It looks like some reality is wandering into the corridors of the RIAA: some of the labels have noticed that people like podcasts, and that some podcasts use music:
Ted Cohen, a digital-media strategist who for many years was an executive at EMI Group PLC, says that keeping up-and-coming artists "protected" from use in podcasts has often backfired. "We've protected them so well nobody knows they exist," he quips.
However, I suspect that there's going to be a problem with the ad model they've chosen:
For now, Rock River has struck licensing deals only with Sony BMG, to include four to eight songs in podcasts created on behalf of its clients. The "Chrysler Music Legends" series focuses on a specific artist in each program, and includes 30-second ads from the car maker at a few points in the program. Subjects of the biographical programs have included Miles Davis, Johnny Cash and Journey.
Thirty seconds is too long. It's long enough that it would be worth my while to skip forward and just avoid the ad. Some of the podcasts I listen to are sponsored, and have ads; the best ads are like the Earthlink ones on CNet's "Buzz out Loud" - short and to the point, so that I don't bother skipping them.
Still, this is forward progress for the labels. Hat tip John McIntosh.