The podcast world is still in shock after the announcement of Descript’s acquisition of Squadcast. To help break down this merger of two of the premier tech companies in the podcasting industry, I was thrilled to be joined by special guest Arielle Nissenblatt on Creating The Greatest Show. Arielle is the new Community Marketing Manager at Descript and was previously SquadCast’s Community Manager prior to the acquisition. Through watching Descript’s announcement and my conversation with Arielle, I’ve been able to make sense of what happened, why it matters, and what it means for podcasters.
Descript Bought Squadcast, Here’s What You Need To Know
Descript is an AI-powered video editing software that has become widely known amongst podcasters and content marketers for its text-based approach to editing. For years, an integrated remote-recording solution was consistently ranked as one of the top feature requests by Descript users. While Descript would have loved to add one before, the costs associated with developing their own recording platform kept the idea of becoming an all-in-one tool for podcasters and content creators firmly in the dream category.
That is until Descript purchased fellow San Francisco Bay-based tech company, SquadCast. SquadCast is a browser-based remote-recording platform that is popular among podcasters for its high-quality audio and video files. Descript’s Founder and CEO, Andrew Mason, described the recording platform that SquadCast developed as, “the most reliable remote recording tech out there.”
While only being announced on August 15th, 2023, SquadCast has been operating as a part of Descript since sometime in June 2023. Behind the scenes, the two teams have been hard at work integrating the two products to create a more efficient workflow for users of both products.
One of the biggest pieces of news from the announcement is that Descript will be providing all of its users with the SquadCast remote recording platform for free. That’s right! It’s not often that you can actually decrease the cost of your tech stack for anything. Existing users of both SquadCast and Descript can easily link their accounts to start saving a little extra each month.
During Descript’s Season 5 virtual event, the company revealed its recording platform’s new name, SquadCast by Descript.
In what I’m sure is a completely unrelated development, SquadCast rival remote-recording platform Riverside announced they’ve made big improvements to their own post-production tools.
Why Descript Buying SquadCast Matters for Podcasters
Simply put, the podcast production workflow is now exponentially more efficient for both Hosts and Producers.
SquadCast Provides Higher Video & Audio Quality For Your Podcast
Creators are able to record HD, 1080p video using SquadCast by Descript. That video resolution is in stark contrast to Zoom’s default recording resolution of only a mere 360p. One of the most underrated aspects of Squadcast, especially versus Zoom, is the audio quality of the recordings. Take it from someone who’s editing 500+ podcast episodes, podcasts recorded on Zoom have a distinct sound… and it’s not good.
As with anything, it’s crucial to start with the best possible audio quality. Even with some of the amazing tools within Descript for fixing poor sound quality, there’s only so much even the best editors and producers can do. Zoom audio is not far off in quality from a voicemail, while SquadCast’s audio files are more akin to what you would hear from a sports broadcast on TV.
B2B marketers concerned about creating a branded podcast for their companies that will have worse video quality than the feed from the first moon landing can now let out a small relaxing sigh because the assets they repurpose from a podcast recorded on SquadCast by Descript will look and sound great!
An All-In-One Tool that Combines a Great Recording Platform & An Easy-to-Use Video Editor
With the integration between the tools, you can now record a podcast episode using SquadCast by Descript and once you’re finished the recording, the files will automatically be uploading to a new project in Descript, ready to edit. That means no waiting for things to download from SquadCast to your computer and no waiting for files to upload to Descript from your computer. The cumulative time saved because of this integration will be immeasurable.
Descript and SquadCast Combining Mean Cheaper Tech Stacks
Since Descript is now offering SquadCast’s remote-recordng studio to users for free, it means you can trim whatever you had been spending on your SquadCast plan and add that back into you budget… every month! This makes it much cheaper than it would be for you to have Descript and SquadCast separately. To redeem the special offer, all users of either platform have to do is to link your accounts and then you’re done.
If you’re among those asking if you can still can use Zencastr, Riverside, Zoom, etc. The answer is, yes.
However, it’s going to be more expensive and be less integrated. For example, you’ll still have to pay for both Riverside and Descript and you’ll also have to wait while downloading and uploading your podcast episode files.
Want our advice? Don’t make this harder or more expensive on yourself, go with the all-in-one solution that’s going to save you money. It’s not really a tough decision.
Descript adding SquadCast Makes Repurposing Podcast Content Easier Than Ever
Platforms like YouTube Shorts, TikTok, and Instagram Reels are ready, willing, and able to share short-form content from your podcast with new and existing audiences using their algorithms. This presents an amazing opportunity for brands and indie podcasters alike to increase awareness through free, organic content… that’s already recorded! Adding to the good news, you don’t need to invest tons of time into editing these clips to be perfect. Simply adding your podcast’s logo and live-captions is enough to get your content repurposing machine going.
Some people can get bogged down in trying to get a 25-second vertical-form podcast clip perfected with added animations and sound effects. Thankfully Descript provides some sleek templates to get you started and making custom templates that your show and brand are easy to do as well.
Here’s A Quick Introduction To Descript
Founded in 2017 by Andrew Mason, Descript is an AI-powered audio and video editing software that is well-known for its revolutionary text-based editing process. Since 2017, Descript’s ease of use has helped it become an essential tool among podcasters and content marketers, leading to the $50 million Series C funding it raised in Q4 of 2022.
If you edit your own podcast and are used to traditional timeline editing software or DAWs (Digital Audio Workstation), editing in Descript may take some adjustment.
Unlike tools such as Audacity, Pro Tools, Hindenburg, and Reaper that require you to work within a timeline, Descript’s text-based editing is much more straightforward and accessible. However, for making finer adjustments, Descript does provide timeline-editing functionality. For example, Arielle shared that she uses both methods when working on her podcast.
After becoming part of the Descript team earlier this year, Arielle discussed her experience of transferring her podcast workflow to Descript. When editing Trailer Park: The Podcast Trailer Podcast, which she co-hosts with Tim Villegas, she saw firsthand how helpful the collaborative features built into Descript are.
As she explained, “Tim already uses Descript and he’s a really skilled editor there, so it’s just going to be so much easier for us… He can make comments, I can say yes or no to those comments. I can make comments, he can say, Arielle, that’s a bad idea and I’ll say thank you, Tim.” Although joking about the back and forth and Tim, this example with Arielle’s workflow is a perfect display of the Google Doc-esque realtime capabilities of the software.
What is Squadcast by Descript & What Do Podcasters New To Squadcast Need to Know
SquadCast by Descript is a remote recording platform that helps creators all over the world record amazing, HD audio and video with anyone, anywhere, at anytime remotely. Think of it like Zoom, except that has been optimized to capture really great audio and video quality, it’s completely browser-based, and it’s super easy to use.
Podcasters who take the quality of their content seriously will use dedicated remote-recording software, such as SquadCast, Riverside, or Zencastr. The tool we recommend for recording high-quality video remotely is SquadCast which is what we use for our shows like Creating The Greatest Show and The Hard Corps Marketing Show.
Benefits of Using SquadCast by Descript for Your Podcast
One of the key benefits that we think sets SquadCast apart from similar video-conferencing tools is that each participant’s audio and video is recorded locally on their device before being automatically uploaded to the show’s storage in the cloud. This means that even if their internet connection is poor, the files you use while editing are not affected by buffering, lag, or other common remote recording issues.
SquadCast by Descript is currently capable of recording 1080p videos, however, during the live announcement, there were hints that recording 4k video files could be right around the corner.
Because of its browser-based nature, a tip to keep in mind is to make sure that you a clicked into the browser window and the SquadCast tab. That ensures the connection with your guest is as strong as it can be. Your SquadCast session will alert you when your SquadCast tab is not the “focus” tab or if you begin to experience connection issues. This is especially important if, for example, you’re using 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.
Even with how fantastic SquadCast by Descript is at recording high-quality content, it’s still important to make sure that you’re recording from a quiet, comfortable environment.
A fun bonus feature of recording with SquadCast is that you and your guests can take a SquadShot which is like taking a group photo. SquadShots feature a picture of you and your guest along with the name and logo of your podcast which makes this a great asset that you can share on social media to promote that podcast episode.
In conclusion, the innovative capabilities of Descript and SquadCast present a powerful toolset for aspiring and seasoned podcasters alike. The ease of collaboration, text-based editing, and high-quality remote recording facilities are not just features, but a revolution in podcast creation. These tools are designed to streamline your workflow and enhance the quality of your podcast, allowing you to focus on what truly matters – your message, your audience, and your vision. Whether you’re a novice venturing into the podcasting world or an experienced hand looking for efficiency, remember, excellent tools like Descript and SquadCast exist to support you. The world is waiting to hear your voice, your thoughts, and your stories. Be bold, be authentic, and let your podcast journey begin.