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15th October 2019

It's weekly update time!! As always, we've worked hard to listen to what you'd love to see in Captivate and have put together the latest release as follows...

  • Podcast import assistant just got smarter! - sometimes your old host will have it set that your show must only display, for example, 150 episodes in your feed. We have made sure that Captivate checks your episode numbers and that if we detect that your show has published more episodes than are in your feed, we let you know to change that setting in your old host before importing. It's the little things, right?
  • Intermittent Safari dropdown bug - in certain circumstances, specific dropdowns wouldn't behave properly due to a small bug in Safari. This is now fixed. Cheers Cody!
  • Episode level cover art updates - every now and then, if you don't have a podcast cover art set in your show settings as you ramp up to launch, you'd have a problem uploading episode level cover art. That's all sorted, now.
  • Smarter CMYK checks on cover art - uploading the wrong type of podcast cover art can result in your show being rejected by Apple et al. No one wants that, so we've made our cover art sanity checker even more useful by making sure that if you upload your file in the CMYK colorspace, we'll let you know.
  • Embeddable player animation tweaks - the player animation is now a little more intelligent when it comes to the status of your audio (playing or non-playing) and will perform as you'd expect when you pause the player.

All relevant help articles have been updated to reflect these changes.

8th October 2019

It's weekly update time!! As always, we've worked hard to listen to what you'd love to see in Captivate and have put together the latest release as follows...

  • Brand new "system status" area - we'd planned this for Q4 2019 but accelerated its development in light of the StackPath challenge below. We now have a complete and comprehensive system status area for Captivate's entire infrastructure. This has its own page right here and system status will also show within the live chat support section at the bottom-right of Captivate's dashboard. Whoop!
  • Extra layer of object storage added - our CDN provider, StackPath, had an issue with its object storage node on the US East Coast. The object storage nodes are used to store your audio files before they get to the CDN when requested by a podcast player, plus they store other items such as podcast cover art - this issue with StackPath meant that uploads were sporadically failing and that audio sometimes couldn't be quickly played back because the CDN couldn't grab the audio file every time from the object storage system. StackPath is mega-reliable but just like any tech company, they do have some issues now and then - luckily, this is very very rare. We added an extra object storage redundancy layer which means that if StackPath ever has issues again, uploads will instantly switch to our secondary storage option seamlessly and automatically with no impact on upload or download speed. Bottom line: the issues that you may have experienced this week won't happen again. Thanks for bearing with us :)
  • Apple Podcasts URL format change in Captivate's marketing section - in some instances, we were spotting that some Apple URLs weren't validating correctly within the marketing section of your Captivate dashboard. As it happens... Apple has a couple of different URL formats so we added extra validation for them. Awww yeah.

All relevant help articles have been updated to reflect these changes.

1st October 2019

It's weekly update time!! As always, we've worked hard to listen to what you'd love to see in Captivate and have put together the latest release as follows...

  • New player branding options! - a big thanks to many of the networks and agencies who use Captivate for their podcasts, we've made it super-easy to decide how much Captivate love you show on your embedded player - you can choose from our full branding, subtle branding that just shows the Captivate icon or no Captivate branding at all. The first two options let you link to your affiliate account, remember!
  • Responsive player preview update - you can now preview the podcast player in your Captivate dashboard on device sizes down to iPad portrait. Thanks, Olivier!
  • Artwork speed updates - importing podcast cover art for each episode is now even quicker on import for podcasters who use episode-level artwork.
  • Bio text alignment on Captivate Sites - left-aligned your host bio on your Captivate powered website. Much prettier :)

All relevant help articles have been updated to reflect these changes.

Surprise upgrade! Spotify passthrough data and big analytics upgrade!
27th September 2019

We're delighted to share that all Captivate podcasters can now enjoy complete passthrough data from Spotify’s analytics system – “Spotify” will now show within your analytics dashboard as a place within which people listen – pretty sweet, huh?!

But not only that, we’ve released a huge upgrade to the listening platform data that we give you as a podcaster. You can now see the listening platform, device and the operating system that listeners use to consume your podcast.

Data includes:

  • Listening App: Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, etc
  • Operating System: iOS, Android, Other, macOS, watchOS etc,
  • Listening Device: Mobile App, Desktop App, Mobile Browser, Desktop Browser, Smart Home, Smart Watch etc

Also, we now track plays through your embeddable podcast player on your own website, your Captivate hosted website and specifically plays through Twitter, too.

And for the geeks amongst us, like me, we don’t track the Spotify bot crawling episodes to download to the Spotify cache so there are no skewed downloads here!

This is a free upgrade that has been rolled out to Captivate podcasters today.

24th September 2019

It's weekly update time!! As always, we've worked hard to listen to what you'd love to see in Captivate and have put together the latest release as follows...

  • Third-party podcast tracking codes - added support for custom tracking codes provided by our friends at Chartable, Podtrac et al.
  • Custom copyright statement on a show-by-show basis - thanks to Cody Boyce for the idea, you can now override the default copyright statement on each podcast that you run.
  • Podchaser rating update - we've made it easier to showcase your podcast's Podchaser rating on your in-built Captivate website, whoop!
  • Add team members to new shows directly from their profile - it's now even easier to add team members to new podcasts that they don't already have access to.
  • Skip cover-art upload on setting up your podcast - thanks to Amy Woods, you can now create a podcast without the requirement of adding a podcast cover at that time - Captivate will keep tabs on this for you and not let you submit to any directories without uploading a cover later, all distribution options will be disabled to save any embarrassing moments!
  • Intelligent cover-art upload - Captivate now intelligently checks that your cover art is the optimum file size and colorspace so that Apple et al don't reject it. That's cute isn't it.
  • Added m4a audio file support - you can now upload m4a files to your podcast episodes and we won't convert them, you're welcome James Cridland.
  • No heroes... - you now have the option to remove all hero text from your Captivate podcast website.
  • Apple is more obvious - Captivate will now show you that you have submitted and been accepted in Apple Podcasts as long as you pop your Apple Podcasts URL into the marketing section of your dashboard.
  • Updated Google Play notes - we've made it clear in the Distribution section that Google Play is a little different to Google Podcasts (erm, a lot different).
  • Hansel & Gretel - started adding breadcrumb trails throughout the platform because it's nice to know where you came from. My Mum always reminds me of this. Hey, Mum.

All relevant help articles have been updated to reflect these changes.

UPDATE: Public beta!
29th August 2019

We're now in public beta - which is pretty much our version 1, but with a 'beta' sticker on it just in case any weird bugs pop up :p 

Thank you to everyone who supported us and signed up on launch - now we enter our product cycle, releasing new features and updates every Tuesday for you - keep an eye on this post for updates and new features, and of course we'll let you know via email, too.

UPDATE: Apple Podcasts category changes 2019
26th July 2019

Apple Podcasts recently rolled out an updated list of podcast categories that Captivate completely supports.

These categories have been implemented within Captivate, here's our guide on how to change your Apple Podcasts categories quickly and easily.

VERSION: Beta programme
28th June 2019

Captivate has always been a part of the Podcast Websites platform. This release sees the launch of Captivate's podcast hosting, analytics and distribution tools to the wider podcasting industry without the need for a Podcast Websites account - from here, you can host your podcast with Captivate at a rate similar to that of other podcast hosting companies such as Libsyn, Simplecast, PodBean, Blubrry et al - albeit with more ease of use.

The beta launch brings with it everything that you would expect from a world-class podcast host and sets the stage for innovative new growth-oriented features in future versions.

Beta features include but aren't exclusive to:

  • Easy import from other podcast hosts, for free
  • Multiple podcast shows and RSS feeds under one account
  • Easy, quick podcast publishing
  • Simple syndication to podcast directories including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and more
  • IAB compliant (soon to be IAB certified) podcast analytics
  • Podchaser integration
  • Stunning, easy to configure podcast websites
  • A powerful yet simple embeddable podcast player for your website and social media
  • The first range of marketing tools, including podcast links & embeddable player calls to action
  • Captivate Sync™ WordPress plugin
  • Podcast teams and personnel
  • Bulk media uploads
  • ...and more
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