All posts by Blubrry

5 Things We’re Looking Forward To In 2017



2017 is off to a great start here at Blubrry. Here are some of the things our team is most looking forward to this year:

New Launches.

Last year we were thrilled to introduce PowerPress Sites, an all-in-one podcasting option that makes starting your podcast push-button easy. We launched with Basic, which allows users to create a FREE branded podcast website that includes an optimized theme, essential plugins, and all the tools you need to get started, including an iTunes-ready RSS feed. In 2017 we’ll be rolling out Deluxe, featuring all the options of Basic plus the ability to host on your own domain and enhanced SEO tools.

Free Training Videos for Podcasters.

We’re beefing up our educational offerings in 2017, offering training videos on a variety of topics podcasters ask for help with again and again. Blubrry University is already in session: check out our YouTube channel now!

Savvier Social.

Post to Social allows podcasters to publish two-minute podcast episodes or teasers directly to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to get listeners hooked and encourage them to listen to full-length episodes or subscribe to your show. In 2017, we’ll be adding more social sites and improving this popular service – stay tuned!  

Premium Player Performance.

The Blubrry podcast player has never looked or functioned better, and based on enthusiastic feedback from our loyal customer base, we’ll be improving it even more and adding some exciting new features.

Awesome Events.

We’ll have a presence at several premiere podcasting conferences and other events this year, including:

  • Podcast Movement. Coming to Anaheim, CA from August 23 – 25, Podcast Movement is one of our favorite events and a must-attend for veteran, newbie, and wannabe podcasters alike.
  • Podfest. Coming up soon, from February 23 – 25, 2017 in Orlando, FL, Podfest features a robust speaker schedule and an awards ceremony.
  • Proclaim17. Focused on members of the Christian media, Proclaim features educational content in radio, video, digital media, and of course, podcasting! Proclaim17 will be held in Orlando from February 27 – March 2.

Podcasters, what are you looking forward to in 2017?

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7 New Year’s Resolutions Podcasters Should Make In 2017



Now that it’s been 2017 for a few days, you might be rocking your New Year’s Resolutions…or totally slacking. No matter: it’s never too late to resolve to have a better, more successful, and more engaging podcast! Here are 7 podcasting resolutions we think are totally worth making, starting today:

  1. Invest in better sound. The first thing your audience will notice is how your podcast sounds, and bad audio is a turnoff many would-be listeners can’t get past. You don’t have to drop a bunch of dough for a top-of-the line setup all at once, though. Remember, you can upgrade your equipment a little at a time, and often you can get better sound for free just by making some adjustments to your surroundings or editing process. Check out our tips for getting the best possible sound out of your setup. 
  2. Rethink your podcast art. Is your podcast’s cover art really doing your show justice? Use of color, symmetry, and clearness of message are all important qualities to consider when creating the image that represents your show episode after episode. Check out our podcast cover art design tips to make your show’s imagery clearer and more compelling!
  3. Be more engaging. Podcast listeners are your community, and community is a powerful thing. Interacting with your audience is essential for turning casual listeners into loyal advocates. Check out these three simple tips for increasing engagement and making your show more successful!
  4. Attend a podcasting event. One of the best ways to increase your knowhow and network with other bloggers is by attending a conference or other podcast event. Here’s our list of must-go podcasting events in 2017.
  5. Be consistent. One of the most foolproof ways to increase your podcast’s audience is by listening
  6. Get more exposure. Claim your place in the Blubrry podcast directory to make your show easier to find, to give you access to premium social tools, increase your brand awareness and make your show eligible for advertising opportunities!
  7. Increase your traffic. By making a few simple tweaks to your show, you can make it much easier for listeners to find you.

The best thing about these resolutions is that each of them will give you big results in not a ton of time. Why not pick a few off the list and resolve to have a bigger, better podcast in 2017?

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Start Making Your 2017 Podcast Event Plans Now!



It’s hard to believe, but 2017 is just a little over a week away. By now, you’ve probably checked off most of the names on your holiday gift list – so why not give yourself the gift of knowledge, networking, and a more successful podcast by taking advantage of 2016 pricing on next year’s podcast events? Here are 5 events to consider as you’re planning your calendar for the new year:

  • Podfest Multimedia Expo: The first event on our list, PME is just around the corner from Feb 23-25, 2017 in Orlando, FL. The event includes a jam-packed schedule including hands-on workshops, keynotes, breakout sessions and a tongue-in-cheek awards ceremony. Tickets start at $319. We’ll see you there in February!
  • Mid-Atlantic Podcast Conference: Slated for September 8-9, 2017 in Philadelphia, MAPCON serves podcasters in the Northeast. It’s a more intimate event that offers plenty of opportunity for one-to-one networking as well as goodies like free professional head shots. Tickets aren’t on sale for the 2017 event yet, but to experience last year’s content, order a virtual ticket to the 2016 conference for just $100.
  • Los Angeles Podcast Festival: The mission of this grassroots podcaster’s event? “…to shove podcasters and fans together in a small enclosed space. To meet. To mingle. To love.” The event was launched on Kickstarter over 5 years ago and has amassed a loyal following since, featuring names like Wil Wheaton, TJ Miller, and Bill Hader among its 2016 guests. 2017 dates have not yet been formally announced, but watch the website for more details.
  • International Podcast Day: The only international holiday dedicated to the art and craft of podcasting! IPM is completely virtual, and it’s free to participate. Follow IPM on Twitter for information on the 2017 event.
  • Podcast Movement: To our collective mind, if you have to choose just one Podcast Movement is THE event to attend in 2017. Why? “Podcast Movement brings in the big names, but also focuses on being helpful to podcasters and companies with lower profiles,” says MacKenzie Bennett, Services and Affiliates Coordinator at Blubrry. “You’re going to find all kinds of people to share ideas with and learn from.” Podcast Movement 2017 will be held August 23 – 25 in Anaheim, CA. Currently, registration is as low as $289, but this is as low as it’s going to get and prices will certainly go up sometime in the new year. So why wait? Lock in your price now, and help yourself get off to a great start podcasting in 2017!

 

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“Dear Santa, Please Bring Me…” 6 Blubrry Team Members Share Their Tech-y Holiday Wish Lists!



With a little over a week left until Christmas, many podcasters are hoping some new piece of equipment or a great tech tool shows up under the tree or in their stocking. We asked Blubrry team members to share what’s making the top of their holiday wish lists, and got great suggestions for your last-minute wish list.

  • Shawn Thorpe, Customer Support: “I’d like to get this X Lock Case for iPad Pro 12.9” by Studio Proper. It’s a specially-designed case for the large iPad Pro that works with Studio Proper’s X-Lock system to make it easy to mount devices like iPads in all kinds of places. I’ve already got a number of X-Locks around the house that I used with my old iPad Mini. The X-Lock case for iPad Pro was released recently and I’ve been waiting for over a year for Tether Tools to finally produce it.”
  • Lena Taupier, Computer Programmer: “Mine would be the Google Pixel. I’ve been a long time fan, having had the Nexus One, Nexus Four, and Nexus 5X and have always loved the pure Android experience. Plus, Angelo (CIO) and Brian (Creative Director) keep raving about it!”
  • Angelo Mandato, Chief Information Officer: “I want smart light bulbs and smart switches for my Alexa, or 3D printer.”

  • Winnie C. Verzosa, PHP Developer: “I would like an Amazon Echo (Alexa) or a Google Home. I’m torn between these two.”
  • Mackenzie Bennett, Services and Affiliates Coordinator. “To put it lightly, my 2009 Macbook Pro is slow. I hope to upgrade to SSD.”

What’s on your holiday wish list?

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Making A Unique Company Dynamic Work at Blubrry



What’s more appropriate than for a cutting-edge podcasting services company to have a thoroughly modern company culture? Of Blubrry’s 12 team members, five are women, including two developers: an unusually high percentage for a tech company.

“Working in a male dominated industry, every woman counts,” says MacKenzie Bennett, Services and Affiliates Coordinator for Blubrry. “I’ve always wanted to work in media or a tech industry like podcasting, and I knew going in how hard it was going to be. Since I came on, I’ve seen Blubrry grow with more women, and see the benefits of a diverse team and environment. I value the relationships I have with other women in this field and the support that we provide one another.”

To Rawvoice/Blubrry CEO Todd Cochrane, hiring highly-qualified women is just a matter of course. “We are, obviously, an equal opportunity employer. We simply seek out the best candidates possible and have been extremely lucky to have hired a diverse team with varied backgrounds. I think this has helped us a lot as the whole team is part of the creative process in the tools and services we bring to market.”

Another thing that makes Blubrry’s dynamic unique: its 12 team members are spread across 7 states, utilizing technology to stay connected and move forward.

“When we started the company in 2005, we were a remote company, and for a number of years we all worked from home,” says Cochrane, explaining that when the Columbus, Ohio office opened and began adding on-site employees, it was the birth of a big transition. The company already had systems in place using Video Skype and GoToMeeting, and today, Blubrry depends heavily on Slack for internal communications.

Such a spread-out team begs the question: how do the East coast and West coast employees stay in sync? “The split in time zones has actually worked to our advantage,” says Cochrane. “It’s helped us maintain customer support coverage across the country. We have tech support on both coasts, and I cover emergencies for the night owls.”

To that end, Cochrane – who lives in Hawaii – points out that this model might not work for all companies. “My day starts at 4:30 AM so that I can talk with clients on the East coast.”

Just another example of thinking outside the box to serve its users, from a company that makes innovation and customer service its top priorities.

 

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Podcast Statistics -VS- Web Analytics: What’s The Difference?



Over the years, we’ve heard from many customers who are confused about the difference between the analytics reported by their website host and their podcast statistics.

Take it from us: the difference is pretty huge.

Media podcast statistics measure media downloads, whether they happen in a browser or elsewhere: desktop, smartphone, tablet or cloud-based applications. Web analytics, on the other hand, measure interaction with a website through a browser. While website statistics can be a useful tool to help you understand your audience’s behavior, they don’t give you an accurate read of your podcast’s popularity. A page load or a unique visitor does not equate to a podcast play or download, and most of your website viewers are not going to play or download your media on every page load or visit.

In that same vein, it’s important to realize that on average, only 10 percent of a podcast’s downloads come from web browsers. Some 90% of downloads originate from podcast-specific applications like iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play, and your website’s statistics won’t tell you anything about those downloads. The best way to get accurate, applicable information about your podcast’s listeners is by using media download statistics such as Blubrry Media Statistics, which measures every download separately, calculates daily and monthly trends, and gathers client, platform and geographic information.

Is it possible to measure subscribers? Not really. Some services offer up RSS feed statistics, but remember: those feed statistics are often no better than a hit counter to tell you how many times the page has been loaded. In fact, RSS feeds are often hit by bots and other automated scripts from podcast apps on a pre-scheduled basis, and unless you filter out duplicates and the bots, you end up with a number that in no way represents actual subscribers.

All that said, web statistics can be a useful part of the big picture! Your website analytics are great at measuring audience engagement. Even though your podcast can be played from a variety of locations that are convenient to your individual listeners, you should always be encouraging your audience to interact with you on your own turf: your podcast website. That gives you the ability to connect and engage with listeners on a deeper level, keep tabs on who your most loyal listeners are, and provide your advertisers with more value.

For more about the difference between media podcast statistics and Web analytics as well as how to make the most of each, check out our Podcasting Manual. 

 

 

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5 Reasons To Claim YOUR Podcast In The Blubrry Directory



Did you know that Blubrry directory includes 350,000 podcasts? Chances are your podcast has been included in this directory and you didn’t even know. But even if your podcast is listed, there are good reasons to take an extra few steps to claim your podcast in the Blubrry directory.

Here are five:

  • More exposure. When you claim your podcast in our directory, we’ll feature your show when potential listeners search or browse our categories.
  • Free resources. From a created-for-you audience survey to free basic statistics, you’ll have access to tools that can make your podcast better and grow your audience.
  • Monetization opportunities. You may be invited to participate in paid advertising campaigns.
  • Increased brand awareness. Claimed show listings contain the following at a minimum: your show name, iTunes artwork, show summary, link to your website, RSS feed, iTunes link, host name, and location if embedded in your feed.
  • Advanced social tools. We just released a cool new feature: if you tweet an episode directly from Blubrry’s directory, a customized image and audio card will show up in your tweet! Better yet, if the podcast is hosted with us, the tweet will include our new player embedded right in the tweet.

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This is just the beginning: there are many more incredible social features and tools soon to come. So what are you waiting for? Here’s how to claim your podcast in the Blubrry directory: 

  1. Go to the Blubrry home page and search for your podcast in the upper left side of the window.
  2. If you don’t see your podcast listed, go back to the home page and enter it in the field under “Add” on the upper right.
  3. If you do find your podcast, click it.screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-4-18-39-pm
    Underneath the cover art, you’ll see the words “More info.” Click that, and look below the description that pops up. If you see the words “Claim this podcast,” it means your show is NOT claimed in the directory! Click the link and follow the directions, and you’re on your way to claiming the great benefits listed above! Get started now.

 

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3 Questions You NEED To Ask To Protect Your Podcast Feed.



Dear Podcast Community:

We’re concerned.

Recently we have heard from a rash of podcasters who have either lost control of their podcast feeds, or had them go down for hours at a time. In one case, a podcaster lost his Feedburner account – and along with it, 10 years worth of listener subscriptions. In another case, a podcast service company went out of business, and multiple shows had to scramble to get their feeds moved. Ultimately they lost listeners because the original company closed shop and did not forward the feeds.

At Blubrry, we have a long history of recommending that ALL podcasters own and control their own podcast feed. By controlling your feed, you can be guaranteed you won’t be dependent on other companies or people to keep it up and running. Feeds go invalid with even the best companies, and you can be at their whim to fix it. If you own your own feed, you won’t have to worry about losing your audience if the company suddenly goes out of business.

Do you know who controls your feed? It is really pretty simple. If you have your own .com on your own site, and that is the feed that you submitted to iTunes, you are in control of your feed.  While some podcast providers say that you can control your feed from their site, if it is on their domain, it is their property and under their control. With Blubrry PowerPress you own and control your feed, which explains why today nearly 55,000 smart podcasters power their podcast with PowerPress!

If you don’t have control of your feed, is there someone you can contact to get your feed back online if there’s an issue? Many podcasting service providers offer inadequate customer service and definitely nobody to go to in an emergency if there’s a feed issue. No matter what a podcast services company tries to tell you, nobody can guarantee that your feed will work 100% of the time. However, the likelihood that a feed owned and controlled by you will have a major problem is very small, and if it does happen, you will have the power to do something about it.

Does your podcast host advocate that you have a different feed for every destination? This is a huge red flag. If you have different feeds for every place people listen to your show, i.e. one feed for iTunes, another for Google Play, another for Stitcher, etc, you’re asking for trouble. First of all you’ll have to monitor each and every feed to make sure they’re all functioning correctly, which is a ton of work! Second, the more feeds you have the more chances there are for something to break or go wrong. Remember, your feed is like a radio signal that spreads to many stations. There is no reason to have more than one signal – all that matters is that the one signal you do have is strong, is held and maintained by a reliable source, and can “broadcast” where you need it to go.

Furthering the radio analogy, consider this: do you only want to rent the land your radio tower sits on, only to have the rent raised or worse, the land taken away? We feel strongly that when you own and control the “property” your feed sits on, it not only protects your creative property but also puts you in a much better position to troubleshoot and problem-solve.

Keep in mind you only need one feed, and managing it doesn’t have to be complicated. Occasionally we have clients that are on a content management system that does not support podcasting feeds. Blubrry can provide in those cases a feed that we manage, with the ability to have it permanently forwarded when you do move to a platform that supports RSS feeds.

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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 mackenzie@blubrry.com.

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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?

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