Todd, it's so good to have you on the show. I'm glad to be here. Looking forward to having a discussion. Well, you are the CEO of blueberry podcasting, a podcast media company that represents over 100,000 audio and video podcasters in which your company provides advertising opportunities, media distribution, hosting, media, statistics, and a lot of other services. And I would love for you beyond that. That's just a quick overview. Tell us more about the impact that you're having in the world with raw voice with blueberry. Am I saying that right, blueberry? Yeah, absolutely. Blueberry without ease, because we couldn't afford them.
Yeah, so give me more of a deep dive. But yeah, you know, blueberry, podcasting was really launched. And then parent company, Rob voice was launched on an idea, and really was being in the right place at the right time, being able to help put money into podcasters pockets. Initially, we were initially 100%, doing advertising opportunities for podcasters, as early as 2005. So that's going back aways. And then as the market place really expanded over the years and opportunities become available, we really had this mindset that content creators really are really deserved on their own brand. On their own.com You see so many content creators, now they're on a variety of platforms, including YouTube and other places that may get demonetized. Or they you know, they're really not in control of their destiny. So one of the favorite settings I sayings I've had over the years is that you never build your castle on rented land. And I feel that's the same way with people that build brands and build podcasts. So a lot of our tools and services was really designed to allow independent content creators, like yourself to build their brand on there.com. And basically will be the back end for those platforms being able to provide the services and tools and analytics for a content creator, to be able to, to publish, to be able to create content to be able to analyze what's going on with their shows and to grow. And it's really a mantra that we really live by day to day. And while we do offer typical solutions where the podcaster doesn't have to have their own.com we really focus on helping those in the best way possible. Those that do, including our PowerPress plugin for WordPress that's used by so many podcasters today to power their podcast. So in essence, really, it was empowering podcasters to build their brands and and build their businesses or their voice or their consulting or whatever they may do it and not all podcasters in this business, some of them just having friends and having a discussion. But we wanted to serve all and make sure that we kept their best interests at heart. And many times people use our our content or use our services don't even know that listeners would never know that they're using blueberry podcasting because we really focus on allowing those content creators to build their brands. I think that goes a long ways answering some of the questions you're probably going to ask about, you know, what are we doing good for, for our clients that's really helping them do the best for them, or at least trying to steer them the right direction?
Yeah, I love that insight, too, because you are leveraging the power of voice and the power of someone's message and giving them the tools. I know, blueberry has been around for a while now. And one thing I've seen is
a lot of new platforms, podcasting platforms coming out over the last couple years. And just the podcasting platform, although in a form, right, like radio, it's been around for much longer than video and that accessibility,
what types of opportunities and even the future of podcasting. What's What's that vision that you see as blueberry expands and you continue to serve more of your audience. You know, if you think about the podcasting space and goes back to his origins in 2004, really the origin was that there were no gatekeepers, and that anyone, literally anyone could create a pie
I guess down early days, it was tough technically. And companies like ours and others made it a lot easier to publish their shows. So now, really over probably the past six, seven or eight years, what has really happened in the space is that that vision of everyone be able to create content with no gatekeepers has really led to women, and my leading content creation, women of color coming in hot and heavy, underrepresented voices. So really, now we've gotten to the point where truly anyone that wants to create a podcast and have their voice heard and hear their message are able to do so in some cases with some providers free. And then some providers like us for a nominal monthly service fee.
Again, like you said, 567 years ago, maybe by competitors, now there's probably 25. But what our ultimate goal is, again, is our vision is really helping content creators grow. Because it seems to be the case, it seems to be the question that comes up the most is Todd, how do I how do I grow my show. And oftentimes, while I can't teach you to be a better content creator, I can give you information that you can digest easily, to be able to make decisions about your content to say, okay, maybe we need to change here or do something a little different and give you the tools to do that. But the but the space has been on a continuous steady growth path.
During COVID, there was definitely a spike, because we saw people staying, if people were home, they had time to do more than one show. Maybe they were experimenting with podcasting. And that growth rate has come back down to normal historic growth rate levels. Because we saw this big blip now it's it's kind of come back down. And now it's continuing to grow up. It's never been this explosive
growth in space. And there's been inflection points have happened over the years. So really, in Ultimately, what we want see, as podcasts grow more globally, you know the number of people that understand what a podcast is in the United States as well defined, same with Canada and UK. But when we get into, you know, the rest of the world, podcasting is typically, you know, maybe five to seven, maybe eight years behind. So we're excited to see, you know, countries like India, where all of a sudden podcasts are starting to explode Brazil, Spain, where those, those countries are having content in their native languages, not specifically English. And even though there is a lot of English created podcasts in some of those countries, I'm excited about the international growth of the space and what it really can mean for information. So there's just like YouTube, YouTube has got this plethora of creators from all over the world submitting content. And I think what will happen is podcasting will continue to grow into that and will have this big, huge international base of podcasters out there spreading the message where and the missions or whatever they may be looking to get out, you know, as part of their part of their podcast content.
Yeah, again, like I love that, that envisioning of what it's, you know what the future looks like for podcasting. Because we've already seen so much growth, as if you've mentioned over the last five to 10 years, the tools are more accessible. And with something like blueberry existing in it just a very accessible not only in a very affordable price of investment, but a way to host and then distribute it to your own platform, your own website, by way of a WordPress plugin. And those tools and just make it easy like that is incredible. And I love the idea of doubling down on the different languages and perspectives. I'm a huge believer in the power of travel, and diversity of thoughts and perspectives and making them more accessible to more countries is an incredible vision to shoot for and to build. You know, and I've always said, I don't care where people listen long as they listen. So when now we have so many different distribution points and even podcasts being consumed on YouTube. It's It's pretty amazing. The thing is, it's all about just making the content available. And it doesn't matter if it's on Apple doesn't matter if it's on a external podcast app we're putting on Spotify or Pandora or Amazon, we really don't care. The ultimate goal is is with the open nature of podcasting and RSS being the you know, we don't want to get technical here but being the transmitter of podcasting, we're really got the ability to be anywhere and not have to sign a big contract to be in that distribution platforms. So I think this is what makes podcasting truly unique. In that it is probably the last bastion of true free speech. Because even some people that you may disagree with that maybe get delisted off some sites their podcast still live on, because of the simple fact that it can't be controlled. That's good and bad. But at the same point, it really allows commercial interests to be held at bay, so that we don't have this lock up of content. I think that's the last thing we'd ever want to see in the podcasting space is all of a sudden, notice people are assigned deals. And that's great, you know, cashier's checks and be be merry. But at the same time, I think for the majority of podcasters, just being able to have this wide distribution is something really unique, even today in the world that we live in for, for content, social media and everything else. Yeah, and I'm so glad to share that because it does, I would agree, it does kind of stand there as a, I would say, a beacon of light in some ways for free speech that sometimes even across other countries beyond a free country like America, we're both web based, is it gives people that that literal voice to to get their message out there and to have free speaking that can be accessible, hopefully, right to all people and all backgrounds.
What would you say? Is with web 3.0? I feel like there's a lot of conversations happening around that. How do you see podcasting and even blueberry fitting into the web 3.0 conversation and that that future of the web, you know, I think web 3.0 And you maybe in correct me if I'm wrong is really about establishing me or you are spot. And I think podcasting fits that perfectly. In that I run my own diet, my own.com for my own website, I believe that's place people should be should either originate and then move out, or vice versa.
They always my audience knows knows where my website is i i kind of commonly referred to it comically as Moonbase Alpha, young people know where they can come back to find the primary source of the content, including additional stuff I put out there, or funnels or merch or anything else. So I think really, where it fits in is I think we're already went through, I think podcasting fits that definition. As far as I know, in that we're not relying on Facebook, or Twitter, or any of these other platforms to we can build our communities. But the main thing is, is still our origination point of the content can be from our own websites, not all podcast hosts operate that way. Sometimes you're with a host that maybe your content originates on their website. And that often challenges me when I tell podcasters, you know, changing business models, could really an end your podcast, so why not make sure you have a place to call home with it. So I think from that web point, web 3.0 initiative, I think we're pretty much there. And again, I'm not an expert on web three. But that's kind of my background on how I see it. Yeah, yeah. When I love the insight to because in a lot of ways, yeah, web web three, a lot of it, like you said is the conversation of me if putting the voice and ownership behind the creator of the content, whether that is voice content, like podcasting, you know, and the shows like that, or if it's more digital content stuff that's going to be more for the metaverse and other virtual reality experiences. And I think the power of voice in that is is powerful. And I think another unique thing that I wanted to definitely reiterate, is something that say video doesn't share which video is a big part of our business, that video supply.com Is the syndication power and the repurposing power of podcasting, you can put it through through one RSS feed, and it's syndicated and distributed on all these other channels. And then again, like you said, around free speech, if one or multiple channels cancel you or stop your feed in some form, you still have ownership around that source channel to get your message out there. And I love that kind of creator ownership, that to me, it really speaks to web 3.0. And something that's already in place has been in place for years now with podcasting and I would say you know, something like what your company is up to, is really spearheading that, that ownership as a creator. One way to look at it is, you know, if you look at an example as a YouTuber, if they do something wrong, their channel can just be canceled. Yeah. And what recourse does that person they have none
And where as in podcasting, and if you long as you pay your hosting bill, and your renewal fee for your.com, or dot show or whatever you may have for a level domain, your content will still exist. And even if you get to the point where you are maybe not even built for that hosting build, there are alternatives on where to go store that content in different platforms and allow that content to live on for a very long time. And nothing is guaranteed forever. You know, but I think that we're at a point today where there's so much media being created.
And so many commercial interests, I think we have to be really careful where we, where we really focus on now, I have a YouTube channel, I've got Instagram, I've got Twitter, all that stuff. And I use those platforms a lot. And I think people should, I think that's a great way to do it. When I started podcasting, none of that existed, we only had her website. So I understand the value in social and all that stuff that happens there. But at the same time, I'm in this for the long haul, that when someone has a change in business plans, and they don't like my content and or it's just not discoverable anymore, because of some a logarithm, I will still at least be online and those that I'm reaching will still be able to get to the content. And that's really kind of way out there. Because 99.9% of shows will never be the platform. But it does happen left and right. Politically, which is kind of crazy. And and I don't normally talk about that. But it does happen from time to time. Yeah, yeah, it does. Well, and it's something that to me, it goes back to the source of the material and having that, like complete ownership and freedom of expression of communication. So I'm at your website right now. And so blueberry is the child company right to rob voice, your main parent company? What can you tell us more about beyond the hosting, and the software side that blueberry does? What does Rob voice bring to the world? And how does that help? podcasters. Yeah, raw voice was is was the parent company. And if we'd have been really thinking about it, we just stuck with that name all the way through, and it was perfect.
But instead, the circumstance and what was happening with the word podcasting at the time really drove us to use the word blueberry podcasting, and how it originally was Rob waist used to have a tagline called fresh organic media. So raw voice is the parent company that writes a check to my employees or team members. And you know, it's where your subscription service payment goes to. But in essence, blueberry itself is made up of a great diverse team. We have great people that work at the company. And we really have this vision of you know, really, again, empowering podcasters. And it really doesn't get any much more complicated than that. We definitely have a roadmap of things that we are looking to bring to market. We just announced yesterday, the ability for our clients to create a podcast media kit without having to go pay for one or someone designed, it comes part of the service. So again, it's really about continuing to give the content creators that work with us the ability to and it's right on our website, publish, analyze, grow. And then some other kicker words like succeed or interact. And we really try to live by by that mantra. And again, we have customers from really someone that's doing a podcast literally in their closet to a multi mega corporations in a you know, fortune 50. But we work across that entire ecosphere, and really treated check, treat everyone equally, and give them our time as the best we can to help them with their shows. And it's one of the reasons why we have phone support, we want to be able to someone will pick up a call and say, pick up the phone call, say hey, I got a problem. So often now stuff is impersonal stuck in email. So that's one of the I guess the main differences if you're looking for not necessarily a different shape, a different differentiator, if I can say that correctly.
But I think that the the team is also made up of a large number of content creators. So every one of our team members understands the value of the podcast space itself. It's you know, I'm one of the few actual podcast company owners and I do have co owners that does a podcast and I think that you have to be able to be creating content and being the grind to understand what your customers are growing through. So large, large part of our team podcast and that's not cannot be said of most other companies in the space, which I think is truly, truly discouraging because they don't truly understand the challenges most content creators have. For a while we'll be honest with you, we knocked our head against the wall for content creator
was thinking that they could just and nothing knocking anchor, they've done great things in the space and opened up and allowed people to host for free. I'm not I'm not going to dog them on that. It made us all separate game up. But I think the, you know, going back to making content creators or it doesn't matter if they're a content creator or if their business owner or whatever it may be this brand building on the internet, and having your, your place to call home is super, super critical. And time and time again, we've seen shows have extinction events, because somebody changed something or they they basically you run out of money or whatever it may be, if I run out of money, but my company runs out of money, our podcast platform, that we're the plugin doesn't quit working, it works autonomously. And no one will have an extinction event, they may have to find a new host if they're hosting with us. But the main thing is, they own their staff. And so really think the the message we're trying to get out to anyone that's creators, you know, use these tools, like I was talking about the YouTube and these other platforms. But man, oh man have a place to call home, that Moonbase Alpha. And if you need if you can make content creators understand that, not only are they going to get good value over time, because of the Google search engine and getting discovery.
You're not competing, being on a third party site with 500 other shows that two or three of them might be doing things there that might be causing the Google rank of that host site to go down. So own your brand and controlling your destiny. I mean, it's just, I've been pounding this for many, many years, and be honest with you, I used to get criticized on it. And so people now are starting to go Oh,
yeah, that's why. And so I think that's what we're, you know, but we always look for is just get that message out. And doesn't mean if they use they can use any hosting provider. You know, the key is because it's commoditized. But I think that as long as creators understand build your brand on on a non rented land, I think it'd be good. So where can people go in and join your, your, your platform, become a part of blueberry, and get all of the amazing value that you provide? Sure anyone can get a you know, it's just blueberry.com Blueberry without the ease again, and come over visit the website, we make it easy for you to get started. If you want to start a podcast, get free trial, you can come over just explore the website, there's a huge stack of information about educating yourself about podcasting. There's a podcast manual, we have a podcast directory where you can consume a variety podcasts a sample just like you do on many other platforms. But I think the main thing that we really focus on is really helping that creator get get started in getting to Episode One. And my team really is there to help you get to that point. And we you know, we have online calls every couple of weeks to invite new podcasters in to answer their questions. But again, just come on blueberry.com explore around, you've got to do a free trial, just click the Free Trial button get started. Again, there's no obligation don't even have to enter a credit card. And if you decide this is not for me, you can kick yourself out and, and, and go someplace out there, but we don't want you to but if you want to, it's fine. But I think that
having been in the space long a long time we we've pretty much seen it all. So I think our team members can help most podcasters get started. Yeah, I love that definitely Go Blue air.com. We'll provide all the information for it. Todd and his team at this has been so valuable. I love hearing your perspective on this. And I can guarantee that you guys could go check out everything Todd has to offer. He knows his stuff. Of course, he's the expert in this space. I Todd, thank you so much for joining us. Yeah, thank you for having me. And if anyone wants to reach out to me personally, it's simple. It's firstname.lastname@example.org and follow us on social. Thank you for having me unappreciated. Perfect thanks.