I wrote about Podango a while ago, but it was in closed beta and even though I signed up for more information, it never arrived. Well, now I can get all the information I'd like because Podango is open for business.
In 25 words or less, Podango is a system whereby users like you and I can sign up and become "station directors". All that really means is that we can create custom feeds of Podango podcasts and then the company will go out and attempt to sell advertising space on your "station".
More info on the station director thing: Become a Station Director
One of my original question about the system was how the podcasters get paid. Apparently, it's up to the "station director" to pay the podcasters on their station, but only if the director feels so inclined:
"Let's say a sponsor is willing to pay $5,000 a month to sponsor your show. Let's say Podango's split is 30%, so you take home 70%, of which you perhaps give 10% to each of your 5 podcasters, leaving you with 20% of $5,000 a month"
The podcaster page states that "You earn a portion of the ad revenue that comes from sponsors.", but I don't see how that jives with the "perhaps" statement in the station director portion of the site.
Sounds to me like I could go into Podango, create a station of podcasts and not pass a single penny onto the podcasters. I have to ask what type of podcaster is likely to offer up their show so someone else can make money at their expense. Podango does offer free hosting, however, so there is some benefit there.
A quick run through the available podcasts on Podango reveals a paltry few shows and almost all of them are business marketing podcasts. There area half dozen or so stations on Podango, but each one only has a single show (or one has two shows, but they're both by the same podcaster). Seems like people are treating Podango as a directory at the moment.
I have to admit that I am intrigued by the concept. While the podvertising model is still far from being settled, some truths are starting to emerge. One of those truths is that advertisers are neither organized for, nor comfortable with, "one of" deals with podcasters. They're used to purchasing from media middlemen and they want to continue doing so. Podango is a neat idea in combining a directory or network like system while retaining the indie podcaster feel.
I'm just not sure how it's going to pan out. I think that in order to succeed, podcasters will have to receive some assurance that they will be paid if and when their station director is paid. Free hosting isn't much of an incentive these days.