Podcasting, broadcasting, advertising

Excellent interview at AdAge.com with Leo Laporte. Leo is the man behind TWiT (This Week in Technology), one of the most popular podcasts (monthly reach of 500,000). Which is why the podcast has attracted Dell, T-Mobile and Visa as advertisers. According to the AdAge piece, Laporte’s podcast mini-empire could rake in as much as $2 million dollars in a year, but he says he’s more concerned about how to not ruin the medium with advertising. Excerpts:

“…all podcasters agree that podcasting has more value than radio or almost everything and we deserve a high cost per thousands [of listeners] and are going to create an environment that’s worth it for advertisers. We don’t want to jam it for advertisers. And the audience will let you know — they’re not passive. It’s more of a conversation than a monologue. … We need to hold the line and really deliver quality advertising. It’s going to be hard at first, [podcasters will have to be] turning down advertisers, running fewer ads than you’d like, not take in as much money as you’d like. But if we can focus on delivering something of value we can make both advertisers and listeners happy.”

When asked if he thinks podcasts from mainstream media companies will exercise enough restraint in the advertising:

“I hope they screw it up. I see them as using podcasts to drive to their bread and butter. We’re narrowcasters and they’re broadcasters and there’s a big difference. “Ask a Ninja” wants to be “Seinfeld” but people like me and most I know are narrowcasters. We want to super-serve an audience and develop a relationship. [Broadcasters] see themselves as delivering a lot of people to advertisers and inefficiently. But those days are drying up. There will always be the Tides and Coca-Colas who can afford that but most companies in this modern world need to be efficient and they can be by using these new technologies.”

I have no doubt MSM companies (like ours) can produce quality podcasts. And, given our built-in promotional opportunities, we should be able to attract listeners. Will we “screw it up” when it comes to the advertising model? Don’t know. To be continued.

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