Content Creator Club
Content Creator Club

Episode 44 · 9 months ago

What Happened to Apple Podcasts Connect?


Big news in the world of Apple Podcasts! They just announced that they’re rolling out a new dashboard for Apple Podcasts Connect and there are loads of changes. Today, I’m joined by Billy Thorpe to chat about what we know now about the changes. We’ll be sure to do an update once we learn more!

In this episode, Travis and Billy talk about:

  • That lots of podcasts went missing from the search feature in the podcast app and how to fix this issue.
  • The stats on Apple Podcasts Connect, including the completion rate - which is an invaluable stat.
  • How they’re changing the language from “subscribe” to “follow”.
  • How CPM is going to change quite a bit, which should give you more accurate stats about how many people actually listen to your show.
  • The paid subscription option and how it may affect (or not affect) companies like Buy Me a Coffee and Patreon.
  • What the paid Apple Creator feature does for you, what it costs (including financial costs, and other costs), and whether it could be worth it for your podcast.
  • The importance of the mindset of investing in your podcast and your business.
  • Overall opinions about whether or not these changes will be good for podcasting, and why.

Memorable Quotes

“The sky is gonna be falling on CPM, because once people realize that a bunch of devices are subscribed but people aren’t...this is a vanity metric.”

Links to Resources

Apple Podcasts Connect

To learn more about monetizing your podcast, network with real podcasters, and attend training, you’re invited to join my Facebook group, the Podcast Builder Club.

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*I hereby solemnly swear to only promote products and services I actually love and use in my podcast, business, and everyday life!

So this week apple hosted their springevent and flipped out the entire podcasting industry by rolling out their new apple podcastconnect dashboard, and a bunch of stuff happened. People's podcast went missing,they announced that they're going to have a subscription model and a whole bunch more. So, if you're interested in what we know today about this new appleroll out, stick around. So the apple spring forward event was this weekand I thought it might be Appropo to record an episode about what we actuallyknow that's happening today. And today I've got Billy Thorpe with me to addto the conversation. Big Part of podcast builder clubs. So if you're nota member of the PODCAST Builder Club Group, Go ahead and just type that littlething into your facebook group, podcast Builder Club, Clackety Clack, andjoin a group of amazing podcasters. Did you watch the apple event, billy? Yeah, my favorite part was when they come out of I go wegot some new stuff for podcasters or, you know, bodcast connecting. Itwas just like next subject, just like a skim past it. I feellike every podcast was like on the edge of their chair like Oh yes,after fifteen years, here we get a finally some attention and they're like,we'll talk to you guys later. It's so and now everybody's just speculating.So it's kind of funny to see, to see that happened, you know, just so abruptly, I guess. Yeah, it's not really very applelike to just flip something out like that, but there were a lot of issuesthat happen. So the first thing, this is probably the most important thing. If you're listening right now, we want to give you the mostimportant data. First, all kinds of podcasts went missing from the search featurein the podcast APP. So I want to help you fix this. Ifyou're pulling your hair out wondering why people can't find your podcast, you need, and this is only if you had updated your podcast connect account. Okay, so, once it propagates and shows you your show, you actually needto go into your show, find your rss link and then there is alittle blue button that says edit. You're going to need to click that andgo in and there's a check box that says make RSS feed public. Okay, so that's the main issue that has happened with people not having their podcastfound anymore. I'm I mean that's a scary thing to happen when you're like, I'm putting out this content and all the sudden nobody can find it.Yeah, man, that's what happened to me. I went to go loginto my podcast connect a count and it took like three, four days.What, however long ago the advent is. It's just now working and just nowchecking it while we're on here and I'm went into clicked in my showand now show information says rss feed url and then there's a little at abutton right side of it and it was already checked on my end. Somaybe that's something that they fixed. That might have been something that they fixedin the background. was just making that default setting. So there's a chanceit's already checked for you, but in case you upgraded early, you wantto make sure you get that so people can actually find your podcast, becausethat's the most important thing. So what is in the new dashboard? Well, I want to just kind of talk about a few things, and youknow, the dashboard was pretty great already. If you haven't used it, theygive you all kinds of stats and I really trust these stats more thanother stats because it's coming directly from apple right so our RSS feed is hostedthere and they have the data right. Apple has more data than almost anybodyand they're giving you this data. But one stat more than others, morethan download numbers, more than plays all that stuff, was the completion rate. So they actually tell you how much of each episode your listeners completed,and I think that this is an invaluable stat to measure because you can startto see, like, okay, let's say I do an hourlong interview andthen I do my little shorty podcasts and I see that the interviews only getfifty percent complete, but all my shorties get a hundred percent complete. Ican then start to make decisions that will help me make better content for myaudience. So that's still going to be there and we're not a hundred percentsure what extra features are going to be there, but it seems like you'regoing to be able to Geo fence your podcast, so if you're maybe aspecific language or you're you just want to...

...stay in a country, you're goingto be able to filter that so you just don't show up in the bigbatch, the big bucket of podcast, which is pretty cool, and they'regoing to probably keep improving it so there was another thing that they actually mentioned. They still want you to tell people to subscribe, but they're changing thesubscribe to follow. What does that sound like? Yeah, that sounds,HMM, what like a spotify, but it's it definitely seems like a reactionto that. But I'm sort of yeah, I'm sort of happy for that becauseI think it's more in line with social media and people are used tofollowing things as opposed to subscribing. Yeah, I agree. Manning's a different ask. I think it's an easier ask. You know, just some general becauseI subscribe to Hulu and Netflix and all that. So just to followsa lot easier than making that commitment. So yeah, I'm happy for thatchange. That's a that's a good one. Yeah, and I think that thethe change to that. It's also going to play into something we're goingto talk about in a little bit, which is the Apple Creator Account,but we'll get to that in a minute. But this subscription is now going tobecome something that you can pay for and the follow will be free,but we'll get to that in a little bit. Now. The another reallyimportant thing that I think people need to know is that it's now going tobe pushed to download and historically you subscribe to a podcast and they just allcome into your device. Now this is going to shake up your numbers,is going to shake up CPM right because, and I'm actually really stoked on this, billy, because I don't care if people just subscribe and just downloadand never listen to it. There's a million podcast I have on my phoneI've never listened to. How about you? Do you have like a batch ofstuff that you'll just never get to? Yeah, man, absolutely, Ihave stuff I scroll through or something people say, Hey, she'll listento this and I put in my library and I never go and listen intoit. Some of the probably getting credit every time a new episode comes outbecause it's now on my phone. I like this to man, because Ilike to see real, actual numbers, like who's really my audience? WhoAm I really reaching? And so I think this gives us as creators abetter grasps one on what we can build like real foundational stuff here. SoI like it to man, I'm a fan. Yeah, I'm not themost analytical person. I'm a creative, right brain person. So like analyticsor something that I have to work to enjoy. But I'm I'm really excitedthat, like I'll actually get real information, because I don't really care if fiftypeople or Fivezero people listen to the episode. I'm still going to putin the work to make it a great episode, but I'd much rather knowthat Fivezero people aren't actually listening if I can have that data. Yeah,that's true, man. Yet it will help out to you know, likeI mean, maybe some people that will not help out with their sponsor relationships, but maybe other people it will. Who knows, we'll see. Yeah, this guy is going to be falling on CPM because once people realize thata bunch of devices are subscribed but people aren't. And you know, ifanyone's hung out with us at all on clubhouse or maybe the pulp the podcastbuilder club, or even seen our course on ways to monetize, you're thefirst person that's going to tell people this is a vanity metric and it youwill make pennies on the dollar rescepm. You know. So I think there'sgoing to be a lot of posts like what happened to all my downloads,and it's going to be like well, you never the people really weren't listeningin the first yeah, yeah, man, that's true. It's it's interesting.I think it brings US keeps us all honest. Right. So it'slike as as you can business owners, entrepreneurs, podcasters. I mean it'llbe. I'll be curious to even see with my you know, my leadingpodcast that I'm on and have my soul order fishing podcast. I'll be curiousto see you over the next few months like real data, like real likeokay, these people are really engaged and listening, which already which I don'tknow on this Newbo how accurate it is, but it's already showing some kind ofnumber. So I don't know if that's quite rolled out. There's goingto be a curve to win. This...

...gets flattened out. Yeah, andI think that's going to apply to everything. I think it's going to apply toyour stats. I think it's going to apply to people getting access tothe dashboard. I think there's but this is really good because anytime they changesomething there's there's good and bad things, but this is going to flatten thingsout. I think this is going to give us maybe potentially finally, areal way of getting statistics that can be standardized across every place. Now,before we get into the Apple Creator Account, you said that people were mentioning thatthis is going to potentially put people out of business. So podcast hostor Patreon or buy me a coffee, and I think we should probably jumpinto a little conspiracy theory action here on that. You have any thoughts about? Well, I you know, I've just been listening to people talk andof course we're on club house or in these podcasting rooms, and you knowwhen this first hit and then there's articles coming out all over the place andit's just all speculation, right. It's just like here's what I predict willhappen in the future. And so some people are saying, Hey, Ithink when this apple monetization feature rolls out, that people are going to stop usingbuy me a coffee and Patreon. Like there. Why send them toall these different places when you can send them to one place and say hey, subscribe to my podcast? And although that seems like maybe it would befirst of all, not every person listens listens to apple podcasts. I meanthere's a whole world of android users and different people with different devices, soI don't know how true that is. And then you know, as faras like, yeah, I don't know. So it's like, you know,I don't know if it'll kill other companies. Like I think people willlook at it. But once again, buy me a coffee as a differentASS and patreon. PATREONS can be different than subscribe to my podcasts. Likethere's just different community aspects to it. And like what is your community usedto like? They might like the idea of subscription, but then, likemy community love the idea of buy me a coffee that they didn't necessarily likebeing a patron, if you will. So I don't know, man,totally. I think it's I think it's different, I think it's good,I think it's different on some of these levels. What's your thoughts on that? You have any thoughts? Were just thrown yeah, so I'm super excitedthat you brought up all those companies, so specifically buy me a coffee,Patreon, and then the fact that there's there's millions and millions of android userswho are never going to touch apple podcast. So let's let's fill in the blanksbefore I share my thoughts, because I think some of my thoughts playinto the new future. So the Apple Creator account so this is going tobe something you're going to be able to sign up for and it's twenty dollarsa year. Okay, and I've already seen some people pushing back on that, like, Oh, it's twenty bucks a year to become a creator.Just to give you guys listening some perspective, you know, I have an APP, so I have the POD DEX mobile APP, and it cost mea hundred dollars a year to be an APP creator. Right. So,when you think about this, I'm investing in the distribution model, right,so I want people to buy my APP. Could I sell it directly? People? Absolutely, but I'd have to have my whole own infrastructure in orderto do that. So twenty dollars a year is nothing. And if you'retruly serious about making money off the subscription model, it's a drop in thebucket. And if you're confident and you have the right product, you shouldbe able to sell twenty subscriptions like in your first pop. So that's thefirst step. So you do it is a pay to play scenario and whenyou enter that you're going to be able to offer either your content, extraepisodes, private episodes at subscription price, right. So whether that, youknow, be per episode or monthly, I think there's probably going to besome choices in that that dashboard. And the way that it works is appleis going to take thirty percent of your subscription money's so if I say it'sa dollar to subscribe to my podcast, I'm going to get seventy cents right, and that's a pretty big chunk to be taking. Now it's very similarto the APP side. At one point they started taking thirty percent. WhenI first launched my APP, they're taking...

...thirty percent of the money. Soif you think that I'm keeping all the pennies and dollars, but they rolledit back to fifteen percent. So first year's thirty percent on the subscriber modeland then fifteen percent that after that. So it's a little bit for acompany that has so much cash off shore. To me it's a little bit greedyto take from people who actually really built podcasting up. I think podcastersand podcast listeners built up the industry of podcasting. Yes, apple did areally good job of giving us a way to put it out there, butthirty percent a lot of cash to be digging out of somebody's pocket. Yeah, but especially it's like business owners, entrepreneurs, because we're not just youknow, it's like sure, people subscribe your seventy percent, but then you'retaking a thirty percent of that seventy percent. You're handing it off to the taxman's it's like all right. So what I would say is, ifyou're thinking about starting subscription model, put thirty percent more on top of it. So as for a dollar, thirty as for, you know, threebucks, but you're going to want to pad that into your little business modelhere, because there's nothing worse than thinking Oh, cool, I've got ahundred subscribers at a hundred dollars and then, you know, getting the check that'sthirty percent less. The next issue that I have with this is thatyou don't get any customer data. So apples keeping your customer data? Yeah, you'll never get an email address, you'll ever get access to that.So this plays into a bigger picture, which is the walled garden. Nowwe know apple's a waled garden with their your IOS and there their products.I think it's a little bit much to not allow your subscribers to be onyour list. And if you know anything about email lists and all the gurusare going to tell you it's important. It's actually because it is important becauseif all these things shut down tomorrow, how will you reach your audience?HMM, yeah, that's good, man. That's a good thought. Like buyapple by spotify. WHO's left over? Yeah, man, you're right.Like, wow, that's I didn't know that. When you just saidthat, I'm like, holy smilets man, there not only you taking my money, now you're taking any potential I have to make money outside of Apple. Interesting. Interesting. Yeah. So now you mentioned buy me a coffeeand Patreon. So let's compare this to those two real quickly. So,buy me a coffee, how much did they take out of your transaction?I'm gonna look right now because I don't even know. I Bragg on thoseguys all the time. Let's I think it's a good thing to know.Take two point nine percent plus third decent. So just another OKA transaction. Soyeah, so, just like if you're taking credit card payments or ifyou're taking paypal whatever, it's a standardized fee, which is too in myopinion. They've created the infrastructure. That's a fair okay. Now patreon.I don't use Patreon, but I'm guessing it's somewhere similar, depending on whatprogram you're in. So you know, when people say all, buy mea coffee, is going to get put out of business, and you knowpatreons going to get put out of business. Patreon also lets you have your customerdata. So I think that you you hit it on the head whenyou said they're two different asks. Right. It's. It's what does my audiencewant for me? Now I definitely have some thoughts on subscription model andI want to pose a question to all the podcasters or content creators listening,and I want you to think about this for a minute and be really truthfulwith yourself. Is Your content worth subscribing to? Oh, come on,Travis, you just every podcasters took a place. Oh Man, well,I'm not saying this to be rude now, I know, I know, butyou know, as Creator sometimes we think like we're just awesome and butwhen you really are thinking about asking someone to pay you every single episode orevery single month or whatever, that looks like. Yeah, man, that'sa tough question to ask yourself, but I think it's good, man,in the in the the heart of being transparent and all this transparency. Ilike that you ask that question. Well,...

I just I like to challenge peopleand I like them to really be honest with themselves, because if you'renot honest with yourself, you're not going to grow right. So you haveto sit down and say, okay, am I really putting my best footforwards my content? And there's a reason that all the true crime storytelling podcastsare on the top podcast is because they're curated their storytelling. They put hoursand hours of work into each episode and it's something that's worth subscribing to froma monetary value. Now there's a lot of people out there that do youknow just current things, are talking off the top of their head. It'smore Improv E, which is awesome, but but I don't think that Ipersonally don't think that podcast listeners are going to want to subscribe to that.So before you flip on the button, I think it's really smart to sortof have a plan of how you're going to make sure that your shows worthsubscribing to and if it's not, I suggest that you check out some ofour content around the ways to monetize your podcast. So billion I have beenon clubhouse endlessly teaching people who are now making money on ways that have nothingto do will not nothing to do with advertising, but it really has moreto do with community and how to really successfully run ads and creating products andthings like that. So again, I don't think that the podcast is thedoor to make money. I think it's a door that opens to take peoplesomewhere else to make money. So that probably is going to rough ruffle ofsome feathers, but that's okay because I'm hoping that people will spend a littlemore time on their content if they're going to flip that switch on. Sowould you ever, billy, would you ever think like I could? Icould ask my audience to give me a handsome sum each month for my content? Man, I you know, I don't know. I mean we puta lot of work into our into our our podcast, specially a fishing one. I feel like we got great content, great information, but man, forme, I don't know. I'm still in the fence about it.I'm like, I don't think so, like I you know, we havesponsors that I keep a hundred percent of the money. So I'm more excitedabout a hundred percent than seventy percent. So I would probably just keep mybusiness model as is for now, unless, unless we just have this, youknow, ginormous audience. That is I don't know, I don't know. You know, I just haven't really figured out the I'm specialized in monetizingwith small audiences, so I don't think I'm at the place too like,how much money would I have to ask for my listeners now to cover thecost of all my sponsorships? Because, you know, it's one of thosethings it's like if I'm asking my audience to pay to listen, they don'twant to listen to a bunch of, you know, ads and commercials andall that kind of stuff. is like that premium for versus fremium on Huluor whatever. So I think you know. And then also our sponsors really helpus promote the show. We've grown a lot because of those sponsor relationships. So I think it's a lot of pros and cons. I think youknow way out your your playing your long term goal, like what is yourmission, and then build backwards from there. If it makes sense for you,then sure, but you know, just as some of you podcasters listeningto this are balking at that nineteen dollar price, like think about your listener. They might balk at that five dollars or that three dollars per episode.You know, it's like they might be a man. I thought that guywas cool, but he's just trying to make money like he's a jerk.You know, I don't know who knows the mindset behind listen. Some listenersdepending on your audience. So I'm going to be very cautious. I thinkthey'll be people who are wildly successful with it and I think it's going tobe easy to pay if you're on an apple device with apple pay and allthat stuff. But I think there's a lot of people are going to turnthis on and they're not going to make any money. And I think thatthe real lesson here is that there's lots of ways to make way more moneyoff less people than running a subscription at two dollars or one dollar or fivedollars a month. I think you can either choose to take the take thelittle money right now, or you could like, really get your ducks ina row and figure out a strategy to make lots of money off of notreally that big of an audience. So...

...if we say hey, I'm I'vegot a thousand subscribers and I'm going to charge them a dollar a month.That looks like a thousand dollars a month Gross, seven hundred dollars net.or You could say I'm going to sell a I'm going to sell advertising tothe F my niche vendors and say, you know, it's I'm going toget a couple of them at maybe two grand each and I'm going to makesix thousand, one hundred percent of that. So you see that. You seethe difference, because I know because you've been you've invented this strategy.But would you rather have a thousand bucks a month or are sorry, sevenhundred bucks a month or six thousand off of the exact same audience without havingto get any more people? I think that's the that's the in word,quest that someone has to take. And I think a strategy to is like, Hey, can you take like you know, we teach for ways tomonetize. Can you take those four ways, stack them over the next twelve,fifteen, twenty, four months, whatever you want to eighteen months,and then take that money and if you think of and here's the thing,I think sometimes, and I'm talking business and I'm talking pop. You knowpodcasting too, but I think even as podcast or sometimes we're creatives or go, Gosh, I got paid, so I just my money. Will thinkof that money as a tool, as a shovel or anything else. Andnow you might say, okay, well, my my qualities not there, mysound quality, my production quality, all these things. Will take thatmoney, reinvest into your shown. If you're your goal to get your youget your listeners to pay for your show, then reinvest that money and make yourshow with freaking better and then you know, twelve months, sixteen months, eighteen months, whatever, twenty four months or three four years, whenit's awesome and you feel so confident that you can sit behind your microphone andgo, all right, now we're five bucks an episode or whatever that lookslike, then you know do that. So I think there's a lot ofstrategy. I don't think it's, you know, I don't think for meright now. It's not for us, but definitely down the road I couldsee where where we could build this into our you know, it could befine ways to mind time. Yeah, no, I mean I think thatit will work for certain people and I love your thoughts about reinvesting and that'sthe mindset that I have with my business, as any business I start for thefirst year I don't take a penny out. Every single bit of profitgoes back into the company to make it better, whether that's tools or coachingor mentorship or, you know, better product or rd you know, it'slike podcasters, I think are in a really interesting place because it's easy topodcast, but if you're not willing to treat it like a business and makethe investment in it, I don't think you'll grow as much as you could. So it's just a personal flavor. Some people are like, Hey,I don't want to invest in it. Well, you get what you putinto something, and that's everything. If you're getting an education, if you'regoing to do a podcast, if you're, you know, doing your social media, you're going to get back what you put into it. So justtake that into consideration and just be honest with yourself. I think having anhonest look at yourself and saying like, am I really doing the work?You know, I look at myself all the time and say like, amI outworking everybody? You know, because I know that's what it takes torise to the top and most days I think, yes, I am outworking people and there's some days I don't, but I do look at myself withan honest opinion and I think that that's something that helps me to continueto grow. So I just want to wrap this up and say I thinkthis could be good for podcasting, and there's a couple reasons why. First, I think that it is going to give people a chance dance, tomake money on a great distribution platform if it's done right. Number two,I think that the evening out the download numbers and figuring that out might giveus a universal way to measure our shows. And then three, I think it'sgreat because apples finally going to be creating their own great content. Andit just if this. If podcasting wasn't going to be big for the nextten years, apple would have just left it alone. They wouldn't have doneanything. And so when a company that large, you know, there's you, have you ever heard of the Fang in stocks? You know, facebook, apple, Amazon, Netflix, and...

I forget what the G is,but oh, there you go. Google things, problems, Google, ohman. So, yeah, so google. Those are all the biggest companies inthe world. And when the biggest company that is in the world areinvesting in platforms. You know that there's a reason. They don't do itto lose money. They do it because there's an opportunity there to build offof something. So we're all in the right place and that's very exciting tome. Yeah, man, it's yeah, it's very exciting. I was goingto say the same thing. I'm like, I kind of feel likeapples chasing spotify a little bit. Maybe they were sleeping tad bit, ormaybe they're just waiting to see. You know, I mean I think twothousand and twenty like was some shock for everybody. So it's like the explosionof podcasts, like probably no one saw that coming, and then they're likeonly smokes. There's a huge opportunity, we better just make it a littlefive second announcement. Get people jest. Yeah, yeah, it's funny howthey glazed right over that. But then there's like eighteen colors of new imax. are like this is way more important than podcasting, but whatever. Hey, I'm an apple fan and I think, I think that as long as they'regoing to keep giving us a chance to put out content, I'm goingto to be happy with that. So if, if you like this episode, I just want to invite you to something. We have the facebook groupscalled podcast Builder Club, and Billy and I, and we have a couplemoderators, were really dedicated to keeping this group to be the number one podcastinggroup. It's real podcasters, it's real networking, it's real trainings and there'snot a lot of just like spammy posts. We keep it very clean. SoI invite you to join us. All you have to do is goto facebookcom Group pod decks, or I'll put a link in the old shownotes at the bottom here, and join us. It's a really wonderful place. We'd love to meet you and Billy I, you know, we don'tknow all the information right now. Yeah, it's all coming out and so thenext time we get an update on this we will be sure to transmitthat to you. But we'd love to see you in the in the facebookgroup and just remember your only one episode away from that next download.

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