The State of Blubrry

Now is a good time to give an update on the Blubrry community in general. I believe in open communication since anything we think is private in the world of the web eventually gets out. “So let it out and don’t worry about it.” I say.

Features

For Podcasters

Angelo is busy working on a stats system that we hope will be very useful for those podcasters who don’t already have a stats system in place. Some who do have a system may even want to switch over. This system will also help us track CPM ad deals and provide advertisers with a level of data that will make them confident about working with us on ad deals. After Angelo finishes the first cut of the stats system he will be working on adding publishing and hosting to the system so that people will have the option of publishing their podcasts from Blubrry.

For Audience Members

We’ve got a slew of features in the hopper to improve the experience including more subscription options, easier navigation, easier sharing and improved ways to find the content they want.

For Advertisers

We’re planning on a separate system that allows advertisers the ability to access information of those shows that want to be in our ad marketplace. This will include standard show information, samples of content, demographic information and aggregated stats. We’re working with someone who is very experienced online ad sales on the design of this.

REALITY: We’ve got big plans as you can see. We also have a small team that is working for no salary. So these things take us some time to complete. We’re considering adding paid contract members to the development team. If you have PHP/MySql skills plus time to dedicate then by all means drop us a line. Email me at marketing[at]rawvoice[dot]com.

Advertising

Many people know that we have our open GoDaddy deal. This type of deal isn’t unique to Blubrry but you can get it here and still own your show outright. We also have a long term relationship with Citrix and we’re running GoToMeeting ads. We plan to re-start GoToMyPC soon.

We’ve heard from a variety of sources that people are fatigued from hearing ads from the same tech oriented companies all the time. First off, thank heavens for those companies. Citrix and GoDaddy have stepped up to support podcasters on a very wide scale. And we’re glad to help those who are eager to sell the quality services that these companies offer. Secondly, we are always looking for other opportunities. A week hasn’t gone by over the last two months where I haven’t pursued new and interesting ad clients.

Recently, we invested the time and money to attend the Future of Online Advertising conference in New York City. The ad industry is just now starting to realize the power of sending messages via podcasting. We talk to everyone who wants to talk and even some people who don’t really want to here from us. In the last week we’ve talked with three companies you will probably recognize about potential deals. We’re talking about non-techy products that lots of people would be interested in. We’ll talk to anyone about any deal that helps podcasters get paid.

REALITY: Building quality relationships with advertisers takes time and commitment. We’re ready to facilitate deals but a lot of podcasters aren’t ready for ads. Advertising isn’t about reading a script (or auto inserting a pre-roll) and getting paid. Its about representing and working to sell a product to an audience. Podcasters with 100 listeners looking to cash in on a CPM ad deal aren’t realistic about the value of their shows. A lot of people don’t like CPA deals but its the best way to prove to an advertiser that you can move product. I know for a fact that Google is moving to a CPA option for AdSense because advertisers want more value from their online spending. Make your show ad ready. Remember, we don’t restrict you from running your own ads. So if you think your show is all set then pitch to potential sponsors. You will end up with 100% of the money. And if we can find an ad for you too then you’re even better off.

Promoting The Community

We ask that people promote the community by inserting and audio or video spot into their show in any way they can. In the best of world’s people would do this conscientiously and be excited about it. In reality, a lot of people show up here to drop off a show and don’t put anything back in. This fact upsets the team just as much as it might upset podcasters. But we still maintain a higher quality listing of podcasts because we have real people going in and checking for spam and dead shows. Our system is not perfect. But we’re proud of our 1300 or so podcasts because the vast majority are actually producing content. Did you know that the Ning service serves 80,000 websites and only 200 are considered active? We’re beating them in quality by a long shot.

REALITY: We need to do a better job of rewarding those who support the community. We’re not VC funded. If we were I’d give away prizes to those who help us the most. I can tell you which podcasters are driving the most traffic to our site though. These people need to be recognized.

  1. Geek News Central (Sure, the host is our CEO but he still counts.)
  2. The Engaging Brand
  3. Grammar Girl
  4. Mike Tech Show
  5. The Podcast Sisters

We’re working on more things that will help provide incentives and rewards for behavior that helps the community. We shall improve as we get more resources. But cheers to those who do bring us traffic now because you are helping all podcasters in the community.

Playing Nicely

So often we spend time talking to people who might be considered our competitors in one way or another. We hooked up with TalkShoe because they’ve got the right attitude. Yeah we’re both looking for audience but our sensibility told us that we can compliment each other in a lot of ways. We know that PodShow podcasters choose to create a presence on Blubrry. We also know they do that because they are not getting all they need from PodShow. How can we turn them away? In this day and age everyone wants to be everywhere so that’s not any reflection on the Podshow service. We have talked to and are open to working with those in the podcasting community who want to be reasonable and fair with content producers and their audiences.

Open Feedback

You are always welcome and encouraged to tell us what you think. We know its not a perfect situation. But there’s a team on this side of the fence (a team of real podcasters incidentally) that is looking to build this thing right. It may not be going at light speed but in the process we’re working to do right by everyone as much as we can. Come find us. We don’t go everywhere just to follow the cool kids. We do it so you can reach out how you want, when you want.

REALITY: This is a small, underfunded team that works hard to do what we can. There are two other communities (Podcaster News and Tech Podcasts) plus ad deals and lots of other important stuff for the team to handle . In the end we just try to do it the right way so that everybody wins. We’re glad to have you along for the ride.

–Rob–