Podcast Advertising Appeals to “Unreachable” Consumers? Can We Sell Ourselves Any Shorter?

Last week, the ADM (my favorite association for our space) teamed with Edison Research (the smartest market research firm in the world) to produce a Webinar called “Consumer Attitudes On Podcast Advertising.” The recording of the whole event has been placed at their site – I highly recommend a viewing.

With a title like “Consumer Attitudes On Podcast Advertising” and a firm like Edison who actually does research, as opposed to prove points for money, you can imagine the content presented. It was dead on, and from what I remember from statistics class, very viable in the polling methodology.

So, I’ll say it again (despite what the comments below will state), this is the best research to date on Podcast Advertising. By Podcast Advertising we mean ads inside of free publically available Podcasts. The research was solid there, and the prospects were good for that option.

Again, fans of the ADM and Edison and what they’re doing.

But … (you knew this was coming).

I still think strong that we’re selling ourselves short – way short.

The power of “New Media” is not that we’re a faster, cheaper “Old Media” with swear words. If the only difference between “us” and “them” is that we don’t have to get a broadcast license, and our biggest battle is in proving to the world that “we matter too” when it comes to CPM ad inserts, … I want out.

Again, not trying to criticize the work done here, but trying to encourage focusing on the things that matter:

I truly believe that if our space spent half the energy it currently spends on proving legitimacy (and complaining about the lack of advertisers) on exploring and trying alternative (do I dare say “new”) profit models, we’d see ten times the growth (and a lot more smiles at our industry events).

My goal here is a simple one: I’d like to suggest that we spend additional time (and equal effort) examining the options that have a considerably higher success rate so far as legitimate standards and part of the “dialogue.” The day the ADM Sponsors a study on “Non-Traditional Revenue Trends In Downloadable Media” and the New Media Expo offers a “Death Of The CPM – Alternative RevGen Models In New Media” track is the day thousands of Podcasters quit their day job.

Another report or blog post on how listeners don’t like pre-rolls just ain’t gonna cut it.

Let me respond to the first couple of comments before they even get entered below:

Yes, folks like Leo Laporte will be able to use slides from this presentation to bump up their CPMs. God bless ’em as they do. Remember that not only does Leo collect way more in sponsorship money than most, he also collects way more in audience donations than most Podcasters will ever make (even after this report is released). He also partners with others for free bandwidth (it’s the fully disclosed affiliate model people), has invested a ton of cash in his studio (I don’t hear him having debates about the “best USB microphone under $100″), and has a full staff behind him. He’s playing all the angles and I respect him for it. Please remember, this is the model Leo loves and Leo has been able to make profitable. It doesn’t make it gospel.

For the bit about “opportunists” are the ones looking to revenue from the premium model (it’s in the recording), I’d suggest you do a search on what people thought about “paying for television” in the 70s – and then make a list of ten friends who don’t have cable tv today.

For the “I don’t want to sell out” crowd, I ask how an ad for something (and remember, the study told us ones read by the host are best) is any less of a sell out than an merchandise line, premium option or affiliate play. Disclose away and enjoy the benefits of an audience that actually like you.

For the people don’t pay for content world, I beg you to explain HBO to me.

I guess, in short, I’d like to suggest that we got options people … why won’t we take them (let alone talk about them)?

Flame away …

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • blairkoss

    I'm not a marketer or content creator. I'm a business consultant for large companies and make a decent living. I'm the guy who pays for HBO. I also pay for internet content for the following reasons:
    – it's premium valuable stuff (example: industry report with real research)
    – avoid the obnoxious advertising (12 google ads and flashing $@#%@ drive me crazy)

    Everyone – flame at me too, I'm sure I'm rare. But I'm telling you the models that Paul describes can find a place if the content is top quality and compelling.

  • http://zerologic.com msitarzewski

    Hey Paul, will you contact me offline? I don't want to pimp our startup on your site, but I'd really like your feedback on it. Thanks. michael [at] callisto [dot] fm.

  • http://newrules.com John Federico

    Paul, after last week's ADM webinar, I would have bet my last dollar
    that you would write this post. I'm surprise to took you so long. And
    where's the premiumcast disclosure? 😉

    In all seriousness, I don't disagree with the premise that valuable
    content should, at times, be paid for directly by the consumer of that
    content. However, I don't believe it is has to be a dichotomy.

    A mix of free & ad supported content along with some premium content
    is probably more realistic for valuable niche productions.

    Obviously generic content (eg. general news) should probably stay away
    from this hybrid model unless it can br delivered in a unique way that
    offers added convenience or novel distribution.

    Of course, you probably would have bet that would be my response…

    -jf.

  • paulcolligan

    Always a pleasure to hear from you John. But, I'm not pushing this agenda to sell Premiumcast, I'm pushing this agenda because we need this agenda – and I build Premiumcast to handle 1 of these many options.

    And, honestly, we're gonna make 100x as much on Premiumcast from non-Podcasters as we will from Premiumcast – so I'm not as worried about getting people to embrace it as I am getting Podcasters to consider the options.

    The more new media makers who get out of this singlemindedoldschoolviewoftheworld – the better off we'll all do.

    Still trying to figure out the disclosure thing – I'll take any suggestions you got.

  • coco1212

    There's no such thing as un “unreachable” consumer. Some people are just sophisticated or refuse to act as normal consumers, that's all. I noticed at easysaver complaints how people can often change their minds and overall attitude towards any product after they've been made a better offer.