for me and for our team, There really are no opportunities until there are these overwhelmingly, giant opportunities. And so the, that first opportunity was the shift from attention from desktop to mobile. And then you could maybe say alongside that was, the opportunity in crypto, we’re not crypto people, right?

[00:26:59] The reinvention of money to make finance decentralized. But for us, the next shift that was obvious when we started working on this problem three years ago was the shift from on the device. Immediate consumption to consumption via wearables, largely AirPods. And when you think about the fact that.

[00:27:14]There were more AirPods sold in the first year of that product’s introduction in 2017 than there were iPhone sold during the first year of that product’s introduction in 2007, I think we understand the headroom that audio has in terms of growth. So there’ll be tons of folks creating many different types of tools to help us build that final piece of our digital footprint via our voice.

[00:27:36] Of course, I think our team, given that we started by investing in this deep technology layer. And I’ve been really thoughtful about that transformative step that any medium needs to do take to be reinvented. So Twitter reinvented texts with the platform based on creative limits, Tik TOK reinvented video, going around the same types of creative limits, but this really immersive consumption environment, we think that we’ve done a lot of the heavy lifting to get audio there.

[00:28:00] And other folks are going to have trouble catching 

[00:28:02] Tanner Campbell: up. It’s interesting. So some of what you said there was essentially we need more of what we’re doing. We need more of what clubhouse is doing, and that needs to become somewhat of a normal thing in a product sense in order for people to realize and take it seriously.

[00:28:17] And for it to get better 

[00:28:19] Doug Imbruce: rising tide lifts, all ships. I can’t tell you, look, we have a very strong team, we set out, remember when we won tech ranch, I said, we wanna, we’re going to change the world. Maybe we didn’t change the world, but we build a hell of an app.

[00:28:28]And, we went around 18 months ago and we started talking about building new tools for audio creators. And these venture capitalists looks at me like, get out of here. You’re not this guy’s lost it. He’s done. And then I think Spotify had purchase anchor and Gimlet and, Oh my gosh, people started listening.

[00:28:45] Two podcasts that weren’t that signal early adopter. Change doesn’t happen. Then it happens all at once and we’re so happy to live through that era. Again, 

[00:28:53] Tanner Campbell: question I had for Doug was whether or not there was anything he wanted us to know that he hadn’t been asked in any of the interviews that he’s done in the first quarter of this year, relative to.

[00:29:04] The pods app. 

[00:29:05] Doug Imbruce: It’s just very important for folks to know that how much we respect the creators. And we respect the industry that we’re trying to use. And we say modernize, but we don’t say that out of a place of our arrogance. We say that as of a place of grateful respect that we get to stand on the shoulders of all this amazing work.

[00:29:24] I follow this guy, Nick Quah, who I guess writes pod news or something, or pop hot pod newsletter. And I think he I saw something he wrote ah, they’re trying to solve podcast discovery by transforming content, to art form, making a consumable and a feed. And I’m reading that. I’m like yeah, that’s exactly what we’re trying to do to make this a modern experience that generates signals allows for personalization.

[00:29:42] And we said, that seems like I’m trying to change the subject when you answer a question. And I just thought, gosh, that’s sad because that makes us feel so disconnected from audio creators, who we literally work, 12, 15 hours a day to try and figure out how to enable and how to help grow.

[00:29:59] So I, I think like any industry and what I would ask for, if I have an opportunity to speak candidly, Every industry needs to be reinvented and migrated. Because our, the pace of change in, in, in digital technology is astounding and we just want to be here to help.

[00:30:13]And I think that’s what I hope people take away from every interview.

[00:30:24] Tanner Campbell: Hope you enjoyed that interview with Doug and Bruce. We’re going to get back to the regularly scheduled part of our podcast, where we review some of the things. From last week’s podcasting news. And we’re going to start with Roman. Who’s got something about backtrack. What’s that let’s find out.

[00:30:45] Roman Prokopchuk: So this is pretty cool in terms of just functionality, backtrack, unveils, a touchless interactive podcasting and audio technology that allows immersive listening experiences with a simple head nod. So this basically. Works off Apple technology and other technologies and works with their analytics and their SDK, which is their software development kits.

[00:31:12] So it pulls real time data, which is awesome. So they understand what listeners are doing in terms of head positioning. If they’re nodding left to right up and down, and also what they’re doing in terms of an activity. So if they’re running, if they’re walking, if they’re driving, if the car is stationary, In other movements, which is awesome to really understand or get an idea of how your listeners are consuming your content.

[00:31:38] And not only that you can create immersive experiences as well. So with storylines, you can have different paths or A adventure type thing where, you start out the show and based on the way nod your head or turn your head, you can take a different content path. So really bridges and content, and really creating your own experience within the content.

[00:32:02] So yes, content creators and podcasters may have a more. Difficult time in terms of structuring their shows and turn in terms of those kinds of content paths. But the possibilities of taking audio to the next level are immense as well as I see capabilities for people that may be paralyzed or situations like that, where they can utilize head movements to actually.

[00:32:29] Immerse themselves in stories and different other formats where they couldn’t before, where they needed, obviously to slide or use a voice command. So the possibility that, of this to advance audio and specifically podcasts are. 

[00:32:46]Tanner Campbell: Unlimited. How do you imagine something like this might be, obviously we’ve got like the, choose your own story thing, right?

[00:32:52] Choose your own adventure books. Everybody remembers those. If you’re over a certain age, you remember them anyway. That’s an obvious go-to for this. But what if Roman, what if you are an interview podcast? Is there a place for this? Could you maybe create segmented versions of the interview? Is that a thing you think.

[00:33:08] Roman Prokopchuk: You could, and you can, record maybe different segments to begin with, or you can possibly do it if you have a loose format and then maybe you want, let’s say two specific questions that then encompass and go a little bit deeper. So if you don’t want to know something about a guest in terms of like his.

[00:33:27] Professional journey may be you just care about his personal life and those hurdles you’ve overcome. You get a whole different content experience and you can choose to consume the interview more of a personal format versus more of a professional format. I can see it being done like 

[00:33:45] Tanner Campbell: that. I really feel like that’s going to increase the replay value of an episode.

[00:33:50]Cause right now podcasts episodes that are interview style have no replay value. Not really right. Maybe you get the snippet and so you, if you use simple cast, maybe recast it out and you share it or something, but. I don’t find myself frequently going back to listen to an interview a second time, unless I missed something.

[00:34:05] And it was only half listening. But with this, you remember those ads that came out, let’s say maybe the first one I saw was 2017, 2016, where you had these video ads where you could choose the path of the video ad. That feels like you could do that with an interview where, today we’re interviewing person a and person B.

[00:34:22] But you got to choose who you want to hear the interview from. And then within the interview, there’s, if you want to hear our discussion with Dave about his childhood, lean left, and then that creates a situation where obviously your episode might be a bit longer or each individual segment might be shorter for that matter, but it means people will come back to listen to the alternate.

[00:34:42] All, every one of those decision trees is a new version of the podcast, right? So it’s got to increase replay value. That’s right. 

[00:34:48] Roman Prokopchuk: And you actually made a good point also because you can create basically head gesture based ad formats as well. So it opens up the possibilities to have even more advertising, not to say that you want to stuff your show with ads, but based on the experience, if you take a different kind of, content path, something may be more pertinent.

[00:35:10] For one direction versus the other. So theoretically you have two paths, you have two advertising possibilities that may be pertinent for one and the other specifically. 

[00:35:20] Tanner Campbell: So that it’s actually just occurred to me, as you were saying that imagine a political discussion podcast and you’ve got candidate a and candidate B having a discussion.

[00:35:28] And when you agree with a candidate, you might do something like, say, yeah, And nod your head. And so the app picks up on that and decides to deliver a different kind of ad, like you’re going to get a liberal or a conservative based ad delivery based on who you’re nodding to agree with or who you’re shaking your head to not agree with that.

[00:35:44] That’s neat. That’s a little concerning. I don’t know that I like that in that particular use case, but some real possibilities there. That’s pretty cool, super interesting stuff there as usual from Roman and all this new. All these new ways of grading content by neural audio, 3d audio. Now this, I feel like there’s just a lot of really cool stuff on the horizon.

[00:36:02] Pedro, you’ve got something for us. This is in a different direction, but also I think pretty cool for those of us who like myself or I’m an audio editor podcast editor. Tell us about it. LinkedIn is starting 

[00:36:12] Pedro Maciel: to talk about and put some things into place to actually get a marketplace on LinkedIn. And for those that are out there that use LinkedIn for business, LinkedIn is mainly in, was mainly to find jobs, but now the content creation and everything that goes into it has.

[00:36:31] Grown with that platform. It means owned by Microsoft. They’re throwing a lot of money into it to help the creative portion of the content creators to keep people going. So what does this mean? Just to put it in perspective? LinkedIn has about 740 million users and it’s revenue last year in 2020, hit $8.8 billion.

[00:36:55] And that’s through their membership subscription and the job ads. So with them having a gig marketplace for content creators, you being a single brand, a single person with the personal image, your own personal website, podcasts, whatever it may be. Now you can tap into this market and. Offer some of those services to be able to get some money, maybe some corporate entities might want to invest in your services that you have on there for brands.

[00:37:27] If you have a brand I E a podcast, this will also put you in the running for not only the video in the story as that will be coming along. But more partnerships that come, with some of those influencers that have, 10,000 to a hundred thousand followers and to collaborate a little bit more, which then, LinkedIn’s end game is too.

[00:37:51] Invest in the content creator make it more lucrative and a revenue sharing inside that ecosystem that they have there and LinkedIn. So I thought this was very good because as a podcaster on LinkedIn, getting an audience from LinkedIn and tapping into those corporate markets, that definitely would be beneficial to have.

[00:38:12] This 

[00:38:12] Tanner Campbell: marketplace. I personally am hecka excited about this because one of the hardest things to do as a freelance podcast editor is find corporate clients because it’s hard to just randomly approach them. You wouldn’t even know who to approach and. This LinkedIn marketplace seems like it’s going to flip the relationship.

[00:38:31] They’re going to be able to approach you. And this really, for those of you who may have paid more attention to LinkedIn than others LinkedIn recently purchased not recently. This is going back a few years. lynda.com, L Y N D a.com. And. Seeing this now happen. It really seems like a natural evolution of what I think they are building is an education and services platform.

[00:38:52]It’s easy for me to say that now having seen both of these things together, but I think they’re building something that we’re not really entirely clear on what it’s going to turn into. I think they’ve got something up their sleeve. Microsoft’s made a lot of really interesting acquisitions over the last decade.

[00:39:06] They got Skype. They’ve got. Lynda.com. Pedro, you mentioned that they had purchased something else recently. Didn’t you or Microsoft purchased LinkedIn. Microsoft 

[00:39:16] Pedro Maciel: purchased LinkedIn and LinkedIn ended up getting up council, which is lawyers for people to find lawyers on LinkedIn. So you go to UpCounsel and you’re able to get directed to some of those little core corporate lawyers, some of the ones that dabble in the environmental, some of the ones that dabble into, your monetary stuff that you would do from a business standpoint.

[00:39:36] So that is a, is definitely Interesting fun fact. And I say that because it’s, I use LinkedIn. And like you said, now the tables end up turning to where now, instead of us doing a whole lot of grind work to go find that corporate entity that we might want to work with. Now that corporate entities are going to start looking for us and us throw a gig up there and say, Hey, I want to work with this person 

[00:39:59] Tanner Campbell: or this.

[00:40:00]Imagine how many of us as podcasters could be viewed as voice talent, pretty easily. Or a lot of the corporate clients that come to me, one of the first questions they asked me and that I wish I could say yes to more frequently is, do you have somebody who could host the podcast for us? Do you have any talent?

[00:40:16] And I have some local talent, but if it’s not a good fit voice wise, accents, if they’re growing for something in particular, I don’t have access to a huge pool of talent. This sounds like a good way for podcasters to, you’re talking about making pages. I think you mentioned Pedro in a clubhouse chat and maybe just now creating a business page for your podcast puts you in a position where you can list on this directory.

[00:40:36] And all of a sudden you’re noticed by people who are interested. I think LinkedIn is building something really smart here. I don’t know what their end game plan is like their long-term five five-year from now 10 year plan. But I think that this little social network that has always been kinda writes, like it started off as Oh, LinkedIn.

[00:40:53] And then it got a little more interesting and LinkedIn is a place where, I think all three of us are fans of Gary Vaynerchuk. He’s always saying LinkedIn as a place where you can get a lot of organic attention right now versus, these places where you can no longer get organic attention like Twitter and Facebook.

[00:41:08] And even now to some extent, Instagram is fading. It’s not as easy to get that organic reach on Instagram. So you’ve got this huge rise in organic potential on LinkedIn and Roman. I’d love for you to comment on that. What do you think about LinkedIn doing this? Does this seem like a really cool move, a smart move.

[00:41:23] What do you think might be going on here in the background? Do you think they have an end game? It’s 

[00:41:26] Roman Prokopchuk: smart. When I think I got on LinkedIn in 2009 or 10, where it was like your digital resume, if you will. And it started emerging into a content, play a play for creators a LinkedIn specific.

[00:41:45] Content platform where they encourage where you create unique content, that’s only found on LinkedIn and you keep people on LinkedIn that your content tends to be performing a lot more favorably than you put a link taking you somewhere to an external site. So they want to be, the Kings of. I guess professional content, which they already are the platform or go-to platform for business professionals.

[00:42:14]I can see it as another way to possibly 

[00:42:15] Tanner Campbell: monetize as well and professional services. Right now. What are your options? If you want to find a podcast editor and you’re a business you’re searching Facebook, you may even be looking on indeed. Maybe you’re placing an ad on indeed, but who’s looking for podcasts, editing jobs on indeed.

[00:42:32] Who’s looking for producer jobs on indeed. I don’t know if you’ve ever searched it. Some people might. I have in the past, but there are not many hiring opportunities for podcast producers. Sometimes you get some like big thing out of New York and they’re looking for somebody that’s very, it’s not, there are not a ton of them.

[00:42:47] So putting this opportunity in front of the business, people, by putting it on the business, people would a funny way to refer to them. But in front of a corporate individuals, by putting it on this platform, that’s all about business. I think it’s going to be great. I think it’s going to kill and I’ll bet you I’ll make a bet.

[00:43:03] Pedro Roman called shot all create one of these as soon as I’m able to I’ll apply for the beta whenever that opens. And I will bet you that within three months I pull at least one top dollar client from this platform on LinkedIn challenge accepted there, buddy. I don’t know how I’m going to confirm that happened because I’d have to share it and they’d have to be okay with that.

[00:43:24] But we’ll figure something out. I’ll screenshot a Stripe invoice or something, and it won’t be from my mom. It’ll be real. I’ll have to blank some things out. We’ll figure it out. In the last episode we talked about how descript was maybe making some changes. We had talked about, Oh, wouldn’t it be better if they could remove ums more easily?

[00:43:42] And we thought maybe they had made that change with those refining edit boundaries language. That was all of a sudden in their most recent update. And sure enough found an article on descript from a couple of days prior, which I don’t think got picked up anywhere. Talking about a lot of updates they’ve made.

[00:43:58] And in one of those paragraphs, amongst some other things. In fact, before I get to that paragraph, let’s talk about everything that they did in this February, 2021 update. First of all, you can now hit the space bar to play and stop. This is something that’s really native to audio editing programs. You’re used to hitting space bar to start the play head, to start the transport that is they’ve done a complete overhaul of their transcript corrections.

[00:44:20] So it’s different now when you are. Wanting to change the spelling of something it used to be. You have to edit text or edit media now. And I hated this at first. It will be really honest. I really hated this. It didn’t feel natural because of what I was used to using the platform. What you do now is you highlight the area that you want to change, and you get a little like tool tip field that pops up and you can just re type in the tool tip field.

[00:44:44] It’s a little unnatural at first, but it’s actually comes to be a much better workflow. They’re also adding room tone. So descript, this is I’m quoting the article. Now descript now automatically adds room tone to gaps in your recordings. They have a video on this. That is pretty cool. It’s them capturing the room tones and I’m looking at a guy right now.

[00:45:01] Who’s standing in a room with what looks to be maybe a sure. SM seven B. And he’s just collecting room tone from like a bedroom with no, no acoustic treatment in it. So I’m imagining, even though I haven’t watched the video, I would encourage you to go do it. They probably took a bunch of common microphones and walked into a bunch of common spaces and that’s pretty clever.

[00:45:20] I don’t just like that idea. They added smart edits. So it says now when you remove filler words, and this is what we talked about, we work behind the scenes to optimize the edit boundaries and make them sound more natural. This is another one that you may not have even noticed at first, have we noticed two guys and we wanted it.

[00:45:38] You’ll just notice that you find yourself tweaking edits less often. Webcam recording, highly requested feature this I’m again, I’m quoting the article here. When creating a screen recording, you can now record your webcam. This is something that loom offers. This is something that Vimeo recorder and desktop capture offers.

[00:45:56] So glad to see that they do it now, streamlined publishing they’ve added, they’ve partnered with captivate and a couple of other podcasting platform podcast hosting providers, so that you can automatically publish your episodes right from descript, which is cool and convenient. If you’re using descript to edit, I don’t, I use it for transcription and audio gram creation, but.

[00:46:16] Increasingly, it’s getting to be a pretty good value proposition for $30 a month. Guys, I might lose some clients have a need that LinkedIn marketplace to shill my descript services. Six new publishing integration partners, including Buzzsprout captivate E webinar, headliner. Hello, audio podcast, co potty hunt and video ask.

[00:46:36] Pretty cool. They’ve also optimized the amount of storage space that The files will take up on the local machine. And this is pretty cool. I like this a lot. Vimeo offers this for their pro users animated gifts. Instead of an audio gram, you can now export some of your video because you can edit video in descript.

[00:46:53] If you were not aware, you can now take some frames and create an animated gift right there in descript. And for anybody who’s ever downloaded, like an iOS app to create animated gifs, it’s not exactly the easiest process to do. It’s a pain, especially if you’re not very technical and the apps always try to watermark it with something.

[00:47:08] And so you’re sharing a watermark. It’s really nice to be able to do this. If you’re editing video, indescript so lots of updates from descript. Very happy to share that and glad that we picked up on that. And. Weren’t completely out of our minds for thinking that might be what they were doing.

[00:47:21] And then lastly, this is ripped directly from the headline. Spotify puts focus on monetization with new ad network subscription options for podcasters as well. This one was originally reported from insider radio.com. We’ll put a link in the description and it seems like Spotify is going to give pod-casters a way to create subscription-based content on their platform.

[00:47:42] Real smart. Really wish Apple would beat them to that punch, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. Folks. I think Spotify is going to get it. Exciting. I know I’ll be creating some subscription-based content. Maybe we’ll have RTP premium Spotify exclusive. Just kidding guys. We’ll never do that RTP plus Roman, or like you get kicked off the show.

[00:48:03] If we do that’s a wrap. For this episode is a wrap for the news. We hope you enjoyed our interview with Doug. We hope that you enjoy hearing more about pods. It is a really sweet app and I’ve just been using it more and more every day, Pedro as well. And I think even Roman, who has so much going on, I’m not going to share for him, but Roman is probably the busiest dude I’ve ever met and he’s using it.

[00:48:24] He’s finding a way to still listen to podcasts. So thank you for listening today. We really appreciate you being here. Thanks again to those of you who are leaving us reviews. Please remember checkout real talk, podcasting.com to get new articles every week about things that happened during the week, and be sure to hang out in our rooms on clubhouse.

[00:48:41] If you’re using the, if you’re using the app, if you have access to it, and if you don’t and you have iOS, we’ll consider giving it a shot. Cause you can hang out with us three times a day. Five days a week. If you’re not getting enough of us here, you’ll be tired of us by the end of a week or maybe even just a day.

[00:48:54] Anyway. Thanks again, Pedro Roman, you guys are the best. I appreciate you doing this with me and allowing me to do it with you. Say goodbye to the nice people duper box in ya at the Hills.

Home » Blog » Episode 003: Doug Imbruce, Descript, and Backtracks

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