Ive spent quite some time investigating Podshow and Podtech. I’ve watched both of them form and grow. I’ve met the people behind the businesses and I’ve asked a lot of questions.
In my investigations, I have spent the most time getting to know content creators. I’ve met and pal’d around with a lot of them over the last few years and most of my best friends “have a show”.
I’ve shared in discussions about their visions and dreams for their shows and I have heard and shared in a lot of frustration, concern and uncertainty.
The typical scenario is much like a band who “signs” onto a label for all their business and production support.
So whats wrong with these new networks? Nothing is wrong with them! They seem to be working. I’m very thankful they exist because my friends have jobs doing what they love to do and the audiences are happy.
It’s just that these networks appear to be more focused on ad sales than generating content.
This is not very exciting to me. I don’t want an ad sales business. Why try to enter into a market with another one of the same thing? Think Zune – there was nothing that the Zune had to offer consumers that they couldn’t already get.
If I did want an ad network, I would prefer one like Federated Media. FM stands to make a percentage of the ad sales but only needs to spend on generating ad sales.
The typical new network stands to make a percentage of ad sales but must spend on a whole lot more to provide adequate support, such as bandwidth, design, production, talent management (drama), IT, PR, legal, to name but a few.
All of this added expense requires a lot more share in the ad sales and show equity for the network to make it.
It then becomes natural for the network to provide weak support in areas beyond the ad sales.
This leaves many content creators stuck in a box and disgruntled.
Abbey Corps is about enabling content creators by building community.
When the emphasis is shifted towards supporting great quality content and the options for monetizing that content remain open to outside partnerships and community support (as well as our own in-house options), the health of the organization and thus the quality of the content can continue to grow in the most natural direction.
As with Rocketboom, there is no need for Abbey to compete against anyone. When there are so many good support services like YouTube, Revver, GoogleVideo, Blip.tv, Podtech, Dotsub, TiVo, iTunes, Akimbo, Federated Media, Datagram, MoveDigital – it’s silly to isolate yourself. One show may work great on YouTube and another one may not work there at all. One show might enjoy a wikia wiki and another might have it’s own.
There is no one answer and there is no umbrella that has it all.
Thus Abbey is not intended to be a brand network for shows, it’s a creative studio for people.