Is it really all about money?

Feeling a bit reflective on this sunny friday before the long weekend…..

I’m looking through podcast-related news items, conference session topics.. and more and more the articles are about advertising/corporate/marketing/money/$$…. etc..

Is money really taking center stage, or am I reading the wrong sites? Maybe I’m naive, but when a “social media” wave such as podcasting takes shape, why do I feel saddened when I start to see the pursuit of money ruin it? Don’t get me wrong, I’m as much a capitalist as the next guy, but I really feel “our” space was started by people who loved podcasting for the sake of podcasting, and now it’s being flooded by people who think this will be their ticket to easy ca$h.

Maybe it’s in the delivery.. At Podcamp Boston, I attended some sessions on marketing, monetizing, and even one called how to make Beer Money with your podcast. I came out of one session in particular, though, feeling dirty. I mean sellout-corporate-whore-grandma’s-for-sale dirty. Whereas the other sessions, generally about the same thing, didn’t quite rub me the same way…

I guess I’m realizing that there’s starting to be a fence in this field…. There will be those on one side who will be the hobbyists, who enjoy the community, the comaraderie, the FUN about podcasting.. On the other side will be the money-people, looking to cash in on the time they spent (if any) on the fun side of the fence …

Thoughts? Comments?

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11 Comments

  1. Jim Milles says:

    I felt that divide very strongly at the Podcast Expo, and I came away feeling a little discouraged about it as well–not at all like the feeling after PAB in Kingston. However, I try to remind myself that we went through the same thing in the mid-1990s with the first round of the commercialization of the Internet. Everybody thought the purpose of the Internet (besides downloading porn) was to get rich. That bubble burst, but the Internet didn’t go away; it’s now another essential medium just like the telephone. There are big moneymaking corporations on the Internet (I think Amazon is making money now, aren’t they?), but they are still vastly outnumbered by the small, individual websites, the college and university website, and everything else. It has become so ubiquitous we barely think of it anymore. I suspect the same thing will happen with podcasting. Lots of people will try to get rich, a few will succeed, and in the end the rest of us will remain here as we always have, happily podcasting for the love of it.

  2. I agree that the podcasting will probably fork, with some going more for the money, and others the hobbyist route. I look forward to hearing Dave Slusher’s PME talk on people who podcast for the love of it. I heard a couple of interviews with Tim Borquin before the PME and he talked about getting into the trade show business by doing shows for day traders. So I’m not surprised to see PME veer to commercial side and I think within a couple of years that show will fade away. On the other hand even as some audio and video podcasters supplant traditional media on the commercial side, the hobbyists will continue as well. That’s because unlike with traditional media, there isn’t the restriction of limited channels. As long as people feel like doing it, they can put out their content.

  3. Neil Gorman says:

    I started podcasting in Feb of 05, and I have het to make ANY money from doing my shows, and I’m totally fine with that.

    To me podcasting is about saying waht I want to say to people who are interested in hearing what I have to say regardless of the physical distances that seperates us.

    Because of podcasting I have meet interesting people like Bob, Cat, Julien Smith, etc.

    However, there have been times when I’ve been telling other people about my one of my shows (comicology) and they ask me “What are you doing to attract advertising dolars?” When I tell them “I’m not attempting to attract advertising dollars…” They think I’m totally nuts.

    I just think they don’t get it.

    Podcasting is not my job, nor do I want it to be. It is somethign I do because I like doing it.

    -N

  4. […] In this post the amazing podcaster Bob Goyetche talks about how some parts of the podcaster culture are becoming more and more overly concerned with making money by podcasting. What ever happened to just podcasting because you have something to say, and podcasting was a way to say it? […]

  5. julien says:

    this is such a complicated subject.

    i really feel like everyone that’s getting involved in podcasting, whether it be individuals or companies, are taking over the sphere with all these gigantic, sophisticated shows. i don’t want podcasting to become corporate and ‘about money’ but i don’t want the independents to get lost in the shuffle either. i’d like them to still be able to get hundreds or thousands of downloadss like they were able to get in the early days… it seems like one of the ways to do that is to help these producers earn some cash so that they can spend more time doing what they love.

    on the other hand, money does in fact taint things. it makes it into a job where you’re accountable to people for a certain thing. if you seperate it too much (like i’m going the way of affiliate marketing a lot) you almost end up having a seperate job that isn’t quite podcasting (although it’s still web and social media).

    damn complicated.

  6. I’ve been thinking a lot about the monetization issue as I’ve tried to get the word out about our own hobby podcast. Our desire is to remain completely free of monetization so that listeners will trust the information provided by the podcast and understand that our motives are truly altruistic.

    While spreading news of the podcast, however, I’ve been surprised at some of the reactions I’ve encountered. More often than I would have expected, individuals — even those who stand to gain financially
    from the promotion of kids books – distrust the podcast for fear that I’m somehow profitting from it financially.

    In an attempt to debunk this assumption, we’ve added a note to our About page indicating “This podcast is powered on passion. We have no advertisers or sponsers and there is no financial gain to be had. Our goal is to link children with great books and help create happy memories for children and the adults that read to them……and to have fun!”

    I’m wondering, if we were to come up with a “Powered By Passion” icon, would those of us whose podcasts are purely for non-monetary gain be interested in adding the graphic to our sites to help differentiate such sites? (or maybe one exists and I just need to find it?)

    Any thoughts?
    Andrea

  7. Jim says:

    Andrea, that’s a great idea! I see that Mark has already blogged about his conversation with you–sign me up!

  8. Bob Goyetche says:

    Andrea!!

    What a wonderful idea! I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there!!

    I gotta go read what Mark and you and saying over there – count me in!

  9. […] Check out the comments on my “Is it really all about money” post. Andrea from Just one more Book has come up with a wonderful idea.. […]

  10. OMFG what a brilliant Idea! Like I posted over on Mark’s Blog: “Hook me up, Yo!” I propose that a graphic design contest for the Logo (and to further promote the idea) should be announced on the CPB and finallists can be voted on using one of those DIY surveys that everybody seems to have. Just an idea. BTW, Jules – I gotta disagree Dude: Nothing could be simpler. I don’t blame you for making a buck at it, but ask yourself “Would I be doing this even if I wasn’t getting paid?” I hope your answer is “Hell – Yeah!”

  11. It can be about both.

  12. Cat says:

    Andrea,

    I really like the idea – although I have done one ad on my show – with very little monetary advantage, it did cause an uproar with listeners.

    Sign me up!!

  13. Andrea says:

    Charles,

    I agree. It can certainly be about both and I don’t feel that a project which hopes to achieve financial gain is inferior — or superior — in any way to one that doesn’t.

    I do think it would be useful to be able to differentiate between those that are hoping for financial gain and those that are not.

    Andrea

  14. […] Coincidentally, Andrea (Just One More Book) phoned me within minutes about an idea she had in response to a post by Bob Goyetche. The idea is called Powered by Passion and it means that a “member” project has never collected financial compensation of any sort, nor does it have any plans to do so.These projects can proudly display a Powered by Passion badge (on their website, business card, literature, etc…) which tells others that the motives are rooted in passion. […]

4 Trackbacks

  1. By I agree with Goyetche! at neil gorman . org on October 10, 2006 at 04:21

    […] In this post the amazing podcaster Bob Goyetche talks about how some parts of the podcaster culture are becoming more and more overly concerned with making money by podcasting. What ever happened to just podcasting because you have something to say, and podcasting was a way to say it? […]

  2. […] Is it really all about the money? […]

  3. […] Check out the comments on my “Is it really all about money” post. Andrea from Just one more Book has come up with a wonderful idea.. […]

  4. By Mark Blevis » Powered by Passion on December 24, 2006 at 12:04

    […] Coincidentally, Andrea (Just One More Book) phoned me within minutes about an idea she had in response to a post by Bob Goyetche. The idea is called Powered by Passion and it means that a “member” project has never collected financial compensation of any sort, nor does it have any plans to do so.These projects can proudly display a Powered by Passion badge (on their website, business card, literature, etc…) which tells others that the motives are rooted in passion. […]

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