Greasing The Podcasting Wheels

Large corporations that wish to make podcasts available to their consumers are generating new revenue streams for the rights holders. The Wall Street Journal looks at one such deal between an agency and a major label.

San Francisco-based Rock River Communications Inc. has struck some of the first deals to license major-label content for podcasts. Rock River, which specializes in making the mix CDs sold at the check-out counters of retailers like Gap Inc. and Williams-Sonoma Inc.’s Pottery Barn, is creating a series of promotional podcasts on behalf of corporate clients including DaimlerChrysler AG and Ford Motor Co.
Chrysler and Ford pay Sony BMG Music Entertainment — the joint venture of Sony Corp. and Germany’s Bertelsmann AG — a flat fee, which the companies decline to disclose, for the right to distribute the podcasts for a year, regardless of how many or how few copies are downloaded. Users can keep the programs on their personal computers or MP3 players indefinitely.
“What we’re doing with podcasts is taking the King Biscuit Flower Hour notion of sponsored content,” says Rock River President and Chief Executive Jeff Daniel. “It’s a patronage model.”



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.