Friday, June 30, 2006

Do we need another Podcast Directory?

I hate to be cynical about new technologies, but it seems that Podcasting is getting a little crowded in the directory space. With Melodeo being in the spotlight this week, it is hard to say Blubrry will make a buzz. Fresh for Gnomedex, Raw Voice, the creators behind Geek News Central, has released the web 2.0ish application in the wild. The first impressions in usability is a good one. The site looks clean an is easy to use. There doesn't seem to be a massive amount of content at this time, so it looks like a site that requires podcasters to sign up to add their podcast to the site. I say "looks like" because there is no information about what blubrry actually does. I assumed it was a podcast index site that would go out and aggregate content, but with so few offerings at launch, I think that assumption will be wrong. As you can see they are more than mysterious with their about page
About Blubrry
One network that meets your needs and keeps you independant.
So how are you going to meet my needs? And joining a network keeps me independent how? Yes I know it is beta, but when you launch a product, please tell me what it is and what it does.

Searching the web, I found an article in the

Podcast Herald,

where Todd Cochrane talks about his new service.

From reading I gather this much:

  • "Dynamic user-driven connecting place featuring "MySpace" - Style social navigation, ranking and commenting for each show"
  • "...listing requirements for podcasters...including"
  • "...One advertising spot for your podcast....
  • "..Blurbrry promo if no advertising is available..."
  • and here's the rub....."honor your commitments to advertisers and not compete with Blubrry outside the network...."
  • Like Flickr and other name catchy applications, they just couldn't find any room for that additional letter in the name (I mean come on, they don't charge by the letter when you register a domain name)
Now that has "user-generated", "social network", "folksonomy", web 2.0 buzz kill written all over it. Why would anyone want to join this network and be a part of the advertising pool if they can't subsidize with outside advertising? Talk about your walled garden, people come to sites for the content and ease of use. Yahoo, Odeo and others have made finding podcast's easy, so now others will have to compete on content.

The upside in joining blurbrry for podcast producers is a share of the revenue. The split will be 70 -30 split with the big chunk going to Podcasters. A fair deal, but you need advertising dollars in order to fund this share. The key question is how can blurbrry differentiate themselves from other podcast networks where advertisers will want to invest.

Monitization can be tricky in podcasting, and given the lack of big names on the network, I don't see a huge uptake to blurbrry.

Todd has some experience in podcasting and building networks, so I do think he has a chance to get some buzz, but over the next year I am sure we will see more networks with other types of business models hit the space and bring more competition to a already crowded market.

Good luck Todd, I just have one request. Please add more content to the site so users and producers know what it is all about.

Update: Friday June 30, 2006 4:30pm PDT

Anthony from Podcast herold sent me an email to clarify the comment I made about not being able to advertise on the outside if you join the network. He says:

One correction about Blubrry: podcasters can subsidize with outside advertising.

I think what Todd Cochrane means is that he doesn't want a conflict between the advertisers Blubrry is setting up for member podcast spots. Any previous advertising deals a podcast may have and any other ad deals are no problem and are up to the individual podcast producers.

And yes, the collective bargaining power and 70-30 split does look nice.

I took more time on the site and signed up. When you go to add a podcast to the network there is more informaiton on what the expectations of both parties are.

From the podcast sign up page:
What are the terms?

Blubrry values our relationship with you. Here are important points from our agreement with you:

At Blubrry you will always own the content that you produce.

If you produced it you own the copyright. Blubrry wants to promote your content not own it!

The Blubrry Agreement is not an exclusive commitment.

The Blubrry Agreement does not prevent you from signing up with other networks and it does not prevent you from promoting other podcasts or making paid or unpaid appearances for your show.

You give Blubrry the right to negotiate one advertising spot for your podcast.

Blubrry will negotiate advertising contracts with full disclosure of the deals, and offer them to you. You always have the right to refuse to take part in any advertising campaign.

You agree to run a non obtrusive short Blubrry promotion in your podcast if no advertising is available.

Listing on the network is free but each show will help build the network. Blubrry will promote your podcast and when there are times that you are not engaging in a paid advertising campaign we ask that you to promote Blubrry with a short promo usually in spoken form indicating your listing on

Of course we don't want you to do deals privately with vendors that advertise with Blubrry.

To facilitate advertising to multiple podcasters, it can become destructive if blubrry members make special deals with clients who are advertising thru the Blubrry Network. See the terms and conditions for more details.

Advertisers expect a commitment.

Let's say that you sign up to be a part of a three- month advertising campaign. The contract with the advertiser is for a three-month commitment. You are expected to produce your podcast regularly and remain a part of the Blubrry network during those three months.

No one wants "cease and desist" letter.

Therefore, if you use copyrighted material in your podcast you must have permission, and you must be following the terms of the permission the copyright is giving you.

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