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Podcasting Monetization Strategies for Publishers

By Rok Hrastnik

With the growing popularity of podcasting, publishers and marketers around the world are asking themselves how to monetize this content channel and make delivering audio content via RSS profitable.

Today, let's take a look at how publishers can expect to generate podcasting revenues both directly and indirectly - by combining monetization through ad sales and content sales with using podcasting as a marketing vehicle itself.


a] Smaller market players with small mid-value listenership, reaching mostly general audiences, might find their profits come through podcasting-oriented ad networks or perhaps even content networks providing access to multiple podcasts for a small subscription fee.

b] Large players reaching the masses or small players reaching high-value niche audiences will surely be able to sell their ad venues via their own sales forces or specialized media planning/buying agencies, perhaps even via large traditional ad agencies. And according to a case study done by MarketingSherpa, GoToMeeting actually found that podcasting sponsorships have done very well in their integrated ad campaigns, with overwhelming responses.

c] These same publishers might also get away with subscription sales, provided they can offer unique content not easily available elsewhere. It however remains to be seen whether listeners will be prepared to pay for podcast access.

As noted by InformationWeek, a recent European young consumers study by Forrester Research found that 46% of 16- and 17-year-olds would consider paying for podcast content, while only 33% of those surveyed would accept advertising in podcasts. It's clear that people will always be willing to pay for unique high quality content. But are young consumers among those willing to pay? History shows that regardless of what anyone says, most consumers still preferr advertising over having to pay for content.

d] Other publishers, especially independant or smaller publishers using direct marketing tactics to facilitate sales, might generate revenues by providing podcasts in combination with their other products --> selling packaged access or offering podcasts as bonuses upon purchase. But, let's not also forget that podcating itself can serve as a marketing channel, giving publishers many additional marketign opportunities ...


a] PR: Audio press releases, messages from company executives, expert interviews and other industry related material, all delivered directly to the media.

b] Direct marketing: Sales letters and other ad creative, delivered in audio and directly to your prospects.

c] Customer Relationship Management and User Support: Personal messages and greetings from company executives, persoanlized messages to key clients by key account managers, educational content and industry interviews, seminar or conference recordings, product support information and tutorials, ...

d] Promotion: Achieving additional company/brand/product exposure by providing podcasts and promoting them via podcast directories and search engines.

e] E-commerce: Audio product announcements and presentations, delivered to prospects that opt-in to receive latest product information. In the case of audio products, podcasts can also carry short excerpts or previews of new editions, thus enticing prospects to order.

f] Branding and Prospect Conversion: Educational content and industry interviews that help shorten the sales cycle or generate/improve company credibility and enhance its brand.

About the Author:
»How Much Money Are You Losing Every Day Online Because Your E-mail Isn't Getting Delivered and Your Site Isn't Getting Enough Traffic?« Save the day with RSS! Plus discover some great tactics to increase your traffic and search engine rankings.








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