Own Your RSS Feed, Own Your Podcast’s Legacy


PodMov Daily: Monday, May 3

Episode 420: Your Monday Mix

Own Your RSS Feed, Own Your Podcast’s Legacy

In the fine art world, a work’s provenance — a record of where it came from and where it’s been — heavily influences its value. A podcaster’s provenance is the ownership and maintenance of their RSS feed, says Edison Research SVP Tom Webster. Letting go of that legacy means losing agency, flexibility, and subscribers. 

Owning one’s feed is especially important if your goal is long-term monetization. Subscription and walled-garden audiences last only as long as your presence on the platform. You may have to start over: “If you leave Apple or Spotify (or they ‘leave you,’ for whatever reason) the provenance of that content is not yours.”

If a subscription model is the right choice for you and your show, “GO FOR IT,” Webster urges. “But value the bifurcation, deprecation, and diminishment of your RSS feed accordingly…The RSS feed has been the ‘little engine that could’ throughout the history of podcasting, and we should never forget its power.”

Apple Podcasts: Episodes on Two-Hour Delivery

For your Apple listeners, the gratification of a new episode may be a little less instant. From Podnews on Friday: “The new iOS 14.5 Apple Podcasts app now works in a very different way than previously; and as a result may now take hours to deliver new episodes to your listeners — even if they are subscribed.”

It used to be that the app would directly connect to your RSS feed, meaning listeners would see new episodes right away. Now, it looks at Apple’s database instead. Here’s the problem: That database is only updated every two hours or so by Apple’s crawler (“a thing that checks your podcast’s RSS feed every so often.”)

“Almost every other podcast app works this way: Spotify or Google Podcasts, for example,” explains editor James Cridland. “However, Apple’s crawler runs significantly less often.” Of the four other apps cited, the slowest checks every eight minutes. Two-hour episode delivery is more ‘airport shuttle’ than ‘bullet train.’

There's still time, new podcasters! The May 28-Day Launch Your Podcast Challenge begins tomorrow. Register to join dozens of other creators in our free online class. Together, you'll build skills and launch with confidence.

Hope is a renewable option: If you run out of it at the end of the day, you get to start over in the morning.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Stay sharp: It’s true — radio producers used to cut tape with razor blades. “I have absolutely no idea how that would work, especially if your editor wanted you to put something back in,” tweeted All Things Considered assistant Kalyani Saxena. NPR’s Scott Simon and others have fascinating replies.
  • Inner critic: “We may not hate the sound of our own voices as much as we think,” writes journalist and podcaster Kate Morgan. “Voice confrontation” happens when our recorded voices don’t match what we hear internally. She recommends breathing exercises and a change in perspective.
  • Code name: RSS feed validation is not a one-and-done kind of thing, explains Dan Marzullo for The Podcast Host. He recommends using a podcast feed validator like Podbase after every episode. It runs an RSS “health check” to find issues that may block your show (or parts) from distribution.  
  • Gong Show: Audible is launching a singing competition in podcast format, reports Peter White of Deadline. Breakthrough will be an elimination-style series, similar to popular TV programs. Its producers say that a podcast is the ideal way to find aspiring talent from basements and bedrooms.

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