A Community Platform
I have and still hold to my belief that podcasting not merely a delivery mechanism for audio and video content, but a platform for building communities.
As any content publisher knows, advertisers are naturally attracted to large, targeted audiences.
iTunes Converts Big Media into Podcasters
In 2007, we witnessed the iTunes podcasting directory be taken over with mainstream media outlets, creating fresh content and packaged as a podcast, and not simply repackaging existing radio or television broadcasts. A good example of this is BusinessWeek’s look inside and behind the issues cover story, and a personal favorite of mine.
Clearly with the audience is there.
Furthermore, podcast producers have the good fortune of building communities in what venture capitalists would call “vertical markets”.
Online marketplaces, such as Voices.com, provide a venue where advertisers can search for, audition and hire the ideal sounding voice for their ad. Posting a job is by far the fastest way to get audio samples and prices, and an escrow service will take away any concern over hiring someone you haven’t worked with before. So what’s missing?
Podcast Advertising Metrics
Just as web advertising has standard metrics such as CPM (Cost Per Thousand) for display or graphical banner ads and PPC (Pay Per Click) for contextual ads typically found on the sidebar of your favorite search engines, podcasting needs to find a model that works.
PPP (Pay Per Play)
Advertisers will pay to play a 15-30 sec audio ad embedded within a podcast episode. The listener does not have to click on anything for the publisher to get paid, which is what makes it different to other forms of advertising. Podcasters get paid for 100% of your visitors and the ads are contextual and will be related to the podcast’s content and niche.
Return On Investment
Smart advertisers will make use of website metric software such as Google Analytics and create goals to measure the performance of their podcast advertising campaigns.
For businesses that run on Salesforce.com, you could easily create a “campaign” to measure and manage the number of new leads and sales opportunities from the podcast ads.
So regardless of how you decide to engage in podcasting, the tools are there for podcasters to create great content, for online marketplaces to build a network of ad producers and for the advertiser to measure the return on investment.
Now, It’s a Matter of Leadership
Who is going to lead the industry forward and determine a set of metrics to help new advertisers measure their success in podcasting?