RadioPublic app comes out of beta

Jake Shapiro has announced that the RadioPublic app is now available on Android and iOS:

RadioPublic’s mission as a Public Benefit Corporation is to “help listeners discover, engage with, and reward the creators of podcasts and other audio.”
This is also our strategy, and our roadmap. We are starting with discovery, and will be layering in engagement next, followed by rewards — both for producers and listeners themselves.

Lots of interesting stuff from the press release: no account creation requirements (hallelujah!), it unbundles episodes into cross-show genre playlists and it has both human and machine based  recommendations.

Expect an in-depth review in due course.

Otto Radio app integrates with Uber

Uber keeps on announcing new third-party app integrations. After Spotify and Pandora, there are now eight new app integrations and most interesting for us is Otto Radio.

My favorite feature of Otto Radio is its ‘finite playlists’ which limit the playlist to a certain length; ideal for taxi rides where you can’t have the driveway moment. Otto Radio will automatically adjust the length of your playlist to the length of your Uber trip.

In my limited experience from chatting with a handful Uber drivers in NYC, most drivers aren’t aware of these integrations which makes me curious about how many riders are using these new features.

Jad Abumrad's concerns over podcast ad demand

RadioLab host Jad Abumrad, speaking to The Guardian:

There’s a lot of podcasts all of a sudden, and some of them are amazing, so as a creative person I’m rooting for them all – but there’s a lot of them and they’re all broadcasting the same ads, so I’m not sure that the pool of ad money there is enough to drive it all. So I do worry that we are in some kind of bubble.

I think this is more a symptom of a nascent advertising market. As more and more advertisers see the value in podcasts (which I feel we are already seeing, look at the growth of ad networks like Midroll) there will be a larger pool of advertisers wanting to buy podcast ads.

Anchor is now available on Android

The social audio app Anchor that launched on iOS in February, is now available on Android. I’m still skeptical that there is demand for casual mainstream audio creation and it seems that Anchor is having trouble getting larger creators to use their platform.

Abhimanyu Ghoshal writing for TheNextWeb:

Radiolab signed up seven months ago but hasn’t published anything new on Anchor since then. Hopefully, the company will be able to get major contributors excited with the prospect of reaching a larger audience across the globe.

60db app continues episode unbundling

A newly announced app 60db, from former Netflix and NPR folks, will provide listeners with short-form content from third parties.

Shan Wang writing for NeimanLab:

The stories available on the platform will be easily searchable and contain familiar content aggregated from elsewhere

While the main story in the article is about how shorter form content will fit into a listener’s day, I think there is a larger story here about an inevitable move towards episode ‘unbundling’. In the same way that readers use Facebook to consume news from multiple publishers rather than reading, say, the New York Times cover to cover, this will come to bear on podcast publishers.
With Audible’s Channels or 60db aggregating content and presenting it as a single experience, publishers will lose control on the delivery of their content and the ability to build and own their audience.

WNYC releases Audiogram creation tool

WNYC have made their tooling for creating Audiograms available to everyone.

Delaney Simmons, Director of Social Media at WNYC, writing on Medium, noted some interesting engagement stats:

WNYC shows have been seeing great results. On Twitter, the average engagement for an audiogram is 8x higher than a non-audiogram tweet and on Facebook some of our shows are seeing audiogram reach outperform photos and links by 58% and 83% respectively.

If want to try it out, check out the full installation instructions

Slow news week roundup

Not much happening in the podcast world this week but here is a quick roundup of some news:

Spotify launches new original shows

…they feel like something of a response to Apple’s Beats 1 Radio station, a chance for Apple Music’s major rival to inject some personality into its streaming service

WSJ thinks podcasts have an ad-skipping problem
In which the WSJ writes an entire story about the skip ahead button but there is this interesting morsel:

During a recent episode of the Gimlet Media Inc. podcast “Reply All,” for example, 85% of listeners who began the program on Spotify were still listening by the 12th minute of the show, which covers internet culture. At roughly the 16th minute, when the ad break started, the audience dipped to 77% of the original listeners. It then bounced back to about 85% after the ad finished. Spotify is a new entrant to the podcast world, so that sample only represents a few thousand people, said Gimlet co-founder Matt Lieber.

A breaking news podcast is being tried out for the convention season in the US

“The podcasting form is completely saturated with great but long-form, highly-produced podcasts,” [Andrea Seabrook, the new D.C. bureau chief for American Public Media] said. “We want to do something that’s quick and dirty that brings people what they want to hear, an exciting take and point of view from what happened last night.”

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