Podcasts have reach – PodNova is currently tracking over 70,000 podcasts and the number is growing steadily. From a report by The Diffusion Group entitled “Podcast Usage Profiles & Demand Forecasts thru 2012” released February, 2007 found the following:
- Among US broadband users, 16% have listened to a podcast at some point, saying that they either have listened to a podcast but no longer do or that they currently use podcasting;
- 10.5% say that they currently use it.
- 54% of podcasts are consumed on a portable device rather than a PC.
Podcasts can generate ad revenue – As reported in Digital Podcast, eMarketer, a firm specializing in market research on e-business and online marketing, projected that U.S. ad spending on podcasts will grow from $80 million in 2006 to $300 million in 2010. They also project that the podcast audience could grow to 25 million in 2008 and 50 million by 2010. To become a viable audience for advertisers, the one time listeners need to become podcast regulars. eMarketer calls this the “active” audience and forecast it to grow from 3.5 million in 2006, to 7.5 million in 2008 and 15 million in 2010. Most podcast audiences are still small – 50,000 or less, but the medium is still young and evolving.
Podcasts can enhance an author’s profile – Authors can either be the focus of the show, as in Grammar Girl, or they can play the role of host and interview other experts or celebrities. Either way, it helps to give authors in the network more status.
Podcasts can help build audiences faster and make them more durable – A weekly show can continually renew the relationship with the author and help turn an audience into a community. In this case, celebrity, at whatever level, is the first step to creating community.
Podcasts last – Unlike tradtional broadcast radio, each show or episode is archivable, searchable and portable. Since podcasts can reference the author’s blog and specific posts, they can reinforce going to the blog for more resources or information.
Podcasts are economical – Podcasts are relatively inexpensive to produce and show formats can (and probably should) be templatized.
All of these factors make podcasts a potentially powerful marketing tool for individual bloggers and especially blog to book networks. If you think podcasting has promise but don’t know how to go about it, check out Astral Voices which has a nice overview of the entire podcast process.