Today I take a look at Podcasts.com a new free media hosting company. I've seen a few services like this come and go along the last 10 years. So many people get excited because its free media hosting. Here are some of the things that I have experienced.
- They show Adam Carolla on their front page along with people like the Twit.tv network. I would be VERY surprised if these people were using their service.
- I sent a support request over 48 hours ago and have received no response.
- There is no way to put the audio on YOUR website. Their system is all about pointing people to THEIR website.
- They create a secondary RSS feed for your show, and they offer NO redirect. In other words, they get between you and your audience. This is really bad
- Their stats are beyond basic
- There isn't much documentation for some of their features
On the other hand
- They offer android and iOs apps to listen to podcasts
- They offer private subscription only podcasts
- They offer the ability to sell merchandise
The site is owned by Emerge Media who state that “We're grateful to help 50+ million people communicate in 190 countries, find information and entertain when you need it most.” They own person.com, directions.com, womens-health.com, information.com, muchgames.com, bands.com,translate.com and now podcasts.com
Their mission statement is, “Taking on the essential roots of everyday tasks and breathing real life into the technology behind them. Empowering humanity in supporting each other and giving them the tools to create a meaningful society surrounded by technology.”
As it doesn't cost you anything, if you've got the time I could see uploading files on to this service as a secondary distribution channel. Realize this may not bring a ton of traffic. Keep in mind if you use this service as an additional distribution, you will need to check your stats in two places.
We've Seen This Before
Podbean is still showing twit on their front page (again, doubtful as they have sponsored bandwdith). Around 2006 Podshow (later Mevio) invested a TON of resources to make a web based system that made podcast subscriptions easy. It also duplicated your feed and people got REALLY mad. There is an article in the latest edition of Podertainment magazine explaining how people who use Podomatic are somewhat slave to them (as they control your feed, you have to upgrade to be able to put in the iTunes redirect to tell iTunes to listen to your new feed).
The Average Life Span of Free Media Hosting
How long Does free last?
Mypodcast.com 4. Years
Justin.tv 7 years
Podshow/Mevio 9 years (they spent over 30 million in funds)
Average? 5.5 year
Because of My Podcast – I Interviewed a Supreme Court Justice
More Free Hosting Woes: Mark From Geocaching Podcast
Marc explains how he saw a podcast in New and Noteworthy that played a prerecorded message from Podomatic because the host had burned through their bandwidth limit. It's a shames as you can pay somewhere between $5 and $20 to have unlimited bandwidth with companies like Libsyn.com and Blubrry.com (and you can get a FREE month using the coupon code sopfree at either provider). Check out Mark at ohbeep.com
Elsie Escobar asks about theWeb verison of Clammr. You can find it at publisher.clammr.com