12 Reasons to NOT Use Blog Talk Radio (again…)

Blog Talk Radio

Podcasting Helped Leslie Samuel Land His Dream Job

Leslie Samuel of interactive-biology.com and becomeablogger.com shares his story how he used his podcast as a business card to get his foot in the door and become a college professor. How did he do it? By getting a meeting with the right people and showing them what he was doing on his podcast. In the end, he didn’t have all the credentials that they thought they needed, but he had the passion and ability to explain biology to students and he got the job.

12 Reasons NOT to Use Blog Talk Radio

OK, I’ve spoken about this a lot in the past, but its always been a little here, and a little there. This post will be used to send people who want to use Blog Talk Radio, and I can say go to this post and read it. Here are 11 reasons NOT to use Blog Talk Radio.

Note: When I originally recorded this podcast, I had eleven reasons. This podcast has brought people to me who have provided additional reasons.

1. It’s too expensive.

They charge you $40 a month for a website that is sprawling with advertisements (that you may or may not get a piece of). You can host your website at services like Host Gator or Bluehost for less than $10 a month and get a dedicated media host like Libsyn.com or blubrry.com for another $15 (and get RELIABLE stats). You can get 25% off at Host Gator using the coupon code ” podcastcoach “. 

2. They have bad web design.

When you go to their website advertising videos automatically launch. If you are going to someone’s website while you’re at work, everyone knows that Herb in cubical 13 isn’t really working on the quarterly report (as the ad comes blaring out of his speakers). All audio should be put on a website that the visitor has to click on something to hear it. Put the power in THEIR hands.

3. Horrible, HORRIBLE Audio Quality

Most people when they record their audio record at CD quality. In a nutshell they take a picture of their audio 44 thousand times a second. With blog talk radio, their sample rate is 11 thousand. If we use the analogy of painting a house this means you have 75% less paint on your brush.

When you then take the audio that you capture you export it at different levels. 64 kbs is CD quality if your podcast is mono. This is why music podcasts are often 128 kbps (they have a left and right channel both at 64 kbps which makes is 128 kbps). Blog talk radio uses 32. This is 50% the quality of a CD. So you started off with 75% less “paint” on your brush, and then painted twice as fast (so very little paint gets on the house).

4. They list Themselves as the Title of Your Podcast and your user name as the author

Blog Talk RadioIf you search for your name in iTunes, you may not come up. Why? Because where it typically lists YOUR NAME as the author, it now shows “Blog Talk Radio.com” or Blog Talk Radio Feed

5. You can’t leave without losing a portion of your audience.

If you let blog talk radio submit your podcast to iTunes, there is NO WAY to move to a new service and have ALL of your subscriber automatically be updated to your new home. This means you WILL lose subscribers. They will HAVE TO resubscribe. You can beg, you can plead with your audience to follow you, but in the end you will lose at least 10% (more likely 20%) of your audience.

6. They take 65% of the advertising revenue

You can sign up to be a partner on their advertising programs. If you do this  you receive 35%. Why not start your own website, and keep 97% (assuming you have to pay paypal).

7. Part of your monthly fee goes to pay for advertising

You get X amount of impressions on their site. With this in mind, you are paying to advertise on their site. This is not optional. When you sign up, you are going to get promoted on their site (assuming people can find your banner amongst all the other banners).

8. You’re paying for things you don’t use

You pay for enough storage space for 2 hours of recoding a day. Most podcasters publish content on a weekly, bi-weekly basis. If they do a daily show, it’s not 2 hours. I would love it if they gave you a storage allocation and you could decide what quality of audio to use, but they don’t.

9. They boast large guests on their website

This has nothing to do with the platform. Michael Butler is the host of the Rock and Roll Geek show and has TONS of great musicians on his podcast.

10. Their Chat service is flaky

When I recorded an episode to test the system today I couldn’t get their chat system to work.

11. The file naming convention does not signal the end user that this file is about my podcast. For example the file for this podcast is SOP346_031113 (School of Podcasting episode 346 for March 11 2013). The file I got from Blog Talk Radio is show_4523051.mp3

12. You lose control of your content. That’s right, they own your stuff. However, if you pay them $249 a month to get a premium account you can own your own stuff. I didn’t believe this myself until I read it in their support area (http://blogtalkradio.desk.com/customer/portal/articles/837051-are-pro-accounts-different-than-premium-or-premium-plus-packages-).

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Last 5 in 5 from Leslie Samuel

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The God Journey

Mixergy

Podcast Answer Man

Smart Passive Income

The Rise to the Top

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Leave A Reply (22 comments so far)

  1. Dave,

    great episode your content quality is ramp-ing up all the time.

    If someone a wanted to produce a podcast as a hobby and they lacked the required confidence and experience in getting behind the mic and making the magic happen, I don’t think it would be so bad to use blog Talk Radio to practice and rehearse – use this time to build up both skills and confidence. Just a thought about getting your feet wet.


  2. dave jackson
    2 years ago

    Byron,
    Great point. Just DO NOT list your podcast in iTunes while you’re on their platform. Great point!


  3. Dave Mc
    2 years ago

    If you use BTR’s call-in-to-record feature, do they allow you to download the audio file later if you decide to leave? If they hold it hostage, that’s one more hurdle to migrating your show away.


  4. dave jackson
    2 years ago

    They don’t make it easy to download, but you can “reverse engineer” the file and download it. In a nutshell its far from easy. I had to do this to get a version I could play in the podcast (they give you an m3u file that you have to download to get the actual location of the download file.


  5. Stacy Harp
    2 years ago

    Dave – why don’t you start your own platform like BTR and put them out of business? :) BTR is respected in the industry, and yes, they have some issues, but nothing that can’t be overcome. I have NO problem downloading my shows and saving them, and I do it through itunes and I then take them and put them in my website premium membership for later use. I have never had any problem with their chatroom in the two years I’ve used them. I have also made back from their program, about 1/4 of what I pay in a year for their service, which considering the cut you get, isn’t bad. I did a two hour a day show for well over a year, so I’m not the norm when it comes to podcasting, but I see your point with the space. They can improve on somethings… HOWEVER, I think you downplaying their massive audience basis is a mistake. It’s because of the audience they pull, that I have the largest audience I have ever had in any platform. Libsyn allows pedophiles to host podcasts, which is why I left them. I know you like to promote them, but I can’t in good conscience give the people there my money knowing they affirm pedophiles. FWMOPIW. :)


  6. Stacey
    1 year ago

    I completely agree. I used to use blogTalkRadio back in 2010, when things were more lenient, but then in February 2011, they changed all the rules. I used to be able to host a two hour show per day for like when I want to have parties, not anymore folks. I get 30 minutes a day max. Also, what I found extremely disappointing is their lack of accessability for blind and visually impaired people. I am blind, and it was ok in 2010, but after they changed their web design and rules entirely, it is pretty much impossible to find the link to schedule shows. So I switched to a much better service called spreaker. Spreaker is very accessible to those with blindness and visual impairment. Yes, it’s 30 minutes per show for the free plan, but unlike bTR, u can broadcast an unlimited amount of times a day provided you don’t exceed your limit, which is 10 hours of space for the free plan, which is fine by me. Spreaker also has an app for IPhone and IPad which is completely accessible. I have a friend who is totally blind and he broadcasts off his IPhone all the time. Works well with IPhone and PC. And if I want to do something quick, there’s no need to schedule it. I’m really happy I made the switch to spreaker. The quality is better, the sound is better, and overall broadcasting experience is better, right from the web browser. Plus I can do podcasts if I choose. So I definitely know where my loyalties lie. BTR is not for me.


  7. Stacie Walker
    10 months ago

    Getting ready to leave BTR. I wish I would have found you before I decided to podcast for my business. I just signed up for Libsyn and working on getting past episodes housed there. I will lose a portion of my audience but I have announced on my last few episodes that I will no longer broadcast episodes on BTR so they should go straight to my blog to access episodes. I’m not sure if I should totally delete my BTR account in a couple of months or leave it. I tried contacting iTunes to remove the feed but it’s been a headache and the rep has no idea what he is talking about. I totally just gave up on iTunes customer service because I ended up schooling the rep on what an RSS feed is. Anyway Dave, I love your podcast and listen to you everyday. You are hilarious and a great teacher. I will comment on another post later. You haven’t heard the last from me. Keep on inspiring:)

    To Your Success,
    Stacie Walker
    Woman in Leadership Founder


  8. Dave Jackson
    10 months ago

    I look forward to it. I would keep the show at BTR while you move. Then later go back and see what kind of stats you’re getting.


  9. Bret
    9 months ago

    I used BTR earlier this year and I’ve been really interested in figuring something out….Before I tried out the Premium Membership, I was getting about 70 to 90 listens a week from people in my social media network. Then, one month I decided to try the Premium membership and immediately the listens went to 600-2000 listens a week. I kinda sensed something fishy about it, because the members in the “latest listeners” section were all people in my social network. If these were real people listening to my radio show, where was their footprint? There were no likes, favorites, or any other activity from anybody outside of my social media network. There were also no increases in hits on my webpage which we promoted on the show either… Does anybody know what is up with that?


  10. Izzy Kalman
    8 months ago

    This is a great article. Thanks so much for steering me in the right direction!


  11. Pj
    8 months ago

    People. I am an occasional listener. It is very difficult to find a show when the default search on this site is OR!

    Yeah, not AND, but OR! When I put a first AND last name in the BTR search box, I get thousands of results more than, if I just put in either first or last name.

    That is so stupid! How well you think that would go over if the major search engines had two or more words with OR as the default!!!

    I contacted BTR last year ever since they ‘updated’ the site and when the searching became crap! Here we are today… the SAME CRAP!

    In addition, some results do not come up. I did a search on this person, and some results popped up as 3 months and older. Yet, I go to this person’s site, and he lists his latest appearance on this particular show on the BTR site. I click on the link, and there it is! Only 2 weeks old, yet upon searching by date on BTR, it is not there!

    So, if some BTR broadcasters are wondering why a listener drop-off since last year… The searching is stupid. Intentional? If not, how could they have not fixed it by now?


  12. Steve Vondran
    8 months ago

    Add another reason, although I am a premium member and have paid $249/month for over three years, one credit card run did not go through (I switched cards and forgot about this), they cancelled my account claiming they sent me emails informing me of this (I have no knowledge of receiving these alleged emails) and were not real nice on the phone when I asked why someone wouldn’t call me first when I have paid over $9,250 to use their service over the years. The guy said “oh we would not be able to do that…..” Instead, they just shut me off with literally no emails that I ever received notice of. Talk about lack of customer concern. Now that I think of it, I could have probably built my own radio station with that amount of money.


  13. Karen Zeigler
    5 months ago

    Ok – you convinced me not to use BTR to create a live radio broadcast…but you didn’t give me the best alternative for a content marketer. Spreaker seems to be new on the scene but from what I’ve read it’s more for Music and not content marketers.


  14. Dave Jackson
    5 months ago

    Why do you want to go live? For many people I say start of with a “normal” podcast and move to lvie after you have an audience. -dave


  15. Jeff Norton
    5 months ago

    thank you for the article. i actually used it to create a service unlike BTR. I used their service and everything you stated is very true. They still owe me 109.00 for a refund for their crappy service.
    take a look at my new service at http://www.patriotfbradio.com/products/ If I am missing anything please feel free to let me know.


  16. Henry Jones
    5 months ago

    From a listeners perspective I’ll give you another reason. When you’re listening to a broadcast some of the ads contain audio that startup automatically. Audience members have to pause the broadcast and wait for the ad to stop playing just to hear and it’s very annoying. The absolute worse thing about BTR is their sound quality. It’s horrible. If you’re going to download a broadcast you better use a third party application like orbit downloader or real download because it’s way better than the copy you get using their download link. They really need to just upgrade their platform and work to fine tune and make audio quality a priority. For crying out loud it’s a “Radio” platform, all we’re relying on is the audio so why screw us over with that?


  17. Victoria
    3 months ago

    Looks like July 16, 2014 the link you noted on #12 on your list was updated to say you get control of your advertising content, etc. It no longer says you own the rights to your show at that level in that forum.
    After scouring the user agreement, I can not see anywhere where blog talk claims to own the rights to your content. DO you see it? If so, where? Please point it out.


  18. Kevin Fields
    3 months ago

    Several years ago we were on Blog Talk Radio when it was mostly free. Once they implemented a full paid strategy and reduced the benefits of a free account, we could clearly see we were not going to be paying for a quality product. It was okay to put up with 11kbps audio when it was free, but when you’re paying $249/mo and the audio doesn’t improve, that’s of no service at all. Blog Talk never shared revenue with us, they never actively helped to promote us, and ran ads for shows that competed against us at the same time.

    We made the decision to pay for somebody to help produce our shows, deliver a live stream at 128kbps (or, any audio quality we want), upgrade to video podcasts if we needed, schedule and run shows any time we want (none of this “locked out of prime time” business). We pay $100/mo for a dedicated web server with 1 TB of bandwidth a month, 1 TB of storage, direct access to the main Internet networks for fast delivery, and $60/year for a Skype account with Skype-out and an associated telephone number for guests and hosts who only have a phone. We now produce shows 7 days a week and have an audience far larger than what we had on BTR. We couldn’t be hapier.


  19. Dave Jackson
    3 months ago

    Kevin,
    Thanks so much for sharing.

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