Quick Hits: Three startups in podcast tech and support

Brief news items and worthy reads from around the web:

Groupon’s co-founder and former CEO is still working in the tech space. Andrew Mason’s new app is an audio editor called Descript. The software says it can change the audio file by making text edits in the transcription. “We’ve just crossed the threshold of where automatic speech recognition is accurate enough that automated transcription services are viable,” Mason told The Verge.

Podcast analytics are still a bit of a wild west frontier. A new company called Backtracks goes so far as to call the current analytics options “horrible.” But it also claims to be a fix, with a blend of behavioral and performance metrics for both podcasters and advertisers. It also offers hosting.

Getting podcasts shared successfully on social media is still an uphill battle, as most networks don’t have great support for audio content. A tool called Shortcut, designed to let listeners clip and share audio from their favorite episodes, has now gone open source. Shows that want to implement Shortcut can go it alone or get assistance from the team. (Thanks to podnews for putting this and Backtracks on our radar.)

Anna Washenko