Acast launches secure paid-for podcasts in almost any app; Pacific Content bought by Rogers
May 2, 2019 · 6.9 minutes to read
- Acast has launched Acast Access, allowing podcast publishers to offer subscription-based podcasts behind a publisher’s own paywall, which listeners can play in the podcasting app of their choice. (Coverage also in Techcrunch.)
Background: Speaking to Podnews, CEO Ross Adams highlighted that the company has always taken a platform agnostic view about their podcasts - you can listen to them anywhere - and that the same principle should happen for premium, paid-for podcasts as well. Acast Access is “GDPR compliant subscription technology” that is, in his words, “properly secure - it has a link that can’t be shared with other people - and a simple user flow”: and works in any app that allows standard RSS feeds (like Apple Podcasts, Pocketcasts, etc). It also adds lockable, embeddable players for websites, too. The two launch partners are the FT and The Economist, and the next phase, he says, is to open this technology up to other publishers. Of note: both the FT and The Economist operate their own subscription platform, which this integrates into.
This is a very different model to Luminary’s subscription plans for podcasting: Acast Access apparently allows premium content to be played in almost any podcast app. We look forward to testing how easy it really is.
The Canadian media conglomerate Rogers Media has acquired Pacific Content, Canada’s first branded podcast company. In a blog post, Steve Pratt explains more. “The company will join Rogers and report in through our radio division but will continue to operate as a stand-alone business,” says Julie Adam, Senior Vice-President of Rogers Radio.
More radio activity - Corey Layton has been hired by ARN, an Australian radio broadcaster, as Commercial Product and Audio Partnerships Director. He joins the company from Whooshkaa, the Australian podcast host. ARN has also signed a licence extension for the iHeartRadio platform in Australia until 2036. In the US, iHeartMedia itself has completed its restructuring, and owes just US$5.75bn instead of $16.1bn.
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15% of Australians have listened to a podcast in the past week, says Edison Research in a partial release of their 2019 Infinite Dial Australia study. Aussie listeners consume an average of six podcasts each week. (The research is compiled to be directly comparable to other countries - in the US, 22% are weekly listeners; listening to an average of seven podcasts a week.)
Mumbrella’s Audioland conference today included chats about brand safety and exclusivity with podcast heads from Australia.
Apple have updated documentation, and emailed podcasters about their new web player and episode pages, which we reported on April 11. Not got it? We reproduce the email in full below.
Spotify is testing algorithm-driven podcast recommendations, alongside music recommendations.
The Wall Street Journal and Gimlet daily news podcast will launch this summer. Yesterday, in an internal email, the WSJ’s Head of Audio and Video Anthony Galloway announced the two co-hosts: Kate Linebaugh is WSJ’s Deputy US News Coverage Chief; Ryan Knutson is a former WSJ telco reporter. Also announced, Andrew Sussman is going to be joining as the executive producer - he joins from The World (a co-pro between BBC and WGBH in Boston + PRI).
“We are fortunate to have such talented and accomplished journalists joining to launch this new podcast and are already finding our partnership with Gimlet to be a positive collaboration. Gimlet’s expertise making highly-produced audio programs, combined with the Journal’s unparalleled reporting and talented newsroom, forms a strong foundation for success.” - Anthony Galloway, Head of Audio and Video, Wall Street Journal
Audio-to-video social sharing company Headliner has announced a deal with Entercom, a US radio broadcaster.
Verizon have announced a set of new podcasts from Yahoo Finance. They’ve also announced a deal with AdsWizz to offer programmatic advertising.
Audioburst, an audio search company, has announced the launch of a service with Flipboard, offering clips of broadcast radio and podcasts to Flipboard’s users. The company says that in their brief time on the platform, Flipboard users have listened to more than 300,000 Audioburst “bursts” and more than 600,000 minutes of targeted bursts on various topics.
The Podcast Brunch Club (like book club, but for podcasts) listening list theme for May is Food Trends. It features 5 episodes that span the topic.
US research company Nielsen has written a piece tracking brand awareness in podcast advertising. “Podcast advertising has been found to increase key metrics like awareness, ad recall, affinity, recommendation and purchase intent.”
How many Home & Appliance brands are buying two spots on the same episode? Magellan has the answer.
indiepodfest 2019, a festival for indie podcast makers and fans in Melbourne VIC, Australia has launched a crowdfunding push. The festival is looking for AU$19,500 (US$13,600) to hold an event in July.
Thank you to Evergreen Podcasts, “a welcoming new podcast network designed for the creative class to create, listen and inspire”, and also to Headliner, tools to promote your podcast on social media with video, for both becoming Podnews supporters today. Be like them. In other news, we’ve had “gold supporters” for a while, but never split them out before. We are doing so now.
|The Charlie Kirk Show - from “Twitter’s 5th most engaged personality” - debuts on PodcastOne with an in-depth interview with Donald Trump Jr and girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle. (Podcast One)|
|The Mueller Report: A Radio Dramatization is an adaptation of the report, “narrated by a fictional Robert Mueller who speaks in much more direct terms than the real Mueller has the freedom to”. It’s a fun listen. “I’m an old man. You’re making me tell you a bad, dumb, bedtime story. I don’t want to do this - but I will.” (Buzzsprout)|
|Intelligence Matters - where former acting Director of the CIA Michael Morell speaks with top leaders of the U.S. intelligence community - is celebrating a year, and 5.5m downloads. Their anniversary edition interviews Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (CBS News)|
|This Is Love is back for a second series. The first episode is all about the Ugly Club, a special club in Piobbico, Italy, for people who “understand why you don’t have to beautiful”. The podcast team have even made a badge to buy. Nice! (PRX)|
|Latina to Latina is celebrating 100,000 downloads. “We have been so moved by how strongly the show has been embraced by Latinas and their friends,” says Exec Producer Juleyka Lantigua-Williams. (Lantigua-Williams & Co, Libsyn)|
|We got sent an email about Electronic Propaganda Society - a podcast “looking into the failure of marketing and what brands must do about it” - telling us that this podcast “like Freakonomics and Serial had a marketing love child”. The mind boggles.|
Here’s an email that Apple sent podcasters yesterday. (If you don’t get Apple’s emails, you should probably check the email in your RSS feed)…
In addition to bug fixes and feature enhancements, we’d like to call your attention to these improvements to the Podcasts app on iOS 12.2:
- Browse. Featured collections and categories, as well as the Top Episodes and Top Shows charts, are now presented on the Browse tab for easier discovery.
- Episode numbers. Now, both show types, episodic and serial, will display episode numbers for subscribed users as dictated by the
- Mark as Played. With 3D Touch or by tapping the three dots, listeners can now mark episodes as played for their subscribed shows.
Apple Podcasts Preview
Apple Podcasts Preview pages on the web have been updated. For the first time, we are introducing a dedicated episode page that includes the ability to play directly on the web. The design is also mobile responsive and provides a better experience for Android users.
Podcasts Connect Help
We’ve updated the RSS tags section to explain the different supported tags more clearly and show how they are displayed on Apple Podcasts on iOS 12.2. Also, the relevant section now distinguishes between required, recommended, and situational tags. Previous tags and values will continue to be supported unless otherwise communicated.
We’ve also updated the example of a well-formed RSS feed for further reference. See Podcasts Connect Help to review these updates and more helpful information.
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