Embrace Paid Subscribers, and Define the Term Clearly


PodMov Daily: Monday, November 29

Episode 544: Your Monday Mix

Embrace Paid Subscribers, and Define the Term Clearly

Apple’s next six months of podcast subscriptions are unlikely to offer the beginning’s benefits, writes Sounds Profitable editor Bryan Barletta. Now’s a time to be along for the ride — “every new channel and show that sets up a subscription reduces your show’s chance to attract promotional attention from Apple.”

That said, a very important message from Joshua Benton of Nieman Lab: “Please, please make it clear to your readers what a ‘subscriber’ is.” The term can mean two things, he stresses to journalists. People who pay for regular access to your product (or, in the case of podcasting), versus people who have listened for free.

Numbers are easy to misrepresent with digital subscriptions as a business model. From Ozy Media to Punchbowl News, Benton gives examples of publishers fudging the free-paid distinction. Apple’s terminology switch from ‘subscribe’ to ‘follow’ for free listeners makes sense here, so represent with honesty.

The Next Music Tastemakers Will Be Podcasters

The next music hitmakers/tastemakers/influencers will be podcasters, writes Edison Research SVP Tom Webster. Great, curated on-demand music shows will remain overdue until music licensing becomes simple and affordable. A lack of coordination between industries is all that’s holding back a much-wanted renaissance.

In other news, Webster and his wife, speaker and strategist Tamsen Webster, will present “The Pitchable Podcast” on December 9. Free for (free) email subscribers, the webinar will cover why most shows fail at the pitch stage: They’re “just missing an element or two that would truly distinguish it and make it compelling.” 

Last but not least, this coming Thursday we’ll see “the first true apples-to-Apple comparison of the US and UK podcasting markets.” Registration is free for the inaugural Infinite Dial UK from Edison Research, streaming from London at 2:00 pm GMT/8:00 am CT. The presentation of the report will be available for download.

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An enemy is one whose story we have not heard.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Treasure box: PM Daily’s RØDE Holiday Giveaway begins today and runs through December 10. For each friend you refer to this fine newsletter, your name will be entered into a drawing for a RØDE PSA1+ Studio Boom Arm. There will be three winners! Check out contest details here.
  • Search party: SquadCast.fm is hosting a Scavenger Hunt contest throughout December to familiarize podcasters with the platform. Winners will receive $5,000 in prizes, including a gift from Podcast Movement. The virtual kickoff party is this Wednesday at 7:00 pm CT. Free registration.
  • House rules: Something like an “unwritten contract” has grown between podcast publishers and podcast apps, says James Cridland. Apps should never alter the audio, mess with the metadata, or charge listeners to access your content. See any bad behavior? Cridland encourages tips.
  • Vibe check: If your podcast were mingling at a party, who would it hit it off with? Pacific Content producer Karen Burgess suggests that off-the-bat personality communicates more to listeners than we think. Here’s how to assess the ‘landing’ of your music, artwork, length, and guests.

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