Immortal Podcasts and Creating Networks in PowerPress

PPPiTunesAlbumArt-385Creating a podcast network doesn’t have to be difficult. Mike and MacKenzie talk about how to get one setup in PowerPress on this episode of the PowerPress Podcast. Categories, channels, taxonomies and a whole lot of other decisions are discussed to help you get a better idea of how to start a network easily with the help of PowerPress. Early in the show Mike brings up an article he read that mentioned a podcast host passing away – which got them thinking, what happens to your show after you’re no longer around? For a rather sad topic, they keep it fairly upbeat. They wrapped up the show talking about ending a show when it becomes to much work. Recently Gimlet Media decided to end one of their shows which sparked lots of conversation. Thanks for listening and go subscribe to the show!

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review, here!

Show notes:

Look for: Category Podcasting, Podcast Channels, Post Type Podcasting and Taxonomy Podcasting


Gimlet Media

Contact MacKenzie

Blubrry Twitter

Blubrry Facebook

Podcast Too Big For Your Hosting Plan? Try Blubrry Pro.

Is your podcast network growing too fast to keep up with your hosting plan? Or maybe you’re a radio station or public figure that wants to start a podcast but anticipates a lot of traffic right off the bat.

Blubrry provides Pro Podcast hosting for high-profile podcasts who need a media hosting solution that fits in the following categories.

If you fit the following criteria:

  • You host multiple shows;
  • You need unlimited storage space;
  • Your show(s) consume high-volume bandwidth;
  • You’d like to be able to integrate with third parties like Triton TAP and AdsWhizz Ad Insertion Systems; and/or
  • You’re a bank or private organization that needs a custom feed solution;

Blubrry’s Pro Podcast hosting solution is for you! Celebrities, radio networks, podcast networks, private institutions, pharmaceuticals, and investment firms are just a few examples of customers who’ve benefitted from our pro podcast hosting solutions.

The Pro plan is different from the unlimited hosting plan we provide independent podcasters. Our Pro solution was designed to serve customers whose needs outmatch our standard hosting plans. While most of our pro clients utilizes WordPress and PowerPress just like regular podcasters, we can work with clients who aren’t using WordPress to provide media player embeds and host their RSS feeds on Blubrry’s infrastructure. We can also provide custom solutions, and each pro customer has a personalized staff representative they can go to directly for priority support handling.

Plans start at $100 per month and include incredible storage allowance and a competitive per-GB cost. To find out more email MacKenzie at

4 Smart, Streamlined Options For Live Streaming Your Podcast

Live video streaming can be a great way to make a podcast stand out, encourage engagement, and give fans another way to consume your show. But with the disappearance of both Blab and Google Hangouts as live streaming options, podcasters wonder what the most reliable options are – and whether there’s really a demand for live podcasting at all. Here are four great, easy-to-use options to consider:

  • Livestream via Mevo: This small, portable, no-rig-required camera makes it easy to capture high-quality audio and video, and offers real-time editing tools that make it easy to create a professional result on the fly. Your podcast can be then streamed as it’s captured via Livestream or Facebook Live. Priced at $399.99, this is a great option for the podcaster who’s getting serious about live-casting.
  • Facebook Live: It’s free, easy to use, and your fans are probably already there. Just follow these instructions to begin streaming your show to your profile or page right from your phone or a GoPro. Another plus: Facebook tends to favor its own content, so Live videos often get more engagement and views than other types of content on Facebook. Facebook Live users also report better engagement on that platform than in other live stream platforms. Check out Facebook’s easy-to-follow instructions to make the most of your live stream.
  • YouTube Live: Basically a replacement for Google Hangouts, YouTube Live offers some options Facebook Live does not, such as the ability to set your stream to private, public or unlisted, and a “Fan Funding Card” that allows your audience to donate to your show directly via the stream. You have the ability to edit the video for 3 hours after recording, and it’ll be archived for 12 hours. YouTube Live also offers the ability to stream from any camera you want to use and is not limited to in-app.
  • Periscope: This Twitter-owned company made a splash in the live streaming world, and offers several benefits to live podcasters, including a streamlined, dedicated app that allows you to keep tabs on audience engagement and follow other streams. Periscope is now upping the ante with Periscope Producer, which will offer podcasters and other live streamers the ability to generate a unique URL that they can stream to from professional cameras, satellite trucks, desktop streaming software, studio editing rigs and even drones. The feature is currently only available to select brand partners and media organizations, but the company is looking to roll it out to a wider population of content creators in the future.

Podcasters, do you live stream your show? What is your favorite platform, and why?

Anchor, Glistening Particles and Reasons to Start a Podcast

PPPiTunesAlbumArt300Jane Ellen was excited to be on the PowerPress Podcast after starting her own show, The Glistening Particles, only 6 weeks ago. MacKenzie and Jane discuss an app called Anchor that allows you to make a 2 minute podcast. Yes, you read that correctly — 2 minutes! They’ve got the insight on why this app may be useful and fun. In MacKenzie’s podcast chronicle, she’s got good news for herself and the studio. As a new podcaster Jane is still getting the ropes of it all, and grateful for how helpful the podcasting community has been throughout the whole process. Lastly, they discuss reasons to start a podcast; in case someone out there listening wants to and hasn’t done it yet, stick around for the last part! Thanks for listening and please subscribe to the show!

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review here!

glistening particles

new studio
The new Blubrry PowerPress Podcast studio. More pictures to come!

Show notes:

Anchor App

Glistening Particles – Can be found in iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, etc.

Philosopher’s Notes

The Glistening Particles theme song called Shine by Jeff Smith Music:

A Few Reasons to Start A Podcast…Now

Email MacKenzie

PowerPress Podcast theme song artist, Phonophage

Become A Podcasting Pro With Our FREE PowerPress Webinar

Confused by how to get your podcast set up, running, and thriving – or just need some incentive to get started? Don’t wait: sign up for our free podcast setup webinar. Led by Blubrry Lead Support Tech Mike Dell, the webinar will walk you through the entire process of using the powerful, streamlined, and FREE PowerPress plugin used by over 50,000 podcasters.

You’ll learn:

  • How to set up PowerPress
  • How to link PowerPress to your Blubrry account if you’re a Blubrry podcast hosting customer
  • How to get your podcast listed on iTunes, Google Play, Tunein, Stitcher, and more
  • Tips and tricks for optimizing SEO and ID3 tags

This every-other-week live webinar will take you all the way from starting at a blank WordPress website to having your podcast on iTunes and Google Play using the #1 podcasting plugin, PowerPress.

The webinar is interactive, offering the opportunity for a Q&A session with Mike himself. It’s open to anyone who wants to use PowerPress or just learn more about podcasting: you don’t have to be a Blubrry customer to sign up. Register here for the next webinar on October 13 at 4 PM EST, or watch a recording of a recent webinar below. Coming soon: night and weekend sessions, and an Advanced PowerPress Webinar for podcasters who want to develop a network of shows. Sign up now!

Rock Your Podcast Art, Part 2: 5 Design Principles To Help You Create Standout Cover Images

There are a lot of great podcasts out there – but unfortunately, they are often accompanied by ineffective or poorly-designed cover art that doesn’t do the show justice when potential listeners scroll past. The good news? If you follow a few basic principles, you can elevate your show to stand out in a crowd. Last week we shared 5 tech tips you need to know to create great podcast cover art. In today’s post we’re covering design principles with Blubrry Creative Director Brian Yuhnke.

5 Design Principles To Help Your Podcast Art Stand Out

  1. Use Color Wisely: Color is definitely subjective: the palette you love may not be another podcaster’s cup of tea. But color offers a huge opportunity to make your podcast stand out, and you will be on the right track if you follow two basic guidelines: go for an eye-catching color scheme, but limit the number of colors you use. “Three, maybe five colors, tops,” recommends Yuhnke. “Sitting next to something that’s black and white or uses way too many colors, yours will shine as simple and elegant.” But consider your brand identity, too: “If you have a strong, identifiable logo, you can sacrifice color and even some layout and your art will still work. But if your logo is terrible or nonexistent, then you better be doing some other things to bring out your brand and make your album art stand out.”
  2. Avoid Cliches: Unless your podcast is actually about podcasting, does a mic in the cover art make sense? It’s hard to make your podcast stand out when it’s advertised with over-used imagery, Yuhnke points out, and the ubiquitous microphone can look downright tired. Scan through podcast directories and see which kinds of images consistently come up. Portraits, cartoons, and RSS icons also stand out to Yuhnke as over-used. Bottom line: make sure any imagery you’re using in your cover art is unique and has a clear tie to your podcast’s topic and theme.
  3. Use Grid-Based Design: By creating a grid and designing over it, you can avoid amateur designer mistakes like elements that don’t quite line up properly and create a more visually-pleasing end product, says Yuhnke. But don’t worry about keeping everything too linear: “Not every element has to line up with the same X and Y lines,” he points out. “You can have two elements lining up to one another while three others are lining up on a separate axis.”

To demonstrate, Yuhnke took a quick stab at this podcast’s cover art. The first image was created without the use of a grid, and the second just took a few minutes to fix and line up more properly on a grid.

Created without a grid
The same logo, created on a grid
Created on a grid

Can you see the difference?

4. Use The Rule of Thirds: This is an extension of grid-based design and an idea that has its roots in video and photography. By placing text and other interesting or important elements within the focal point of your art, the overall composition becomes more interesting, says Yuhnke.

5. Make Sure It’s Readable: Many would-be listeners are scrolling through directories on small screens with teeny-tiny icons. Can they even see your cover art well enough to tell what your show is about? “Many times your cover art appears on a small screen next to 10, 20, or 50 other shows,” explains Yunke, “A listener needs to be able to take one click glance at the art and get a sense of what your show is about.” The real test? “Shrink your art down to 90px by 90px. If you can still comprehend the art at that size, then that’s a huge step in the right direction.” This is one area in which your choice of font will make a big difference. “With fonts, keep it simple: use one or maybe two fonts in your album art, and make sure the text is readable, especially at a small size.”

Which of these design principles could you put into effect right away to improve your podcast cover art?


International #PodcastDay is Almost Here: Start The Conversation!

If you’ve ben looking for an excuse to crow about your podcast, here it is: International Podcast Day, a day “dedicated to promoting podcasting worldwide through education and public engagement,” is coming up soon: this Friday, September 30, and there is a two-day educational event to accompany it starting on Thursday, September 29.

Started by Modern Life Podcast Network founder Steve Lee in 2013, the event aims to raise awareness about podcasting and its potential for entertainment and education.

Blubrry is the Platinum-level sponsor for International Podcast Day 2016, and several team members will also be presenting. All presentations will be streamed live on Firetalk.

CEO Todd Cochrane will be speaking about “Podcast Audience Engagement and Metrics that Matter” at 8:00 PM PST on Friday, and will also be on the closing panel with Steve Lee at 11 PM PST Friday. Blubrry team members MacKenzie Bennett and Angelo Mandato will present on “From Branding To Promotion” at 10 AM PST, covering details like branding, optimizing your podcast feed, and successfully promoting your podcast using winning artwork, podcast players, subscribe tools, and more.

Other notable presenters include Gary Leland & John Lee Dumas, Kathryn Bryant, and Annie Sargent.

Pre-registration isn’t necessary: just check out the event list and show up to whatever grabs your interest! Most of all, be sure to spread the word: after all, the point of International Podcast Day is to spread the word about this great medium. We’ll see you there!



Ways to Stream an Event and International Podcast Day

PPPiTunesAlbumArt300International Podcast Day is coming up quickly and MacKenzie and Steve Lee talk about how you can celebrate and just what this day is about on the latest PowerPress Podcast. First off, for an event such as Podcast Day, streaming services are very important, and we discuss the value of a service, Voice Republic based out of Europe. For those of you that are looking to live stream your seminar or speaking session, particularly with a piece of hardware, this may be your answer. We dig into why International Podcast Day was started, who works on it, how people celebrate – such as conversations from 14+ countries all over the world, and most importantly bringing the podcasting community together. Steve has also started a podcast network, Modern Life Network, so in the discussion about creating a network from your podcast, he had some personal insight on the matter. Thanks for listening and subscribe to the show, and please leave a review for PowerPress! Happy podcasting.

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review, here!


Show notes:

Voice Republic

International Podcast Day

International Podcast Day Twitter feed

Email the Podcast Day team

How to Turn Your Podcast Into A Media Network

Email MacKenzie

How To Rock Your Podcast Art: Part One – Tech Tips

You’ve spent countless hours coming up with a great concept for a podcast, recording, editing, publishing, and promoting. But your show still isn’t getting the traction you’d like. What’s going on?

In a time when iTunes and other directories act as virtual catalogs, allowing potential listeners to browse and select based on what grabs their eye first, success isn’t just about having a great idea and a high-quality show. You must also grab attention visually.

Here at Blubrry, we’ve had plenty of experience with both great and terrible podcast artwork – and everything in between – and we’ve got some suggestions for how to optimize yours to be attractive, eye-catching and relevant to your audience. In this post, we’ll be delving into some of the necessary technical issues of creating podcast art, and in a follow-up post, we’ll go into the creative design principles you need to know.

5 Tech Tips You Need To Know To Rock Your Podcast Art

  1. Your Show Cover Art is the image that appears in directories, like iTunes, Google Play and Blubrry. The current iTunes recommendations are 3000 X 3000 pixels, in order to look good on Apple TV. If you are a PowerPress user, you can use the Google Play setting blank and it will automatically pull your iTunes image. (This is what we recommend.)
  2. Keep in mind that all podcast art must be created in the RGB color space. RGB (Red-Green-Blue) is the color of the light that is emitted from the screen to represent a pixel of the image. Avoid using the CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) color space. That’s meant for printing, and if you use CMYK for your podcast artwork, the image could show up as poor quality when resized or viewed on different screens and devices. Note: If you change the iTunes image without changing the file name, it might take some time (possibly even months) for iTunes to update the image in the iTunes Podcast Directory. Please contact iTunes Support if you are having issues with your image changes not appearing in iTunes.
  3. Your Individual Episode Image is the artwork that appears when a specific episode is being played. It can be unique to each episode (if you don’t upload a specific Episode Image, your cover art will appear instead.) Episode images need to be saved into the media file in the form of tags (ID3 tags for mp3) following the production of the media file. It should be smaller than the show cover art image – a good guideline is 600 X 600 pixels – because a larger size could cause problems with your iD3 tags being read by iTunes and other directories.
  4. Make sure your images look good scaled down to as small as 60 x 60 pixels. Text might not be readable at that small size, but the logo/text should still be recognizable. iTunes scales images to as small as 30 x 30.
  5. Your iTunes Show Cover Art should be saved in JPEG (.jpg) format to optimize the file size. A detailed PNG format image at 3000 x 3000 can exceed 1MB in size, which is known to cause issues with applications including iTunes. More importantly, the larger the file is, the longer it takes to load.

In our next post on this topic we’ll cover crucial design tips to make your artwork stand out and represent the high quality of your show!

What You Need To Know About The IAB Podcast Ad Metrics Guidelines

Last week the IAB, in partnership with a consortium of 23 companies within the podcasting industry referred to as the Podcast Technical Working Group, released a set of guidelines meant to shape the use of ad metrics by podcasters, podcast service providers, and others in the space. In this Q&A, Blubrry/RawVoice CEO Todd Cochrane tells us more about the document and what it means for podcasters. 

Q: How many companies participated in the creation of this document? 

A: “In total, 23 companies in the podcasting space participated in the creation of this document, including Blubrry and other major players like Google, Libsyn, Nielsen, Westwood One, and NPR. It was quite the process: as we are all passionate about what we do, there were a lot of opinions to sort through. But after 20 months of hard work by all parties, we were able to reach a set of standards we could all agree to.”

Q: There are a number of podcast companies that did not participate, why is that?
A: “I really cannot speak for other companies on why they may not have joined and participated, but we choose to become involved as we have 11 years of experience in podcast metrics, and wanted to make sure the podcasters we represent had a voice and seat at the table. That said, we hope non-participating podcast companies will still widely adopt the guidelines as that would help measurement data come into alignment pretty closely across the industry.”

Q: What guidelines are included? 

A: “The document mainly focuses on how downloads are measured, the criteria around that, and how to count partials and total downloads. For example, a download of an episode from the same IP address can’t be counted more than twice – that kind of thing. They aren’t necessarily rules, but guidelines. If everyone sticks to those basic tenets as outlined in the addendum of the document, it’s going to go a long way toward leveling the playing field among companies in the industry.”

Q: How in-depth are the guidelines?

“We’ve heard a little bit of feedback from some podcasters that say the guidelines doesn’t go super deep and there’s no certification process. But the IAB isn’t an enforcement or auditing organization. They are more interested in making sure a set of guidelines can be put forth with information that will help solidify the terminology and provide guidelines that make the digital advertising space more navigable. You could never get 23 companies to agree to a rigid set of standards, but it’s a good first document that we worked hard to unite on.”

Q: What isn’t covered in the document?

A: “Neither filtering or fraud are covered in detail in the guidelines it’s mentioned, and we think those are both crucial things for podcasters and podcast service companies to be paying attention to. Hopefully, we can dig deeper on the next revision of this document. For example, we at Blubrry were recently able to identify podcasts that were using multiple Twitter accounts to directly link to new episode media files. Bots were picking up those media links and downloading the file many times. Because we have such a huge and wide data set, and because most podcasts are consumed in a predictable way, when we come across something weird it sticks out like a sore thumb and we can see it very easily in the data. It was a gaming of the system that was unfairly inflating traffic for the podcasters using that tactic. Because we are looking for that kind of thing and have strong algorithms set up for fraud, we were able to find it and put in filters to prevent it. If some podcast service providers offer that kind of filtering and others don’t, there will still be discrepancies between their numbers.”

Q: So how can podcasters and media buyers get a complete picture of what’s going on?

A: “By studying both the new IAB Podcast Measurement guidelines and the IAB Audio Buyers Guide, which is being updated by the IAB right now, podcasters and media buyers will both be using the same terminology so there’s no confusion. Everyone will be singing from the same page, as long as everyone adopts the guidelines. It’ll still be up to the media buyer to ask questions about how the service provider the podcaster is using measures its traffic, though. Blubrry has been completely in compliance with the guidelines, and then some, since we developed almost the same set of standards in 2008 with the Association of Downloadable Media. At some point, we’ll probably come out with more information, and share deeper data with the podcasting community as needed.”

Q: What about downloads – how can they be accurately measured?

A: “As we recently stated, 60% of podcasts are still downloaded on-demand. But it’s a a myth that those downloads can’t be measured. Many podcasters and media buyers are under the impression that there’s a black hole, and once podcasts are downloaded, there’s no way to know if they are ever listened to or not. But there is still a story to be told based on trending data. We can tell a lot more about how those podcasts are consumed than many people believe. After 3-5 episodes in a row aren’t listened to, iTunes and the iOS Podcast App will stop downloading that show. And since iTunes / iOS is still so dominant, we know that if a show is still downloading, it’s being widely listened to across a period of time. Podcast listening is different – it’s not like a banner ad, but more like the radio equivalent of the home DVR. Advertisers won’t get all the answers, but when these guidelines are adopted, they will get numbers that are consistent across all service providers.  Everyone listening to podcast has grown up with a DVR and podcast consumption is like most media we consume today – “on demand.”

Download the IAB Ad Metrics Guidelines