See you soon: We’ll be off tomorrow and Friday, returning Monday, May 2 with your daily headlines, resources, and events.
PodMov Daily: Wednesday, April 27
Episode 634: Your Midweek Update
YouTube Expands Access to Tipping Monetization
YouTube has expanded its ‘Super Thanks’ tipping feature to everyone in the Partner Program. (The basic requirements are at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 ‘public watch’ hours.) Viewers can spend between $2 to $50 at a time, and their attached note will be colorfully highlighted in the comments.
Despite YouTube’s 30% cut, the option will certainly appeal to podcasters. One-time tips are a quick way to engage with individual viewers without asking for commitment. TikTok and Twitch have offered similar features for some time, and fans will gladly pay vending-machine prices for instant recognition.
Not only will this incentivize podcasters with large audiences who are already in the Partner Program. To reach eligibility, intermediate creators will focus their growth efforts on YouTube. Tipping has been in beta longer than expected, but there’s no time like right after Spotify adds monetization to video.
When in Doubt, Leave Out the Sound Effects
Sound effects in audio stories drive Rob Rosenthal up the wall. “How do they help?” he asks. “If they’re intended to add a little sonic zing to something that seems lackluster, don’t use sound effects as a band aid to solve a problem.” A narrative storytelling instructor for over 20 years, Rosenthal explains why.
It’s easy to assume that a sound effect works like a book illustration. Instead, “little sonic doodads” often have a cheapening effect. Rosenthal includes clips from a podcast hosted by a former CNN reporter. Listen to these, or the full episode of HowSound that accompanies the article. His point speaks for itself.
Before dipping into a sound effects library, consider your listeners. Will this whoosh, scream, or applause track add value? Will the audience better understand what’s being said? The answer might be yes if it’s an inherently goofy podcast. But in most cases, Rosenthal says, leave it out. (Insert gong sound.)
Swell: Where Short Audio Meets Great Conversations
Swell is a new platform offering the best of social audio with none of the noise. Posts up to five minutes long bring short conversations and interviews directly to a growing community. Podcasters use Swell like bloggers use Twitter – it’s the perfect way to share, engage, and grow your audience.
Unlike live-only platforms, Swell is asynchronous. Anyone can listen to your posts and reply with audio, anytime. With no need to schedule, spontaneous thoughts can reach a wider audience. You can even moderate speakers and replies to keep your conversations on-track.
Swell is full of interesting people discovering new content. It’s free, fun, and flexible: Your dedicated page and embed widget let you share off-app, without limits. Ready to make great audio in small packages? The world is listening.
Here's what else is going on:
- Wide angle: “Podcast Economics” from Radio Boot Camp is next Tuesday, May 3. Veteran showrunner Dan Bobkoff (Axios, Business Insider, NPR) will lead an interactive lecture on creation essentials, the podcast landscape, monetization models, financial pitfalls, and IP ownership. $100 registration.
- Inner voices: Apple Podcasts has launched a new listening report for paid subscriptions. The data will help creators compare engagement with free vs. subscriber content. This update addresses a criticism in the first annual Podnews Report Card, presented in March. Power to the podcasters.
- Support team: Crowdfunding to make a podcast carries a high risk of burnout. Audio drama creator Tal Minear (Sidequesting) has a useful guide to managing exhaustion – and expectations. They break down exactly what to research, what to prepare in advance, and how to ask for help effectively.
- Howdy, friend: The latest Outlier Podcast Festival will take place May 5-6 in Austin. Founded by Ever Gonzalez (OutlierHQ) and Arielle Nissenblatt (EarBuds Podcast Collective), the conference is an opportunity for “outliers” to collaborate with indies and giants. Sliding registration starts at $30.