PRWEB, the leading online news release submission and distribution portal is raising the bar again. It has announced the upcoming demise of free podcasts (available with news releases contributions of $200 and above) in a mail to its users.
You might know that PRWEB allowed a free podcast of 3-5 minutes wherein a PRWEB staff interviewed the contact person for the press releases and then, they would distribute this interview through iTunes and several other online podcast directories.
Now, starting December 18th, this option will not be available anymore. They have introduced an additional fee of $100 for each podcast of 3-5 minutes duration. The mail does not clarify whether this option will be available at every contribution level or only for $200 and above.
As an incentive to offset the new charge, here is what they are offering:
You may upload images to be used in the promotion and circulation of your interview. We will continue to distribute and promote your podcast interview through our existing podcast distribution channels.
They are also introducing a new option of 10-20 minute detailed interview at $200 over the press release contribution.
For those low on budget and not interested to shell out extra money, PRWEB will resume a self-service podcast where you upload your podcast (under 10 MB, so must be very compressed or really short) from January 1st 2007. Thus they have not killed the free podcast but the free podcast interview.
PRWEB also does not want to be left behind in the online video phenomenon sweeping the Internet. See this:
Starting January 1, 2007, PRWeb Podcast will also be offering a premium motioncast service for $250 in addition to a press release that will include a motioncast in addition to the three to five minute podcast. Melding your photos, videos, and fireside chat interview into a video, this motioncast will be tagged and uploaded to popular video sites such as YouTube.com, MySpace.com, Google Video, and Yahoo Video.
In essence, there will be powerful services to give you cool exposure but you have to make much larger investments overall. In any case, the investments for top or near top ranking on any day has been steadily going up and is above $600 on most days.
What do you say to this trend?
Update: Joe Beaulaurier (in a comment) pointed out that my post might give an indication that one needs to spend $600 and above to get on PRWeb. What I really mean is that you need to spend $600 and above for getting your press release in the first few results on the PRWeb home page on any single day. If you can afford this, it can get you much higher exposure to your release. Of course, you can issue a release through PRWeb for as low as $10.