289 Where Does Microsoft Stand on Podcasting Today?

by Cliff Ravenscraft on December 20, 2012

Where Does Microsoft Stand on Podcasting?
This week, I’m joined by my good friend, Rob Greenlee. Rob manages the Podcasts Marketplace on Windows Phone/Zune at Microsoft. He and I have a very lively conversation about the state of podcasting on the Windows Platform.

During our conversation, we covered a great deal of territory. Here are just a few of the fact that I recall off the top of my head. Please listen to the episode for full details on each of the following.

– The Zune desktop software still runs on on Widows 7 and on the “desktop version” of Windows 8. Note: You must leave the “metro interface” and get into the “older style desktop” to run the Zune software.

– The Zune desktop software will still sync to Windows Phone 7 and 7.8. However, it will not sync to Windows Phone 8.

– Both Windows Phone 7 and 8 have the ability to subscribe to and manage podcast subscriptions directly from the phone. On Windows Phone 7, this is under the brand of Zune Marketplace. On Windows Phone 8, this is under Xbox Music. Note: Podcasting is in not officially tied to Xbox in any way.

– There is no direct support of podcasting on Windows Surface Tablet RT. However their are a few third party applications that will allow you to subscribe to and manage podcasts. Ironically, these apps are likely pulling from the Apple Podcasts Directory API and NOT FROM the Zune Podcast Directory that Rob manages.

– There is no direct support for podcasting on the Xbox console.

– There is no longer a web version of the Zune Podcast Directory. However, the directory does still exist. Those who have the Zune Desktop software and those who have Windows Phone 7 or 8 can browse the podcasts using the methods I listed above.

– Rob’s email address has been changed from [email protected] to [email protected] (UPDATE: [email protected]). You can email him your rss feed and he will add your podcast to the directory. You can also reach him via Twitter via @RobGreenlee.

I want to personally thank Rob, on behalf of all podcasters, for the efforts that he has made to keep podcasting alive within the Microsoft platforms. I encourage everyone to reach out and thank him personally for his hard work and to encourage him to keep on fighting the good fight.

Note: Here’s the video that Rob referred to during our conversation.

Personal Plug of The Week
This week’s Personal Plug of the Week is for the Simple Life Together podcast produced by Daniel and Vanessa Hayes. Their podcast is dedicated to helping people lead a simpler life within our busy modern world.

In the episode, I mentioned Daniel’s blog post about his “World Shedquarters.” I encourage you to check it out. Daniel is an almuni of my Podcasting A to Z course and I’m honored to call him a friend. If you check out their podcast, please tell them that you heard about the from the podcast answer man!

I Knew This Day Would Come!
I’ve been in the podcasting space since 2005 and I knew that this day would come. You may have been hearing a lot of buzz about the massive growth of podcasting during 2012. I have personally witnessed the largest growth in podcasting since 2006.

Chris Brogan recently launched a new show and blogged about podcasting here: http://www.chrisbrogan.com/podcasting.

After posting his thoughts on podcasting, Chris Brogan had many requests for information about how to launch a podcast. I was very honored to read how he answer this here: http://www.chrisbrogan.com/learn-how-to-podcast.

Here In 2012, I had the honor of being a part of the launch of Michael Hyatt’s “This Is Your Life” podcast which you can find here: http://michaelhyatt.com/thisisyourlife.

Also, in 2012, I was delighted to help Michael Stelzner, of Social Media Examiner launch his Social Media Marketing podcast. You can hear him talk about what he calls “the renaissance of podcasting” here: http://gspn.tv/StelznerOnPodcasting.

I could go on, sharing examples, but these three folks are highly influential thought leaders in each of their respective fields. It’s folks like these, and their podcasts, that are finally bringing podcasting into the mainstream.

Just one year ago, I published my free Learn How To Podcast Tutorial and the first video already has over 23,000 views.

As you can imagine, 2013 is going to be an exciting year for me as I pursue my mission to help as many people as possible launch podcasts to help get their life-changing message out into the world.

Since March of 2011, I’ve completed eight sessions of my Podcasting A to Z course, helping more than 150 people launch successful podcasts. My next course starts on January 14th and I woud love to help you launch your podcast in the new year!

Everyone who signs up for Podcasting A to Z gets immediate access to all the training materials. I’ve had students who launched their podcast within the first week of the course as a result of this. Sign up using discount code “PAM” in the shopping cart and you’ll save $100.

To learn all that is included in this four week course and to reserve your spot in the next session, please go to http://PodcastingAtoZ.com.

Already Have A Podcast?
I have had many existing podcasters sign up to go through the Podcasting A to Z course. My one-on-one coaching/consulting schedule is currently booked through March, 2013. Many folks have signed up and gone through the course simply due to the fact that they get UNLIMITED ACCESS to ask me any questions that they want for a total of four weeks, they get four weekly group coaching calls, and access to all the tutorials that will help them take their existing show to a whole new level.

If you use discount code “PAM” in the shopping cart, the cost of this course is $899. That’s less than three hours of one-on-one coaching with me. So if you already have an existing podcast, go ahead and head over to http://PodcastingAtoZ.com and register today. Let’s take your existing podcast to a whole new level in 2013!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you all!

New Media Expo
New Media Expo (NMX) is coming up in just three weeks! The event is held in Las Vegas from January 6th – 8th. Be sure to use the promo code GSPN20 to get 20% off. If you are a podcaster, you simply must make it to NMX in January.

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Blue Host Affiliate Signup
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The Podcast Mastermind
One of the reasons that I love working with podcasters so much is due to the fact that they are influencing someone every single time they produce a podcast episode. The world needs great leaders! I believe that podcasters who take their leadership position seriously can make a positive difference in the lives of others. The world needs you and your message! They need you to be a leader!

Many people ask me how to grow the audience of their podcast. I believe that one of the best things you can do is to BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! To take yourself seriously! To consider yourself to be a professional!

Are you willing to invest in your future success?
Are you willing to be the greatest leader you can be?
Are you wiling to commit to your personal and professional growth?

If so, please consider joining The Podcast Mastermind!

Free Month of Media Hosting With Libsyn!
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  • I’m really hoping that podcasting takes off as well. I love it as a medium. I think it is going to become the commuters choice for audio listening as mobile data speeds and caps go up!

  • @thatnickjones It’s already on the upward trend in a very big way! 😉

  • @Cliff Ravenscraft For sure. 90% of my audio consumption is via podcast. I still listen to local sports talk radio just for the local aspect. If it was a national show I would totally listen on the podcast or possibly via web streaming radio.

  • I have to disagree on the streaming vs download, Cliff. Maybe you just have a fabulous cellular connection where you live or the latest phone (vs me), but while I would prefer to stream vs download my podcasts…It drives me absolutely BANANAS to do so. I constantly have issues with it hiccuping and freezing up…and I also find that I cannot usually fast forward or rewind either. Had this maddening issue for awhile before I figured out what was happening when I would try to fast forward and it would stop the entire podcast and go to the next episode. (Across apps, not exclusive to any one app in particular, so I assume its a streaming issue.) There’s several podcasts I listen to with commercials and I cannot stand to listen to commercials so I really need to be able to fast forward and it simply won’t do it. This is with PocketCasts and Downcasts AND the Apple Podcast app. I’ve tried all 3 and I loved them all but couldn’t stand all the issues with streaming…tried for months!
    So I stopped streaming and started downloading and the problems went away. I’m using Downcasts now, and as long as I only stream when I’m at home using wifi (and not always even then because our wifi appears to cut in and out as well. GRRRRR) but download for whenever I’m out and about, then I’m a happy camper. 
    I do have an iphone 4, if that’s relevant…so perhaps a newer iphone wouldn’t have these issues…but its what I have and that won’t be changing anytime soon. I love my phone, and I’m MUCH happier with my podcast app if I download. And I listen to podcasts CONSTANTLY. I’m a big-time multitasker! :)Anyway, just wanted to give my 2 cents! 🙂
    Savvy Homeschool Moms Podcast

  • Great to hear how he also thinks 2013 will be big podcasting.
    This was an eye opener of an episode on how one person can make a difference at a company.
    I shared this episode with a friend today to show how crazy it seems that Microsoft does not seem organized on the back end either.  It shows improvement can be made and I am sure it will.
    Thank you Cliff and Rob.
    K, bye

  • I’m wrong as two left shoes but I laughed hard and out loud quite a bit throughout the Microsoft interview. Some feedback on the whole streaming versus download deal though, I’m usually underground, out of range, or listening late at night and prefer to keep that whole process and/or inventory of podcast content specifically on the hard drive of the iPod rather than on the smart phone that I carry. Not sure if I’m an exception, but just wanted to throw that out there. I may do some additional experimentation after hearing how well it works.

  • @ButchGibson Butch, there are two people who will have a hard time switching to the “streaming” side of consuming podcast content.  1) Those who have always downloaded podcasting, before streaming was an option and 2) Those who regularly travel in places where they have no or severely limited mobile internet connections.
    However, for the thousands of brand new podcast subscribers, who are just learning about podcasting, for the very first time, are typically “streaming” their content and aren’t even aware, many times, that downloading is an option.

  • @Cliff Ravenscraft …upon reflection, and just to clarify I wanted to mention that the interview was great. You really seemed to really…really get to the bottom of what is going on over there at Microsoft and what may not be going on at Zune.net. I was just amazed and amused by some of the questions and maybe more at the answers. Keep up the good work Cliff!

  • @ButchGibson Thanks Butch.  I enjoyed doing that interview and felt that it was the perfect final episode for 2012!   Hope you have a blessed New Year celebration my friend.

  • @ButchGibson I’m in the same boat in a way. I have a 2gb data plan with AT&T and I would love to stream all of my podcasts to my iPhone, but I simply can’t due to data a caps. I realize that if I just streamed a couple episodes a month (which I do) I would be fine. I am just not in the position, as of now, to stream everything due to data caps.

  • @thatnickjones in just a few short years, the 2GB plan will be replaced with the 50GB plan and audio files will still be roughly the same size. 😉

  • robgreenlee

    @Christopher Battles My job and role at MS around podcasting is very unusual at the company. Most of the other media areas like music, TV and Movies have large number of employees dedicated to specific aspects of operating those areas on the platform. Podcasting is mostly operated and managed by me alone, but I don’t control the engineering planning process that enables functional changes to the podcasts platform. Sure, I can have an impact on internal decision making, but not investment, development and engineering decisions. I can say, that I am very hopeful that the podcast area from Microsoft will improve in 2013.

  • @robgreenlee Thank Rob.  It shows the difference a person can make.  As Cliff pointed out, you are helping the whole community.
    K, bye

  • @tinamama Tina, I am so sorry that I am only just now seeing this.  Somehow, it got caught in my spam filter and i just went in to check it and clean it out and found this wonderful comment here.
    I totally understand where you are coming from.  I know that not every area has 4G LTE with 10 to 20 megs per second.  I do believe that those who do have access to these faster networks are more likely to stream on demand than download on demand.  And I do believe that faster interent speeds are coming to more and more locations.
    I made about three five our road trips to Nashville each year.  Until this year, I couldn’t even maintain a phone call between Louisville KY and Bowling Green, KY.  However, this year, they had added new radio towers and I was able to do a full Google Hangout on my iPad with no issues at all.
    There will always be a place for downloading.  
    Thank you so much for taking the time to share your point of view on this topic.
    I hope you have an amazing week! Sincerely, Cliff

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