CPM • Advertising term meaning "cost per thousand impressions". In the case of podcasting, "impression" means "unique download". If your ad rate is $25 CPM, and you have 10,000 downloads, you’ll get $250. (Trivia: Why “CPM” instead of “CPT”? “M” = Roman numeral “mille” = 1,000.)
DAW • An acronym for “Digital Audio Workstation”, this is an audio industry term for software that does a bunch of audio production “stuff” — primarily audio editing, but also pretty much all other production tasks.
destructive • “Destructive” editing means that audio waveforms are changed and overwritten when saved. Modern, non-destructive editing allows you to edit audio without overwriting the original audio data. Audacity is a popular destructive waveform editor. Adobe Audition has a destructive waveform editor, and a non-destructive audio editor.
download • The atomic unit of podcasting metrics — well, at least until Apple rolls out its “listen” metrics. Normally measured to gauge audience size.
episode • The atomic unit of podcasting. A “podcast” is a collection of one or more “episodes”. In the podcast feed, an episode is represented as an
<item> which includes an
<enclosure> (a link to the episode’s media file) and metadata about the episode.
GAS • Short for “Gear Acquisition Syndrome”, this sickness estimated to affect 3 of 5 podcasters — 1 of 5 chronically.
live streaming • A way to distribute content that has nothing to do with podcasting. You can record a livestream of a show and distribute that as a podcast, but anyone who uses the phrase “live podcast” should be pummeled about the head and neck with a cucumber until they use words correctly.
LUFS • Short for “Loudness Units Relative to Full Scale”, this is an international standard for measuring how loud something is. For podcasts, the defacto standard is -16 LUFS for stereo or -19 LUFS for mono (both are perceptually equivalent). This matches loudness standards for services like iTunes and Spotify, helping ensure that listeners aren’t subject to wild volume swings as they enjoy different audio content.
mix-minus • A way of configuring your VoIP/Skype recording setup so that (1) all local participants hear the remote participant, but (2) the remote participant hears everyone except (minus!) themselves. This prevents the remote participant from hearing a delayed version of everything they’re saying, which totally messes with their ability to speak.
podcast • A show distributed in an open, standards-based way that we call “podcasting”. Critically, “podcast” doesn’t refer to a particular kind of content but how it’s delivered. A good litmus test for “Is this a podcast?” is whether it can be played in Apple Podcasts and other true podcast apps — if it can, it’s a podcast.
podcast network • A podcast network is a collection of podcasts that are produced and/or distributed through a single company, or network. A typical benefit of a podcast network is that the member podcasts can be made available to advertisers as a group, instead of individually.
RSS • RSS is a relatively-simple file format that describes a list of things, normally blog posts or (in our case) podcasts. “RSS” is to your podcast what “HTML” is to a web page. When people subscribe to your podcast, they're really subscribing to your show's RSS feed, which is a link to your podcast’s RSS file.