A New Player FM Integration and a Login Screen Makeover!

It’s weekly update time! This time, there’s a brand new integration in the Distribution dashboard! Plus, we’ve improved our login screen to improve your experience and help you to find useful information a whole lot quicker!

Player FM Integration – You can now submit your podcast to Player FM straight from the Captivate Distribution page. Head to the blog to find out more about our new partner, its millions of active users and how to get listed on the platform.

New Login Screen Makeover – She’s here and she’s gorgeous! We’ve given our login screen a polish for better user experience. You’ll now be able to find useful and essential information a whole lot easier. Head to the login screen to check it out for yourself!

As always, all relevant help articles have been updated.

That’s it for this week!

Introducing… Captivate Sites™ 2.0: The Most Powerful Podcast Websites From ANY Hosting Platform

Huge news! We’re proud to announce eight huge brand new upgrades to Captivate Sites™, making them the most powerful podcast websites from any hosting platform, included for free on every Captivate hosting plan. 

Every single Captivate podcast website now has even greater build features, flexibility, functionality and marketing potential so that your podcasters can grow their shows on their terms.

Here’s everything today’s feature includes:

  • Two new additional site layouts, totalling three fully responsive website templates.
  • Customizable episode order settings – display most recent or oldest episodes first.
  • Pin an episode to the top of the page – perfect for trailers!
  • Customize team biographies at show level – extremely useful for teams managing multiple podcasts.
  • Email opt-in forms – capture emails for newsletters straight from your podcast website! Choose from direct integration with AWeber or insert an HTML snippet from another provider (which we’ll make look pretty). Customize the copy of every single element to suit your podcast’s messaging.
  • Lead magnets – Captivate Sites™ now supports in-built opt-ins, allowing you to manage your lead magnet fully within Captivate and your email provider. As with sign up forms, you can use AWeber or insert a HTML snippet from your chosen provider. If you choose to upload an image alongside your email opt-in, Captivate will make your opt-in layout look great automatically, too!
  • Website search functions – we’ve added a search bar to the site’s top navigation. Listeners will now be able to satisfy their own search quickly without having to crawl through the entire feed.
  • Captivate Sites™ now uses the API to display episodes, instead of the RSS feed podcast feeds will now auto-paginate and will populate as many episodes as it needs to fill the page, improving site speed.

Welcome, Danny Brown and A Gerry Anderson Podcast!

Well well well, we’re back with more updates!

This week has been largely a bug fixing week but we did do two things that might interest you, too…

  1. We integrated AdBarker prefix support directly into Captivate – thanks, Ryan Gray!
  2. We welcomed our brand new podcaster support expert to the support team. Welcome, Danny Brown! Danny has been a long-time Captivate user so if you’re in our private Facebook community, I have no doubt that you’ll know Danny already. Danny joins the team lead by Sam to continue to give our podcasters the very best podcasting experience, bar none!

Hey also, we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve been working with the Gerry Anderson network (creators of Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlett and so much more) on their stunning new show First Action Bureau which is an original, in-universe creation from Jamie Anderson and Nicholas Briggs and features an insane voice cast including Sacha Dawan, Nicola Walker and Patterson Joseph.

Check out the trailer for First Action Bureau, here.

Last up, we’re announcing the first keynote speaker for our private Ready, Set, Grow! podcast marketing event tomorrow, too!

This exclusive to Rebel Base Media podcasters using Captivate, Podcast Websites and Podcast Success Academy (growth-tier).

Jiosaavn Distribution Is Here!

We also updated our Amazon Music/Audible integration with some more behind-the-scenes tweaks to make ingestion even easier for the Amazon team.


Captivate is 1-year old on August 29th! We have something special happening!

We debated whether to do a big public party or not but decided, for our first year, to instead honour those who have helped us the most through the first year: our podcasters like you.

So, tomorrow (August 28th) we’re going to be announcing something very special for our Captivate podcasters and you can join Mark at 12pm Eastern in the exclusive Facebook group for the announcement.

Role Management Overhaul & Some Analytics Preparation!

Today we released a HUGE redesign of how Captivate’s role management works, making it even easier to grant the right levels of access and create a custom setup that works perfectly for you and your team. You can now set very specific permissions for each show in your account, and for each person on your team.

Plus, we released some background analytics tracking ready for a feature release in around a month – this is so that when we release the new analytics feature, you have some data in there already!

As always, Sam and the podcaster experience team have updated all of the relevant help articles and tutorials, too!

Welcome to Our Partners Gaana and Podcorn!

We’ve been working hard with both the Gaana and the Podcorn teams to make life easier for podcasters so, to both teams, thank you!

We also released our brand new podcaster resources section that includes our recommended design, outsourcing, music (intro, outro, etc) and editing tools – all from partners that we know, trust and use ourselves.

Oh, we also updated the marketing section to allow you to use Google Podcast’s new URL structure, too. Faaaancy.

Introducing Embeddable Player Multi-Language Support

Embeddable player multi-language support & YOU get a timestamp, YOU get a timestamp and YOU get a timestamp!

Imagine if there was an embeddable podcast player that translated its interface into your listener’s language.

Well, now there is with Captivate’s embeddable player! Plus, we make it easy to add clickable audio timestamps to any website and smash a bug like a Starship Trooper.

Here’s what we released today cats and kittens…

Multi-language embeddable player support: Now the interface on your embeddable Captivate podcast player auto-translates itself to Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, German, Polish, Italian and French depending on your listener’s browser language setting. How fancy is that?!

Clickable timestamps for you, and you, and you!: We released clickable timestamps to WordPress via Captivate Sync™ and Captivate Sites users a couple of weeks ago and today we’ve made it so that *anyone* can have them on their sites using a little bit of code in their site’s header. How? Check out the help article here.

Unique listener bug: We had a few sporadic reports of the dashboard “unique listener” figure for 90-days being higher than the all-time number. That was weird. But we found an issue with one of our database queries and fixed it. Weirdness, be gone!

Until next time 🙂

Annual Pricing & Multi-Currency Options Now Available!

Today we released annual pricing for all podcasters using Captivate 🙂

That means that Captivate now starts at $17 per month (paid annually) and that all plans have an annual plan available that saves you money on your podcast hosting.

We also launched multi-currency options so that Captivate will detect USD, GBP or EUR pricing based on your location, meaning that if you’re in the UK, for example, you won’t pay extra if your bank charges for international payments (how is that still a thing in 2020?!)

All of the new plans are available to new podcasters and to you as a podcaster already using Captivate. Just head to your account to switch to an annual plan.

Oh, we’ve also tweaked the onboarding a little for new users so that we capture information that we need for VAT (to make your invoices more useful) and to help you decide how you want to be walked through your first minutes within Captivate.


MP3 Auto-Conversions and Internal Report Upgrades!

It’s weekly update time!! This week we’ve introduced a few tweaks to keep giving you that gold-standard podcasting experience. Here’s what’s got better:

MP4/M4A to MP3 auto-conversion: Although we all like to upload podcasts in mp3 format, sometimes podcasters upload an mp4 or m4a file to Captivate and Apple Podcasts, etc aren’t so keen on it. So, we’ve made it so that Captivate now automatically converts mp4 and m4a files both on upload and on import from other podcast hosting platforms, to save you some hassle! It’s nice to be nice.

Upgrades to some admin reports: We love reports. Honestly. We love nothing more than a really nice spreadsheet. So, we’ve upgraded two of our internal reports that help us to help you – pretty boring, but really useful for us. Remember the clickable timestamps last week? That was more fun, wasn’t it.

Introducing Clickable Timestamps!

Introducing Clickable Timestamps!

As a podcaster, one of the biggest goals that you have is to drive people through to your website. That’s why today we’re introducing automatic clickable timestamps to make it easier for your listeners to navigate your audio in just one click!

All you need to do to add a clickable timestamp to your podcast show notes is to type a timestamp in the following format:

(03:41) – Example




Once you publish your episode, Captivate Sites or Captivate Sync™ will automatically turn those timestamps into clickable links that will take the listener to that point in your embedded Captivate podcast player. Magic!

Don’t worry, if you type an invalid timestamp in (that doesn’t exist, for example), Captivate is smart enough to know that it’s not a valid one and won’t turn it into a link.

Captivate Sync™ Updates!

This week it’s all about showing love to Captivate Sync™ and our wonderful WordPress users – we have feature additions, bug fixes and code changes to lighten the load even more.

  1. Episode-specific artwork upload now uses the WordPress media library for processing, providing better error handling of erroneous dimensions, etc.
  2. Fixed a minor bug that popped up now and then when an episode status is different between Captivate and Captivate Sync™.
  3. We’ll now alert you if there is something wrong with your MP3 file when uploading via Captivate Sync™.
  4. On new installations of Captivate Sync™, sync will now run every 10 minutes make sure all episodes are swept up nicely.
  5. Fixed an intermittent issue with episode date and timezones.
  6. You can now add a custom WordPress excerpt per episode in Captivate Sync™. Shiny shiny.
  7. We’ve also done a full code sweep and refactored lots of code to make things even faster. Love a good clear out!

Sweet, right? Right? Right!

See you next week!

Playlist Player Updates & Apple Banners

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…

  • Updated playlist player for seasonal podcasts: For you beautiful seasonal podcasters, we’ve made the Captivate embeddable playlist podcast player most recent seasons and episodes first and made it even easier to navigate for listeners. It’s pretty nifty, actually!
  • Expanded the use of automatic Apple banners on Captivate powered podcast websites: You know those fancy little banners that you see at the top of websites that send you to the app store or Apple Podcasts? Yeah? Well, Captivate sites automagically includes them on your Captivate powered podcast website so that visitors have one-click access to your show in Apple Podcasts from their device. Also pretty nifty!

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

Introducing Collections, Curated Podcast Playlists that Your Listeners Love

Introducing Collections, Curated Podcast Playlists that Your Listeners Love, Expertly Crafted By You!

We just released a unique feature that lets you curate playlists with custom embeddable players and their own RSS feeds that you can use to educate, entertain and expand your podcast audience.

The “Collections” feature can be found on the right side menu of your Captivate account. It is the perfect way to make your back catalogue more accessible and to increase listenership of your podcast through curation and collection of related episodes.

We also put together three creative and really powerful ways to use the “Collections” feature, here.

Episode Expiration & Episode Feed Exclusion Options Now Live!

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…

  • Switch show cover art on and off: As part of your advanced player customization options you can now decide whether you want to display your podcast cover art on your player. Just another way to make your player look and feel how you want it to. Head to your player settings for a closer look. 
  • Set an episode expiration date & time: There are often times when you need to say something that is time sensitive, whether that is a holiday message, an announcement or something important that you need to tell your audience but that isn’t always something that needs to stay in your podcast RSS feed forever. It’s something I’ve needed, that’s for sure – so, we built it! From today, all Captivate podcasters can set an episode to “expire” from their RSS feed and thus, the podcast directories on a specific date and time. The time settings respect your Captivate timezone settings and each episode with this setting applied is clearly visible within your Captivate episode listing.
  • Exclude podcast episodes from your feed and directories: We also noticed that there are often times when a podcaster wants to publish an episode but exclude it from their RSS feed and the directories. This isn’t a private RSS feed, it’s a way to make sure that your episode is only available via a direct share or a web embed using the Captivate embeddable podcast player and so, today we also launched the ability to exclude podcast episodes from your RSS feed at your leisure – nice!

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

Advanced Embeddable Podcast Player Customizations & More!

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…

  • Advanced player customization options: We’re seeing podcasters all over the world using the Captivate player within their marketing stack. Often, that means that the player is integrated into a current website using Captivate Sync™ or via a direct embed. We’ve made it easy to control every single aspect of the interaction ability of a listener using the embeddable player by giving you the option to decide what you’d like your player to show to a listener. Head to your player settings for a look see. Thanks to Daniel J. Lewis!
  • Captivate Sites social updates: We now show all social links entered in your personal Captivate profile within the bio section of your Captivate powered podcast website. We’ve also shifted from two additional external links and now will display one link, but with a custom label for the link. We force the update to your website whenever you save your profile. Magic! Not really… CODE!
  • Added IAB Verified logo to sponsor kits: Following last week’s announcement that Captivate is now IAB Certified (awww yeah!) we’ve added the IAB verified seal logo to your sponsor kit so that potential sponsors can see that your podcast analytics are verified accurate. Shazam!

Captivate is IAB Tech Lab Certified!

As the podcast industry continues to develop and evolve, the one thing that we are dedicated to as a podcast hosting platform is of course, the accuracy of your podcast analytics. 

We are passionate about getting closer to the people listening, not just the number of file downloads that your podcast receives and that’s why, Captivate is delighted to continue its user-focused push to become the world’s best podcast hosting platform by announcing today that the platform is now IAB Tech Lab Certified! Awesome! 

Check out the full details over on the Captivate blog.

Unique Listener Analytics!

We’re always working hard to help you to grow your podcast. But, as podcasters we’re a little addicted to measuring downloads when really, we’d love to be able measure people who listen to our show. 

So, we’ve just introduced “Unique Listener Tracking” to your Captivate analytics as a free upgrade to all Captivate podcasters!

Right now, in your Captivate analytics area you’ll see a new section called Audience Overview. Within this section you’ll now be able to see the following unique listener data points:

  • Unique listeners today
  • Unique listeners yesterday
  • Unique listeners over the last 7 days
  • Unique listeners over the last 28 days
  • Unique listeners over the last 90 days
  • All-time unique listeners

This data is aggregated as:

A unique listener is defined as a listener from the same IP address and the same device within the presented timeframe. This is a way of estimating the number of people downloading your show. This is based on the IAB v2 guidelines.

This is part one of an analytics upgrade aiming to make it easier to estimate your true audience size and we’re hosting a live webinar on this within our private, Rebel Base Media podcaster group over on Facebook next week to dig even deeper into this.

We’ve also added “Last updated” information to the top right of your analytics screen and your main Captivate dashboard so that you can see the last time we updated your data for you.

Pretty sweet, right?!

Google Podcasts Manager & More Podcast Community Help!

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…

  • Public Podcasting Group Launch: In addition to our exclusive, highly-personal Rebel Base Media Support & Experience Group, which features two-way live Q&A sessions and a personal service for all podcasters using our platforms, we just relaunched our public group to help all podcasters regardless of their skill level or status. Join the thousands of other podcasters over there.
  • Update to Google Podcasts Manager in Distribution: Google Podcasts has just released Google Podcasts Manager which is a very simple way to submit your podcast to Google Podcasts and, in a similar way to Apple Podcasts Connect & Spotify for Podcasters, view Google-specific podcast analytics. We’ve added this to the Captivate “Distribution” area and created some help articles & tutorials on how to work with Google Podcasts Manager

Buggy Bug Bug Fixes

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…

  • Better parsing of link text in show descriptions for Captivate Sites: When using Captivate Sites, if you add a website address in your show settings it needed to become a link automagically. It will now automatically turn http://google.com into a link that is target=blank, for example.
  • Internal show transfer process updates: We’ve made it easier for our team to be able to transfer shows between owners for when, for example, someone leaves a network or production company to build out on their own. It’s still a highly personal and vetted process.
  • Regex update to Google Podcasts URLS: Fix for the regex for adding the Google URL when copying from Google Podcasts, users can now include %/&/= in the Marketing section.
  • No copy and paste madness in show notes: When copying from a Word or Google document the formatting that comes over for colors and background colors on spans and other tags can be problematic. We’ve expanded the “blacklist” for pasted in code and still maintain the “whitelist” to make sure things like lists, etc, are formatted nicely on paste.

Brand New Podcast Analytics Features!

With a new episode deep-dive view, publish date overlays and city/region breakdowns across your entire show or on an episode-by-episode basis, your Captivate podcast analytics just got a serious power boost!

Pierre, one of our resident Captivate engineers, an all-round nice guy and owner of the biggest hair in lockdown has been working exceptionally hard with the engineering team on crafting some sweet podcast analytics upgrades for Captivate podcasters that we’ve released today!

Here’s a quick rundown of what the team has done:

  • Deep-dive episode view: You can now dive-deep into the trends for each podcast episode that you release by filtering your entire analytics data on an episode-by-episode basis. Ooooof!
  • Overlay download data with release days: What happens when you release an episode? BOOM! Downloads! Right? Well, usually yeah but sometimes peaks and troughs occur where you absolutely would not expect them. So, click the new shiny little box to overlay your podcast release dates on to your podcast download data to start to learn about some of the trends that your show experiences. Pro tip: try “singe day” view with this turned on and choose a date when you published something.
  • Break your download data down into state, region, city/town level: Available at show or individual episode level, you can now view the states/regions and city/town that your show gets downloaded in. Cool, right?
  • Add percentages to all the data you’d like to see as a percentage: Data geek? Just like the shape of a percentage sign? We’ve added percentages to every reasonable piece of data that you’d want to see a percentage next to. You’ll see percentages in grey next to the core data where available. If you do just like the shape of a percentage sign, here’s a little something for you: %%%%%%%%%%.

Of course, all of these updates are free to every single Captivate podcaster 😄

Some charity work

Hey also, we’ve been HUGE fans of what Podchaser has been doing to help Meals on Wheels America’s COVID-19 charity efforts by donating 25c to the charity for each review left on the platform.

We’ve decided to contribute by matching every single review left over on Podchaser for a Captivate hosted podcast and will match the donations up to $750 in total.

You gotta do your bit, right?

YouTube channel launch!

Podcast advice is usually complicated, full of jargon or given by people who have been podcasting for about an hour.

So, we decided to do something about that by launching our straight-talking, no BS YouTube channel to help you cut through the podcast education noise.

Subscribe to the Rebel Base Media YouTube channel!

XSLT Styling and Widget Heaven

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…

  • XSLT stylesheets: RSS feeds are dull as dishwater. But, they power podcasting and sometimes, you pop your RSS feed into the browser and see the feed is all its gargantuan glory – code and all. That’s ok, it’s how it’s supposed to be, but we wanted to make it easier for anyone stumbling across your feed in a browser window to know exactly what to do with it and to be able to listen to your show directly from the feed. So we sexy styled it up. Look: https://feeds.captivate.fm/podcastaccelerator
  • Behind the scenes service tech: We spent a day or two building a new backend area for us to link your Captivate account to Intercom via a secure Intercom widget. Sounds boring, and it is a little bit, but it means that we can support you even faster by seeing right there in the support chat with you which show you’re working on and quickly launch that show in Captivate’s dashboard for us to take a look at. I love it! 

Stay safe! 

Web page URL convenience updates and a little Anchor thing

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…

  • Speed up cache flushing on the embeddable player after editing an episode, show or player style: When you edit an episode title or content, Captivate will now clear the cache for that specific episode on the web player. Also, when you update your player style it will clear all cached episodes from the player too, so that you can see the changes much quicker.
  • Quick view episode web pages from the episode sharing screen: We added a nice little “View” button next to the “Copy” button within the episode sharing screen that will open the episode web page URL in a shiny new tab for you to quickly take a peek.
  • URL preview on publishing an episode: When using Captivate Sync™ or Captivate Sites for your podcast website, you will now see a preview of the full URL that will be created for any given episode within the episode publishing or editing screen. Lovely job.
  • Anchor import issue: When importing an RSS feed from Anchor and when the podcaster has the dynamic ad system setup on Anchor, Anchor splits files and rejoins them, making them an M4A with a mime-type of MP4 instead of MP3. This causes import problems. Well, it did. Not anymore 🙂
  • Live Q&A over in the Facebook Group: Come and join us, on Wednesday 1st April, 5pm UK, 12pm Eastern, 9am Pacific, over in our exclusive Rebel Base Media Podcaster Support & Experience Facebook group, where Mark and the team will be answering all of your podcasting questions. Sweet! 

​Your Podcast Analytics, In Your Timezone!

Today we’re pushing out a release that will display your podcast download analytics in your own timezone, as set in your show settings.

This means that you can view data in a time local to you rather than the standard UTC timezone, plus the timezone will also carry through to CSV exports and the one-click sponsor kit generation.

Set within your show settings, the timezone already controls the default publishing time and is always set at show level, not user level.

Error checking and support updates

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…

  • Error checking upgrades: There are so many times where we need to give you a pointer or a heads-up about something you’re doing on Captivate so this week we’ve gone through many of our error messages around podcast artwork, player settings and more to make those errors even more descriptive and useful to you. Boring, we know but important, too!
  • Admin tools for our team: We have a lot of background admin tools that our team uses to help you out via support. This week we added a couple more around imagery and social sharing that you won’t see, but that you’ll experience thanks to our support being even faster!
  • New private Facebook group: We love working with you and our community. We wanted a way to bring all of our Rebel Base Media paying podcasters together into a safe community to discuss anything that you need at all. So, separate from our public-facing community, we just created the private Rebel Base Media Podcaster Support & Experience Facebook group – make sure you’re a part of it!

One-click sponsor kit generation from your Captivate dashboard!

It’s weekly update time!! 

One-click sponsor kits now available for free to all Captivate podcasters!

This feature is something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time! 

Being growth focussed means that our goal is to make it easier for you to achieve your own version of success as a podcaster. Knowing exactly how to work with sponsors is something that so many indie podcasters are concerned about and one of the vital, early-stage conversations with potential sponsors is around whether you’re both a fit for each other. 

Today, we’ve made it easier than ever to start that conversation by introducing the initial version of our one-click sponsor kits! Inside the marketing section of your Captivate dashboard, you’ll now see a “Sponsor Kit” tab and space to enter your listener avatar. 

Once done, hit the generation button and a beautiful PDF will download itself ready to send to sponsors, not bad, right?! Hey also, this is only the first version of this tool – lookout for more and more as we develop it.

Hey, we also just launched a private Rebel Base Media support & experience group on Facebook – don’t miss out on the podcasting conversation over there – come join us!

Export analytics to CSV for Excel or Google Sheets!

It’s weekly update time!!

As always, we’ve worked hard to listen to what you’d love to see in Captivate and we’ve just added one of the most requested features by podcasters using Captivate sites to generate their stunning podcast website – single episode pages 🙂

We had to take our time with this so that we could make sure to get Captivate Sync™ (our WordPress plugin) perfectly set, first. But, now that is all done we’ve been able to bring you the single episode pages that you’ve been asking for, plus customisable SEO titles, descriptions & URLs and auto-generated social images. Whoop!!

SEO Friendly Single Episode Pages with Captivate Sites

It’s weekly update time!!

As always, we’ve worked hard to listen to what you’d love to see in Captivate and we’ve just added one of the most requested features by podcasters using Captivate sites to generate their stunning podcast website – single episode pages 🙂

We had to take our time with this so that we could make sure to get Captivate Sync™ (our WordPress plugin) perfectly set, first. But, now that is all done we’ve been able to bring you the single episode pages that you’ve been asking for, plus customisable SEO titles, descriptions & URLs and auto-generated social images. Whoop!!

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

Introducing the podcast playlist player and latest episode players!

Introducing the podcast playlist player and latest episode players!

We just released the outstanding embeddable playlist players and the simple, powerful latest episode embeddable player to all Captivate podcasters! 

As of today, you can embed a beautiful player that showcases all episodes of your podcast into any website or, you can embed a player that always shows and plays the most recent episode of your show.

Of course, we couldn’t leave the main player out of the action so we’ve also released a new build that makes it even easier for listeners to access your calls to action, your subscribe options and show notes, plus a big upgrade to how listeners can share your podcast player. 

All fully responsive on all devices too, of course! 

Check it out LIVE on MarkAsquith.com/podcasts right now and head to your Distribution area in Captivate to use the brand new players for your own shows!

Drag & drop team members on your podcast website and some advanced WordPress functionality for the geeks like us

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…

  • Drag & drop team member ordering on your Captivate podcast website: This is a nice one – you can now drag and drop your team members into your desired order for display on your Captivate podcast website. This makes it even easier to customize the display of your team online.
  • Single subscription link custom domain bug: In certain circumstances, the single subscription link wasn’t respecting your use of a custom domain name. It is now 🙂
  • Advanced WordPress options for Captivate Sync™: Users can now use a captivate.php file in their theme for a custom layout for the episode list page (for example, you can base this on the index.php page that comes with WordPress and then you can customize sections of it so it’s a different layout to the blog.) You can also, if you want to, edit single.php for single episodes by uploading a single_captivate_podcast.php page which you can edit. This is for advanced WordPress users only.

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

Request your perfect Captivate feature, any time!

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…

  • Request a Captivate feature!: We love working with you and we love making things that work for you. So, we’ve added a “request a feature” link to the Captivate dashboard footer so that all Captivate podcasters can let us know the features that they’d like to see released. This links directly to our project management platform and we’ll be able to let you know when your feature has been greenlit for build!
  • Even simpler cancellation process: Even though we hate to see you go, we understand that, for various reasons, you may want to cancel your Captivate account. It’s our job to make sure that you never need to, but that if you do, that the process should be clear and easy. So, we’ve redesigned the cancellation process from the ground up to make it even simpler! That’s nice, isn’t it!

Listener Ethics & Privacy: Introducing “Full Transparency Mode” for Your Captivate Podcast

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…

  • Full transparency mode: The podcast industry is growing and with it, the technology in the space and the value of advertising dollars is also growing. Attribution of those ad dollars is pushing the industry to track more and more as the brands look to define their ROI. As such, several third-party tracking, sponsorship and advertising tools are popping up such as Chartable & Podcorn. The challenge for creators is maintaining ethical practices when it comes to your listeners, even if a creator isn’t aware that listener data may be being passed elsewhere – after all, it’s you that they’re trusting when they listen to your show and in turn, you trust Captivate as your host to do the best by you. There’s a lot being discussed about listener privacy right now in the podcasting space and in addition to our listener privacy policy, we are happy to announce that Captivate is the first podcast hosting platform in the world to provide a “Full Transparency Mode” for all podcasts and creators. Enabling this will append a short, nicely formatted statement to the end of each of your episode show notes that will disclose to the listener which third-party analysis tools are being used within your show, along with a link to each service’s privacy policy so that the listener can dig deeper into those services, should they have any questions. We believe in transparency and urge all podcast hosting companies to consider implementing Full Transparency Mode within their platforms, too.
  • Remove the Captivate branding from your podcast website: We know you love Captivate, and we love you, too. But from time to time, we also understand that you might want to remove the Captivate logo from the bottom of your auto-generated Captivate podcast website. So, from today you can! Thanks, McKane!

EPIC new feature: single subscribe links for ALL podcasts

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…

  • WOW! Single subscribe pages for all podcasts: Asking people to subscribe to your podcast can be a real pain – where do you send them? To what link?! We have your back… now, all podcasts hosted on Captivate include a very special “/listen” link for their Captivate podcast that works on any device and includes one-click subscribe links to all major podcast listening apps, at no extra cost. Promoting your podcast just got way, way easier and there’s more to come! Check out this Spark of Rebellion example or Mark’s Podcast Accelerator example.
  • Podcast website “hero” section options: Some fine folks wanted the ability to be able to turn off the “hero” section at the top of their Captivate podcast website. Now you can, so that’s good 🙂 

Changing podcast prefixes, figuring out a team member bug and making Evo smile

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…

  • Episode URL added to publishing screen: We’ve popped in a lovely little field within the episode publishing screen for you to add the URL for your episode if you aren’t using Captivate Sync™ or Captivate Sites. Useful for people using Wix, Squarespace or some other web platform. Remember GeoCities? Awww. Also, thanks Evo!
  • Quashed a minor team member bug: In some really specific edge cases, owners of shows were able to remove themselves from their own show. It took some jiggery-pokery to actually do it, but one or two peeps had the issue so we took a lightsaber to it and got it sorted.
  • External prefix interface changes: In preparation for next week’s release, which is a powerful one, we’ve made it easier to chain together podcast prefixes like those from Chartable, Podtrac and Podcorn. Captivate’s interface now lets you choose the prefix provider and we’ll do some checking to make sure your prefix looks a-ok for you.

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

Podcast Episode Page SEO Updates, Holiday Support Hours and more…

It’s weekly update time!!

This week it’s all been about SEO, whoop!

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…

  • Episode page SEO: Whether you’re a Podcast Websites user or you’re using Captivate Sync™ on your own WordPress website, you’re going to love the addition of episode page SEO tools. You can now set a custom SEO meta title and meta description, as well as customize the permalink/slug of your episode for your WordPress website. This feature is available in the WordPress Captivate Sync™ interface and in the episode editor within Captivate proper, if you’re using Sync.
  • Internal coupon stuff: Our goal is to be a platform that can be as agile and responsive as possible. There are some podcast hosts that still do things like affiliate programmes using paper (I know!) and from day one, we didn’t want to be that company. So, we spent some time this week working on a custom interface to extend the way that we can add coupon behaviours to our pricing system. This means that for events, quick spin-up online summits and so on, we can respond quickly with custom plans/trial extensions for them – it’s great for organizers to get answers quickly. Boring for you, super useful for us!

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

Heads up, too – it’s holiday season so there’ll be no feature releases during the weeks commencing 23rd December and 30th December.

Holiday support hours.

During the holidays, we’ll be around as usual with exceptions on these days:

  • 24th December, Christmas Eve – reduced support hours, but still around.
  • 25th December, Christmas Day – closed.
  • 26th December, Boxing Day (UK) – reduced support hours, but still around.
  • 31st December, New Years Eve – reduced support hours, but still around.
  • 1st January 2020 – closed.
  • 2nd January 2020 – normal service.

Happy holidays!

Free Download Threshold Increases for Everyone On All Plans!

Well, today is another good day for Captivate podcasters.

We’ve built every product and business we have here at Rebel Base Media on one simple ethos: helping people.

Sure, we have to pay the mortgage but it’s not all about money, it’s about what we can do to be the very best for the podcasters that we serve.

Recently, we made some upgrades to our CDN (content delivery network) and reduced our costs as a business for that CDN usage.

Rather than keep the money to ourselves, perhaps in a Scrooge McDuck style vault in a tower on the top of a hill, we decided to pass some of the savings on to podcasters using Captivate and so, from Monday 9th December ALL of our plans will receive big increases in the number of downloads included per month with that plan.

Those plans with 10,000 downloads now receive 12,000; those plans with 50,000 downloads now receive 60,000 and those plans with 120,000 downloads now enjoy 150,000 included each and every month.

Remember, Captivate doesn’t force you to upgrade to access “advanced” analytics (they’re included on every plan) nor do we force you to pay more to add extra team members or upload more hours of audio, for example.

We’ll keep doing our very best for you as a podcaster and also, we released a few other tweaks to the platform as well today including an easier way to check image specifications for your podcast’s website on Captivate and changing the time that our platform notifications stick around for, from two seconds to four seconds.

What a lovely day to podcast!

WordPress Updates, Podcast Websites Tweaks and Sync Sync Sync!

It’s weekly update time again, whoop!

This one is a bit of a boring one, sorry – it’s “bug smashing” as much less cool companies would write.

So, during our Captivate Sync™ rollout we did what all good tech peeps do and “shut up to listen”. We spoke to a lot of users of the plugin and many of the users of our managed WordPress platform, Podcast Websites to learn what they wanted tweaking.

We’ve pushed out some updates to permalink settings, diagnosed a weird little bug that would duplicate certain episodes only in WordPress and added some functionality to the Podcast Websites interface that we removed during the initial rollout to allow players to be embedded in certain Builder modules.

It’s one of those “boring to talk about but important to get out” updates, argh.

Still not using Captivate for your podcast hosting? Check it out, now for 7-days free.

Analytics Upgrades, Whoop! Geo-Location, to Be Precise…

It’s weekly update time!! 

This week we finished rolling out some major upgrades to your account area, making it super easy to switch plans, view your download allowances on a super sweet looking “progress” style bar and of course, viewing and downloading your invoices. 

The biggest update is actually behind the scenes this week.

We’ve updated and tweaked our geo-location API for the statistics. At times over the last few weeks, our download stats have been a little slower to update in your dashboard that we’d like.

There’s nothing wrong with this, as such, it was just due to the simple scaling safeguards we’d added. But, we weren’t happy with that experience for you so we updated our geo-location API to allow for much faster processing of data and thus, quicker throughput to your dashboard.

On the surface, you’ll just see your download analytics performing much more in “real-time” which is of course, awesome!

Simpler Account Management & Boring Admin

It’s weekly update time!! 

This week it’s been a week or account updates, making sure that your billing and download quota is easy to view, manage and understand.

The biggest changes this week will actually be rolled out periodically over the next few days so that we can make sure each element is bulletproof.

Changes include:

  • A clear, concise download quota graphing system in your account.
  • Easy ability to view and download your Captivate invoices from your account section.
  • A clearer layout to show you which plan you’re currently subscribed to.
  • An easier interface for updating your payment details.

We’re also pushing out various small tweaks and features to Captivate Sync™, too but nothing overly interesting, it’s all behind the scenes to keep the sync process nice and continually quick.

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

Captivate Sync™, Our WordPress Podcasting Plugin is Here!

It’s weekly update time and this week is a BIG one!! 

Captivate Sync™, our WordPress podcasting plugin, is here!!

We’ve been building WordPress stuff for a long, long time. In fact, my (Mark) background is over ten years running a design, brand and digital agency that specialised in WordPress development.

So, when we moved into podcasting in 2014 with our first product, Podcast Websites, naturally that progressed to become the world’s #1 hosted & managed WordPress service for podcasters – completely hassle-free, growth-focussed WordPress for you as an audio influencer.

When we began building Captivate, we knew that we wanted to fully support WordPress and continue what we had started with Podcast Websites.

And so today, we’re delighted to release Captivate Sync™, the easiest way to podcast using WordPress, featuring:

  • Automatic sync between your Captivate podcast hosting account and your WordPress site.
  • Simple, multi-show management direct from WordPress.
  • Publishing & managing of episodes right there in WordPress.
  • Full, automated use of the stunning Captivate podcast player including calls to action, simple subscribe links and full device compatibility.
  • Powerful sharing options that help drive traffic to your podcast’s website.
  • Integration with self-hosted WordPress and the Podcast Websites hosted & managed WordPress platform.

Captivate Sync™ works beautifully with WordPress, giving you a quick, solid way to podcast via a well thought out custom post type structure and full control over episode links and more.

And hey, this is only version 1 of the plugin, you just know there’s more to come 😉

Control and own your podcasting brand.

Related: How to get started with Captivate Sync™

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

Stress-Free Podcasting with Captivate & Alitu!

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 which is ALL about Alitu!

Your Podcast Editing & Hosting Workflow Just Became Easy with Captivate & Alitu

We’ve always had a vision of making podcasting as simple as it can possibly be but we see two things happening every single day getting in the way of that: 1. some podcast hosting companies making podcasting more complex than it needs to be in 2019, making podcasters feel bad about not being an “expert” and 2. new tech companies entering the space because they spot the potential to make money.

The thing is, to succeed in podcasting you have to love it because it’s hard and doesn’t have the instant “stickiness” that other hobbies, professions or commitments do – if you don’t see your downloads jump quickly, you’re perhaps going to podfade.

The same goes for tech companies in the space – sure you can generate a bit of buzz early on, but can you maintain a quality product when the industry is still finding its commercial feet?

When we built Podcast Websites back in 2015 we brought with it a human touch that is still missing from most podcast hosting companies and when we decided to shake up the podcast hosting industry by creating Captivate, we put that human touch front and center – it’s why podcasters love Captivate and our Rebel Base Media team: we treat you like a person and never talk down to you.

But more than that, we rebuilt podcast hosting from the ground up with a core focus of simplicity, usability and the growth focus of giving podcasters what they need without out-dated pricing structures and imposed limits on creativity – in short, we think about what podcasters need today and tomorrow, and then we build it.

And we have done our time – we spent a long time getting to know the industry without diving in and professing to have all of the answers – but we did that without sacrificing the ability to quietly innovate and pleasantly surprise our podcasters.

And so, whilst building Captivate out, we’ve been stealthily working on something to make podcasters’ lives that much easier.

Today, as the first part of a wider project to deliver a platform that allows podcasters a simpler way to develop their podcast, we’re delighted to announce a deep integration with Alitu, the world’s #1 online podcast editing and creation platform.

I’ve been friends with Colin Gray, the founder of Alitu, for years now and no one loves the podcasting space more than he does. But more than that, no one more exemplifies the way that we approach podcast creation than Colin and his team.

From today, Alitu users can connect their Captivate account and publish/edit their shows using the two tightly integrated systems, making your podcasting workflow exceptionally easy.

We’re not finished yet, either.

There’s more to come on this front, tying together proven technology and industry denizens to bring together a simple podcasting platform with the stability of the trusted names behind them.

Thank you to Colin and his team for being simply amazing to work with and as a podcaster, start simplifying your podcasting workflow with Alitu & Captivate.

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

Captivate Podcast Website Upgrades

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…

  • Simpler website pagination – this week’s update is a website focussed update with the first upgrade being to the pagination system on your Captivate generated podcast website. We’ve made it so that each page featured five episodes and now loads even quicker, whoop!
  • Simple 302 redirects – boring alert – we’ve made it easy for you to redirect your podcast website to WordPress or similar when you change from using a Captivate website to something else. This means that all the links to your Captivate site will redirect to the new website for if you decide to use WordPress and Captivate Sync™, for example.

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

Even Simpler, Smarter Podcast Imports from Other Hosting Platforms!

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.

Important CDN Update and What Happened with Speed This Week

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 at https://status.captivate.fm 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.

Podcast Player Updates, Big Import Speed Upgrades and More!

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.

Spotify Analytics Passthrough, New Deep-Dive Download Data and More!

When we began the process of building Captivate – our podcast hosting, analytics and marketing platform, we chose the tagline “The World’s Only Growth-Oriented Podcast Host™“.

We did that because we have a vision. That vision is to give podcasters what they need to understand their audience and to help them to understand that what they do to build or engage with that audience has to be measured, interpreted and acted upon.

As a precursor to many of the features that we’re building for Captivate, we continue to create more and more foundational features that all of our podcasters can enjoy at no extra cost.

I don’t believe in charging you more for “Advanced Analytics”. To me, it shows a lack of innovation on a brand’s part when that is the case, if the only thing you have to ‘sell’ is the data that, I believe, a podcaster has a rightful claim to, well that’s a sign of bigger problems.

That is why Captivate includes and will always include as much data as we can give you about your podcast downloads on every plan.

That way, we can innovate and give you the bedrock that you need to succeed.

So today, I’m delighted to share that all Captivate podcasters can 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, Windows, macOS, watchOS etc,
  • Listening Device: Mobile App, Desktop App, Mobile Browser, Desktop Browser, Smart Speaker, 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.

We’re only just getting started – it might be time to take a look.


Introducing: Captivate Insider

Captivate Insider is brought to you by Rebel Base Media, the creators of Captivate.fm, the world’s only growth-oriented podcast host™.

Featuring news, feature release round-ups and behind-the-scenes insights into the creation, evolution and development of the Captivate.fm podcast hosting, analytics and marketing platform, Captivate Insider is the perfect place to stay up-to-date with what you can expect from Rebel Base Media’s hosting & analytics team.