Goodbye aCast

Hi Renay and Adam

You know what? This just isn’t good enough. We’ve stuck with you for months now and it’s now obvious that the whole experience has been a total waste of time. Let me tell you why.

  1. You sold me a line of complete bullshit to get me on to your system. Oh that optimistic speech Adam gave me about how Apple and the iTunes store don’t do anything to help podcast networks and instead just promote content from the BBC and Guardian. He even had a statistic about what percentage of the iTunes podcast section is made up of big media shows. I must tell you that to make this point I have downloaded the aCast app to take a look at the shows you’re promoting at the moment. Sadly, the app won’t run. The Discover page just says that something went wrong and that I should try again. Probably my fault using one of those obscure iPhones.

  2. The aCast app is terrible. See above. It just doesn’t work, I’ve attached a screenshot of the aCast app experience that I’m having while writing this email. I’m assuming that it’s just trying to fetch data from a JSON file or something like that. If you’d like, I can put you in touch with the guy who wrote our iOS app, it works every time!

  3. Adam, remember when you told me that you’d have it included in your aCast press releases that Simply Syndicated would be joining your system? I didn’t think so, seeing as that has never once come close to happening. If I’m wrong about that please feel free to show me an example. This promise has the odour of more bullshit. That said, I also remember when Adam was so excited about traveling to Leeds to meet me. I guess that just wasn’t all that appealing once you got my content onto your system.

  4. You’ve changed your terms and conditions. I’ve been through the contract I signed and not once does it say anything about a minimum pay out of £100. Not once! That’s just something that you’ve made up since I signed the contract.

  5. Your ad sales team need firing. Seriously, I had no idea that you’d be so incapable of making money from our content. Due to the nature of NDAs I can’t go into detail, but I can tell you that another company who are known for keeping Sounds in the Cloud are so much better at this than you guys it’s not even funny. The monthly payout we receive from them is many hundreds of times larger than the payouts we have yet to receive from you. for the last couple of weeks we switched to using the SoundCloud player on our site instead of the aCast player, and the increase in revenue from doing so was over a hundred times what you managed to make on all our downloads through the entire month. You know what else? They don’t even put ads on our downloads. They only pay for plays that happen using their player, in the United States. Yet with that limitation they manage to out sell you at every opportunity. To be clear, that money wasn’t what they payed for the entire month, it was just the increase we saw by dumping your embedded player.

  6. Getting answers from you people is next to impossible. See the last month for details. Exactly how many times do I have to ask the same question in how many departments just to be told that you’ve decided not to send us an invoice for the last two months. You also didn’t think it was necessary to let me know that you had no intention of paying me until we’ve earned £100. At the rate you can make money from our content, that puts us perhaps being paid some time in 2016.

  7. You’re devoting too much time, energy and money into a rubbish idea. What were you smoking when you decided that the one thing podcasters needed to do was to send people to other content while they’re listening to a podcast? Seriously? You honestly think that I’m going to record an hour long show and get the urge to encourage people to watch a YouTube video half way through? You should give up making an app and just devote your time to being the advertising company that you so obviously want to be.

  8. Your backend system just sucks. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Over the last couple of months I’ve just given up trying to get an episode to post on aCast and just ended up posting it on SoundCloud. Perhaps that explains how you managed to make just £4 in the last month from Simply Syndicated content.

  9. You actually cost us money. I’ll let a little company secret slip here and tell you that we bring in several thousands of pounds per month with our subscription service. The money we lost by putting that premium content on aCast and letting you attempt to sell ads against it resulted in a loss of subscribers and didn’t come close to making up the lost revenue.

  10. You’ve built your company off the back of the hard work of content creators such as myself. I can only assume that you’re treating all the other creators as well as me. I’m also sure that most of the smaller shows are stuck with you because they lack the ability to monetise their content themselves, and also because you’ve come up with a system that takes control of their RSS feeds away from them. I have to warn you that doing that is a massive red flag. It’s an obvious lock-in attempt.

  11. It was quickly obvious that you haven’t got a clue how podcasting works. When one of our shows was featured on the iTunes store you sent me a “congratulations on being featured on iTunes” tweet. Do you not realise that Apple have amazing podcaster relations? Did you think that featuring was a surprise to me that we somehow earned? Or do you think that I have regular email conversations with the person in charge of podcasting for iTunes and that she asked if there was anything we wanted featuring and I offered up our new show? Honestly, I haven’t come across a company so incapable of communication and understanding of its industry as aCast. It’s a shame you didn’t realise that you’d actually promised to feature us. Since our time with aCast, Apple have pretty much featured every one of our shows on the front page of the iTunes podcast store. aCast have never once featured us, although with that app, who can tell?

So to sum up, your work is terrible, your app is terrible, the way you treat people is terrible, and it’s all based on a really bad idea. You’re making money by using the work of others and essentially doing bugger all yourselves. Make sure you remove absolutely every single trace of Simply Syndicated related content from your servers. That’s ALL OF IT. I don’t anything left. You aren’t to make one more penny from my work, you’ve made enough already. It would be nice if you actually payed out some money, even if it is less than £100. It would at least show that you aren’t the bunch of coat tail riders that I’ve got you pegged as. Given that I believe your business plan to involve paying podcasters as little money as you feel you can get away with, I won’t be holding my breath.

aCast is a misleading company that aims to take advantage of podcasters. I will be devoting a portion of my time to ensure that as many people in the podcasting community are aware of my experiences. There’s no way that what you’re doing is right or acceptable. I feel I have a moral obligation to try to stop as many people falling for your lies as I can.

There’s a famous email written by Michael Dell in which he said the Steve Jobs should just close Apple and give all the money back to investors. That was a silly thing for him to suggest for Apple. It wouldn’t be a bad idea for aCast. Not because you aren’t making money, but because it’s the right thing to do, like holding doors open for strangers, helping old ladies across the road, or donating to a charity. It’s just the right thing to do. Stop doing what you’re doing. You’re hurting people and taking advantage of them.

I understand that this is a long email so I’ll be recording a show all about aCast later today, though I’m at a loss as to where I might host it.