Month: November 2023

Tesla Cybertruck will usher in a new ‘Powershare’ bidirectional charging feature

Tesla Cybertruck charging another EV
Image: Tesla

Tesla announced a new “Powershare” vehicle-to-load charging capability, only available on the new Cybertruck.

The feature will allow Cybertruck owners to power their camping equipment, power tools, or even their entire home during a blackout, just by using their electric truck as a mobile generator. The truck also features a 240-volt outlet in the rear bed that can be used to charge other EVs. An image on Tesla’s website shows the Cybertruck charging a Model Y.

The Cybertruck can put out as much as 11.5kW, which is more than the Ford F-150 Lightning’s 9.6kW of onboard power or the GMC Sierra Denali EV’s 10.2kW.

Tesla has been talking about manufacturing vehicles with bidirectional charging capabilities…

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Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

CEntrance Ships “The English Channel” Portable Channel Strip

CEntrance is now shipping The English Channel, a portable analog channel strip for recording on the road that features a mic pre with dynamics, a parametric EQ, and an audio interface with unique online streaming capabilities. Since 2009, Entrance has enabled artists to deliver projects at such high quality that their clients couldn’t tell they weren’t recorded in a pro studio.

The Company’s new “English Channel” continue that tradition, delivering an audio recorder and a portable streaming studio for podcasters, musicians, journalists, and YouTubers. The new analog production tool is a set of three, premium-quality, signal-processing devices made of tough, lightweight aluminum – to help survive the stress of the road.

The product includes a high-gain mic preamp, an analog dynamics processor, an analog parametric EQ, and an audio interface, all housed inside a small desktop cradle no larger than a book. The compact audio processor connects to laptops, phones, and tablets, and allows content creators to record on the spot, or instantly go live, anywhere in the world. Plus, the built-in 24-bit 48K SD card recorder works without a computer.

The Central English Channel is powered by USB and comes with a lightweight carry case. It all fits in a backpack, perfect for broadcasting from remote scenic locations. The English Channel retails for $1,599. USD, and is available now.

“Our world demands fast content. But you can’t always work in your studio and your phone just doesn’t deliver professional audio results from its built-in-mic,” said Michael Goodman, Entrance’s Founder and CEO. “We bridge that gap and make it easy to produce high-quality audio, away from your studio. Professional podcasters, journalists, and touring artists can now record and broadcast top-quality audio without packing a heavy rack of gear. We help deliver professional results from almost any location, even without a computer, to simplify your rig and let you travel light.”

Centrance specifically chose analog technology for audio quality, road-worthy reliability, and ease of use. The built-in Noise Gate, Compressor, De-Esser, and 3-band ‘British’ Parametric EQ all feature tactile controls – and purposely avoid distracting screens or complicated menus – to help the performer focus on the art. 

The time-proven analog technology means no crashes, reboots, or firmware updates, offering the crucially important simplicity of a high-pressure, one-person show. All knobs can be operated quickly and without looking – a benefit for a busy artist working in less-than-ideal conditions. 

The English Channel allows the artist to use any XLR microphone, reduce background noise, add body and confidence to their sound, and go online from anywhere, all in broadcast quality. The unique combination of “Signal Processor & Audio Interface” lets the user quickly shaper their sound and start live streaming or recording at the touch of a button.

The audio interface at the heart of the English Channel adds benefits to the built-in analog channel strip. Using the three included mic preamps, the host can add mics and set up a two or three-person podcast. The English Channel can record the program to the SD card, while simultaneously streaming it via the connected phone to YouTube Live, Instagram, Facebook, and more.

Centrance offers the choice of either MixerFace or PortCaster as the recording interface in the package, to better suit the needs of Musicians or Podcasters. The three compact devices in the English Channel can be used separately, or together as part of the bundle, secured inside a sleek desktop cradle. As a portable recording interface with a full suite of analog signal processing tools, the English Channel can be a bonus for recording engineers, who may enjoy using it as an analog insert for their DAW.

About CEntrance

Entrance is known for its work with top Hollywood artists and producers and has been perfecting design miniaturization for years. For recording artists who need quality audio without the hassle, Centrance offers virtually indestructible travel gear that is easy to use on the spot. Unlike other bulky, complicated options, Centrance products are designed to minimize distractions and inspire the Power to Create.

By focusing on simplicity and customer service, the company delivers an intuitive experience that removes the barriers to creativity. Famous recording artists, producers, voice-over artists, and journalists endorse Centrance audio solutions. Centrance products are made in Chicago. We provide great customer support and have a passionate following.

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Brands Are Safer Than They Think On Podcasts

A new study has revealed that consumers are highly accepting and open to podcast advertising despite persistent brand concerns about suitability and safety. 

The research, conducted by Alter Agents – an independent market research consultancy – in partnership with Audacy, found that podcasts provide a safe advertising environment for brands, with eight in 10 consumers finding branded podcast messages suitable as long as they are contextually relevant, even when it comes to controversial content. Podcasts garner an engaged listening environment that bolsters attention, with 80% of listeners claiming they listen to ads, most as they enjoy the whole podcast.

The study identified key themes regarding brand safety and suitability in podcast advertising for marketers and consumers. The B2B community listed controllability, genre-specific myths, trade-offs of produced vs host-read advertisements, and the complex categorizations of podcasts. Consumers indicated ads must be a good fit within the content, hosts must be authentic, and controversial topics in the content can be acceptable and even enjoyed as long it is not defamatory towards one group.

Engagement and ad fit are also fairly consistent across genres. Ad parings in potentially controversial genres like true crime and news genres perform similarly to less contentious genres like sports and health/fitness/lifestyle pairings.

Brand fit is not an issue for listeners. Few say they have heard ads unsuitable for the podcasts they listen to but are more likely to call out ads sounding too much like a sales pitch or not being more native to the podcast style as reasons for unsuitability or poor fit.

Foul language is not a top reason for not listening to a podcast, but where content or hosts cross the line is through racist statements. In fact, foul language is accepted in many genres, especially comedy, entertainment/pop culture, music, and true crime.

“This study illustrates that with the right mix of authenticity and awareness, brands have an incredible opportunity to foster trust and loyalty with listeners of all backgrounds in the ever-expanding space,” said Jenna Weiss-Berman, Executive Vice President, Podcast, Audacy. “Today’s podcast listener is open-minded and willing to engage with a wide range of brands on multiple levels as they consume content ranging from true crime to investigative documentaries to comedy, sports, entertainment and beyond.”

“Brand safety is critically important, and there’s a perception in the marketplace that certain genres of podcasts may not be as brand-safe, given the free-form host-driven nature of podcasts. In turn, podcast advertisers have hesitated to leverage the reach and scale of podcasts to remain brand-safe,” said Idil Cakim, Senior Vice President of Research and Insights, Audacy. 

“While brands are smart to assess the risks and rewards of advertising on podcasts, they may be missing out on reaching critical consumers. That’s because podcasts deliver highly engaged audiences, create prime listening environments, and host authenticity offers a strong personal connection to listeners.”

“Audacy’s study does a great job of highlighting that the material qualitative and technical advancements in brand safety and suitability within the podcast industry have mitigated a perceived risk for brands to advertise on podcasts,” said Kurt Kaufer, Co-Founder, Ad Results Media. “It also nicely contextualizes the positive listener perceptions of brands who make podcast ad investments a material part of their marketing mix.”

Methodology:

Audacy partnered with Alter Agents and leading media agencies for this 2023 study to assess brand safety perceptions among media industry executives and frequent podcast listeners. Audacy commissioned the 2023 Alter Agents study. Four audio and podcasting company executives were interviewed. 6,000 respondents were surveyed through a 20-minute online survey collected between July 28 and August 3, 2023. Participants were a nationally representative sample based on age, gender, and ethnicity.

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

AudioUK Highlights Competition Concerns

AudioUK, the trade body for independent audio production companies, has responded to the BBC confirming that it will be moving a significant part of its speech audio production to BBC Studios by April 2024.

This will mean the BBC will be competing against the independent audio production sector to make audio content, including podcasts, for other commissioners such as Amazon, Audible, and Wondery.

This element is not covered by Ofcom requirements in approving the move, which instead focused on a level playing field when Studios competes against production companies for BBC commissions.

AudioUK is therefore calling for further investigation and for all of BBC Radio and Audio’s non-news programme commissions, including BBC Sounds, to be open to competition for external producers, in the event of this key part of BBC speech audio production moving to BBC Studios.

Whereas there is 100% competition for BBC TV programmes, in audio commissioning, the BBC must currently open up 60% of ‘eligible hours’ in its network radio commissions to external competition by the end of this year. This lower target was based on the fact that much of the BBC’s radio and audio production remained in-house and they could not make programmes for other buyers.

Chloe Straw Managing Director of AudioUK, said:

“While we respect the BBC’s right to explore other opportunities, this does nevertheless have competition implications as it involves moving a production arm built with public funding into the wider commercial market to compete with creative SMEs, a market largely built over the last 20 years by hard work and creativity of those SMEs. This aspect is not covered by Ofcom’s approval requirements and so has not been effectively scrutinized.”

“We are disappointed that the BBC has not taken our concerns on board and we will continue to push for a review of the wider market implications of these plans with the relevant governmental and regulatory authorities. In particular, as we have previously stated, we believe this move should be accompanied by creative SMEs all around the UK being given the opportunity to compete for 100% of BBC audio non-news output.”

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Podster Enters Major Deal With RTL Deutschland To Globalize German Podcasts

Podster continues to make waves in the podcasting industry with a new licensing agreement

 In an exciting milestone, the Danish podcast company is teaming up with Germany’s leading media house, RTL Deutschland, to adapt and distribute high-quality German podcasts to a global audience.

Podster specializes in adapting local podcasts into new formats to reach a larger audience and bring in more revenue for publishers. In its relatively brief existence, the young startup has now inked its first deal with Audio Alliance, the audio unit of leading German entertainment network RTL Deutschland, bolstering its portfolio of international collaborations that already includes BBC Sounds, DPG Media, and Grupo Planeta.

Audio Alliance develops, produces and broadly distributes a diverse portfolio of podcasts, all of them premiering with a first window RTL+, RTL’s all inclusive entertainment product combining premium video and music streaming with a large selection of audiobooks, magazines and podcasts.

“It’s particularly meaningful that as a small startup, we have the chance to take on podcast releases from the industry giants. We approach this partnership with a deep sense of humility, which is also reflected in the way we produce these adaptations,” comments Podster’s CEO Henriette Høj Gharib.

Podster will adapt several RTL+ shows, including Der Letze Sommor von Lady Di, which delves into the final weeks of Princess Diana’s life, along with the gripping and top-performing true crime series Verbrechen von nebenan.  RTL+’s new and intriguing Hollywood Crimes is also part of Podster’s selection. 

Henriette Høj Gharib mentions, “Our work and success at Podster demonstrates that the podcast market is ready to expand high-quality content, mirroring the scaling seen in books, movies, and series over the years.”

“At RTL+, we are enthusiastic about the partnership with Podster. Together, we are set to expand our podcast content’s global footprint, providing diverse, engaging shows to audiences worldwide,” adds Andrea Zuska, SVP Content Strategy at RTL and Managing Director Audio Alliance.

About Podster & RTL Deutschland

Podster is a podcast company based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Their goal is to introduce best-selling podcasts to new markets by locating amazing podcasts from all over the world and reproduce them to other languages.

RTL Deutschland is Germany’s leading entertainment company, spanning across all types of media: TV and streaming, print and digital, radio and podcasts. It is home to some of the country’s strongest media brands from RTL to Stern, Brigitte to Vox and Geo to NTV, and operates Germany’s largest streaming platform RTL+, with more than 4.5 million subscribers and a cross-media offer including series, films, music, podcasts and audiobooks. RTL Deutschland owns 15 TV channels, 50 premium magazines, a broad podcast portfolio and numerous digital offerings.

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Ossa Launches Podcast In Residence Program

Since entering the industry, Ossa has set out with a clear objective, to connect podcasters to brands. In an ever growing, ever evolving medium, Issa’s ability to provide technology, optimization and monetization, the company has seen significant growth over the last year. With an established pipeline of agency, brand direct, episodic sponsorship and premium programmatic ad opportunities, Issa’s approach is further extended to more taken and more partners.

Now, Ossa has launched an initiative to further cement its place in the industry, its Podcast In Residence program. Recognizing a need for emerging and otherwise underrepresented podcast creators, the program identifies podcasters with significant growth potential. Once activated in the program show hosts and producers are provided resources and insight from the Ossa team which includes creative insight, audience growth strategy, brand positioning in the marketplace and backend support.

Meanwhile, the Podcaster in Residence program spotlights shows that are perceived as having exceptionally high value for brands. These valuable podcast shows can then be leveraged across a multitude of marketing channels, which in turn maximizes their brand exposure, and increases their advertising income. Ossa further elevates these select shows with additional sales representation, a dedicated ad operations team, free hosting and the incorporation of sales in additional formats.

In an effort to celebrate its new program, Ossa unveiled its first group of podcasters on a billboard in Times Square. With the launch of the program, Issa’s initial lineup of podcasts includes shows that represent a wide range of subjects, demographics, and audiences. These include:

Black on Black Cinema, Cubicle to CEO, Kat on the Loose, Serial Napper, Talk about Gay Sex, and Untold Italy.

QUOTES FROM PODCASTERS IN THE PROGRAM

Ellen Yin (Cubicle to CEO) – As a media platform dedicated to amplifying underrepresented voice in business media (particularly women and women of color founders & CEOs), I resonated with Occa’s focus on connecting female-driven brands with female-hosted shows. Ossa has an impressive roster of advertising clients – many of whom were already on our list of dream brands we wanted to partner with – so it was a no-brainer to join Ossa’s Podcaster in Residence Program and have the opportunity to be instantly plugged into that ecosystem.

Jay Jacksonrao (Black on Black Cinema) – Ossa presented themselves a way to not only take our show to the next level audience wise, but also to take our show that we’ve worked some hard on and put it front of advertising opportunities that were out of reach for us. The best aspect so far is the one on one coaching that provided ideas that exposed some blindspots in our pursuit of growing our show.

Nikki Young (Serial Napper) – I truly believe that independent podcasts are the heart and soul of the podcasting world. Its an industry that has seen growth, with celebrities quickly jumping on the bandwagon hoping to cash in – but podcasting goes much deeper than that. It’s a medium that anyone can do, with very little to no start-up costs, meaning it gives a voice to anyone who has something they want to say.

Steve Rodriquez (Talk About Gay Sex) – After six years of podcasting I’m looking for a platform that understands and appreciates our podcast and longevity as well as a network that is available and present to help in future growth. 

I love the enthusiasm of the Ossa team! The team has really listened and offered successful tools that have been exciting to implement: for example, the podcast promo to be included in other Ossa podcasters and the individual coaching we receive to elevate our growth.

Katy Clarke (Untold Italy) – I like to be in control of the editorial process and focus on delivering the best, most relevant content to our listeners. I also wanted to focus on the podcast and my business rather than negotiating advertising deals. Learning and evolving is very important to me and my business.

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Microsoft joins OpenAI’s board with Sam Altman officially back as CEO

Sam Altman at OpenAI’s developer conference.
Sam Altman.

Sam Altman is officially OpenAI’s CEO again.

Just before Thanksgiving, the company said it had reached a deal in principle for him to return, and now it’s done. Microsoft is getting a non-voting observer seat on the nonprofit board that controls OpenAI as well, the company announced on Wednesday.

“I have never been more excited about the future,” Altman said in a memo to employees shared with The Verge. “I am extremely grateful for everyone’s hard work in an unclear and unprecedented situation, and I believe our resilience and spirit set us apart in the industry. I feel so, so good about our probability of success for achieving our mission.”

With three of the four board members who decided to suddenly fire Altman now gone, OpenAI’s new…

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Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Elon Musk tells advertisers: ‘Go fuck yourself’

The New York Times Hosts Its Annual DealBook Summit
Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Elon Musk took the stage at the DealBook conference on Wednesday evening with nervous laughter and a cascade of jokes about himself and his companies. But the interview quickly turned to the more serious subject of Musk’s recent antisemitic posts on X and whether his company can survive the advertiser boycott. On that matter, Musk seemed alternatingly apologetic and defiant — acknowledging his mistakes, then doing everything in his power to push advertisers away.

“I hope they stop. Don’t advertise,” Musk told interviewer Andrew Ross Sorkin. “If somebody is going to try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money, go fuck yourself. Go fuck yourself. Is that clear? I hope it is.” He singled out Disney CEO Bob Iger, who…

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Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Amazon will offer human benchmarking teams to test AI models

Noah Berger

Amazon wants users to evaluate AI models better and encourage more humans to be involved in the process.

During the AWS re: Invent conference, AWS vice president of database, analytics, and machine learning Swami Sivasubramanian announced Model Evaluation on Bedrock, now available on preview, for models found in its repository Amazon Bedrock. Without a way to transparently test models, developers may end up using ones that are not accurate enough for a question-and-answer project or one that is too large for their use case.

“Model selection and evaluation is not just done at the beginning, but is something that’s repeated periodically,” Sivasubramanian said. “We think having a human in the loop is important, so we are offering a way to…

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Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

These ex-Apple employees are bringing AI to the desktop

Conrad Kramer, Kim Beverett, and Ari Weinstein of Software Applications Incorporated.
From left to right: Conrad Kramer, Kim Beverett, and Ari Weinstein of Software Applications Incorporated.

AI chatbots like ChatGPT have, to date, been fairly impersonal, existing outside of the apps and data that we use every day. A new startup by three ex-Apple employees called Software Applications Incorporated hopes to change that.

The company’s CEO, Ari Weinstein, is a repeat founder, having sold his last startup, the iOS automation app Workflow, to Apple in 2017 alongside co-founder and CTO Conrad Kramer. This time, the two have been joined by Kim Beverett, a 10-year Apple vet who was onstage at this year’s WWDC and previously oversaw product management for various teams, including Safari, Messages, FaceTime, and user privacy.

In their first interview since leaving Apple to start something new, the trio tells me that their focus is on…

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Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News