In a world of ad-blockers, DVRs and ambivalence to banner placements, advertising on podcasts is a great and cost effective alternative.
By working with podcasters, companies are able to leverage the dedicated audiences to raise awareness for their brands and engage listeners.
Podcasting is a rapidly growing industry that is attracting listeners around multiple demographics and regions. While initially dominated by independent podders that podcast on niche topics, the medium has matured to attract popular radio and online media stars. The overall growth has led to the question of how to monetize podcasting?
Similar to radio, podcasting relies heavily on sponsors and advertising and primarily use pre-rolls, mid-rolls and ad-reads to market on pods. Unlike radio stations of which an audience is the station’s local market, pods attract a global audience. This is due to the distribution of podcasts which is more similar to websites than that of radio.
The result is that podcasts as a medium are similar to radio, but are distributed like websites and any other digital content. This poses a problem for monetization as it is hard to match adverts with the audience.
Unlike radio, podcasts don’t always have a local audience they can rely on as natural supporters of the content. On the other hand, podcasts are consumed different than websites, and you can’t just throw on Adsense to your podcast and let Google target your audience automatically.
To solve the monetization problem, several solutions have been created.
App model - In this model, apps that are used to listen to podcasts sell a combination of voice and banner ads. Based on geography or listener habits, these ads can be slightly targeted to listeners. The downside of this model is that podcasters have no control of ads provided around their content. Also, these ads don’t leverage the strong relationship between podcasters and listeners.
Direct sales - Rather than using 3rd parties, podcasters sell advertisements themselves. This process provides great control to podcasters of what products they are attaching their name to. However, it is difficult for small teams that don’t have the time to reach out to advertisers or enough of an audience to make it worth their time to sell ad-reads.
The Be Heard Solution
At Be Heard Technology, we believe that the podcast industry needs an Adwords/Adsense product. Advertisers should have a platform that they can easily find podcasts related to their products, statistics of listeners and run their campaigns. For podcasters, even ones with small audiences should be able to tap into larger advertising campaigns to monetize their content.
Localized and niches: As a solution, Be Heard is aiming to build a platform of podcasters grouped by those with local audiences such as those covering a city’s sports team or news and subject niches.
The advantage of local clusters is that it allows podcasters to tap into regional products and companies that are a staple of radio advertising. Also, by creating groups of similar subject podcasts, this opens up the potential list of advertisers to include more niche products than just general offerings like Audible.com and Blue Apron that dominate podcast ads.