Challenges with Podcasts

Bob Tedeschi’s story in the NYTimes today talks about advertisers interest in leveraging the podcast medium. Interestingly, a large number of traditional media companies are now participating in the podcast revolution. NPR, WSJ, and even ESPN are offering content that listeners can access on their own timeline.Advertising is a natural for these traditional media companies. They fund their businesses through ads.

Unfortunately, I’m of the opinion (as is John Furrier at that interruption marketing just doesn’t work. Even as I tried to access the NYTimes URL to share in this post, I had to wait 20 seconds to watch an advertisement — or perhaps I should say, I had to ignore the in-your-face advertisement to get the URL. The only reason I knew the ad was for Sprint is I went back to the web site.

Permission marketing works better. I have no problem accessing content that is associated with a company. I support that model. Interrupting a podcast to spin an advertisement just doesn’t work. New mediums need new models. Of course I’d love to get some dough for the more than 75 podcasts I’ve published!

While I’m ranting, I must also say “podcasts” is a dumb word. More multimedia (video / audio) content is being consumed online in a browser. Adding content to your iPod or MP3 player is too hard. With Flash based media players (like the PodTech player), we can now publish our content for online consumption. It’s easier to consume. I’d love to see the Association for Downloadable Media make it easier to get content onto portable devices.


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