Competitive Study on Podcasting Systems

Part
01
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Part
01

Podcasting Systems Competitive Landscape - Omny Studio & Libsyn

Omny Studio offers "complete audio management for podcasters and radio" by providing enterprise-level tools for all audio needs. On the other hand, Libsyn offers tools that help content creators publish in major podcast platforms and provides custom mobile apps, a web player, and a podcast directory. The requested information about Omny Studio and Libsyn have been entered in rows 2 and 3 in the attached spreadsheet.

OMNY STUDIO

  • Omny Studio's key features include podcast hosting, radio broadcast capture, publishing & sharing, editing, monetization, and analytics.
  • Some positive customer reviews of the service include (1) the company's customer support team is quick to respond to any issues; (2) they allow users to add an intro and an outro to the main file, which can also serve as mini commercials, an additional revenue-generating opportunity; and (3) one account can have multiple users, which is very helpful for a team of podcast creators.
  • However, when editing in the cloud, the company wipes out the ID3 tags, so if any user plays the podcast on Windows Media Player, the artwork made by the content producer does not show up.
  • The price of the service starts at $99 a month.
  • Omny Studio targets traditional broadcasters and pure-play podcasters; and with Triton Digital acquiring the company, their primary target country is Australia since Triton Digital is headquartered in Melbourne.

LIBSYN

  • The key features of Libsyn are OnPublish (a tool that allows content creators to publish their podcasts on Apple Podcasts, Pandora, Spotify, and other popular platforms), custom podcast app creation, Libsyn Player, and a directory of over 50,000 podcasts.
  • Customers perceive Libsyn's The Feed application as a source of great information and helpful tips, which is helpful for new podcasters. Customers also see Lisbyn's The Podcast Source app a great source of podcasts.
  • However, negative reviews of both apps mostly cite the apps being buggy, frequently crashing, and not showing podcasts hosted by Libsyn.
  • Libsyn's pricing tiers are Classic 50, which is $5 per month; Classic 250, which is $15 per month; Advanced 400, which is $20 per month; and Advanced 800, which is $40 per month.
  • Libsyn is a global podcast hosting company; and according to Chartable, one of the top podcast Apple Podcasts/iTunes distributors

RESEARCH STRATEGY

To find the requested information for Omny Studio and Libsyn, we started our research by looking into each of the companies' websites, where we were able to gather a lot of insights about the company and able to provide several information for the competitive analysis. For the customer reviews, we had to rely on the reviews on Google Play Store and customer analysis or review of the podcast hosting service. For the pricing of Omny Studio, we had to rely on third-party websites. For the target markets of both services, we relied on articles on investor relations for Libsyn and business news for Omny Studio.
Part
02
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Part
02

Podcasting Systems Competitive Landscape - Veritone One & Spreaker

Veritone One boasts of its expert leadership and account service/execution teams. Efficient pricing, superior media planning, and fantastic client service are some of Veritone One's positive reviews by the users. Spreaker, on the other hand, is known for its unlimited bandwidth, ample audio storage, free starter plan, customizable RSS feeds, and live audio streaming. The requested details on Veritone One and Spreaker are compiled in rows 4-5 column D-J of the attached spreadsheet. An overview of the findings can be found below:

VERITONE ONE

FEATURES
ADVANTAGES
DISADVANTAGES
REVIEWS
PRICING
TARGET MARKET
COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

SPREAKER

FEATURES
ADVANTAGES
DISADVANTAGES
  • In terms of disadvantages, not much has been published on Spreaker's drawbacks.
  • Even so, the fact that statistics are tiered depending on pricing plans may not give podcasters a clear picture of their performance.
  • Additionally, people who cannot afford the pro plan do not have access to unlimited space and do not have extra options for managing their podcasts.
REVIEWS
  • Some of the positive reviews about Spreaker include the fact that the website allows for going live on Twitter and Facebook and that with Pro Plans, audio storage space is unlimited.
  • Also, users cite the possibility of extra options for managing podcasts and live radio and subscriptions that are linked to iTunes accounts as benefits of the service.
  • Other users feel that the customer service is not adequate with limited technical support available to podcasters when they encounter problems.
PRICING
  • Professional Plans
    • On-Air Talent Plan — $6 per month billed yearly or $7 per month billed monthly.
    • The Broadcaster plan — $18 per month when billed annual or $20 per month when billed monthly.
    • Anchorman plan — $45 per month billed annually or $50 per month when billed monthly.
  • Enterprises Plan
    • The Station plan for enterprises attracts $100 per month when billed yearly or $120 per month when billed monthly.
    • Enterprises can also have custom plans.
TARGET MARKET
COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
Part
03
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Part
03

Podcasting Systems Competitive Landscape - Megaphone & Stream Guys

Megaphone, formerly known as Panoply Media, focuses on large, enterprise-level publishers that have an average download of 20,000 per episode and helps them "publish, monetize, and measure" their podcasting business. StreamGuys also targets the same market, focusing on enterprise broadcasters and media organizations; however, they don't deny their service to small podcasters. The requested information about these two services can be found in rows 6 and 7 in the attached spreadsheet.

MEGAPHONE

  • Megaphone is a podcast advertising platform that works with both advertisers and publishers. They focus on large, enterprise-level publishers and help them by providing tools to "publish, monetize, and measure" their podcast business. For advertisers, they offer demographic- and intent-based targeting when inserting ads in over 60,000 segments.
  • The key features of Megaphone are publishing, ad operations, targeting, and analytics.
  • Their clients include big names in the podcasting industry, such as WSJ, Vox Media, Slate, iHeart Media, CBS Interactive, and Gimlet, among others.
  • The company underwent a rebranding from Panoply Media to Megaphone and officially announced the rebranding in March this year, though they made an initial announcement of this plan in September 2018.

STREAMGUYS

  • StreamGuys provides streaming, podcasting, and SaaS tools for enterprise-level media organizations.
  • It offers "a complete podcast ecosystem for enterprise broadcasters" by providing podcast hosting, automated podcast creation, publishing and sharing, editing and clipping, monetization, and analytics.
  • Their podcasting clients include Cox Media Group, WNYC, Patriots, Play It, and PRI (Public Radio International).
  • Pricing is not published anywhere on the website, review websites, or in third-party sources. The company requests interested parties to contact them for pricing questions, though they claim to have the "best price-to-performance ratio" in the industry.



Part
04
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Part
04

Podcasting Systems Competitive Landscape - Soundcloud & Audio Boom

SoundCloud's customers perceive it as a platform best for independent artists with a low price point. Audio Boom offers a simple podcast page that lets the audience listen in with advanced analytics detailing insights on podcast's performance while including an embedded player. Further information about the products, including their target market, pricing, competitive advantage, and more have been detailed on rows 8-9 of the attached spreadsheet.

SOUNDCLOUD

KEY FEATURES
  • SoundCloud allows users to host and share all podcasts with ease from one place, connect instantly with fans, and get immediate feedback.
  • The Pro Unlimited can schedule releases, pin most popular episodes to Spotlight, access deeper stats and get unlimited hosting time, so the story can live on indefinitely.
  • Soundcloud uses advanced analytics that helps one to grow their following and fanbase using the advanced stats.
  • The platform offers access to millions of listeners on SoundCloud and beyond, unlimited hosting time, and advanced stats for every episode.

AUDIO BOOM

KEY FEATURES
  • Audioboom offers a simple podcast page that lets the audience to listen in with advanced analytics detailing insights on podcast's performance while including an embedded player.
  • Audioboom uses simple hosting that allows one to invite others to collaborate on their show by managing permissions to get help running the show or work with a co-host while monetizing his or her podcast.
  • Other features include advanced analytics with breakdowns by app, device, and geographic region with distribution via Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.
A comprehensive report is provided in the attached spreadsheet, row 8-9.
Part
05
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Part
05

Podcasting Systems Competitive Landscape - Simplecast & Acast

Simplecast's reviews are mainly positive, while Acast's reviews are evenly positive and negative. In the attached spreadsheet, rows 10 and 11 have been filled with the requested information.

Simplecast

Acast

Research strategy

Recent pricing tiers information for Acast was not found. Because of that, information on pricing options from 2016 was provided as proxy. In an attempt to locate recent, reliable information, the following strategies were deployed:

First, the Acast website was searched, however, no "Pricing" subsection was available. Other website subsections such as "Podcasters", "About", "FAQ" were looked into, but only one pricing tier was briefly mentioned, "Acast+". The available information did not go in depth on this pricing option and no information regarding other pricing options was available.

Secondly, third-party publications were searched in hope of finding reports on the company that could contain pricing information. Sites searched include Entrepreneur and Fortune. Ultimately, only outdated information was uncovered, the most recent relevant information dated back to 2016. Even though this strategy was successful in providing details regarding the pricing tiers, the information was outdated which is why the search carried on.

Next, company databases such as Clutch, Crunchbase were searched, since the databases usually provide details on company services and pricing in their descriptions. No relevant information was uncovered, although irrelevant company features were described in detail. As a last resort, company's social media accounts were searched, in hope of locating recent, credible posts with pricing information. Acast's accounts on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were searched, but recent posts focused on irrelevant information such as new events, not even briefly focusing on company's pricing tiers.
Part
06
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Part
06

Podcasting Systems Competitive Landscape - Anchor and Post

Anchor, acquired by Spotify, offers an unlimited free hosting that helps monetize podcasts. On the other hand, POST by Futuri Media is focused on radio broadcasters, helping them transform station audio into video content. Further details have been provided in the project spreadsheet.

ANCHOR

KEY FEATURES
ADVANTAGES
DISADVANTAGES
  • Because using Anchor is free, it was stated that it technically owns the podcasters content, which they can modify, share, and use however they like.
  • The accounts are locked to just a single podcast channel with limited host control.
REVIEWS
TARGET MARKET AND COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

POST by Futuri Media

KEY FEATURES
ADVANTAGES
  • POST offers comprehensive training and proactively monitors the users' performance.
  • According to a survey by Nielsen, stations that use POST podcasting on their channels have attracted three times more time-shifted listening, and is higher among 18 to 49 years old demographics.
  • It automatically transforms station audio into video content with licensed images that helps radios to reach highly monetizable audiences.
DISADVANTAGES
  • When it comes to disadvantages, there are limited reviews done on the POST software specifically, but mostly are pertaining to the services of Futuri Media platforms in general.
  • The pricing model is not presented in the official website, while other software review sites indicate that it was not provided by third-party review sites, thus, broadcasters interested on using this specific Futuri platform has to contact Futuri first.
REVIEWS
  • Users of Futuri's POST call it a "game-changer" option for radio stations as it enables them to easily create an embeddable and shareable social content from the station.
  • POST users see growth on broadcast ratings.
  • It also creates sellable digital assets to broadcasters' existing content.
PRICING
  • Pricing details are not provided by Futuri Media.
TARGET MARKET
COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

Research Strategy:

The pricing information of Futuri Media's POST software/platform appears to be unavailable after using different approaches.
For the pricing information, we initially checked Futuri Media's official website and dedicated homepage for its POST software. But it does not have a section for its pricing details. We also read through its press releases but most articles are about the company's newly launched additional audience engagement platforms and integrations and no pricing information was available.
Secondly, we tried checking other third party sources relevant to this study like articles from The PE Hub Network, Radio World, and Market Insider. But these publications only focus on integrations (e.g. with YouTube) and partnerships with radio station companies (e.g. partnership with Alpha Media stations), and no news articles specifically discusses the pricing model of POST or any other platforms launched by Futuri.
We also expanded our scope to more than 24-month timeline to check if there are slightly old but relevant information on its pricing model, but sources found using this approach only discusses the launch of the company's new interactive programming platform called #engage, and no information was about its pricing.
Lastly, the team also searched through app and software review sites like GetApp and G2, while other software companies indicate pricing details, review on POST's pricing is not available. Since Futuri Media is the parent company of different platforms, such as POST, for audience engagement, we also tried checking one of its other platform, TopicPulse, and checked the availability of pricing. The idea is to determine if Futuri is not posting pricing models amongst its software/platforms. But even this platform's pricing is not available and Capterra indicates that pricing details are "not provided by vendor".
Part
07
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Part
07

Podcasting Systems Competitive Landscape - Podbean and Buzzsprout

Podbean's customers perceive its beginner-friendly setup and unlimited hosting as the advantages of the product, while great customer support and ease of use are Buzzsprout's advantages according to its users. Further information about the products, including their target market, pricing, competitive advantage, and more have been detailed on rows 14-15 of the attached spreadsheet.

PODBEAN

BUZZSPROUT

  • Buzzsprout's features are advanced podcast statistics, automatic episode optimization, and transcription.
  • Buzzsprout offers 4 main plans: Free plan ($0) for 2 hours of upload audio per month, $12/month for 3 hours, $18/month for 6 hours, and $24/month for 12 hours.
Part
08
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Part
08

Podcasting Systems Competitive Landscape - Blubrry and Transistor

Blubrry users find its Powerpress plugin and "No-Fault Histing" features useful but its slightly expensive. On the other hand, most Transistor users find its interface intuitive and user-friendly and affordable for professional podcasting. However, it does not offer add-on monetization services.

The link to the spreadsheet is here.

1. BLUBRRY

Key Features

Advantages

Users find the following features to be unique of Blubrry which sets it apart from its competitors:

Disadvantages

  • The advanced analytics provided by Blubrry needs an additional $5 as fee (e.g. if the user wants trending information on regional demographics) while others provide it with no extra cost.
  • It does not offer an option of creating a mobile app inside the platform while others (like Libsyn) has this feature.
  • One concern in choosing Blubrry is its slightly expensive pricing compared to its competitors that offer unlimited storage in almost the same price.
  • Other users who are not WordPress hosted do not find its Powerpress system appealing.

Reviews

  • It was rated 4.7/5 in Podcast Insights.
  • Blubrry's use of Powerpress makes it easier to upload episodes.
  • The way Blubrry helps in finding sponsors through its detailed analytics makes podcasters choose this platform.

Pricing

The pricing models depend on the amount of monthly storage received per service.
  • Small: $12/month (100MB)
  • Medium: $20/month (250MB)
  • Large: $40/month (500MB)
  • Extra Large: $80/month (1,000MB)
  • Professional: Price is available upon request for details (unlimited storage)

Target Market

Competitive Advantage

2. TRANSISTOR

Key Features

  • Transistor allows users to host multiple podcasts in one price, not per show.
  • It has an advanced podcast analytics about average downloads, number of subscribers, trends, etc.
  • It enables users to embed their podcast episodes to WordPress, Squarespace, and Twitter.
  • It easily integrates with other podcast hosts by just entering the current RSS feed.

Advantages

Disadvantages

  • Unlike other podcasts that support both audio and video files, Transistor only supports audio files.
  • Transistor does not offer add-on monetization services (e.g. advertiser matching or ad-injection).

Reviews

  • Transistor was rated 5/5 by its users through Product Hunt and is highly recommended.
  • Most reviews talk about its intuitiveness and user-friendly aspects.
  • Its plans are considered affordable by serious podcasters looking for budget considerations.

Pricing

  • Starter: $19/month ($190/year), 10,000 downloads per month
  • Professional: $49/month ($490/year), 50,000 downloads per month
  • Business: $99/month ($990/year), 150,000 downloads per month

Target Market

Competitive Advantage

  • Transistor stands out because of its user-friendly attributes and functionality.
  • It also gives users the full control of their podcast website and options of hosting through Transistor or the user's own website through its embedded player.
  • If a podcast website is hosted on Transistor, it can be integrated with email newsletters such as Mail Chimp and Drip. Hence, email signups can be collected right from the podcast's homepage.
  • Its podcast statistics and analytics is more detailed, including average downloads per episode, listener trends, number of subscribers, complete episode breakdown, and a map of the listeners' location.
Part
09
of ten
Part
09

Podcasting Systems Competitive Landscape - Captivate and Castos

Captivate is podcast platform that has a dashboard which is suitable for new podcasters. Castos is an excellent platform for those who want to monetize and import their podcasts. The spreadsheet can be found here.

Captivate

Castos

Research Strategy

We began the search by looking into the website of each company. Captivate listed its key features and its target market (independent podcasters) on its website. It also included its pricing but no specialized pricing for enterprises or professionals. Instead, it streamlined its pricing to fit all kinds of consumers. We then visited various review sites to see the advantages and disadvantages of the platform. The team leveraged expert podcast reviews such as The Podcast Host and Podcast Hosting. Each site offered their insights into the platform’s pros and cons.

We then proceeded to look for the user reviews of Captivate. The team first checked into different known review sites such as G2, Capterra, Software Finder, Trust Radius, among others. However, the only reviews that existed from these sites were for Adobe Captivate. Afterward, we searched for blog posts of Captivate hoping to locate any highlight from users of the platform. But, the blog site only redirected our search to the makers of the platform, Rebel Base Media. The site offered very little insight into user reviews.

The research team decided to look into various known media sites such as The Independent UK and the Guardian UK hoping to locate customer review on Captivate. Unfortunately, we could not locate any customer review. Therefore, due to unavailability of customer reviews on Captivate, we labeled the respective cell N/A on the attached spreadsheet. We concluded that this lack of information could be because Captivate is still new in the market as it was launched in January 2019.

We then searched through Castos’ website, which showed its key features and pricing. We also explored the feedback section to see if users placed any reviews about the platform. The feedback section only offered suggestions from users but no reviews. We also looked into the blog section of the platform to see if there are any blog posts about user reviews. However, the available blog was a guide on how to create a good podcast and other topics as well.

Our next approach was to search for expert opinions about Castos to see if they highlighted the advantages and disadvantages of the platform. We visited various sites such as Podcast Hosting and The Podcast Host. Unfortunately, our search was not fruitful. We then searched through review platforms such as G2, Capterra, and Trust Radius. We were fortunate to locate customer reviews on Product Hunt. The reviews praised the platform’s ease of use and excellent customer service.

Part
10
of ten
Part
10

Podcasting Systems Competitive Landscape - Podomatic & Fireside

Podomatic customers perceive is as an easy to use platform where one is able to record, upload, publish and promote. With regard to Fireside since it is a platform for podcasters by podcasters, it's advantage is the accurate and detailed stats and analytic it gives in real-time. Further information about the products, including their target market, pricing, competitive advantage, and more have been detailed on rows 20-21 of the attached spreadsheet.

PODOMATIC

Key Features

Advantages

  • Easy to set up a podcast for a beginner and easy to learn.
  • Easy to sign up for beginners.
  • Easy to use and easily lets one keep track of their podcasts.
  • It allows users to upload audios totally free and in turn offers simple tools to publish podcasts.
  • One is able to store a list of interesting podcasts to listened to later.
  • It offers podcasts in several subject areas that are easily accessible.
  • Anyone with a smartphone can access their podcasts with any podcast app in the Play Stores.
  • The homepage has a clean design and isn’t too busy.

Disadvantages

Reviews

  • The firm has a perfect 10/10 in Ease of Setup.
  • Podomatic has 8.3/10 in Ease of Use.
  • The firm has a 5.6/10 in regard to quality of Support.
  • Podomatic rates 3.9/5 stars.

Pricing (if available)

  • There is the Basic Free Account with No strings attached of 500 MB Storage with 15 GB Bandwidth/month.
  • The PRO account takes your voice to a professional level with 2 GB Storage with100 GB Bandwidth/month for $8.32 per month for annual plans.
  • The PRO PLUS accounts that Extends your reach to your growing audience has a 2.5 GB Storage with 200 GB Bandwidth/month for $12.49 per month for annual plans.
  • PRO PLATINUM account that one can Host their massive audience and podcast library has a 5 GB Storage with 500 GB Bandwidth/month for $20.82 per month for annual plans.
  • BROADCASTER account for the Podcasting Rock stars where one can build a podcast website and host it with Unlimited Storage, Unlimited Bandwidth and Free Podomatic Ads is not priced but one needs to get into contact with Podomatic for more pricing details.

Target market

  • Based on the pricing the target market includes brand new podcasters, enterprise-level companies, and solo professional podcasters.

Competitive Advantage

  • Podomatic competitive advantage against competition is that it is easy to use as one is able to record, upload, publish and promote.


FIRESIDE

Key Features

  • Has a customized in-built Website that is beautiful, responsive with episode pages, your images, custom pages, redirects, host and guest pages, and more.
  • Has downloadable stats & analytic that display massive amounts of data about unique downloads with the industry’s most trusted podcast hosting and download tracking systems in compliance with IAB.
  • Has a built-in security with a free SSL (https) certificate for both sub domains and your own custom domain name, ensuring your website and all of its content is delivered to the user's audience securely.
  • One can use their own custom domain to create a seamless experience for your listeners.
  • Fireside imports all the user's episodes, titles, descriptions, MP3 files, and important metadata from anywhere with just one click no matter where you currently host.
  • Has a lightning-fast file hosting.

Advantages

Disadvantages

Reviews

Pricing (if available)

  • One plan for $19 monthly that includes 1 Podcast, Unlimited Episodes, Unlimited Downloads, Unlimited Storage, Full analytic and DataBeautiful, responsive website and 1-Click Importing from Your Old Provider.

Target market

  • The firm says it is a powerful podcast hosting and analytic by podcasters, for podcasters and this indicates their target audience are all types of podcasters without any special mention of any special group.

Competitive Advantage

  • The firm says that it's accurate, real-time download stats and analytic reporting are at the very core of the product, making sure every unique download is tracked and counted accurately.
  • The Fireside dashboard was designed to give a simple user experience.
  • Fireside was built to serve the podcast community and the focus is on delivering the best overall experience for podcasters of all levels with a feature comparison that is based on the direct input of real-world podcasts, customer feedback and founder experience.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01