Looking at the world of media: from music to RIA.

A Great First Step

December 8th, 2005 Posted in Music, Podcasts / Podcasting

This week the Association of Independent Music (AIM) announced that they will be providing a new licensing agreement for podcasters. This contract will allow podcasters to easily license any of the music currently available in the AIM archives. The archive will be constructed by member labels providing content from their catalog. The Labels will have full control of what material is made available to this archive. For a full break down read this report from Podcasting News.

What is exciting about this licensing agreement is that labels are realizing the potential podcasts have as a marketing channel. Here is a way for a label to reach many new listeners, both local and international, that many of these labels never had access to before. This also helps legitimize podcasting by making it a valid channel for labels to expose their artists.

One challenge that may face this service is that they are requiring the podcaster to pay for the music and provide statistical information. These are valid request by the service and labels, but this will more then likely stop a lot of the smaller podcasts from taking advantage of this service.

Currently the pricing is behind closed doors, so I cannot comment directly on the feasibility of the structure, but many of the podcast out there do this as a hobby and not as a profession. This means that many of the shows have very limited or no funds available to purchase a license and therefore this service may not be an option for a source of legal music.

For podcasts that make money off advertising and other services, they may be able to pay for this service. If AIM charges a percentage of the sites total income, like other licensing contracts, this may stop those podcasts from wanting to lose more of the small margin of income they already have.

Another issue that will be faced is statistical tracking of listeners that are required by AIM. In the podcasting community, we do not have a uniform system for tracking listeners. In fact almost every show tracks their listener base differently, and because of this we are seeing a huge discrepancy between shows supposed listener bases. This is a complex topic in itself, which I plan to dedicate more posts to, but lets just say that right now we have no way of guarantying the actual listener base of a show.

Overall, this is a really great step and I am excited that Independent Labels are taking a long hard look at podcasting as a valid channel for their music. Hopefully we will see more of these kinds of services and I look forward to seeing how they actually price this out.

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