People have been saying really uneducated things in Facebook groups about podcasting. They are defending Anchor.fm as a legitimate media host. I have been pointing out the horrible terms of service, and they will come back with, “It's the same terms of services as Facebook and Twitter.” So I decided to go dig and what I found is they are wrong. Acnhor's terms are not the same as Twitter and Facebook. Even if they were, the excuse of “Well Facebook has bad terms and you use them,” is somewhat of a weird way to say how good something is. It's like saying “Cleaning fluids are just as poisonous as laundry products so go ahead and drink them both.”
Before we move ahead, I should disclose I am an employee of Libsyn (a competitor). However, that is not the reason I am worried about anchor. I am worried as they have burned through 14 million and haven't made an ounce of profit. I am worried as they are removing access to Apple stats without alerting their customer.
By submitting User Content through the Services, you hereby do and shall grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, perpetual, royalty-free, fully paid-up, sublicensable and transferable license to use, edit, modify (including the right to create derivative works of), aggregate, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the User Content in connection with the operation of the Services, the promotion, advertising or marketing of the Services, or the operation of Anchor’s (and its successors’ and affiliates’) business.
UPDATE: After many people complained, Anchor has removed the word perpetual from the TOS.
While I'm happy they removed the word perpetual from their TOS, one does ponder why it was there in the first place. In my opinoin, it's a horrible idea.
By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed). This license authorizes us to make your Content available to the rest of the world and to let others do the same. You agree that this license includes the right for Twitter to provide, promote, and improve the Services and to make Content submitted to or through the Services available to other companies, organizations or individuals for the syndication, broadcast, distribution, promotion or publication of such Content on other media and services, subject to our terms and conditions for such Content use. Such additional uses by Twitter, or other companies, organizations or individuals, may be made with no compensation paid to you with respect to the Content that you submit, post, transmit or otherwise make available through the Services.
Privacy Settings in Twitter
When you use features like Direct Messages to communicate, remember that recipients have their own copy of your communications on Twitter – even if you delete your copy of those messages from your account – which they may duplicate, store, or re-share.
Whether your Tweets are publicly available on Twitter
The phrase “You agree that this license includes the right for Twitter to provide, promote, and improve the Services and to make Content submitted to or through the Services available to other companies, organizations or individuals for the syndication, broadcast, distribution, promotion or publication of such Content on other media and services, subject to our terms and conditions for such Content use.” For me, there is a difference between “make content submitted to or through the services available to other companies” is different than transferrable. For me, Twitter lets your borrow the information for your platform where Anchor transfers ownership
You own the content you create and share on Facebook and the other Facebook Products you use, and nothing in these Terms takes away the rights you have to your own content. You are free to share your content with anyone else, wherever you want. To provide our services, though, we need you to give us some legal permissions to use that content.
Specifically, when you share, post, or upload content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos or videos) on or in connection with our Products, you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, and worldwide license to host, use, distribute, modify, run, copy, publicly perform or display, translate, and create derivative works of your content (consistent with your privacy and application settings). This means, for example, that if you share a photo on Facebook, you give us permission to store, copy, and share it with others (again, consistent with your settings) such as service providers that support our service or other Facebook Products you use.
You can end this license any time by deleting your content or account. You should know that, for technical reasons, content you delete may persist for a limited period of time in backup copies (though it will not be visible to other users). In addition, content you delete may continue to appear if you have shared it with others and they have not deleted it.'
That word transferrable. I'm not sure I agree with that.
Why Not Compare Anchor to Other Media Hosts?
As Anchor.fm is supposed to be a media host, why don't we compare a media host to another media host.
Your Content is all data, graphics, text, names, marks, logos, hypertext links to other Web sites and other audio and/or visual information incorporated in, transmitted through or published or displayed incident to or via your Podcast. All of Your Content is owned exclusively by you.
Unless otherwise agreed to, you hereby grant to Libsyn a non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide right and license for so long as you use the Site to do the following to the extent necessary in the performance of Services under this Agreement: digitize, convert, install, upload, select, order, arrange, compile, combine, synchronize, use, reproduce, store, process, retrieve, transmit, distribute, publish, publicly display, publicly perform and hyperlink Your Content; and make archival or back-up copies of Your Content. Except for the rights expressly granted above, Libsyn is not acquiring any right, title or interest in or to Your Content, all of which shall remain solely with you.
You further agree to provide and grant Libsyn the right of use of Your Content and Brand for distribution, marketing and promotional purposes as it relates to the Service. Brand includes the name, logo, images, video, trade mark, service mark or other branding devices of Your Content.
Except as otherwise agreed to in writing, you have control over the distribution of Your Content through the Service that you use, including but not limited to the Libsyn Site, iTunes, third-party web sites, devices and platforms. By use of the Service for distribution, you agree that Libsyn may make Your Content available and agree to abide to third-party conditions when opting in to a Service that involves a third-party, including but not limited to Apple and iTunes. Libsyn makes no warranties with regard to the submission of Your Content for distribution and has no direct control or influence over the third party process. Submission and approval is governed by the third-party and Libsyn will make every reasonable effort to follow guidelines for the process.
They state YOU are in control. Anchor has multiple prompts in their dashboard to have them submit your show to Apple. This means you have no control over your show in podcastsconnect.apple.com It even shows “recommended” which is one of my biggest problems. They do not stats, “Having anchor submit your show to Apple will removed your right to access Apple stats.”
Anchor Submits Your Podcast “For Your” to Apple Podcasts
But Now Anchor Has Crowd Funding!
Some call this a competitor to Patreon. It's only true that it gives people the ability to donate on a monthly basis. Part of the power of Patreon is the ability to have rewards at different levels and so far Anchor does not. They take a little bit less money than Patreon (and they should as they do quite a bit less than Patreon).
If you want to test it see https://anchor.fm/dave-jackson
You Need a Crowd to Survive on Crowd Funding
For Anchor to survive on the cut they take from their users, those users need to
- Have an audience
- Have that audience contribute
80% of Podcasters on Anchor Have Zero Downloads
In a recent episode of the New Media Show with Todd Cochrane and Rob Greenlee Rob Walch shared a stat that stated that 80% of podcasters on Anchor have zero downloads (yes, even the podcaster, the creator of the content, is not listening to their own podcast). Click to Hear this Stat or check out the full episode at https://newmediashow.com/2018/08/11/rob-walsh-guest-216/
So if the business plan is to take a piece of the pie that podcasters are getting from their audience, if there is no audience, there is no money. If there is no money, then, well that bandwidth bill isn't going to pay itself…
Why is Apple Allowing Anchor to Control Podcaster's Listing in Apple Podcasts?
People ask me why I'm so passionate about Anchor and reporting on their shortcomings. If you were the person who had to clean up the spilled milk, wouldn't you be screaming to the world that the anchor made milk bottles are fragile, and not to use them?
I'm truly confused as I've always been impressed with Apple and the way they stood up to entities like the FBI in the protection of user's privacy. Yet, they are not stopping Anchor from submitting podcasters shows “for them” to Apple.
This means that when a podcaster wants to see how far someone has listened (a stat you can get from podcastsconnect.apple.com ) they can't. When Anchor submits your show “For you,” you lose control of your show. When you log in to your podcastsconnect.apple.com account you don't see your show because YOU didn't submit your show, Anchor did. This is huge. For me, this is bigger than the ownership issue. It seems like such a no-brainer. Yet people like Gary Vaynerchuk and Apple promote Anchor on a large scale.
Apple do you not realize the EXTRA WORK you are going to have when these people realize (I have a couple every week) that they have made a mistake and want to transfer ownership of their show from Anchor to themselves? This requires a human from the Apple support team to work with them and approve the ownership reversal.
Dave You're Just Old!
That's right Adam, I'm just screaming, “Get off my lawn!” My 13 years of experience means nothing. After all, bandwidth is free, right?
Ready to Move From Anchor?
I'd be happy to help you move from Anchor. You can get a free month at Libsyn or Blubrry using the coupon code sopfree. Both companies will be happy to import your back catalog and walk you through transferring your feed.