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Podvertising on Blubrry

A couple of months ago Kelly and I took our weekly technology (mostly) podcast, The JaK Attack!, and joined the Blubrry community. We did this for a few reasons:

  • We decided last Christmas that working under a network regime wasn't for us (and in retrospect it was a good decision, The Podcast Network doesn't look like it's moved too far since then). We left and went indie.
  • Indie is nice and we've managed to garner a ton of listeners, but for the most part, advertisers aren't looking to strike deals with one-of's.
  • I've e-known Todd Cochane for over a year now and I have no doubts about his genuine desire to put his podcasters first. While I never joined his Tech Podcast Network, we dscussed it once and he has really knowledgeable and above board. He still sounds the same almost a year later.

Well, it's already paying off as Todd has signed a number of podvertising deals for Blubrry community members. We've already turned down one deal, but are accepting another one. There was nothing wrong with the deal we turned down, it just happened to be for a software product that won't run on Linux and many of our listeners are Linux users.

I'm not going to mention the company that we've accepted as a sponsor because mentioning a paying sponsor for my personal podcast on Biz Podcasting seems to blur the lines of decency and possibly ethics, but it's pretty obvious who they are if you stumble across our podcast site.

The point of this entry is that I've long held the belief that the only advantage a network brings to a podcaster is precisely what Todd is doing with Blubrry - leverage by sheer number of podcasters. When a company wants to advertise on a podcast, they don't want to fiddle through Podcast Alley looking for relevant shows and then contact and cut a deal with each individual podcaster. They want to phone one person and sign one deal.

The early networks didn't understand this and thought that the value they brought to podcasters was free hosting. That might have even been marginally true a year ago, but now that bandwidth is basically free, the networks have lost their bargaining chips. That's why communities like Blubrry make so much sense. All I do is join in spirit and all I'm obligated to do is say that I'm a member of Blubrry. That's it. Nothing else. In exchange, Todd hunts down podvertising deals for me. He recognizes that we don't owe him anything - in fact, we have the product that he needs to make his model work. If anything, he owes us and that's what the "networks" didn't get then and some still don't get today.

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