You can now easily get a properly-configured feed for an Alexa Flash Briefing using your Podbean account. There’s no need to do anything special or go to any extra efforts, we’ve set it all up for you!
Simply go to “Settings”–>”Feed/iTunes”–>”Advanced” in your Podbean account. Scroll down and you will see “Last1 Feed”. This feed has been configured to only contain your last (most recent) episode, as required for Alexa Flash Briefings (or any other need you may find).
Everybody’s talking about podcasts these days. But along with that excitement comes a lot of competition. There are now over 500,000 podcasts on iTunes. Think about that…over a half-million other podcasts are competing with you for new listeners.
So how are you going to stand out from the crowd? How do you make sure your podcast is the one they listen to and then click the “Subscribe” button in their app?
One way might be Alexa Flash Briefings.
What the heck is an Alexa Flash Briefing?
A Flash Briefing is like a “mini-podcast.” It’s a daily, 1-minute informative “briefing” for owners of Alexa devices, like the Amazon Echo. Listeners hear Flash Briefings whenever they say, “Alexa, give me the news.” or “Alexa, give me my Flash Briefings.”
When prompted, Alexa will provide a 1-minute package from Reuters of the top headlines and local weather. She will then begin introducing each Flash Briefing, such as:
“From Pete Blank, this is Pete’s Points – Leadership Strategies”
Then that day’s episode will play. Here’s an example of what one of the episodes from Pete’s Points sounds like:
In my experience working with my clients, we’ve found the formula for the perfect Alexa Flash Briefing to be:
Time per day,
Valuable piece of content,
Call to action,
Person asked each day for a review.
Why should this matter to a podcaster?
There are four reasons every podcaster should add an Alexa Flash Briefing to their existing production schedule.
So Many Listeners
As of September 2018, there are over 50 million Alexa devices in homes. It’s the fastest any device has ever reached an installed base of over 50 million…even faster than the iPhone. Imagine how much that number will jump by Christmas 2018. Many analysts over 10 million new Echoes will be under the Christmas tree this year.
Very Little Competition
While there is a huge audience out there, as of the time of this writing, there are only about 6,000 Flash Briefings. That imbalance can create a flood of new listeners for each new Flash Briefing.
The averages I see with my clients’ Flash Briefing launches are about 100-200 downloads the first few days and about 1,000 the first month, although one client saw over 10,000 downloads his first month!
Less Friction & Easier Subscribing
Last week, I was talking to a podcaster who’s had a popular show for about 4 years. He said, “Getting a new listener has become a huge challenge. Then it’s just as much of challenge to get them to subscribe or listen again if they like the show.”
Flash Briefings make that easier for your listener because must subscribe to your Flash Briefing before they can listen. But that’s not perceived as a huge requirement because you’re only asking for a minute of their time, instead of an hour. Then instead of needing to take action to subscriber after listening to your show, they have to take action to stop hearing you. The fact that Alexa turns that subscription/listen dynamic around is a much bigger deal than it might seem.
And remember the “call to action” I mentioned in the formula for a perfect Flash Briefing? This is the time you would direct your listeners to your long-form podcast. They’ve heard you, they like you and they might want to hear more. But you now have the opportunity to engage them daily and ease them into giving you an hour of their time.
Easy To Add To Your Existing Production Workflow
You record Flash Briefings with the same equipment you currently use, and store the files on Podbean, just like you do now. Flash Briefings also work on iTunes, Google, Spotify, and the rest, giving you additional audience opportunities.
But since they’re only a minute long, you can batch record and schedule them in Podbean for publication. It only takes about 2-3 hours to record, upload and schedule 30 episodes. Then you don’t have to worry about it again for a month.
How to add a Flash Briefing via Podbean
So, if you’d like to try this, you’ll need to set up a new account with Podbean (or a new channel, if you’re on the Unlimited Plus plan) so that you have an additional RSS feed. You can use this link to sign up and get 30 days free. You can also see all Podbean’s plans on the pricing page. Just as with iTunes, the RSS feed is what makes all the magic happen.
Once you have an RSS feed, creating a Flash Briefing requires an Amazon Developers’ Account and a time commitment of a few hours to a few days to learn to set it up and configure it (depending on your level of tech skills). You can also hire someone to build it for you and spend your time focused on your business. My company, Alexa Guy, does this type of work full-time and there are other companies out there that do the same.
Whether you prefer the DIY route or hire someone to create your Flash Briefing for you, it’s an amazing new tool to build and engage a new audience while also driving new traffic to your existing podcast.
Jeff Smith is the Alexa Guy. His company helps podcasters, companies, entrepreneurs and speakers build and engage large audiences quickly through Alexa Flash Briefings. He’s offering 15% off his services with the promo code PODBEAN. You can connect with him at:
You can play podcasts with the skill “Podbean Podcast Player” in Alexa for Echo and other devices.
Here’s how you play podcasts via Alexa:
1. Search for “Podbean” in Alexa and enable the skill “Podbean Podcast Player”.
2. Play podcasts with the following commands:
A. Listeners can play select top podcasts by title, such as “Alexa, ask Pod Bean to play the podcast Podcasting Smarter”. These can be played with or without a linked Podbean account.
B. Link your Podbean account to Alexa. Then, you can play the podcasts you’ve followed in Podbean using a shortcut command, such as “Alexa, ask Pod Bean to play followed podcast number one” or “Alexa, ask Pod Bean to play my podcast number one”. You can replace “one” with whichever podcast you want to play from your sequential followed list in Podbean. Any podcast that’s in MP3 format can be played this way.
If you’re a podcaster and want to know more, read our FAQ.