Did you know more people are downloading podcasts now than are actually reading blogs? For all the hype and massive growth of the blogosphere, it's podcasts that are really getting the attention of media trend watchers, including those with new media advertising budgets. Labels: Radio
eMarketer.com states that 9 million adults in the U.S. have downloaded podcasts in the past 30 days. Plus another just-under 2 million teens. Nielsen/Netratings from last month estimates that podcasting will attract an audience of 50 million active viewers and listeners by 2010.
Think of it this way: that's more than three New York City or four Los Angeles metropolitan area radio listeners right now. And those radio markets pull in close to one billion in advertising revenue per year.
By comparison, satellite radio has paid-subscriber bases of about 12 million right between Sirius and XM, without much of an adversting model (yet).
Imagine if podcast could tap into those revenue models, enhancing and/or pulling from existing radio and televisions marketsand possibly stealing from other "old" Internet ad models like ineffective banner ads and paid sponsored links.
That's some big money potential which could roll up in just a few short years. That's why Comedy Central was so eager to start up its Motherload download site podcasting its shows. Why Fox TV shows are available for download through MySapce. Why CBS set up its Innertube. And AOL has In2TV. TV is quickly getting on the Internet. But it is audio podcasting through iTunes that is leading the way.
In response to the explosion in consumer interest (especially since TV broadcasters started making their shows available for download last fall and began online streaming in the spring), more and more companies are jumping into podcasting. And for many good reasons:
1) Podcasting can create a direct communication channel with consumers
2) Unique special content (e.g. test pilots) and new formats can be distributed to measure early adopter and buzz potential
3) Podcasting is starting to generate additional revenue through advertising
4) Custom communication opportunities with customers, partners, investors and employees
5) Allow time-shifted access to educational and other content, meeting On Demand consumer needs
6) Provides an inexpensive, easy opportunity for user-generated content which potentially can build into pass-along viral marketing
There are many excellent resources online to learn how to build a better podcasting product. To start, understand the built-in challenges of delivering podcasts, including the creation of reliably fresh content. On the tech side, learn the best encoding and producing practices and making sure the podcast product is readable in the most popular media formats.
Learn the best download distribution points, beginning with iTunes and other popular sites...but also for RSS feed services. Think through quality advertising partners. And, lastly, spend some time understanding how podcast "ratings" are measured so you can exploit your ratings success (for example, is there a difference between a popular podcast download from iTunes and files sharing on peer2peer networks like Limewire or BitTorrent? Can BigChampagne pick up your podcast download measurements?)
Here's one great free podcasting resource for you from Akamai. Happy podcasting!
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Tuesday, August 22, 2006,