Personally, I think the name leaves a lot to be desired, but I'll be speaking with James Archer, CEO of Fruitcast, within the next week or so for an interview on The JaK Attack! I'm guessing there's a story behind the name and I'm looking forward to hearing it.
So, how does your typical podcast advertising system work?
Most podcast advertising services are attempting to develop fully-automated ad insertion systems. To that end, most of these services only have the ability to put ads into podcasts that are served up via a feed. In much the same way that Feedburner can add functionality to your feed, most podcasting services require you to point your feed to them and they then give you a new public feed to give out to your listeners. This ensures that any podcast episode that is served up from the advertiser's feed has gone through their system first and had a nice ad slapped on the front or back.
Fruitcast goes a little farther than the typical model by actually hosting your podcast files which gives Fruitcast the ability to also insert ads into podcasts that are direct downloaded.
- Fruitcast monetizes podcasts delivered via feed and via direct download
- Fruitcast hosts your podcast so you don't have to worry about bandwidth other than the initial pull of your episodes
- You can make money!
- Slapping two MP3s together isn't trivial. They both have to be of the same sample and bit rate (or at least one - I'm not 100% sure). In order to ensure compatibilty, Fruitcast has standardized on 128Kbps bit rate and 44kHz. For a lot of podcasters, this high quality is unecessary and will pump up the size of the podcast to an unacceptable size (one of my 16MB casts went up to 44MB once it had gone through Fruitcast)
- Fruitcast is still a little shaky. It's come a long way since last November when I first stumbled across it, but I tried it again a few weeks ago and it still has a some growing to do. Most notably there's no way to delete your podcasts and the interface is still kind of clunky.
- Privacy: your download numbers are available to anyone who cares to look. I acknowledge that advertisers need to know numbers, but does the entire anonymous world?
- In my brief time at Fruitcast it appears that the average payment to the podcaster is 2 cents per download. Hardly anything to get excited about.
Personally, I've opted out of all of them. None of the advertising companies have done enough to capture my interest. The old 'slap an ad on the front and pay a penny for it' is already...well...old. At the risk of self-promoting, there are other models out there such as my own One Penny Podcast Project (1PPP) which I will be discussing later this week.
Before taking the plunge into any advertising service that requires access to your feed, I'd test it out. This is easily done by creating a duplicate feed of your original feed via You can then give the advertising service your new Feedburner feed as the 'original' feed and subscribe to it yourself to see how it works out. Then if you like it, you can push your real feed through it.