As someone who has been teaching in a classroom and online for over 20+ years, at my core, in my DNA, I like to help people. This is one of the biggest reasons I podcast. It's one of the biggest reasons I I blog, write books, and deliver speeches in wonderful cities (see you next month Tampa). So when I saw this video, I was like HELL YEAH!. I love Dave Ramsey. He's honest, and he tells it like it is and he has the stats to backup his opinions.
As someone who grew up poor ( I didn't know it, but I do remember being on welfare). I grew up with a father who was on the road in his truck. We can all come up with reasons to scram boo-hoo. Well I'm here to tell you, everyone has a dysfunctional childhood (and in some cases adulthood). You roll with the punches, or you get rolled. Check out this video. I just hope I don't get a video of Dave some day in a crash.
I have a set of criteria that I use when I look at podcast media hosting.
What I upload, is what I want downloaded completely unchanged, or at least in the same format I uploaded it.
Give me a way to leave without having to beg.
Charge me for your service.
Provide accurate stats
It seems like every day there is a new service for podcasters. So let's look at OmnyStudio.com
I was a little confused as this hosting company thinks outside the box. They seemed geared toward helping radio stations. Their terminology does not match what most of us use to describe our podcasts. What we call a podcast (or a Show) they call a program. They also call a podcast a playlist (so you can have a program called “Weekly Web Tools” with a playlist called “Weekly Web Tools.” What we call and episode, they call a clip. Then they have a program, which is new to most of us. It is the company that runs the programs (podcasts). They also have recordings, which are the raw files that you can use their online editing tool to turn into clips (episodes). First impression? Confusion, and I was off to their help documentation to figure it all out.
Unique Things They Offer
While not 100% unique (auphonic.com does this) Omnistudio allows you to upload an intro and outro (which could be quick commercials spots) that are “stitched” together with your main file. This is done as you upload you file.
On Premise Recording is a new tool. This is software that looks to be designed for radio stations so that you can record the show and have it sent to your Omny Studio as a recording. You can even have it setup to record your live stream (this is something the folks at Omnistudio can setup). So when Binky and Whiz go live every Morning, Omny studio appears to have to tools to capture it and bring it into your dashboard. This is an interesting feature, but I'm not sure the average poddcaster will need this (but I can see where radio stations might love this automation). There is one thing to consider here (for Radio) the music you play on your station may not be licensed for downloads. This might be why they have this audio going into the system as recordings (where they can be trimmed, cut and stitched back together online).
You have the ability to do basic editing in the cloud. This is something Libsyn, Blubrry, SoundCloud, PodBean are not. The question is, is this a feature? Do most podcasters need to edit from anywhere?
You can have multiple users under one account. This is great for podcasters who are working with a team.
You can export your audio as a video. Here again I ask, who is looking for this feature? (not me). The only thing worse that a talking head, is a video with NOTHING but a simple image.
Another Pretty Player
Their player is a nice clone of SoundCloud with customizable color.
there are multiple configuration of this that include the artwork inside the mp3. The player works well on Facebook and twitter. There are sharing buttons for twitter and facebook (but no subscribe buttons).
As I mentioned before, it will stitch an intro and outro with your main mp3 file into one finished mp3 file at 128 kbps. I mentioned that you can have a playlist and a program that can be a “Show/Podcast.” You can tag a file that will automatically add it to a playlist (podcast). This will take the work out of having to create an episode and then tell the system there is an episode. Here again I can see a network managing files and with a few simple “if this then that” commands directing their workflow to produce multiple shows (hang tight, there is a “but”).
Their Support Seemed Quick
When I sent them my critieria, thy responded quickly.
Their Stats Are Basic
I was impressed that if you're using a third party stats service like Blubrry or Podtrac, you could insert their redirect into the feed and your content (impressive).
The Things They Fail On
Because they are doing editing in the cloud, and they are re-encoding your file (even if you're not stitching anything) they completely wipe our your ID3 tags. So while one media host (Blubrry) has made it easy to create the ID3 tags for you, OmniStudio has wiped them off the planet.
Well, when someone downloads your show, and they play it with a tool like Windows media player, your artwork doesn't show up, your title doesn't show up, your name as the artist doesn't show up, and you look like a hack.
Now, granted, a majority of shows are played on a website, or listened to on a phone. There are some people who will download an episode (so they can listen at 2X speed) and when they do, you get the Windows gray music note of death. Now if you're using Pat Flynn's Smart Podcast Player, people can speed up your show on your site.
They also change the file name. Here again, most people won't notice because they aren't doing anything with the file. They are consuming on a portable device (about 70% these days). So when someone downloads the file, they rename it to the name of the episode (so it could be worse, i.e.). My point has always been if Libsyn, Blubrry, and Spreaker can do it, why can't other people? You can get a free month at Libsyn.com, Blubrry.com, Spreaker.com, or Podbean.com using the coupon code sopfree.
Things That Make Me Worried
For $9 a month you can upload as much audio as you want. They don't say it on their website, but they do offer unlimited downloads. A friend of mine had corresponded with them and said, “They said that if a show got up to millions of downloads they would have to charge more for that, but they haven't run into that yet.” Give me some guidlines so I know what the rules of the game are. In the email I had with them Matt said, “Like other content platforms such as YouTube and SoundCloud, we are supporting content creators to create and share as much content as possible. We will work with top-perfoming content creators to build business models that can generate revenue.”
Thing I Need to Investigate
When I asked them about what they used to encode the files, Mat stated “We are using a combination of ffmpeg and proprietary audio processing technologies to edit and encode audio in our system.” Matt was up front with me and stated, “We currently process and reencode all uploaded audio files to optimize them for our editing workflow, so some ID3 metadata may be lost.” I guess by some he meant all.
As I'm using their free service I didn't get to see what “Advanced sharing” looks like.
Their current paid service has some thing listed as coming soon. These include:
Monetize with ads (hopefully this won't be more $2 cpm swill)
They cost $9 a month which currently cheaper then soundclouds $15/month.
Quick Video Showing Their Stats
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Yo may have heard of Edge (meetedgar.com $50/month) or tweet Jukebox ($13/month) that allow you to create a que that will continue to feed your twitter account over and over. You set the schedule and it repeats the same tweets over and over.
A listener just told me about Tweet Wheel which does the same thing, but it's a plugin and it's $20 (a one time fee). Here is a video from the developer.
Wow. I mean, Wow. Did that guy just say what I think he said?
“It's a new approach to podcast advertising. This is how it works. You give us your podcast feed, and we give you a new one to distribute to your audience. ”
I mean REALLY?
Their idea is they inject ads into your stuff (here we go again with the cost per thousand downloads)).
But wait there's more
They pick where the ad goes. OK, You can manually pick where it goes if you're not happy. Can you see that? You're guest pauses to answer a question and an ad is inserted.
Never, Ever, EVER give control of your feed to someone.
The only way I would consider this (and for the record I'm not at all) would be if I had control over my feed, and there was a way to put in a iTunes Redirect without having to contact the company (like Libsyn.com does) AND I could also put in a 301 permanent redirect (like Feedburner does if you delete a feed).
So thank you, but NO FRICKIN WAY.
Don't let the lure of money stir up your emotions and pull you into bad decisions. Please.
My favorite is they want the heart of your podcast (your feed) and there is not ONE word about who these people are, or what kind of money are we talking (cpm, cpa). They have 39 podcasters signed up, and 11 advertisers.
There is a new service that I kicked the tires on (and got zero results both as a podcasters and an advertiser) and that is https://cast.market/
(they do't need your feed)
I need to repeat this.
Never, Ever, EVER give control of your feed to someone
Why Is This So Bad?
Let's go to the analogy of radio. Here is Cleveland we have 100.7 That is their frequency. Would the radio station give control of their transmitter to someone else? What if that company decided to do WHATEVER THEY WANTED. What happens if they did and that company went out of business? Would there be a way to reach your audience or would their radio station just be dead air with no way to update their station. This video explains this concept
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I'm still looking for the perfect theme. I like Genesis Themes. I like Appendipitythemes (especially for podcasters). I live the Divi theme from Elegant themes. I just discovered the Prostylerwhich is (pretty much) just as flexible as Divi but less expensive. ProStyler is $47 and you can use it on as many sites as YOU own. If you want to use it on your client's sites it's only an additional $10. There is one “Catch” when you purchase the theme I see where they have a “pro” upgrade that makes it super easy to change your color scheme. There is also a monthly theme club for $27 a month. These include a ton of themes premade (which would save you time), but keep in mind you don't need the theme club.
Here are a couple of videos that show off the features:
Here is a quick video that shows some cool things that speed things up.
I checked their support are on their website, and the theme is getting updated on a regular basis, and they seem to have a ton of videos to help you learn all the bells and whistles that come with the theme.
After finally getting some answers from our conversations with Twitter, and doing some research, we're confident we've found the cause of most of the 226 errors. There are large numbers of free accounts being opened and then used in an abusive fashion.
To combat this, effective immediately, we are going to institute a five tweet per day limit for FREE accounts. While I'm sure there are many folks who will take objection to this, our priority is that the platform remain in good standing with Twitter, and that paid accounts are in no way compromised by the actions of others.
It seems people will do anything if a dollar is dangled in front of them.
Recently Apple sent out communication to media hosts Like Libsyn and Blubrry (and others) stating that anyone keyword stuffing their author name tag would NEVER be featured in iTunes. It was a polite way of saying KNOCK IT OFF! You see iTunes use to search your description field until people started stuffing their descriptions with a bunch of crap. Apple likes to deliver VALUE. Why did Google beat Netscape back in the day? They delivered better VALUE- FASTER.
I've spoken in the past about Twitter bombing (the act of sending hundreds of tweets per hour directly to an mp3 file to boost downloads) and how it (in the end) hurts all podcasters. A sponsor believes you have 5000 downloads when in reality you have 500. Here again, companies have put technology in place to battle the A**holes peeing in our sandbox.
Well these people are like playing “Whack a Mole” at Chucke E. Cheese. A new industry has emerged where you can BUY clicks on SOUNDCLOUD (Soundcloud should just start selling this as a service – maybe they could actually turn a profit).
For $3 or less you can purchase 1000 plays on soundcloud. So now you charge your sponsor $40 for 1000 downloads and pocket the other $37.
So word to sponsors, if the podcast your are sponsoring is on Soundcloud, you might want to think twice. Now I'm not saying that everyone who hosts on Soundcloud is a weasel, but if we hear someone doing this we need to quickly, and swiftly, kick them where it counts (ok, that might be a little over the top). But seriously…
KNOCK IT OFF
Here is a (Not safe for work) video from Gary Vaynerchuk explaining how this is nothing new.
I got this email today from the Martin Rushe who is the CEO at selz.com
“Some of you may have read about the problems at our competitor Gumroad who announced they are laying most of their staff.
It would be easy and a little predictable for us to feel some schadenfreude about this. But we truthfully don't. We always questioned the sustainability of Gumroad's business model but we also admired them as an innovative competitor. The service we provide, which allows our brilliant creators and entrepreneurs to sell direct to their customers without paying away their hard-earned margins to marketplaces, is fast-growing and we see the loss of good operators as a net loss to the industry as a whole.
We also wanted to reassure you in case you had any concerns about the stability of Selz. I'm pleased to tell you that Selz goes from strength to strength. Our community of great customers, our team of committed staff, our feature-set and our unstinting dedication to giving you the tools to sell more online is growing by the day.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out. Your business is our business and we're here to help.”
For me (who wasn't worried how his business is doing) I thought this was kind of a douche bag kind of thing to do. Realize when you say BUT it negates everything you said before it. I think you're a great person BUT… I don't need the money BUT… it was a great movie BUT….
Hey Martin, don't build your business by stepping on the face of others. If you want to grow Selz, how about not charging me to use PaypPal?
I got a voicemail from Greg Whitaker and he asked, “Why is it bad to use Feedburner and how do I leave?'
Let's go back in time a bit. Feedburner was a great idea when iTunes first came on the scene because we needed an iTunes compliant feed, and well, there was hand coding your feed, or feedburner (there were other, but just a few options). So we all jumped on board, and later Feedburner was purchased by Google. All was good. The other benefit was if you needed to change your feed, you could just update Feedburner and it was SUPER easy. That was 2005and things have changed.
While previously there were few options, today many hosting companies like Libsyn, Spreaker, the Powerpress plugin from Blubrry provide iTunes compliant feeds (stay away from Soundcloud – you've been told). These services are up to date. Also all of these service make is easy to redirect your feed (which was one of feedburner's biggest features).
Feedburner stalls a fair amount of time. This means they quick checking your feed. iTunes is watching feedburner, but it has stopped watching your feed. The end result? iTunes (and any other service looking at Feedburner) doesn't get updated. For me, when there are better solutions, this becomes a deal breaker.
Feedburner's Smartcast (iTunes settings) or is it the smart feed (one of the two) have been known to cause conflicts and render your feed invalid.
In summary, much like the 8-track tape it had its purpose until something better came along.
I'll answer “how to leave feedburner” in a future post with lots of screenshots.