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Advertising in Podcasts

By | April 23, 2008

The Podcasting Blog

I can’t believe it, I am in front of the Podcasting Blog Mic. I mean, it has been a long time. Whew. I gotta tell ya, I have been busy, busy, busy. Between consulting and creating content for clients, I have just been swamped but this week things kinda slowed down so I’ve got some time to record an episode, so here it is. Check out what I’ve got lined up for you this episode.

News on podcast advertising, the government is using podcasting for weather delivery, and I’ve got an equipment review, well, it’s not a real review per se, because I didn’t buy it, but I do talk about it and I think that counts, right? It’s pricy too but I think it’s selling pretty good and to be honest, if you’re pretty serious about podcasting, and you’ve got the cash, why not right?

So let’s get started with some podcasting news.

Podcast Advertising

Recently there have been some ad effectiveness studies and they’ve shown that, get this, advertising during podcasts is extremely effective. The studies show that podcast audiences are loyal to the shows they listen to and actually pay attention to the ads that support the shows. I think this data is coming from Podtrac and TNS.

What it means is that if an ad is played, a podcast listener will actually listen to the ad and retain it in memory. The reason for this is simple.

Podcasts audiences are usually a pretty tight niche. Podcasts are very focused and kinda like user forums in the sense that a podcast is usually built around a particular topic and the listeners are very dedicated to that topic. So if an advertiser is smart, they can target their ad a lot better than with TV or radio, and sponsor the show that their target audience is listening too. Makes perfect sense.

Podtrac actually gave some stats, they say that of the respondents they tested, 68% of them were able to recall ads without any assistance or influence. That’s way higher than other media. In streaming video where they pop in ads, you’re looking at like 21%, mobile ads is 20% and television is way down there at 10%. What that means folks is that if you target your audience and find a good podcast, your ad is going to be more effective.

Now just recalling an ad doesn’t necessarily mean somebody is willing to spend money, but Podtrac’s studies did show a 73% increase in likelihood to use or buy an advertised product and that does mean somebody’s willing to spend money.

And I’ve got some even better news, according to Paul Verna who is a big time eMarketer analyst, the podcasting audience is going to rise 251% to 65 million by 2012. That means spending is also going to rise from $165 Million last year, to $435 Million.

It’s interesting to see the market going this way so forcibly given the fact that podcasting was originally free but I saw this coming a long time ago. Not to say there still won’t be free podcasts, I mean, this show is free right? Of course that’s why you haven’t gotten a new episode in like 2 months.

Weather To Go

What if you don’t have time to catch the morning weather forecast before you hop on your ten-speed and head to work? Well, if you live in the United States the National Weather Service might have a solution. You can get your weather to go in a podcast.

People living in the Baltimore-Washington region can already do that. The Weather Service’s Baltimore-Washington regional office in Sterling, Va., started making daily forecasts available about a year ago as a way to experiment with the technology. Steve Listemaa, an information technology officer in the regional office says “It’s an easier way to get our information out there,”

So far, only three Weather Service offices — Sterling; El Paso, Texas; and Anchorage, Alaska —make weather podcasts available, but those examples are indicative of various agencies’ efforts to explore how they can adapt podcast technology to disseminate information about services or events generic viagra online canada.

USA.gov lists a range of government podcast topics at USA.gov Podcasts.

Incidentally, one of the first government agencies to move into podcasting was the Defense Department. In the spring of 2005 it started offering audio downloads, you can check that out at The Pentagon Channel. Since then hey’ve had over 7 million podcasts downloaded.

The Pentagon Channel’s general manger, Brian Natwick, said he got the idea during a trip to Afghanistan in 2005 with the military. He got on an airplane and noticed that 80% of the soldiers onboard pulled out there iPods. It kinda hit him at that point that they needed to add podcasting as another distribution technique.

Apparently the Federal Aviation Administration is also exploring podcasts as a way to communicate with air traffic controllers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relies on podcasts to reach some public health professionals and health care providers with updates about vaccination issues and news such as E. coli outbreaks.

The Coast Guard’s District 13 headquartered in Seattle is eyeing podcasting as a possible recruiting tool. They even, check this out, they even bought some helmet cameras for the boat crew members to wear during missions and catch some of the action.

Paul Roszkowski, who helped work on the project said “What it allows them to do is to show a recruit, or a possible recruit, the different aspects of the job.”

So there you have it, the government has got several examples of how they have embraced podcasting and I think it’s on a pretty large scale so I think you can safely say podcasting is here to stay. And who knows, maybe you’ll start seeing Coast Guard recruiting podcasts on iTunes.

Podcast Equipment

Up next I’ve got a review of some equipment that is being sold by www.BSWusa.com. Now I love these people, I’ve bought a lot of my equipment from them, they’ve got great service and the sales people are knowledgeable, they’re not just order takers. However, I don’t get paid by them and they don’t even advertise on my show, so I’m gonna be blunt and honest about this review.

First off, it’s expensive. $1,700. So if you’re going to podcast for fun, you’re probably not going to be interested. But, if you’re doing some research for a corporate podcast, or you’re pretty serious about podcasting, it’s not a bad solution. It’s actually a bundle.

Now this is pro gear OK, so the price tag is to be expected. It comes with a broadcast mic, Electro-Voice RE-20. You get a Mackie Onyx1220 mixer which is kinda overkill for most podcasters but hey, sometimes we have to buy something that does way more than we need, just because of some of the features that it has right? Plus, it looks way more professional to have a 12 channel mixer on your desk.

In this package, the mixer comes with an OnyxFireWire card that lets you stream 12 independent channels of audio to your computer. Now that is a great feature.

It’s actually a pretty slick mixer and you can pick it up for $580 by itself. I’ll put a link to it in the show notes. Mackie Onyx1220

I’m in the market for a new mixer and after looking at this one, I’m seriously considering it.

You’re also gonna get dbx’s pro 1066 compressor which I think a compressor is essential for good podcasting. They’re throwing in an Atlas DS7 desk mic stand and a 5ft. cable. You also get a copy of the 272-page Podcast Solutions how to book.

However, $1,700 Ouch! Seriously though, it’s a nice package. My birthday was in March and apparently you missed it, so if you need my address, drop me an email.

By the way, I know a lot of you have been sending emails and I probably don’t respond quickly. I’ve got to tell you, I’ve got a serious spam problem, I logged into my email for the podcasting blog the other day, and there were like 19,000 emails and I seriously cannot go through all those. So, try posting a comment if something is urgent and I’ll try to get to it as soon as I can.

I’m Ken Walker, this is the Podcasting Blog.

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