Podcast Episode 12

The AI-Powered Journey Revolutionizing Podcasting

Melinda Wittstock, Founder of Podopolo, unveils the transformative impact of AI on podcasting in this insightful episode. Delve into how Podopolo’s AI revolutionizes podcast discovery, boosts recommendation engines, and empowers content creators. Melinda’s collaborative spirit, reflected in the platform’s API, aims to elevate the entire podcasting industry. Gain a glimpse into future trends, from generative content to AI-driven marketing solutions, as Melinda anticipates exciting opportunities for the podcasting landscape. Join the conversation and discover the game-changing potential of AI in shaping the future of podcasting.

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Ryan: Welcome, everyone, to the AiFounders podcast show. Our podcast is dedicated to celebrating the remarkable accomplishments of AI innovators, entrepreneurs, and visionary founders and the captivating stories behind the movements they’ve built. I’m your host, Ryan Davies, and I have the honor of hosting today’s episode on the AI-powered journey revolutionizing podcasting with our special guest, Melinda Wittstock.

Melinda: Ryan, it’s great to be with you.

Ryan: I’m so excited for this one. When we talk about podcasting, that’s something I’m interested in, and a lot of our listeners are, too. For our listeners, here’s a brief intro: Melinda Wittstock is a CEO, founder, and serial entrepreneur known for revolutionizing podcasting with her AI-powered platform, Podopolo. Over 30 years of experience in media and technology. Melinda brings deep cross-disciplinary expertise to her current venture. She’s passionate about social impact, which is evident in Podopolo’s gamified approach, committing to donate 10% of earnings to charitable causes. There’s a lot we can go through, but I’d rather our people hear from you.

Melinda: Yes, there’s so much potential here. The first obvious way is around our mission to revolutionize podcast discovery. It’s hard for fans to discover new podcasts around their interests and for podcasters to be discovered. Our AI acts as a matchmaker, featuring 6 million podcasts in all languages and genres. Imagine transcribing and analyzing hundreds of millions of episodes in real-time, detecting topics, sentiments, sarcasm, understanding speaker identity, and more. This supercharges our recommendation engine, revolutionizing discovery, helping podcasters grow their audience, and providing new ways to monetize content.

Why is it important? It boosts our recommendation engine, revolutionizes discovery, helps podcasters grow their audience, and provides new ways to monetize content. The AI addresses the issue where 98% of podcasters don’t qualify for advertising due to a lack of data. With more insights into the audience and specific podcast content, even smaller podcasts can qualify for advertising, making them more effective and relevant for listeners and advertisers.

Ryan: We’re certainly seeing a lot of challenges with proper ad positioning. There are mega giants facing issues. It’s incredible how podcasting comes down to strategy, content creation, promotion, and monetization. This integrates all those key pillars to make a podcast successful. We’ve talked about user engagement. How has AI improved content discovery and recommendations for your platform?

Melinda: We’re a pretty early-stage startup, and evidence of this improvement with the recommendation engine will be noticeable in the New Year. Podopolo also has an API for other podcast networks, streaming platforms, ad networks, or hosting companies to utilize. We aim to improve the industry as a whole, not just limit it to Podopolo. In the future, there will be dashboards for more people to engage in this ecosystem. Beyond discovery, we’re exploring other aspects of AI, such as generative content.

Ryan: Let’s touch on that. What future trends do you foresee for podcasting and audio content platforms? What excites you about what Podopolo is bringing to the table?

Melinda: It goes back to addressing the needs and pain points of podcasters and creators. We want solutions that benefit both creators and listeners. AI can assist on the marketing side, saving time and money. For instance, our customizable API can automate tasks like transcription, show notes, and clip creation, streamlining the process for podcasters. We anticipate a rise in generative content, leveraging AI for marketing that supports podcasts. Companies are exploring voice cloning for podcast generation in different languages, although this raises ethical concerns. Overall, AI presents exciting opportunities for the podcasting industry.

AI and Ethics in Podcasting

Ryan: That’s fascinating. It seems AI will play a crucial role in streamlining podcast production and marketing. We’ll keep an eye on these developments. There’s no intellectual property around it anymore, but I know that’s also something you focus on, that space of how do you protect yourself? I mean, in any AI-driven conversation, ethics comes into it, right? Part of that ethics landscape is how you protect this content that’s been created. How do you ensure it stays unique to you? I’d love for you to elaborate on your thoughts and opinions on that.

Melinda: Yeah. Something that everyone will realize, and we’re a little ahead of the game on it, is that Blockchain is a significant solution to this problem. Blockchain is associated with crypto, NFTs, and smart contracts. If you authenticate the ownership of your podcast on the Blockchain instead of the current public RSS feed, it provides real protection. The current method with the public RSS feed and associated email gives no protection. We’ll offer podcasters the chance to protect their content in this way. Blockchain is like a permanent record, and making it frictionless and easy will be critical. This is important as AI-generated content faces legal issues around ownership and copyright. Having a transparent record and a judge will be critical.

Ryan: That makes a lot of sense. It’s crucial to protect the ownership and authenticity of content, especially with the challenges AI poses in terms of ownership and copyright. Now, looking at the broader picture, how do you see the regulation of AI evolving? What are your thoughts on laws and standards for AI-generated content, and how can we ensure ethical use?

Challenges in AI Regulation

Melinda: It’s a complex issue, and Blockchain will play a significant role. We’re ahead in realizing its importance. Next year, more will understand that Blockchain can solve these problems. AI-generated content may need to be watermarked, and laws around this are yet to be established. There’s a need for ethical use, and questions arise about whether AI needs a regulatory body similar to the FAA for airlines or the FDA for drugs. As AI becomes more powerful, it becomes challenging for consumers to distinguish between AI-generated and human-created content. It’s a balancing act, and debates on where to draw the line will continue.

Ryan: It’s a delicate balance, and the ethical use of AI is crucial. The conversation around AI often swings between excitement and concerns about its potential implications. It’s interesting to see how this will play out, and I appreciate your insights on these complex issues. Everyone knows that from the social media perspective, that’s what makes them money. Rage farming gets clicks and views, and nobody fact-checks because it costs money, and you want to keep that.

AI Impact on Information and Democracy

Melinda: Newsrooms don’t, and I speak as a recovering journalist. There used to be many shoe-leather journalists’ eye-witnessing events, but it’s expensive to investigate and gather multiple perspectives for a more accurate understanding. With information overload, our brains struggle to process so much data, leading to false equivalences and trivialization of important topics. AI could improve or worsen this situation, offering both benefits and challenges.

Ryan: I totally agree. There’s a lot of fear-mongering, but looking at the broader landscape, there’s a recent story about Sports Illustrated using AI-generated headshots and articles. It raises questions about authenticity, and this could also apply to podcasting with AI-generated podcasters.

Melinda: It’s already happening with influencers. Perfect-looking profiles with AI-generated bios fooling even celebrities. AI’s impact on content creators brings both opportunities and challenges. The question is how AI will shape the podcasting landscape moving forward.

Podcasting and AI Collaboration

Ryan: It’s fascinating and concerning. On a different note, collaboration, and integration with other podcasting platforms can enhance the overall podcasting experience. How do you envision this collaboration, and what steps are you taking to bring exposure and broaden the scope of podcasting?

Melinda: Our API facilitates collaboration with other podcasting platforms, ad networks, and hosting companies. We’ve made it customizable to address different use cases. Collaboration is crucial for setting good standards and ethical guidelines. While there are debates about open or proprietary systems, transparency is vital. Blockchain, with its accountability, will play a significant role.

Ryan: I love that angle, bringing uniqueness and strength to the industry. Eliminating doubt in terms of ownership is key. As we close, what advice do you have for podcasters and industry professionals looking to integrate AI into their platforms? Any insights or checks and balances to make the process smoother?

Melinda: Collaboration and transparency are crucial. Blockchain adds accountability. For those integrating AI, consider the ethical implications and standards. Collaboration with others in the industry can lead to the establishment of good practices. While there’s no exact answer, emphasizing transparency and ethical use is essential in the evolving landscape of AI integration. From a podcaster’s perspective, the abundance of tools can be overwhelming. It’s essential to experiment, educate yourself, and work with us as we aim for a collaborative approach. Our company values an abundance mindset, creating win-win situations rather than a scarcity mindset where one entity dominates. Collaboration, transparency, and strong ethics are vital in shaping the future responsibly.

Ryan: Perfect. Before we conclude, enlighten our listeners on how they can collaborate and get in touch with you to tap into your knowledge base.

Melinda: We have big announcements coming in the New Year, and the easiest way is to take advantage of our free offer on Podopolo. Download the app, explore its features, and be the first to access upgrades. Connect with me on LinkedIn or email me at melinda@podopolo.com. We have exciting developments, and you’ll be the first to know.

Ryan: So excited to see all those announcements. Visit podopolo.com and grab the free app. It’s a game-changer with the powerful AI and recommendation engine. Melinda, thank you for sharing your insights. It’s always a pleasure, and I look forward to our future discussions.

Melinda: Thank you. There’s so much happening, and I appreciate the opportunity to share. Let’s connect again after the launch.

Ryan: Absolutely. It sounds like a plan. Thank you, Melinda. And to our listeners, if you’ve enjoyed the podcast, please leave a review, subscribe, and spread the word. Your support keeps us bringing in incredible guests. Until next time, stay curious and innovative. This is Ryan Davies signing off.

About Our Host and Guest

Director of Marketing – Ekwa.Tech & Ekwa Marketing
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CEO & Founder of Podopolo
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“AI is not just about the future; it’s about creating a present where podcasts thrive, discoverability soars, and every creator has the opportunity to amplify their voice in this dynamic audio landscape.”

– Melinda Wittstock –