We received a note from Rob Proctor, ex-CEO of Audioboom, informing us that his new venture, Podation, is readying for launch. Podation provides “Pay Per Listen” monetization to podcasters, founded by Proctor and Patrik Nilsson, ex-head of innovation at Sony Mobile.
The idea here is to lure the long tail of podcasters away from unrealistic (and in Podations’ view undesirable) podcast advertising as a business plan. The service pitch contains a dose of reality, noting that only highly successful podcasts (at least 50,000 downloads per episode) enter major networks and the sales-rep ecosystem high-CPM host-read sponsorships. Shows with small audiences (which is nearly all shows) must settle for auto-inserted pre-recorded ads which don’t pay much and which listeners dislike. (Those are Podation’s judgments, not RAIN’s.)
Podation’s answer is to build direct relationships with listeners in the usual way by distributing an RSS feed in the usual places like Apple and Spotify. then the money-making comes from selected content which is presented on the podcast website. The relationship-building part of this is similar to the Patreon model, but the payment model is different. Patreon is basically a subscription. Podation is more articulated, and can be applied flexibly to all of a podcast’s shows, or some shows, or one show, or a back catalog, or a “box set” (Podation is borrowing from the CD industry with that idea).
Podation is not intended to be a full-service podcast hosting platform. Users are encouraged to build their no-charge audiences in traditional ways — hosting somewhere and distributing to Apple, Spotify, and all the other apps. Podcasting hosts only the PPL (Pay Per Listen) content. When that is uploaded, podcation provides an embed to the podcast website, and all the tools needed to set a price and transact payments. There is no set fee for the service, which is set up as a revenue share, so the podcast only pays when money is received. Twenty percent of listener payments goes to Podation.
Today the service is in a soft introductory phase — podcasters are invited to an early-access sign-up HERE.