Adam Curry On CPM Model For Podcast Advertising

On Friday’s show, Adam Curry gave part of his “Grand Vision” for advertising in Podcasting.

I think the concept … if we re-create radio … and we come right back to the way radio charges (CPM) … anywhere between 5 and 25 per thousand … then we’ve failed as well

I’m glad Curry wasn’t thinking people would quit the day job on CPM advertising. I wish more would follow his lead.

This is the FIRST time I’ve heard this reality discussed. Thank you Adam. Yes, this medium will die a hard death if we focus on the CPM model. It also will prevent pretty much everyone from “quitting their day job.” – his stated goal.

Adam introduced this concept – “the concept that the advertiser would have to audition to sponsor a show …

Interesting fact. Let’s put taste aside here and deal with one simple fact …

The Podcasts that pay the bills (allow people to quite the days jobs) will be the Podcasts that are worth many times more than any “traditional” radio show. This isn’t will Podcasting bring us the next Stern or Limbaugh – this is, will Podcasting bring us the next ad-supported HBO or Showtime?

They have to have value greater than anything out there for businesses to be willing to pay more to grab that value.

So, let’s stop the discussion of micro-payments and quarter Podcasts and dollar a month subscriptions and let’s move to a model that a) makes financial sense and b) let’s us produce content we’re really proud of – and that is worth the cash.

Update (1/21/2006): Curry makes additional comments on his hopeful conversion rate.

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  • Podchef

    Great comments.

    I think there are other ways podcasts can make money beyond sponsorship though too, and that is spin-offs and value added extras. My show generates a tiny revenue (enough to cover hosting costs) at the moment from selling my cookbook–show related–and I have had requests for products created on the show and made available to the audience to purchase. But only 2% of my audience has commented, or contributed in any major way.

    Yes we need to go beyond traditional media marketing tactics if we want to avoid the same failures. And yes we need to provide the audience with something their willing to pay for. Then we have to find the audience that is willing to pay for the content.

  • Paul Parkinson

    This presupposes that there is a requirement to make money out of podcasting. That being the case, revenue generation simply cannot follow the current models. Here be dragons.

    We are going to have to think smarter not harder. Curry’s point about auditions is good but not enough. We will need to ensure that any “advertiser” – that is anyone with a point to make on our time – needs to provide value. How they do that is TBD.

    How about providing bandwidth through the corporate network – that’ll save a ton of money. Or through cross-advertising – if you want me to mention “Soapo” on my show then you need to mention my show on your “Soapo” packaging. This will drive people to the product and the show.

    And so on. Or am I being terribly naive?

  • colligan


    Obviously this is for shows that want to see a revenue stream (and you need such a stream to quit the day job). As much as I love the hobbyist podcasters, this dialogue has never been about them.

    Why would “the corporate network” be any cheaper than any other network?

    The cross advertise thing is interesting, but not really viable. If I have 100k customers and ship 10k products a month and you have 2000 listening to your show, the deal doesn’t really do well for me.

    Thanks for the comments though. We go nowhere without a dialogue here.


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  • Cheri

    I am new to podcasting (only my second episode) but I am not new to the media world (almost 20 years-ugh) with my specialty in niche markets. Bravo to this post (I can’t wait to listen to the show)!! As soon as you allow a podcast to be placed into the buyer’s CPM mindset…you lose! A podcast is not going to be able to compete straight on numbers and it shouldn’t have to.

    Perception is reality! Sell the package, sell the pizzaz, sell the concept. Become creative…but don’t get caught in the number game. I understand that buyers need to put numbers down for their media buys BUT you need to sell it higher up the ladder.

    I would love to quit my day job and become a fulltime podcaster (however, my podcast is a secret and truly just a hobby right now). I’m in it for the fun and for the new product launch. Yes, I am a little off, I love taking start ups and making them succeed. This is my secret start up!! Strange hobby huh?!? So glad I found your blog!

  • Theinterrupters

    I love being a Podcaster!!!!!!!!!!! http://www.weinterruptthisbroadcast.c...