SplashCast Intros MyPodcastNetwork

Apr 30th, 2007 | By | Category: Audio Podcasting, Internet TV, Podcast Distribution, Podcasting Networks, Podcasting Services, Podcasting Statistics

SplashCast today introduced a new service, MyPodcastNetwork, that lets users embed a podcast player in Web pages, similar to the way you can embed YouTube videos in Web and blog pages. What makes the player interesting, though, is that it’s not static audio or video that gets embedded, but a customized channel of podcast content that will automatically update as podcasters update their content.

“The basic idea is that it‚Äôs an easy way to collect all your favorite audio and video podcasts and display them live on your startpage or webpage,” explains SplashCasts’ Marshall Kirkpatrick. “It‚Äôs an easy way to show off your brilliant taste in online media to your website visitors.”

Here’s Kirkpatrick’s example MyPodcastNetwork:

The embeddable player looks promising and could introduce a new type of social networking into podcasting.

All Your Podcast Are Belong To Us

One aspect of the SplashCast’s new service may prove controversial, though. The site appears to be caching podcasts. This means that podcasters whose shows are republished through the service have no way of knowing how many times their content is being downloaded. This could effectively steal money away from podcasters that are trying to monetize their shows.

SplashCast is aware of this concern, and is looking for a solution.

“We‚Äôre working on finding a way to make this work asap. In this first step in our MyPodcastNetwork feature – our stats reporting is not what it needs to be and we understand how important this is.”

At this time, anyone can add new feeds to SplashCast. Until SplashCast resolves the issues associated with caching of podcasts, they should limit the service to podcasters that opt-in.

Update: SplashCast’s Marshall Kirkpatrick dug deeper into the stats issue, and added some comments (below) that clarify the issue. Per Marshall’s comments, SplashCast points to podcasters’ files for audio podcasts, which means audio podcasters’ stats should not be distorted by the service.

For video podcasts, SplashCast is caching and transcoding the files for Flash distribution. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because this could reduce bandwidth costs for podcasters, which could save publishers money. It could also speed up things for end users, if SplashCast can scale a robust infrastructure.

Anytime you republish a podcaster’s content, though, you need to get their permission. Some video podcasters may be glad for the additional exposure and not worry too much about the stats issue, while other publishers may not want anyone getting between them and their audience.

SplashCast is looking into this issue, and it looks like they are making it a priority. We’ll be interested in how they end up dealing with it.

More coverage at TechCrunch, Mashable

No Responses to “SplashCast Intros MyPodcastNetwork”

  1. Thanks for the coverage! Re the stats issue – we’re going to be busting our tails to get this problem solved asap. Podcasters who want to know when it is taken care of before they include their podcasts in our directory can email me and I’ll let them know when it’s taken care of. My email is marshall@splashcastmedia.com

    thanks
    Marshall Kirkpatrick
    Director of Content
    SplashCast
    http://splashcastmedia.com

  2. info says:

    Marshall

    Thanks for the info.

    Caching or republishing the content seems to be a bit of a catch-22. If you don’t do it, the service could be poor for end users. If you do republish the content, it breaks people’s stats and could infringe on their copyright.

    If you are caching or republishing the content, shouldn’t you have podcasters’ opt-in before you do it?

  3. That’s one way to look at it, but I really think that if we prioritize making traffic through splashcast register on the original files we can make it happen quickly. It is a bit of a catch-22 but I think it’s doable. Plus, traffic right now is negligible since this feature is brand new.

  4. Ok, after checking with the dev team I’ve confirmed that I was incorrect – we are in fact NOT caching audio files from audio podcasts – we are pointing to the MP3s on the podcaster’s server. We are, unfortunately, caching video files so we can transcode them into Flash. There’s not enough reporting for video and that’s something we’re going to fix. But for audio, there’s no problem – all your traffic will go to your files on your server. Whew! Now to deal with video stats…

  5. info says:

    Marshall – thanks for the updates!

  6. Ken Medlock says:

    The video content should definitely have to be removed as a matter of urgency. I’d be surprised if there weren’t lawyers looking at this already.

    Basically, if this service is caching the files and therefore affecting download statistics, then this service is directly affecting the ability of real content owners to get income from advertising dollars or whatever other business model they might employ.

    Looks like someone is trying to get something for nothing.

  7. If you are indeed Hijacking RSS feeds your gonna get a lot of grief from me and others in the space.

  8. info says:

    Ken

    Marshall has said that they are working on a resolution for issue of caching/republishing as a top priority.

    They’re caught in a tough spot, in my opinion. In order to work effectively, their service needs to transcode and cache videos. If they do that, though, they need to get opt-in from podcasters, which will likely kill the social networking potential.

    Todd – I haven’t seen any sign that they’re “hijacking” podcasters’ feeds, have you? They’re acting as an aggregator. It’s the republishing of media files that is getting them into trouble.

  9. […] These new features have unfortunately raised some concern over how the enclosures from RSS feeds are or are not being handled on SplashCast’s servers, and whether originating sources are being credited or not. I haven’t tried with images or videos, but document “frames” in the SplashCast player are hyperlinkable. So I don’t see this being a problem for long – i.e., easily rectified. Filed under: Features | Comments: […]

  10. […] There have been reports that MYPodcastingNetwork is republishing the podcast‚Äôs news feed with a fresh URL, thereby creating some uncertainty over the original source of the podcast. And from what I understand, a scenario like can interfere with accurate monitoring of podcast statistics and hence, may l leave podcasters hanging around with no idea about the actual statistics of their podcast downloads. And this is a big deal to those podcast owners who are trying to monetize their shows. […]

  11. SplashCast‚Äôs MyPodcastingNetwork Is Under Storm…

    The excitement about the introduction of the new MyPodcastingNetwork from SplashCast has been replaced by tensions because shortly after it was released, now comes alarming feedback from podcasters who are test-driving the new podcast syndication.
    Ther…

  12. […] There have been reports that MYPodcastingNetwork is republishing the podcast‚Äôs news feed with a fresh URL, thereby creating some uncertainty over the original source of the podcast. And from what I understand, a scenario like this can interfere with accurate monitoring of podcast statistics and hence, may leave podcasters hanging around with no idea about the actual statistics of their podcast downloads. And this is a big deal to those podcast owners who are trying to monetize their shows. […]

  13. […] ‚ÄúThis service is directly affecting the ability of real content owners to get income from advertising dollars or whatever other business model they might employ,‚Äù commented Ken Medlock on the service’s introduction. […]

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