A podcasting company called Podango announced a couple of days ago that they’re going under (rudely giving all their podcasters just three days notice — during the holidays — to back up and move their files). And now a few people in the industry are wringing their hands that podcasting is dead.
The Quick and Dirty Tips Network is Thriving and Growing
It’s kind of ridiculous, but I feel as if I need to come out and say my podcasting network is doing great. I’m always uncomfortable tooting my own horn, but really, we had a FANTASTIC 2008.
- Traffic and revenue more than doubled.
- We’ve seen an increase in interest and commitments from advertisers, and the people who advertise with us say they are very happy and come back to advertise again.
- We used the podcasts as a base to launch a New York Times best-selling book, and in the process proved that we could use our podcasts to turn out people in the real world for book tour events.
- Our new show launches have been very well received. For example, The Sacramento Bee called one of our newest shows, The Nutrition Diva, “the best nutrition podcast available.”
There Are Many Success Stories
It’s not just Quick and Dirty Tips that is doing well. I keep wondering why nobody is asking me to be a guest to balance out all this talk of doom and gloom, but they could also talk to other successful podcasters — Todd Cochrane (of RawVoice, Geek News Central, and more), Leo Laporte (of TWiT and more), Rob Walch (of Wizzard, Today in iPhone, and more), or Andy McCaskey (of SlashDot Review), just to name a few. These people are making money.
People should ask what we are doing right in addition to what the few failures are doing wrong.
Interesting Twitter Success Stories
I posted my frustration to Twitter and got a few great comments that I’ll share here. They seem to fall into categories:
Maybe It’s Just a Few Bad Companies or Business Models
Podcasting Meets All My Needs Very Well, Thank You
My Podcast Has Been A Success
Small Companies Are Always at Risk
I don’t know why Podango failed or Podshow needed to change its direction, but I’m reminded of some of the best advice I’ve ever received at a venture capital seminar many years ago: Don’t be afraid to fire people.
At a startup (and I still consider every podcasting company a startup), one bad apple can bring the entire company down. It’s even more important in a bad economy. One non-performing salesperson, incompetent programmer, or bumbling manager can be enough to tip the scales against success.
We had a problem with a person in early 2007 that held us back. When that person was gone, things quickly picked up.
So maybe Podango and Podshow had bad business models, but it could have just as easily been poor execution by one or two key people. It’s usually impossible to know unless you were there.
If you have an opinion or a success story, please post it in the comments.