Podsafe or die? I don’t think so…

A sound-bite stuck to my mind while walking away from Scarborough Dude‘s (with John Meadows) presentation at PAB2008: “I bought every single Rolling Stones record from the 60s until today; I have the right to play a damn Rolling Stones song in my podcast!”

I felt compelled to stand up and applaud!

While something in the range of 95% of the audience was on the podsafe-side of the barricade, I was happy to find out someone thinking like I do.


I am not an anti-podsafe crusaider, if there’s any.

Podsafe is doing a nice service to emerging artists. I do my part of podsafe campaigning using their music as background in my show, as often as I can.

It’s a gruesome process though, starting with navigating the mess of the podsafe websites, archiving the music there, and finding a way to let the artist know.

And I lightly doubt that anyone listening to a music-bed in a podcast will feel the urge to buy the CD.
But it’s more than nothing, so I am happy if anyone purchased music following a podsafe audition.


Going back to playing non-podsafe music in your podcast.

Let’s take a detour and peep inside the backyard of podcasting’s older brother (or rather fading grandpa?): the radio industry.

Matthew Ingram is a classy writer I first saw at Podcamp Toronto 2008, and which I follow ever since. He is observing the heated relation between the record industry and radio with his fantastic skill of highlighting all angles of the conversation. Read here, it should be a 2-minute lecture, no more: Radio airplay is a “form of piracy.”

Let’s read again Matthew’s conclusion:

If the record industry can’t find a way to turn a profit from the kind of free promotion that radio airplay provides, that’s hardly the fault of broadcasters.


Same applies to podcasting.

And I know at least one PR person from the podcasting world that agrees with me.

** **
Yes, I know, the radio industry pays the publisher and the songwriter (I worked 7 years in FM).

If you’re a podcaster and tried to do that (or you were just looking to get all the rights for the song before playing it), you know it’s a waste of time.

I will have to see if I want to scrape the pennies in my podcaster-pocket, if time comes when there is an easy frame, easy channel to pay for the song.

Until then, brother, I am playing the song!

And I’m getting people at your concert by doing that.

To be continued…

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