New Embed Players

We’re excited to announce our new family of embed players. We quietly launched this new suite of players two weeks ago and we are delighted to start seeing them used in the wild.

In keeping with everything else we build here at Simplecast, we asked ourselves what was important in a player for our customers and what were some features that the majority of listeners would use on a regular basis – and we eliminated the rest.

You will notice nice imagery now to enhance the listening experience and build the show’s brand even if the player is embedded somewhere other than your site. We also decided that it would be nice to accept donations to support your show no matter where it goes. If you have donations enabled for your show, the dollar icon will show for listeners to be able to pay through our Stripe integration.

Next, we added the iTunes badges directly into the players because we know that adding subscribers to your shows is the foundation to building your audience. We also knew that promoting our own brand wasn’t in your best interest as a host, so we opted to remove our own branding from the players.

New Large Player with Image Background

New Medium Player in Dark and Light

Small, Classic Players in Dark and Light

We really hope you enjoy these new players and we look forward to improving them along the way.

The Progressive Redesign of Simplecast

Today marks the first release of our new progressive redesign of Simplecast. You may be asking what is a “progressive redesign” and why are you doing it? The short answer is, we have completely redesigned Simplecast from the ground up to be even more simple, but we’ve decided to gradually release the new design and features at a pace that makes everyone comfortable.

After rebuilding our entire backend and moving over to .com from .fm, we’ve been releasing new features every two weeks. This is part of our internal philosophy to always be improving and to always be simplifying. After three years of solid use of our platform, we’re able to study and get feedback about behaviors and needs that inform our daily decisions on how to get better.

We want our clients to feel confident that the product is constantly and consistently being improved for performance, function, reliability and of course, simplicity.

This new strategy of evolution means that the interface moves forward in functionality, while simultaneously getting more simple, clear and direct. We’re learning how to get you what you need, when you need it, and removing or hiding the things that don’t necessarily need to be in your everyday workflow.

For the first stage, we’ve decided to strip back anything that wasn’t necessary or that didn’t add to your experience of hosting, supporting and sharing your great shows.

We hope that you enjoy the latest update and last week’s update for accepting donations. You can expect some great design improvements in the coming weeks, along with a serious upgrade to what our embeddable players can do for you.

As always, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

We couldn’t do this without you.

Announcing Donations

We always strive to be the easiest way to publish your podcast. Since we’re not a venture-backed company, we have to charge for our services, but that didn’t stop us from asking, “How can we make our service free?”.

After thinking long and hard, we realized that this wasn’t enough. We wanted to know how we could make using Simplecast “better than free”. We know that part of supporting a podcast means trying to find advertisers and taking donations. You can sign up for an ad network or a service like Patreon, but that just adds more steps… more complexity.

So today, we’re announcing the ability to take donations through a new Stripe integration. After some deliberation and talking with Jason Fried, we also decided to make this free for our podcasters. We want to see you succeed and make a living off of your shows for years to come.

Just login to your Simplecast account and you’ll see a new menu item called “Donations”. You can connect a Stripe account with the click of a button.

Donations in Simplecast

Once you’ve added your Stripe details, a donations icon will automagically appear on your Simplecast custom site.

Donations on Happy Monday

We hope you love this new feature. It’s the first of many more to come very soon. These are exciting times at Simplecast HQ. Oh, and you might be asking yourself, “But what about the other thing? What about the ad networks?”. Well, come back to this site, because we’ve got something cooking for that too.

Deep Linking Using Time Jump

Happy New Year everyone! We’ve integrated Dave Rupert’s wonderful TimeJump library into Simplecast hosted sites, allowing you to create deep links to any point in time for a single episode.

For example, let’s say you’d like to create a link to the 10 minute 45 second point of an episode. If you’re the Reboot podcast, you would create a link like this:

http://rebootshow.fm/1/#t=00:10:45

When the link is followed, TimeJump will fast-forward the episode to that point in time and start playing. It’s also very handy for creating show notes that link to certain points in your episode.

It works with multiple formats:
http://rebootshow.fm/1/#t=00:10:45
http://rebootshow.fm/1/#t=10:45
http://rebootshow.fm/1/#t=645

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to use TimeJump right now if you embed a Simplecast audio player into your own site.

Big thanks to Dave for creating TimeJump. Check out his ShopTalk podcast if you have a chance. It’s pretty great!

Simplecast Redesign

Today is an exciting day here at Simplecast! Not only have we done a complete rebranding effort, but we’ve completely redesigned both the website and the app.

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We’re not even a year old yet, but we’ve already seen so many changes and today’s redesign just sets the pace for what we hope to accomplish this coming year. 

We’ve seen a lot of growth over the past few months and the feedback from our great customers has been invaluable. We put Simplecast out there to first see if other people needed it as much as we did, and then once you said “yes”, to build it into a solid and lasting product.

Today’s rebrand and redesign is the first step into showing Simplecast users that we’re dedicated to doing just that.

Go check out the new Simplecast right now!

Updated Players, Twitter Cards and Custom Favicons

Hello podcasters! A few noteworthy Simplecast updates to let you all know about.

Updated Audio Players

Dave Rupert recently made some great points about the need for a more podcast-specific audio player, and we agree, so we built it! Now, for any embedded Simplecast player, or for the player on your Simplecast website, you’ll see three new options: 30 second rewind, mute/unmute, and a 1x/1.5x/2x playback speed button.

They’re automatically disabled on mobile devices as feature support is limited at best. Additionally, you have the option to default to the older, simpler player if you’d like by changing the ‘Simplify Audio Player Controls’ setting in your ‘Podcast Settings’.

If you stick with it, you’ll see a player like this:

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Twitter Cards

If you’re taking advantage of custom sites hosted through Simplecast, we now include all the necessary tags in your HTML to support Twitter Cards. Before they’re active though, you’ll still need to verify and request that your domain be approved. It’s a simple procedure. Once that’s done and approved, anytime a link to your site is tweeted, people will see a bit more information before they follow the link. Something a little bit like:

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Custom Favicons

We know site customization if important. If you’d like to replace the favicon on your Simplecast hosted site with one of your choosing, you can now do just that! Simply upload a favicon image in your ‘Website Settings’ and we’ll serve it up in 3 sizes.

Everything’s available right now. More to come in the near future!

Additional Insight into Your Audience

We think it’s important over here at Simplecast to keep track of listenership. We’ve cleaned up a few of the charts to make them a bit easier to digest. In addition to being able to see how many listeners you have and when they’re listening, we’ve also just added two new ways to gain insight into your audience:

Listener Locations

It’s always interesting to see where in the world your audience is listening from. Now you can. You might even find a few surprises in there!

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Listening Methods

Quickly see what type of software your audience is using to listen to your podcast. There’s a wide-variety of software out there – you might even find something new. 

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As always, we’ll keep on the lookout for new and interesting ways to sift through listener data. Let us know if there’s anything else you like to see!

Enjoy!

Custom Sites, Domains, CSS, Typekit and More

Today marks a huge leap at Simplecast. Jon has just pushed new updates that include: hosted custom sites, the ability to use custom domains, support for sponsors, multiple users per account, Typekit integration, the ability to use your own custom CSS and a new annual pricing tier.

Custom Sites

One of the biggest challenges to starting a podcast or audio blog is having to setup or create a website to support it. Now all you have to do is upload your audio file and choose one of the many themes inside of Simplecast. Then you’re off and running.

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Custom Domains

I’ve never had a project that didn’t need its own domain name separate from the platform. Simplecast is no different. Today, you can easily connect your site with your own custom domain name straight from your account.

Sponsor Support

One of the best ways to support your podcast or audio blog is through sponsorship. Now you can add sponsor logos and add links to whatever custom link they might provide.

Multiple Users

You asked and we listened. Most of the podcasts on the Simplecast platform have more than one person involved. Now you can have more than one person managing a single account.

Typekit Integration

What’s a website without our favorite site for serving up custom fonts? Typekit integration is now available for creating unique site font choices.

Custom CSS

If having a custom site, custom domain and custom fonts isn’t custom enough, you can now add your own CSS to customize your Simplecast site even further. Have a site for your existing podcast but want the ease of a Simplecast site? Grab your styles and port them right over.

Hats off to Jon for working so hard to push out these new features. We’ve always wanted these new updates and features in Simplecast, and finally today, they are a reality.

And guess what? They’re all available today at no extra cost! Enjoy!

Listener Statistics

A number of you asked for it, and we’ve answered – more comprehensive listener statistics. You now have a few extra options to help you gain some insight into your audience. 

Overall Listens can now be viewed in three ways: Past 3 Weeks, Last Year, and All Time.

Listens per Episode is a new addition. Individual episodes can also be viewed in the same three ways: Past 3 Weeks, Last Year, and All Time. This should help to give you a good look into how older episodes are performing.

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In addition to the new statistics, we’ve improved how listens are calculated and added in filtering to remove obvious duplicate listens. You should now see a more accurate view of your audience.

As always, please let us know of any other features you’re wishing for and we’ll see if we can make them a reality. There’s a handful of other types of statistics we’re playing around with and we’ll let you know when those are ready!