Over the last week or so, there has been a fair bit of talk in the podcasting community about the podcasting community. The part that affects me the most (potentially) is the news that my host Podshow is now called Mevio. “What the hell is Mevio?” I hear you think. Actually, I’m thinking the exact same question.
I think I heard about it first via a podcasters email group. Then when I went to upload an episode of Erk Pod Mini, I saw that Podshow became Mevio. It would have been nice to receive an email saying “Dear Podcaster. We are now called Mevio. You don’t have to do anything because Podshow addresses will directly divert at our end to a Mevio address. Your show will not change as a result of the change in focus (if indeed that is what it is) of the company.”
And so far, I haven’t had to do anything. Podshow’s name diverts to Mevio. People can understand what Podshow is but what is Mevio? Then again having said that, some people probably asked “what the hell does this new company called Google do” some years ago.
According to the “About” page of Mevio, it says: “As the premier social media community, mevio is the only network providing single-click access to the best in new media in audio, video, podcasts, and music to be delivered to your computer, iPod, mobile device, or television.”
I think that the title of “premier social media community” is optimistic at best. I think that any podcaster who is in it for fun (like me) or uses it to earn a larger amount of income (people like Soccergirl, Dawn & Drew, they are the ones that come immediately to mind that I have listened to) should be concerned. Is it worth staying at Podshow Mevio? Will there still be support for people like me who uses Podshow as a free host? I’m not saying that I have a massively popular show but I know that I have a growing audience which is good. Am I better going to a new host or do I ride the Podshow/Mevio wave and hope that the water becomes smoother?
I don’t think that people outside “the space” realise how great this podcasting caper can be, how serious some people take it and yes, how much coin can be earned. Yes, there are people who take this seriously. Me included. The show might not sound serious at times but the behind the scenes stuff is serious indeed. There is a lot of work and thought that goes into Erk Pod, believe it or not. Just last weekend, there was a Podcamp in New York and there are others around the US. And if there was one in Australia, I’d go to it for sure. I’m not saying that I’d do this as a career (basically due to my pre-established career elsewhere) but just because of that, that doesn’t mean that it is something where I just rock up and do, no bells and whistles. I tried no bells and whistles when I started podcasting last year but that simply does not work. You need to be of a certain standard and I believe that while I have come a long way with Erk Pod, I am still learning things even after 100 episodes. I’m open to help people, I’m open to networking, I’m open to new ideas.
Why am I writing this post? To be honest, I don’t know. A couple of things were said on and off mic during Erk Pod Round Table which were interesting in relation to the subject matter I am writing about. In addition to this, there were a couple of things raised in the latest episode of Geek News Central episode 369 that got me thinking as well.
One of them was about the change of focus of Podshow/Mevio as I wrote above. I’m not looking for the coin for me but even having said that, some figures that shocked host Todd also shocked me. With his company Raw Voice, the coin from advertising is 70:30 in favour of the podcaster. At another company (that I am presuming is Podshow), the ratio is said to be 13:77 ie almost totally in the favour of the company. Obviously for me the ratio is 0:100 but the figure is still a concern.
Another thing that Todd mentioned was Twitter. For those of you who don’t know, Twitter is a social networking tool that people have described as a microblogging site as well as a status updating site. Todd said that some people had their Twitter names on their nametags instead of their name which was interesting. He also said that he didn’t think of doing that. He also wondered about if it is time to put things like Twitter names on business cards. To use Todd and I as examples, you can follow us at http://www.twitter.com/geeknews (Todd) or http://www.twitter.com/erkpod (Me) and our Twitter ID’s are @geeknews and @erkpod respectively. So you’ve have your @inserttwitternamehere on your business card or at least in the example Todd gave, your name badge. While it might be relevant at something like a Podcamp, I don’t think we are ready for Twitter: @erkpod on a business card just yet. Having said that, I do have my Skype ID on my Erk Pod promo cards. If you have a website, Twitter, Skype etc, it would be good if you can grab the same ID for everything. There would be nothing worse in my opinion of being Erk Pod on here, @erkpod69 on Twitter, erk_pod on Skype, for instance.
There was another article linked in the feedback section of the website from the Fairfax network here dealing with podcast personalities. Titled “Cult of the Podcast Personality”, it spoke of the recent trip to Australia of podcaster Leo Laporte. It’s figures like those quoted for Leo whose main show is “This Week in Tech” (aka TWiT) which are amazing. The article quotes that he does 10 podcasts a week (various shows including TWiT, net @ night and more) and worldwide he gets around 4.5 million downloads a month. Now that’s some outstanding figures! In Australia, he has around 10, 000 subscribers alone. He asks his listeners to donate $2 (US) per month and 1% of his audience do so. But when you have around half a million listeners world wide, $2 (or thereabouts, according to local currency) per month is still a good return that pays for things like bandwidth, hosting and rent (according to the article). Leo shares his revenue with his co-hosts and also has sponsors such as Audible & Dell. His Tasmanian trip was followed by fans around the world while he was visiting and photographing it and was sponsored by Adobe and the Tasmanian Government. Small meetups with Leo were held in Sydney (while in transit) and in Hobart.
So the big numbers can happen. It would be nice to have those sort of figures for Erk Pod but not realistic at this stage. I am happy with my figures and the fact that I have a small but engaged audience, most of who I know. The good thing about a lot of people in the podcasting space is that you can easily contact, connect and interact with the personalities. Try doing that with your average TV or radio star………