Advertisers and Podcasters
8/9/2008: Over 27,000 downloads per week in July 2008 according to webserver stats. (Don't be impressed. Most of this were unexplained downloads to my Park Hopping 3-D Disneyland Video Podcast. Go figure.)
If you want to give me money (or stuff) in exchange for me plugging your service or product, here is what you need to know:
- I, and many others, get really annoyed when we hear or see the same ad over and over and over. I am sure you know what I am talking about.
- Thus, when a podcast gets a sponsor and the same ad it attached to the front of every freakin' show for weeks or months at a time, or the same spoken ad is done in the middle of the show every single time, frequent listeners will just fast forward past it or, worse, get so annoyed that they actually refuse to do business with the sponsor.
- The sponsor may not care if they tick off 100 people but still get 1 new customer, but as a podcaster, I do care. I will not let greed (i.e. taking money from you) hurt my audience. At least, not the amount of greed (i.e. small amounts of money) you'd actually be paying me. (Of course, I can be bought. If the price was right, I'd turn my show in to nothing but half hour long commercial breaks...)
- To protect you from ticking off my listeners (i.e. your potential customers), ad insertions will get limited placement at the start of the show -- currently, I am thinking of just allowing ONE pre-roll (start-of-show) placement. The rest of the run will be included at the end of the show, so folks who have already heard the message can easily skip it or just tune out.
- The sponsor will also get mentioned during the show, via a special thanks, and a "if you want to know more, be sure to listen at the end of the show for the details." Again, those who already know you have a travel company, or sell audio books, or have a credit card people can trust, do not have to hear it over and over again. A gentle reminder is all my audience needs.
- If applicable, the advertiser will also get mentioned and promoted on my appropriate related site, DisneyFans.com or AtTheFaire.com (both online in one form or another since 1996).
Still interested? Contact me and we can discuss what you have in mind.
As of March 2007, Podcast Alley tracks over 30,000 podcasts. According to Leo Laporte of the TWIT network, their top podcast download number is between 300,000-400,000. If you divide this upper number of podcast listeners by the number of podcasts, you get about 13 listeners per podcast. What this means is that there must be be an awful lot of podcasts with few listeners since there aren't that many claiming audiences in the hundreds of thousands.
It is my belief that podcasters choose to podcast for three basic reasons:
- Fun. Most podcast about a subject they love, just for the fun of it.
- Ego. Some choose to use the podcast to make them a micro-celebrity, where they can enjoy dozens, hundreds, thousands or even more listeners telling them how great they are.
- Money. Others see it as a commercial venture designed to generate revenue from donations, sponsorships and advertising.
All of my crappy podcasts were created specifically for reason number one: Fun. This venture has been treated as a hobby, and I don't plaster my name on my shows (like, "John-Paul's Rencast" or whatever). I'm not in to this for ego, and I don't go out of my way to encourage my dozens, hundreds, or thousands of listeners send me glowing e-mails and praise. You will find no message board here. No guest book. No "write me and tell me how great you think I am" links, and certainly no "Go vote for me because this show is so good" buttons to click.
With that said, ironically, this podcast venture has made me hundreds of dollars directly (by doing podcasts for hire) and other money indirectly (via getting subscriptions to our print magazine or the sale of DVDs or other non-podcast items). It's even allowed me to obtain some interesting products (books, DVDs, etc.) sent to me in hopes that I'd plug and praise the items on a show.
So, for the record, I am certainly happy to talk about items sent to me on my podcast, just like I might say to a coworker "hey, Bob gave me this really cool whatzit this weekend." If you wish to promote something in this way, contact me and we'll work something out.
As far as money goes, I have historically turned down donations, and have also turned down advertisers wanting to promote various products (sometimes not even related to my podcast topics).
Due to other obligations, I ceased doing semi-regular podcasts back in May 2006, only posting the occasional podcast and doing a few runs in Fall 2006 and again in early 2007. That said, during the "top" of my podcasting schedule (May 2006), I would see between 2500-3500 downloads per week. Six months later, with only a handful of shows posted in that time, the weekly downloads had grown to 4000-5000 per week. It seems even without posting shows, or doing a thing to promote the site, the listener base would continue to grow.
This, my friends, is one of the amazing things about podcasting.
So, with all this said, I am in the process of embarking on a new experiment. It is my hope that I will find the time in a coming month to return to something like a weekly schedule and see if the numbers grow even higher, or if growth is just a natural thing regardless of new content.
If you clicked on this page to find out about advertising here, and you've read this far down, maybe we can work something out. Just understand that my "word" when it comes to promoting products has to remain respected. There are many podcasts I listen to which happily promote products and have "official this and that" items of the show which the podcaster has never used. This makes their words very light to some listeners (and folks like me). After all, why should we trust "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV" when it comes to medicine recommendations?
So ... if you have a product to pitch, and it's something unique and not just something you are blasting all of the net on any 'cast that will take your money, let's talk. Maybe we can work something out, though I expect my pricing is going to be cost prohibitive unless you are really making money on your product.
Until then... -- Allen