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 …

Apple’s “Latest Creation” Event (the iPad) – My New Media Perspective

Thanks to Leo Laporte’s Phone, and Gdgt’s live photostream, we got an almost live look at the launch of the (surprised?) iPad. Other great pieces include Wired telling us it’s more about content, Cali Live, and TechCrunch’s live stream.

My thoughts:

The iPad name. Branding is a tough thing, but if anyone can pull it off, Apple can. Lots of folk can have slates or tablets. Only one company can have an iPad. Now they can (and will) charge more.

Mentioning YouTube but not Hulu, etc. I predict here that as this effectively has the ability to kill the purchase of content for the television, … I predict Hulu will try to ban (or severely restrict) the playing of Hulu content on the device. There will be hacks, don’t get me wrong, but, .. yeah, Hulu ain’t gonna like this at all.

Regular mentioning of Podcasts on this bad boy. Nice, but I believe this is more of a positioning statement than anything else. It might be me, but it sounds like Steve is telling some “big media” types that we can do fine without them. And, actually, I agree.

No Flash? That’s what Engadget is telling us. Answers the Boxee/Hulu question – and forces us to download content for the iPad. Hmmmmmmmmmmm.

The iPad Econony.” Steve started the event with thoughts on how Apple is the “biggest” mobile device company on the planet. There is an iPhone economy (and nothing even comes close). I think they’re going for the same thing here. Hubris or brilliance … we’ll see.

Ability to use existing iPhone apps. Obvious, but extremely powerful. There are a couple of iPhone apps that I would use a lot more if I had more space (OmniFocus, Mail, Calendar, InstataPaper, Evernote, etc.) iPhone changed the way we used phones. Mix that power, already built in, with Steve’s comment that netbooks are lousy and we have an interesting new space.

Microphone jack. New media creation device.

The MLB.tv Demo. Yes, MLB has been leading the pack on this one, but those who own there media can all learn from this model of making sure their media is available on every device. An app for your show for the iPad is a LOT MORE (impressive and important) THAN AN RSS FEED.

iPad v Kindle (iBooks). Part of Kindle’s charm for me is the epaper bit (and the eyestrain that it doesn’t cause). I like where Apple is going, but I’m not sure how buying an iBook, only available on my iPad, is better than buying a Kindle book, which I can read on the Kindle, iPhone and iPad. Pricing will be a big issue here. Of course, you can buy MP3s on Amazon that work great on the iPhone – and we know where their positioning is.

iWork for iPad. Don’t underestimate brilliance of this one. If we can get an Office Suite with battery life for less than an Office Suite with laptops (with less battery life), we have a winner in the Enterprise? Remember, the promise is 10 HOURS of batter power. And at $9.99 each, yes, they’re making an Enterprise play …

$30 for unlimited 3G. No contract. But … AT&T. No commitment. But … AT&T. Remember too, this is a GSM chip so you won’t able able to move this over to Verizon without buying a new iPad. Hmmmmmm.

Price. Starting at $499 for 16 gig. $129 more for the 3G options. Most expensive 64gig and 3G – $829.

No camera. Nothing about USB. Not everything you need … but very nice.

125,000 million accounts and credit card numbers. This is a major audience ready to buy your stuff. Will you make it available to them?

Summary: So, she’s gorgeous and (relatively) cheap and a game changer. She doesn’t have the stuff we need to entirely bring her into the world we know (Flash, Camera, etc.). She is also very obviously a v1 product but color me impressed. The enterprise play and the cheaper access option (and the Apple halo effect) mean that it’s going to get a lot of play, quickly. She won’t be the streaming cable cutter like some buzz, but very impressive none the less.

We have what it takes to establish a 3rd category of products … We think we’ve done it.” (Steve Jobs)

Did they?

7 Facts New Media Creators Must Face If They Want To Survive This Year

It’s time to face facts. Here are 7:

Niche audience programs can’t survive on mass audience advertising models. This one has GOT TO STOP. The reason American Idol can do well on a few pennies per audience member is because they have a few zillion audience members to pull pennies from. Good for them, they can have them. But, the niche content creator who thinks there are a few zillion pennies in their niche to collect don’t understand the meaning of the word niche.

And the funny thing is, people want to pay more for niche than they want to pay for mainstream stuff. Why won’t we let them? The odds of making good money on pennies per audience member are so small … why do that to yourself when there are better options for everyone?

What are you afraid of?

The “Old Media” guard is doing what they can to block you out.
For me, the big theme at CES wasn’t 3D or eBook readers, or any of the other memes you’ll read about. For me at least, the big theme was that “Old Media” is spending insane amounts of money to get better at what they do.

The only reason any machine of that size “gets better” is because there is competition that might take market share away from them. The “Old Media” guard is aware of what might happen and are doing everything in their power to prevent it.

Real reason for 3DHDTV? Even Kodak won’t be able to produce a $200 camera that pulls that off.

Real reason for IPTV? Cable cutting has become so real, they’re getting ready for when it goes mainstream.

Real reason for embedded widgets in TV sets and Blu-ray players? It’s called futureproofing your tech.

But if you look at the demos, you’ll notice something very important, very important … NEW MEDIA AIN’T PART OF ANY OF IT. We haven’t been invited to that party and they so hope that we continue to bicker about page design changes at YouTube and the size of our checks so we won’t notice what’s going on.

And the thought process has even infected us. Why in the world will Boxee automatically add a new episode of “Two And A Half Men” to my queue but not an episode of Geekbrief or The Totally Rad Show?

If we don’t force ourselves into their playing field, we’re not going to be invited to the games.

Despite all this great tech, it’s still easier to watch TV than to watch you. Yes, “kids” watch stuff on their computers and love it. Yes, the average 17 year old sees no difference in watching on the laptop than on watching on the TV. These funfacts are merely transitionatory tidbits that will mark a few years of our history, not our future.

But, dear friends, the future is Internet on the television and the phone. The future is YOUR content on THEIR terms. Flash players at obscure websites is hardly the totally of terms YOUR AUDIENCE might come to you with or request from you.

First part of having a niche audience, giving them what they want …

With companies like Kunaki in play it is, simply, wrong, not to offer everything you do on disc of some sort.

How easy is it to get your stuff?

What do you have to lose?

You can add “Ask A Ninja” to your DVD queue at Netflix. Why can’t I get your show there?

“New Media” that acts like “Old Media” is missing the point.

What we bring to the game is so much more than cheap cameras and the quest for unlimited hosting for less than the cost of a latte.

More and more of what’s coming out these days looks like an attempt at “beating the studio system” than it is “changing media” as we originally started to do.

Just ask yourself this simple question … what do you really want to be doing? What is your dream here? If it’s a show on Fox or a movie on HBO, I’d say you got a better chance going the “traditional” route at this point.

If your goal is to take a small audience to places they’ve never been before and make a good profit doing it, are you on the right path for such?

We don’t act like we want our audience to act. That’s called hypocrisy.

How much “New Media” have you consumed this week? How much have you produced this week?

Ever notice that the more you eat this dogfood, the more successful you are? Rocketboom, TWiT, and Revision3 anyone?

Yes, our audience is following our lead – it’s just a bad one.

You can’t sell advertisers the same pack of lies they can. Admit it, you’ve been thinking this for years …

Yup, those advertisers pushing their 30 second spots designed for Oprah online aren’t even close to getting their money’s worth. Don’t worry, they might not be getting their money’s worth on Oprah either.

But, you don’t have the cache or the agency behind you to get those kinds of deals for your show – so stop thinking that’s your ticket.

New Media’s success won’t come from successfully lying to advertisers and audience members – it is the complete opposite.

Even if your basement, it’s still business. I’m still surprised how many have mastered Final Cut and purchased thousands of dollars in computer equipment but who haven’t done more than surf a few blogs (written by guys with day jobs) to figure out how they’re going to make money here.

It’s called “Show Business” or “Information Marketing Business” or “Training Business” or “[Insert Term Here] Business” for a reason.

What business are you in?

Are you in business at all?

Could that be why profit ain’t much?

Where Do We Go From Here?

Let’s take inventory of where we’re at so far:

It’s ugly and messy out there. And it’s only going to get worse.

Time to face some facts:

  • The players in this game are all in it to protect themselves and their interests. If you help their interests, you get their support. If you get in the way, you get “removed.” This isn’t a judgement call – it’s just a reality check. No “big” player embraces competition at this point.
  • As much as I abhor the streaming model, it seems to be winning. As seen in the recent Amazon debacle and the death of DRM over the last year, companies remain scared about what happens if you get control of the media. They’re not going to give it to you unless it is the only possible option. You’re going to need a streaming element to your media distribution strategy.
  • No “big name” is going to make it easy. Had a major player call us with “good news” that they’re gonna “support” Premium Podcasting. Bad news was it wasn’t the way we offer Premium Podcasting and, more importantly, wasn’t the model that our 6-figure Premium Podcasters are working under. We’re paying the money to bridge these two systems – but it ain’t going to be easy – and we’ll see what that “support” materializes to really be.
  • It’s still too hard. I know I’m going to get a lot of flack on this but, plain and simple, until my parents can watch new media on their television or play new media on their stereo without me first setting it up, we’re not there yet.

So, what do we do / how do we respond?

  • The delivery device in “everybody’s home” won’t be any of the products we know right now (at least the way we know them). This comes largely from the fact that the makers of these devices are more interested in selling the device and getting their content on the devices than anything else. This conflict of interest produces the same nonsense that we continue to see from Microsoft (and are now starting to see from Apple).
  • The device in “everybody’s” home will be made by someone who doesn’t also own the media. It also will be painstakingly easy to use and retail for under $100. Obviously, integrated into media devices even makes more sense.
  • New media types need to start looking to these boxes and pondering their streaming strategy. It is where are future is, not the Apple Tablet.

In full disclosure (and painfully obvious if you’ve read any of my blog), I’ve spent a lot of time in the “little black box” world and am currently entering into a relationship with the guys from MediaFly. Yes, they fit oh so nicely into my rant above but trust you me this, the rant came first.

Is there any new media type out there who really thinks that Apple, Microsoft or Google are going to “get us there?”

New Media Content Creation Model – Currently In “Alpha” …

I have updated my thoughts on my “New Media Content Creation Model” to 2.0 status. I’m calling it 2.0 “alpha” because I’m looking for commentary from you.

Click here for the New Media Content Creation Model video at YouTube.com.

Please leave your thoughts accordingly.

I’ve got a Twitter Hashtag for the meme – #NMCCM and would appreciate at retweet or an embed of the video file. This is a discussion that will be very good for all of us.

WWDC 2009 Comments – Paul’s New Media Spin

As always, I geeked out and monitored the livebloggers during the WWDC event. Here are my comments accordingly (for the record, I monitored Geekbrief’s live stream, Engadget, TUAW, and Gizmodo):

  • Zune HD Jokes – haven’t heard yet, but you know they’re coming …
  • New Macbooks and pricing – all nice – but nothing revolutionary.
  • Snow Leopard – nice – but nothing revolutionary (don’t worry, I’ll be upgrading).
  • Quicktime – mixed emotions here. Sometimes I think they need to work on making Flash better – we just aren’t seeing the Quicktime streaming adoption I know Apple wanted. Some standards have just won …
  • Cali’s Occasional “Drops” – It takes a TON of power to livestream video – as cool as it is, I still don’t know if it is scalable yet. And, one day the cool folk at Ustream.tv (and the others) are gonna look at their bandwidth bill and, … yeah.
  • iPhone 3.0 – The stuff that’s been reported on in the past – I won’t comment on here.
  • Rental and downloading of iTunes video content – very cool, Bout time.
  • Tethering – other countries get it – AT&T staying true to form.
  • Video streaming – cool, on a geeky level – but see note on streaming above.
  • In App Purchasing – this one is so huge. Examining the implications of this in Premiumcast something fierce. I know it has been brought up in the past – but killer.
  • Push Notification – How cool would it be to be able to push updates that a new episode of a Podcast is live?
  • So far – not so exciting. Give us something.
  • iPhone 3GS – speed, 3 megapixel camera, nice pics in low light, video (30 fps vga), voice commands, good pricing. Release 6/19.

Nice – but nothing making me run to the store. Video is great – but we’re in an HD world now …

Other thoughts? Comments?

Does Microsoft’s (And Everyone Else’s) Future Media Integration Plans Kill The Indie Producer? Is Felicia Day A Star Or What?

Today as I sat through an amazing presentation by Microsoft that included Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Steven Spielberg and Felicia Day (you can read the details of the Xbox/Zune E3 announcements here), I had to ask myself a single question:

Where is the indie producer in this?

As I look at Hulu’s attempt to kill Boxee earlier this week, I had to ask myself a single question:

Where is the indie producer in this?

As the products for media consumption get “cooler and cooler” (take a look at the Project Natal video – amazing stuff), I can’t but help wonder if it is going to get harder and harder to get yourself inside of the interface.

Last week brought us a few glimpses of the Zune HD interface – and it looks like Podcasting is still in there. There are rumors of Podcasting in iPhone 3.0 allowing video downloads over the air. YouTube remains open for the indie – but that is about it.

How can I (you) get my (your) content into these channels? Should I be trying? If I can’t get in, …

BTW, was thrilled to see Felcia Day on stage – even more so than the Fab 2 (and a director I really haven’t cared for since Close Encounters). She should remind us all that there is room for us in this game if we play our cards right.

Thoughts?

Taking Control Of Your Brand Is “Flippin Amazing!” The Ninja Boys Do It Again

If you can’t view the YouTube Video above, click through to watch it first.

First the Podcast – most do that. Tens of thousands of you do that.

Then the t-shirts – a chunk of folk do that too. They got their first money from me there. Paid more for that shirt than I have ever paid for a t-shirt. Did it with a smile on my face.

Then the DVD – yeah, I bought one. Should have given them as Christmas presents.

Don’t forget the book – I would have purchased if they hadn’t have sent me one. BTW, twas the book that made me declare these guys Podcasting’s “first franchise.”

Now they have an iPhone app. It’s all about “killing pirates.” Who could possibly have anything wrong with that? It’s a lot of fun – and very well done.

The app demonstrates that they understand the value of interacting with their audience and not just “tapping into that crazy iPhone app money” meme most apps feel like these days. There are some fascinating media integration elements in there.

Sure, the Ninja makes me laugh but, … they do something even more important.

Please don’t miss this …

They have taken control of their brand.

And they’re doing mighty fine in the process.

Even in “this economy.”

Take control of your brand, ok?

Hat’s off guy, or should I say … head’s off?

And I believe that I am ninja too!

Podcast As The Secret Weapon

And the final piece in the New Media Realities series is below. In this one I examine the Podcast As The Secret Weapon:

Let me give you the 50,000 foot overview: You can create content fast with the New Media Content Creation Model. Leverage Web 2.0 and you can achieve the ISYOT Effect. Let your content escape the computer and the Internet by leveraging the power of Podcasting.

Want more specifics? Join us for the Podcast Secrets 2009 Preview Call on Thursday night.

Would love your thoughts here – or at YouTube.com.

ISYOT Effect – Who Else Wants This?

I love the ISYOT effect.

Forget being at the top of the results, BE THE RESULTS.

Would love your comments below: