Certain conversations break out at every PodCamp, without fail. One is the “Is it podcasting or just web audio?” The other is the whole “vlogger, videoblogger, vodcaster, vidcaster” discussion. These aren’t the fights. They’re not the topic at all.
Many years back, a bunch of people were sitting around talking. They had just come up with something cool, and they were feeling pretty good about it. Whenever other people checked out what they’d done, they came away feeling really excited. I can imagine the conversations that came next.
“We’ve got a good thing here, John.”
“I know, Frank. I know. What should we do?”
“Let’s get Jacob to sell it. He’s got that fountain already.”
“Good one. Then what?”
The product, is Coca-Cola. Their first distribution point: Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia. And it turns out, it wasn’t until Pemberton sold the recipe to Asa Candler that things took off, thanks to marketing and distribution. In the beginning, they sold 9 glasses a day. Now, the official website says Coke vends 1.4 BILLION beverages every single day.
Once you get your recipe down (and some of you have it), you need distribution and marketing. Get that Coke out there. Don’t futz around with the shape of the bottle. Don’t wonder about what people should call it. Don’t even wonder if you’ve got the recipe 100% right.
Get. The. Product. Out. There.
Kings of doing this? Rocketboom. Princes? JETSET. Distribution. They’ve got numbers, and you know why? They go out there, find new ways of getting their product served, and they tackle it.
The future is here now. There are products just sitting there looking for content. There are whole channels waiting for your stuff. Video’s a little sexier than audio, but believe me: there’s more spectrum than you can shake a stick at with this new satellite radio plus hi def radio marketplace. There’s plenty more space out there for quality work.
Distribution across a lot of platforms means some quality has to happen up front. It also means that you consider HOW you shoot your video or how you record your audio. In video, really wide faraway shots are going to look horrible on a 2 inch screen for a cell phone. In audio, you might have to record in MP2 format (standard for radio stations) to get picked up on certain distribution points. In all cases, the higher quality your stuff, the less likely it’ll be useful to mobile phone distribution (which is a HUGE marketplace).
And it’s not just the US or Canada or UK you should be considering. Look outside your geography, sniff around using Google to see who’s doing what where? Do some research and find the places looking for content. There are tons of distribution points just dying for your stuff.
The Benefits of Deeper Distribution
With more points of access come more downloads (and presumably plays) of your media. With more plays and downloads come more fans, more subscribers, more amazing people you can build relationships with and around. If you seek to make money from your media, you’ll show your sponsors that you have more audience. If you want to build influence, you’ll reach more people. You’ll add convenience to the list of benefits your show has over someone else’s, because your added distribution means it’s easier for people to find your work.
What you should be doing at this very moment is tightening up your stuff, trimming away the fat and cleaning up the lighting. Get it ready. Then you should be striking out into uncharted territories, and making lists of the places where you *could* be distributing your stuff. Add 10 new points to your current primary spot of distribution. I’m going to bet you’ll find them.
Do your best to determine which of these has what kind of stats and measurements. With distribution comes the need for YOU to aggregate your download stats, and whatever other good metrics you can find. You’ll need these should you be seeking monetization of some kind from your new heightened level of overall awareness and subscriber count.
Are You Going to Take Action?
Do you see your show as being ready for distribution? Do you want more audience? What are you going to do to go out and get it? And if not, why not? What has you satisfied with your single point of distribution? Let’s open up the conversation on this one.
photo credit bisonblog. Some history help came from this article