A Business Model For Podcasting
Podcasting needs still to find its own business model. While the podcasting production tools, the distribution venues and the independent authors multiply by the minute, I yet do not see effective new business models emerging from the growing podcasting wave.
Doug Smith, who is the President of Podango.com, a company that has recently inspired me with its visionary writing, has just sent out a marketing email that has hit me for the valuable podcasting insight it shares and for the new opportunities it is trying to create out of them.
Photo credit: Ivan Stevanovic
And what Mr. Smith writes is that the newly born podcasting industry does indeed need a better business model to survive.
Too much content, too little quality production, too few ways to find the great content and authors who are really worth listening.
Couple that with podcasters own striving efforts to find effective ways to monetize their productions and you can realize how much in a state of transformation this industry is and how needed are new ways and approaches that allow for good podcasters to sustain themselves while being able to find to their potential audiences out there.
Here is what Mr Smith wrote:
The current podcasting market needs a better model.
Specifically, I see podcasters who enjoy a great deal of freedom to post what and when they choose. That is a very good thing! However, at this point, it has also led to the creation of somewhere north of 50,000 podcasts, many sporadically and with spotty production and content quality, leading to listeners struggling to find really great podcasts in their areas of interest. Then, when they do, they would love to hear their favorite podcasts more than once or twice a week. They also tend to fail to go back and look for new podcasts.
The super focused niche markets served by the majority of podcasters are a marketers dream. The only problem is that, with notable exceptions, most sponsors or advertisers shy away from dealing with individual podcasters, and they would like to have a greater frequency of impressions delivered with greater consistency in order to maximize the benefit of their sponsorship dollars.
I observed "Podcast Delivery Networks" and "Podcast Ad Networks" form to help with this problem, but the ads are often only loosely applicable over a broad selection of podcasts on very diverse topics.
I believe podcasters are way too alone in their efforts. If they miss a couple of weeks because of a birth or death in the family, everyone thinks they have "podfaded."
I also see shows rise and fall with the coming and going of single personalities. The instability for listeners that comes with this dynamic makes for a less reliable source of ongoing content. With a station of multiple podcasters it is easy to ride over the schedule bumps.
I also see that most podcasts and podcast networks are too unidirectional, just pushing podcasts out like mini broadcasts.
The opportunity to have rich interactive conversations around the content, especially for information listeners are passionate about, is largely ignored.
I continue to see evidence that the hardest thing to do for podcasters, even the good ones, is to build an audience and then get sponsors.
Along with that, we see that podcasters who do have audiences and sponsorships are not able to fully leverage them.
The inability of podcasts to produce more than a few shows each week, even if they are producing a daily show, results in them only reaching their audience once per show.
If they could band together a number of podcasts for their audience, they then have more "inventory" on which to place sponsorship ads.
These things, taken together, have motivated and inspired the creation of Podango. I am not saying it is for everyone who podcasts, but I and the people working with me are certainly finding that it solves a number of important problems.
Photo credit: Neomarketing.tv
I am not (yet) a user of Podango, I have not been solicited by them to write something about their tools and I do not get commissions on their sales.
On the other hand, I do see Podango and the individuals behind it seeing better and more in focus than others how a part of the podcasting industry may evolve. I think their points are right on the mark and the solutions they are proposing worth some serious consideration.
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