About Podango’s Demise And The Smart Podcaster’s Response

One of my predictions for 2008 (made exactly one year ago today) was that “One major podcast network goes down in flames.” This is one of those predictions you hate to make, but must make, because it’s coming anyway and you need to plan for it.

I don’t like making these kinds of predictions but, other predictions like these include “my head will have less hair this year than last” or, … “my first gen iPhone will be the last phone I ever need.” No matter how much you want some things not to happen …

If you haven’t heard by now, Podango is having serious problems. From a note from Doug:

Our ability to continue operations past the end of this year (2008) is in question.

I’d link to show you that quote but, … the server is currently showing a 503 error. Here’s some commentary from Michael Geoghegan and a bit from Podcasting News as well.

Doug and Lee were two of the nicest guys in this space. However, … the model was flawed (and they aren’t the only one with this model, they’re just the first ones to crash).

If you are a Podcaster on Podango (or any other site that has their domain name (not yours)), now is the time to own the very media you’ve worked so hard to create. If you use any other service (Feedburner, Amazon S3, Libsyn, etc.) map YOUR DOMAIN to THEIR SERVICE. Domains are currently $7.47 a year at this GoDaddy reseller – you have no excuse. This way if someone goes down (and they always go down), you can fix everything with the quick repoint of your domain name.

Don’t just BE THE MEDIA … OWN THE MEDIA. Handing your content over to someone with a seriously flawed business model (and you know my feelings about Podcast Networks) with no plan of escape is as lame as launching a business with a seriously flawed business model and promising a world that you can’t deliver.

If you are wondering what this means to the state of Podcasting, I point you to this Tweet:

Podango’s problems say as little about the future of Podcasting as GM’s problems say about the future of cars.

The news is full of stories of crooked companies and business models that simply can’t exist anymore (bail-out, anyone?) that are blaming their epic falls on “the economy.” If the news was full of economics 101 stories deconstructing how bad business models often result in bad businesses that FAIL, we couldn’t have 24 hours news networks.

But we’re new media …

We’re smarter than that, right?


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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • http://MediaVoiceOvers.com Wayne Henderson

    Thanks Paul for putting out this timely article, as well as the reminder that us podcasters should take steps to protect our content against these types of things. Your ideas echo what suddenly struck me after three years of podcasting: “Why do I have all my stuff only on Libsyn, and refer my listeners to my various xxxxx.libsyn.com sites?”.

    I’ve bought my own domain, and am now in the process of consolidating all of my shows into one, easy to find (and say) website.

    I feel bad for everyone involved in Podango, and wish them new success in new ways in 2009!


  • http://www.lacrossestrength.com Pete Koeniges

    I use podango for it’s slotting capabilities. Any other recommendations for dynamic ad placement?

  • http://www.podcastnorm.com Rusty Norman

    I couldn’t agree more with your assessment. I have always felt it important to have my own sites instead of depending on someone else to “always” be there. Although, in presenting podcasting to beginners, I have recommended free services to get started, I fully believe in having full control of your own future. With the advent of Amazon S3 podcasting life is even more affordable than before. You are absolutely right! We are the new media and sometimes that comes with a cost (although that expense may be minimal.) It is also true that a product has to be presentable and fully marketable whether in a large or small niche and there is no substitute for striving to make a presentation “as good as any and better than many”.

  • http://AmateurTraveler.com Chris (Amateur Traveler travel podcast)

    This one was not a big surprise. I talked to people at the NME last Summer said that they were having trouble paying their bills. It would be interesting to know if Gigavox will be making their slotting (that Podango was using) available anywhere else.

  • http://www.blubrry.com Todd Cochrane

    While we are sorry to see Podango suffer financial trouble and hope they recover my team at Rawvoice/Blubrry are ready to assist those podcadters looking for a new media host or are looking for a fully integrated solution with 1000’s of podcasters already using our services we can easily handle the influx

    Rawvoice remains a profitable company with media hosting on a world class content delivery network we continue to see amazing growth not only in audiences but continued griwth in 2009 podcast advertising.

    Rawvoice founded by podcasters for podcasters stands ready to assist those looking for a new home..


  • http://www.ShoppingCartQueen.com Christina Hills

    Owning your own content goes far past podcasting. Same holds true for your blog!

    If you don’t have your own servers for your blog, at least get a forwarding URL to point to your blog, so that should you decide to move it, you can.
    http://www.mydomain.com could point to mydomain.wordpress.com

    But best to get your own wordpress website on your own domain!

    Christina Hills

  • http://mediccast.com/ Jamie Davis, the Podmedic

    This is a hard lesson for podcasters to learn. But it is not a new problem. How many artists, musicians, and film-makers have learned this lesson along the way.

    Artists and content creators sign away rights to control their products in an effort to get exposure. But when that exposure happens, who reaps the rewards? Companies sell portfolios like securities without regard to who originally created the individual pieces of media.

    Learn the lesson learned by John Fogarty, Paul McCartney, and many others along the way. The three part plan to profitable content creation and ownership:

    1) Control your own media
    2) Own your brand
    3) Collect your own profits!

    Thanks Paul!

  • http://www.brandingyou.org Alun Richards

    Perhaps someone could persuage Michael Geohagan to buy back the Gigavox-originated podcast slotting technology that we all loved and enable us to us it again?

  • http://twitter.com/radmoose R. Moose

    The site now says it is on “vacation” and they “…are in the process of considering multiple strategic opportunities to restructure, roll-up, merge, be acquired, etc.”

    They are offering RSS Feed Redirection only at this time.

  • http://www.chilesadvertising.com lawton chiles

    Jamie, you mentioned John Fogerty and Paul McCartney. These artists never really had the chance to own their own media like we do-the contract said that the record companies owned it.

    What’s more, Michael Jackson paid more for the rights than Paul could, or he was late for the auction or something like that-it was a weird situation but the point is, as podcasters we are not tied to a content owner, we do not have to share our content revenue (in most cases), we can even choose who we partner with in these new spaces.

    Even though I have dabbled in podcasting and other new media tech for the past few years, it is inspiring to figure out how to communicate and create a community with these easy to use, cheap tools.

    Thanks to Paul for the material 🙂


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