Rob Walch


[ 00:00:17 ] Lipson is the first podcasting hosting company started in November of 2004. So well before Apple supported podcasting. So 12 and a half years old we’re the largest podcast hosting company. Last year we had 4.6 billion downloads and of those downloads about 70 percent roughly were to iTunes and Apple Core Media and according to what we know that’s over 25 percent of all the downloads that went through iTunes came through our servers globally.

[ 00:00:53 ] It was a podcast before Apple got into podcasting. It was already called podcasts before it got into pod before Apple got involved. Apple then start in podcasting until the end of June and June 29th 2005 was when they launched those I think was itunes version four point nine.

[ 00:01:11 ] And that was the support of podcasting and by that time Liban was already seven eight month old company before iTunes got into it though. And Apple then into podcasting. It was if you wanted to be a podcasting you really really wanted to be in podcasting because nobody was listening. There wasn’t any easy way to download a third party program like I-Pod or X or juice or put lemon and then install it and then sync it up to iTunes and then you sink your iPod to it. So in the early days it was tough. I mean if you want to listen to a podcast you really want to listen to a podcast. I mean you had to remember in the morning to sync your iPhone your iPod your iPhone iPod to iTunes to get that what you are going to listen to that day.

[ 00:02:00 ] The iPods around tiffins 2001. So podcasting really started in 2004. Thanks to Dave Winer and Adam Curry and a few others. That’s really what got podcasting kicked off and it really kind of got into a motion where people started to notice it. Once they had many people few people started to notice it in September October of 2004 and again lives and came around in November of 2004 as a first podcast hosting company Dave Winer.

[ 00:02:38 ] He really helped support the inclusion of an enclosure Tagging an RSS feed. That’s what makes podcasting possible so he he helped update RSS 2.0 Spack.

[ 00:02:48 ] Adam Curry helped encourage Dave to do this and they had conversations and then Adam released the first script where you could actually take a file that had an enclosure tag it and sync it to your computer and then bring it over to iTunes and then he had a podcast called the daily source code which talked about that which is one of the first but podcasts that were out there. There was others out there. LYDEN was the Bert Berkman Center in Harvard. He had a probably the first podcast series which was an early. I think maybe 2003 early 2004 where he interviewed bloggers and I was kind of really the first quote unquote podcast where was audio content being created and then more podcasters came around in late August and then September and October.

[ 00:03:36 ] And it kind of grew from there and then really blew up after Apple came in in June of 2005.

[ 00:03:48 ] Apple has really been the driving force behind podcasting. I mean I don’t want to make any bones about it.

[ 00:03:55 ] They are the 800 pound gorilla in one of our apple pie guessing wouldn’t be where it is today. Beyond the 70 percent or so downloads that we see across our network going to Apple the podcast app and iTunes there’s also the fact that overcast and shift usually pocket cast and podcast adek which are the big aggregator apps plus a bunch of others pull and scrape the iTunes directory so you’re not in iTunes you’re not in the 85 percent roughly of the downloads that are influenced by Apple’s podcast directory. So it’s not just what people consume there. It’s also the other places that people find you have to actually be in iTunes if you want to say you’re a podcast. In my definition some people don’t like that but it is what it is.

[ 00:04:39 ] And Apple’s done you know been very good to podcasting. They’ve included the ecosystem they’ve promoted it over the years.

[ 00:04:48 ] I have no qualms with what Apple. Some people don’t like it because they don’t give back enough data they say but Apple’s about privacy and Apple’s consumer or customer is the consumer. And that’s just the way it is. Now there are other people in there but I mean you have to look at things the perspective of Apple 70 percent and then you look at the next guys down stitchers two and a half three percent overcast 2 percent pocket 2 percent. So it’s a big drop from number one to number two and three for podcast at it’s around 4 or 5 percent. So those are the big guys below Apple but they’re really far I mean if you take everybody else combined them and double them they’re still not where Apple is. Why.

[ 00:05:36 ] You know the episode because Joe hosts with us so I mean a lot of people don’t know who lives in his or her self liberates and it sounds for very keen syndication.

[ 00:05:46 ] Last year he had over 25 percent of all the downloads that went through iTunes come through our service. So chances are if you downloaded four episodes last year one of those came from our servers and Joe’s one of those and it wasn’t it. Every now and then Apple has a glitch and that really was a glitch. There was nothing nefarious that was going on there. And it wasn’t just Joe’s show that showed slow down at that point it was everybody. And there was a period of time for about a week where the top episode list just didn’t update for anybody. And it wasn’t just Joes for about a week and it was just it was just in the top episode list and that happens and every now and then Apple has times where iTunes does and they charge don’t update. It’s a free service. You know I kind of get what you pay for sometimes. Has it happened before. Yes it has.

[ 00:06:36 ] It wasn’t the first time though.

[ 00:06:47 ] The worst possible moment for that glitch to happen is when the person that’s all about controversy’s goes on a show like Joao’s. So yeah I mean you couldn’t have picked a worse time for it to happen and sometimes it is really Murphy’s Law and sometimes it is you know if something will go wrong you know something can go wrong it will go wrong and at the worst possible moment. It really was Murphy’s Law. It wasn’t it wasn’t something you should blame blame on malice which can easily be explained by incompetence or as I say pick your phrase. I mean there wasn’t anything nefarious going on.

[ 00:07:20 ] Someone at Apple didn’t say Hey Alex is on pause it wasn’t that well here’s the thing.

[ 00:07:32 ] It was only you know it was a glitch around the top episode list. Most good podcast consumers don’t even know there’s a top episode list and don’t even look at it.

[ 00:07:42 ] You know who looks at top episode list podcasters to see where they are ranked. They look at it.

[ 00:07:48 ] They’re obsessed with the stats podcast consumers almost never talk to how many people that you know that you could ask have actually ever went and looked in the top episode list items they might look at the top show list but they almost never look at the top episode list. So it’s a list that almost nobody goes to. The average consumer would never even know it’s there. Doesn’t look at it. Matter of fact most people you know how they find podcasts. Word of mouth or the search you know they go to iTunes and they search a search for a podcast.

[ 00:08:17 ] They’ll search for a topic to go in and look for iPhone and they’ll see the podcast show up on iPhone. And here’s a podcast I want I want to subscribe to about iPhones and I want to learn more about the iPhone or you know I just bought a new iPhone I’m going to search on or I bought an iPad on the search on iPad see which podcast come on and learn about it. That’s how people find things. That and word of mouth.

[ 00:08:36 ] So it was it was fun for them to have that actually and in retrospect they probably had a lot more fun with it glitching at that point than they would have otherwise.

[ 00:08:53 ] I would I would love to see Google release a native podcast app and right now let’s put a perspective.

[ 00:09:03 ] Right now last month of March 2017 put a perspective a date on it so people can find the iOS to Android ratio 4.1 4.5 to 1 downloads iOS to and right. Why. Because Google doesn’t have a native podcast app like Apple has on iOS. Google has podcast that are in the Google Play Music and I just started in April 2016.

[ 00:09:30 ] That was the first time there was a native way to find podcasts and Android. And if they didn’t roll it out until April 2016 how long do you think most Android users are even updated to the right software to get it. If Google if if people want there to be another platform another place to consume Googles the answer. You know don’t yell at Apple because Apple’s been out there being benevolent and helping podcast grow. Yahoo. Google because they haven’t you know if you want to look at somebody here. It’s not Apple’s fault they are successful. It’s other people’s fault because they haven’t put out an equally successful easy to use program that’s native. So really it’s it’s up to Google to take the ball and run with it now because it really is everything is mobile.

[ 00:10:16 ] Eighty six percent of downloads are to a mobile device at this point and that ratio again is 4.5 to one to Android. So until Google comes out with a native pop guess that that’s a standalone app right there and the android when people get their Android device go oh what’s this app. And can click on it and have a directory and find podcasts on there until then. Andrew it’s not going to catch up and it’s going to stay Apple. And third parties whoever they are are going to influence because it’s still a third party and people have to go install that.

[ 00:10:47 ] And most people especially on Android side are lazy and don’t install apps that go with it’s native. So now I don’t work for Apple by the way. Again I’m a fan but I’m a fan because of what they’ve done and helped grow.

[ 00:11:11 ] You know one of the biggest misconceptions I hear about podcasting especially in the radio world is what’s the right length of an episode. And people think the right length is 30 minutes or longer 20 minutes or longer. And they say oh this is what people’s attention span is and they base it on the wrong things. And we have data so with hard data so forget misconstrues get surveys and what people think. Let’s just look at hard data and I looked at in January all the episodes that were downloaded measured and at the end of February that had at least 100000 downloads or more. And this is a few hundred shows and I looked at this and 84 percent were 51 minutes or longer only 9.9 percent in 30 minutes or less.

[ 00:11:52 ] Twelve point two percent were two hours or longer. So there were more episodes that were two hours and longer than 30 minutes or less. People like longer form content because what they like to do is hit play in the kitchen get out walk out to their car get in the car and drive to work and they don’t want to be messing around while they’re driving trying to find another episode or anything else and they get there they can hit pause go into work come out hit play and continue where they left off.

[ 00:12:21 ] People like longer form content. And I think that’s a misconception people. Every time I read an article talking about 30 minute or less that’s where you need to be. It’s so wrong because that’s not what the consumption data shows the consumption data shows people like long form content. I mean Dan Carland hardcore history one of the biggest shows out there over five million downloads last episode over a million within 24 hours of release by almost six hour long episode. People like long from content don’t don’t think because some survey told you people’s attention spans 20 minutes. That’s what works and podcasting it doesn’t.

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