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Brian Ibbott of Coverville

by Brian

The brief excerpt below is from the book; 50 Interviews: Entrepreneurs Thriving in Uncertain Times. The award winning 300 page book includes exclusive interviews with over 50 successful entrepreneurs in a variety of industries.

I had the pleasure of wrapping up my 50 interviews with Brian Ibbott of Coverville!  My friends Chad and Issac (the Leap Guys!) video taped the interview and we’ll get it posted soon.  Brian recently hit a major milestone by completing his 500th episode of Coverville!  I’ve listened to his show for years, so getting the chance to inteview Brian while he was recording an episode of Coverville was a real treat for me.

Below is an excerpt from my interview with one of the world’s most successful podcasters:

BACKGROUND

Brian Ibbott started Coverville Media, LLC in 2004 after discovering a new technique to fulfill his dreams of becoming a DJ on a show that plays 100% cover songs, artists playing other artists’ songs. Brian is one of the earliest pioneers of “podcasting.” When his show is podcasted from his home studio in Arvada, Colorado, it is listened to by over 16,000 people around the world. In August of 2008, Brian celebrated his 500th episode by throwing a gala in Las Vegas. Fans of the show got to mingle with some of the artists featured on Coverville. Additionally, as a “podcaster for hire,” he produces and hosts podcasts for other companies. Prior to Coverville, in the earliest days of the internet, he ran the website www.askbrian.com where he took pride in answering nagging questions that stumped people. Brian’s advice to other entrepreneurs is to find a niche that you are passionate about. Then he suggests you “just jump in” because, “If you spend too much time on the edge of the pool trying to figure out how to do it, someone else will get there first.”

Interview:

Q. What was the genesis of the idea?

A. I was intrigued by what was referred to as an ‘MP3 Blog’ that Adam Curry, the former VJ, was posting online. As the technology began to evolve, thanks in a large part to the open software movement, the possibility of having my own radio show emerged. My dream had always been to host an “all covers” radio show. The only resemblance of such a show was a short segment on satellite radio that no longer exists. As the technology of podcasting emerged, I jumped on my opportunity to get the show out there.

Q. What were your biggest challenges?

A. Learning the ropes on music licensing was a major challenge. Nobody had asked the questions before about how you get licensed to play entire songs on a podcast. I intentionally stay away from the major labels to avoid running into licensing problems. Bandwidth early on was a challenge as well. After Adam Curry mentioned me on his show, my subscriber base went through the roof.

Q. What are your biggest rewards?

A. The feedback from my listeners! The positive feedback from my listeners is the ‘fuel’ that makes doing this so much fun. I get emails from all over the world. I know my podcasts are being listened to, and talked about, because I see the evidence of it all the time. It has been a thrill to get mentioned in the media, including a text book, as a case study on new media, and Rolling Stone. One of my listeners shared with me that my show helped him through recovery from surgery. Artists now send me their CDs, and record labels approach me to have their artists on the show.

Q. Any recommended books? How about an MBA?

A. No on the MBA. Two books I recommend on podcasting: Podcast Solutions, by Dan Klass and Michael Geoghegan, and Podcasting for Dummies, by Tee Morris and Evo Terra. A great book that I go back to time and time again is Radio: An Illustrated Guide, by Jessica Abel and Ira Glass.

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