Friday, November 04, 2005

Podcasts and Advertising, Part Deux

Business Week has an article about podcasting and advertising. The debate continues, though this time around it's becoming clearer that there's a model to be had. Trick is to figure it out.

I met with a worldwide ad agency earlier this week to discuss this very issue. Their initial reaction was "it's just like radio advertising", something I don't necessarily agree with. As we drilled deeper it became clear that they didn't really have a clear idea about how to leverage podcasts for their clients, and most certainly couldn't assign a CPM value to a podcast ad.

Therein lies the issue.

In radio, tv, and web have cost per impression models. That allows you to put a value on air time or space. No such model exists in podcasting. But it's there for the creating. The web model in this case is probably closer to accurate than tv or radio because the web provides slightly better demographic data.

Demographics become interesting. With an online podcast you don't have a really good sense of who downloads your stuff. You can take an educated guess and be close to right, but you don't really know. Mobilcast gets better data because we know the phone number for every person who downloads a podcast, and we ask for additional info as well (to be clear, we will never share individual info with anyone). This granularity will actually increase the value for an advertiser.

It may be that a couple models start to emerge. One for online and one for mobilcasting. But they need to be close, I'd argue complementary, to make it a business.

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