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Podcast subscribers need extra podcasts

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That is Sizzling Pod, The Verge’s publication about podcasting and the audio business. Sign up here for extra.

Hope you all had an amazing weekend. I don’t have any podcast ideas at this time, however I did see the Roundabout Theater’s gender-reversed 1776, and it completely slapped. As my buddy Olivia mentioned, 1776 was made as propaganda and has no enterprise being pretty much as good as it’s (it’s additionally extra clear-eyed about American politics than Hamilton, however I digress). Plus, the movie version has Mr. Feeny as John Adams — what a present. 

Anywho, on the docket at this time: Apple makes it simpler for podcasters to ship the products to their subscribers, Microsoft is making leaps within the text-to-speech AI area, and we now have some thrilling Sizzling Pod Summit information!

Saying Sizzling Pod Summit Brooklyn 🎤

It’s that point of yr once more, gang: Sizzling Pod Summit is coming again to the Wythe Lodge in Brooklyn on February twenty third. We could have extra particulars quickly, however we can be switching it up a bit this time round. Along with panels with consultants from throughout the business, the Summit will function new interactive programming, so keep tuned!

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As all the time, the occasion can be invitation-only. Visitors will obtain invitations by e-mail with the ticket buy code by the top of the week. And if you don’t get an invitation immediately, don’t despair! You may apply for an invite by way of our ticket lottery at the On Air Fest website

On that notice, Sizzling Pod Summit Brooklyn is being held in affiliation with On Air Fest 2023, which can happen February twenty third–twenty fifth. On Air Fest has some cool programming lined up, that includes On Being with Krista Tippett, Folks’s Get together with Talib Kweli, a reside podcast penthouse, networking breakfasts, events, and extra. The occasion may even function On Air: The Podcast Experience, an immersive podcast exhibition from the world of My Favourite Homicide and the Precisely Proper Community, On Being Mission, The Coronary heart, and extra. The exhibit will run from February twenty third–twenty sixth, and tickets can be found at experiencepodcasts.com.

Apple (lastly) makes it simpler to distribute subscription podcasts

Final Might, Apple introduced that it could launch delegated supply for subscription podcasts in the fall. It missed that purpose by just a few weeks, however delegated supply is now reside for a number of podcast internet hosting platforms, with extra to return. 

The function permits creators with subscription reveals to distribute episodes instantly from their host dashboards as an alternative of getting to manually add the content material by way of Apple Podcast Join. Taking part hosts for now embrace Libsyn, Blubrry, Omny Studio, and RSS.com, with different in style platforms like Buzzsprout and Acast to be added later. Anchor, the most important distributor of podcasts (and a subsidiary of Spotify), isn’t a part of the preliminary batch of internet hosting suppliers.

What are subscribers keen to pay for?

Talking of podcast subscriptions, Cumulus and Sign Hill released a report that offers some perception into what (if something) will compel listeners to pay for podcasts. Unsurprisingly, the reply is extra content material (all the time extra content material! Feed the beast!). 

Amongst weekly podcast listeners, 36 % mentioned they might pay a month-to-month payment for bonus episodes of one among their reveals. Different perks that ranked effectively had been entry to prolonged episodes (32 %), early entry to episodes (30 %), and behind-the-scenes content material (28 %). What do they not care about? Unique merch (22 %) and transcripts (13 %).

Whereas that’s nonetheless a fraction of standard podcast listeners who’re keen to pay something in any respect, it does present that there’s some validity to the methods creators are utilizing to shore up subscriptions. Patreon creators use bonus episodes because the cornerstone of their memberships, whereas Wondery has leaned closely into the early-release mannequin for reveals like My Favourite Homicide and SmartLess.

Microsoft makes some (barely alarming?) advances in text-to-speech AI

Final week, I wrote about how Apple is utilizing fairly superior text-to-speech know-how to facilitate the manufacturing and distribution of audiobooks. To date, that function contains 4 AI voices. Microsoft, in the meantime, introduced a text-to-speech mannequin known as VALL-E that may allegedly simulate anybody’s voice with just a three-second sample

If it really works, that might have large implications for the audio business. There are undoubtedly upsides — improved text-to-speech might vastly enhance accessibility for folks with visible impairment and, like within the Apple Books case, make audio content material creation simpler total. However it is usually simple to think about how issues might go off the rails in an enormous method, with podcasts that includes “company” who aren’t actually there and deep fakes which can be exhausting to fight. That would particularly be an issue whereas the business figures out how you can reasonable content material.

That’s all for now! See you subsequent week.

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