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Is Podcasting 2.0 clear enough?

· By · 7.2 minutes to read

In The Feed episode 260, Elsie Escobar and Rob Walch spoke about “Podcasting 2.0”, and the difficulty in explaining it.

Elsie: So we have another email: “Aloha, Rob. I’ve been hearing a lot about podcasting 2.0, and watched a few videos on it. But I still don’t understand what it is. So what is podcasting 2.0? How does it benefit podcasters? And with other podcast hosting services offering it, when is Libsyn estimated to have it? Mahalo!”

Rob: Podcasting 2.0 is not one thing. It is many, many different items, none of which are supported by Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

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Only less than 1% of all downloads to aggregator apps come from apps that support any of the Podcast 2.0 specs. This is something you do not hear the Podcast 2.0 proponents mention. There’s virtually no support on the listener side per aggregator apps, which is where it’s supposed to matter most.

Next: for Libsyn supporting it, we already do support some of the features.

For example, we support the feed lock tag, making that available to producers to turn on to keep feeds from being imported elsewhere. It was a feature added to address those importing podcasts into Anchor, unknown or unbeknown to the real host/content owners. And those nefarious folks were getting duplicate shows then into Apple Podcasts and trying to monetize them through Anchor.

But here’s the thing. That feature only works if the hosting company honors a tag: which Anchor doesn’t - or didn’t.

And so the feature does not even address the issue it was supposed to solve, but it does cause confusion for podcasters where the tag is turned on by default. And then they go and try to move to someone like Libsyn, where the tag is honored, and then we’re not able to import them until they go and figure out where to turn that tag off on their original host.

Also, if you use the Libsyn4 UI, you can manually add many of the 2.0 feature tags. We’ve had that ability for a long time.

Now, to your point, we will be adding more of the podcast 2.0 features to the UI in the future.

But again, given that less than 1% of all downloads happen with apps that support podcast 2.0 features, they will be mostly not usable by the majority of your listeners.

That said, again, we still plan to add support to more and more Podcasting 2.0 features in 2024 and beyond.

FYI, hate mail for speaking the truth can be sent to rob@libsyn.com or come see me this week at the Libsyn booth at PodFest and tell me why I’m wrong.

Elsie: Podcast 2.0 and those features, it’s a lot, it’s a lot of things, it’s not just one thing.

I actually do find a lot of the ideas incredibly inspiring. I like a lot of the ideas around the tags and the functionality that could be brought to RSS feeds. I love the concept of it, I love the innovation of being able to do many different things with it all.

In order to, because I’ve tried in my own head, like mind you, not actively, like as in I do this every day, but I have really wanted to be supportive.

And I’m like, you know what, maybe I’d like to be a little bit more supportive here and sort of evangelize a little bit, educate people like you, Camuela, that are interested about it so that folks could really get to know more about these features and why they are important, all that stuff.

And I think where I get a little not confused, but I find a little more obstacles in my way is that it isn’t easy or simple to get this information to the people that I serve, the majority of folks who don’t have as much knowledge about the technicalities of podcasting in the first place.

Having to explain an RSS feed to somebody - just the feed itself - is a challenge because folks don’t get that part yet at all. And being able to say things like “you don’t upload your podcast into Apple Podcasts”. Just getting to that part is already a big challenge because folks don’t quite get that.

Then adding a bunch of more information to the whole thing is a lot more complicated and complex for somebody who hasn’t understood what it is in the first place, right?

And then with the addition in all of this conversation around video and YouTube, and even with that, that folks don’t understand so many basic differences between RSS feed podcasts and YouTube end quote podcasts that are in there that don’t have RSS feeds. It just becomes a convoluted mess.

And then you can’t see much of it, right? That’s the other part. It’s behind the scenes.

And so all on all this to say, I am not negative about podcasting 2.0 features, and I really find them exciting, but I’m at a loss as to how to communicate a lot of this in a simple manner with the demographic and psychographic that I serve.

If I want to participate in a lot of this stuff, a lot of the conversations I’ve seen around podcasting 2.0 is very technically centric, and I feel like I don’t understand it myself, and I kind of feel overwhelmed and like I’m not smart enough to know this stuff.

That’s just a personal feeling that I get when these conversations come up.

Rob: Not that they’re trying to make people feel that way.

Elsie: No, no - but in all honesty, I get confused by a lot of the conversations. I feel intimidated by being in those (online) rooms. You know what I mean?

In communities that are really pro Podcast 2.0, because a lot of the conversations are really technical and I feel like I don’t even know what to say. Like, I wouldn’t even know. Like all I would be doing is going: so, what is that? Where does that go? How do I see that again?

And so I feel like they’d be explaining, like explaining way basics and I don’t know. So anyway, those are my feelings. I’m pro, but then I’m also like, I don’t even know how to, I feel intimidated by the conversation. It’s not an easy one to have.

Rob: It’s like all these neat features - but they’re only good for cars that have the steering wheel on the right side of the car.

Elsie: You know, it is kind of like that. It’s also, I understand it because it could also be something like the Apple Vision Pro. Most of the population cannot use the functionality from the Apple Vision Pro. There’s so much tech involved with all of that! Mind you, it is being supported within the Apple ecosystem, so there is that bonus, but there are some things that a new user who doesn’t understand all the techie stuff will be lost with. You wouldn’t really understand it until you put that thing on your own head and you were able to use it - and most of us aren’t going to have the luxury of being able to put that on our own heads and use it unless we go out of our way and/or we have somebody in our family that owns it or we go to an Apple store.

So the Podcast 2.0 features is kind of like that, where we would have to go to where it is and download that app.

So there’s like all of these extra little steps - use this app. This app really supports all these features, but is my audience really going to jump through the hoops for this? I’m barely getting them to listen to the darn podcast!!

Rob: So yes, this is a topic that brings up some emotions. And again, come see us at the Libsyn booth. Tell us why we’re wrong on that.

But again, I agree with Elsie. At the end of the day, if the apps that people are using to consume podcasts don’t support it, it’s just, did a tree make any noise that fell in the forest? If no one’s around to hear it.

Elsie: And it’s not like you have to come to a podcast booth and tell us how we’re wrong!

I would love to have you approach and say, hey, I’d love to talk about this, right? Because it’s true, like, again, I personally think that they’re really cool, I just having a hard time explaining it to my own people, right?

And that’s where I’ve been stuck. I’m like, how do I even explain this?

Again, getting back to the point, people right now, we’re still at the point where for new podcast listeners, for people who are just stepping into the podcasting industry consumption, not even industry, podcasting listeners, right?

We’re getting them now to the point where we have to just let them know there are other apps you could use other than Spotify.

Or if they find us on YouTube, we have to teach them there are other apps.

There’s Apple Podcast, there’s Overcast, there’s like Pocketcasts, it’s a great app - some folks are not using other apps other than Spotify and Apple Podcasts. We’re still there, and they don’t know.

So that’s where I’m stuck, where it’s like, should I spend time explaining about podcasting 2.0 or explaining that there is an app called Pocket Casts. It’s actually really cool. You could do all of these things in the app. They would go, oh, yeah, I could see why I would use that app or Overcast. I could see why I would use that app.

Rob: But Overcast doesn’t support any of the Podcast 2.0 specs.

Elsie: I believe he’s working on doing all kinds of really fun things for Overcast as well. Marco I don’t know if I am speaking correctly, but if you are listening, I know that your have been working hard thinking through a lot of these things.

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The Feed The Official Libsyn Podcast
Elsie Escobar and Rob Walch
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