Podcast startup RedCircle will officially launch today with a focus on helping small shows grow. Your first step is to launch a feature that helps podcasters set up cross-promotions with other podcasters, deals in which two shows promote each other. Promise there is more to come.
RedCircle raised $ 1.5 million in its seed round and offers free hosting, analytical access, distribution assistance, and other features designed for smaller creators. The company’s cross-promotion feature allows RedCircle to automatically insert promotions into shows once both podcasters have accepted.
“The short story [of how we got started] is that not much interesting technology is being built for the little podcaster, “says Mike Kadin, co-founder and CEO, The edge. “We saw a lot of room for the freelance podcaster who takes their job seriously, but doesn’t have a five-person ad sales team looking after them.” There’s a lot of room to work there and just a huge long queue with podcasts. “
The team is targeting independent podcasters who are in the semi-professional phase and want to grow their program. That is why the team is launching with this cross-promotion feature. It’s a way for creators to grow their show without the influence of a larger network behind them. Larger networks often cross-promote their own network shows, which is a benefit of having a bunch of popular shows under the same umbrella company.
To find a cross-promotion partner, podcasters can browse RedCircle’s catalog of shows on their website and sort by category, audience size, or name, although shows have to choose to be available for cross-promotion requests. If both programs agree to run the other’s ad, the audio ad will be delivered and RedCircle will automatically determine how long they will have to run, so that both programs benefit from the agreement. A show with a smaller number of followers may have to run an ad for a longer period of time to reach a certain number of listeners than a larger show.
A show can only run two RedCircle-inserted spots per episode, but it can also have its own built-in spots. The company would not say how many shows it has signed up for its service, but Kadin said it had “hundreds,” and that the programs on competing platforms had changed. Kadin also says he has “some podcasts” on the net that generate tens of thousands of downloads.
In addition to its cross-promotion feature, RedCircle says it will continue to design features for the little creator. The company says it does not claim copyrights to any work on the service, and creators can distribute an RSS feed hosted on RedCircle on any platform that accepts them.
RedCircle’s effort reminds me of Anchor, at least in its creator approach, but Kadin says he’s not planning on creating tools for creation. You will consider podcast monetization as an area of focus, not only for creators but also for the RedCircle business. That is their main business objective, as it would give the company a cut in advertising revenue. The team says it is already negotiating advertising deals for its larger podcasters in a more informal capacity. (They will make calls to the industry to organize the advertising investment). However, it is easy to see how creating a dynamic cross-promotion service could lend itself to the eventual insertion of sponsored ads through the platform itself.
Free hosting is tempting for creators because hosting providers other than Anchor charge for their services. But in exchange for that hosting, Kadin and the team eventually want to build an ad network that comprises all of their hosted shows.