I’m Going to Podcast Movement!

I’m Going to Podcast Movement!

Woot woot! I’m going to Podcast Movement. Are you?

Podcast Movement is a new weekend long conference (this is it’s second year) JUST for podcasters. It’s a place to get some great full day workshops, breakout sessions, amazing speakers, and of course networking with all your podcasting friends.

The event happens in Fort Worth, Texas from July 31 through August 2nd. I am flying in Thursday evening and heading out Sunday evening.

I’ll be hanging out at the Libsyn booth so be sure to stop by. Keep an eye on @kocotech on Twitter, or @libsyn for updates and fun stuff.

If you are coming in with time to attend any of the Friday workshops, check out the She Podcasts workshop. Jess and Elsie will be kicking butt all day teaching about empowerment and women podcasting STUFF. I’ll probably be hanging out there myself and if I know Elsie, it’ll be AWESOME.

If you haven’t gotten your ticket yet, go get it! Tickets and accommodations are going fast!

The NEW Spotify

The NEW Spotify

On May 20th, 2015, Spotify announced a whole slew of new beta features including NowRunning, Video, and…. podcasts.

I had subscribed to Spotify more than a year ago and to be honest I hated it. I felt the syncing of my owned library into their system and down to my mobile devices was cumbersome at best (it still is), and while I fully understand that listeners are moving in droves to streaming platforms, not every platform has every song. When it’s a song they don’t have rights to stream, I still would love to hit a buy button.

But I digress.

Libsyn, my employer, and a partner with Spotify. We have many podcasts that were added to the podcast directory for the beta launch. I’ve seen the beta, and I have some thoughts.

Spotify Running

Spotify RunningI love the running feature. I’ve heard some out there call it a gimmick. Be that as it may, it’s still awesome. It doesn’t pick up my steps per minute at a walking pace, and I usually start with a few minutes of walking before I pick up a jog. But, no matter how long I walk, when I eventually start running, it knows… instantly… and calculates my pace. It tells me my pace, and then kicks up a playlist.

I’m extremely picky about my running playlists. When I say I run, it’s more like I jog… barely… and thanks to winter and some other unforeseen events I hadn’t run since last fall, so I’m using a walk-run program called Couch to 5K. That means I’m out of shape, I get tired fast, and I really need that music to keep me pumped up! Hence, I didn’t think this new Spotify feature would do me any justice.

WRONG! I’ve never kept such a steady pace while running, ever. And, I’ve yet to hear anything I really didn’t like. Even when that happens, the double tap on my headphones button works like a charm, moving onto the next song without a hitch. The playlist automatically fades one song into theSpotify Running next, and does a pretty good job of keeping the beat in the same place while doing so. All in all, I’m very impressed, and have continued to use Spotify Running for my runs… exclusively… since the announcement.

Spotify Now

The Spotify Now feature is kinda neat, it tries to figure out what time of day it is, what day of the week it is, and what I’m likely doing at that time (like, I’m at work in the middle of an afternoon lull and in need of a pick me up, or I’m on my commute into the office, etc). It’s, well, neat. I’m not honestly as enthralled with it as I am with Spotify Running, and I certainly haven’t used it as much.

Spotify + Podcasts

Will this really be worth it for podcasters? In my opinion, we will have to really wait and see what the stats end up showing. I do see this as a growth opportunity for podcasters, any platform of Spotify’s size that opens up to podcasters has the potential to be great for podcasters.

Let’s look at what’s in the podcast directory.

The Spotify Podcast Directory

As with most podcast directories, there is a list of featured shows, and a breakdown of audio or video. Browsing the directory is pretty simple, and standard. You can browse by featured, audio or video, and by genre breakdown.

A show's episode list in SpotifyEach show contains it’s list of episodes, you can add a show to your library so that new episodes are automatically included in your local device’s library, and show notes are visible for those who provide them.

Here is where my biggest annoyances are. First, show notes are not picking upLooking at a Podcast Episode in Spotify
formatting. Producers often spend a lot of time and put a lot of effort into formatting their show notes with source links, phone numbers (handy when listening on mobile devices), and even just paragraphs and spaces to make it easier to read. Spotify currently isn’t showing any of that formatting. Bummer.

Onto my next pet peeve, Spotify doesn’t provide any functionality for controlling download behavior. I can’t, for example, tell Spotify to always download and only keep the newest 3 episodes, or the newest 5 episodes, and so forth. This is a pretty standard feature nearly every podcatcher offers. Keep in mind that they are totally new to the podcasting world, and they do seem quite dedicated to the cause (they have a team dedicated to the cause). Also remember that they are not a podcatcher first, and that this is all still very beta. I can only imagine these are things that they plan to fix or implement down the road.

Another note worth making, they pull show artwork, but they do not pull episode artwork. If you use custom artwork for each individual episode, don’t expect that to appear in Spotify… yet (at the time of writing this, anyway).

Here’s the good. It works, well! I have several shows I’ve subscribed exclusively through Spotify to, and I’ve made it a point to listen using Spotify in my car, in my headphones, and I’ve had zero problems. It always picks up where I’ve left off, I always have access to new content from shows I’ve ‘followed’ (subscribed to), it just works. I think if they continue to improve on the app and grow the directory (which they obviously have plans to do), then I see no reason why listeners wouldn’t listen to podcasts in Spotify, and it will be nice to have everything in one place.

Final Thoughts

I am now again a subscriber to Spotify and happily participating in their beta. I’m excited about where the inclusion of podcasts (audio and video) is headed, I LOVE the running feature, curation has gotten much better.

If you want to learn more, Elsie Escobar and I talk it up on the topic and show off the BETA version of the app:

It’s currently only available for iOS, but it will make it to additional users and additional platforms over time.

Have you tried it yet? I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts on the new Spotify.


An Evening with Podcamp

An Evening with Podcamp

I had the honor of being invited by Michael Sorg (@sorgatron) to speak with Pittsburgh Podcamp’ers about the current state of podcasting, Spotify entering the podcasting realm, and take questions from the audience about podcasting.

The event was held at a co-work establishment in the Allentown section of Pittsburgh called The Hardware Store. This place is pretty neat. The space provides desk space, utilities, and otherwise the area you need as a freelancer or entrepreneur to get your business off the ground. In the downstairs area, they have an entire podcast studio with video and audio capabilities, the hardware you would need, green screens, staging, the whole nine.

If there is a tech service you need from WordPress customizations to podcast producers, you might look up some of the folks working out of the Hardware Store. Also, registration for Podcamp Pittsburgh is OPEN! Podcamp Pittsburgh is being held August 15th and 16th at Point Park University.

I look forward to seeing you there. 🙂

An Evening with Podcamp

Podcamp Pittsburgh | Session | Podcast Using Google Hangouts on Air

At Podcamp Pittsburgh 2014, I offered a session on podcasting using Google Hangouts on Air. If you are unfamiliar, Google HOA is a video solution that allows up to 10 participants (but unlimited viewers) simultaneously which is then streamed.

This session discussed why you might consider using Google Hangouts on Air, especially as a podcaster. I also covered how tos, best practices, and even ran a live HOA. Lastly, we discussed how to take a Google HOA and bring it down to an audio or video that you can repurpose for your podcasting RSS feed to distribute to iTunes and other podcasting distribution points.



The Podcasters’ Roundtable | Episode 35 | ITUNES

The Podcasters’ Roundtable | Episode 35 | ITUNES

The Podcasters’ Roundtable is a video and audio podcast hosted and produced by Ray Ortega which covers specific podcasting topics each session. Ray is joined by podcasters and podcast experts alike in order to dig deep into each topic.

In this episode, catch up with Ray Ortega, Daniel J. Lewis, David Jackson, Angelo Mandato, Rich Baxter, Lou Mongello, Steve Stewart, and myself (Krystal O’Connor) as we discuss podcasting + iTunes.