KYOU

I saw the story in Wired this morning about the failing radio station that is switching its format to “all podcast content.” It’s calling the experiment KYOURadio. This is my early take as I’m still learning about it, but I have to say that I’m underimpressed so far.

Here’s the deal. They are taking podcasts, screening them for profanity and (one supposes) production quality and then airing them over their transmitter and live stream. They are continuing to run their ads. The thing I have not noticed is any statement about how or whether they are paying the podcast producers. My guess is not. So, they are taking citizen media they get for free, airing it on an obscure AM station and getting paid for it.

What an uncompelling proposition for me and any other podcaster. In fact, I urge everyone to not participate unless or until there is something in it for you. Otherwise this is just a Tom Sawyer whitewashing the fence stratagem, trying to trick you into to doing their work for them for free. Sounds like they are banking on podcasters being so flattered to be on gasp actual radio that they’ll jump at this shitty deal. I’ve been on actual radio – commercial, college, and nationally syndicated public radio. I’m not in a hurry to get back on airwaves just for the sake of it. I find podcasting way more exciting than radio ever was. Ask yourself why you would want to participate. What would you get that you aren’t already getting out of your podcast?

Folks, be strong. If you let other people make money off you and give your stuff to them for nothing, you just undercut yourself and allow them to devalue your labor. Doing this for love and not getting paid is fine. When you do it for love and someone else gets paid, that is not fine. KYOURadio, wake me up when you have a check for me.

12 Replies to “KYOU”

  1. there is at least one advantage…since they will stream audio over their website and get production licenses, podcasters can put together their “shows” using copyrighted material and not worry about having people copy the mp3s…so you can become mr/ms dj and put together your own shows without running the copyright infringement risk

  2. I just posted a rant on this same topic on my podcast. Someone uninitiated to podcasting and RSS might get fooled into thinking they’re doing something special. Infiniti’s losing Stern so they’e bound to try a number of things like this to gain attention and get in on the podcasting buzz.

  3. Wow. Not only are they not paying you for the content you submit, they’re expecting you to indemnify them against any lawsuits! Look at this from their terms and conditions (only available to registered users):

    “Submitter will indemnify and hold harmless Infinity, and its affiliates, parent companies, subsidiaries, officers, shareholders, directors, employees, agents, representatives, successors, and assigns, (“Infinity Entities”) against any and all loss, liability, claims, damages and other expenses, including reasonable attorneys fees, arising from (a) Infinity’s use of the Material under this Agreement; (b) any act or omission by Submitter; (c) any breach of Submitter’s representations and warranties in Paragraph 2 above. This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of New York, United States of America, without application of conflict of laws principles. Submitter agrees that all disputes arising under this Agreement will be litigated and adjudicated exclusively in State and/or Federal Court located in the State of New York, United States of America.“

  4. Thanks for the thoughts, guys. Chris, unless I’m missing something they aren’t offering to cover your podcasts for licensing fees in your main podcast, just for the airing on the radio. It would actually make some little sense if by airing on their station you were licensed as well to distribute it via your standard podcast. If not, then they are just asking you to DJ on their station but minus that pesky salary so much of the air talent insist on.

    Rusty, that is pretty bad. Thanks for adding that. This deal sounds fishier the more you find out about it.

  5. I’m rather interested in the implications of a show such as yours being covered by the Creative Commons license. What license do you use? Does it specifically state that you are not able to use it for commercial purposes (such as the Magnatune license) without payment? If not then they are within full rights. Apologies for a dumb question as I have not taken the time to read your license terms. But I was curious. If not then perhaps you would consider changing to such a license. I love the idea of Creative Commons for the simple fact that for most versions (maybe all?), if it is commercially used then payment is expected…if not then it is free to do what you will.

  6. Paul, this is the license I use : http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/1.0/

    I’m not concerned about them using mine. As I understand it you have to submit it to them, and mine has too much profanity to air unedited anyway. If they tried, they are not licensed to use it without paying me anyway.

    What I’m saying is that giving them your shit for free to make money off of while you get nothing in return is stupid. Fuck them, there is no reason to have “ooooh radio” stars in your eyes. Who cares? Let them pay the podcasters if they are trying to run a business. If they aren’t willing to do that, they should just hire air talent.

  7. Dave, I agree! What are they (Infinity) thinking? Let me see: I give them my creative content for free and they get paid for the ads that come before and after. While they’re at it, why not just give out songs for free? They could put them on their web site and listeners could download them! What a concept!

  8. i was thinking about this some more on my train ride home (always dangerous)…

    sf is a top 10 market, so what should the podcasting content be worth?

    that part is an interesting question – is it what the market will bear (stern/sirius) or what you estimate the return on your investment should be for producing your bundles of passion?

    so some games w/ estimates – would it be: breakeven, $100/show flatrate or some subscriber calc like – $1/subscriber/month (assume it’s a 1 hour show published weekly)?

    i can easily think of 10 shows that i would pay $12/yr for each/podcast…

    that would be $120 a year to fillup my 10 hours of commuting a week…

    so – is $120,000/yr per 1000 subscribers enough?

    scary huh – nah forget it, this should all just stay self-funded 😉

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