Sir Gene Speaks

0050 Sir Gene Speaks Special - Interview Todd Cochrane from Raw Voice

June 10, 2021 Gene Naftulyev Season 1 Episode 50
Sir Gene Speaks
0050 Sir Gene Speaks Special - Interview Todd Cochrane from Raw Voice
Chapters
0:14
Intro
1:06
Memory Lane
1:24
Rio
1:51
iRiver
2:24
Todd Backstory
8:16
Waterslide
10:19
Rant about programming
18:23
Todd's book deal
22:45
Origin of Raw Voice
34:14
Bitcoin
40:05
Podcasting 2.0 Update
56:20
Donation vs Sponsorship
1:05:20
Deplatforming
1:09:11
Wrap-up
Sir Gene Speaks
0050 Sir Gene Speaks Special - Interview Todd Cochrane from Raw Voice
Jun 10, 2021 Season 1 Episode 50
Gene Naftulyev

I recommend listening at 1.5X
Link to Raw Voice
Email Todd if you  want to share some open source he mentioned on this interview - Todd@blubrry.com
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

I recommend listening at 1.5X
Link to Raw Voice
Email Todd if you  want to share some open source he mentioned on this interview - Todd@blubrry.com
Story Images and Links are only visible to Podcasting 2.0 Apps :
Get  Breez
Get Podfriend
Get Sphynx
See all the latest APPS for Podcasting 2.0
Donate via Bitcoin or Lightening strike.me/sirgene or


Move to the same Podcast Host I use!
Get some credit on Buzzsprout! $20 Amazon Gift Card

Support the show (https://bit.ly/39tV7JY)

Gene:

And of course after I, I mentioned that I'm done with my extensive list of. Interviews for podcasting 2.0. I realized that there was somebody that I neglected to reach out to which is Todd Cochran. And Todd is been involved in podcasting almost as long as Adam and Todd was definitely one of the guys that was on my list of the first five podcasts that I ever listened to, which I think Adam was number one. Todd was probably number three. Definitely a lot of history there. And he's gone on from just recording podcasts, doing much more interesting things. And we're going to talk to Todd about that. Todd, how are you?

Todd:

I'm doing good, Jean. Thanks for having me on. And boy that's a time machine. A step back going back to 2004, huh?

Gene:

Oh yeah, exactly. That's back in the days where it actually took effort to download and find podcasts.

Todd:

I was talking to someone about that yesterday and I said, just imagine, you know what? We had to go through to say, Oh, you take your in your eye river or your iPod and you plug it into your computer, then you have to download some software and the emphasis of scribe to some shows and then you have to sync And

Gene:

Oh,

Todd:

oh my gosh, those were the days.

Gene:

And I don't know about you, but I didn't have an iPod from day one. I was using a I think it was a Rio device. If I remember correctly for my MP3 playback, which was mostly audio books back in the day. And I certainly remember, having to jump through a lot of hoops and multiple apps just to get that loaded on. So I can listen to a podcast while I'm driving.

Todd:

Yeah, I was using the river and matter of fact, I keep it here in the studio with me to remind me of where we were and where we came from. It has a whole whopping 256 megs, a memory. I think I could put like 10 episodes on, but I think most folks were encoding at 32 or 16 K at the time to keep the file

Gene:

Yeah, I think 32 K was like, wow, that is a lot for spoken the words, man, these wasting bandwidth.

Todd:

Okay.

Gene:

Exactly. That kind of thing going on. So it's fun to reminisce, but let's go back even further and reminisce. Before you started doing your podcast, what were you doing? Were you, did you have an audio background? I certainly remember that you served in the military as we're coming off of Memorial day. And a lot of people are thinking about that, but you walk us through what led up to the point of view finding out about podcasting and then deciding to do your own.

Todd:

Yeah, it's an interesting journey. I I had a dial up bulletin board back in the day, started off right back around when 2,400 baud came into play and be honest with ya, probably that would have been about 84 heli 98. It doesn't matter the year. It was a long time ago. And

Gene:

would have been in the eighties cause I was running a 1200 BPS Bolton board in ed six.

Todd:

We quickly went from 2,400 9,600 bod. And, I had actually, because I was in the Navy, I took my Bolton board with me from California and went to Guam. And then in Guam we got to the point where we could actually do a Telnet show and all hub, and be able to get back to a Chicago bulletin board to be able to pull files down in FIDOnet and all that stuff. And then as the web started to come online I actually took the bulletin board online when I moved to Maryland and we actually had the bulletin board sitting in a closet, plugged into a T1 at the time that was 1,024. That was the speed that was man. I was cruising and that lasted a few years, but really the, the transition started for me hap and I was doing it. It was just running on autopilot. I logged in once a week. People were still dialing into things as late as probably like 2002. And I was trying to figure out what I'm going to do with myself. Cause the Bolton board days were done and I started a blog Jean I'm not a writer, I'm not a great writer. And the blog, maybe you got 300 people a week or something like that to, to read my little tech articles, but really the pivot point came. And it was just, it's how you get to a certain point down you're driving down the road and you come to a T you go, right. Or you left Skadden, one of those life things. And I was, I gotten hurt in a ball, rain non-combat accident, swimming pool spent 13 days. I I went to do a go to a water slide. One of those tall water slides. It has twists and turns. And when I went. Is it the top of the Waterside. And when I went to reach for the bar, I never made it. My feet slipped out from underneath me and I crushed my L one vertebrae in that fall. Now I didn't fall off the platform, but I fell on the concrete pad that was on and my body went down it and I was screaming all the way as luckily I didn't drown. There's some guys there, they got me out of the Blackboard and me out of the pool. And, 13 days later, I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to do with my life, because now I'm grounded. I can't fly no more. And I got back to Hawaii and I was looking for really, the Navy is funny when you can't, it's not like a job where you go get disability, you got your, you get your recovery time and then they expect you to go back to work. And so I was looking for something and they said, Hey, you want to go babysit airplanes in Waco, Texas take care of contract enforcement. And I said, absolutely. Out of sight, out of mind, type of thing, right?

Gene:

Okay.

Todd:

So off the Waco, I go in wearing this body clam, and it's 105 in the shade in Waco at that time of the year. And sitting in a hotel room every night. And of course I'd already knew de Weiner from scripting.com because being a blogger has followed what he had done in the past. And then, and for those who don't know what scripting is, Dave and bell a blogging platform off of the scripts. Anyway, I guess that's the best way to describe it. Outlined.

Gene:

This people are at this people at this point. I think people who are not our age or much younger than us may not even know what the hell blogging is

Todd:

All right.

Gene:

That that's like Instagram, but with words

Todd:

and it's, and it's searchable by Google, and it, you own it.

Gene:

and you lied just as much as he do on Instagram.

Todd:

I'm sitting around the hotel room and, I've got my rudimentary Microsoft laptop that I had at the time. Cause I was, I was broke and I happened upon Dave and Adam talking about this thing called podcasting. And was it within two days I went across the street to Walmart. I always laugh because they bought a 1495 lab tech microphone, cheapest, most junk microphone you could ever imagine. And started recording my podcast and remarkably things exploded and but there was no Libsyn. There was no blueberry. There was nothing. We, I was young, I was on the moon movable type content management platform and they didn't really have plugins per se. So there was some hack we did to get the RSS feed working. I'll be honest with you. I think that was a miracle in itself because I didn't have to hand code very long, but the bigger problem was keeping the show on the air because I would buy these hosting accounts from dream host and they give me 500 gigs of bandwidth. And I would burn through that in three days. And so I was moving the show. I think I had 10 or 12 shared hosting accounts to significant expense without talking to my wife at the time. And just to keep the show on the air. Wow. It was quite a ride, but you know, I think that for myself personally, I always been a gabber. So it, it made sense to do the podcast and something new and exciting. If I hadn't got hurt in Bahrain in that swimming pool accident, I think life would be much different. I'd probably be a tech rep fixing airplanes still or something.

Gene:

There's a lot of ground in there. And I want to go back to a few of these things. So were you flying, were you servicing, were you a mechanic? What were you doing with airplanes in the

Todd:

So I was my official title was an aviation electronics technician, but I had an aircrew billet for the entire time I was in the Navy? And that essentially meant I flew MP3s. I flew on a which is a intelligence aircraft. And then later on, I went to special projects and Lou, I know, so basically intelligence platforms. So in a sense by day I, I fixed radars and that kind of thing, but during my flight job, I was in God, we trust all others. We monitor type of thing.

Gene:

It definitely sounds more impressive. When you say you, you got hurt while you were in the service in Bahrain, then I fell down the water slide.

Todd:

It alleys because people say, oh, you got hurt. Like I said, non-combat I didn't get shot. Cause be honest with you, those guys deserve what they, purple hearts. The whole nine yards. I was just stupid. Luckily I wasn't drunk

Gene:

Wow. Yeah. Okay. And then to move on to, the next part of that. You'd have plenty of experience managing a platform like a bulletin board, which I also did in the eighties. So we share that experience. I started my bulletin board when I was in high school to my parents' dismay, not realizing why the computer line was always tied up

Todd:

the phone line. Right?

Gene:

high it's oh no, no, no, but you're eating, you're eating lunch or you're eating breakfast. How is the phone lines still tied up?

Todd:

That's right.

Gene:

So that, that was a fun experience.

Todd:

I was a wild cat guy. How about you?

Gene:

I was running a, what was it called? It was I was on the Mac. I'm trying to remember the name of the.

Todd:

Yeah. There was a dozen different

Gene:

Yeah. I can't remember though. And I even wrote apps at what we would call extensions these days or mods through the service. So I, I had I had some automation built in that. I wrote that I don't even remember what all I did, but I actually put it out as shareware. And I remember getting like checks in the mail from people registering the shareware, which I thought was awesome when I was in high school.

Todd:

yeah, I, I, I remember writing batch files over and over and over again, just to get two K of additional memory out of the computer, how stuff would load, that was crazy days.

Gene:

that was definitely crazy days, but some things I think were a lot simpler. Like I remember, the Mac plus had a one Meg of Ram and after you booted it, you'd had 800 K of Ram. It's cause it, the system, the whole OSPF only took about 200 K. Like one word file is about 10 times that big, like an empty word file is 10 times that big these So I think we've lost in a lot of ways of simplicity and having really started down my journey of as a developer for back in the eighties, I'm one of those grumpy old men of this point, shaking my head at the kids, writing code these days and thinking Jesus Christ, you guys

Todd:

being efficient. They got all the memory in the world.

Gene:

Like they don't, they don't worry about this shit. They don't care about it. Yeah. I, I still like elegance. And the only code that I write these days I've talked about on my podcast is I, I, I still play video games and I will write mods for the games that I play. I've done stuff in unreal engine. I've done some stuff in unity. And to me it's always about not just getting what you want done, but doing it as elegantly as possible. And so if I, if I can write three lines of code that accomplished 14 things in three lines, I get a big smile on my face. And then I look at the sample code and it's 25 lines of documentation and 15 lines of code that seems to check for things that, you shouldn't be putting in there. It's okay guys, I, I get it. If you need a lot of people reading your code, it makes a lot of sense. But the price for all that is that we have bloated software these days. And there's no to doubt no two ways about that.

Todd:

yeah. I was all about efficiency too, because I traveled a lot. So the thing had to run on its own. So I remember writing batch routines checked one another check pile. It was like 500. I remember some batch routines were like 500 lines long. And if anybody, if no one's ever wrote a batch routine, that's a lot of things to do in a, in a batch run. And but that's how I kept the system online. So I think that was part of my, my kind of leads into my mentality later on about efficiency and publishing podcasts and all that kind of stuff that kind of, that, that probably fed from that. And now that they think about it, I never made that correlation. I think I just did here.

Gene:

Yeah and having a lifestyle through the work that you were doing that kept you needing to be prepared for a move at some point on a regular basis, I think definitely affected your own personal lifestyle as well. So let's jump back to where you bought the mic. You decided to record your podcast and you were talking about the fun times of doing some manual jiggering. And I, when I recorded my first podcast to several years after yours, by the time I've been listening to yours, but at that point already, I definitely remember dealing with. In fact, I went to I got one of GoDaddy's plans and, I've had like unlimited unlimited bandwidth. But what I realized as I was monitoring this stuff is the bandwidth may have been unlimited, but it was absolutely clamped to a maximum speed.

Todd:

Yeah.

Gene:

And so I found a, one of the cheap European companies out of Germany that I amazingly, I'm still paying the bill because they never shut down the damn website. So 15 years later, I don't know how many thousands of dollars they've gotten out of me, but it, they didn't have any kind of speed glamping going on. You could have everybody downloading your podcast episode at the same time and you wouldn't really be affected by any additional downloads. But that took a lot of, a lot of searching and testing. And I can't even remember. I think for the first, probably half dozen to a dozen episodes I manually did their assess feed until I started figuring out some automation ways to do it. So tell me about what your experience was a couple of years before mine.

Todd:

I think what we learned very quickly was that there was a limit that hosting providers would put up with. and I figured that limit. If I had a 500 gig allotment on an account, I knew about four 50 was about the time the flags would be starting to go off. So I would move the media before we hit that spot to move it to the next cause I had 10 domains. I would just change on the website. I'd changed the point pointer and I'm nothing more fancy than that. But even today, what we find is that oftentimes people that sell posts their media, they don't get shut down for bandwidth utilization. They get shut down for resource utilization. So they have too many hit. Too many people have opened ports. Basically they've hit that. Let's say, 500 people hit that file at the same time.

Gene:

And the way that the apps are made, it's not, you're not opening a single connection. You're usually doing multiple connections to download a single file.

Todd:

And therein lies the problem. If you're on a shared hosting account all of a sudden you're, your site is blag for resource utilization, not bandwidth. And that's why, so oftentimes we get people coming to us in a panic because they've been shut down because they've hit that magic number that, that company's set to set a red flag. Some people get away with it for a long time because they maybe not have a big audience, but at some point or another it's going to happen. So I think for me, I learned that out very quickly because I would wake up at six o'clock in the morning to check on things and I'd have 20 emails saying, Hey, show's not available. And I'd have an email from the hosting provider saying, Hey, we we've probably have you. And so I just learned to work around that for literally months. And I think. Like you, I probably had, I was looking for deals, promo codes, anywhere I could save money. I bet you, I had 2000, $2,500 a year. Maybe even more in shared hosting accounts, set up, just keep the show on there and then still, have a single website. But the, in that, I think that was probably the biggest challenge in the early days. Unfortunately I didn't find the site you found. But what I did also find out and it's actually ironic is I had a shared hosting account with GoDaddy where Keaton central.com lived and they hit me up to, Hey here. Cause the site traffic did grow considerably and they say, Hey, you've outgrown this, $4 a month plan that you're on. You need, you should move to something else. And I moved to a BPN Virtual Yeah. Not BPN,

Gene:

Virtual private server.

Todd:

yeah. Virtual, private server. That was a horrible move. But it wasn't much better. And I was literally cursing, GoDaddy out on the phone at the time and had wrote a blog post that was pretty disparaging. And, and they got there someone at their office, read that. And they came to me and we talked about it and then we fixed it. And then I went to a dedicated server real early. And of course that was a big jump in monthly expense, but I was already spending huge money on these other, these other little shared hosting accounts just to keep the media serving. This is just for the website.

Gene:

Now, where do you think your listenership was? Like, how many downloads were getting back then? Do you know?

Todd:

get, I laugh because I was all bragging. It was early days, I think. had about 45,000 downloads them, and really wasn't doing any calculation on bandwidth being used was just, we, we Steve, what was his name? One of the guys was part of the tech early days of protect podcast network. He wrote a parser. And we were parsing log files with no filtering, nothing. And we would come up with a download number. That's what we were billing people with, but those, bots and everything in there. So probably the audience was more like 11,000 versus 45,000 per episode, which was still,

Gene:

was very substantial.

Todd:

yeah, very substantial.

Gene:

I think the show that I had from 2006 to 2008, I think we probably peaked at about 1200 downloads per month, or to the, if you add up all the bandwidth together and divide it out by the size of the episode, essentially,

Todd:

Yeah. It was one of those things I had to tamper my, my, my big head a after we figured out. And when we started the company and started Angelo, who was my CIO blueberry. He said, dude, all this stuff is junk, but at 50, 50, 65% of this we have to throw out is it's bots and it's everything else that is not a human. And that's when it was Amy first big eye-opener into, we've been billing wrong, but yet we were doing ad deals where, multimillion dollar ad deals for hundreds of shows and billing at this, much, much higher download rate. So it was quite, it was quite a bitter pill to swallow when we had to make those adjustments until the media buyers can deliver as many downloads this month. We really didn't tell them why. And everybody's revenue went down.

Gene:

has been having to do that for the last 20 years. They keep revising their stats because they know most of them are fake. Anyway. Let's, let's cover the area between when you started your show and when you decided to create not blueberry, what's the actual raw voice. That's right. Cause I, I remember it, but not enough to remember it faster than you. So Over that time period.

Todd:

number of sequence of events happened. I was approached in late November, early December to write a book on podcasting. And matter of fact, it was from Wiley publishing approached me and I actually responded you got to be shitting me. That was my response email to them. And they said, no, we're not shitting you once you look us up. And then I figured out they were actually a big publishing house and we, and I said, have you read my blog? Do you really want me writing a book? And they signed the copy editor and we had all that stuff. So the book deal got signed. I started working on that January of oh five. I launched the tech podcast network along with another person who later on pulled out, started as a co-op don't do anything ever as a co-op that's That's the dumbest idea ever because one person works and everyone else just be as lazy. And then Fast forward. We announced the book deal in March. And of course, if you remember back then, it was all about purism is all about the content. It's not about making money. I lost half my audience might, what I thought was 45,000 went to 20,000 in a single suit because they said you sold out the man by taking money for that book deal and blah, blah, blah.

Gene:

That's not even that's not even hands that's just like writing a book about the topic, something about it. That's crazy.

Todd:

It's crazy. But that's, that's the time we live. I had already been given an ultimatum by my wife to say, she says, You got to figure out how to make money in this thing in two years, you're on the clock. So the book deal I think I got 11

Gene:

time.

Todd:

yeah, Boston, I think at 13 grand out of it, an advance on that book, 11 or 13.

Gene:

And for a first time author, first time book, that's insane.

Todd:

It is

Gene:

I can't believe they trusted you.

Todd:

Can't believe it either. But we sold 45,000 copies of that. It was the number one. Self-help tech book of 2005. And there's another story that goes along with that. Some guy called me and was doing this big interview on me on podcasting and last for about two hours. And he said, what's this all about? He said I'm writing a book on body asking really Chris, I, he didn't tell him I was under NDA. And I said, when's your book come out? And he told me and medias, we immediately, when we hung up, I called the editor and he says, man, can you be done in 11 days? And I had another month. And I'm like, yeah, I think I can be done. He says, cause I've got a printing window. But the book came out, I believe in late may, early June. And we did really, really well. So

Gene:

Now that, that wasn't Paul Culligan. Was it

Todd:

no, it was

Gene:

because he also did a book on podcasting?

Todd:

that's right. I won't, I won't embarrass who it was, but every time we see each other, he, we get, he gives me the. The F you look

Gene:

Yeah.

Todd:

we're friends, but you know, it was one of those things. So the so the book got published and then go daddy Coffs and say, Hey, we want to sponsor your show. And I'm like maybe you should go read some blog posts. I posted back in April. And Chris Redling over at GoDaddy. She called me back a couple hours later. She says, we reviewed what you wrote. And I've talked to the opposite of BP and we still want to sponsor your show. How much do you want? I said, I had. no idea, literally, no. And I, I gave a number, woefully, low number. And she said, Sharon, let's do a month. And at the end of that month, she called me back and said, we want to renew you for a whole year. And I'm like how did we do? And she said you got 357 new customers. And I'm like 357. I said, I, I need to call you back. So I went and started doing math. Because again, we had no idea and I came up with a number and I thought it was a really good number. It's like life changing number, the house payment type a number. And I was living in Hawaii that type of a house payment number. And I called her and said how about this? And she, it was like a car salesman, knowing that they've got a sucker and she's yep, no problem. I'm like, oh, and instantly. And she laughed. She said, you, you went too low, didn't you? And I'm like, Yeah. I guess I did. I said, can we put a performance bonus on this thing too? So I got a flat rate plus a performance bonus. And what was really game-changing on that call? This was the pivot point. She said to me, do you know other podcasts that would like to advertise go down? And I said, yes, I do. And so my head is immediately thinking, all right, I can take a, I can take a percentage on this. And initially he said, I thought in my mind, 10% would be good. 10% is not a enough of a cut to make it worth dealing with media buyers, by the way. I, my next podcast maybe a couple podcasts later, I had this idea Bruin and I said, okay, to my podcast sciences, I need a lawyer. BizDev the graphics guy and a program.

Gene:

I remember listening to that episode.

Todd:

You missed the call because,

Gene:

I wasn't any of those.

Todd:

because we had a call 10 or so days later, and nine people were on the call and declare out the chaff. I said, if you don't have $10,000 to invest in a new company today, hang up. And it was like, click, click, click, click, click, click, click. We lost 70% of the people on there. What was, what was left on the call was the person that ended up being our BizDev lawyer and graphics guy and the graphics guy, Brian, he said, I know a programmer. Let me get him on the phone. And Angela gets on the phone a little bit later. We formed the company over the phone and two calls. We all, we didn't write $10,000 checks, but we did write checks to start a bank account. And the lawyer got us all set up. We didn't meet face to face for six months. We started the business blind from my audience. So that's probably as a unique of a startup story as any but that's how Rob Weiss was born

Gene:

Yeah, no, that's, that's very cool. And I think it, it just showed how early in the development of even just the internet forget podcasting. You were because, because I think of your experience with the BBS. You were already used to dealing with people without physically being in front of them.

Todd:

and usually mostly trolls.

Gene:

There's certainly plenty of that, because that was certainly my experience. Like a guy who ended up growing a business through millions of dollars. And then I came in as his COO, that guy I met on my bulletin board when I was a teenager in the eighties.

Todd:

It's amazing.

Gene:

And, it was sort of like, it was always a big joke. How'd you guys meet? We met on a bulletin board. It makes it sound a little, Hmm, what were you doing there? But the reality is I was I had a nerdy kid and he was basically five years older than me and equally nerdy. And so it made total sense that we would connect first, digitally. And then eventually in, in real life and then, maintain the friendship to the point where as we each found our specific talents, we're able to utilize them at the same time together. So it worked out quite nicely, but I think for a lot of people, it wasn't until a decade or two later, that that type of a relationship where you're dealing with people who you have never met in person becomes a little bit more common. And certainly, I think it's common these days, certainly after COVID.

Todd:

what was real interesting about that too? Was, I had, I was the outlier. I was the only guy that went in the military, the rest of my family and cousins and everyone else. They're all entrepreneurs. They all have their own businesses. There's some that have worked for other companies, but a large majority of my extended family, I've always been business owners. I always joke that I joined the military to be my own boss. And it took me 15 years to get in a position in the military to be the boss. That's a hard way to get there. The and then starting a company was in itself unique because not necessarily that the military is based in military is a big business and you have employees that are a little more, how should we say it? You can tell them what to do. You don't necessarily do that, but sometimes you have to. And they can't quit. And so for me, I had already been working with civilians quite a bit, then this transition, as I said, going and working, doing contract enforcement and had a lot of experience working with DOD contractors and so forth. So for me, I was able to find that happy medium so that I didn't come across as this is this dude that has worked good. We've been, we we've had conflicts at times with team members, but we've always resolved them. But the we went on sheer willpower. People would often ask me, he says, w w how do you do it? I said, I don't sleep. I literally did for the first, probably 10 years of the business. I, I I'll die five years younger because of it is because I, I slept for five hours. That was it. And it would get up and I do my regular job and then build the business. And and now I, I probably back a bit, but. When you're in startup mode, it's, it's, you don't have money. You have to make that up in time by, putting your manpower behind it, your personal manpower.

Gene:

Yeah. You have to edit your own episodes even.

Todd:

That's right. That's why I don't edit. So I think from there, and then, we started exploring ideas and we really started off in the beginning as a media company. And we little did we know as a business, we probably should have stayed in, but we may not have survived because of the way that space transitioned later on. But,

Gene:

Yeah. So before you were doing house thing and other stuff, you were just being the, the central point of, of an advertising network or.

Todd:

and that's, that is in itself its own story because there was, we were literally doing millions of dollars a quarter and we'd have. Thousands of small shows on buys. And I'm talking to the majority of the shows had 10,000 listeners or less, and to do millions of dollars on those types of shows, you just gotta have really wide. And the money was just pouring in and and we had no office or No, one was full-time yet. I think Angela started to go full-time at some point, but we built this measurement platform to be able to measure that was one of the first things we did. He came out to a couple of years after we started the company where we made it public for everyone, but really it was about, being able to be accountable for media buyers and then the, what really started to change. And, and I, I lose track of the years, but it was about the time Adam Corolla started podcasting was the media buyers saw the superstar and superstars that were starting to come into the space at the time. And they started moving their money. Out of the small shows into the big shows and that process took three or four years, but it never came back. That all that money that was being spent in those small shows, went to the big shows and very little that even today has come back down into those lower level shows. It's it's one of those situ where those problems I'd like to be able to solve at some point, but media buyers just don't get it. That smaller shows are more, are more engaged, more productive than bigger shows. Any amount of telling them doesn't help. They, they would rather have a mainstream named show then, Johnny's little show over in the corner here. Yeah.

Gene:

No, it totally makes sense. I I've, I've worked as a consultant for damn near 30 years, maybe more than that now, but I have been in well over a hundred companies and the most interesting stories are generally from companies that are under a hundred million a year. But if somebody wants to just summarize what I do, or that they want to get a quick idea. It, it always ends up being well, here's the fortune 500 is that I work for no one cares for anybody other than the fortune five hundreds, even though that might be the most boring part of the work.

Todd:

You really what happened then? And I don't know if I'm getting ahead of ourselves here in this story, but, I saw ad revenue going down and I charted that out. I'm like, Hmm, we need to pivot. And that was about the time we we got power press on the street because pod press was dying. The guy that was developing that plugin. He basically got quit getting paid to develop it. So we basically did our own bill and Angela building the new plugin. And then we launched that. And then, then the idea started to come in. First, we tied in the stats. I said, okay, let's add hosting. And everything else has come from that power press. In all honesty, that plugin was saber by the company. We had not done that we would not exist today.

Gene:

I didn't realize that that that came out before you guys started hosting it. That was like an add on to your hosting.

Todd:

Nope, man. It, it, it was what the idea was is number one, we needed a plugin that was current because the other one had a, oh man had flash in it. There was all kinds of stuff. Security issues. It was, it was in WordPress was at some point was going to take it down because it wasn't being updated anymore. And we came in at the right time, really was positioned. Right. Then loaded the thing up with, a gazillion features, it's the Swiss army knife of plugins. And that, that can be a bit of a challenge too, because if we build something for everybody and we've taken a step back on that now to help refine it and make it easier for podcasters to use it. But the, if we had not done that, plug-in, I would not be talking to you today. We'd have been out of business. We, we wouldn't have survived it or we'd had done something else and maybe come out the other end some, some different way. But the, I had went to Silicon valley to shop for money and, I did the whole, the whole San Jose thing and every, every, and I was in every venture. All the big ones with a pitch deck. And they basically told me I was 36 at the time. No, I was 36, almost 40. They said, you're too old teams, too old. You guys, we're not giving you the money. And yet, so one guy really insulted me pretty bad and he ended up being an investor in put down about 20 million in And,

Gene:

him. Right?

Todd:

so I, I, I still send him a Christmas card every year.

Gene:

Exactly.

Todd:

Remember me, I'm still here, your 20 million got flushed, but he probably don't care. He probably had a hundred, 500 million to flush.

Gene:

Yeah. And it's all a numbers game and, and they, I had a good friend that went to Stanford for his MBA. And you talk about The way that they're prepping them and coaching the guys to go after investment is that these VCs are playing. They're betting, they're playing, they're like betting on a horse race. They're they're doing a essentially statistical averaging. And this is why the age becomes an issue is because once you've been vetted by them enough to get an investment through them, once even if you take the company and it goes on there, you're still considered to be a higher odds, favorite than a brand new person knocking on their door. And so they want to get people in their twenties so they can give them money two or three times, knowing they're going to lose two out of three.

Todd:

right,

Gene:

And it's this is insane. I It's not insane cause it works obviously, but to a normal person, looking at the amount of quote unquote wasted money is, is absolutely absurd. Like everyone's looking for a unicorn.

Todd:

I look at some of the investments has made the space over the years. I said, gimme one fifth of that. I can change the world.

Gene:

Yeah. Yeah. Give me like a 10th of that. I'll I'll put it into Bitcoin and then tell you to fuck off.

Todd:

that's true too. And I think the pivot we made was, was smart and it, there's a lot of things that you do that you, you throw the spit ball against the wall and it doesn't stick. So we had plenty of those and it's, some of it is, you can, you can forecast up as far as you can and then say, let's implement. And if it's successful, if it was a good forecast, it was not, you, you blew it, you missed it. So we've had a few that we blew in a few that we've hit home runs on. And so I think that, where we've started and where we grew slowly, we, we didn't over hire. And, that was probably, probably why that if some of these companies like Midroll and others who've come on and did focus on advertising exclusively have done so well. And and I, and I, I congratulate those companies that have done good in the advertising space. It's just something that we didn't, we went a different direction and it's not to say that we can't come back to advertising, but if we want to get to $2 billion we've got to get to 1 billion, but we only get to 2 billion and an advertising spend in this space. Then they're going to have to look down their noses and talk to the shows that are, have that. And I say this, this is how the media buyers are going to have to do. Not that I do that they are gonna have to start looking at these shows that have 10,000 listeners per episode or less and start monetizing them. And there's tens of thousands of them to monetize it.

Gene:

And, and this is where I think, because that initial money had left independent producers and went on to bigger name brands and certainly public radio is a huge part of that too. It, the, the void that it created, I think is helping podcasting 2.0 with one of the most notable features of podcasting 2.0, being the value for value system, which allows people to. Stream SATs. And if you don't know what that is, essentially, while you're listening to audio in a podcasting 2.0 capable player, it has an option and it's totally voluntary. You could turn it on or off, but if you turn it on and if you connect an account to it, or if you add some money to it, it will convert that to Bitcoin and SATs are simply just a very small denomination of Bitcoin. There, one, 1000000th of a Bitcoin. So tiny, less than a penny. And so you can have your player literally sending let's just call them pennies, sending pennies per minute to the creator. And then you're getting a direct payment with some but fairly minimal fees taken out of that. And you're only donating that you're only paying for that voluntarily. While you're listening. So if you take a break for a few weeks, you're too busy to listen to your podcasts. You're not just sending money to somebody. You didn't listen to episodes too. If you're, if you just one other point with that is in that. And then if you really liked something, somebody said on an episode, most of these apps also have a boost button, which is like a one-time manual, higher value donation, typically 500 or a thousand sites, or more 50 cents to a buck still very cheap, but that you can hit that if you really liked something somebody did. And then the creator gets that directly. So I think there is some correlation there between the the advertising money moving away and then creating a void that can be filled by something else.

Todd:

Jean here's the, here's the challenge with that? I I've set that up for my personal show and. It wasn't difficult, but I have tech support calls now with podcasters that don't know how to right. Click the mouse. So we, while those of us that are, in some of this new stuff that Adam and the team have come up with with podcasting 2.0, which I'm fully behind, I think is a, what is going to do is we're setting the groundwork for people to wake up and say, wow, look what they have done and why aren't we supporting this? It's going to take a number of us that are willing to, to put the features out there that may not be fully implemented and, and support it and push it. I look back to some of the tags that we have that we suggested we had our own special tags. I think we had five or six that we published years ago. But no one adopted because why did they not adopt it? Because it was by blueberry and you can't, you can't you can't give credit to anyone in the space because it's not in your sandbox and he can, it's just, it's a political thing,

Gene:

I hear a little bitterness in your voice.

Todd:

a little, it's just subscribe an Android. That's my biggest bitter point. And, we developed a subscribe on Android. I gave it to the podcast many more than five years ago for the ability for Android users to one click, subscribe to a podcast, just like they do an apple podcast. I'll be damned if I could get anybody to adopt it. But yet today my pod-casters my, the folks that use our platform have much, much deeper Android penetration than anyone else in this space now. So yeah, I'm better because what we're trying to do, the simple build audience and you build audience, you get podcasts, there's more opportunities. Podcasts just don't build audience. They get discouraged. And same thing, going back to the podcast, 2.0 initiative. If we can put dinner, money, heart payment, money, house, payment, money into pod-casters pockets without having to be how should we say it in bold into the man? Yeah, we can do that. We're going to, we're going to grow this space and the independent podcasters are going to look back at this appar and, and thank us now. We have to make it as easy as we can for those folks to implement this up. And I, even at my team, I've got we, we, we work in sprints and I have a JIRA board and it's in the backlog of things that we want to, in that we want to put in place for podcasts 2.0, and we have to way, cause I've got a whole bunch of initiatives going on. I have to waste. Okay. What. If I add this today, is there going to be a, is this a 1% user utilization or is this going to be a 10%? If I can get to 10%, I can, I can justify the dev time to do it. And we weigh that stuff every month. We look at it and say, okay, where's this at? Is it solid? And I give credit where credit's due. The bus prop, folks are just jumping Right. in and they're going hardcore. They're on. And, and I appreciate that they're doing that because I can go back to my teams and I see what they did. And the I think that there's some good initiatives there, but the Indies are gonna carry it to the major apple. I'll S I'll say this, I've had a conversation with apple about podcast 2.0. And they're watching very closely. And does that mean they're going to adopt any of this? I don't know, but they're interested. If I can get apple to say, we love this, this and this about podcast 2.0, we're going to support it, everyone. Then we'll have to support it. So we're going to need it at some 0.1 major player, be it Google, Spotify, Pandora, iHeart, one of those platforms to say we're supporting these tags as part of the podcast, 2.0 initiative, and then everyone else would have to roll over and implement it. I have no choice

Gene:

Yeah, I, I tend to agree with you on that. There's one thing that I will disagree with, and I think you said it wasn't too hard to set up. I think for the average podcast or setting up a node or a wallet to collect funds from donations is a fairly substantial task. Like for those of us that sort of grew up within it. And understand tech to at least be able to read what, what other people put out there and, and maybe look at some source code and understand what it's doing. It's doable. Although I will say there's very, very little material that I found when I was really taking the deep dive into Bitcoin and the whole lightning network is everything assumed that you'd been paying attention to for the last five, six years of development. And for those of us that didn't pay attention because we had other things happening were too busy. Doing things that didn't involve the lightning network. It is a fairly steep curve. Now I've climbed up it I've climbed. Yeah, I guess it's a word. And I understand better looking back at the journey on how things work, but I, I fully think that it has a long way to go. To make it easy, both for the podcast there and for the user. And then both of those need to be super easy and, and relating to what you said about apple. I think the, if podcasting 2.0, looks like it's picking up steam. Here's what I suspect Apple's going to do. They're going to look at it and they say people like this idea of donating while they're listening, let's just add that to an apple pay and allow P anybody listening to a podcast on our app can now start donating one penny a minute.

Todd:

Winner winner chicken dinner.

Gene:

And that's it. And like they would not bother adopting tags. They wouldn't bother doing any splits. They wouldn't bother with anything. They would just look at it and say that's an idea that seems to be catching on let's amplify it. Take, which means take all the options out of it. Leave people with one choice. Pretty good choice. Better than no choice. Right. We have to agree. One trace is better than no choice. But that's I think as far as Apple's gonna go, I, I will be like, I will drive through Adam's house and fricking cook them dinner if apple actually adopts a podcasting 2.0 tags. Cause I just don't see them there.

Todd:

I think they may look at some of the more, okay. So let's, let's look at some tags and I'm assuming this audience is technical

Gene:

This is the nerdy part of the show.

Todd:

okay. So let's, let's look at the

Gene:

What was your podcast called tab.

Todd:

gate, new

Gene:

Okay. Just checking.

Todd:

So let's look at the transcript tag. That one from an accessibility standpoint should be adopted, that just so will apple adopt that. maybe will they use their own tag instead of adopting the podcast 2.0 tag, maybe, but same, same goal. W w we'll get the same accomplishment. Chapters never. They're never going to do the chapter stuff ever, ever, because it's a 1%, 1% of podcasters are going to create chapters. Those that do it's it's cool. It's it's, it's nice,

Gene:

It adds extra work. I got to say I was a late comer to the chapter saying,

Todd:

man. I tell you, I won't do it. I'll have to hire someone to do it because it's, it's it's work.

Gene:

that's what Adam did. He outsourced it to somebody, somebody else? Cause I, I do my own chapters and I, it adds like if I didn't do the chapters, it would probably save me about 10 minutes per hour.

Todd:

Yup. The location data. Okay. So hard to believe. Here we are 16 years later and I cannot go through and tell you with 100% certainty that this show originates the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany. I can't do it. I might be able to guess, but I can't do it. So that location stuff. It would make it a lot and that would go a long way to

Gene:

Especially since my show was sitting on German sliver

Todd:

Right. Right. So there's a series of those tags I think can be, can be brought forward. The lock tag that's one that is, is an interesting one. And it was a reaction to what was happening with

Gene:

it'd be great if it's adopted, because it would, it would be in the green, but it would have to be an agreement in the industry because just, one major player in that adopting it and it's meaningless.

Todd:

Yeah, In the end, the player, that's the biggest guilty one. Didn't adopt it yet. And, and meanwhile, the hijacking can happen multiple ways. I can go over to blueberry today. I can sign up and create a brand new show, call it, whatever. I want to call it as close name to another show and download the media from that original podcast. And. And repost those episodes. There's nothing stopping me from doing that right now. So that isn't itself. Something that will not be able to, but that happens on YouTube and everywhere

Gene:

an opportunity for one of those old VHS tapes, spectrum, vision companies to come along and put protection onto our podcasts that prevent you can still listen to it, but it only sounds analog, which is okay for people. But if somebody tries to copy it and upload, then you'll, you'll get little, little chirps and beeps along the way.

Todd:

So I, I appreciate Adam's exit plan and what he's trying to produce here and come up with and the, the man had, okay, so there's a lot of controversy by some folks and even date. It's very bitter at times, but I, I don't give a shit, but people think Dave and Adam, what they did. Revolutionize and change the media industry.

Gene:

yeah. And change the world.

Todd:

Absolutely. And anyone that says otherwise we can go fisticuffs. I'm that strong. I feel that strong about it, the naming and all that other stuff and how it originally, I don't care that the idea, but, he put code to, code to a file and, and made it happen. And so I, I have a lot of competence that this effort that they're doing will bear fruit and it, but it'll be interesting to see how it does bear fruit in which ways it goes. And morphs, I think the Satoshi is, I'm running, I think I earned 257 Satoshi last week or something on my show, but I don't even have that. Yeah. Cause I don't have it. in my RSS feed

Gene:

Oh,

Todd:

because power press does not support. Yeah.

Gene:

Let me encourage you. So I've got under a thousand downloads on the average show. And I'm doing about 50,000 Satoshis per month.

Todd:

That's awesome.

Gene:

Now it probably means every one of my listeners is actively a techie and is using apps with Bitcoins at board. But, know your audience, right.

Todd:

That's right. So it's, so there's some things that we have to do a matter of fact, the discussion I had with Angela is okay, you guys can't get the tags coded quick enough. Give me a develop, promote in PowerPress where I can put my own tags

Gene:

You know what I asked for that, literally that exact same thing to Buzzsprout when I had them on. And they're the guys that are currently hosting me as well.

Todd:

Yep.

Gene:

And the reply is Jean, if everybody, if we knew every one of our customers, like we know you and that you could do this and that let us with support calls, we do it. But here's the thing. We don't know that our customers are going to screw this up. And flood us with support. And so for the greater good, we're not going to let you do it either. Yeah, and I'm, I'm, I'm going to keep working on that because I they're good at adding those features themselves, but but I, I would still love the ability to have a little checkbox that said, super secret elite developer access. Only if you click this, you will never be able to submit a support ticket. Are you sure you want to click on this because I will totally click on that,

Todd:

so my point is for your audiences, listen, somebody write me a plugin. I can't get my team to move it fast enough. Write me a plugin that I can, I can use it in power press to put in my own tags. It's funny. I'm asking for

Gene:

That's literally the way Adam does development. It's he just talks about it on his podcasts and mid magically somebody volunteers to do it. Yeah, totally. I reached, I would encourage anybody that w wants to do something like that, or maybe already has for their own purposes to reach out to you. Your, your email is going to be LinkedIn here in the episode, and then yeah. Collaborate.

Todd:

Yeah. And, and we'll give you a credit and everything. And matter of fact if you just want to put it up on the, on WordPress plugins, that's cool too. And just let us know. And I believe me I'll promote it, but again, with that fair warning, but it's, it's funny too. Cause people said you're the CEO. You can make that happen. I'm also, I have 800 things in my backlog.

Gene:

Yeah. You also have a responsibility not to crash your company's tech support.

Todd:

That's right. And, and I have tech support guys. They're all about what Adam's doing and they're excited. And they said, how come I can't get this in there? I'm like, Mike, are you ready? Are you ready to support, telling someone how to put the lightning notes to Toshi tag in our press and.

Gene:

Oh, you're going to get a lot more than that. You're going to get people say, so I just paid for this lightning note and I can't figure out how to use it. Can you guys help?

Todd:

You

Gene:

Yeah. And I'm going to be putting out some videos in that and it it literally was about a three month learning curve for me to do that. Now I can explain it to people now I've made enough mistakes. I've spent about 500 bucks in testing, but hopefully that'll be all for the greater good as I can make other people do it quicker. But it, it, it is not easy even if you know what you're doing.

Todd:

the tutorial that James Cridland put out was pretty good. He, he put out a little seven stepper and that was just to get things set up, really not about cashing air or anything like that. But

Gene:

Yeah. There's literally some things where I've asked the question for a month. Didn't get a single good answer the whole time. Finally figuring out how to do it on my own. And then. Find 10 people that went through the exact same process, but they called it something different than what I called it. And so I couldn't, I never found their suggestion. It was like God damn it. We need to standardize terminology here. At least.

Todd:

But what really does excite me the most is if we go back to 2004, as soon as apple, actually in July of 2005, as soon as apple introduced podcasting to iTunes, creativity, stop in podcasting. The spec didn't, hasn't really moved an inch since 2005. And w I guess we just did content and we build upon the existing system. But now you hear these whispers about RSS is dead. It's not expandable. We can't, we need to move over and change it to something else. When, when, when I hear that they'll hair stand up in the back of my neck, because I'm like, no, you have an agenda. We need to keep podcasting open. We need to make sure what we do is done with transparency and everyone can debate and say, this is a bad idea because, or this is a good idea. And we collectively move forward Or agree to disagree. The last thing we want is the Spotify guys of the world to start dictating a new spec and then it's game over because we're back to where we were in 2004 with gatekeepers. And for those of you that weren't around for that, or remember, I'm sure you could put audio or video on your blog in 2004, but if you wanted major distribution anywhere you had to sign your life away. So today we can hold both our middle fingers up to all these. Old monopoly holders and say, we don't need you. We have our own path. And even if Spotify and apple and everyone else pulled the plug on podcasting tomorrow, which they won't, we would still be online and have a distribution system without them.

Gene:

Or like what happened when apple had their little hiccup

Todd:

Right?

Gene:

and people started panicking?

Todd:

Yeah. There's still people panicking?

Gene:

Yeah. No, I, I think podcasting 2.0, whether it gets adopted by the big boys or not is already having a huge change. And I think one of the things that addresses, which you, you touched on, but I want to highlighted is the motivation aspect of creating a podcast, re doing a podcast, whether you're doing it by yourself speaking solo, or whether you're, you're doing an interview show, or maybe you've got a couple of regulars you're doing it with, but most podcasts are really they're, they're a solitary activity. The thing that you don't have a cast doing, even if you have multiple well people, each of those is really acting as a individual. And then somebody's working as the editor to assemble the whole thing and put it out there. And one of the biggest issues with doing that is you're doing it in the vacuum because you don't have a big company behind you. And because you're doing it in the vacuum, there's a, after a while, you start getting some doldrums going on and I've seen this over and over where. Everyone's super excited about their first five episodes and a little less so about their next five. And then you get to about episode 30, 30 to 40 is when most podcasts. And if you look at their RSS 25, okay. So that's even lower than what I was seeing. And I'm sure your number is a lot more accurate because you're looking at a lot more podcasts I'm going anecdotally, but it sure seems like you hit that spot where you you'd rather use your time for something else. And this is what I think the, the value for value streaming does is it fixes that problem preemptively, because even though it's a Toshi is, are less than a penny. When, when you see somebody sending you money in whatever form and the, for this it's, the Toshi is.

Todd:

Yep.

Gene:

It motivates you. It may be a penny. It may be 10 cents if they're feeling generous, but you're like, holy shit. Somebody thinks that what I did was worthwhile and they're willing voluntarily to give up their money. So I'm not forcing them to listen to an ad. I'm not like that they're going to skip over anyway. And then I'm trying to get paid for that ad. I'm not wasting their time. I'm not wasting my time. They're literally sending me money because they think what I did is worthwhile. And when you consider that that's only going to be one to 5% of your listeners that are going to bother sending you money. You got to imagine there's a lot more people that are enjoying what you're doing and just aren't sending you money as well. And I think that provides a level of motivation to keep going and further along until your show does grow past that 10,000 listener, mark. And then you start getting, more direct communication as it were. But for that first, let's say 50 shows that you're putting out watching some associates streaming in is a huge boost to of gaps.

Todd:

It goes back to the early days. We said, when we're doing advertising, what's the minimum paycheck or pay a check, we're going to write. And I said, 10 bucks and the guys were like 10 bucks. Let's make it 50. I said, some of these folks won't hit 50 in a year. I said, we're going to, we're going to write them a check if they hit 10 bucks. And I got much discrepant too, but guess what? Some of those shows that was right in 10 bucks who are still here today. Because of that simple, it's like my wife put her finger in my chest and saying, Hey, you've got two years to figure out to make money with this. And. It is pretty nice if you're an independent podcaster and you're doing this and for the love of it, and you love doing the content to get a little bit of money, let's say 40, 50, 60, a hundred bucks a month. That's enough to take your partner out to dinner and say, here's, we're having dinner on the podcast tonight or that new Mike I've just bought didn't come out of checking. It came out of the podcast, man. So it really does make a big difference. And, and I agree with you that just the simple fact of being able to, and this is the beauty of why it doesn't matter. The monetization model, it's a listener donation. If it's a sponsorship, if it's someone has come in and, and whatever it may be it's that appreciation factor. You're exactly right.

Gene:

Yeah. And cause that's what motivates you, cause you initially started doing it because you're the one enjoying it, but there's a point where, okay, I've done this. I know. I know the process. I know what I'm doing and I've got 10 other things I need to get done this this week. So to justify spending that too hours that it's going to take to record and edit an episode and upload it, you need to have enough motivation to do that. And I w I was blown away this, on this current podcast that we're recording recording right now. In, in literally the second month that I had the, the, since I started the podcast, I actually got donations and PayPal that were more than my costs. And I was like, wow, I wasn't even going to start asking for money until six months down the road. I was like, do six months, build up some credibility. Then you can start talking about it. And I was people realized, okay, so where do I send the money? It's what, what money, what are you talking about? I want to send you a donation.

Todd:

So it's, and here's an interesting aspect to my show has had a sponsor, same sponsor GoDaddy for, 15 plus years now.

Gene:

You and Danica.

Todd:

Yeah. a matter of fact, I interviewed Danica. That's a whole story in itself. The the point was is that my audience knows I have a sponsor. They know I'm earning money from the show. So asking for donations is a bit of a stretch. So I've got a PayPal, I've got a PayPal link on my show site for years. And my goal was to get the PayPal donations to the point where it could pay the writers that write the blog posts. That was the goal to have those expenses real close at this point. But again, I've had a sponsor, so they really haven't. It's not like I'm saying, Hey, if you don't send a donation and I can't pay the light bill, that it's not one of those situations. Cause they know I'm getting money from the sponsor. So they're not. They, they D they can be justified internally, not sending cash. Whereas if you don't run a sponsor and it's purely a value for value, we value what I'm saying. And then, who, who we both know who perfected this model. Same guy that we've been talking about here the audience then say, oh Yeah, I love to love what you told me or what I heard. And yeah, that was worth 10 bucks or five or 50 or a thousand or whatever. It may be.

Gene:

Yeah, there's a certain freedom that both people get when it's a direct donation that the person giving the money is showing a direct appreciation for an effort that you can't do in other types of activities. If I watch a, I dunno, a miracle performance at a concert hall and I re you know, bought a $70 ticket to go there and I. Paid for parking, everything else, even if I really enjoyed it, I'm not going to pull out my wallet, pull out a 20 and then throw it up on the stage. Like hairs. Here's a tip for doing great job.

Todd:

Even though they come out, ask for a thousand dollar donation to support their organization. Right?

Gene:

of course, but it's, it's a different thing. It's I don't want to donate to our organization. And this is the beauty I think, of this model and of podcasting in general is that it was, it's a very personal medium. It's it's the person behind the microphone, mostly without filter and the person listening to it generally through headphones or in the car alone. And so you don't have those filters of somebody telling you why? I can't believe you listen to that crap. Maybe if you hear that enough times, you'll only listen on headphones. You, you're not going to listen to it with other people around. But I do think podcasting is personal in a way that a lot of other medium isn't and, and I would just also say as far as asking for money, dude, Do you ever watch any Twitch channels? Those people have perfected the art of asking for money every five seconds for something absurd and, and they're getting it. They're like I watched some, one of the shows that talked about the backend of a lot of people doing streaming and there are literally people making seven figures a month. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And it's not even necessarily gaming related. It's basically, I think a lot of people watch Twitch for the drama. It's, it's the modern version of a soap opera with no writers. It's just let shit happen. And people appreciate a good shit show.

Todd:

Yup. And believe me that I used to have a listener's name was Sal he's from Brooklyn. And I wish that I would come back to my show and it just put me on blast on email and And I read every single one of his emails, even it was sometimes completely outlandish. Some of it may be close to home, but he grew my audience tremendously because,

Gene:

Yeah,

Todd:

because it caused drama. And people's how, how do you read that in the show? It's listenership with a 500, cause

Gene:

Yeah, drama works. We're pre-wired to pay attention when there's drama happening. It's it's why there's a whole category of people that get paid to do nothing but drama. Like actors, they're not producing something for society that are not creating a new technology. They're not building buildings. They're doing literally leisure activity stuff, because we so desire that as humans, that we're willing to pay as much for that drama for professionals to perform it as we are for food and housing. That's Netty. I know we're, we're going long. We also get off the topic a little bit. So let me wrap up with this question for you. So we talked about what podcasting 2.0, is and what some of the challenges are, what, what would you like to see happening in podcasting 2.0 that maybe hasn't happened already? Is there anything that you'd you'd love to just have come out of it? That hasn't yet.

Todd:

We've already talked about it. Ultimately we have to get independent podcasters paid if we get nothing, nothing out of it, but that, and it's selfish. I have an agenda podcasters who get paid, pay their hosting bill. They keep renewing.

Gene:

That's a good point. I'm glad you declared that.

Todd:

It's this, I tell people, whenever a business guy talks, he's always got an agenda, no matter what. But. No, I think it, and also I'm, I'm an independent content creator first. So sometimes I make decisions that people will say, why the hell did you do that? Why did you give that away? I'm like, oh, the Indy's needed. And we'll figure out how to make money on the backend. That's not always popular with my board of directors, but I think that we need to figure out is it the Indies at this point are looking at space and going, am I being left behind and reality that they're 95 or 97% of the space. It's the 3% that are getting all the news, but the 97% of the listeners are listening to 97% of indie podcasts that are not getting paid.

Gene:

And I think that's true on, YouTube is just like it. I look at the, what I watch, what the people that I've subscribed to on YouTube, that I find interesting enough to hit the subscribe button on. I don't, I think there's more than two or three that have over a million subs and, they're basically going to be people that do a lot of gaming videos for games that I happen to enjoy. But most people that I like on YouTube, they're going to no later than 10,000 to 25, 30,000 range of subs. And they might be growing, but it's growing very slowly because those people are the most interesting. But if you ever see like stories about YouTube or somebody, from YouTube gets mentioned, it's always these, drama Queens with a 10 million subscriber base that don't really do anything. Like people are just watching it. Cause they like watching train wrecks.

Todd:

Yeah. They're outlandish.

Gene:

Yeah, They're

Todd:

Pewdie pie.

Gene:

Yeah, and I have nothing against beauty pie. I think he's a cool dude, but, but you gotta look at what all he's done. He's like the most average guy ever is a slightly better than average gamer. Not a great gamer. Could, they've never won any competitions. He has a, a pretty good sense of humor, not the funniest guy, like nothing about him as outstanding, but but yet he's managed to by being on YouTube every single day for so many years, he's managed to generate a shit ton of money and be up until fairly recently, the top subscribed to YouTube. And, and even that whole competition that helped them get another, 6 million subscribers while he's all know I'm going to get overtaken tomorrow. Guys, let your friends know,

Todd:

and I watch a lot of, I don't know why I don't, I've never been a sailboat don't care to own a sailboat, but I've been watching a lot of sailboat lifestyle, be a YouTube channels recently.

Gene:

I have watched a lot of those too. W which ones do you like?

Todd:

Oh oh my God is a Torah. I like sailing's Atara like that, that group. And then it's just a whole stack of other ones and I've even watched.

Gene:

that have decided to just leave business life behind and

Todd:

I, and I think maybe it was because of COVID, we're all locked up and man, how do we get out of here? Those types of channels are again, half a million subs or maybe 50,000 or whatever, and they're great channels. And it's for me, I never thought I would spend as much. I don't watch any regular TV nor I

Gene:

I don't either. I have to, I almost hate to admit it, but I, I, I should is that I've been paying for YouTube for the last four years, because. I watch so much YouTube that getting rid of the ads, like legally, officially without using some plugin or anything, because most of the time I'm actually, I'm watching YouTube on a, a 150 inch projector.

Todd:

Hmm.

Gene:

So yeah, to me, that's more common to watch stuff on YouTube than Netflix these days.

Todd:

I did the same thing. I got tired of paint watching a 62nd of the advertisement or whatever it was Burke, but skip it. And so I paid the money. And, and what is it? 16, $17 a month.

Gene:

it's like 1599 a month. It is the best 50 90 mine. I will spend that month because I have just by, by paying 16 bucks, I've saved myself either the hassle of, or about 50 hours of advertising that month.

Todd:

Probably.

Gene:

It's a huge amount of ads. Cause I I'm I'll watch it two or three hours. I got YouTube running in the background most of the time. But yeah, go ahead.

Todd:

It's an look at the, the beauty about podcasting though, is YouTube. Can D platform you tomorrow. And you can't be the platform in podcast. You can be taken off apple, but your RSS feed still alive. If you have it on your own.com

Gene:

Yeah. And that's a huge thing. And the guys that can get deep plant form of podcasting are the big players that are relying on this whole machine that, that is, keeping them up and running. So if

Todd:

say one wrong thing. And the woke crowd would destroy you.

Gene:

yeah, absolutely. And, but for the average podcast or with, in the audience under 10,000, and this is, this is not a major risk at all. And it hasn't really been since day one. I don't know. I'm sure there have been some instances of podcasts, hosting companies getting rid of somebody on their network, but it's gotta be very, very few.

Todd:

Yeah, I can probably on one hand ass, probably one hand count off the number of customers we've asked to leave us.

Gene:

Yup.

Todd:

And, and, and believe me, that content was something none of us could get behind. But again, there's a, there's a narrow line, between opinion and something else.

Gene:

No, there is. And, and something like one of the other things that I'm on quite a bit is no agenda social, which is the Mastodon instance that Adam set up for listeners with no agenda and because it's mass down, it, it sucks in feeds from any other mass down site. And there are instances of mass add-on groups that, they're, they'll, they'll ban pretty much anything that doesn't totally agree with them. And then there are mass down sites, which will ban absolutely nothing. And no agenda is more on the band. Nothing coming in it's sort of Adam's general policy is if you don't like something, then just block it yourself. Don't ask me to do it. Cause I don't want you creating work for me. And, and it's tongue in cheek, but it's totally true, but because it's not filtered, you'll see, Nazi stuff on there. You'll see a lot lately, a lot of very anti-Israel stuff going through there. And my take on that is even if I totally disagree with that, person's statements or posts is I like having them be able to post this shit because it's a release valve. It's a release valve for crazy people that if it doesn't exist, if it goes away and they can't even talk about some of this shit, they will do something about it. And I don't want them doing anything. I want them just bitching online. I want them just talking about how they hate the Jews and then let's leave it at that. Let it, let the that'll be the end of that whole issue. I don't, I don't want somebody going out and actually, burning down synagogues. So I think the old adage back from you when you and I were kids, which has sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me clearly. Not only has it been forgotten, but it's actually taught that it's not correct any longer. That words are actually the most dangerous thing.

Todd:

And it's funny too. It's like I watch Tik TOK from once in a while. If you want to watch, what's really going on in the world, watch Tik TOK push. You can get on down a path of, ladies being very,

Gene:

Yeah. And not just ladies either.

Todd:

it's true. But you, if you want to watch the news, you can get the logarithm pointing towards stuff that's going on in the world. Then. It's pretty amazing what you see there.

Gene:

Yeah, and then there's a lot of stuff. And that's again with podcasting, just to wrap it up on their original topic is I think one of the things that's always made podcasting unique and as somebody who loves YouTube and watching videos, and I probably average four to six hours a day, but I still have to say that the podcasting has a very unique place because I can't be watching YouTube while I'm driving. I can totally be listening to podcasts while I'm driving.

Todd:

Yeah. When I jumped in the car, it's bam. I pick right up where I left off and yeah.

Gene:

Like my phone connects to the car and it picks up right where we left off. Exactly. Right. And that I think is been something that has both helped podcasting. And also from a uh, the, the big players out there is also niche that it's people only listen to podcasting when they're driving. So it's not a major, like people don't gather around the iPhone to turn on the podcast, like they used to during the radio days. Right. But I think,

Todd:

it was never, that podcasting was always a one-on-one.

Gene:

exactly. And that's, that's why I love it's that intimacy that you only get when it's somebody that is three inches away from the mic and it's coming into your ears, literally like a quarter inch away from your, your drums. And that's about as intimate as he can get.

Todd:

I tell podcasters all the time. Remember they, you are you're in their head.

Gene:

Yep. That's a very good, that's a very good way to look at it. Todd, I appreciate you coming on and taking the time to do this walking down memory lane with me, it's always a pleasure.

Todd:

That was great.

Gene:

All right. And then obviously we'll, we'll have your email for a potential developer contact and then I'll have a link to a blueberry in case somebody is looking for a great hosting platform as well.

Todd:

There you go. And best way to reach me for, if anyone wants to dive into our ape and Holly, even when did they want to dive into our API at blueberry? Because we do have a very rich one just taught@blueberry.com is a great place to reach out to me.

Gene:

I don't have that email. What the hell you've been giving me the wrong

Todd:

Yeah. There's there's, it's like CEO at blueberry CEO at ROV wasters. They all go to the same inbox and it's it's blueberry without the ease. We couldn't afford the ease.

Gene:

That's right. Yes. That was what he did it during the dotcom days when all the vowels were banned,

Todd:

That's right. And we, we up this great domain. Ravell ACE and why the hell we picked blueberry is beyond me. We could have stuck with

Gene:

ROV voice actually sounds like a podcasting

Todd:

right? It does. Doesn't it. have a dumb thing to do?

Gene:

All right, buddy. Thanks for being on bye. Hope you guys enjoyed that interview with Todd. He's always a fun character to talk with. also I'm to shout out a quick, thanks to Jason H or the donation Uh, appreciate that. And then there's a handful of anonymous stories. And I actually, I think all anonymous folks are doing recurring donations. Cause I see your names on a regular basis.

Memory Lane
Rio
iRiver
Todd Backstory
Waterslide
Rant about programming
Todd's book deal
Bitcoin
Podcasting 2.0 Update
Donation vs Sponsorship
Deplatforming