Podcast app Castro reaches the end of the road
iOS podcast app Castro will be shut down over the next few months, according to a surprise post from Mohit Mamoria, a former senior Castro staff member and current partner of Tiny Capital, the investment company that bought Castro in November 2018. Meanwhile, the app itself has been down for a number of days with a database server issue. There’s no way to export your library: the company warns a fix might take some time.
- Tiny Capital’s co-founder, Andrew Wilkinson, removed podcasts from his phone in 2021 because they made him “anxious”. Castro was removed from Tiny Capital’s website in January this year; though Wilkinson did post about a forthcoming 'Castro 3' that month, referencing Mohit Mamoria as the company’s contact point.
- The co-founder of Castro, Padraig O’Cinneide, left in 2019; the other co-founder Oisín Prendiville, quietly left in Oct last year, posting that he was “sad that my own time on Castro petered out like an Irish goodbye rather than coming to an end in a public and celebratory manner”. Jesse Herlitz, most recently the GM of the company, left in Feb 2021. The app last updated its blog in Nov 2020; and users have reported spotty updates to shows in recent months.
Apple released the most popular podcasts of 2023 on the Apple Podcasts platform. Crime Junkies was the #1 show in the US for the second year running. You’ll find the year-end charts for your country in the 'Browse’ tab of the Apple Podcasts app.
- Podnews has published Apple’s top shows for 14 different countries, and analysed the results. From the 140 awarded shows, “true crime” and “culture” were the most popular categories. Megaphone hosts the most popular shows, with 15; Simplecast and Acast both host 13. The Huberman Lab was the only show to have made it to three country lists. You can also compare the lists from 2022.
Pocket Casts is rolling out its “thing-a-bit-like-Spotify-Wrapped”, Pocket Casts Playback 2023. It’ll appear in your app. Seemingly, our Editor likes “Adam and Dave” and “Todd and Rob”. Anyway, we reckon Spotify’s 2023 Wrapped will be along any minute now (looks at watch), and as last year, we gather they’ll have a special Wrapped for podcast creators as well (looks at watch again).
Blubrry has launched Premium Podcasting, a paid-for subscription service for your listeners. The product automatically integrates with Apple Podcasts paid subscriptions, as well as giving a secure RSS feed for paid listeners on Blubrry.
Captivate has added support for chapters in podcast episodes. The implementation supports the Podcasting 2.0 JSON chapters specification, allowing listeners to see the latest chapter detail without redownloading the audio.
RedCircle’s host-read ad platform, RAP, has grown 100% year-on-year, according to its Q3/23 update posted this morning. The company has also recently announced host-read frequency capping, to ensure your listener doesn’t hear the same ads the same ads the same ads over and over.
PodcastOne has signed an agreement with SourceAudio’s podcastmusic
.com, which will be able to supply licensed music tracks, chosen by AI, for the company’s podcasts.
In Australia, the IAB reports digital audio advertising was flat quarter-on-quarter for Q3/23 at AUD $68mn (US $45mn), but it increased 16.2% year-on-year.
Podnews’s Editor, James Cridland, is taking part in a free event for Podbean: Revitalize Your Podcast in the New Year With AI Podcasting Tools. It’s free, on Dec 12.
Think everyone only uses one podcast app? Think again, says Steve Goldstein, suggesting that podcast creators should adopt a multiplatform approach.
Thank you to Courtney Reimer (who was the EP of Archetypes with Meghan Markle) for becoming our latest personal supporter. Listed at the bottom of our email, they’re super-important to us, since they allow us to lessen our dependence on advertising, and thus increase our independence. You can be like Courtney.
More on Auddia’s ad-skipping technology, after the latest podcast news…
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Enter The Webbys. Mark Your Spot in History.Paid content
Take your team to new heights with The 28th Annual Webby Awards. Last chance to enter next week Friday December 15th, 2023.
Entering The Webby Awards is a great way to recognize your team’s achievements. Just by participating, you show your team that their work deserves global recognition. It also signals to the industry that your team is one to watch, and work with. This is great for talent retention and attracting the best people in audio.
Enter the 28th Annual Webby Awards by the Final Entry Deadline of December 15th, 2023.
Feedback on Auddia’s faidr
Yesterday, we covered Auddia’s plans to launch a product that automatically skips ads in podcasts for $5.99 a month. The company said it didn’t need any agreements with podcasters to do that; that it will share revenue with creators in future; and that there’s no need for creators to opt-out: “Why opt-out if no harm is being done?”
We’ve never had so much reader feedback to a story. Here’s a selection…
This company is totally wrong here. OF COURSE HARM IS BEING DONE. The advertisers are being screwed. And one may say that’s fine because the podcaster is still getting paid, but in the long term if our shows’ ads aren’t creating a positive ROI for the advertisers they will stop advertising or attempt to negotiate a lower rate. SO long term this clearly does harm the podcaster. Taking money from my business partner (my advertisers, who I actually care about) and putting it in your pocket is not OK and no podcaster should want to be a part of this scheme Auddia is proposing. It hurts the whole industry if advertisers are systematically being screwed. They will just go somewhere else with higher ROI.
While I don’t agree with the notion that EVERY creator has a divine right to get paid for their content (especially if nobody asked them for it) I do feel that actively helping freeloaders circumnavigate a thing that helps people get compensated for their work when it’s deserved is a nope.
Perhaps a member of the legal profession will notify them of a curiously non-AI concept called “copyright.”
The listener doesn’t necessarily know when an ad is coming, so they hear the first second or so of an ad before they have time to hit the skip ahead button, which means there is an opportunity to capture their attention with that ad and keep them from skipping ahead. Auddia’s technology does not allow this. Anyway, if publishers wanted to offer their content ad-free, almost all podcasting hosting sites offer the ability to create an ad-free RSS feed. Auddia should not be forcing them into that without proper agreements in place.
We’re grateful for your comments: and yes, we read them when you hit reply.
We have been told, however, that the public email address on Auddia’s website doesn’t work. We have reported that to the company.
Podcast data for Nov 29
#1 in Apple Podcasts
Mortal Sin (NBC News)
The Rest is Entertainment (Goalhanger Podcasts)
#1 in Spotify
The Joe Rogan Experience (Joe Rogan)
Springleaf (James Acaster / Mighty Bunny)
Over the last week, 190,028 podcasts published at least one new episode (down 5.5%). source