Studio #2 Better podcast hosting with OmnyStudio
Today I want to share with you an awesome new find. In fact, I think it’s so awesome that I decided it should be the focus for one of my first shows.
First, a little backstory.
Last week I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine about a podcast that we had recently recorded, edited and released. The topic of that podcast was content marketing and specifically, writing content. I wanted to share it with a friend because she’s currently in the middle of coming up with a content marketing plan herself. When I told her about it, she said, “That’s awesome, send me the clip so I can listen to it.”
I paused for a moment and remembered that I didn’t really have a good way to send her just a clip of my podcast.
The podcast I was recommending to her was a 34 minute conversation, but what I really wanted to share was just this one part which was about two or three minutes long. In order to get that content to her, I had to basically pull her out of what she was doing and what she was currently working on, get her to go visit a website, pull up a podcast or subscribe to it on her phone, go and download the episode, and then had to direct her to specific time marker.
Have you ever listened to a podcast and wanted to share something that you heard on one of them? If so, you know how much of a pain in the ass it can be to do that.
There had to be a better way out there to do this — to share just a clip of something. I’ve seen other popular podcasts do it. This American Life has a really great tool where people can go in and they can create their own clips of your podcasts. And I knew that there’s podcast clients like Overcast where you can share an episode at a timestamp. But I wanted to do was send a complete, encapsulated experience to a friend of my own content and I didn’t know how.
So I did what most people do; I went to Google. I typed in ‘best way to share podcast Facebook.’
What I ultimately found was an article on LinkedIn that discussed this challenge, and the article mentioned a product that I’d never heard of before called OmnyStudio.
I did something that I usually don’t do which was to register a trial account. I’m really glad that I did because what I found was something that exceeded what I was hoping to do and really went beyond what I thought a podcast hosting solution.
For the past two years I’ve been a Libsyn customer. Libsyn is a popular podcasting platform (I believe its also the oldest, most established hosting provider) that comes highly recommended by many podcasters. It works, but in my opinion its a no-frills experience. You sign in, upload your content, fill out a web form that allows you to supply meta data for your show (name, title, episode number, notes) and that’s about it.
But Libsyn wasn’t the best solution for me. The analytics aren’t very comprehensive, the user experience could be a lot better, and the way that they charge for their service is based more on bandwidth than on the number of shows you have. If you’re someone like me that releases up to two or three different episodes of shows per week, you may find yourself limited on bandwidth pretty quickly. Each podcast that I produce is within the 50 meg to 70 meg range and on more than one occasion, I’ve had to monitor or limit the number of shows I can push to Libsyn in a month. Eventually, this limitation drove me to have to use the team plan which was more expensive. So, while I wasn’t really thinking about looking for a new provider, it was kind of cool to see that Omny Studio’s plans were based more on the number of shows you have, not how many episodes you release or how large those mp3 files are.
Note: If you’re listening along to Studio Episode #2 “Better podcast hosting with OmnyStudio” you will hear details of their old pricing. OmnyStudio recently re-visited their pricing structure. While OmnyStudio is now more expensive (and targeted to larger podcast networks and radio stations) my recommendation of their service overall still remains
If you will remember, the original reason that I started looking into a new podcast hosting provider was that I needed to find a good way to clip episodes. OmnyStudio has a built-in editor where you can load in a clip and you can actually scrub through and you can make cuts In my experience, the clipping function within OmnyStudio works pretty well. It’s a web based type of a clip system and so you’re just dragging things with your mouse. The responsiveness isn’t quite what you would expect from a DAW (a digital audio work station) or an editing program on your computer. But, if you’re in a pinch, you can easily make clips from your episodes using OmnyStudio.
What I tend to do is do the editing in my software outside of OmnyStudio (which I use Logic Pro X to accomplish) and then upload the finished clip into their system. What happens next is that OmnyStudio will create a really cool widget which you can then share. You can put it on a website, you can put it on Twitter and can upload it to Facebook as a video that will auto-play whenever someone scrolls across it. On Twitter, people can listen to your podcast or the clip of your podcast right in their feed and don’t need to leave Twitter or open up another window to hear your content. They can just listen to it while they’re right there.
The video creation tool is really neat. OmnyStudio will create a video file that uses a really attractive VU meter that shows the audio. You’ve seen these before when you’ve seen EQs with the little levels bouncing up and down. It’s a 720p video, so it’s high-def and will look great on your phone or your computer. And the video uses your show’s colors and your show’s branding (totally configurable).
OmnyStudio solves a problem that a lot of podcasters have, which is how do I re-use my podcast content in other interesting ways. This is a topic that I’m going to cover a lot. In a couple of button presses, OmnyStudio opens up the possibilities for how you can distribute your podcast content for the web, for mobile and for social media.
Are you dreading creating a web site for your show? OmnyStudio will create one for you (sort of). It won’t be a full-featured website with forms and pages and things like that, but it will create an attractive site where people can browse through both your shows and your clips. I remain unconvinced of the need for a fully-featured WordPress site for my show, despite having one. I think you could just get away with having OmnyStudio handle the display of your web content but this is a matter of personal taste.
Another big challenge for podcasters and podcast producers is being able to get detailed analytics about who’s listening to their show, what devices are they listening on, what content do they listen and do they even listen at all? On Libsyn I can if people downloaded my show. But I don’t know how many people actually listened to it to completion. If you elect to share the web based player from OmnyStudio you can get more detailed information – a heat map if you will – that shows how much of a show gets listened to, or where listeners jump around or stop listening entirely.
So I couldn’t be more excited about this particular platform, so much so that I wanted to make one of the very first topics covered on Studio. It’s really gotten me to think differently about how I host podcasts and how I promote podcasts.
Have you tried OmnyStudio? What did you think about it? Or do you know of another worthy podcast hosting solution that I should take a look at! I’d love to hear about it. Get in touch with me and let me know!