Heard.FM Announces Inaugural Independent Creator Program

Heard.FM, a new curated podcast platform announces the launch of their inaugural independent Creator Program. With over 5 million podcasts available today, listeners and podcast creators alike are overwhelmed with choice – which means that sometimes the best shows get lost in the crowd.

Heard.FM is built to bring podcasters and listeners together by offering a curated experience: only podcasts that meet the quality standards set by the Curation Team, catered towards what users are looking for, will be accepted onto the platform. By instituting a quality standard, Heard.FM promises users that all shows included on the platform offer the best experience audio has to offer, ranging from production quality to unique stories and the talent behind them.

As the industry grows, indie podcasters have found themselves competing against major studios for the same audience without the same resources. And, as a result, audio is becoming a less level playing field. The Independent Creators Program aims to help independent podcasts stand out among the ever growing crowd. Shows that are accepted into the program during pre-launch will receive additional benefits aimed at growing their listener base and utilizing features of Heard.FM’s platform.

Some of these benefits include: featured placements in recommendation playlists curated by Heard.FM’s human creation team (rather than an algorithm you have to learn to beat), the ability to highlight the cast and crew of your show with headshots and bios, inclusion in category specific sections of the app to reach listeners looking exactly for your content, and thirty second audio commercials for your podcast. These commercials will play directly to users who fit each podcasts’ listener demographic, helping to bring new audience members to independent shows that may have never been reached elsewhere.

Heard.FM’s features, allow podcasters to build a direct relationship with their audience where they’re listening: users are able to stay in touch with not only the feed, but the creators, cast, and crew members by utilizing the cast & crew feature. Through the community section, creators can engage in direct dialogue with their listeners – and appeal to new listeners that are looking for fresh content to add to their library.

  • Participation in the independent creator program is free of charge. However, there are a limited number of spots available in the inaugural program. Heard.FM is looking for shows that offer the following:
  • Great sound quality. We’re looking for clean, listenable audio with no distractions in the background.
  • Strong storytelling. Whether your podcast is fiction or nonfiction, listeners want to be taken on a journey. We’re looking for shows that give our listeners new experiences, knowledge, or emotional journeys.
  • Something unique. What does your podcast offer that the other 5 million don’t? What makes you deserve to be Heard?

Applications for the program must be submitted by September 30th, 2022 to be considered. Creators may apply here: https://heard.fm/creator/

Heard.FM is also open to the final round of early access Beta testers. Any interested users may submit to be a part of the program here: https://heard.fm/

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Australian Podcast Awards Returns Bigger And Better In 2022

The country’s most prestigious and well recognized podcast awards, The Australia Podcast Awards (APA’s) powered by iHeart, will return in 2022 – celebrating the best of the best Australian podcast and podcasting talent to emerge and gain fandom over the past year.

Over 90 judges listened to nearly 1,000 submissions in 2021, awarding gold to 29 top podcasts across categories from True Crime to Comedy and Sex & Relationships. The 2022 Australian Podcast Awards promises to be bigger and better than ever with a total of 33 award categories from Best New Podcast to Podcast of the Year and every genre-based category in between. There are also new awards including Podcast Climate Award and Best Parenting Podcast.

This year the Awards will also make it easier for independent BIPOC, Queer and Trans audio creators to enter, thanks to a partnership with the Podcasting Seriously Fund that provides reimbursement for entries from members of these communities.

The News of the 2022 Australian Podcast Awards comes as Australia officially overtakes the U.S. as the world’s biggest listening nation, and the industry continues to produce a record-number of break-through podcasts.

Matt Deegan, Director at the Australian Podcast Awards said:

“Australia isn’t just the world’s biggest podcast listening nation, it’s also at the forefront of incredible podcast production. We’re so thrilled to bring the industry’s most recognized and prestigious podcasting awards back for its sixth year. The 2022 Australian Podcast Awards promises to uncover, spotlight and champion the best of the best when it comes to Australian podcasting. We welcome podcasts big and small to enter and look forward to another year of break-through podcasting content.”

The Australian Podcast Awards also announces its first wave of partners, including Gold Partner iHeart, LISTNR, Nova, Campaign, Podfollow and PodNews.

The Australian Podcast Awards launched in 2016 as a way to showcase the amazing podcast talent and content Australia has to offer. Now in its sixth year, the Award continues to recognize the industry’s most innovative and emerging podcast content across its varied categories. It also hosts an annual conference, Podcast Day 24 on October 4th in Sydney, which shares content, research, and podcast industry trends.

2022 winners included Laura Byrne and Brittney Hockey’s Life Uncut, Julia Gillard’s A Podcast Of One’s Own and Brooke Boney and Linda Marigilano’s Brooke and Linda’s Dream Club. Other winners include true crime podcast, The Nurse, dramedy fiction podcast, Private Affairs, and pop-culture podcast, The Culture.

Submissions for the Australian Podcast Awards are now open, find out more at australianpodcastawards.com. Nominees will be selected by a judging panel of industry experts before the category winners are announced in November.

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Acast Prepares For Profitable Growth – Intends To Reduce Workforce

Acast AB (publ), the leading podcast platform and pioneer in the open ecosystem for podcasts, improves the path to future profitable growth by reviewing its organization with the intent to reduce its cost base. After an intensive period of product development and investments, focus will shift towards the creation of profitable growth in line with the company’s updated financial goals – which were presented in the report for the second quarter. The cost reductions imply a decrease of the current workforce by approximately 15 percent.

“Our strategy is based on bringing together advertisers with podcast creators via our platform and delivering the absolute best podcast offering. We have been working hard for several years to develop our product to enable a seamless process for onboarding of new podcasts, as well as developing market leading advertising targeting within episodes, which is now bearing fruit. We will continue to prioritize long-term investments in both market operations and product development, but with an organization that is adapted to a new phase for the company,” says Ross Adams, CEO of Acast.

In connection with the report for the second quarter, Acast presented new financial targets, which means that the company brought forward the goal of reaching positive EBITDA in 2024 instead of sometime during 2024-2026.

“In our last report, we made it clear that we have reached a turning point where we, from the current market situation, will gradually improve the EBITDA margin to profitability in 2024. This is mainly driven by the fact that we are leaving a period of heavier investments behind us, and at the same time see that we can increase our internal efficiency significantly without compromising on the quality of our delivery,” says Emily Villatte, CFO and deputy CEO of Acast.

In light of the above, Acast will initiate deliberations during September.

On October 4, Acast welcomes analysts, owners and investors to a webcast capital market update where the company’s strategic agenda for the next few years is to be presented. More information and an invitation will be published shortly.

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Insider September 23 — The hits matter

I am not having a chill Friday, but I hope you are. Let’s get into it: podcast Twitter has feelings about a certain magazine article, I have feelings about Spotify’s audiobook vertical, and everyone has feelings about the fact the CIA is making a podcast. Who is to blame for the lack of hit podcasts? […]
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Insider September 22, 2022 — Everyone’s still talking about ‘Serial’

Happy fall. It’s absolutely disgusting in NY today. Wake me when the crisp autumn weather arrives. Today, we’re still talking about Serial, and YouTube makes it easier for creators to make money. Serial tops the charts again after Adnan Syed’s release Listeners are checking back in on Serial, many for the first time since 2014, […]
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Spotify now sells audiobooks

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Insider September 16, 2022 — Layoffs, payouts, and road trips

Hey, everyone, Jake here. It’s been a while. I’ve been in so many video calls this summer that my AirPods have started to buzz (which surely explains why a new pair just got announced last week). I’m going to hang onto these for the time being, but I’ve got my eyes out for the day […]
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Insider September 15, 2022 — Podimo’s $58.6 million windfall

I hope you reaped the benefits of the Zoom shutdown. I work mostly in Google Docs and Mailchimp (and WordPress, woof), so no day off for me.  On the docket today: Podimo gets a plum investment, iHeart forges ahead in the metaverse, and Spotify steals SXM’s crown. Audio subscription service Podimo raises $58.6 million  Danish […]
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Hot Pod goes Hollywood

We’ve got a lot on the docket, so I’ll keep it brief. Today: Meghan Markle takes a break from her hit podcast during the royal mourning period, Brookings breaks down the political podcast ecosystem, and some exciting announcements about our upcoming Hot Pod Summit in LA.  Hot Pod Summit LA will feature guests from Spotify, […]
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Insider September 9, 2022 — An old-fashioned flip-flop

I feel like we don’t hear the term “flip-flopper” enough anymore, or maybe I am just nostalgic for the 14-year-old me who stayed up to watch The Daily Show every night and thought that The Day After Tomorrow would get people to care about climate change. Anyway, we have a real flip-flop from Podcast Movement […]
Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News