Why doesn't PodZinger provide transcriptions back to the podcasters?

PodZinger is a search engine for (audio and video) podcasts. It listens to the audio content of podcasts, transcribes the content and makes it searchable. This is quite a useful service because transcribing podcasts manually would take waaaay too long.

I published an interview I conducted with Alex Laats, president of PodZinger, yesterday on the PodLeaders.com site. It was only after I published the interview that I thought of the one question I should have asked Alex – “Why doesn’t PodZinger provide transcriptions of the podcasts back to the podcasters?”

As a podcaster, PodZinger listens to my content, transcribes it, and makes it searchable on its site. It has Google ads on its site so it is profiting from my work. I am not a lawyer, but my podcasts are licensed using a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License and this would seem to me to breach the non-commercial part of that license.

What do I get out of it? I get the opportunity to allow people to view my content transcribed on the PodZinger site. I would far prefer to have my content on my own site.

I can see why PodZinger are doing this – they want to bring all the traffic to their site. This is real old school thinking. Alex, if you provide the content back to the podcasters, you will create enormous good will and PodZinger will still be the only place where people can search content across all podcasts.

I have been contacted back by PodZinger about this post and will be talking to their president, Alex Laats about this post on next Monday (8th) – if you have any questions or concerns about Podzinger that you’d like me to put to him, leave them in the comments.

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