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#20: Commercials

By | February 14, 2007

You’re listening to The Podcasting Blog, I’m your host Ken Walker, and I’ve got an all new show for you this week, we’re basically gonna start putting new episodes out on a weekly basis now so you can look for a new episode every Friday. We’ve changed the format a bit and we’re gonna be doing some new things like having a weekly review of hardware or software or services that affect podcasters, and then we’ll also cover some podcasting news in addition to our regular topic for that week. For this week’s show, we’re gonna review a couple of GigaVox software applications and talk a little bit about using commercials in your podcast. I’ve also got some interesting news for you from the podcasting world, all in this week’s episode of The Podcasting Blog.


I forget where I actually heard about this company but their name is GigaVox Media, Inc. and you can find them at GigaVox.com. What turned me on to them, and again I don’t remember where I heard about it, but it was a program they have called The Levelator. This program is pretty neat, it does some of the work that a sound engineer would typically take care of. Basically, you’ve got an audio file and maybe you have two different sound sources in the same file, like if you did an interview on the phone maybe or even in person, but one of the speakers is louder than the other. Well, part of what the Levelator does is level things out and make you both sound more at the same volume.

They say that it’s not a compressor, limiter or normalizer, but it’s more like all three and from what I saw, it’s pretty impressive especially for working with a file real quick and not wanting to do things manually. You can even use it on a dry audio clip with one sound source, just to balance things out.

The install went very smoothly and using The Levelator is a no brainer, as long as you know one little secret, and that is, there are no controls. You can’t tweak anything. You don’t open files, you don’t import files, you simply drag an audio file onto the already running The Levelator and it does it’s little number. Now that’s actually a drawback to me, I’d like to see the addition of being able to open files from The Levelator and choosing where the output file goes, but as of right now, you have to open the window where the file sits and drag n drop it onto The Levelator.

It only works with WAV or AIFF files, so raw content only. It works on Windows 2000 and up, including Vista. It also works on the Mac OS 10.3 and 10.4 with either PowerPC or Intel chips, and get this, they have it running on a variant of Linux so you Linux users might have another new app to play with.

It’s also free for both commercial and personal use, which is kinda nice. If you’ve got some nice recording gear, you’re probably not gonna have much use for it, but it’ll really shine for people that don’t have compressors or don’t have the skill set for recording phone interviews on different tracks, things like that. So, check it out, it’s called The Levelator and while you’re there, take a look at another GigaVox product, Audio Lite.

Now, as of this post, Audio Lite has not been released, so this isn’t really a review, more like a heads up. From the demo, it looks like a real interesting program and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. It’s got lots of automation, ad management, and just like The Levelator, it’s free, so we’ll see.

Using Commercials

Since lots of you people listening are wanting to, more than likely, make a little money at podcasting, I figured I’d throw in this little tidbit this week. Yes, you can use commercials to generate revenue for your podcast. Don’t get too excited though, at least not yet.

You’re not gonna make a ton of money on commercials until your podcast is very popular, and I mean VERY popular. Advertisers usually don’t waste money so they’re not gonna spend a whole lot until you can prove that you have thousands of listeners.

Now, in one sense, advertising on a podcast is a good idea because you’re most likely to reach your intended audience, so it’s a lot more focused, here’s why. With TV and Radio, anybody could be listening or watching. You could throw up a bunch of ads that they’re not even interested in and couldn’t care less about. With podcasts though, you’re dealing with people that are probably very interested in a specific topic or theme. They might be into astronomy or hiking or eating out, so if you have a focused product that would interest specific targets, then you’ll probably get a higher return on investment than you would with Radio or TV cause the percentage of interested people is much higher.

Advertisers already know that you advertise where it counts, so certain products get advertised on certain shows, but with Radio and TV, people miss shows, they get phone calls, they take breaks, who knows what. But with a podcast, people are gonna listen to the whole show, top to bottom. If they get distracted, they’ll pause it. These are people that want the content, that’s why they subscribed to the RSS feed or searched for it, they want it, so if you’ve got a good show, they’ll listen.

So you’re job is #1, have a great show. Podcast about something you love and make it informative and interesting. #2, get lots of listeners. Do that with site optimization as well as the guidelines in rule #1. #3, find advertisers in your specific vertical market, or the vertical market that you’re going to create. Find companies that have something your listeners want or are interested in.

My advice to you is, don’t start taking a bunch of off the wall ads that aren’t specifically related to your topic, why? Well, your listeners probably won’t like it. They’re listening to you because you give them something they want. If you start giving them something they don’t want, they won’t listen. You’ll have fewer listeners and you’ll have to charge less for the ads anyway, so it’s better to give them what they want and charge more for fewer ads.

And with that…here’s a message from our sponsor.

Commercial

News

You’re listening to The Podcasting Blog, and now for Podcasting News.

In an example of how schools can use technology to enrich curriculum, one California high school is offering a class in podcasting production, reports MacNewsWorld.

Taking inspiration from the National Public Radio programs This American Life and Car Talk, Atascadero High School computer science teacher Gary Bissell has proposed a course in producing video and audio segment broadcasting on the Internet — call it podcasting or vlogging or whatever.

Bissell drew up the course outline after attending a county education seminar that taught him how to podcast.

“Public speaking is involved, audio editing, script writing, organization and presentation,” Bissell said. “They’ll be introducing background sounds like they do on NPR sometimes, to make it a little bit more exciting, and using background music, too.”

After production, movies and sound files can be uploaded onto the school’s Web site for downloading by the general public. Students can also upload their work onto YouTube or other video sharing sites.

As a starting point, Bissell suggests several ideas to whet the students’ apetite, such as interviewing the oldest person in their family, tutorials on how to repair or construct something, and a video of their favorite hobby.

“It’s like listening to a radio broadcast on your own time,” said Bissell, who has taught at Atascadero High for 22 years.

So if this catches on, maybe I’ll be teaching a podcasting course at ITT next year.

Outro

Thanks for joining me this week. You’ve been listening to The Podcasting Blog. Join us again next week when we’ll talk about..I dunno…something…else…interesting, I’m sure.

 
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