My Shorter Take on KYOU

Let me try to boil down my unease with KYOU even further with a simile. KYOU’s invitation of podcasters to fill their air signal under terms not at all favorable to the content creators brings the following to mind.

It is like being an average joe in high school when one of the in-crowd invites you to their party. You, of course, are flattered and of course you attend. When you show up it turns out they expect you to serve drinks and bus the tables.

Update: I haven’t listened to this interview yet, but via Mike Dunn comes this nugget from an NPR interview:

hey, one pearl joel [Hollander – chairman and CEO of Infinity Broadcasting] mentioned is that infinity is “not going to charge podcasters to put their shows on the air” – wtf was that?

Here I’ve been thinking it sucks that they want your work for free. Actually now I find out that they are doing us a big favor by not actually charging us for getting our work for free. I’m downgrading my opinion from “Sounds like a bad deal” to “Bite my wang.”

My brother’s advice is to ignore them and let them die a slow death. That’s probably a good idea, so I’m going to try to avoid talking them up too much and giving them lots of attention. Unless something really notable happens, this will be my last post on this ugly subject.

8 Replies to “My Shorter Take on KYOU”

  1. I’ve already submitted The Roadhouse to KYOU Radio. The submission agreement on the site is pretty lengthy, giving Infinity the ability to edit and reorganize your content in any way they feel is appropriate to their use. It does, however, grant them a non-exclusive license on the content, so content creators can push this content to any number of other outlets even if and when it’s used by KYOU. That’s pretty cool.

  2. Dave:

    Since you were good enough to raise the issue at The Roadhouse, I’ll comment in kind here.

    First, the licensing agreement with Infinity/KYOU is a one-off. You agree to their terms each time you upload content, not in perpetuity. If Infinity were to approach me for anything more than that – ongoing content on a regular basis – then the prospect of any future free content would be gone. They would have exposed the real value of the content to their station simply by extending the invitation. So, while in the details the license does seem to favor Infinity, it’s a per-transaction agreement that’s only renewable by the content provider.

    The Roadhouse show submitted to KYOU was 008. It’s a few weeks old, already, and will certainly be less fresh if and when it hits the airwaves. Yes, it’s part of the archives of The Roadhouse, but only one small piece of an every-growing catalog. And, again, it’s a single upload, not a perpetual license to the entire Roadhouse archive past, present and future.

    So why deal with them at all? Three words – exposure, exposure, exposure. KYOU has gotten the attention of everyone of high merit in the podcasting world and quite a bit outside our rarefied atmosphere. Their listenership – web and broadcast – will likely be pretty high in the beginning. My goal is to be one of the first on the station with a single show, and to leverage that high exposure into a bigger listenership for the podcast. The goal isn’t, as some folks seem to take it, to help out KYOU without compensation. Even without financial compensation, a single exposure early on in the life of KYOU – when they’re at their own highest exposure level – is a good opportunity to broaden and deepen the *real* capital of The Roadhouse – the podcast listenership. In that context and, given the one-off nature of their license, the podcast probably stands more to gain than the radio station or Infinity. As is so often the case, equitable compensation isn’t always about hard cash.

    A quick analogous question. Now that Daily Source Code has a sponsor, do we quit sending promos to Adam without compensation? You could reasonably make the argument that the promos are one of the reasons the show has the incredible audience it has. In other words, we should be charging Adam for the promos because he’s now making money directly from the podcast – of which the promos are an integral element. That’s not realistic because the benefit of being mentioned once on Daily Source Code far outweighs any financial compensation. I don’t see the situation with KYOU as much different than that, given that I can choose both the content and the frequency with which to provide it.

    In any event, if I don’t see the gains in listenership I’d expect from an exposure like this, I can easily refrain from uploading any further content. The nature of their own license seems to leave that choice up to me. This isn’t quite in the Evil Genius mode of “sticking it to The Man,” but it is a way to use The Man’s resources to benefit The Roadhouse on terms that actually favor the podcast.

    Truth is, I hardly expect KYOU to be around in a year, at least in a free content model. I think the buzz will die down and their free content will slow to a trickle. In my case, I wouldn’t create content unique to KYOU and, eventually, uploading content multiple times to multiple locations would just be a pain in the ass. Add in the fact that we early adopters have notoriously short attention spans, and I can’t see this model working over the long term.

  3. or someone at infinity prints it out for him 😉

    i agree w/ dave’s pov completely, but these are very articulate points you’ve raised tony – you seem to be entering this w/ your eyes open…

    i can’t find fault w/ your logic – it is your content after all…

    i hope the others in the 100’s of podcast submitted to kyou are doing the same…

  4. This all assumes they take the show for airing. If they’re following this particular discussion, I think it’s unlikely they’ll do so. Of course, a decision to pass on the content based on this discussion would further decimate the altrusitic spin they’ve tried to put on it – as if any of us believe that to start with.

    And not airing it is alright, too. The discussion is one that will have to happen in an even bigger way, probably before we know it.

  5. This all assumes they take the show for airing. If they’re following this particular discussion, I think it’s unlikely they’ll do so. Of course, a decision to pass on the content based on this discussion would further decimate the altrusitic spin they’ve tried to put on it – as if any of us believe that to start with.

    And not airing it is alright, too. The discussion is one that will have to happen in an even bigger way, probably before we know it.

  6. This all assumes they take the show for airing. If they’re following this particular discussion, I think it’s unlikely they’ll do so. Of course, a decision to pass on the content based on this discussion would further decimate the altrusitic spin they’ve tried to put on it – as if any of us believe that to start with.

    And not airing it is alright, too. The discussion is one that will have to happen in an even bigger way, probably before we know it.

  7. We should feel lucky they don’t charge us for getting our show/podcast on the air. These larger networks and larger market stations really think of content creators like us as infomercials and free content.

    Seattle area talk stations are charging show hosts as much as $2,000 per hour per day to have your show on the air. We are really getting a deal. The other dirty secret is that a station like this one that does not show up in the ratings in San Francisco is getting maybe 2-5,000 listeners in an hour. The deal just gets even better. An average sized podcaster is getting that much distribution.

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