Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Advertising and Podcasting

So, as I mentioned in my last post, I listened to the most recent Gillmor Gang podcast today. They had on Ron Bloom of Podshow, who are attempting to monetize podcasting. I'm not so sure it'll work as they expect it to. In fact, I think it might fail because it violates one of the things that has made podcasting great: I don't have to listen to advertising.

As I posted in the comments over on the Gillmor Gang blog:
I’m particularly surprised that no one brought up the fact that one of the reasons (I feel) that podcasting has worked so well is that there is *no* advertising (or it is at least minimal).

The AdSense model works because I can ignore the ads — I don’t have to give them my attention, or I can get more extreme and block them using Adblock or Greasemonkey. If the podcasts I listen to started to insert 30-60 second pitches, what separates it from the dying radio model? Even if it’s targeted, I’m still there to listen to the content. If the hosts start to overtly pitch products that are targeted to me, well, then I’m going to give them a lot less attention.

Scoble started to approach this when he talked about Adam Curry’s Sirius show and how it’s missing the wrap arounds that Curry would do on the Daily Source Code that at least gave you the impression that he actually listened and said “wow, this is good, other people would like this.”

Obviously it’s early, but I was just really surprised that this fundamental question wasn’t discussed. I’m not against compensating the producers, I just don’t know if this advertising model is going to work on the audience that listens to podcasts any better than the giant Flash ads that we’ve all learned to block.

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