Podcast Advertising

By Andy Beaubien, BPR

Podcasts play a large part in the digital audio world. Should your radio station be producing podcasts? The simple answer is that station-generated podcasts are a good idea but only if they can generate revenue. Podcasts that do not generate money are of little benefit to a radio company unless they provide a source of advertising income. In fact, some will argue that podcasts may even take TSL (time spent listening) away from actual radio listening.

Selling advertising for a podcast should not be done in the same way as with broadcast radio. Why? Because podcasts, by definition, are most successful when targeting very specific audiences. Radio stations usually define their target audience by demo and gender such as 25-34 females. On the other hand, podcasts primarily target listeners who are interested in a specific topic of interest. For example, if one produces a podcast about golf, 35-64 men may well make up the preponderance of the audience but more specifically it will reach 35-64 men who like golf.

In the digital world, programmatic advertising is becoming the dominant method by which advertisers connect with their specific market group. Programmatic advertising essentially links podcast creators with advertisers who want to reach a specific target market. Traditional radio advertising is based on creating a fairly wide target audience and then selling advertising to merchants interested in reaching that audience. However, programmatic advertising is more efficient because it reaches people who have actively expressed an interest in the advertiser’s product or service.

Imagine that your radio station was able to efficiently target specific listener groups in your market. For example, women would hear an ad for women’s apparel while, at the same time, men might hear an ad for sporting equipment. Of course, in traditional radio this is technically impossible. On the other hand, podcasts can target a very specific audience and thereby offer advertisers far greater efficiency for their advertising budget.

In short, station-generated podcasts that do not develop income for your station offer little benefit to your brand. However, when your podcast is supported by advertising, it creates a potential income stream for the station and a more efficient advertising buy for the client.



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