Advertising Potential and Finding New Talent and Audience Can Be Rewards for Podcasts

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According to the findings of a new study from PodcastOne and Edison Research, 60% of super listeners—people who spend at least five hours a week listening to podcasts—view advertisers positively on their favorite podcasts, appreciating the support they offer. Nearly half of respondents, 44%, have a more positive opinion of a company when it is mentioned in a podcast they listen to.

So not only are podcasts great ways to get your content out there to your audience, but it's also a vehicle that's almost viewed more positively with advertising. "What we found was that not only don't [super listeners] mind podcast ads—they actually have a very positive effect, which is even more remarkable when you consider that super listeners are otherwise engaging in active ad avoidance behavior," said Edison Research SVP Tom Webster.

In November, both Connectiv and SIPA will delve into podcasts. On Nov. 14, SIPA will hold Podcasting for Publishers: How Podcasts Can Deliver Qualified Leads and Bottom-Line Revenue for Minimal Investment. Lynn Freer, president of Spidell Publishing, Inc., and Stephanie Williford, CEO of EB Medicine, will share insights into what it takes to create a successful podcast program. Register here.

On Nov. 21, Connectiv will hold Monetizing Podcasts: Techniques for Creating Consistent Revenue. Speakers will be Peter Houston, co-host, The Media Voices Podcast; David Kopf, publisher of HME Business and Mobility Management, 1105 Media; and Dean Muscio,director of digital product strategy, ALM. Register here.

Australia's growing business podcast world (30% year-over-year) was featured in an article on Digital Content Next this morning. "Once people do start listening, they listen a lot," said Kellie Riordan, head of ABC Audio Studios. "For example, if they've listened in the last week, they're listening to more than one show, and consume between six and 10 episodes, so that's fantastic in terms of growth."

She says that about 80% of people who start listening to a show go on to listen to it all the way through, so ads can be scattered throughout a show.

Here are some tips from that article and a couple other sources:

Fit your schedule to your audience. "People get it wrong if they think they have to pump out a podcast every week," Riordan said. "You really need to think what your true podcast value is, what the audience is, and whether a [time-limited] series is a better fit."

Over-explain how to listen. There's still a gap in podcast awareness and listening, particularly among older audiences—who listen least, but like Facebook, will most likely be jumping more on board. "Podcast creators still need to explain to potential listeners how to find, subscribe to and download their show."

Celebrate your launch. "My biggest recommendation is to have a big bang launch, and I'm not talking about an ad on page 5," said radio futurologist James Cridland. "I'm talking about ads throughout the day on your website, a strap on your [publication] for the week."

Look inward for talent. "Firstly, use your brand and your talent," said Cridland. In listening to some of the SIPA member podcasts, I'm always impressed by the hosts, who are usually staff members. Kathryn Zdan of Spidell comes to mind. Ask your staff, in all areas, who might be interested in hosting. You never know.

Capitalize on your legacy brand. "There's a temptation to launch a new brand around podcasts, rather than using your legacy brand," Cridland said. "But if you do that you end up not having any heritage, and more importantly no points of difference from all the other podcasts out there."

Get some advice on selling ads or sponsorships. Cridland recommends approaching an agency that can provide specialist advice on how to sell a new podcast product to potential advertisers. "People who sell full-page ads in newspapers find it quite difficult to go out and sell audio, so having sales people and teams that understand the specifics of selling this kind of content is absolutely essential." This might be a question for the SIPA webinar.

Get the word out. "You can leverage it through social media, through newsletters, through making short-form videos," said Riordan. "And if you're an independent podcaster who can't lean on the 'network' effect', you can tap into communities and influencers in your genre."

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…