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Shocker! Podcaster Claims Apple Prioritizes Paid Shows Over Free Ones

The podcast landscape is continuously evolving, with new technologies and platform changes shaping how creators produce content and connect with audiences. In the ninth installment of our “Podcasting Strategy Insights Newsletter,” we discuss recent developments and strategies to help podcasters adapt and thrive.

Issue # 9 of Podcasting Strategy Insights

Here is a link to the newsletter itself, and below is a brief summary of the topics covered in this issue;

Apple Podcast Visibility Shift

Apple is stirring the podcasting pot with a potential change that could see podcasts enrolled in its subscription program getting prime real estate in the Podcast app’s Browse tab. This move could be a game-changer, granting enhanced visibility to those who opt-in and possibly increasing their subscriber count. Podcasters are now at a crossroads; they must decide whether to join Apple’s subscription model or double down on content quality to naturally draw in their audience. This strategic decision is vital for podcasters aiming to adapt and thrive in this evolving ecosystem.

“Apple’s shift could redefine podcast visibility.”

  • Apple may prioritize subscription-based podcasts for visibility
  • Strategic implications for independent podcasters
  • Importance of aligning with platform changes and audience goals

TikTok Notes Feature

TikTok is reinventing the wheel with TikTok Notes, a feature that harkens back to Instagram’s original, photo-centric roots. This pivot towards still image sharing could open fresh avenues for content creators and is a nod to those who have longed for a return to photo-based content. It’s a strategic play by TikTok to diversify and enrich the platform’s content offerings, and it reflects a larger trend in social media towards supporting a variety of content types.

“TikTok’s Notes could rejuvenate still imagery.”

  • TikTok Notes competes with Instagram’s photo focus
  • Opportunity for content creators using still images
  • Social media trend towards diverse content support

Selecting the Right Webcam for Video Podcasting

Choosing the perfect webcam is more than just about resolution; it’s about capturing that DSLR-like depth of field that gives videos a professional quality. The Castos article we referenced in our latest newsletter emphasizes that while many webcams boast high resolutions, only a select few can truly replicate that sought-after shallow depth of field. For podcasters venturing into video, this distinction makes all the difference in producing content that stands out.

“Webcams must mimic DSLR depth for quality.”

  • Webcam vs. DSLR for video podcasting
  • Importance of depth of field in visual quality
  • Recommendations from Castos on best webcams for creators

Facebook’s Unified Video Player

Facebook’s latest update is all about streamlining. Merging Reels, long-form videos, and live broadcasts into a unified video player, Facebook is looking to make the user experience more intuitive and cohesive. This integration could mean a boost in viewer engagement and “stickiness,” offering content creators a chance to feature their work across multiple formats seamlessly. It’s a nod towards increased convenience and potential for higher interaction rates.

“Facebook unifies video formats for ease.”

  • Integration of various video formats by Facebook
  • Seamless content production and consumption
  • Potential increase in engagement and viewer retention

Spotify’s AI-Powered Playlist Feature

Spotify is personalizing the audio experience with an AI-powered playlist feature that curates music to the unique tastes of each user. It’s a bold leap from generic, genre-based playlists to ones crafted by machine learning algorithms with precision. While currently focused on music, the implications of such technology for podcast playlist curation are immense. It suggests a future where podcast recommendations could be tailored to listener preferences, elevating the personalization of podcasting content.

“Spotify’s AI curates to individual tastes.”

  • AI-driven personalization of music playlists
  • Potential application for podcast playlist curation
  • Enhanced audience targeting and content recommendations

Utilization of Audiograms in Podcast Marketing

Audiograms are transforming podcast marketing by converting audio episodes into visually compelling video snippets. These snippets, often animated with waveforms and subtitles, make audio content more accessible and shareable on visual-centric platforms like Twitter and Instagram. Initially a skeptic, Juergen now acknowledges the practicality of audiograms in extending a podcast’s reach and boosting interactions on social platforms.

“Audiograms visually amplify podcast content.”

  • Audiograms as a marketing tool for podcasts
  • Enhancing shareability and visual engagement
  • Increasing content reach on social media platforms

Automated Voice Feature in The New York Times

The New York Times is charting new territory by automating voice narration for most of its articles, expanding the ways readers can engage with content. This move signals a recognition of the growing importance of audio in content consumption. For journalists and creators, this trend highlights the potential of using similar technologies to make content more accessible and widen its audience.

“The Times embraces audio for article access.”

  • Automation of voice narration by The New York Times
  • Broadening content accessibility and engagement
  • Implications for audio integration in journalism and content creation

The Concept of Enshittification

The term ‘enshittification’ describes a decline in service quality for the sake of profit, affecting user experience and content discovery. It’s a poignant critique of what many content platforms may succumb to over time. For SEO and content visibility, this underscores the importance of diversifying distribution and engagement strategies to stay connected with audiences, as well as exploring alternative search engines that prioritize user experience.

“Enshittification challenges content discovery.”

  • Cory Doctorow’s critique on service quality decline
  • Impact on SEO and content visibility
  • Importance of diversified content distribution strategies

Imposter Syndrome in Podcasting

Imposter syndrome, the internal experience of doubting one’s abilities, is prevalent among podcasters. However, this episode highlights how it can be reframed as a catalyst for growth. By pushing creators to consistently improve their work, imposter syndrome can drive the creation of content that resonates with and brings value to the audience, fostering authentic engagement.

“Imposter syndrome fuels content growth.”

  • Commonality of imposter syndrome among podcasters
  • Potential for professional growth and improvement
  • Encouraging authenticity and value in content creation

Value for Value Model in Podcast Monetization

The Value for Value model, as advocated by Adam Curry, is reshaping podcast monetization. This philosophy encourages listeners to support creators directly, whether through donations, sharing expertise, or content promotion. It emphasizes a symbiotic relationship, with the listener expressing appreciation for the creator’s efforts in a manner that reflects the value they derive from the content. This model highlights the evolving nature of creator-audience engagement and the potential for more personalized support mechanisms.

“Value for Value rethinks listener support.”

  • Direct audience support model for creators
  • Shift from traditional advertising to reciprocal support
  • Adam Curry’s advocacy of Value for Value principles

Polly:
Welcome to the Podcast Resources Guide. In today's episode, we're discussing a variety of podcasting topics and news from issue 9 of our newsletter, Podcast strategy insights. The newsletter is free and can be found at insights.polymash.com. In fact, you don't even need an email to see the latest issue on the web. But if you sign up, you get access to all of the back issues, and, of course, you never miss a new one. I'm your host, Polly. And joining me is Juergen Berkessel, the founder of Polymash. We're here to discuss some of the critical topics from our most recent newsletter, providing practical insights for podcasters and digital content creators.

Polly:
It's great to have you here.

Juergen:
Thanks, Polly. I'm excited to talk about these topics and hope they can positively impact our listeners.

Polly:
Before we start, here's a lighthearted AI disclaimer. My voice and this episode are produced using advanced synthetic voice technology. It's our way of leveraging modern tools to enhance our podcast production. That said, let's dive into our discussion. Let's get started with one of the significant revelations from the newsletter regarding Apple Podcasts. It appears there might be a shift in how Apple handles podcast visibility. Could you shed some light on this development?

Juergen:
Right. Apple may be prioritizing podcasts enrolled in their subscription program in the Podcast app's browse tab. This change could majorly impact podcast visibility and accessibility. Essentially, podcasters who opt into Apple's subscription model might find their shows more prominently displayed potentially attracting more subscribers. For independent creators, this raises important strategic questions. Should they join Apple Podcasts' subscription program to possibly gain more exposure? Or should they focus more on enhancing their content's quality to naturally attract listeners? Regardless of the path chosen, it's crucial for podcasters to stay informed about these platform changes and consider how they align with their goals and audience.

Polly:
Moving on to another platform development, TikTok is reportedly making a significant change with TikTok notes. This competes with Instagram's original intent and could signal a return to celebrating photo based content. Jorgen, how do you perceive this shift?

Juergen:
TikTok's introduction of TikTok notes is indeed an interesting pivot. As reported by TubeFilter, this feature aims to focus on sharing still images, an aspect that many users have missed as platforms like Instagram have increasingly leaned towards video content. For TikTok content creators, this presents a new opportunity using a different medium and for old photographers like me, it's an interesting and may I say welcome return to instagram like still images. How much this will resonate remains to be SEO, I guess. This shift also underscores a broader trend across social media platforms to diversify the types of content they support.

Polly:
Let's discuss technological enhancements, specifically in video podcasting. Our latest newsletter issue also highlighted the importance of selecting the right webcam for content creators. What should podcasters consider when choosing a webcam for their setups?

Juergen:
Anyone venturing into video podcasting has probably investigated using a webcam versus a more expensive DSLR with video capacity. A key aspect for me to consider is a webcam's ability to reproduce the visual quality and feel similar to that of a DSLR camera. Particularly its ability to handle depth of field which creates a pleasingly blurred background, something photographers call bokeh. Webcams do this poorly and software solutions are pretty terrible looking. For example, the blurred background on a zoom call looks really amateurish at least to me. In our latest newsletter issue, we referenced an article from Kastos that discusses the best webcams for YouTube content creators. The article points out that while many webcams offer high resolution, only a few can truly mimic the shallow depth of field that a DSLR lens provides.

Polly:
Next, let's talk about Facebook's update to their video player. It seems they're integrating reels, long form videos, and live content into a new unified player. What implications might this have for content creators?

Juergen:
Facebook's redesigned video player aims to merge various content formats into a single, cohesive interface. As reported by TubeFilter, this move facilitates easier navigation between different types of video content whether it's short form reels, longer videos, or live broadcasts. For content creators, the benefit is to easily produce multiple formats and then for consumers the ability to switch seamlessly between these video types may potentially increase stickiness and engagement rates.

Polly:
Shifting our focus to audio streaming, Spotify has rolled out an AI powered playlist feature. Could you explain how this technology works and its potential impact on podcasting?

Juergen:
For me, this is a personalization type play. Spotify's introduction of an AI powered playlist feature, as highlighted by TechCrunch, impacts how users interact with music. This AI technology is designed to curate music playlists that are not just genre specific but are tailored to the unique preferences and requests of individual users. It's a step beyond traditional playlist curation using machine learning to understand and predict user preferences with remarkable accuracy. While this feature currently focuses on music, the potential for similar technology to be applied to podcast playlists is worth thinking about. For podcasters, the adoption of such AI could mean more sophisticated audience targeting and content recommendation. This would not only enhance listener experience by providing more personalized content, but it could also increase engagement by introducing listeners to podcasts that align closely with their interests and listening habits.

Polly:
Moving to a practical tool for podcast marketing, our late issue discussed the use of audiograms. Could you elaborate on how audiograms are being utilized by podcasters to enhance their marketing efforts?

Juergen:
Essentially, audiograms convert audio content into engaging video snippets which include waveform animations and sometimes subtitles. These visual elements make the audio content more appealing and accessible, particularly on platforms where visual content tends to perform better. I used to be a skeptic. But the utilitarian value of audiograms lies in their ability to make podcast episodes shareable and visually engaging, thus extending the content's reach beyond traditional audio platforms. This was highlighted effectively in examples from Elisa at Headliner who noted that audiograms could significantly boost interaction rates on platforms like Twitter and Instagram where visual content is king.

Polly:
Another intriguing article curated from the newsletter is The New York Times' plan to make most of its articles available via automated voice. What does this mean for the landscape of journalism and content consumption?

Juergen:
The New York Times is taking a step in enhancing the accessibility of its content by offering most articles through an automated voice. This initiative, as detailed by axios, allows articles to be narrated to users, broadening the accessibility for those who may prefer audio over text or for those who require auditory formats for accessibility reasons. For the field of journalism and content creators alike, it's a clear signal that audio is becoming an increasingly vital part of the content ecosystem. Publishers and content creators should consider how similar technologies might be employed to increase the accessibility and reach of their own content.

Polly:
Issue 9 of Podcast strategy insights also explored the concept of Enshittification in relation to search engines and its impact on content discovery. Juergen, can you explain this odd term and concept and its implications for SEO?

Juergen:
The term Enshittification refers to a deliberate decline in service quality, a concept highlighted by Corrie Doctorow on Medium. It specifically critiques how major platforms, including search engines, may degrade the quality of their services over time to prioritize profit over user experience. This is particularly relevant in the context of SEO, where the quality of search results can significantly influence all of our content visibility and user engagement as creators. Rather than us all relying solely on traditional SEO tactics, there is a growing importance in diversifying content distribution and engagement methods to maintain visibility and audience connection. This shift also underscores the potential of alternative search engines that might offer higher quality results and a more user focused experience, presenting new opportunities for a strategic alignment and audience outreach.

Polly:
Imposter syndrome. In the latest issue, we also raise imposter syndrome in podcasting, drawing insights from an article by We Edit Podcasts. Could you discuss how imposter syndrome can actually benefit podcasters?

Juergen:
Certainly. The article from We Edit Podcast discusses impostor syndrome as a common feeling among podcasters, which, though often seen as a negative, can actually drive personal and professional growth, it pushes creators to continually assess and enhance their work, ensuring they deliver content that truly engages and adds value for their audience. The article encourages us to view imposter syndrome not as a hindrance but as a motivator for improvement and authenticity.

Polly:
Our latest issue also covers the value for value model, a concept popularized by Adam Curry. Juergen, can you explain how this model works and its implications for podcast monetization?

Juergen:
The value for value model is a monetization strategy. No scratch that, more of a philosophy, which encourages direct audience support for content creators. Instead of traditional advertising or sponsorship models, it allows listeners to contribute to the creator in various forms, whether through financial payments, sharing expertise or promoting content. This model fosters a more reciprocal relationship between podcasters and their audience, emphasizing mutual benefit and appreciation. What's compelling about the value for value website is that it does a great job to define the concept and redefines the exchange between creators and consumers. It's not just about monetary transactions. It's about recognizing and rewarding the creator's effort in a way that aligns with the listener's perception of value. I think Adam has created a really cool site explaining this, and that is what we commented on in the newsletter.

Polly:
Thank you, for sharing these insights from our latest issue of podcasting strategy insights. To summarize, we've discussed several key topics that impact digital content creators and podcasters from platform specific changes in podcast visibility on Apple Podcasts to the innovative use of technologies like audiograms and AI in enhancing content engagement.

Juergen:
It's been a pleasure discussing these topics.

Polly:
To our listeners, we hope these newsletter issues inspire you to explore and implement these strategies in your own content creation endeavors. Stay tuned for more updates in our future issues and episodes. And remember to sign up at insights.polymash.com Polly.

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