September 22, 2017 · Podcasting

Testers' Island Discs launches today!

If you're reading this, then chances are you've already seen my previous blog post where I announced the plan to launch Testers' Island Discs. (If you haven't, that's probably the best place to start, as I don't feel like repeating myself!)

In a rush? Listen to Episode 0 right now!

For those of you who are more patient, you might be wondering what's been happening since that previous blog post? Well, here are a few headlines...

We're partnering with Ministry of Testing.

I know, right? This is a massive one for me. One of the hardest things about launching a new project such as a podcast is getting it out to the best audience for it, which takes up a surprising amount of time for Screen Testing. So, naturally, I was delighted when Richard Bradshaw (the FriendlyBoss at Ministry of Testing) suggested a partnership. It seems like a win-win situation to me: our episodes will be broadcast directly into the ear-holes of MoT's existing network, who in turn won't need to do anything extra if they want to tune in.

I'm extremely humbled that the Ministry has deemed my podcast worthy of inclusion on their service, and the partnership is already showing its benefits, as you'll see from the show's artwork! I can't wait to see where we can take the show while we work together; Richard and I have already (half-jokingly) spoken about some big plans for Episode 100, and I'm in no doubt that the show has the legs to get there.

I know a lot more than I knew before about music licensing and royalties.

Using licensed music in podcasts is shaky ground. It's obviously wrong to use copyrighted material without the consent of its owners, but plenty of podcasts are doing it, and (to date) no podcasters have ever been pursued over music usage. That doesn't make it right though, and as someone with a deep passion for music who's launching a podcast that's fundamentally based around the need to play music clips, I want to ensure I'm on safe ground.

Although a lot of people claim they're covered under "fair usage", particularly when they're playing clips for the purpose of critiquing/discussion, it's important to me that the artists we're celebrating are paid their fair dues (literally). And it turns out, that's surprisingly easy, and not overly expensive: the PRS has a specific licence for podcasts for just this purpose, which bills quarterly on a per-track, per-stream basis, and which should work out at less than £10 per episode for playing our guests' five tracks.

I've also paid-out for some licensed theme music, eventually settling on the track "On the Beach" by Tony Lovic. I was mulling over several different tracks, but this one kept coming back into my brain even when I wasn't listening to it, thereby making it a certified earworm with a suitably tropical feel. Huge thanks here to AudioJungle for providing a great marketplace to connect music-makers with consumers, with an easy to understand licence system.

This train ain't stopping any time soon.

The messages have been flowing-in thick and fast since I made the initial announcement. As I mention in the introductory episode, I've already received enough applications to fill six months of the podcast, and that was before the show even launched! I also still have a huge list of potential guests who I want to pursue myself, but suffice to say this show could run and run. Episodes will be fortnightly for now, but I might well begin releasing them weekly if I find myself sitting on a bunch of unreleased episodes (which is looking very likely right now!)

MORE podcasts?

Just before announcing Testers' Island Discs, I posted this tweet:

It's true - there's actually another podcast which I've got in the pipeline, which is taking a bit longer to get off the ground. Primarily that's because it's not actually related to testing, so I'm doing my homework to make sure that I launch it in such a way that its audience can find it. Plus, I'm remembering there is such a thing as having too much fun! This next project should arrive before the end of the year: if you're finding it hard to keep track, you might like to know that I've just added a Podcasts page on my blog today, to help keep track of where my voice is cropping up :)

I hope you enjoy listening to Testers' Island Discs, and don't forget that I still have an open call for guests if you'd like to take part!

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