On August 15th, 2023, a massive announcement was shared with the podcast world; Descript acquired Squadcast. Given the importance of this news, guest host Sam Guertin jumped behind the mic to speak with the best person to help break it down. Arielle Nissenblatt is the Community Marketing Manager at Descript and the Host of both Trailer Park: The Podcast Trailer Podcast and Feedback with Earbuds. Arielle makes her return to this show to share what Descript’s acquisition of Squadcast means for podcasters, where this signals the future of podcasting is heading, and her own experience learning how to use Descript for her podcast.
- Descript, a popular audio and video editing tool, has acquired SquadCast, a remote recording platform. The acquisition aims to provide podcasters with an integrated solution for recording, editing, and distributing their podcasts.
- SquadCast is known for its remote recording capabilities, allowing podcasters to record interviews with guests from different locations with high-quality audio and video.
- The acquisition means that podcasters can now use SquadCast for remote recording and seamlessly transition their recordings to Descript for editing and post-production.
- The main benefit of the acquisition for podcasters is having an all-in-one solution for recording, editing, and distributing podcasts. Podcasters can record remote interviews, edit the content, and create audiograms and other promotional materials within the same ecosystem.
- Descript’s integration of video capabilities enhances podcasters’ ability to create video content alongside their audio podcasts. Video clips can be easily edited, customized, and shared on social media platforms.
- While video clips from podcasts might not immediately convert social media viewers into listeners, they do help build brand recognition, trust, and engagement, potentially leading to increased interest in the podcast itself.
- For those transitioning to recording on SquadCast, it’s important to create a quiet recording environment. Wired headphones are recommended over Bluetooth headphones to minimize latency issues and ensure better audio quality.
- If transitioning from other editing software to Descript, take the time to familiarize yourself with its unique interface. Descript offers both word-based and waveform-based editing, allowing flexibility in the editing process.
- Descript’s collaborative features allow multiple podcasters or collaborators to work together on a project, making it easier to refine content, suggest edits, and create a polished final product.
- Expect to see more AI-based tools in the podcasting space, but approach them with caution. While these tools aim to streamline workflows, not all of them may provide the desired results.
Quote of the Show:
Connect with Arielle:
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/arielle-nissenblatt-90348356/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/arithisandthat
- Personal website: https://www.ariellenissenblatt.com/
- Descript website: https://www.descript.com/
- Squadcast by Descript website: https://squadcast.fm/
- Trailer Park: The Podcast Trailer Podcast: https://trailerparkpodcast.crd.co/
- Feedback with Earbuds Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/feedback-with-earbuds/id1482593761
- Earbuds Podcast Collective website: https://www.earbudspodcastcollective.org/
- Podcast Taxonomy website: https://podcasttaxonomy.com/home
Clips From The Episode
Ways to Tune In
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- YouTube: https://youtu.be/keC2Mrvo4Yc
Sam Guertin: Welcome everyone to a bit of a special episode of Creating the Greatest Show some of the astute members of the audience may have noticed that I am not Casey Cheshire, and you are correct. I’m Sam Guertin. I’m a podcast producer. I’m actually the producer of Creating the Greatest Show.
And I’m also a marketer at Ringmaster. I wanted to, get a quick episode, about a really important. Development in the podcasting world, both for the hosting [00:01:00] and the production and repurposing content and things like that. Bit of a special episode and a very special guest on the show today.
She is, I would say like the most plugged in person to the podcasting community that I know of, like on planet Earth. whether it’s on LinkedIn, if it’s in different groups, on, slack or Discord or anything super plugged in. awesome person. she’s actually, Making her return to creating the greatest show and we will link her episode in the show notes.
she is the founder and head curator of the Earbuds Podcast Collective. She is a board member of the podcast Academy and she is newly the community marketing manager at Descript, Arielle Nissenblatt, it is such an honor to welcome you to the show. How are you doing today?
Arielle Nissenblatt: I am super now that I know that I [00:02:00] am. At least the podcast universe connector. So that’s great. I love that.
Just a big fan of the medium,
Sam Guertin: Yeah.
You’re newly the community marketing manager at Descript. You’re not new to being a community manager. And you’re pretty much at the heart of this big development in the podcasting world, which is Descript buying.
SquadCast. So Ariel, what in your mind is the biggest benefit to podcasters of Descript buying SquadCast? I.
Arielle Nissenblatt: Sure. So for folks who don’t know, SquadCast is a remote recording platform that helps creators all over the world record with anyone, anywhere and anytime remotely, and you can record audio and video. And the audio quality is great. The video quality is great, and it’s like Zoom, but optimized [00:03:00] for really great audio and video quality.
Creators who are taking their craft seriously will use a dedicated remote recorder, like SquadCast, like Riverside, like Zencastr. I, of course, advocate for SquadCast. We are using it right now. So I’ve been working at SquadCast for the past three years, and as of a few months ago, technically I’ve been working at Descript because De script has been we’ve been friends with SquadCast for a while.
SquadCast has been friends with Descript for a while, but As of June, technically, SquadCast has been under Descript and we just announced it earlier this week and we’re in August. So behind the scenes I have been working for Descript, but publicly working for SquadCast and it has been a fascinating experience to figure out what people use for their editing and for their post-production needs.
And I have been getting more familiar with Descript for my podcast. I host a few podcasts about the podcast industry and have been using Descript now. Only. So it’s been awesome and I am just super grateful to be chatting about it and I really [00:04:00] think it’s gonna be huge for podcasters. To answer your question,
I think it’s that it’s all right there for you. It is all in one. Of course you still need to publish to a podcast hosting site, but I, I think that it’s great to have a little bit of distribution there. I think if you want to record remotely with a guest up to 10 people in a session, you can now do that in Squadcast by Descript and then all of your files will be ready to transcribe and ready to go for editing and post-production and anything you need, you can then make audiograms right there within Descript really, It is all right there for you. It is cheaper than it would be for you to have Descript and Squadcast separately, and now you just have to link your accounts and then you’re done. So a lot of folks are saying, can I still use Zencastr? Can I still use Riverside? Can I still use Zoom?
And the answer is, yes, you can, but it’s going to be more expensive.
Sam Guertin: Yeah. Where it’s tied in yeah, exactly. It’s bundled. And it’s funny you mentioned and Casey always mentions, how meta this show can get when it’s a podcast about like podcasting. And you [00:05:00] mentioned that we’re recording in Descript which but then once the audience is hearing this will be edited in Descript
Arielle Nissenblatt: So right now we’re recording in SquadCast, which is now officially as of two days ago. If you our logo now says SquadCast by Descript. And then yep, it’ll go right on into Descript for editing. Pretty cool.
Sam Guertin: Yeah. There’s some interesting changes, behind the scenes, which maybe we can get into. But I’m curious because it’s such a good video platform and it’s something that we’ve been urging all of our clients to use. We’re big proponents of video podcasts and, having that arm of the podcast.
But I’m curious like, Having, right now I’m recording in 10 80 p. That’s hd for people who don’t like numbers. But I’m just curious what you think the impact of having this amazing video and audio tool as well available within [00:06:00] Descript. What impact that will have with podcasters being willing or being able to create video episodes and video clips from their podcast.
Arielle Nissenblatt: line is that it makes it much, much easier. When I started at Descript in July, one of my first assignments internally was to create a video introducing myself to everybody and then to post it on Slack.
And it was supposed to all be done within Descript. And I am not a video editor. I am scared of video editing softwares part of that. Assignment was to download a bunch of other video editing softwares and test it out there before going into Descript and doing it all within Descript. And I had so much trouble using Camtasia, using Adobe, using the other things that exist.
The second that I moved into Descript, I was like, oh, I see it can be unbelievably easy. And I felt like I was a video editor. It made me wanna go edit more video. So I have, historically, if you look at my Twitter, if you look at my LinkedIn, if you look at wherever I post, Thoughts about the future of [00:07:00] the podcast industry?
I do not think that you have to have video along with your audio for a podcast, but I think that it is smart to be experimenting, especially with social clips and Descript makes it unbelievably easy. So right now we’re recording on SquadCast. You’re going to have the audio, but you’re also going to have the high quality video and you could do whatever you want with that.
And now it’s going to be within Descript and you can edit and you can put. Captions, and you can make audiograms if you just want do social posts. But if you wanted to use the video and upload this entire conversation onto YouTube, you could do that really easily and you can have a whole bunch of different layouts.
And editing is really just like editing a word doc. It’s amazing.
Sam Guertin: Yeah. As someone who spends a lot of time in the script it’s. It’s been really cool to doing like video clips from our podcasts and repurposing content that way. It’s been really cool to have not only be able to make really cool layouts and designs and I. Cool looking graphics and stuff, but being able to [00:08:00] save that as a template so you can reuse it again and again on different clips that you take from different podcasts and things like that that has been huge for us.
Arielle Nissenblatt: Oh, I’ve noticed, I’ve seen the, the ringmaster audiograms are all over you. Just a interviewed my colleague Ashley Hamer. That was a great interview and I love seeing those audiograms pop up. You do a great job with them.
Sam Guertin: thank you very much. We’ve got a great team behind the scenes. I’m curious with the social clips and things like that. I know that on your episode with Casey, you had mentioned that getting people from being a, engaged social follower to being an actual listener of the podcast is difficult.
Is that now do you think that’s made easier when there is a video element to the social clips or anything like that?
Arielle Nissenblatt: I still think it’s difficult to get people. Who are scrolling on social media to go and listen to your podcast. Because often what you [00:09:00] do when you clip something to post on social media is you choose the best thing. And if you don’t get the cliffhanger right, or if you give away too much, or if you don’t give away enough they might just say, okay, that was enough for me.
It adds to their overall idea of you as a creator and maybe it makes something positive thoughts of you so that when they do go to their podcast listening app and see that you have a new episode out, they might check it out, but, Moving somebody from viewing a clip on social to listening right then and there is probably still not in most people’s user behavior or in their listener behavior, but that’s okay.
Ultimately the reason you’re creating clips is to get people to understand who you are, to get people to trust you as a creator. And if they are already a podcast listener, maybe they’ve subscribed to your show, they will listen to your show. Hopefully if the episode is compelling enough if you’ve nailed the episode title, if you’ve nailed the first 30 seconds of the show to keep their attention.
But yeah I do think it’s important to use video to grab people’s attention. Just like it’s important to use compelling [00:10:00] writing to grab people’s attention on social video is just another element to that, and what we’re really seeing is that there are just so many. Platforms like YouTube shorts TikTok and Instagram reels that just spit your content out to people using an algorithm.
And if you can hit that algorithm you might just be exposed to hundreds of thousands of people. And again, some of those people are going to convert, some are not. Some are going to just see it as a great way to get to know you and then eventually convert or not. So I think it’s worth experimenting.
Sam Guertin: definitely worth experimenting. I will say anecdotally I’ve noticed that YouTube shorts have longer legs. Like there, there’s a little bit more long tail.
Arielle Nissenblatt: I wonder if they’re keeping you in the cycle a little bit longer. They’re, yeah.
Sam Guertin: Yeah. And it’s also showing up in Google search
Arielle Nissenblatt: great. That’s the dream.
Sam Guertin: yeah, exactly. I think another Underrated benefit of [00:11:00] SquadCast. And maybe this is for people who have been doing podcasts and maybe they’ve been editing them into script, but they’ve been recording them on Zoom or recording them on something else.
God forbid Google Meet. But. An underrated benefit is the audio quality, because the audio quality itself is so much better than in a Zoom. I’m curious if you have any thoughts around that
Arielle Nissenblatt: Yeah, I wish I could go into the technicalities of this, but I will just say anecdotally, personally, I’ve been using SquadCast to record since early 2020, way before I worked at SquadCast as an employee and. I was amazed because when I first started the podcast that I started using SquadCast for, which was called Counterprogramming, a podcast about countertops.
Literally it was meant to be a distraction from C Ovid 19. It was supposed to be counter programming to c Ovid 19. We focused on anything with the word count or counter in the title. So countertops was, a series that we did. I co-hosted with my [00:12:00] friend Shera who. Did not have a microphone at the time.
I think she had, she was literally just speaking into her computer, which nowadays I’d be like, Nope, you gotta get a microphone first. But we did a few episodes without a microphone and honestly it came out okay. It came out more than Okay. And I would challenge folks to go listen to those first few episodes and be like, wow, it actually sounds like she has a microphone.
I don’t know what the magic is. Zach and Rock, the co-founders of SquadCast are just magical men, when it comes to technology, so I don’t know what they put in there, but the audio quality’s great no matter what.
Of course, having a microphone is recommended.
Sam Guertin: absolutely. And we’ll link to the podcast down in the show notes. We’ll also link probably to our recommended podcast mics,
Arielle Nissenblatt: Ooh, what?
What? What do you recommend? Is that the ATR 2100 that you’ve got over there?
Sam Guertin: This is the a t r 2100.
Yes. That looks like a Sure SMM seven
B by the shape of the pop filter. Oh, okay. But okay. Yeah. That one’s two 50,
Sam Guertin: [00:13:00] Compared to,
Arielle Nissenblatt: Three 50, I think is the, or maybe
Sam Guertin: yeah. Three 50 or 400. And the audio, a t r 2100 is 70 80, but there’s a lot that goes into choosing the right mic which we’ll link to. We’ve got a ton of content around that. So I’m curious, Ariel because there are, There’s people that have, used SquadCast that haven’t used a script and people that use script and have not used SquadCast.
Is there like one thing that SquadCast users need to know about script that haven’t used a script? And then vice versa? Is there one thing that people who’ve been editing on script need to know about squad
Arielle Nissenblatt: Yeah, if you are a Squadcaster and you’ve been editing in audacity or pro tools or hindenberg or reaper and you’re now thinking it’s bundled, let me try Descript I think something important to think about is that it might take you some time to get [00:14:00] used to editing as if you’re editing in a Word doc, but you should know that if you look to the bottom of your screen, you can also edit.
As if you’re in in a word in a waveform. So you can do both. It’s not one or the other. I do both. If I need to really focus on my cross fading or fading something in or out or equalizing something or desing, I use the waveform. If I’m just working on cutting out ums, buts, and uhs or double takes of a sentence, then I use the word editing feature.
So I think as you’re getting used to things, just be aware that. You’re not stuck one way or the other. You can use both. And if you are a Descript customer who has never used SquadCast before, I think the most important thing is to be in a quiet recording environment. You know this because you’ve probably already recorded elsewhere.
But if you’re new to podcasting and you’re now curious about. How to create a podcast remotely, because maybe you just weren’t aware of remote recording beforehand because you’ve used Descript maybe for video editing, but not so much podcast editing. I think something important is to use [00:15:00] wired headphones.
Not Bluetooth headphones. That is big. It just, you’ll cut out any latency issues and it is just the way to go. So I think that’s one thing for you to understand and also to be clicked onto the screen is really important. So if you are, maybe you have two monitors and you’re not clicked onto your SquadCast session, you’re instead clicked onto the other monitor, your SquadCast session will say that it is not focused.
It’s not the focus tab. So best practice is to just be clicked onto your screen. You are recording with SquadCast. So those are just some things to be aware of. And then a bonus is that you can take a squad shot and we should take a squad shot. You can basically press a button at the bottom of your screen and you can take a picture of yourself in the recording session and you can use that for social media purposes.
So that’s just a fun little thing that we’d like to do.
Sam Guertin: Absolutely. Let’s take
a squad shot. It’s literally just this little camera icon in the bottom of the in browser, completely in browser SquadCast recording thing. You don’t have to download anything, [00:16:00] which is
Arielle Nissenblatt: And it’ll just set you up to have assets that you can post on social and say, check it out. I just interviewed Ariel, and it also has your show up at the top left of the corner, so you’ve got some branding there too.
Sam Guertin: All right. You ready? 3, 2, 1.
Arielle Nissenblatt: We did it. Good job.
Sam Guertin: woo-hoo. We were able to take a picture, folks. Alright I’m curious What excites you the most about this? I keep wanting to say merger, acquisition, Coming together of these two companies? Yes. Yeah.
Arielle Nissenblatt: What excites me the most is that I have gotten better, faster, stronger. With my personal podcast production Editing Workflow, I host a weekly podcast, recommendation podcast that is a solo podcast and for me that, I don’t necessarily need to have guests for that show, so I don’t need to use the SquadCast section for.
For my Descript workflow, but I’ve just been loving that. Now, working for [00:17:00] Descript means that I’ve been forced to learn how to use this new editing software, so now I can. Record all within Descript rather than what I was doing before, which was recording within Audacity. Then making my cuts within Audacity, then sending everything to my post-production engineer who makes it sound good.
Now I can do it by myself. I can get 99% of the way there, and then I just have my post-production engineer master it, and he’s great. He’s a genius. Daniel Turik, shout out to you. So that’s what I’m most excited about personally. But I also then do host a podcast called Trailer Park. The podcast, trailer podcast with my friend Tim Viegas.
And we do record remotely for that. So we will move our entire workflow into. Descript SquadCast by Descript. Tim already uses Descript and he’s a really skilled editor there, so it’s just gonna be so much easier for us. And then we can we can collaborate because Descript is collaborative, so he can make comments.
I can say yes or no to those comments. I can make comments. He can say, Ariel, that’s a bad idea. And I’ll say Thank you, Tim.
Sam Guertin: I do love the collaborative nature of Descript because. [00:18:00] One of, just the other day, one of my friends’, friend’s, coworkers fellow producer behind the scenes here was creating a template for one of their clients for their social post. And they, wanted some, they couldn’t quite get.
Get it perfect the way they wanted. And I was able to just go into Descriptand we were both, in the project at the same time. And we were able to work together to refine, the vision to really perfect that. Yeah, it was,
it’s really cool. Yes, no, nothing better. So before we close and wrap up, what do you see on the horizon for podcasters? What’s coming next? Would you say this could be like big picture thing, this could be middle of the road. What do you see coming down the pipeline?
Arielle Nissenblatt: I think that creator, tools wise, there are gonna be a ton of. Companies popping up that are gonna be utilizing ai, and [00:19:00] that’ll be for your workflow or for your social media posts, I think. Obviously take AI with a grain of salt, test out products, figure out what is actually helping you and what might be a distraction.
It could be that you think ChatGPT can help you do X, Y, and Z, but it really is more work to set it up than it actually than the benefits actually are. So I think you will be seeing a lot of AI tools in the next year. I also think video is gonna be big. Maybe Justifi, maybe in a justified way, like you should be testing video for social clips and for potentially reaching new audiences.
But be very skeptical of the people that say that you must record video for your podcast. I think that if you want to have an audio only podcast, there are still people who want to consume your podcast audio only, and it is okay to either not record video at all or to not utilize video at all, or to just use video for short social clips that point to the show.
That is what I see on the horizon. I think, I don’t [00:20:00] I’m weary of making predictions, but I do think that creator tools are, popping up all over the place, trying to streamline workflows, trying to make the experience better for folks. And sometimes there are too many out there. And if what works for you, then you might not need to reintroduce or introduce something new into the mix.
Although, SquadCast Descript, I think, that’s the way to go. That’s pretty much all you need.
Sam Guertin: A hundred percent. A hundred percent. And I’ve definitely played around with, there’s so many, it’s just of AI tools that are new. It’s oh, upload this and you’ll get a bunch of clips. Yeah,
Arielle Nissenblatt: like, upload your transcript or upload your audio and we’ll create social posts for you. And the social posts are all like, we are so excited to announce X, Y, and Z. And it’s like you can’t be so excited to announce every single social post. Why did they all start
Sam Guertin: Every LinkedIn specific post from one tool started with, Hey, LinkedIn fam, every time. I’d have it
regenerate in every single time.[00:21:00] I don’t know if I want to tank a company’s stock price right now.
Arielle Nissenblatt: No,
you don’t need to tell me.
Sam Guertin: yeah, yeah, as we’re wrapping up here where can people find you?
Where can they learn more about the script? SquadCast. SquadCast by Descript where can people learn more about Ariel and about podcasting?
Arielle Nissenblatt: If you Google my name, which is Ariel Blatt, you’ll find everything. I have a website, ariel nibla.com. I have Twitter still, which is Ari, this and that. LinkedIn. I’m posting more and more because Twitter continues to not be my favorite place lately because of all the Elon X stuff going on. I also have a bunch of newsletters.
I have a podcast recommendation newsletter, and I have a newsletter about the podcast industry, but you’ll find all that by going to Google and typing in Ariel Ni and Blatt. SquadCast, you can go to SquadCast fm eventually that will be Descript.com. But for the next few months, they are gonna be operating separately, just linked.
So make sure to link your accounts and if you have any questions [00:22:00] about Descript, about SquadCast, you can go to help do Descript.com. And if you are wondering listeners, why we’ve been changing between Descript and Descript the answer is because you can say both.
Sam Guertin: Breaking news. You can say both. That’s awesome. I will also say Descript. Descripthas a really active discord. Server and like a really
good community there. Yeah it’s great. If you have a question about Descript, like they’ve got a bunch of great content on their website, but then there’s also that community there.
So you can sign up
that on Descript.
Oh, cool. Alright Ariel, thank you so much again for coming on and just sharing with us what, what’s going on in the podcast world and breaking down some of this this giant development. Thank you so much for [00:23:00] that and yeah, really appreciate
Arielle Nissenblatt: Yeah. Thank you for inviting me to discuss the breaking news. I appreciate it.
Sam Guertin: Definitely. And if you are listening to this and you learn something or you laughed make sure to share it with somebody three people, 9,000 people. That’s thought leadership. And that brings us to the end of another amazing episode of Creating the Greatest Show. Thank you very much for listening, and we will catch you next time.