Commentary

Clammr Lets Fans, Hosts Share Podcast Snippets On Social Media

If a producer--or a just a good fan-- wants to distribute a hilarious John Oliver video clip to the masses, it can be easily done. And It’s obviously easy to find news clips of Donald Trump’s dumbest, most pig-headed solutions and link to the piece on social media.

But sharing audio from podcasts is just not done, not easily and as a result, really, not much at all. And that, despite the fact they enjoy great demographics--mostly young, mostly mobile users.

That’s the gap a new service called Clammr, that officially debuts today, aims to fill. It makes it easier for podcast producers--and listeners--to pick out a snippet from a podcast that’s shareable on social networks, and literally, spread the word.  Because on  social sharing platforms, podcasts personalities are invisible, and that’s a pun that works literally and figuratively.

With Clammr, a Twitter or Facebook user, for example,  will be confronted with a graphical display, say of Marc Maron, and a sliding audio sound bar.  For up to 24 seconds, they hear a choice clip from Maron’s podcast that has been “clammred” by a listener who’s used the Clammr widget on the podcast site to create it, or by the podcast producers themselves. (It's pretty simple.)

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Social network pals hear that audio sample, accompanied by a graphical display of the text, and then can click to be taken to hear the entire piece.

Co-creators David Silverman, in Los Angeles, and  Parviz Parvizi in Boston,  love  imagining the prospect their brand new baby may soon become a shorthand verb for audio sharing. That seems pretty possible, based on early results from their beta tests.

Silverman says that “on average, every share results in 10 additional plays on social media. That’s kind of a big deal. That’s unheard of. It’s really a game changer for podcasts.”  The Clammr site also sort of organizes podcasts, by types and favorites. 

The audio social-sharing service has deals  with Libsyn, Blubrry, Spreaker, Buzzsprout, Podbean, Simple Podcast Press, Podcast Websites and  Awesound, that  are behind more than 85,000 podcasts globally. (There are around 120,000 podcasts out there, though that’s a fungible figure.)  PodcastOne, Midroll, Sideshow Network, and Westwood One are Clammr launch partners, which brings  together all the giants in the biz.

Users can register and browse podcasts at www.clammr.com, or download the iOS app. There’s no Android one yet, but the Website will suffice. Most avid podcast listeners use Apple devices because iTunes popularized the idea, but, as a public radio exec told them, didn’t push to exploit it.  

Indeed, Clammr.com could be a lot of things it still isn’t, and it still hasn’t hit on a monetization angle, though, obviously, there are plenty of them. The idea could go in a lot of directions. 

Parvizi acknowledges music labels could use Clammr. com to promote artists and albums, but the founders decided against going that route now, in part because of the thicket of right issues.

“We decided we really should focus on solving one problem before expanding to other persons and places,” Parvizi says.

They did make one important change. As recently as a week, ago, the audio clips’ maximum length was just 18 seconds.  But they began hearing back from podcast creators and upped it by six seconds.

“It’s not like they’re making podcasts with short snippets in mind,” Silverman says. Almost the opposite is true. “Twenty-four seconds gives them extra breathing room, so if they stumble on a word or pause, it’s all right.” And he says it turns out NPR has done research that shows the genesis of a public radio “driveway moment” in which motorists stay to hear the end of a radio story even though they’ve reached their destination, is 20 seconds.

pj@mediapost.com

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