“Folks, I'm out. I told you and your guaranteed seven-figure deal to hit the bricks. So here I am.” ~ Adam Carolla on May 11, 2011I've said it before, but Adam Carolla is great.
I was listening to his podcast today and he started talking about one of the ways he keeps his daily podcast free for listeners:
“We made this deal with Amazon where if you’re gonna buy something on Amazon you click through Adamcarolla.com and you give us a couple pennies...Whatever you buy on Amazon, a flat screen TV or whatever, it costs you the same. There’s no moral decision. It’s just an extra 5, 6 seconds with your mouse and we can get a couple percentage points.”Fans of the show have known about the Amazon click-through for a while, but today he made bigger news: he's turned down a multi-million dollar contract to do a terrestrial radio show and says he's dedicated to the podcast. Why? Listener support.
He says that listeners are using the Amazon click-through (and buying things they were gonna buy anyway from Amazon through his site) and are enlisting their friends to subscribe to the podcast (to help him reach the Guinness book podcast record no less). And one thing led to another:
“It said to me on sort of a grassroots level. It said to me, well, not only are we making some money from a practical standpoint...but I like the idea that people are listening and participating and wanting to participate and wanting to be involved and wanting to help and share and understanding this sort of dilemma of we’re here but it can’t all just be out of the goodness of our own hearts. Eventually we have to turn this into a business. And sort of right before my eyes it was turning into a business.”Podcasts are cool because they're still sort of new and they're diverse and most of them are free. It’s even cooler that they're coming up with creative ways listeners can support them by basically doing nothing they weren't already going to do (I'm looking at you PBS and you public libraries). Adam gets a gigantic following from the podcast that helps him sell out shows and sell books. So the podcast helps him promote whatever he does, and that's huge.
Today, gaining followers is simultaneously easier and harder than ever before. It’s a bad time for lots of record companies and book publishers, but a better time than ever for bands and writers to reach an audience on their own.
Update: The ACE man has broken the Guinness Book of Records for the most downloaded podcast in the world beating out Ricky Gervais. Podcast here.
To read more about the Ace man, there was an excellent article in Fast Company last year: How Adam Carolla Became a Podcast Superstar.
The whole 5/10/11 show with guest Tim Daly where he talks about turning down the offer is available for a limited time over at his web site.
Or you can subscribe to his podcast free through iTunes.