page title icon Episode 008: Big Libby Goes BigMo

Big Libby, you know them as LibSyn, is making BigMos (that’s, big moves).

Roman and Pedro have left Tanner to his own devices, and you know what that means… pizza party!


  1. [00:01:42] Libsyn to Acquire AdvertiseCast. Big Libby making moves!
  2. [00:05:26] Steven Goldstein of AmplifiMedia has some numbers for us.
  3. [00:17:56] Dan Misener has some insights on Apple Podcast Categories.
  4. [00:34:00] Listener Max Billington asks, “What is ListenNotes.com and is it useful?”

Reference Links

Libsyn to Acquire AdvertiseCast [source]

Steven Goldstein’s Numbers [source]

Omny Studio’s Podcast Downloads Data [source]

Dan Misener’s Most Crowded Podcast Categories [source]

Thanks to our Listeners for their questions

Casey Boda & Rafael Di Furia, Max Billington of The Wolf and The Shepherd, and Connor Lites of The Winery Crasher podcast.

Automated Transcript from Episode #008 (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

This episode of real talk, podcasting is brought to you in part by your tech report.com and the, your tech report podcast. Why tr cuts through the megapixels, gigabits and geek, speak with reviews, unboxings, and insights. That answer the two questions consumers care most about is this new gadget service or product worth my money.

[00:00:19] And should I actually buy it? If you’re looking to answer those questions for yourself before your next tech purchase, visit your tech report.com first and save yourself the hassle of returning something that didn’t live up to the hype. Once again, that’s your tech report.com. Hello there. And welcome back to real talk podcasting.

[00:00:38] I am one of your co-hosts Tanner Campbell, and I’m joined by wait a minute. Nobody’s here with me. I’m by myself this week. Roman Pedro. Oh, my God, I made my co-host disappear.

[00:00:56] Roman is an Amish country, which you all were expecting this week, but Pedro has decided to make a surprise, visit home, to visit his family. And when a family man, like Pedro decides to do something nice like that, you can hardly stand in his way or in the way of his family, getting the opportunity to see him unexpectedly.

[00:01:14] He does travel a lot after all. So it’s just me this week and I hope you can tolerate it. I promise I will not go on for an hour. I can’t do that without those other guys. In fact, this is the end of the episode, have a great week, but in all seriousness, I will try to cover a few topics here and get right to questions and provide my 2 cents.

[00:01:33] And maybe when the guys come back next week, we can do a real quick lightning round to see if they had any responses or points of view that I didn’t share. During this solo cast

[00:01:56] this week. And we actually talk about this in a previous episode, I am fairly certain, I don’t know why it’s all of a sudden news. We actually reported on it probably two weeks ago. And that’s Libsyn five. Lives in five has been in beta for, I don’t know how long, but for a while, and we noticed a couple of weeks ago that if you were a user of Libsyn, you could go to libsyn.com forward slash five, or maybe it was five.libsyn.com.

[00:02:22] And you could, if you were a user log into that platform and begin using it and taking advantage of the new backend and the smoother experience, and in my opinion, It looks way better than it did big props to the team over at Libsyn. It did take awhile, but you know what you got there. And I think that’s what matters.

[00:02:40] I started with Libsyn, not only because of Libsyn five being announced this week formally, but because they’re in the news for something else this past week, and that is that they have decided that they’re going to acquire advertise cast. Now, for those of you who have never heard of advertised cast, it means you’ve probably never Googled the term.

[00:02:58] Podcast ads, CPM calculator, because I’m pretty sure if they’re the first ones to come up when you do that, advertise cast is one of the largest, and this is what they say. One of the largest independent and fastest growing podcast, advertising companies, and according to businesswire.com and the Libsyn press release Libsyn has announced as of March 31st, that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire advertise cast.

[00:03:22] So it’s coming, unless something goes terribly wrong. The business wire press release says, and I quote the combination of Libsyn’s seventy-five thousand podcasts and advertise cast. Premier advertising capabilities will accelerate revenue opportunities for podcast creators and provide advertisers with significant new inventory.

[00:03:41] The acquisition will position Libsyn to be the leading platform for both podcast hosting and monetization. Some of, you may remember when I was talking about this in either a previous episode or maybe it was over on the blog at real talk, podcasting.com. When I had spoken about Libsyn five, a couple of weeks ago that I said the only thing that was really holding Libson back was it’s dated appearance.

[00:04:06] And if they could get a really slick looking appearance, that there would be very little to continue to hold them back. I believe that when people are considering what new podcast hosting provider to use Libsyn is attractive because it’s the oldest one, it’s got the most established infrastructure and it has the most established name.

[00:04:27] But when you got into the back end before Libsyn five, it was kind of ugly and clunky and very windows 3.18. And that turned a lot of people off. Well, they fixed that and now they are a really well-rested  brand that’s highly trusted, has a great infrastructure and now has acquired advertised cast. I don’t know if I were the other podcast hosting providers out there who I like a lot, captivate, simple cast, transistor, all these other guys.

[00:04:54] I would be a little nervous about this acquisition. I’d be really nervous about the update to the look. And now you’ve got really the top dog in podcast hosting. Finally revamping its image and making a pretty significant acquisition here. I’m excited to see what Lipson does in these next six months. I think it might be a lot.

[00:05:15] And I think these other podcasts, housing providers. Might be shaking in their boots a little, or maybe not. Who knows? What do I know? I’m just some guy alone on a podcast abandoned by his cohost.

[00:05:34] There was an article from amplify media and Steven Goldstein, who is the CEO and founder of amplify media. If you’re not familiar, you can go to amplify media.com and I’ll put a link in the description of this episode to this article. Stephen wrote on April 1st. So who knows, maybe this is an April fools thing, but I don’t think it is Stephen.

[00:05:52] Doesn’t strike me as that kind of guy, some numbers to make you stop and think. And so let’s go through some of these numbers. Many of them relate to podcasting, but not all of them. So we’ll go over three or four or five of them and I’ll provide some hot takes maybe who knows I’m scrambling for time here, guys.

[00:06:08] So deal with it. Number number one, 26%. The number of podcasts in the Apple podcast store that have produced only one episode, quote, this more than suggests that a lot of people have experimented with podcasting, but not moved forward. So we should probably drop the 2 million podcast Mark to 1.5 million and quote.

[00:06:30] Yeah, I’m in pretty strong agreement with that. It’s one of the reasons the last episode was titled 2 million podcasts, but man, not really. And according to Daniel J. Lewis, you’ll remember from the last episode, something like only 39% or so of those podcasts have published within the last 30 days, which is only 800,000 podcasts, which would mean we only have around 800,000 active podcasts.

[00:06:56] That is to say ones that have produced an episode within the last 90 days. 800,000 is pretty far from 2 million. If you had a big yard full of people, and you said there are 2 million people out there and I counted them up and only found 800,000 and I came to you and I said, there’s only 800,000 people out there.

[00:07:16] And you said, yeah, well, the other people are dead and they’re actually underground. So technically there’s 2 million people out there. That is not the way we count the presence of anything. Right. We don’t count the dead things where the living things, right. I mean, like that would make the world population something like, I don’t know a trillion, I think how many dead people there are, but the global population, this is a trillion it’s 7 billion or something.

[00:07:42] So 2 million podcasts. I say again, I don’t think so, Tim. Number number two, 145%. There has been a 145% increase in podcast listened to on smart speakers. Now 145% seems like a really big number. How you have that many presents. Well, it Rose 4.9% between 2019 and 2020, which I guess must’ve been 145% more than whatever it was between 2018 and 2019.

[00:08:10] Stephen’s article goes on to say here, or Stephen goes on to say here with so many people at home and 94 million Americans with smart speakers, it is not surprising to see this number. Finally, on the rise. Imagine how much higher it might be. If podcasters leaned in to the convenience of listening on devices throughout the home, I’m going to disagree with what’s suggested here.

[00:08:30] I don’t think podcasters should lean into putting their podcasts on smart devices, but I will say. That I think podcasters should lean into creating content specifically for, and in addition to their podcasts for smart devices, because my suspicion is, and some of this is anecdotal experience, although as a studio owner and someone who has many clients and works on many podcasts, my anecdotal experience is a bit more broad than most the people who listen on smart speakers to things like flash briefings and stand-ups and things like this.

[00:09:02] And I mean, stand up comedy, I mean, stand up kind of material. Like your standup morning meeting that undoubtedly many of you have on Mondays in your offices that you wish could be turned into an email. People who listened to that kind of content are not the same people who listen to podcasts, not to say there’s not crossover, but for example, the way that I use my smart speaker is mostly in the bathroom.

[00:09:23] I’m taking a shower in the morning. I have Bloomberg or Reuters on to catch my news. And that’s about the only time that I listen. Through my smart speaker to anything. If my favorite podcasts were on the Amazon Alexa skill store or whatever we call it, I would never listen to them on that device. Not to mention that the speaker quality of those devices is obscenely low and the environments within which they are placed are usually not that great.

[00:09:50] And the distance from the ear that those devices generally sit. We’ll do a lot to encourage podcasters to create audio content that maybe isn’t great because we don’t listen to speakers in the open air or hear them in the same way that we hear things that are right in our ears. So not a fan of podcasts on smart speakers, personally, maybe you are.

[00:10:13] But I am definitely a fan of podcasters thinking about how they might create a companion piece of content that published on maybe even a daily basis, like a marketing minute, or I at one point ran something called the mythology minute. That published every morning at 3:00 AM and was like a little snippet of a fact from a folk tale or a legend.

[00:10:32] And I did see that that unique audience grew pretty significantly within a pretty short amount of time. I think it’s its own standalone market. And I think like I do with YouTube that if you’re going to create for it, That it should not be a repurposing of your existing content or a commercial for your existing content.

[00:10:48] Rather, it should be unique content that serves that kind of audience, which I think is different. Although there might be crossover, like I said, than the audiences that listened to podcasts in more traditional ways like on headphones or on their ride to work. Number number three, 11.2%. The percent of Spotify listening on the Omni platform in 2020, this is up sharply.

[00:11:12] It says the article is 62% year over year, but a significant disconnect from published articles suggesting that Spotify leads Apple in consumption. I assume in podcast consumption something that’s important here is to remember that if this is coming from the Omni platform, that the Omni platform only has 30,000 podcasts on it by its own admission.

[00:11:31] Now. I don’t know if, when they say 30,000 podcasts, they mean 30,000 podcast episodes or 30,000 podcasts. Like as in the show themselves, they probably mean the ladder. But if there are, I guess, 800,000 podcasts, if we’re not pretending that we actually have 2 million active podcasts out there, then 30,000 is not even.

[00:11:51] A third of them or a quarter or an eighth of them. I don’t think I’m not a mathematician, but, and I’m pretty sure it’s not even an eighth of them, but 30 to 35,000 is way more than enough of a sample size to draw some conclusions based on the data. In fact, a thousand is a good sample size, but I won’t get into that.

[00:12:07] I think the number can be trusted, but I’m wondering if there’s more to this data than meets the eye. My main thought is that with so much of the developing world and really the non U S world. Being much more likely to be using Android devices that you would expect given that Spotify is a platform agnostic app and that it can be used for free so long as you want to tolerate ads.

[00:12:33] That between all the iOS devices that would choose to listen to podcasts on Spotify and all the many, many more Android devices, again, especially in the developing world and non U S world, the world at large, be more likely to use Android anyway, that as podcasts become normalized on Spotify, I can only imagine that they’re absolutely going to crush the share of the ear market, the ear share of podcast listening pretty soon.

[00:12:56] I think it’s supposed to overtake it in 2021. If I’m not mistaken. But I guess that remains to be seen. It’s only an 11% increase according to Triton digital and Omni, but that was also in 2020. This is a whole new year. So who knows what the data will say in 2022? Number number four, negative 68%. The percent of talk news formatted radio shows whose Nielsen’s ratings among adults age 25 to 54 were down in 2020.

[00:13:23] The stack goes on to say, and Stephen goes on to say this, of course, in a year of non-stop pandemic related news and they hypercharged election. Overall that translates to a 12% decline in AQH among adults 25 to 54. AQH standing for average quarter hour. It is unsurprising to me, likely unsurprising to you, and certainly unsurprising to anyone in traditional radio that their share of the ear market, I guess maybe we’ll call it.

[00:13:53] That is on the decline and has been for awhile, especially with the advent of podcasts. It’s just not the way that most people want to listen anymore. I am surprised to see that the age span there is 25 to 54. Whereas 20 years ago, when you thought of 54 year olds, you would think, Oh, 54 year old, certainly listened to the radio, but now 54 year olds are less likely to listen to the radio.

[00:14:18] I guess what I’m getting at there is that we think of radio as kind of an older person’s way of getting information. It’s kind of old. And so we associated with older people. But now even what some of us would consider older people. And as I near 40, I had no longer think of 54 as being too much older, but still when we think of who might be older people, even those people are not listening to the radio as much as they used to.

[00:14:43] So this is an unsurprising number and I dare say a pretty obvious one. And then lastly, number number five, 10 million, 10 million is the number active daily users on clubhouse. Now that’s interesting. Stephen adds that this is the first social audio to break through on any platform. I don’t know that I would agree with that.

[00:15:05] Um, Blab was pretty popular for a short while there, but. To be fair. I don’t know that they ever crossed 10 million weekly active users, I think far from it. But clubhouse is definitely the first of its class. We could say that it has been wildly successful and successful enough. It seems for Facebook, Spotify, and Twitter, to be doing things, to copy that model.

[00:15:26] You already know about Twitter spaces. Of course. Well, Spotify is creating something too. And so is Facebook. Stephen goes on to say that if you’ve spent time on clubhouse, there is some great content sharing, but much of it feels like the worst part of every convention I have ever attended. A couple of people dominate a room and some very bad moderating can make for a frustrating experience.

[00:15:45] But as they say, it’s early days and it is great to not have to fire up the camera and be tethered to a desk to have a conversation.

[00:16:02] I’m going to spin through this one very quickly. We’re going to talk about Omni studio again, and some of the data that they put out, remember a 35,000 podcasts. So not the largest percentage of all podcasts, which exists, but a large number. They put out a graphic back on March 10th. I think it was part of the same article that I mentioned earlier.

[00:16:22] And what it is, is a nice little horizontal bar graph that shows the number of episodes during the first 30 days after the episode is published. So it goes live. If you get as one of Omni studios, users, and potentially this applies more broadly, if you release an episode and within the first 30 days, that episode gets 100 listens, you are in the top 50% of podcasts in regards to downloads within the first 30 days.

[00:16:48] If you get 740 or more you’re in the top 20 1800 or more you’re in the top 10%, 4,300 or more you’re in the top 5%, 13,000 or more you’re in the top 2% and 28,000 or more. You are in the top 1% of all podcasts, again, in regards to how many downloads you get in your first 30 days. So if you only get 50 downloads, you’re in the bottom 50%, but.

[00:17:14] It seems like you’re in good company, because half of all podcasts don’t get a hundred downloads in their first 30 days, they get 99 or less. And maybe that will help to frame your download numbers in a way that makes you feel like you’re probably doing pretty good, actually full disclosure. Our first episode within the first month, I think only got.

[00:17:34] 50 downloads. So we were in the bottom 50% and we do broadcasting stuff for a living. Now, I think we’re firmly between the top 50% of the top 20% after seven weeks. But we are super far from being in the top 1%, 28,000 downloads. Jeez, Louise. Who’s way up there, Joe Rogan. Oh, just remember. Don’t let the downloads get you down.

[00:17:54] Focus on the content.

[00:18:06] last piece of news. This week comes from Dan Meisner who wrote an article over on medium entitled the most crowded categories in Apple podcasts, April, 2021 edition. I will provide a link in the description of this episode so that you can go and read through this article to get all the details, but I’ll give you the highlights.

[00:18:25] As of spring 2021 education as a category takes the top spot. And it as is said in the article, just barely edges out society and culture. And there’s a really great data wheel here, a little pie chart with lots of slices in it that breakdown each primary category and the sub categories within that primary category.

[00:18:46] So for example, music is a primary category and below music, there are the categories of no category. That is to say no subcategory music history. Music interviews and music commentary. Likewise, under-education the sub categories are self-improvement no category courses how to and language learning. So this is a really interesting pie chart to go and have a look at.

[00:19:11] But if you’re creating within the education society and culture, arts, religion, and spirituality or business categories, You have the most competition among your fellow podcasters in the education category? There are 213,000 podcasts in society and culture. There are 213,000 podcasts in arts. There are 158,000 in religion and spirituality.

[00:19:33] There are 152,000 and in business, 149,000. I think that part of this might be that there aren’t enough categories in Apple podcasts. For example, I can’t remember. What category we chose? I think we did news because we talk about news within the podcasting world. And so technically we’re a news show, but I don’t feel like we’re a new show that feels like an odd category for us.

[00:19:58] And I think our category, or maybe our second category option was education, but the only sub categories under education are well, I read them self-improvement that’s not really the show. Courses. I mean, I have courses, but that’s not what this show is about how to maybe language learning. Definitely not.

[00:20:16] I feel like we might need some more subcategories or some more top level categories because I don’t think everybody fits into all of these, by the way, if you were interested the least crowded categories. And so therefore the least competition, hypothetically include sports, mathematics and crafts.

[00:20:34] Another interesting stat here is which categories have the most episodes. Now, if a category has a lot of episodes, but is not also a top ranked category, it would suggest that that category had the least amount of pod fade in it. I think I’m thinking about that, right? That category is religion and spirituality.

[00:20:55] So the religion and spirituality category has 152,827 podcasts in it. The next largest category to religion and spirituality is arts. It has 158,274 podcasts in it. However, if we look at the arts category for the number of episodes within it, It contains 2 million, 70,189 episodes while the religion and spirituality category contains 8 million, 268,557 episodes.

[00:21:28] So the same size practically in number of shows. But something like six times more episodes that would lead me to believe that as a category, religion and spirituality has the least amount of pod fade in it, or, and this is possible. I don’t know. It could be the most old category on the platform. I don’t think that’s the case, but I believe there was a time on Apple podcasts where there were not this many categories, so that could play towards it as well.

[00:21:57] Dan wraps this article off with the following pieces of advice. One, your podcast, primary category matters not only is it part of your show’s product packaging, it also determines the company you keep within Apple’s ecosystem to whenever possible, choose a specific sub category. For example, instead of society and culture, you would choose society and culture personal journals and choose this as your show’s primary category.

[00:22:24] And then lastly, number three, choose your primary podcast category wisely. And don’t forget to consider how crowded your chosen category is. Now that last one makes me wince a bit because it’s in conflict with itself. You want to choose your podcast category wisely, but you also want to consider how crowded the category is, which almost suggests that you’ll be a little looser in choosing your podcast category.

[00:22:52] Right? If your podcast category is too crowded, you may want to consider another one, but if you’re considering another one than maybe your category is not as applicable as it otherwise would be. If you jumped into one that was more crowded, I would really invite you to go check out this entire article, read it for yourself and make sense of it for yourself.

[00:23:11] My advice would podcast categories for what it’s worth is. I don’t think it matters as much as Dan is letting on that it does. I’m probably going to catch some heat for that. But let me try to defend myself as someone who has personally published, edited, and engineered and worked on nearly 5,000, possibly more than that individual podcast episodes, as someone who has taught over 600 individual podcasters and who has a lot of experience in the marketing of podcasts and the growth of those audiences of all the things that matter most, I think that your podcasts category.

[00:23:48] Is close to the bottom of that list. I’m not saying it doesn’t matter, but I am saying if you had everything else, right? Your titles, your content, your descriptions, your transcripts, your blog, posts, your social, your paid advertising, your PR, your community engagement, your service to that community. If you’ve got all that stuff on lock, you could put your spirituality podcast in the comedy category.

[00:24:14] And I think it wouldn’t matter at all. Now whether or not Apple would say something about that and move you back or penalize you for doing that. That’s a different conversation. And I’m saying this to encourage you to not overthink yourself into non-action. For example, if you chose society and culture, personal journals, instead of society and culture philosophy, I don’t think you’re going to suffer from that.

[00:24:37] If you’ve got everything else going on and you’re doing all that other stuff well, or even pretty well. I think the category is important, but I don’t think it’s so important. You need to stress out about it or worry about picking the wrong sub category. It has an impact. There’s no doubt, but if you get it wrong, it’s not the end of the world.

[00:24:55] You should get it right. But don’t stress out about it. That’s my advice.

[00:25:16] All right. Second half of the show, listener questions, time. That’s right. I know you’re probably already tired of hearing my voice, but we still have a second half of the show. Cause we got to take listener questions. Even if we is just the Royal we, this week. Just me. First question comes from Casey. Broda in tandem with Rafael to Foria.

[00:25:35] Casey Broda is a podcast editor, and you can find her@caseybroda.com and RAF hail dysphoria is a name you all probably know if you follow us on our website at real talk, podcasting.com. He’s the host of the, not your average globe Trotter podcast, which you can find@notyouraverageglobetrotter.com. The question is two part.

[00:25:53] The first half comes from Casey. How do you choose the right hosting provider? And then the second half is from RAF. And why would you choose a paid hosting provider over a free one? We’ve already touched a time or two on some good hosting providers that are out there. I always suggest captivate.fm, simple cast.com or transistor.fm, two others that I have experience with and can vouch for, but don’t use myself currently anymore are Buzzsprout and the Libsyn.

[00:26:22] We’ve talked about these in the past. We’ve made these suggestions before, but I don’t know that we’ve answered how to pick the right one or maybe we have, but not in a really direct way. So to help Casey out here. Most of these podcasts, hosting providers are doing the same thing and they’re doing those things equally.

[00:26:38] Well, the purpose of the hosting provider being primarily, of course, to host the audio and serve it so that people can get it when they press play on your podcast player. Yes. And all of them pretty much do that. None of them are failing in some massive way to do that core thing. That is their entire purpose.

[00:26:56] And that’s because podcast hosting like website hosting at this point, it’s been around for so long that it’s a solved problem. Nobody is doing a terrible job of hosting audio files. So a lot of the choice, and I’ve said this before comes down to aesthetic and ease of use and community provided by the platform and trust maybe that you have with or an, or for the brand.

[00:27:17] And then of course, personal opinion, you know, you get to pick, you can’t really make a bad decision here. All the ones I named are great platforms, and now that Libsyn has rolled out. It’s revamped. All of them are even now great looking platforms. Good job. Listen, I need to say that again. Good job. You came through in the end.

[00:27:34] I’m proud of you. I would say that the two things you really need to look out for so that you don’t pick a bad podcast hosting provider or a potentially bad one is number one. How long have they been in business? Are they brand new? There’s a lot of things that come with being brand new, right? Maybe you’re brand new to the technology.

[00:27:52] Maybe your budget reflects a company that’s brand new to the technology. Maybe brand new means you don’t exactly know what you’re doing. It doesn’t have to mean that, but. It could speak to inexperience. And when we’re talking about taking risks and the hassle of having to change podcast, hosting providers, you know, in a year, it is a hassle it’s supposed to be easy, but almost all the time something goes wrong.

[00:28:13] When you start that process, usually by, by the time you get to the end of it, you swear to yourself, you’ll never switch back gas hose again. But when we’re talking about that kind of risk and potential future problems, we want to make sure that the people that we’re coming in with at the beginning are established, they’re trusted.

[00:28:28] So do some research. How long have they been around. Who runs them. Do you know anybody who currently hosts on them and can you get their feedback? Do they hate it? Do they like it? Do they hate certain parts of it? Love other parts. Don’t let them make the decision for you, but let them inform your knowledge, inform you rather with knowledge so that you have some feedback to make an educated decision.

[00:28:50] And then price, right. Pricing matters. Although to be fair, most of them priced somewhere between 15 and $20 a month. And I guess that will bring us to rafts part of the question, which is why choose paid over free. Because some of you may have found some podcast hosting providers out there that offer a free tier Buzzsprout does this I’m pretty sure.

[00:29:11] So why not take free? Well, in order to give something away for free, one of two things has to be true. The cost of providing it to the company has to be low enough that they can afford to do it. And with hosting providers that would usually reflect some pretty stringent bandwidth limitations or for podcasting, how many downloads you could get now at the outset of any podcast, you’re not going to get a lot of downloads at all.

[00:29:38] And going back to that Omni studio report about most podcasts getting fewer than 50 downloads, uh, in their first month, it may be that you never have a lot of downloads. So there’s really, for some people, nothing wrong with having a free podcast hosting provider, but know that in having one, there will either be limitations in your downloads, right?

[00:30:01] Like we just talked about, or this is the other thing they’re going to be making money off of you in some way. I don’t know how that is. I don’t know what company you’re looking at, but if they’re not putting you in a position to really quickly need to upsell you because you run through those limitations so fast that you will naturally become a paid user, then that must mean they have other plans for monetizing.

[00:30:24] Your account. Businesses are run by people and people are really nice, but businesses have to make money to live. So they can only give away so much free stuff. Right. Which means if you’re going to be on the forever free plan and from wherever. I’m not picking on Buzzsprout. I just know that they have a free tier you’re essentially kind of mooching service from the company.

[00:30:43] They’ve got a right to make some kind of money for doing you that favor, right? If you never exceed those limitations. And a lot of the times this takes the form of them in some way, selling your data or being available to advertisers in some way that others paid customers. Aren’t. Spotify is a good example of this, right?

[00:31:02] You use Spotify for free, you get ads. And if you’re getting ads, that means that Spotify knows enough about you to target you with relevant ads. And so they’re collecting data about you. Do they collect data from anchor podcast, creators who are using anchor to create for free? Yeah, a hundred percent probably.

[00:31:21] That’s true. Right? So you’re paying them with your data and you may not be comfortable with that. Now that doesn’t mean that if you are paying Spotify, that because they cease to serve you, ads that you’re not having your data collected anymore. I don’t know. I don’t work at Spotify or any other platform.

[00:31:36] They collect your data, but they may collect your data differently. If you’re a paid customer versus a free customer and Spotify as a platform for streaming audio is different than Buzzsprout as a platform for hosting your audio. In the case of Buzzsprout, it’s probably just true that they limit you enough that you’ll pretty quickly need to graduate in the pricing tier from zero to something.

[00:31:58] Libsyn has a different approach. They don’t have a free tier, but they do have what they call a classic 50 tier. And what that means is that you’ll be limited to your monthly storage to 50 megabytes now, compression being what it is at 128 kilobit per second, which is what I think most podcasters are encoding.

[00:32:16] Their MP3s at 50 mags would be about an hour’s worth of recorded audio on a track or an MP3 file that had two speakers. So if you’re publishing every week, a 30 minute show, well, you’ll blow through that 50 mags pretty quick. And to go back to Buzzsprout, they’re free tier limits you to two hours each month.

[00:32:38] So that’s their limitation. That’s more time than Libsyn gives you, but it’s still not that many hours. It means if you’re running a 30 minute show, you can’t go over. Not even once, not even by one minute. It also limits the amount of back catalog you can have in storage. So for Buzzsprout you can upload four 30 minute episodes for example, every month, but in 90 days on that 91st day, that first episode that you released will no longer be hosted on the platform.

[00:33:09] So in bud Sprout’s case, they’re willing to host 90 days worth of audio or in total two, four, six hours worth of audio. For free. And as soon as you need more than two hours a month, or need to store more than 60 hours per 90 days, you’re going to have to go up to $12 a month. But even then you’re limited to three hours each month.

[00:33:32] Although your hosted episodes can stay on there indefinitely as their pricing tiers say. So if you’re getting into podcasting and you’re considering a free tier, just know that there are limitations, there’s probably nothing wrong with the platform you’re choosing, that’s offering the free tier, but if you’re podcasting for serious, it is unlikely that you’re going to be able to continue to podcast for serious at anyone’s free tier without running into some limitations that are obnoxious and well limiting.

[00:34:00] Our next question comes from max Billington of the Wolf and the shepherd podcast, which you can find@thewolfandtheshepherd.com. He’s asking about listen, notes.com. Is it meaningful? And how does it work specifically? He’s talking about the ranking points or the ranking system that listen notes puts on its website.

[00:34:18] For those of you who are unfamiliar. If you were to go to listen notes.com, you wouldn’t land on, um, a front page where there was a search bar and you can search for a podcast. So if I search for real talk podcasting, our podcast comes up and if I click on it, I can see some information about it. The iTunes address the website, the contact email on the RSS feed.

[00:34:38] And I can see a rank, a global rank. So if I look at the global rank, our podcast, according to listen, notes are podcasts that is at this 0.8 episodes, old ranks in the top 5% of podcasts. Now there’s a little question Mark, next to the label global rank. And if I hover over it and click on it, it says, what is a global rank?

[00:35:01] And it explains. This podcast is one of the top 5%, most popular shows out of 2 million, 113,676 podcasts globally ranked by listen, score the estimated popularity score. Now that’s really interesting because not only on this page, does it tell us our global rank that we’re in the top 5% of all podcasts?

[00:35:24] It also says that our listens score out of 100 is 33. Now you wouldn’t think, or you wouldn’t hope that if you scored 33% on a test out of 100%, that you would be in the top 5% of performers on that test, because it would not bode well for the overall understanding of the test material of the class.

[00:35:45] Right. You would think, Ooh, that’s not good. That class is full of people who don’t know much at least about the content of that test. So I don’t know how useful this is. It’s really nice to know that our podcast is in the top 5% globally. But if our listens score is in the bottom third, I don’t know how meaningful that global rank really is or how much weight I need to give to it.

[00:36:09] If we click on the listen score question Mark. It explains what a listen score is. Listen score is a metric that shows the estimated popularity of this podcast compared to other RSS based public podcasts in the world on a scale from zero to 100, the higher, the more popular calculated from first and third party data updated monthly.

[00:36:31] So there’s a little button here where I can click learn more. And if I read the FAQ, the first question is how do you calculate Alyson score? And the answer to that question is we developed a mathematical model to calculate a listen score for each podcast based on the first party data parentheses activity on our website and third-party data.

[00:36:51] Parentheses media mentions reviews, ellipses. So I guess, et cetera, we were inspired by a standardized metrics, such as Nielsen ratings, credit scores, and domain authority. So, what I think is at best listen notes is encouraging and nice to see, I guess, but I would think that right now it’s an emerging unit of measure or an emerging methodology of popularity.

[00:37:18] Discerning, am I using big enough words here? I hope so because listen notes doing a lot of math and I’m just trying to match their math with my limited vocabulary. I wouldn’t put too much stock and listen notes yet, but if they’re really developing this the longer they’d go along, the more useful the data will be, hopefully because the more interesting their math will get as they learn, but it’s worth noting that our all time downloads right now for this podcast in the seven weeks that we’ve been doing this podcast now eight weeks is 734.

[00:37:55] So it just seems strange to me that a podcast that is, as soon as you hear this episode, eight weeks old, that has we’ll guess 834 downloads across eight episodes and is niched as tightly as podcasting for podcasters, right? This is a podcast for podcasters, which might be potentially his niche, although with 2 million quote unquote podcasts, maybe it’s not as niche as I think it is that a podcast that is that niche is going to be in the top 5% of all podcasts.

[00:38:25] But, you know, the way that they’re doing their math, it may just not be about downloads. It may be like they say about media mentions and popularity, and maybe relative to our audience, we perform as if we were a top 5% podcast globally. Maybe that’s how it works, but for the sake of perspective, let’s look at a more popular podcast.

[00:38:47] A podcast we know is crazy popular, right? The Joe Rogan experience, very popular podcast. Let’s look at that on listen notes and see what it says about that hugely popular podcast. Well, Joe’s global rank is 0.01%, which means he’s in the top 0.01%. Now that makes sense for that show. Lots of, lots of listeners and the listen score seems to match with that 98 out of a hundred.

[00:39:14] Now, I don’t know. How Joe Rogan’s podcast in comparison to all other podcasts could get much more popular, but 98 for Joe Rogan, I guess 33 for us feels like we’re a third is good. Hopefully more than a third. I think we’re better actually. We should have a higher listen score. Joe should be at 33. But at least our ranking maps in some way to a more popular podcast and how it’s received something that might be in between our show and the Joe Rogan experience would be the armchair expert podcast with Dax Shepard.

[00:39:44] That’s certainly popular, but absolutely not popular on the level of Joe Rogan as far as listeners. I guess we’re, we’re making some assumptions because we don’t have access to that. Shows data. None of us do that’s private, but if we look up armchair expert on listen, notes.com. We also see that it’s in the top 0.01% and that it has a listened score of 89 instead of 98.

[00:40:07] If we look up Roman Procope check my Mia podcasting mates here, we see that he’s in the 0.5%, top 0.5%. And that his listen score is a 52. So again, I think listen, notes is maybe something that you can look at and feel kind of interested in and think all that’s cool, but I don’t know how useful it is yet.

[00:40:28] I feel like maybe not very well, at least it’s a bit of a black box and we really don’t know how it’s making these calculations. And I wish maybe they’d tell us because maybe these calculations are really great and we can trust them fully and really feel good about ourselves. But I guess we don’t know.

[00:40:43] So listen, notes.com have a look. Don’t take it too seriously. The last question comes from Connor lights. That’s L I T E S. And he is the host of the winery crasher podcast. That’s winery, crasher.com. You can find that at and Connor asks about editing software. I’m going to edit my own podcast. What should I be using?

[00:41:03] There’s just a lot of options out there, which one’s the best, well much in the same way that podcast hosting is kind of a solved problem. Right? We talked about that question from Raff and Casey. Podcast editing software or audio editing software, or what are called digital audio workstations or Dawes all pretty much do the same thing.

[00:41:22] I use personas studio one. I used to use avid pro tools before that I used audacity and at different times, especially when you know, away from my normal workstation, I’ve had to come up with a quick solve. I’ve used tools like audition from Adobe. I’ve used Reaper and I’ve used logic pro for the Mac. I would be willing to bet that if my experience with Daws was ranked by listen notes, I would be in the top 0.00, zero 1% of people who’ve tried the most does I have experienced with a lot of them, not just the ones that I mentioned and I today use personas studio one, because first of all, it is affordable.

[00:42:00] And if you don’t think $500 for the purchase is affordable. Well, it has another way of making it accessible to people which is to pay monthly for $16 until you pay off the amount. And then you own the software that’s affordable to me. And maybe it’s affordable for you too. The reason that I like persona studio one is that it’s just natural.

[00:42:20] It’s just easy to use. The shortcut keys you can set up are really great. I’ve worked with it on a PC and now on a Mac. And I’m just pleased as punch with how customizable it is and what it looks like and how it does its job. I love it. Consider this a glowing recommendation for personas studio one, but you probably don’t need that.

[00:42:40] It will be easier to use than audacity and anyone who jumps from audacity to a more mature dog to a dog at all, because audacity is not technically a doll. It’s a destructive audio editing program. Anybody who’s ever made the jump from audacity to something more mature, more capable. You realize instantly how clunky and a pain in the butt it is to use audacity that said, as somebody who’s not a podcast or audio engineer, you could probably do all you need to do on audacity.

[00:43:12] Most of you are just going to move things around a little bit and cut things out. You don’t understand equalization, you run a de noiser, but you don’t really know what it’s doing. You may mess around with compression, but compression is a hard thing to come to grasp and understand. And it’s likely that you’ll do it wrong for a very long time.

[00:43:31] I did compression poorly for many years before I really got the knack of it equalization as well. My point here is not to put you down or suggest that you can’t learn these things. I’m more so getting at the fact that you’re a podcaster who got into podcasting to create a certain kind of content for a specific reason.

[00:43:48] And that part of that job is editing the audio and making it sound good, but it’s not the part of the job you really should be spending your time on. Everybody starts out editing their own podcast, but in truth, it should be literally the first thing you get off your plate as soon as you possibly can.

[00:44:02] And there are ways to do that for affordable rates on Fiverr or Upwork, or by outsourcing to the Philippines or to Vietnam or to Thailand. And those results will vary. Your mileage will vary, but you can probably get it off your plate for 30 bucks an episode. Will it be top tier New York style LA style talent?

[00:44:20] No, but you will get those hours back. And I remember when I started podcasts, editing my own podcast way at the start many years ago that it took me like days to get it right, because I had no understanding of what I was doing or what quote unquote right. Was. So editing software Connor, what should you pick?

[00:44:38] Well, first answer the question. Is this what you want to spend your time doing? Do you really want to put in what is going to be years of figuring out how to do this well? Or do you want to do it by yourself for a shorter time as possible, and then hand it off as soon as you have $30 an episode to spare, or if you want better work more than that per episode, despair.

[00:44:57] Once you have that answer. If the answer is I want to get rid of it as soon as possible. And I think maybe I’ll only need to do it by myself for a couple of months, then just use audacity, which you can find@audacityteam.org. If you do want to learn how to become an audio engineer, how to really learn this stuff and do it yourself, and you want that control and it’s something you want to take control of you.

[00:45:19] You want to, that’s part of the process you want to be involved in and you think you might like it. Then my suggestion would be to use persona studio one. And if you do that, not to shill my own courses here, and it’s not the reason I’m suggesting it. And I hope that you wouldn’t take it that way. I do use it.

[00:45:33] I wouldn’t be suggesting something I don’t like, but I do teach a podcast editing course, which could apply to anybody who wanted to learn compression in the queue and things like that. But I teach the course in personas because it’s the one I use. That said the course is applicable to anybody. Who’s trying to learn the basics of EEQ compression and editing techniques and good practices.

[00:45:53] But if you do choose personas studio one, reach out and I can enroll you in my course, because it’ll do you a lot of good, the last thing you want to do trust me, because I did it this way. Is download a piece of software that is way beyond your comprehension and just fail through it and learn the hard way, because it will take years for you to get competent with it.

[00:46:15] And you don’t want to do that to yourself. If you don’t take my course, take somebody, else’s have somebody show you how to use it so that you’re not giving yourself a migraine. Every time you edit a podcast, because it will take a long time to pick this stuff up just by guessing. So that’s my answer.

[00:46:29] Connor. If you’re going to hand this off, stick with audacity, it’s free and it’s good enough for you to start out. If you really want to get into the weeds of editing audio and really learn this as a skill, then check out personas studio.

[00:46:53] All right. I did it. I got through the whole thing without anybody’s help. Books have your help. You’re here. Thanks. That made it easy. Knowing that I was actually going to be talking to some other people that was great. You were a huge help. Maybe I’ll take next week off. Maybe I’ll just go somewhere and leave Roman and Pedro alone to do all by themselves.

[00:47:12] I just did. Where you guys think you think I should do that? If you think I should do that, send an email to Roman at no, I’m just kidding. Don’t do that. The other guys will be back next week. I’ll be here and I hope that you all have a great week and until next time, take care. Thanks for listening to another episode of real talk podcasting.

[00:47:32] The three of us appreciate you being here and hope to see you back again. Next week, our music is licensed through art lists.io and features the artists. Kick tracks. You’ll talk. Podcasting is a production of plosive monster media and is made possible by you. Our listeners, if you have questions, suggestions, or press inquiries, where we’d like to appear as a guest on our show, please send an email to admin@plosivemonster.com.

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