Public Broadcasters Put Pocket Casts Up for Sale


PodMov Daily: Thursday, January 14

Episode 350: Your Thursday Podthoughts

Public Broadcasters Put Pocket Casts Up for Sale

According to Tyler Falk of Current, Pocket Casts will soon be hitting the market: “A board made up of representatives of Pocket Casts’ owners — NPR, New York Public Radio, Chicago Public Media and BBC Studios Americas — agreed in December to sell the platform, according to NPR’s latest audited financial report.”

Pocket Casts’ open-ecosystem model has raised both financial questions and financial support. Just last March, it scored new investment from the BBC. However, Falk reports, “NPR’s financial statement showed that Pocket Casts had a net loss in the network’s fiscal year 2020. NPR’s share of the loss was more than $800,000.”

In fall 2019, the platform made its app free and launched a subscription service. The move wasn’t primarily revenue-driven, CEO Owen Grover said at the time. “In fact, we predict only a small percentage of power users will opt for Pocket Casts Plus.” Results aside, hats off to Pocket Casts for sticking to its principles.

Podcasters, Nail Your Short Game Like a Politician

Evo Terra offers podcasters a simple message, unexpectedly inspired by C-SPAN: “Embrace, re-embrace, or build your skills as an orator.” In Podcast Pontifications, the podcaster, broadcaster, and author observes the skill with which US senators “each nailed it in their short talks” during last week’s proceedings. 

Like politicians, podcasters have a reputation for tangents and fluff. (Exhibit A: Last week’s 60-second viral delight, “Podcasts saying literally nothing for 20 minutes.”) Terra recommends hosts try incorporating a concise segment into each episode. This may look like a tight intro, a clear outline, or a ‘story so far’ summary.

The idea applies to just about any genre, from interview shows to audio fiction. Keep in mind, though, that editing yourself takes practice. “It's easy for a podcaster to sit behind a microphone and talk,” Terra says. It’s another thing to prepare and polish enough to talk on-point for a short amount of time. That's tricky.”

Dynamic Content: A Powerful New Tool from Buzzsprout

With Buzzsprout, it’s faster than ever to keep your podcast fresh — and your listeners up-to-date. The new Dynamic Content tool lets you easily add and remove short pre-roll (intro) and post-roll (outro) content to your episodes. It's the perfect solution for timely messaging.

Whether you’re promoting a virtual event or giving a special shout-out, Dynamic Content makes it simple to swap, automatically add content to new episodes, or apply it to your existing catalog with a click. Old files are removed and replaced, so there’s no clean-up.

For podcasters, this new tool offers more than flexibility. It benefits your audience in more ways than one: Buzzsprout respects your listeners’ privacy. Unlike most Dynamic Ad Insertion, the Dynamic Content tool includes no tracking or targeting. Ready to make the switch?

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Pole vault: Microphone polar patterns are settings that determine where the mic will focus when recording, explains Matthew McLean of The Podcast Host. In a handy guide, McLean takes a look at seven different pattern options and their ideal uses. Fun fact: Your mic is probably ‘cardioid.’
  • Curtain call: Descript has raised $30 million in funding, reports Ingrid Lunden of TechCrunch. According to Descript CEO and founder Andrew Mason, the ‘double-platform approach’ of video podcasting is largely “just audio with window dressing.” Upcoming editing tools aim to change that.
  • Real talk: The industry faces urgent moderation questions, writes Nicholas Quah in Hot Pod. “I have a strong feeling we’re just a few months away from really grappling with the fact that podcasting is fast becoming a prominent vector for misinformation and other types of troubling content.”
  • Every voice: Submissions for the 2021 HearSay International Audio Arts Festival Awards are due in one week. Since 2014, the Kilfinane, Ireland-based event has honored creative audio of all disciplines. New and existing podcasts in languages other than English are encouraged.

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