February 24, 2006

It WAS a Good Idea!!

So, not too long ago, I told my wife I had a great idea. I was going to talk to the folks at Lifeway about setting up a podcast service for Christians, especially churches, who wanted to podcast but wanted to keep costs to a minimum. The service would be free for Southern Baptists -- supported by the Cooperative Program -- and of minimal expense (less than $5 a month) for non SBC folks. NOT because we're better than the rest of ya', but because we already pay into the CP, so in effect we'd really be paying something, just more indirectly.

Today I learned, thanks to Podcasting News, that Lifeway has done it already, or at least they are supporting the folks who are doing it. Christian Podder even goes me a step better - they're free for everyone who wants to d a Christian podcast. They'l host your MP3 files and everything.

The only drawback is that to listen to podcasts on their system, you have to download their software. There's no RSS feed to plug into iTunes or anything like that. MOST of the podcasts that are listed have their own web sites, and assumably an RSS feed for the podcast, but people who are new to podcasting may not have that. If the idea is to get the word out to everyone, I'm not sure that Christian Podder will be the most effective, though for edification it will be an outstanding resource. I think that podcasts need to be available to iTunes users, and publicizing an RSS feed can only increase the number of listeners to the podcast.

I've signed up, and both my podcasts will be added to their directory, but I'm not abandoning the hosting I already have at podOmatic. I get an RSS feed there, and my shows will show up in iTunes and all the other podcast directories that I've submitted them to. One thing I've learned in podcasting -- don't put all your eggs in one basket, nor all your hopes in one podcasting directory or service. But Christian Podder is a valuable service, and I can now honestly say that one of my great ideas really was a great idea. So great that it's already been done!

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 02:10 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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February 21, 2006

Pay to Play Podcasting?

There are some podcasts that are going to a subscription-only format. The Earthcore podcast, which was originally presented as a free weekly podcast, is now available in the iTunes music store for $9.99 for a complete download. Also, one of the most popular podcasts in the BBC's recent podcasting experiment, The Ricky Gervais Show, is going to a subscription-based format starting on the 28th of February. The show will cost $2 per fownload from Audible.co.uk and iTunes.

I've known podcasters who have done similar things. The Richard Vobes Show has some things that are available to everyone, but has special subscriber content that makes people want to pay the $20 to become a member. I like that business model better. Give people a reason to give you money, rather than simply assume that they're willing to start paying for something that you've previously given them for free.

Earthcore is a different case, though, and I agree witht he way it was handled -- though here, again, is an example of something that would be better served with some value-added content. I'm sure people have saved the episodes of the original podcast on their computers, or burned them to CDs. I can see these being passed around by fans, bypassing the pay-per-listen downloads. But if the new downloads gave users something more for their ten bucks, there might be more people downloading.

Of course, I've said for a while now that the answer for the record industry isn't going after people who rip CDs, or making CDs unrippable, but to make some value-added content available only on the original CD. Coupons for free stuff, codes for free downloads, drawings for free concert tickets, etc. would be a great idea here, and there are fans who would shell out the money for these extras.

Think value added -- it's the way to go. This is one area where my former marketing weasel self shines through -- people will pay more if they think they're getting more. Don't believe me? Hang out at the local Sams one Saturday morning, and watch the people buying 20 gallon drums of Mustard because it's cheaper per serving than buying it by the squeeze bottle. There's a perceived value. And it works everywhere -- even in the recording industry, if they'll let it.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 07:41 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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February 11, 2006

US Olympic Team Podcasts ... Sorta

I was thrilled to see that the US Olympic Team has a podcast site. I got there, fired up iTunes, and was ready to add the feed to my already growing collection of Olympic podcasting goodness.

But there's no feed address. The US Olympic Team must have read the same misinformation that Forbes magazine did, because all that they have on the site are a bunch of .m3u files -- MP3 playlists. You can't even download the thing to your iPod, much less subscribe to a feed and have the content automatically downloaded for you. All it is is an audio diary, with no way to listen if you aren't connected to the internet. Disappointing.

But there are a bunch of Olympic podcasts out there. You can see a list at the Podcasting News site.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 02:45 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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February 10, 2006

When "the Man" Gets it Wrong

Found this article on Podcasting at forbes.com, and read with anticipation. I love getting a more mainstream take on podcasting and podcasters.

Unfortunately, Forbes didn't do it's homework. At all. more...

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 06:57 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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