Storm clouds gather over podcasting

Discussion in 'Community' started by MacNut, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    Storm clouds gather over podcasting
    By Michelle Kessler, USA TODAY

    SAN FRANCISCO — At Seattle public radio station KEXP, there's a simple procedure for evaluating new technology. "We just go ahead and do stuff," says John Richards, the station's morning disc jockey.

    That's how the quirky station created one of the first music podcasts — without support from major record companies.

    A podcast is a digital recording of a radio-style audio program that can be downloaded from the Internet and played on a digital music player. Many podcasters think the technology could revolutionize radio as TiVo did television.

    But record labels worry that listeners will pirate the songs contained in the downloaded radio shows. The result: yet another Napster-like standoff over piracy and music rights.

    Podcasting is a great way for KEXP to reach thousands of new listeners, especially those outside of Seattle, Richards says. But the station can't podcast programs such as John in the Morning — Richards' variety mix of independent and mainstream music — because record companies haven't provided an easy, affordable way for podcasters to license songs. That's why most podcasts today are talk radio.

    So KEXP last month invited 14 unsigned or small-label bands from the Seattle area to contribute songs to a podcast. Richards asked a lawyer — a listener who volunteers at the station — to draw up a simple contract for the bands. KEXP did not release numbers but said the podcast was a hit. KEXP is now podcasting some live performances to which it owns the rights.

    KEXP decided that "we couldn't sit around and wait and wait for a major (label) to sign off on this," Richards says.
  2. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    Majors are dipping their toes into this area, albeit timidly so far, along the lines of "here, share this MP3 of the single we want to push with all your friends!" It will just take a few heads being knocked together before extending the idea to use on podcasts sinks in.
  3. WinterMute Moderator emeritus


    Jan 19, 2003
    London, England
    There's a growing move towards podcasting radio shows for "time shifted" listening, but so far the record companies aren't pushing for royalties on the music played in the programs for the extra exposure, but it'll only be a matter of time, and that'll be the end of free podcast radio shows.

    Custom stuff should be OK, but a podcast is effectively re-distributing recordings and as such is liable for royalty payments.

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