Podcasting 2.0 is revolutionizing podcasting for podcasters, audiences, and developers. Here are what I think are the best features you should try now, if you can.

For extra context, listen to my previous episode about Podcasting 2.0 and why it matters.

Some of these features are still in development. Visit our new Podcasting2.org website to see the apps and publishing/hosting tools that support these features. (In the near future, CanIPodcast.com will let you see the complete overview of what features are supported where.)

1. Cross-app comments

When I recently attended Podfest Multimedia Expo, I was talking with a woman interested to know more about Podcasting 2.0. She lit up with excitement over two things: cross-app comments and live streaming.

The vision of cross-app comments is simple. Imagine being able to comment on an episode you're listening without leaving your podcast app! Even better, others can reply to you from their different podcast apps!

This is what cross-app comments will allow: audience comments from multiple podcast apps but all going into the same stream of activity so you and others can engage from preferred apps.

While I think this is the most exciting feature for everyone, it's also proving to be the most complicated to implement. Developers have to think about performance, data portability, authentication, and giving you moderation control. But when these features are all solved, this will be a dynamite feature!

And the best part is that this engagement can occur completely without leaving the podcast app! (But there will be other systems to let you monitor and engage with your audience. For example, I'll be building this into Podgagement whenever the development issues are resolved.)

2. Live streaming

When I spoke with that woman at Podfest, the other thing she was most excited about was the ability to live-stream with live engagement directly into her audience's podcast apps.

That's what the “live item tag” (or sometimes called “LIT”) is designed to do!

Live-streaming isn't a good fit for all podcasts or podcasters. It presents a whole new layer of complexity and multiple distractions. But when you can manage it well, live-streaming is a fantastic way to engage your most loyal audience in real-time.

Podcasting 2.0's live feature will let you live-stream directly into the modern podcast apps. You start by scheduling your upcoming event, and your audience will see that in their apps. When you go live, you audience can receive push notifications and then jump to listening or watching live. There's even the potential to have your chat room there, too!

Best of all, this is all right inside your audience's podcast app! They won't have to leave to listen or watch on a separate page, they can engage without leaving their preferred podcast app!

Apps can even do smart things like automatically marking the later downloaded episode as played if the audience already played it live.

Learn more about the Podcasting 2.0 live streaming feature from Dave Jackson and me in The Future of Podcasting!

3. Micropayments

Don't let the “micro” part of “micropayments” make you think they're small and worthless!

Podcasting 2.0 enables you to receive financial support in any amount from your audience by leveraging the power of Bitcoin, specifically through the faster and cheaper Lightning Network. This is most commonly measured in Satoshis (abbreviated “sats” or “§”), which are 100 millionth of a Bitcoin. Here's the quick hack (at least for US Dollars) to understand the value. Every 1,000§ is worth the current value of Bitcoin in cents. So if Bitcoin is $45,000, then 1,000§ is worth 45¢.

This allows your audience to give as little as a few pennies to as much as they value your podcast—thus why this feature is called “Value for Value” and uses the <podcast:value> RSS tag.

But it doesn't stop there! Your audience can set their podcast app to stream the payments to you for every minute they listen to your podcast! So even something that seems as small as 100§ per minute would be 3,000§ for a 30-minute podcast. If Bitcoin is worth $45,000, that streaming payment would convert to $1.35—and that's 54 times as much as that one listener would be worth to an advertiser paying the common $25 CPM!

These kinds of “micropayments” would be nearly worthless or even impossible with common payment methods like PayPal or credit cards, who usually take a flat fee around 50¢ plus around 3% of the transaction!

Listen to my past episode, “Are Podcasting 2.0 Micropayments Worth It?” and read about “Value 4 Value” to learn more!

4. Super chapters

Shoutout to Dovydas from RSSBlue.com for coining the term “super chapters,” and I love it!

We've had chapters in podcasting since 2005, but they've always been very limited. They could only contain a title, a optional link, and an optional image. They were also embedded in the media file, so updating your chapters would mean replacing your media file. And that limitation meant that none of your audience who already downloaded the episode would be able to see anything new in the chapters.

Podcasting 2.0's “super chapters” build on these legacy features and move the chapters into an external metadata file.

Simply by being in an external file, you can now update the chapters anytime. And modern podcast apps are smart enough to check for updated chapters when your audience engages with your episodes.

The optional chapter images are also external URLs, allowing you to swap out the images anytime, or even do cool things like dynamically generated images with promotions, countdowns, dates, and more!

At this time, Podcasting 2.0 chapters still support only the same title, URL, and image fields like legacy chapters. But that will change soon with support for image galleries, videos, blocks of text, polls, and more!

5. Transcripts

I've long seen that transcripts were mostly a waste in the podcasting space. Transcripts are usually low-quality written content and thus are difficult to read and perform very poorly for search-engine optimization (SEO). Some podcasters would even relegate their transcripts to a separate download through their website, making them even less accessible for anyone who might actually need the transcripts for accessibility!

But Podcasting 2.0 changed that! Now, you can link to your episode transcripts (best in SRT or VTT file formats) right from your podcast RSS feed, and smart podcast apps will see them and even give your audience to see your line-by-line transcript in real time with your spoken content! Check out Steno.fm to see how it can highlight portions of the transcript as those words are being spoken.

It's “closed captions” for podcasts!

And the big surprise of 2024 was that Apple announced official support for Podcasting 2.0 transcripts starting with iOS 17.4! This is huge because it's the first Podcasting 2.0 feature Apple has supported! And since Apple is still an industry leader and trendsetter in podcasting, you can expect to see a lot of other popular apps start to support the same podcast standard. And that could also open the floodgates to much broader Podcasting 2.0 support!

Dave Jackson and I discussed the many implications of Apple's support for Podcasting 2.0 transcripts in this episode of The Future of Podcasting.

How can you use Podcasting 2.0?

My ultimatum is this: if your current podcast-publishing tool doesn't deeply support Podcasting 2.0 by now, switch!

Your four best options right now are:

  1. Blubrry with PowerPress on WordPress
  2. Captivate
  3. Buzzsprout
  4. Combine Podcast Mirror with your RSS feed from any legacy hosting provider

I spoke more about these hosting options in my previous episode/article, “Best Podcast Hosting Providers (2024).”

And if you're wondering how to make and use transcripts, that's what I'll talk about in my next episode!

Engage your audience and grow your podcast!

Do you ever feel like your podcast is stuck? Like you're pouring your heart into your podcast but it seems like no one is listening?

Try Podgagement to help you engage your audience and grow your podcast!

Get speakable pages to simplify engaging with your audience, accept voicemail feedback (with automatic transcripts), track your ratings and reviews from nearly 200 places, and more!

Ask your questions or share your feedback

  • Comment on the show notes
  • Leave a voicemail at (903) 231-2221
  • Email feedback@TheAudacitytoPodcast.com (audio files welcome)

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Disclosure

This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship. I may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.

About the Author
As an award-winning podcaster, Daniel J. Lewis gives you the guts and teaches you the tools to launch and improve your own podcasts for sharing your passions and finding success. Daniel creates resources for podcasters, such as the SEO for Podcasters and Zoom H6 for Podcasters courses, the Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin for WordPress, the My Podcast Reviews global-review aggregator, and the Podcasters' Society membership for podcasters. As a recognized authority and influencer in the podcasting industry, Daniel speaks on podcasting and hosts his own podcast about how to podcast. Daniel's other podcasts, a clean-comedy podcast, and the #1 unofficial podcast for ABC's hit drama Once Upon a Time, have also been nominated for multiple awards. Daniel and his son live near Cincinnati.
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