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SPI 801: How to Win at Podcasting in 2024 with Alban Brooke of Buzzsprout

With data showing there are over four million podcasts out there, does it still make sense to start your own show? At a glance, the space might seem oversaturated. But what happens if you dig a little deeper?

It turns out the number of active shows is actually much smaller. In fact, there are only about four hundred thousand podcasts regularly publishing new episodes. If you niche down, there might be no one talking about the topic you’d like to cover. Nowadays, that’s just never the case on YouTube or TikTok!

So how do you launch a show around your interests and attract an audience of engaged listeners?

Today’s guest, Alban Brooke, is here to uncover the data and reveal the best strategies for modern podcasters. We discuss the easiest way to use video to promote your show, tapping into communities to reach fully-formed audiences, and why typical interview podcasts are in trouble.

Alban is the Head of Marketing at Buzzsprout, one of the top podcast hosting companies. [affiliate link] We can learn a lot from the information he has access to, so listen in on this insightful chat to find out more!

Today’s Guest

Alban Brooke

Alban Brooke is a former lawyer and the Head of Marketing at Buzzsprout. Since 2014, he has helped over 300,000 people launch their own podcasts through Buzzsprout. He co-hosts two podcasts, How to Start a Podcast and Buzzcast. He lives in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, with his wife and daughter.

You’ll Learn


SPI 801: How to Win at Podcasting in 2024 with Alban Brooke of Buzzsprout

Alban Brooke: Where I get a bit concerned is the people who feel like I’m just starting a podcast, but I also feel like I should be doing video and TikTok as well. The mentality that you have to be everywhere, including video, is just so much harder. I think that’s killing more podcasts than almost anything because so many people are coming into podcasting going, okay, if I’m going to do the podcast, I’ve got to do video, I’ve got to do TikTok. And instead of picking one thing they’ve actually picked three things that they’re very likely to give up within a couple of weeks.

Pat Flynn: Hey, you’re a podcast listener and you might even be a podcaster, but either way, podcasting is a part of your life, and we’re gonna go a little bit deeper today in the world of podcasting with Alban Brooke, the marketing director over at Buzzsprout. Buzzsprout has been a part of the SPI vocabulary for a number of years now.

They’re a podcast hosting company. And we’ve done some incredible work together. And today I’m excited to bring Alban on to talk a bit more, not about buzzsprout, although there is a fun announcement about some new tool that they have that especially if you’re a buzzsprout user and a podcaster, you should get really excited about, but even if you’re not just to hear a little bit about where the world of podcasting is going, the state of it, how things have changed, we’re going to talk about all those things and more today, because it’s definitely interesting.

It’s something we should all pay attention to, even if you’re not a podcaster. Knowing where the space is and where it’s going is important, especially if you are building authority, you’re building trust with your audience, you want to get your voice in people’s ears. Well, let’s figure out how to do that best today.

Here he is Alban Brooke from buzzsprout. Here we go.

Announcer: You’re listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network, a show that’s all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your host, he thinks the Nintendo Wii is one of the most underrated video game platforms that was ever created. Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn: Alban, welcome back to SPI, man. Thanks for being here today.

Alban Brooke: Pat, thanks so much for having me. It’s a pleasure to be back on.

Pat Flynn: Every time we have you on, we talk about the state of podcasting, the world of podcasting, and since the last time, a lot has changed, changed in a number of different ways.

You know, the, the video podcasting boom is here, but then what is happening with audio, it seems like it’s not as crazy as it was the last time you were on. But I also know that you have some unique perspective having, you know, your hand at Buzzsprout and all the podcasts that are using that platform, as well as just, you know, you’re always, you always have your ear into the space of podcasting in terms of what’s going on.

So what is your kind of hot take right now? Where’s your state of mind with the world of podcasting as we see it today? And we can kind of just offshoot from there.

Alban Brooke: I think a lot of content creators, you know, heard about podcasting really for the first time in 2020, you know, you’ve been doing it for 10 years before that.

But that was the moment where content creators heard it and they go, wow, this is really interesting. I want to try my hand at podcasting and tons of podcasts were created. And then abandoned. And so right now, where we stand is podcasting has over 4 million podcasts. And I think the last time we talked, it was somewhere around 1 million.

But I dug a bit more into that data because I was like, that feels really high. And when I dug into it, I was right. If you look at just podcasts that are active in the last 60 days, so recording this in April, that means did somebody upload since February? To me, that feels like it’s an active show. Well, when we’re talking about even active podcasts, that number gets cut by 90%.

We’re now looking at 425,000 podcasts and it’s on one hand, kind of sad. We had a lot of creators who moved on to other areas, but it’s really optimistic because if you’re a new creator and you’re thinking about the world of podcasting, it’s still a relatively wide open area. You could easily come in and see, I’m the only active podcast talking about my topic. And that’s just not available on YouTube or TikTok or a blog or almost anywhere else.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, I mean, I think if you’re getting into podcasting and doing the research, it can be intimidating to see a whole library of podcasts about your niche. So dive into those episodes individually and see how active they are.

And I’m looking at right now, which gives us sort of an update in terms of number. And as of this recording, 4.15 million podcasts. are in the index and to your point, within the last 60 days, just 425k and even the last 30 days, you know, 350k. So like, that’s not a lot at all. Relatively speaking, I wonder what the ratio is to people who have created blogs and then active blogs or people who’ve created YouTube channels who are active versus not active.

I would imagine it’s, it’s pretty similar with each of these spaces and maybe more so with podcasting because of what you said. I think a lot of us. In 2020, we’re like, yes, I could do this to like, what else are we going to do? We have all this time now and everything’s audio. So let’s let’s go for it. And then at the same time, I think, you know, tools like anchor came out and they’re like, you can do it for free, you know?

And so it’s like the barrier to entry was lower. But what do you think the difference is between those podcasts that are still active and then the ones that have dropped off?

Alban Brooke: I think two things going into it with an understanding of what podcasting is and what is good for it’s really great as podcasting is a retention channel.

And I think people who get what a retention channel is really understand podcasting and really stick with it, but I think a lot of people when it was an app on their phone, they’re using anchor, they kind of imagined this is going to be like tick tock only it’s newer. They were looking at it as a growth channel.

Something that they would blow up in a couple of weeks and the difference between those channels is how they operate. And so I think when people saw, Oh, I recorded a few episodes with my buddies, we chatted about what we were interested in. It didn’t ever take off. I’ll move on to the next thing. They were looking mostly for a growth channel.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, that’s a really good take, you know, and I think if you go into it with going deeper with your audience, spending more time with them, then it is something that does integrate well into an overall business picture. But if it’s sort of approached as a quick hit kind of thing, which we are used to now, it’s almost doomed to fail when you begin.

What are the things that on a podcast, hold people. And how has that changed? Cause I think in the beginning, right, it was just innovative to hear people talking in audio format on demand. Right, and now, even with still 400,000, not being a lot, it’s still, there’s still a lot to choose from. And the standards of the listeners have changed that they expect at a minimum, you know, really good audio quality, but also are things like interviews getting stagnant now?

What, what is different between the ones at the top of the, of the rankings right now versus the ones at the bottom within that overall spectrum of, of active podcasts, you think?

Alban Brooke: Yeah. So this might make sense to dive into a little bit more of what I’m trying to get at verse with retention versus growth channels.

Growth channels are channels that are driven by an algorithm. You know, they’re bringing in a ton of people who want to consume content, whether this be people who are on TikTok looking for funny videos or somebody who’s on YouTube, who really wants to go maybe a bit deeper. Maybe this is going to be, A blog, all of these are channels where there is an intermediary like Google for blogs with SEO or TikTok algorithm, the YouTube algorithm, Facebook algorithm.

And the algorithm is picking between the content creators and the audience and saying, Hey, I’m going to recommend you content. The value there obviously is you can blow up. If you have one TikTok that does well can hit millions of views, even as a brand new creator. Growth is really massive, but the downside to growth channels are that you’re always working with the algorithm and you have to convince the algorithm to keep showing your content so that you are getting in front of people.

And if soon as the algorithm shifts and your content doesn’t work anymore, you can also lose your whole audience right away. The opposite are what I would call retention channels. And the only two I know of are email lists and podcasts. These are where I have the ability as a creator to put something out there, whether I’m sending an email or I’m uploading a podcast and be guaranteed that the people who follow my podcast or the people who get my emails actually get it.

It actually shows up for them. There’s no algorithm and it’s really, really powerful because this is opt in content. People have to say, I want the newsletter, I want the podcast. We don’t get the growth. The growth isn’t there because there’s no algorithm saying, that’s a really good newsletter. I’m going to go send it out to another 50,000 people’s inbox.

So when we don’t have the algorithm, you know, we have the downside of growth is lower, but retention is so much higher, engagement is astronomical. We can go into all this data. I’m sure you see it with your YouTube versus your podcast, the engagement and the data depth of relationship in a retention channel like podcasts or email is so, so different than what we see on social media, YouTube, and even sometimes blogs, especially SEO focused blogs.

Pat Flynn: For sure. So this begs the question for those, especially starting out. It’s like, okay, well, podcast, great. Just like an email. Great. I need to. Go deeper with my audience. It’s how we build a relationship. That’s how we nurture them. And we can then, you know, have a much more deeper conversation and have better call to actions with them.

But where do you even start, right? You need to have traffic come to a website to then build your email list. How would you even begin to get listeners in the first place to go deep with if there is no growth algorithm? So does this mean you have to have an audience somewhere else before creating a podcast?

And I know this is a big debate. What, what, what do you think is the right answer there?

Alban Brooke: The main way we see people and this is over a hundred and twenty thousand shows on buzzprout that are actively podcasting the main way we see people get new listeners is through word of mouth. And I know that is just like the least satisfying answer because everyone’s saying, okay, well, then how do I make word of mouth better? If I’m not big, then there’s no one listening, how do they recommend it with word of mouth? So what I recommend is tapping into existing communities, whether it be your own network, it could be something you’ve already built up. Like you’ve said, traffic on a website, it could be something you’ve built up on social media and letting people see, podcast as well.

But it also could be tapping into other people’s communities. One of my favorite examples of this, if you follow the Supreme Court, there is one blog SCOTUS blog that talks about the Supreme Court and they do the best analysis. And then a podcast a few years ago came onto the scene called First Mondays, and they would always dive into the cases that were coming out of the Supreme Court.

Instead of trying to launch their own website and rival SCOTUS blog, they instead partnered and they said, Hey, we’re going to bring some of your writers onto our podcast. And their podcast was prominently featured on the blog. And both did really, really well because now they have the growth channel that SCOTUS blog and bill and the retention channel that the podcast was creating. So if you’re launching a podcast, let’s say you’re launching a podcast about your favorite dog breed, go find the Facebook groups that are talking about it. Go find the blog. Go find the YouTubers. And ask them, Hey, can you come be on my podcast and share your insights and see, can we share so that we both have some growth and we have some retention to benefit both groups.

Pat Flynn: Yes, that is the value that you as the podcaster are offering to their community is let’s go deeper. Let’s build retention. You’re also providing value to that writer or the owner of that website or blog or community because they’re getting a spotlight. They’re getting a chance to be heard on a medium that they’re not used to being heard on.

And then of course your podcast is growing and everybody can win. So I really love that. I actually have a strategy that we teach in power of podcasting that’s, that’s pretty similar to go into these Facebook groups and LinkedIn groups and, and other communities highlight the founders of those groups because they don’t often get highlighted ever.

And they’ll then in turn go and share that podcast because you’ve given them a place to look like a hero in front of their people. And I think that’s, that’s really smart. So I appreciate you going even further with that and talking about the retention opportunities there. When it comes to growth for podcasts, I also see a lot of people diving into the world of video now to do this on YouTube specifically.

It’s like, okay, if there’s no algorithm on the podcasting realm in terms of audio, let me take that audio and add some video on it or record that conversation and put it on YouTube because YouTube has the algorithm. And so I can get growth there for the podcast. And for the longest time, I had the stance of don’t just put your audio on a video platform like YouTube, because nobody’s going to watch it.

Because it’s just audio. And then all of a sudden YouTube turns around and says, Hey, you can include your audio only podcast by inserting your RSS feed here. And it’s like, okay, like, do we do this? Do we not? I’m curious your take on video podcasting and where your head is at with that because many people are doing this now and people are leaning into it very well and now you start to see those people with money putting huge production value behind their what was once an audio only or audio primary podcast.

It’s just such a new and interesting thing right now. Of course, we’ve always had Joe Rogan on, on video and he kind of like started this, but now it’s becoming available to a lot more people, but is it the right thing to do? I don’t know. What are your thoughts on it?

Alban Brooke: I think you did a good job differentiating between at least three different categories.

The full production that we see some podcasts are doing like professional level production for a podcast. Then people who are creating video. And then people are saying, I’ll just connect my RSS feed and let YouTube take the audio starting at the bottom. Letting YouTube take the audio that’s just a technical workaround, I think that YouTube came up with to get podcasts into YouTube music. So now that Google podcast has been shut down in the United States, YouTube music, hopefully we’ll start getting some more listeners. That’s a just a nice way to make sure my podcast is available everywhere. I’ll hook up to YouTube, but when it comes to, you know, if you have a full production house on the other end, if you are hiring a team who are using really good cameras and they’re shooting with multiple angles and they’re going to make you look good, you’re flying your guests and yeah, by all means go for video because the growth opportunity is there.

Where I get a bit concerned is that middle group, the people who feel like I’m just starting a podcast, but I also feel like I should be doing video and TikTok as well. And I think the mentality that you have to be everywhere, including video, which is just so much harder. It’s so much harder than audio.

I think that’s killing more podcasts than almost anything we’ve ever had in years because so many people are coming into podcasting going, okay, if I’m going to do the podcast, I’ve got to do video. I’ve got to do TikTok. You know what? I already have a full time job. I don’t have time to add all this on.

And instead of picking one thing and growing in it, they’ve actually picked three things that they’re very likely to give up within a couple of weeks.

Pat Flynn: So the idea of going into video is actually what is killing these podcasts, because it’s just a lot more additional work. I mean, I can plus one the additional work for sure to produce something, even if it is just simply a recording on a tool like squad cast or Riverside or zoom, it still takes a lot of work and production and time to process all that and then upload it.

And on YouTube, you got to think about title and thumbnail and all the other extras that go along with it versus just, if you were to focus on audio only, then you just have to focus on audio only. And I think it’s hard because. More and more we’re seeing on YouTube on our home feed being recommended to us video podcasts.

So it kind of makes sense to try to do a video podcast because the growth is there. I am very much a fan of Chris Williamson’s podcast. He’s a psychologist and he has these amazing guests on and he’s taken it so far as to build a space with a sort of 180 degree LED screen behind him. And take that to the next level and it’s inspiring and it’s like, Oh, I want, I want to, you know, up level my video game for my podcast, but then logistically and monetarily just, it would kill me.

So do we just avoid YouTube altogether? Is there a certain kind of person or a number of hours required that you imagine then would open up this channel for, for somebody? Is it, I mean, there’s a push and pull there, right? Cause if I’m not on YouTube, I’m not getting the potential growth. But like you said, at the same time, if you are on YouTube, you might actually run yourself to the ground.

Alban Brooke: You might pick YouTube instead of podcasting. You might pick TikTok instead of YouTube or podcasting either. I think when somebody’s brand new podcaster, we pretend that the technical hurdle is the issue. You know, it’s picking the right mic. It’s finding the camera for YouTube. It’s like setting up the backdrop.

But those aren’t the real issues. I feel like you might’ve been the first one to ever get my mind to click on this. The real issue is I’m uncomfortable. I’m not comfortable with my voice being out there in front of people. I’m not comfortable being on video. Is my perspective even valid? And for new creators, the more technical hurdles we add in, The more opportunities there are for them to emotionally say, okay, this is too much.

I put 12 hours into my podcast this week because I did video and TikTok in the audio and then my guest canceled like this is too much. I’ve got a family, I have a job, I’ve got too much going on. And so I’d say find one of these things that you feel a passion for and let’s dive into it. If it’s podcasting, phenomenal.

It’s video, phenomenal. Let’s dive in. And once you start building comfortability with it or comfort with it, a bit of expertise, well now you’re going to be able to create content at a much faster cadence, you’re going to be removing all that self doubt and now you can move on to, okay, adding a podcast onto this video won’t be difficult or adding video onto my podcast isn’t that hard and then you can grow your, I don’t know, media empire out from just the first one that you started on.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, I mean, I would agree with that one thing at a time, master it. systematize it, hire for it, get some time back to then put into the next thing.

The hard thing about YouTube is it is so much more than just what we do in the audio side, which is, you know, you record, edit, upload. There’s so much more nuance in it. You can go a lot deeper with the data and in and of itself, it’s its own thing. And there’s a few podcasters I know who are doing the sort of recorded version of the show on YouTube really well.

One of them being Rameet Sethi, because he doesn’t just upload the same episode and it’s not just like a start to finish conversation. He actually, especially in the beginning. will set it up. He records additional stuff in addition to the actual conversation that was on Zoom. And it’s also well thought out and there’s a really good hook and he pulls in parts that are maybe more distressful from the middle and puts it into the beginning.

But then you see the distress on the people’s faces, which then hooks you in. And so I feel like if you were to just kind of tack it on YouTube on top of your existing podcast, it might not even be worth the effort versus if you have the time, and the ability and, or the team to somewhat produce. So you don’t have to go all out like Chris Williamson or anything like that, but you know, having a hook and an intro and really good thumbnails and titles can take you a long way on, on YouTube.

And that being said, like, what are your thoughts on not even uploading the full episode on YouTube, but using clips from the video and spraying that out in the, in the social ecosystem? Is that, have you seen that Work to Grow Podcast or what? What’s your take on that? I have a hot take on that as well, but I’d love to to know your thoughts.

Alban Brooke: I’ve seen this work extremely well. What I’ve seen people do is they record in something like Riverside or Squad Cast, and then they’ve got video, but they’re just making an audio podcast and they put that audio podcast out there. But now that they have video of the host and the guest talking, they go, that’s a really good thirty-second clip.

And they go and they edit a thirty-second clip for TikTok and Instagram and for YouTube and then they take it, they posted all those channels. Now you’ve got your growth channels set and now one of those can go off. We had a podcast on Buzzsprout that had a clip go viral and it started getting millions of views.

It was about, it was called Marked Safe, a disaster podcast. And they’re just talking about all the disasters at like theme parks and all these places. And the clip goes viral. And then they were like, look at our stats in buzzsprout and their stats in buzzsprout totally unrelated, like there was no link in bio.

There was just at the end of the clip, it said, like, listen to the full podcast. And it showed, you know, all the icons of the different directories. People found Marked Safe and thousands and thousands of people clicked listen to the episode and the big difference between TikTok and podcasting is the thousands that came over to listen to the podcast they stuck around for episodes two and three and four afterward so they were able to leverage both the growth side and the retention side on the podcast.

Pat Flynn: That’s great. You said thousands. When this video came out, how many views did it get?

Alban Brooke: I want to say it was something like one out of a thousand people that watched it on TikTok ever came over to stick with the podcast. So we’re looking at like a million was translating into a thousand podcasters.

That’s a pretty bad conversion rate. But the difference is when they did a second and a third video, some of those just didn’t get any traction on TikTok because TikTok said these aren’t as good, but the podcast episodes continue to have full opt in like people actually were downloading them automatically to their phones and we’re continuing to listen week after week.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, that’s cool. I mean, I was expecting low numbers in terms of conversions because I find and it still is true that the social to podcast subscriber count is always going to be very low. When you have something go viral, like, I mean, a thousand is amazing to, to happen and getting a million views on a TikTok or a Reel or Short isn’t unheard of.

I mean, it happens. So that’s great. That’s almost like a bonus. In my opinion, the subscribers you get from those short form content reels from your show, because in my opinion, and I heard this from, I think Sean West, it’s like, it’s very difficult to force a person who is in the middle of their session in a social platform to then stop what they’re doing there and then go and, you know, go through all the friction and that it takes to actually download a podcast, which is not easy, relatively speaking, versus just the next thumb swipe.

But if you can take clips from your show and put them on these platforms, now you are showing up on these platforms where you weren’t before. Now you can build an audience base there, who is more used to the 30 to 60 second clip and you’re still able to take this content that you’ve spent time to build and this interview that you’ve scheduled and the video that you recorded and still provide value on that platform for those people.

And even if they don’t ever subscribe to your longer show, they’re still seeing you. There’s still a touch point that matters. And if you happen to maybe retarget them in an ad later or even come across your stuff later on, you know, that’s now an additional touch point that they wouldn’t have had before.

And I think that’s important. And so when you think of people living in these communities on these platforms who don’t know about your podcast yet, they might not ever listen to a full episode, but you can still get in front of them with these little clips. And if you use tools like Opus Clip, I don’t know if you’ve gotten familiar with that.

You can take a video. Yeah, Opus Clip, we can put our entire podcast episode because we’re recording it with video and put it into Opus Clip. And after a few minutes, it’ll actually figure out the 10 most interesting moments and snippets and transcribe them, put them into vertical and actually put captions on it automatically.

And, you know, half, maybe even three out of the 10 are worth posting. I mean, it’s all done automatically now, which is, which is kind of insane. So that’s again called opus clip for those of you listening. I’m curious your thoughts. We, you know, whenever I talk to people who are thinking of starting a podcast in general, it’s going to be some type of interview show, right?

Getting guests on, billing relationships with them, getting those experts to share their wisdom and maybe it’s an author or an industry leader, authority, whatever it might be, it just seems like everybody’s doing that kind of episode or those kinds of podcasts now, are we getting to the point where, like, people aren’t just listening to those as much as they used to, like they’re getting kind of boring or they’re kind of just, you know, in general, the same old thing again. Are you feeling that way about these podcasts that are just interview format at this point?

Alban Brooke: I’m definitely feeling it about the top end podcasters because what you see is a lot of the same people showing up on all of those top level, right. new style shows.

Pat Flynn: Alex Hormozi everywhere.

Alban Brooke: And it’s always right when they just launched a book.

And so it’s the same conversation. So if you kind of are in. You know, one space and you listen to like three or four different interview shows. They’re similar. You might see the same person pop up on all of them. And after one interview, you kind of go, okay, it’s the exact same angle on the exact same story.

It’s not valuable for me to add, but I’m actually reminded of how many episodes you’ve done with people from the SPI community who probably were never interviewed on other big podcasts. And It’s why I love those types of interviews where you’re highlighting somebody who is interesting, has a compelling story, and you’re bringing them on the podcast to share their story, but they may not be the CEO of some fortune 500 company because That person’s probably already been interviewed on a bunch of different places.

It’s not an author who’s already been interviewed. So if you’re thinking about doing an interview show in a niche, you’re trying to find the leaders of that niche who maybe aren’t being tapped yet for tons of interviews, you’re creating something new. But if you’re just trying to launch another interview show and you’re going to kind of interview, you know, you know, the same coaches and the same health experts and the same celebrities, you’re really just going to be making a worse version of like the Joe Rogan Experience, and you’re never going to be able to break into the industry.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, I mean, I think that’s what people need to hear. And that’s so true. It’s easy to get them on easier relatively because they might have a book coming out. They’ll say yes to more things or they’ve done it before or it’s in their system or or what have you. But. For the sake of your audience, I mean, you need to understand that you need to provide something new to them.

You need to provide value to them. And there’s so much value in a lot of these experiences, stories, people who have never been on a podcast before. And so, you know, what we love at SPI is interviewing our own people because they, Without even prompting, we’ll speak so highly of SPI and, and help bring more community members in.

So it actually works to drive more members into our communities, but also it just allows for people to see that there are people like them who are getting spotlighted, who are heroes of their own story. And then we can kind of celebrate that with everybody. It really helps bring the community together versus just having A listers come on, A listers who are often, you know, a little bit more disconnected to the audience than a person from within the audience would, would be.

So that, that is very true to another topic. I want to talk about before I want to introduce people to this cool thing that you have going on at buzzsprout. That’s, that’s pretty brand new is the world of sponsorships and advertising. I’m curious your thoughts on where that is at. I know that a lot of dollars have been pulled from the podcast and sponsorship space because of, you know, post COVID. And, you know, I know a lot of companies just in general who were spending a lot of money had to then readjust after COVID kind of ended and have reallocated a lot of those dollars elsewhere. So are we still seeing good trends and good monetization from podcast perspective in the world of ads and how companies are kind of spending money in the space?

Alban Brooke: We have so many trends going on in podcasting all at once that it’s very easy to get confused. I wouldn’t be surprised if the audience is hearing it. It’s like some things are great. Some things are bad and there’s just a lot. So one is the number of new podcasts from its COVID peak. It came down in 2022 and it’s been level since then.

The number of people who listen every week to a podcast and the number of people who listen every month is at an all time high. Listenership is at an all time high, but new creation of shows is relatively flat. And then on the other side, there are lots of advertisers who’ve pulled podcast ads. And yet overall, the industry is making the most money it’s ever made.

And that is gets confusing when you hear about shows, maybe with some big name celebrities getting canceled. And so my way of trying to wrangle all of those facts into one coherent narrative is we had a period of 2021, you know, the early COVID, that was just a boom for podcast creation and a ton of money got thrown into it as big companies got excited.

Then they said, all right, we got our beach heads. Now let’s figure out what works and what doesn’t. And then they started pulling back shows with celebrities that were very expensive that didn’t ever get an audience. They pulled back on producing shows that never made money. But the areas that were working are now getting more resources.

So if your show is getting pretty big and there, you’re not seeing the advertisers, I would say they’re out there, but you might have to look around a little more. And once they see this show converts that you should be able to see more investment than he did in the past. We’re seeing, I think, advertised cast often will post their numbers and their CPMs are right about an all time high for what they’ve been able to get for their shows.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, that’s really cool. We’re seeing a lot of back and forth as well. And one thing that we’re trying to do at SPI is create Not just advertising packages for the podcast, but for the brand itself across multiple channels, right? YouTube and email newsletter website across the board and have these longer term partnerships with, with companies versus just sort of more one off stuff.

And that’s kind of where we’re leaning toward. And we’re seeing a lot of other brands do the same thing. Although that being said, I know a number of other podcasts who have their entire year booked with all different companies throughout the entire library that they have coming. And that’s really great.

So, there is a lot of news about money being pulled out, but I think the opportunities are always going to be there. And like you said, you just got to do a little bit of work to find them or work with an agency or somebody who is doing that work for you. Speaking of work, your work at Buzzsprout has been amazing.

And the team over there is great and continues to serve the podcast community in a number of different ways. And a lot of new innovative stuff keeps happening over there. One of those being What I’d love for you to share and just a little bit of context behind it and kind of what it does. Because, you know, it’s just really cool to see a hosting company continue to provide value in the podcasting space like you guys have.

Better than most, if not all, in my opinion. So I’m curious what, what, what do you got going on over there there at Buzzsprout?

Alban Brooke: We recently just unveiled what we’ve been working on for about the last eight months, and that’s Buzzsprout for iOS. Buzzsprout for Android is just around the corner. Might be out by the time people are listening to this.

Buzzsprout for iOS is our first mobile app for buzzsprout, so we’ve been around for almost 15 years and for about since the minute that the app store launched, I think it was just after we started buzzsprout, people started saying, Hey, when are you going to get a mobile app? And for so long, we said, I don’t think that makes sense.

Podcasting is much better on a computer where you’ve got all the resources. It doesn’t make as much sense on a phone. And over the years, just hearing from our customers, there really were like three or four reasons that convinced me, okay, I think this actually makes sense. You know, real time notifications.

Yeah, there’s so many opportunities for our AI tool to tell you we’ve got some recommendations to clean up your show notes or to suggest titles. It’s ready to do that. You’ve got an ad opportunity and you want to add that into your podcast. Maybe the episodes been processed as ready for you to publish it.

Those are all real time notifications. Well, now that those have come in, you want to take action right away. A phone’s the perfect place to do that. Second is sharing. Everybody loves to share clips from their podcast. We just talked about it. People love sharing their stats, their achievements, and the easiest place to do that is from your phone because you’re probably sharing from your phone to another app on your phone.

And so I would mostly take a screenshot of my stats or share something and then I’d have to like airdrop it to the phone to publish. This is such a easier experience.

Pat Flynn: So this is an app for the creator, for the podcaster themselves to get these notifications, get access to data versus doing it on the computer.

It’s not an app for like listening to podcasts that are hosted on Buzzsprout. Right. It’s for the creator specifically, right?

Alban Brooke: Yeah. Apple podcasts and Spotify and YouTube, there’s so many people who are doing good jobs of creating podcasts, listening experiences. We are trying to make a great experience for podcast creators that’s a perfect companion to Buzzsprouts computer experience to the browser experience. So anything that you would need to do while you’re not next to a computer, we’re trying to make that really easy on your phone.

Pat Flynn: That’s cool, what else can it do or will it eventually do you think? Cause I think that’s powerful to have that in your pocket to be able to share and do a lot of these other things.

But I’m sure you guys are thinking even further ahead. What’s what’s coming in the, in the future with this?

Alban Brooke: Two other things that are there now. Statistics, so lots of people want to be able to measure. Hey, I’m doing a marketing push. Maybe I’m putting some ad dollars behind my podcast. I’m advertising in a podcasting app.

I want to see if that’s actually bearing fruit. So you’re able to pull open your stats on the mobile app and check to see, okay, it’s actually working. You’re able to get insights into which types of content are doing better than others. And then the last is just mobile management. One of the worst things to happen is if you publish an episode and you’ve got a typo in the headline, or maybe you misspelled a guest name or you forgot a link that you said would be in the show notes if you’re not a full time podcaster, you know, you probably have a day job and that means you don’t really want to log into this work computer and do all this podcasting work.

Now you’ve got a mobile phone that’s logged into your account. You open it up, you make a quick change. And you’re done and I think it really helps people keep their quality bar really high while at the same time not feeling like I have to be perfect every time I release an episode.

Pat Flynn: That’s great. I mean, that has happened to me many times while on the go and then I’m kind of either have to drive back home to fix something or call a team member or get them to do it.

I like the idea of quickly getting access to your back end on Buzzsprout so you can fix things. That’s really amazing. Is there any maybe semi secret things you could share about what’s coming? Cause I imagine there’s some really interesting use cases for an app for a podcast host as well, perhaps. I mean, even, I mean, my, my head goes to, can I use the app to actually record a podcast or take notes or, or something like that?

We don’t have plans to do the recording side right now. Maybe there would be a future that the tech is at a spot where we really wanted to do it, but we don’t have those plans just because the audio quality isn’t as good as what you’re going to get out of a mic. And the ability to set up a remote interview is a bit more cumbersome.

So right now, what we’re really working on is let’s make the best companion to the buzzsprout web experience. But as we were convinced by our customers from years and years of giving us good use cases for building the app in the first place, I hope that we’ll hear more great ideas from our customers who are using it.

And we’ve been really excited with the feedback so far, but we are already getting tons of great ideas.

Nice man. That, that’s exciting. How could a Buzzsprout user, if a person is hosting their podcast on Buzzsprout, like many of our podcasters in our community are, how do they get the app? How do you, how do you connect?

Alban Brooke: You can go to the app store and just search for Buzzsprout and you’ll be able to download it right there. If you’re on Android, we’ve got on our blog, we have a waiting list so that you can be notified as soon as that comes out. And if you have any ideas or you want to just chat about the app, come into our Facebook group, send us an email to support or reach out to me on Twitter.

I’m at Alban Brooke and I’m always excited to hear what people think.

Pat Flynn: Nice man. Congrats to you and the team. And thank you for the conversation today. It’s always good to check in and just kind of get a state from, from all perspectives on what’s happening in the world of podcasting and it’s definitely here to stay, it’s going to continue to evolve and we’ll have to get you back on the show to, to chat about where it ends up and where it’s going to go from there.

So any final words of advice for hot takes before we finish?

Alban Brooke: I don’t know how many more hot takes I have, but I do appreciate every time you have me on the show. I went back and listened to some of our old episodes right before this, and I was really happy to hear how many of our thoughts about the future of podcasting turned out to be true.

So I hope that this interview turns out just as well, and we see podcasting continue to thrive. So thank you for bringing him back on the show.

Pat Flynn: Thanks, Alban. We appreciate it.

All right. I hope you enjoyed that interview and conversation with Alban Brooke from Buzzsprout. If you go to, you can go ahead and check them out and all the new tools. And honestly, they’re such a quick and nimble team that they build things fast. They listen to feedback, they build, and it’s one of the cool aspects of Buzzsprout that is a huge advantage they have over a lot of other larger hosting companies.

They listen to their audience. They build, they iterate, they make things better. And this new tool that they have is exactly that. And who knows, by the time you listen to this, there might be some even better tools or new tools that have come out since. So definitely check them out. Once again, We’re always talking podcasting in our communities, especially our mastermind groups inside of Pro, as well as in our conversations on pro. And of course the All Access Pass, anybody who right now is going through Power Up Podcasting or Amped Up Podcasting. If you’re listening to this, keep going, you’re doing awesome.

Keep getting through those lessons. Ask for help when you need it, get direction when you are lost. That’s what we’re here for. That’s what community is all about to help support you, motivate you, and keep you going. And we’re here for you. So if you want to check out our communities and join and be a part of the entrepreneurial flow that’s happening every day here, head on over to Thank you so much and be sure to hit subscribe so we can catch you in the next one. Cheers.

Thank you so much for listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast at I’m your host, Pat Flynn. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. Our senior producer is David Grabowski, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media, and a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network. Catch you next week!

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