Like any other industry, the podcasting world has its share of gossip. And since so many podcasters operate independently, the chatter can be that much more challenging to keep track of.
Case in point? The recent headlines about Facebook’s entrance into the audio space and the changes Apple is making to their offerings. There’s been major buzz about both of these developments over the last few weeks, and I get it: you might be feeling a little overwhelmed.
What’s a podcaster to do with all of this information?
Take a deep breath, pod pals. There’s no reason to freak out.
Here’s the good news: there are plenty of aspects of your podcasting workflow that will not be affected at all by these changes. The way you actually record your show will stay exactly the same. For example, if you’re already recording your remote interviews using SquadCast, you can keep doing so! The Apple and Facebook developments will impact your post-production and marketing choices, but not the process of actually making your show.
The industry headlines are big, but they’re also nothing you can’t handle. Armed with the right information, you can move forward and make the necessary adjustments to your podcasting routine.
Let’s start with Apple…
On April 20, Apple announced a new feature of their podcast-listening technology: Apple Podcast Subscriptions. As of May, in addition to using the Apple Podcasts app to listen to shows for free, listeners will be able to sign up for premium subscriptions within the app itself.
Here’s what you should know about how the premium subscriptions will work and how you can make the most of them as a podcaster.
Paid, premium podcasts will be hosted directly through Apple.
As of now, your standard podcast episodes are likely hosted through a platform like Buzzsprout, Captivate, Simplecast or Transistor. This won’t be possible for paid content on Apple Podcast Subscriptions, which will need to be uploaded directly to the new Apple Podcasts for Creators site.
The perks of hosting this content through Apple? The Apple platform will take care of compressing your audio files for you, in addition to offering analytics for your subscription pods.
You can find the basics of setting up your show for a subscription through the Apple platform here.
You can set the price for your premium podcast content — but Apple will take a cut
As the creator of the premium content, it will be up to you to decide how much to charge for it in each of the 170 countries where Apple Podcasts is currently available.
This is also where Apple benefits from the new offering. For a subscriber’s first year, Apple will take 30% commission of any subscription price. This will drop to 15% in later years. Podcasters will also be required to pay Apple $19.99 annually to list premium/paid podcasts.
You’ll be able to offer a premium version of your podcast on other platforms too
There is no exclusivity clause with Apple Podcast Subscriptions, which means you can make a premium edition of your show — whether that includes bonus content, behind the scenes extras or entirely different episodes — available on other platforms as well. Bear in mind that platforms like Luminary do require exclusivity for subscription content, which means you won’t be able to post premium episodes in multiple places.
The Apple Podcasts for Creators site should be an upgrade for podcasters.
To support podcasters in this next phase of Apple Podcasts, Apple has rolled out a new and improved dashboard. Apple Podcasts for Creators will offer better show metrics and resource guides, as well as access to hosting for premium podcast content.
And here’s what’s happening with Facebook…
Well, Facebook is breaking into the podcast space!
While an exact date has yet to be announced, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on April 19 that the tech giant is in the process of building its own in-app podcast player. More details will be available as we near a launch date for these features, but here’s what we know now.
You’ll have to opt in for your show to be streamed through Facebook
Just as you opted in to podcatchers like Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher by sharing your RSS feed, you’ll have to opt in to the Facebook player.
The newly-announced, still-to-be-released Facebook player will be separate from the app’s in-app Spotify player, which means that even if your show is already available through Spotify, it won’t be grandfathered in.
The player will offer recommendations based on a user’s Facebook history
When the Facebook player launches, it will do more than just, well, play podcasts through the Facebook app. It will also generate show recommendations for users based on their other social media interactions, which could mean big things for discoverability and increased reach for the content you’re already producing.
Remember: none of these developments change the way shows are actually produced, which means you can continue recording interviews using SquadCast. Learn more about getting a 7-day free trial here!
Alli Hoff Kosik is a writer, editor, content manager and podcast editor based in Philadelphia, PA. She is the host and producer of The SSR Podcast. Alli is pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Temple University. This content was produced collaboratively with PodReacher.