Pursuing Podcasters - Make it Easy
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In addition to the big names, there are web hosts that have sprung up that cater specifically to podcasters. They started entering the field about a year ago, when Liberated Syndication (libsyn) launched what was believed to be the first podcast service provider. It provides bandwidth, storage, and RSS creation tools.
The niche players do not own this space, however; part of the reason that a lot of the larger hosts can make a splash is because they can offer more storage and bandwidth. For example, a $5 per month account with Podbus.com will get you only 300 MB of storage space and 5 GB of bandwidth. Compare that to Go Daddy’s package, mentioned in the previous section.
Still, size isn’t everything. Audioblog.com has a good reputation for making podcasting as easy as possible. It offers three different ways to send them a podcast: over the phone, through your web browser (with use of a microphone), and the more conventional FTP method. Nor is the company letting its name limit them; they have plans to support video blogging as well. Audioblog even gives users a flash player to display on their websites.
One of the best ways to make it easy for podcasters is to offer them options. And, as many telecommunications companies have discovered, if you bundle several services together, your users are going to be more loyal and less likely to switch. If a user has his blog, podcast, and photo album all in one place, he will be less willing to go through the headache of switching everything – especially since he probably shares all three of these with other people, who would then have to be informed of the change. I can certainly relate to this, even for just one item. I have lived in Florida for more than a year now, and still have my old, out-of-state area code on my cell phone, partly because of how many people I would need to inform of the change.
As you already know from being a web host, making it easy on your customers doesn’t mean making it easy on yourself. Back in May 2005, Mitch Keeler, host of a podcast about web hosting, reviewed a number of web hosts who catered to podcasters. He slammed one for not offering web streaming: “No streaming? I know that it can be a strain on your server, but they are really limiting what you can do with your audio once it is on the server. Thanks to a little flash, I have my podcast streaming on my Web site for anybody to listen to while they are on the Web site.”
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