All posts by todd

Podcasters Beware of Signing Your Rights Away



By Barry Kantz, Attorney. Barry is a shareholder and general counsel for Rawvoice, Inc

Early one morning, with a little time on my hands, I was casually reading through the terms of service for a new company offering services to podcasters. You know, one of those companies that claim to take you from a podcasting idea to a professionally produced podcast in three simple steps. I’m going to keep the company’s name to myself and simply call them ROA, short for Rip-Off Artists. A simple Google search will locate this company and companies like them if you want to identify them.

I’ve been podcasting since early 2005 and I’m an attorney so I get my kicks by reading boring legal documents and by producing a podcast that hopefully brings valuable information to my niche audience. Unfortunately, during the many years of my love affair with podcasting, I’ve seen too many rip-offs pop up in the podcasting space.

ROA’s terms of service says, in a nutshell, that any material you submit to them is owned by them and owned by them forever. I wasn’t surprised when I read this in ROA’s terms of service because I’ve seen this way too often. However, what does surprise me is why anyone would sign up to submit their content to a company that is taking away all their ownership rights.

Damn folks, listen up here! You are giving away all of your hard work. You know, all that time you put into developing your show’s topics, the branding attached to your show, the time you invest in creating each episode and in scheduling guests on your show; all of that and more is up in smoke. And, to make the screw bite even a little deeper, you’re paying ROA $197 a year to use their services. Exactly who is using who here?

Now let’s say that you’ve just scored a big advertising deal for your show and you’re as tickled as a puppy in tall grass. Your show with the new ad is now published and a few hours later you receive a call from ROA. The nice man from ROA says they want you to send them the checks, the full amount, for the ad deal you just scored. “A cold day in hell,” you say. The nice man from ROA explains you have an agreement with them, remember those terms of service? And he explains that ROA owns your show, and the rights to those ad dollars, since you produced your content using ROA’s service. Now do you remember those terms of service? No? You probably didn’t read them did you?

Now you’re thinking that you will simply quit using the services from ROA, essentially ending the contract, terminating those terms of service, and go about your merry way, producing content, obtaining ad deals and living happily ever after. Sorry, ROA’s terms of service continue on to infinity, “even if this agreement is later terminated.”

So what’s a gal or guy to do? The simple answer is to start all over again with a new show: a new name, new taglines, a new logo, new bumper music, new everything. I mean everything, even if you only used ROA’s service to produce one show. A few of us grizzled podcasting veterans can point to a few shows who had to start over because they agreed to give up the ownership of their show to a rip-off artist.

The easy, and recommended solution for this problem is to read the terms of service, or have your attorney read them if you become narcoleptic while reading legal documents. Do this before, with the emphasis on before, you use any services related to your podcast. My philosophy is you own what you produce and I believe it should be your philosophy, too. Take the time to protect what you own.

Barry Kantz is an attorney who drafts terms of service, user agreements and privacy statements, as well as other business related legal documents. Barry is a shareholder and general counsel for Rawvoice Inc., a competitor with some very reputable podcast service companies as well as a competitor with some rip off artists.

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PowerPress 6.0 News – Pro Hosting Info



Angelo and Todd update you on PowerPress 6.0 and the features to expect. We cover SEO, PlayList, Subscribe Page. We also talk about some issues surrounding iTunes and things you can do if your listing is not updating. We also talk about Pro Podcast Hosting and integration with PowerPress.

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PowerPress and Podcast Community Update



Todd provides a podcast community update to our customers and users.

A quick 10 minute show with tons of information for all of our customers and community members

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Blubrry introduces – No-Fault Hosting



Today we have introduced a new feature to our podcast media hosting called No-Fault Hosting. We have found that some of our podcast hosting customers bump against their monthly storage limit on the hosting plan they have paid for time to time most only needing a little extra storage to carry them into the next month and not force them to upgrade.

So we are introducing ‘No-Fault Hosting’ to give our podcasters a way to go over their storage limit when they need just a little more before their storage resets.

The service allows the client to go over his or her quota up to 25 percent once each month. Customers that are consistently exceeding their quota should consider upgrading to the next plan, but in most cases, shows will not need to upgrade to the next service level.

In addition, starting Aug. 1, quotas will be reset on the first of each month, making it easier for customers to manage their quota storage. Customers are welcome to maximize their account up to the days before August 1st if they like. No matter what they publish in July, it will be reset on the 1st and from that point on their quota will be reset on the first of every month.

NoFaultHostingExported600

 

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HeartBleed and Blubrry



Only a small part of our infrastructure was vulnerable and was promptly patched Wednesday.

Important billing and payment information is managed by our merchant service provided by PayPal which was not affected by the HeartBleed bug.

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HeartBleed and Blubrry



Only a small part of our infrastructure was vulnerable and was promptly patched Wednesday.

Important billing and payment information is managed by our merchant service provided by PayPal which was not affected by the HeartBleed bug.

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Lets Talk Podcast Statistics



As part of my fiduciary duty at RawVoice, I am required to make sure all of our advertising campaigns are reporting and being billed correctly.  Having highly accurate reporting is priority number one to me so that we can pay our podcasters on ad deals fairly, but also to ensure our advertisers are billed only what we have delivered.

I love statistics; it was one of my favorite courses in college so I often drive my team members crazy by asking them to calculate a weird stat or explore a new trend. What I aim to do in this series of articles is answer questions you might have on podcasting trends and provide you helpful insights. Feel free to reach out to me via the contact info on the site to send me questions.

Today, I want to talk on two topics: Truth in reporting podcast statistics; and a new statistic we’re calculating for our corporate clients that shows what percentage of a media file is actually streamed and / or downloaded.

I have been managing podcast ad deals since 2005 and have seen the good, bad and the ugly.  My sole philosophy when it comes to podcast stats is simple: I don’t care what the number is so long as I know what the true number is.

Truth in Reporting.

A week does not pass without someone contacting me to tell me they have 100,000 listeners per episode and want to work with us on securing advertising. My response to them has always been to get on our stats and we will talk in a couple of weeks. Often, the follow-up discussions are spent explaining to them why their audience size assessment was inaccurate.

The past couple of years we have been involved in the audits of podcasters’ reporting data that has more times than not ended disappointingly for the podcaster. It is not usually negligence on their part, rather their trust in a home-grown tool, or some non-podcast stats system.

Let’s look at the impact of improper reporting. If a podcaster was audited to have delivered 100,000 downloads from a trusted stats system, yet had originally billed for 500,000 from a system they employ, this will significantly, negatively impact the performance of the campaign, not to mention the cash that has to be returned to the media buyer.

The podcaster may be denied a follow-on campaign, whereas they may have extended the campaign had the initial reporting been accurate. These situations cause advertisers as a whole to lose faith in podcast advertising.

What constitutes a trusted stats system? From experience, we know that we have to tweak our stats engine weekly to keep up with all the bots, rouge apps, bad code and the overall deviations on the Web. We also know you need volume to see trends. For instance, we found a recent update of a browser that was causing bloated numbers — without weekly monitoring that would have caused inflated data.

If you have created your own solution, and it does not have the scale/volume and safeguards to see and flag trends such as a single-browser version inflating calculations, over time issues such as this will compound and cause inaccurate numbers reporting, both high and low. Most shows and networks do not have the time, traffic volume or staff resources to track such changes.

Media buyers are already starting to ask hard-hitting questions, and some are implementing or contracting statistics solutions that require podcasters to be on the media buyers’ tracking and stats system. You do not want to be on the wrong side of reporting numbers when an audit puts you in a position that could have a negative financial impact.

If you are a member of a network and they are doing ad deals for you, your reputation could be damaged by improper reporting, so always question the network leadership about how the podcasts statistics are being determined. As important, ask questions of your existing stats provider.

How much of a media file is being streamed / downloaded?

We recently did some research that we revealed at the New Media Expo this past January. We have been studying activity that can be broken into five categories detailing what occurs when a media file is queried. We found the following information that should give you some new insights into media consumption.

To do this, we took a snapshot of a network of podcasts, episodes in this network had billable downloads ranging from 2,000 downloads to 120,000 downloads per episode. We took a one-month sample of every episode / show and averaged out the totals below.

  • 55.9 percent of downloads where uncountable (duplicate, repeats, bogus)

  • 5.7 percent were unique IP completed downloads

  • .8 percent were repeat completed downloads

  • 17.7 percent unique IP partial downloads (2 percent-99 percent)

  • 19.9 percent repeated partial downloads (2 percent-99 percent)

Now these numbers may shock you, but take into account that the network ended up having more than 5.60 million billable downloads.

In future posts I will go much deeper and explain details on each of the above data points. What I want to impress upon you today is that unless you have specifically coded a filter for requests that are duplicate, repeats, bogus, etc., it is easy to understand how a show could end up with 55 percent more reported downloads than actually occurred.

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Setup Blubrry Podcast Statistics



In this demo video we show you how to configure the Blubrry Podcast Statistics. Stats accounts are free to independent non-commercial podcasters premium stats are available to all starting at $5.00 per month or is included with every hosting account.

Best Viewed Full Screen

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Blubrry.com Affiliate Marketing Program



The Blubrry team today announces the official launch of its first affiliate program that will allow podcast consultants, podcasters and enthusiasts to earn rewards for promoting and selling the large range of services offered here at Blubrry.com

The program is unique in the affiliate marketing space in that it will benefit affiliates with cash rewards for sales of services. Affiliates then can earn additional annual revenue based on the annual gross revenue of sales.

“We want to take care of our affiliates and make them a integrated part of our sales team, making our customers their customers,” explains RawVoice CEO Todd Cochrane. “Too often affiliate programs do not reward affiliates over a long period of time for delivering business. We want long-term relationships with our affiliates and that is the reason we introduced annual bonuses.”

A variety of promotions will be launched throughout this year with myriad offerings to bring great deals to podcasters and their affiliates. The first program offers podcasters a free month of service and the affiliate earns a reward equal to one month of service. Top rewards in this promotion could reach $80 per new account plus go toward the affiliate’s annual bonus.

To apply for the Blubrry Affiliate program, login to the Blubrry.com website, click manage account followed by make money and apply.

The team here at Blubrry.com looks forward to long term relationships with all of our new Affiliates.

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