What is Anchor Podcast?

Anchor Podcast touts itself as “the easiest way to make a podcast” their tagline reads “Everything you need, 100% free.” Let’s dive into what Anchor.fm is all about.

Anchor is a podcast app owned by Spotify. Anchor is attempting to be the “one stop shop” for podcasters without an extensive technical background. They follow a “vertical integration” model, meaning that you can record your podcast using Anchor, distribute your podcast through Anchor, and then monetize with Anchor. While people became comfortable “hopping on Zoom” during the COVID-19 pandemic, podcasters became accustomed to “hopping on Anchor” to record.

In years past, Anchor’s primary selling point was the ability to record podcasts on your smartphone. In 2016, when this technology was first introduced, Anchor left a lot to be desired. Over time sound quality improved, podcasts hit the mainstream, and Anchor added the bells and whistles necessary to attract podcasters to their app.

In 2020 Anchor has morphed from the “record a podcast on your phone app” to a serious podcast hosting service with a myriad of features that podcasters typically pay for through hosting services. They offer 100% free hosting, development of your shows RSS feed, total distribution, monetization opportunities, and the ability to edit a podcast straight from your phone.

Something significant that Anchor offers is unlimited free hosting. Most podcast hosting services charge monthly fees depending on the amount of content distributed through your show. 

This service is great for new hosts entering the space. Broadcasters interested in hosting a show for the first time without Anchor Podcast logoaccess to microphones, editing software, or any idea how to get onto Spotify or iTunes can simply download Anchor and compete with their favorite shows. Anchor’s monetization opportunities include brand partnerships directly linked to Anchor, as well as the creation of a “donation” page for listeners to support your show. 

The primary drawback with Anchor podcasts is the quality. Anchor allows hosts to produce and publish mid-level content, perfect for beginners and sustainable to podcast hobbyists. Unfortunately phone interviews are just worse than face-to-face recordings, both have their benefits; but the literal space between guest and host shines through in phone interviews. 

That brief critique aside, Anchor has grown a tremendous amount in just four years. They have found their lane in the podcast space and seem to be adapting to what their users need. After personally using Anchor as a guest on a new podcast, it would be how I recommend new podcasters start their shows. 

Google Podcast Manager – How to Register a Podcast with Google

Google has launched it’s official podcast manager! This service is promoted as “an easy way to understand your audience on Google Podcasts.” Admittedly, as a podcast producer, managing the variety of websites for my production is becoming a full-time job. Fortunately Google makes this process seamless for podcast producers to integrate with the tech-giant.

Step One: RSS Feed

Every month or so podcast hosts need to dig up their RSS feed for something. I recommend keeping it saved in a Word Document or Notes App for easy access. Simply plug your RSS feed into Google and it should be able to find your show. 

If your podcast only exists on Soundcloud, you’re going to need to sign up for a podcast hosting site to create an RSS Feed.

Step Two: Preview your Feed

Take a minute to make sure that the information portrayed is accurate. Also, this step ensures that you do not accidentally claim someone else’s show.

Step Three: Verify your Email

If you are already logged into Google, you may be able to skip this step. Simply plug in your email address and click submit.

Step Four: Verify Ownership

This final step is literally the click of a button. Easy as pie. Verify that the last three steps were accurate by clicking one last time.

Signing up for Google Podcast Manager sooner rather than later could be beneficial. Google currently is not collecting the data for podcasts that are not verified, meaning that you only have information from the day you sign up, into the future.

Google is emerging as a major player in the podcast market as the search engines makes shows more accessible. Make sure your show is easy to find!

How to Record a Podcast with Zoom

The Coronavirus Pandemic and ensuing quarantine has taken podcasters and broadcasters out of the studio and onto Zoom. Just a few months ago, Zoom was a conference call app just like Skype, GoToMeeting, and WebEx, but weeks into the quarantine Zoom has proven to be the teleconference app of choice.

Zoom’s easy recording function and superior sound quality have attracted producers, like myself, who are typically skeptical to video interviews. 

How to Record?

Zoom has conveniently placed the “record” button prominently on the primary toolbar. Upon ending your “Meeting” – the audio file should load directly onto your laptop. Simple as pie.

Podcast-Settings

It’s important to remember that Zoom was originally created for conference calls, meaning Zoom planned for multiple parties to be speaking into internal mics & Bluetooth headsets in their cubicles. This matters because Zoom’s interface naturally performs noise cancelling, reverb, and other audio adjustments to your conference call. 

Podcasters likely have external mics or an in-home studio. In order to get the standard quality of your podcast equipment, go to “Audio Settings” then click “Preserve Natural Audio.” 

Always have a backup.

As a rule of thumb, ask your podcast guest to record the meeting along with you. If I’m recording a podcast in person I will record with two mics just to be careful. Even if both you and your guest are recording on Zoom, consider recording both of your audio tracks on your laptop for safety sake. 

In recording, I try to be as careful as humanly possible. During this pandemic, I recorded an episode of my podcast using my iPhone and a microphone because I was worried about Zoom’s reliability.

Basic vs. Pro

If you need to use Zoom consistently, you may want to consider upgrading Zoom from the “free” basic settings to the Pro settings. The free settings allow you to have 1 on 1 Zoom calls for 40 minutes and works just fine. If you need more guests or more time, the $15/month plan may be a better fit.

Once you’ve recorded all your podcast audio, simply export it to your editing software and make your masterpiece.

Podcasts for the Coronavirus Quarantine.

The economy may be halted, people may be quarantined, but the podcast world is booming. As millions of people are trapped at home, they are turning to their “friendship simulators” in a time of need. It’s likely that podcast listener-ship will spike in these trying times, let’s look at some of the podcasts that are making the most of the Coronavirus Quarantine. 

Coronavirus Daily

NPR has launched a podcast to keep people informed on the expansion of the Coronavirus. Hosted by Kelly McEvers, from Embedded, the show looks to talk about the impact of Coronavirus on society & culture, as well as general health. Coronavirus Daily is expected to have ten minute episodes, and will feature various NPR hosts and contributors.

This show is a perfect way for the NPR-crowd to stay in the loop.

CNN: Coronavirus – Fact or Fiction 

Dr. Sanjay Gupta hosts a podcast titled “Coronavirus – Fact or Fiction” in which he breaks down vital information about the spread of COVID-19 into digestible bits. This series is factual and informative, providing a steady and familiar voice in a time of mostly panic.

This podcast would be great for concerned citizens looking for quick facts about COVID-19.

TrueAnon

Liz Franczak and Brace Belden typically host a show in which they wish for the death of various pedophiles and rail against those they perceive to be bad actors in the general discourse. The brand themselves as “the only anti-pedophile podcast” as they conspire about the life of Jeff Epstein. However, this pandemic has pushed them into uncharted waters. 

The otherwise irreverent duo plunged into sincerity, warning their listeners (who are normally not inclined to trust the media or politicians), to take this issue seriously. TrueAnon has done multiple Coronavirus episodes, but the most engaging encounter with the topic came in the episode titled “Love in the Time of Corona.”

This podcast would be great for anyone who is considering going to a party or bar, it also could provide some much needed clarity and warmth. 

Coronavirus 411 

If you’re looking for straight facts, the Coronavirus 411 podcast gives you just that. These episodes are simple little 4-minute chunks made entirely of statistics and tightly packed information. This show is perfect for efficiency freaks looking to get the information as quickly as possible. Coronavirus 411 sources information from the CDC & WHO, making palatable content from a reliable source.

Comedy Bang Bang

This podcast is nothing like the aforementioned shows. Comedy Bang Bang will likely not acknowledge the existence of Coronavirus & that’s something people might need right now. It’s extremely overwhelming to have the entire world focusing on one subject, CBB will provide an escape.

Scott Aukerman has been hosting this Improv podcast for more than a decade, highlighting some of the best improvisers in America being as outrageous as humanly possible. If you’re looking for an escape, Comedy Bang Bang is a safe space. 

Stay safe and stay clean.

 

@Jpeters2100

How to Record, Edit, and Publish a Podcast for $0.00

It often surprises me when people are under the impression that podcasts are difficult or expensive to make. The following article will explain how any person with access to a phone and a laptop can produce a podcast for the low low price of $0.

Recording

The “Voice Memos” app on every iPhone is, for some reason, un-deletable – meaning that it is on your phone. It is one of Apple’s best kept secrets. On current iPhone models, the sound quality of the iPhone Voice Memos app is impressive. In a pinch, I’ve recorded segments of my podcast using an iPhone and the difference is almost unrecognizable. To effectively record two people on an iPhone, place it on a table between two people and simply press record with the charger port facing up.

Once you’ve recorded yourself or yourself and a guest, the file will be saved in the Voice Memos app. Simply email that file to yourself and then you’ll be able to edit it on any laptop.

Converting

Download the audio file from your email. The iPhone Voice Memos app saves all audio files in M4A format. For the free audio software that we are going to use, you’ll need to convert that M4A file into an MP3 or WAV file. It’s best that you convert it to an MP3 file, because it will take up less file space on your computer. 

You can convert the file by using any number conversion websites, simply google “convert M4A to Mp3” and then follow standard internet protocol. 

Editing

The industry standard free editing software is Audacity. I have personally been using Audacity as my primary editing software for 8 years and see no need for a more expensive program at this time. My podcast has charted on the iTunes podcast charts in 5 countries. If Audacity is good enough for me, it’s good enough for you.

You can use Audacity to add music that you have stored on your laptop. If you’re looking for copyright free music that you can use and edit into your podcast, there are tons of free resources like freesound.org or Zapsplat.org. Use audacity to edit your audio, add effects, and throw in music. 

Publishing

Once you have recorded, converted, and edited your audio file – it’s time to publish! There are a few free places to publish podcasts like Soundcloud and Audiomack! Other publishers like Spotify and iTunes require you to have an RSS feed which typically costs a few dollars to acquire and maintain. 

 

There you have it, the tools needed to create a podcast for $0.00 have been laid out in front of you.

2020 Presidential Candidates as Podcasts

The 2020 election is finally thinning out! We originally had 26 candidates, but now we only have ten. Below I’ve listed each candidate from most liberal to most conservative and the podcasts that embody their campaign! 

 

Bernie Sanders – Chapo Trap House

Chapo Trap House’s origin stems from their support of Bernie Sanders in 2016. Often painted to be “ the scumbag left” or “Bernie Bros” by people who do not understand them, this podcast provides interesting insight to a large percentage of the country’s ideology. Each host provides a different skill set, whether it’s as a reputable journalist or as a ranting lunatic. They are sick of “business as usual.” The Chapo folks believe in socialism, and they do not care what you think. Bernie Sanders and Chapo Trap House embody the frustration that a portion of America has towards large banks, big pharma, and a stagnant political left. 

Elizabeth Warren – Worst Year Ever 

Cody Johnston, Katy Stoll, and Robert Evans all are members of the progressive left. Evans is a journalist, Stoll is an actress & producer, and Cody Johnston is a comedian – they are diverse in their views. This show provides a rare insight into the differences between members of the progressive left. There are often disagreements on gun rights, Bernie vs. Warren, and whether or not “Bernie Bros” exist. This show focuses on the 2020 election, while also shining light on under-reported stories like the chemical attack at a Furry Convention. 

Tom Steyer – Deconstructed with Mehdi Hasan

Tom Steyer is the poorest billionaire running for the Democratic nomination. His original strategy was to spend millions of dollars on ads in hopes that he could win people over and get onto major media outlets at his will. Unfortunately for Tom, Mike Bloomberg came along who has 50 billion more dollars than him. For Tom Steyer it was hard to find a podcast that completely embodies him, because he’s an ideological blank canvas, aside from hating climate change & wanting to defeat Trump. This episode of Deconstructed with Mehdi Hasan in which Tom Steyer talks about what he believes and why he’s running for president would be great for anyone subtly interested in Thomas Steyer. 

Tulsi Gabbard – The Joe Rogan Experience

Many people were introduced to Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang through the Joe Rogan Experience, & that says a lot about their candidacy. The average JRE listener is young, likely pro-marijuana and anti-establishment, odds are they don’t like Trump and they like Hillary Clinton even less, but no one likes Hillary Clinton less than Tulsi Gabbard. For people looking for an interesting outsider in the Oval Office, Tulsi certainly fits the bill. The Joe Rogan Experience has guests who are ignored by the mainstream media, making Tulsi a perfect guest. Gabbard has been on JRE three times. 

Amy Klobuchar – NYT’s The Choice 

The New York Times hedged it’s bet and endorsed both Elizabeth Warren & Amy Klobuchar for President. You can listen to this entire process in a podcast produced by the New York Times. Klobuchar is a center-left politician, who gained enough momentum from the New York Times endorsement to win some delegates in New Hampshire. She’s someone whom the establishment is very comfortable with, and there is almost nothing more “establishment” than an endorsement from the New York Times. 

Pete Buttigieg – Pod Save America 

The Pod Save America guys are some “hip dudes” that really feel like a fresh face in the political sphere. Hosted by the former Director of Speech-writing for President Barack Obama, a former Senior Adviser to Barack Obama, and a former Obama staffer. They are proving that what happens in Washington stays in Washington. Pete Buttigieg is modelling his campaign after the “Obama Playbook.” Both the guys from Pod Save & Pete Buttigieg are valedictorian types that firmly believe they have the best vision for America. If you loved 2013 & love neo-liberalism, Pod Save America and Pete Buttigieg are the right people for you.

Joe Biden – FiveThirtyEight Political Podcast 

After doing terribly in both the Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire primary, a host of the FiveThirtyEight Podcast said “I don’t know why but I feel like Joe Biden is in second place.” FiveThirtyEight is centered around data-tracking and analytics, their hosts breakdown the data and then give their opinions on it. Despite the former Vice President being 5th in the delegate count through 2 States, the folks over at FiveThirtyEight still have him positioned in second place. 

Honorable mention – this episode of the E1 podcast features three people impersonating Joe Biden for one whole hour.

Bill Weld – The Bulwark Podcast

If you’ve never heard of Bill Weld, I completely understand, however he does have more delegates through 2 states than Tom Steyer or Tulsi Gabbard. Weld is a Republican candidate for President who proudly has 1 delegate. Weld has appeared on the Bulwark Podcast three times. The show describes itself as “No shouting, grandstanding, or sloganeering.” The Bulwark is a Conservative-Opinion website operated by Bill Kristol.

Mike Bloomberg – The Ben Shapiro Show 

Ben Shapiro is a popular right-wing commentator known for his fast-paced speech and “epic take-downs of the libs.” Odds are, if you agree with Mike Bloomberg’s policies, you’d also like the things that Ben Shapiro has to say. Much of Shapiro’s show focuses on the ills of progressive dogma and the disastrous deterioration of social norms, he appeals to people’s fear of change and offers something familiar – much like Mike Bloomberg.  

Donald Trump – Louder with Crowder 

With titles like “BUTTIGIEG IS A RADICAL LIBERAL!” and “WARREN’S STUDENT DEBT SCAM! | Ben Shapiro Guests” this is the perfect podcast for a Trump supporter. Host Stephen Crowder is what would happen if a Trump tweet came to life. Crowder’s sense of humor very much aligns with the average MAGA fan who hates political correctness. This podcast is not for people who are sensitive to race, gender, and religion, or believes in cancel culture.

 

The beauty of the internet is that we get to pick the media that makes us feel the best about our world-view. If you already listen to one of these podcasts and support a candidate, maybe listen to another candidate’s podcast to test your convictions. It’s important to avoid echo-chambers and to understand what other people are believe in. 

Live Podcast 101 – From Recording to Performing

In 2015 I went to my first live podcast. It was unlike anything I had experienced before, because the words “live podcast” could mean anything. Podcasts are a relatively individualized medium, people listen in their cars, through headphones, or at work. Listeners very rarely think about other listeners, because the podcast format has an incredibly personal feel. When I went to The Fighter & The Kid Live Podcast, it was my first time seeing hundreds of people who were fans of the same thing as me. It turned what was otherwise an individual experience into a communal experience. 

The show I saw featured stand-up spots from both hosts, audience participation, and the premiere of some video sketches hosts Brendan Schaub and Bryan Callen made. Aside from all of that, they conversed for 45 minutes in the same tone their podcast typically takes on. It was a great show and from then on, I was sold on the “live podcast” idea.

What is a live podcast

As is expected in the podcast world, there is no concrete definition of a live podcast. The podcast medium is so fluid, that a live show completely depends on the structure of your show and the personality of the host. A live podcast experience could feature stand-up, video packages, musical performances, skits, live reads and much more! 

The biggest difficulty that podcasters face in this arena is conceptualizing their live show. If your podcast format is formatted like a radio show, you could perform your radio show live on stage, simple as that. However, if you have a more complex theme or format it’s going to be a much taller order. It’s also important to remember that you have to deliver a fun night out, your podcast should bring your podcast to life.

The Radiolab podcast has a unique live experience. The hosts of the show take the stage, get familiar with the crowd then launch into a script that is accompanied my visuals and sounds orchestrated on a soundboard, by the host.  These shows involve audience participation, multiple guests, and ultimately tell a story. This show can be repeated throughout several cities to several audiences. 

Why do a live podcast?

Far too often in 2019 we forget about the value of face to face interaction. It’s easy to believe the digital world is the real world, especially when your entire production lives online and is managed online. Live shows are a marketing opportunity, a chance to make money and sell merch, it’s a great way to expand your skill set as a performer, and it builds fandom. 

Podcast hosts feel subtly more distant than other performers. If a host is not a household name, their listeners likely have never seen them before. Introduce yourself to your fans by any means necessary. If you don’t have the draw or ability to put on a live show, join local events and meet people that way. After all, a podcast is a brand, your brand is in competition with every other brand. Bringing your brand to life can change how people see you.

Will Ferrell’s Podcast Company & iHeartMedia Sign an Extensive Deal

Day by day, the podcast industry grows more and more fascinating. In a previous article we discussed the fact that Podcasts are becoming more mainstream. Visibility and understanding of the podcast medium are on the rise, so media companies are throwing serious money at major talent. It was announced that Will Ferrell has begun his own podcast company titled the “Big Money Players Network” which will partner with iHeartMedia. 

The relationship between iHeart and Ferrell grew out of his first podcast series hosted by his famous Anchorman character “Ron Burgundy.” The deal promises 10 podcast series produced in 24 months, beginning to release in 2020.

Ferrell has followed the podcast trend. Original programming is key for media companies, look out for other A-list celebrities to cash in on media companies desperate for content. Will Ferrell is the perfect partner for iHeart, as they attempt to break further into the comedy podcast space. 

This trend is going nowhere, everyday new podcast companies form and media executives discuss just how to profit off the podcast business which is still seen as the wild west. Companies with the stability and capital of iHeart have the best chances at landing Will Ferrell size whales for their network.

Tips for Marketing Your Podcast.

There is no simple template labelled “How to Podcast.” Some people podcast as a hobby, others as a career, most people are somewhere in between. There are thousands of aspiring podcasters trying to break through to the public. Here are some tips on how to market your podcast series.

Think Entrepreneurially

Whether you run a small independent podcast as a hobby or host a nationally known series, operate like a business. Understand your limitations as an operation. What sets your podcast apart from others? If the point of your podcast is not to earn capital, then what is it? Some creators are just looking to expand their audience, a podcast can work as a functional marketing tool for your brand.

Much like an entrepreneur, a podcaster has to manage their product, release dates, assign value, and market their product. Websites, design, booking guests, hosting platforms, and schedule are all a part of the process. The podcast landscape requires much more than talking into a microphone. 

Be Visible 

There are limitations for an audio medium. If you don’t have an immediately recognizable brand or personality, there is leg work to be done introducing yourself to the public. Aside from creating content that resonates with people, there needs to be a way to connect with your listenership. The logo for your podcast is the face of your podcast, make it interesting. 

Joe Rogan’s hit podcast the Joe Rogan Experience does a great job utilizing Joe Rogan’s face and brand into one logo. The imagery resembles the tone of the show and attaches Joe to his show. In the event that you are not a nationally known celebrity, scroll through the iTunes Top 100 and see what sticks out! Use colors that stand out and make sure you are getting your point across! 

In the same vain, literally be visible within your community. Sign up to be in festivals, fairs, and summits. Interact with potential listeners. There is merit to the brick and mortar approach to marketing. Although your product is completely virtual, real life connections will benefit any production. 

Diversify Content

There are limitations within the audio medium. A podcast can only be found in a handful of places, whereas video content can spread through the most popular arteries of the internet. Developing video content, or creating a video podcast can help listeners and viewers get to know the production in a different light.

In this video, I’m speaking about the value that video content brought when marketing my own podcast series 2100

Videos, pictures, and graphics can help to build out what your audio product looks like. Diversifying content can help bring your podcast to life.

Book Interesting Guests

Guests are a major ticket to notoriety. Booking notable guests with large followings can launch your podcast series to new heights. There is no faster way to access thousands of people than having a celebrity with thousands of followers post about your show. A single retweet can take your podcast to new heights.

How to Monetize a Podcast

What happens with all internet based entities has finally happened to podcasts, after years of people screaming “how can we make money off this?” multiple revenue streams have showed face. Many of these terms will be familiar, as podcasts are now being regarded as content worth paying for. These are the same ways that radio shows, television shows, and online content is made profitable. Take all of these ideas into account when creating your podcast.

Sponsors

Simple and straightforward, if you have the ability to attract sponsors to your series, do it. Remaining an independent endeavor funded by outside companies will allow for your creative freedom to remain unimpeded. Proving the value in your podcast can be rather difficult, but the growing popularity of podcasts helps your sales pitch. Think locally if you’re hyper-focused locally. Think internationally if you have a wide audience. Be creative. 

Media Companies

There’s a mad scramble by media companies to scoop up valuable content. Reach out to media companies in your area. Speak to radio stations, newspapers, podcast studios, and anyone collecting content to see if their interested. This allows a media company to signal boost your series, provide validity, and offer expertise on the production side. 

Coincidentally, this is a great turnkey solution for media companies. Rather than developing a series from scratch they can signal boost an already established brand, attach ad partners, and rake in profits.

Events & Merch

Live podcasts exist. They are high energy events full of surprises and production value. Nobody wants to see one guy quietly talk into a mic, figure out how you can bring your podcast to life. Get involved with events that are already planned or book a stage and make your podcast a live event. 

Merch is a money machine. The host of Comedy Bang! Bang! Has an on-going bit, whereafter a comedian says something funny he’ll say “That’s a shirt.” This became such a ubiquitous catchphrase that he eventually sold “That’s a shirt!” printed on a shirt. Mugs, pens, magnets, and shirts, can all be created and sold through online platforms without podcasters having to do much more than designing the product.   

Paywall

The paywall is a newer concept. HBO and Netflix popularized the subscription service model, but podcasters have been keeping “premium content” behind a paywall as a way to profit off a larger fan base. This can be tricky, because oftentimes producers over value content. Make sure you incentive people to pay, or else you’re just burying your content to never be seen. 

Product Placement

Unlike a blockbuster film, you cannot simply sprinkle Coke cans throughout your set. Product placement is done subtly within a podcast format. Talk about trending topics often? Slip some sponsored talking points into the mix. This is prevalent in radio, for example, Popeye’s could sponsor a radio show frequently and make sure the hosts talk about their new chicken sandwich. This can work for movies, products, other content platforms, and has the added bonus of hitting the listeners with an ad that doesn’t feel like an ad.

Single-Sponsor

Sell out-right. Only needing to conform to one sponsor has its ups and downs. While it provides a steady flow of income, it may give a single sponsor too much control over your production. However, the benefits include partnering with one company heavily invested in your success. Look for like-minded companies with similar demographics that you can reach. 

Lastly, it’s only going to get easier to profit off of your creations in the near future. Creative ideas take the cake, think outside of the box, hone your craft, and recognize what you bring to the table. 

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