After 276 episodes, the independent country podcast W.B. Walker’s Old Soul Radio Show has come to an abrupt end. The podcast has featured music with the permission of artists, but copyright holders fired off a takedown notice to the show. The result is Walker has announced he will stop producing his podcast and he is deleting all the episodes in his archive. “This isn’t me wanting to stop doing the Old Soul Radio Show,” he said. “I can’t sit and fight a bunch of lawyers.”
In a final episode, Walker told listeners that podcasting has grown into something much bigger than he expected when he launched his show in 2012. Through the years artists have cleared him to use their songs, but new technology that has allowed copyright holders to scour the internet to find music use has upended his podcast. “Even if somebody gives me permission and says play whatever you want from me, it don’t matter much because you have bots that search all of these podcasts and anytime they hear something that falls under the RIAA or ASCAP or whatever – the bot that is programmed to find songs that is registered with them – it doesn’t know that me or whoever has permission – all it knows is he is playing something and money is owed to us.”
Over the weekend Walker said he hopes to revive his podcast at some point in the future. “If there’s a way that I can do the show going forward from here, I’ll do it. But it’s not so easy anymore as just getting permission,” he said.
Walker said he is surprised his podcast lasted as long as it did, and he is proud about the musicians such as Tyler Childers and Colter Wall that he helped discover. “I know my show has helped a lot of independent artists,” he said.
Similar issues earlier led the Americana Music Show to cease production of its podcast in July.