Category Archives: Features

2 Fierce Female Podcasters You Should Be Following



Forget the image of podcasting as an old boy’s club: the visibility of women in the community seems to be on the rise – and many of us have been here from the beginning. Here are two female podcasters – who just happen to be Blubrry customers! – you’ll want to keep an eye on:

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Podcaster: Kitzie Stern, Host, New World Kirtan

About The Podcast: A show that explores Kirtan, a spiritual practice focused on singing meditation. The show is both personal and practical, featuring music to accompany Kirtan practices as well as relatable glimpses into Stern’s life.
Why You Should Listen: “Kirtan is just a really easy, accessible way to get your mind to quiet down during a time when we desperately need ways to quiet our minds.

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A New Way To Reach An Audience

Like many podcasters, Kitzie Stern initially turned to podcasting as a way to serve an existing audience. An experienced voiceover artist, Stern also had a deep personal interest in Kirtan chanting, a form of singing meditation that originated in India thousands of years ago. “I got this idea that I could do a podcast of songs and it would be like a setlist for my local Kirtan group to use for their chanting practice,” Stern explains. Because of its auditory nature, a podcast was a natural extension of a guided in-person Kirtan experience, but Stern also saw an opportunity to use podcasting to demonstrate her voiceover abilities.

Though it was originally targeted at a specific audience, as often happens Stern’s podcast took on on a life of its own – though Stern didn’t realize until about a year after the show launched. “On New Year’s Eve, just for kicks my husband and I thought we’d check download numbers, and found that it had been downloaded thousands of times. all over the world. I didn’t think I was talking to anyone besides people in Corvalis!”

Unexpected Opportunities

Stern considers her podcast a service to the Kirtan community, and while monetizing New World Kirtan directly isn’t a goal of hers, she can’t deny the benefits she’s received via the podcast, on both the personal and business sides of the table. In addition to the connection she’s been able to make with listeners across the globe, Stern has been invited to attend Kirtan and other spiritual festivals and events as a direct result of her podcast, and it’s also helped her create a thriving specialty in her voiceover career. “Voiceover is really a specialized kind of field, so I branded my voiceover site to take this side of myself into consideration…and now, I’m getting more of the kind of work that I really want to do,” she explains.

Advice To Newbies

After publishing hundreds of episodes, Stern enthusiastically encourages would-be podcasters to jump in with both feet. “I’m 63, and worked in radio for a long time. To be able to do your own show without having the constraints of being on a radio station – I can’t tell you how wonderful it is,” she says. “It’s an unprecedented time for podcasters, and people are really catching on to what a great medium this is.”

 

fogarty mignonPodcaster: Mignon Fogarty, Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
About the Podcast: The show started as a five-minute quick writing tip, but has evolved into a longer show – about 12 minutes long – for both language lovers and language learners.
Why You Should Listen: “If you find language as fascinating as I do, you’ll love it.”

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Podcasting As A Platform

Mignon Fogarty, the author and online personality also known as “Grammar Girl,” has become a household name – but not everyone realizes she’s also been podcasting for a decade and is also the founder of the high-profile podcasting network Quick and Dirty Tips. “I started podcasting in 2006 because I love technology and it was the neat new thing, and I was hooked by the immediate listener feedback,” she explains. “I started a science podcast first, because I was a science and technology writer, and started Grammar Girl about eight months later.”

Though she was already a successful writer and had extensive startup experience before starting Grammar Girl, “the success of the podcast gave me a platform to take both those interests to a much higher level, and now I’m a New York Times bestselling author and a professor of journalism and entrepreneurship. Also because of the podcast, I’ve been able to build an online social media platform that gives me the ability to try all kinds of new and interesting things like making digital games (Grammar Pop) and card games (Peeve Wars),” she explains. “I owe so much to podcasting.”

Women in the Podcasting Community

When asked whether she thinks there are more women entering the podcasting space, Fogarty says she hasn’t really noticed – however, “my perception may be skewed because I founded Quick and Dirty Tips, where all our full-time employees are women, the executive in charge of the enterprise is a woman, and 11 of our 17 podcasts are hosted by women. When I look at podcasting, I see women everywhere! To me, there have always been women in podcasting, but there does seem to be a weird perception in the media that we don’t exist.”

What Are You Waiting For?

Though Fogarty always considered herself a writer first and never imagined herself becoming a radio personality, she does remember playing alone in her backyard as an only child, instructing imaginary friends and audiences on how to swing on a swing or build a sand castle. The takeaway? Even if you never thought of yourself as a “radio type,” that doesn’t mean you won’t find a great fit in podcasting – it can be used for entertaining, instructing, or simply connecting more deeply with an audience.  “There’s no reason to be nervous,” Fogarty  “Just jump.” She recommends the She Podcasts community as a supportive community to answer your questions and help get you on the right path.

PowerPress podcasters can now CrowdFund their Podcast Directly to Subscribers



Blubrry has added another innovative podcast attribute to PowerPress; podcasters are now able to add donate and monetization links directly to their podcast feed and website. Blubrry is working with Skipcast an iOS podcast application the first of its kind to take donate links from the feed to display the podcasters donate or Patreon link in the application.

SkipCast is proud to partner with Blubrry to provide iOS’s first in-app crowdfunding feature. Providing an easy and safe way for listeners to offer financial support helps guarantee a vibrant and diverse podcasting ecosystem for years to come,” said SkipCast developer Matt Grdinic. “At SkipCast, we’re simply thrilled to be part of this incredible movement.”

PowerPress is the first service to provide donate and support links that will be syndicated within the podcast feed. Podcasters will be able to use this new RSS element for donations, promoting their brand via shirts, mugs, etc., even direct links to sponsors of their show. PowerPress users provide the donate URL in PowerPress and it is syndicated along with the podcast information. With a donation link embedded as an element in the RSS feed, third-party sites like Blubrry and podcast apps like SkipCast can now display that link.

“Our goal is like Subscribe on Android, other third-party apps will add a donate or support link in their apps /sites. Helping podcasters raise money for their shows on and beyond their websites is a lot easier now,” said Todd Cochrane, CEO of RawVoice and Blubrry.

For most, podcasting full-time sponsorship is a challenge so these extra monetization opportunities are a game-changer. This feature guarantees that donate and support links will be circulated to all listeners and that they will know where to donate to the podcast regardless of where they listen to a show. Podcasters can even use the feature to promote affiliate opportunities.

More than 50,000 podcasters use PowerPress for their podcast website, and this feature can easily be enabled with one click. The Podcast Feed markup is part of the RawVoice RSS2 namespace, which is publicly available and can be adopted by any podcast service. Blubrry and SkipCast are proud to be the first podcast companies to provide this tool for podcasters.


Lets Talk Podcast Statistics



As part of my fiduciary duty at RawVoice, I am required to make sure all of our advertising campaigns are reporting and being billed correctly.  Having highly accurate reporting is priority number one to me so that we can pay our podcasters on ad deals fairly, but also to ensure our advertisers are billed only what we have delivered.

I love statistics; it was one of my favorite courses in college so I often drive my team members crazy by asking them to calculate a weird stat or explore a new trend. What I aim to do in this series of articles is answer questions you might have on podcasting trends and provide you helpful insights. Feel free to reach out to me via the contact info on the site to send me questions.

Today, I want to talk on two topics: Truth in reporting podcast statistics; and a new statistic we’re calculating for our corporate clients that shows what percentage of a media file is actually streamed and / or downloaded.

I have been managing podcast ad deals since 2005 and have seen the good, bad and the ugly.  My sole philosophy when it comes to podcast stats is simple: I don’t care what the number is so long as I know what the true number is.

Truth in Reporting.

A week does not pass without someone contacting me to tell me they have 100,000 listeners per episode and want to work with us on securing advertising. My response to them has always been to get on our stats and we will talk in a couple of weeks. Often, the follow-up discussions are spent explaining to them why their audience size assessment was inaccurate.

The past couple of years we have been involved in the audits of podcasters’ reporting data that has more times than not ended disappointingly for the podcaster. It is not usually negligence on their part, rather their trust in a home-grown tool, or some non-podcast stats system.

Let’s look at the impact of improper reporting. If a podcaster was audited to have delivered 100,000 downloads from a trusted stats system, yet had originally billed for 500,000 from a system they employ, this will significantly, negatively impact the performance of the campaign, not to mention the cash that has to be returned to the media buyer.

The podcaster may be denied a follow-on campaign, whereas they may have extended the campaign had the initial reporting been accurate. These situations cause advertisers as a whole to lose faith in podcast advertising.

What constitutes a trusted stats system? From experience, we know that we have to tweak our stats engine weekly to keep up with all the bots, rouge apps, bad code and the overall deviations on the Web. We also know you need volume to see trends. For instance, we found a recent update of a browser that was causing bloated numbers — without weekly monitoring that would have caused inflated data.

If you have created your own solution, and it does not have the scale/volume and safeguards to see and flag trends such as a single-browser version inflating calculations, over time issues such as this will compound and cause inaccurate numbers reporting, both high and low. Most shows and networks do not have the time, traffic volume or staff resources to track such changes.

Media buyers are already starting to ask hard-hitting questions, and some are implementing or contracting statistics solutions that require podcasters to be on the media buyers’ tracking and stats system. You do not want to be on the wrong side of reporting numbers when an audit puts you in a position that could have a negative financial impact.

If you are a member of a network and they are doing ad deals for you, your reputation could be damaged by improper reporting, so always question the network leadership about how the podcasts statistics are being determined. As important, ask questions of your existing stats provider.

How much of a media file is being streamed / downloaded?

We recently did some research that we revealed at the New Media Expo this past January. We have been studying activity that can be broken into five categories detailing what occurs when a media file is queried. We found the following information that should give you some new insights into media consumption.

To do this, we took a snapshot of a network of podcasts, episodes in this network had billable downloads ranging from 2,000 downloads to 120,000 downloads per episode. We took a one-month sample of every episode / show and averaged out the totals below.

  • 55.9 percent of downloads where uncountable (duplicate, repeats, bogus)

  • 5.7 percent were unique IP completed downloads

  • .8 percent were repeat completed downloads

  • 17.7 percent unique IP partial downloads (2 percent-99 percent)

  • 19.9 percent repeated partial downloads (2 percent-99 percent)

Now these numbers may shock you, but take into account that the network ended up having more than 5.60 million billable downloads.

In future posts I will go much deeper and explain details on each of the above data points. What I want to impress upon you today is that unless you have specifically coded a filter for requests that are duplicate, repeats, bogus, etc., it is easy to understand how a show could end up with 55 percent more reported downloads than actually occurred.


Never fear, iOS6 users, MyCast is here!



The new Apple iOS6 has about 200 new features, such as more all-new Maps, more Siri (and we all need more Siri, right?) and Facebook integration for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. But it has changed some of the podcast functionality. Podcasts have been removed from the iTunes app. Yup. We've been hearing from our Blubrry community that they ain't too thrilled about having their podcast playlists wiped out! But, guess what, at Blubrry we've had the quick and easy solution to that all al

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Blubrry lets you create and manage a Podcast playlists with MyCast. All you have to do is log in, and subscribe to the crème de la crème and, viola,  they're on your MyCast subscription list in just a click. As new episodes come in, they're instantly populated newest to oldest in your MyCast RSS feed which you can subscribe to, our access through the Blubrry Android app or just visit the website. Your playlist is no further than a click away.

So never fear, podcast community! With Blubrry's MyCast, you can have your iOS6 and enjoy it your podcast playlists, too.

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