As many of you know, I was at PME this weekend and, of course, saw the Podshow funding announcement just as things were getting started. I had a few conversations about it with people, though since I was traveling I didn't read all of what the blogosphere was saying online. Everyone had their opinions, of course, but no one I talked to about it saw what, to me, is an obvious interpretation. My feeling is that has little or nothing to do with podcasts at all. We all know that, at some point in the next 5 to 10 years, the recording industry (i.e. the labels) are all going to be turned upside-down. They know it, too... but they're able to hold on because of the wads of cash they all have. At some point, though, change is going to be forced by the consumers. Podshow, with their Podsafe Music Network, is working very hard to position themselves as an "un-label"... but really, they're just looking to be a new-world label, and waiting for the right time. If -- between now and the tipping point -- they can launch/break a few rock stars that were previously unknown to the world (and I think some of them are there in the network already, at least potentially), then their position is set. All they gotta do then is wait until the tipping point and bam -- for 15 million dollars DAG Ventures just bought their way into a sizable chunk of a new record label.
That $15 million (or, rather, their chunk thereof) was the cheapest investment they ever made.