“We Need To Stop Putting So Much Emphasis On Money.”
What can we do to make the podcasting world a better place for us to work and play? That’s what I asked Adam Mulholland, founder of the AM Podcast Network. He’s using his network, and some counter-intuitive thinking, to correct what he sees as shortcomings in the podcasting business. Here are his takes on some topics he’s passionate about.
JD: What’s the one thing about podcasting you’d like to see fixed immediately?
AM: There are two: entitlement and money. We need to stop putting so much emphasis on money as a validator. People think, “I have a mic I’m talking on the Internet, so I deserve to be paid.” It’s the first question I’m asked when I bring someone to the network. “Will you get me a sponsor?” It should be enough that we’re podcasters and we have a purpose in what we do. Once it becomes only about money the passion’s gone.
JD: Perhaps the money serves as an indicator that the podcaster is legitimate. If someone is willing to pay me I must be professional, successful, valuable, knowledgeable, take your pick.
AM: Legitimacy is definitely an issue. Many podcasters want our logo and artwork on their sites to show that they’ve been picked up by a network. I think that money and association is driving a lot of legitimacy and success issues.
JD: Many successful podcasters are sending the message that money is podcasting’s end game, though.
AM: When they position money as the objective of podcasting, it’s a disservice. There are too many terrible podcasters that will never get sponsorship, whether through networks or on their own.
JD: What should podcasters be looking at?
AM: First and foremost, they need to see themselves as professionals. If you were going to be an electrician, you have to have pliers, cutters and special boots. You need tools to do your job to get paid. But, you look at the online forums and the number one question is, “What’s the cheapest mic I can buy?” when it should be, “What’s the best equipment I should have?”
JD: What’s your solution?
AM: Network owners and successful podcasters can see themselves as coaches rather than guns for hire. What serves the community is a focus on great content that’s easily available. That’s why everything about the AM Podcast Network is free. There’s no charge for listening. There’s no charge for joining. The home page is clean and ad free.When someone comes on board, I do their artwork and provide audio engineering services. For free. I don’t want their money, I want people listening to great podcasts.
JD: How does a podcaster join the AM Podcast Network?
AM: Joining is by invitation only. I scout unknown podcasts looking for people, passion and longevity. I help these podcasters build their podcasts and they help me build the network.
JD: Your definition of content, though, extends beyond the podcast.
AM: Yes. Every episode on the network has to have a 500-word blog post to accompany the audio. Not a transcript of the episode. Not a summary. An original piece of content related to the audio. I want the listener to have something to read. And, I want the podcaster to think about what he’s doing and why he’s doing it. What’s the episode about? What’s it’s value? Why post it on line?”
JD: How do podcasters react?
AM: It’s usually a deal breaker. It weeds out majority of shows.
JD: You use the term weeds out.
AM: To succeed in podcasting you need discipline and drive. You need to see your influence extending beyond the audio. There’s not much I can do to help a podcaster who doesn’t have that going in.
Have a different opinion? I believe in airing all sides of an issue. Leave a comment or contact me.
Adam Mulholland has a rather eclectic background. Growing up he did odd jobs installing radiators, HVAC equipment and duct work; he is a licensed hairdresser, cosmetologist and barber; he served in the air force where he worked in satellite communications; he taught himself server administration and networking; he holds a BFA in visual communications; and, he is the founder of the AM Podcast Network (and, yes, the AM does stand for Adam Mulholland).