Sunday, April 30, 2006

What your podcast should not include

I found this gem from a podcast listener, some great advice on how you can spruce up your tired podcast.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

The case for search engine podcast marketing

Well, try to say that 10-times. Search engine podcast marketing, search engine podcast marketing...

I digress.

Some people are "getting it" when it comes to podcasting and how it can influence your search engine ranking. Lee Odden over at the Online Marketing Blog commented on the various search engine techniques when it comes to podcasting.

As I've said before, podcasting has really helped my own search engine ranking. For the keyword selling mistakes, my podcast is listed #1 listed #3 on page 1 in Google. This has resulted in one of my products, a CD called Selling Mistakes Women Must Avoid, being one of the top sellers.

How has podcasting helped your business?

Tod Maffin joins Podcasters Across Borders

Guess who's on the same bill as the podfather himself (not self-proclaimed), Tod Maffin? Check out the lineup at the upcoming Podcasters Across Border event taking place in Kingston, Ontario from June 23-24, 2005.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Podcasting legal guide by Creative Commons

For those still skeptical that podcasting is indeed an emerging tool, check out this legal guide to podcasting released by Creative Commons.

While I'm not a lawyer, and the authors of this guide do recommend you seek legal advice, it provides general information on what you should be thinking about when including copyrighted information and trademarks in your podcast.

Generally, podcasting is no different from any other media. According to this guide, if you want to include it, get permission. Simple. Nothing's fair game and just because the podcasting medium is new is no excuse to circumvent copyright laws. In this case, ignorance is not bliss, so if you're a podcast producer, review this guide.

IBM publishes podcasting guidelines for employees

Although this is old news, I still need to blog about it. IBM has published its employee podcasting guidelines and it's well worth the read.

In summary, the guidelines advise employees to:

  1. Not communicate confidential IBM information.
  2. Be mindful of your voice inflection.
  3. Make sure the audio quality is really good.
  4. Stay away from evil reporters.
  5. Make sure you don't claim to be the official voice of IBM.
  6. Ensure that using a podcast is the best way to communicate with your audience.

Great advice, although it kind of smacks of the "big brother is watching you" stuff. But, overall, if a huge global company such as IBM needs to draft a podcasting guideline for its employees, why isn't your company making use of podcasts as yet?

Traditional TV is waking up

When I attended the iSummit conference back in March, I couldn't help but notice the look of fear in the eyes of the folks who represent traditional media. On one panel, one guy was calling for the CRTC to "save us" from emerging technology tools that will ruin TV forever.

Well, one broadcaster gets it. A press release was issued by BBC, the government-sponsored broadcaster in Britain. It outlined that over the next six-years, BBC will deliver quality content to meet the needs of the on demand world.

It took 10 teams a year to come up with these recommendations (it's government, what do you expect), however, here are some of the highlights.

  1. Redo the BBC website to include more personlized content.
  2. Provide continuous news using radio, TV and mobile devices.
  3. Provide entertainment on new platforms and experiment (egad!).
  4. Allow people to record and share their stories and memories using the BBC site.

Wow! A traditional broadcaster who's embracing the technology to compliment its offerings. Now, Canadian broadcasters aren't too far behind. CITY-TV in Toronto is already providing podcasts of its news programming. It recently provided podcasts of its VJ Search. For a more national perspective, CanWest Mediaworks provides podcasts of its syndicated Global National newscast.

But to see such an aggressive plan by a broadcaster is quite surprising to me, yet is welcoming.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Podcast audience small in numbers, big in influence

Recently, there have been a number of reports that say that the podcast listening audience is growing, yet isn't growing. Then, there are reports that say the audience is too small, yet is large.

And then, there are people on panels saying that advertisers need to accept that the podcast listening audience is small and that podniche advertising (my word) is the wave of the future.

This is all enough to make my head spin. So many different reports saying different things and using different measurements to come to their varying conclusion.

Yet, I do agree with the conclusion that was made at that panel - that the small listening audience each podcast will garner will become a very powerful group for advertisers.

Here are my predictions:

  1. Podcast audiences will remain small over the next 12-months because the number of podcasts will continue to outnumber listeners.
  2. In about 24-months, podcast listeners will begin to outnumber podcasts as many podcast producers will podfade.
  3. Podcatchers will become more sophisticated so that listeners will be presented with better quality podcasts.
  4. Standards will be developed for podcast producers in attempt to separate the amateurs from the professionals.
  5. Podcast listeners will become an influential group, relying on word-of-mouth to help their favorite podcasts rise in prominence.
  6. A few podcast hosts will become so powerful based on the influence (not the size) of their listening audience that they will be able to make (or break) the reputation of a brand.

'Til then, we'll continue to get wild variations of who's listening, how many are listening and how quickly the podcast industry will grow.

Sixty-six people decide podcasting's fate

Hohum, yet another survey that makes a blanket statement about podcasting off a very small sample size.

And I do mean small. Miniscule. Minute. Tiny. In essence, inconsequential.

Exactly 109 of the 300 people who are members of the Dallas chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators took a survey to gauge their podcasting knowledge. It found that 61% of respondents knew what podcasting is but had yet to listen to one.

So, let's do the math here. What is 61% of 109? About 66 people. Sixty-six people said they never listened to a podcast and now Roy Miller, the president of the Dallas chapter of IABC claims:

"This clearly shows that podcasting remains a communications tool for early adopters."

You're kidding me.

What is this world coming to when we sit back and draw conclusions about an industry based on what 66 people have to say? Gimme a break.

The day is coming when someone, somewhere will publish results about people's knowledge about podcasting that are based on a sample size larger than the town of Beaverton (not this one, but this one) and isn't stuffed with respondents who all go to church on Sunday, bowl on Tuesdays, do chair aerobics on Saturdays and think that the Internet is a new hair covering you place on your head before baking apple pies.

Podcatch your podcasts using bookmarks in your browser

Forget about iTunes. Say goodbye to PodcastAlley. Flush all those podcatchers down the virtual tube.

Kay Stoner over at has developed a cool tool. You enter the feed of your favourite podcast into text box and it creates a webpage that you can just bookmark.

How is this different from regular podcatchers?

  • There's no fussy software to download.
  • There's no bulky software to launch.
  • You don't have to go to a website to search for your favourite podcasts over and over again. You just launch your browser, open your bookmarks and there they are.
  • There's no need to login to a podcatcher to access the podcasts you like. Instead, just launch your browser.

What are the drawbacks?

  • You'd have to grab the RSS feed from somewhere to paste into this tool. It's hard enough remember where I put my cellphone, much less a long, complicated RSS feed.
  • Can't think of any others. Can you?

Besides my nattering negativity, this tool is neat, eh? Give 'er a whirl. Not Kay, I mean the Podtopia tool.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Podcasting the PSP way

Some awesome news. Sony will be making an update available so that PSP users can not only download podcasts, but also save them on their gaming devices.

How cool is that? Now, if only RIM would wake up regarding their Blackberrys.

Audio4Fun: Can I sound like Worf?

I came across one of the most puzzling podcasting tools. It's voice changing software called Audio4Fun produced by a company called Avnex.

Apparently, a podcaster can have multiple conversations with himself (only Lucifer was able to do this, mind you), then use Audio4Fun to adjust the levels, pitch and frequency to go from sounding like Brittany Spears to James Earl Jones.

This would be useful if you don't want to hire voice talent to add another voice to your podcast. Just use your own, then Audio4Fun-it.

While some will use this audio for fun, it can be used for not-so-legal purposes as well. But if CSI is any indication, no forensics scientist would ever be fooled by someone who said they interviewed George Bush for their podcast, when in fact it was their kid sister who simply read a script.

The Best Decision My Former Employer Has Ever Made

As I'm just about to turn in, I just read the first good news I've seen come out of Sun Microsystems in over 5-years. Scott McNealy has finally turned the reigns over to the charismatic Jonathan Schwartz.

It was the year 2001 when the small software company I had slaved at for about a year was acquired by the mighty Sun. And while I was happy to receive a paycheck every 2-weeks, the acquisition was a miserable experience.

Constant divisional name changes (at least once every 6-months), a new manager every 12-months, an ambiguous job title (Member of Engineering Team) and Vice-Presidents whose names I've forgotten because they changed as quickly as the weather in Calgary was the uncertainty I worked under for 3-years.

When we were acquired, we were given a whole wack of stock options. They were valued at $8 USD. By the time they vested one year later, the stock price stood at $6. When I was laid off in July 2004, the stock stood at just under $3.

And of course, they paid out annual bonuses in (you guessed it) stock options. On top of that, there were layoffs every bloody quarter. A small number of our colleagues were given a pink slip EVERY QUARTER.

And in all of this, McNealy never stepped aside. But I knew Schwartz was being groomed for something big because every few months, there was yet another email announcing another rung that Schwartz had climbed. I told a few of my colleagues in the few months before I was given my own pink slip in the form of I'm-going-to-do-nothing-but-eat-bonbons severance package (and with the grin as big as a cheshire cat) that Schwartz would be CEO very soon.

Either that or he was just biding his time before he left to launch a dot com when the timing was right. I just wish I still had that darn email with my prediction.

Buy Sun stock (SUNW). Now.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Mad at Mesh

Boy, some people are made at Mesh. See Joe Clarke's (no, not him) rant that Mesh is so behind the times.

Then, take a look at Elisa's post about the poor representation of women on the panels. Not in terms of quality, but in terms of quantity.

But pheonix doth rise from the ashes. A gal named Kate wants to organize a BlogHer North Event. A chance to give female bloggers a voice in a testosterone crowded industry.

Count me in sister. And I'm not sure what Joe's going to do, but I'll report on it if I find out.

Web 2.0 conferences must be virtual

I was visiting the Mesh website to double-check some things, when I came across this post.

The unconference idea doesn't sit well with me. I guess I'm a stickler for things being "just so."

However, in this day and age, I really can't understand how any conference on web 2.0 strategies is using such an antiquated approach to host an event.

Organizing conference rooms, having panels, scheduling keynotes, organizing a launch or after-party are the things your local CUPE Local does for their AGM, not individuals using emerging technologies.

I'm glad that Mesh is happening and even happier that the chaps organizing this event (see Matthew, Mark and Stuart's take) are open to talking about, "Why do this at all?"

And, Toronto needs its own version of a hip and less formal, but kind of formal, conference on web 2.0. No talking heads, no broadcasters begging the CRTC to protect them from the bad, bad mobile content dressed like a wolf. Instead, just average folks using cool technology to get their message across.

So hence, conferences on web strategies, new media, podcasting, blogging, etc. should use its own technology to showcase how awesome it is to hold an event without dragging all the chairs and tables into a huge auditorium.

I attended the International Podcasting Expo as a speaker over the weekend. And while there were a few technical bumps when we first got started, the Expo ended off with a bang. People from all across the world attended, including Australia, New Zealand, England and of course, Canada & the United States.

The only thing I complained about was having to show up a specific day and time to deliver my speech. I mean, I'm a podcaster and if I have something to say, I say it. There's no clock telling me to say what I want to say, so being told a time and place to appear in order to talk is a bit weird from a podcasters point of view.

But I digress.

My advice? If your conference is about emerging technology or some web 2.0 thing, do it virtually. It makes darn good sense for a conference on...well...emerging technology to use...well...emerging technology.

Libsyn confirms the number of podcast listeners

This is what I like. Statistics that are based on real stuff instead of polling a few thousand people where the sample is too narrow.

Libsyn, a company that provides inexpensive hosting for podcasts, just released a report that looked at the number of people requesting podcast feeds through their service.

Someone replied to this report on Libsyn's blog saying that measuring by unique IPs is not accurate since many use IPs that dynamically change. This is true for me. I'm on high speed and everytime I connect to the Internet, a different IP address is assigned to me. Keeps the hackers at bay since it's difficult to find me :P

But despite this, with just over 45-million people accessing podcasts through Libsyn, can we still claim that only 1% of adults have actually downloaded a podcast?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Piquepaille: No interaction in podcasts? Really?

I was reading an article written by Roland Piquepaille for and I was struck by one of his comments.

"Podcasting is a one-way medium: a producer talks to consumers. There is no interaction between both except through posts on blogs. In other words, podcasting is not a collaborative medium. On the contrary, it follows the traditional one-to-many communication model. Sorry, after several years of blogging, I like to be able to start a conversation."

Agreed, there's no live interaction between the host and the listener (as you would find with a call-in radio show), however, even with a blog, I would argue that the interaction isn't live either.

Frankly, as with any other non-real time media eg. TV shows, magazines, newspapers, blogs, books, movies, none of these things can be considered collaborative either. One can't have a conversation with the author after reading a chapter in his book. Nor can we voice our distaste for a particular storyline to the actors in a TV show.

The only true live collaboration that takes place is when I pick up the phone to speak to someone or, when I have a face-to-face conversation with someone else.

The collaborative nature of podcasts comes through different means:

  1. By having a discussion forum where people can leave their comments.
  2. By having a comment line where people can phone in their feedback.
  3. By allowing comments under the blog posting for your podcasts (something this author has on his blog).
  4. By providing an email so that listeners can send their feedback.

Yes, podcasting may not be for you, but don't blame the non-collaborative nature of the tool for your lack of interest. Otherwise, I'd recommend that you stop blogging altogether.

Who helped Mark Evans podcast?

There's a certain someone who got his podcast up and running because of some advice he got from a certain digital gal (moi). He's on his third one now.

Way to go, dude. I'm glad I had a small part in delivering your podbaby.

Ed Horrell makes me a podcasting expert

I'm doing a series of teleclasses on search engine marketing myths and was doing a search on Google for a number of keyword phrases for my products and websites.

About 2-months ago, I did an interview with a radio broadcaster and podcaster named Ed Horrell in Memphis, Tennessee.

Because of that interview, I'm now listed as the #5 search result on the first page in Google for the keyword phrase "podcasting expert."

Lovely. Thanks Ed.

Spending on blogs and podcasts set to increase

A report came out a few days ago that says spending on blog, podcast and RSS advertising bolted 198.4% to $20.4 million in 2005, and is expected to grow another 144.9% to $49.8 million in 2006, according to exclusive research released today by PQ Media, a custom media research.

Here's the press release.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Podcasting is one word

I get so annoyed when I see podcasting as 2 separate words. It's not Pod Casting or pod casting. It's podcasting.

Tod is a PodGod

You know that Podcasters Across Borders conference I'm speaking at in June in Kingston? Tod Maffin, broadcast futurist, is doing something pretty cool. He's offering five bursuries to young podcasters who want to go, but can't afford to. Read all about it on his blog.

Hey Tod, can you give me a bursury for this?

What Podcast Listeners Really Want

On Friday night, I had the chance to moderate an interactive session with close to 40 podcast listeners during the International Podcasting Expo.

Using quotes from Star Trek, we had loads of fun during the one-hour we spent together. Although they gave me alot of information, the portion of our session that I found extremely educational was when we started to talk about advertising.

Here are some interesting things they told me about ads in podcasts:

"No ads please, but we'll trust a recommendation from a host."
"If there's an ad, place it the beginning or the end of the podcast."
"If there has to be an ad, make sure it's no longer than 30-seconds."
"We'll tolerate only 1, maybe 2 ads per podcast."

Overall, if you're producing a podcast, it's better for your host to make a recommendation than to run a 30-second ad. Why?
"It worked with Adam Curry when he recommended a Gilette product," said one attendee.
"It sounds like a recommendation from a friend," said another.
"If I couldn't recommend it to my sister, I wouldn't recommend it to my listeners," said another attendee, who's also a podcast host.

The only warning, according to these podcast listeners, is that it has to be a "true" recommendation. A product the host has used and likes.

Now, how do we monetize this?

Toronto Podcasters Meetup

Last night, I met with a bunch of cool dudes and dudettes who are all podcasters. It was organized by Chris of the Tangents podcast.

I finally met Ninja, whom I had been emailing with over the past few weeks. Cool gal and it was great to put a name to a face.

The best intro goes to Jay. He hosts the Toronto Independent Music podcast and if you were to ask what his podcast is all about, he'd say "We cover Toronto (raise eyebrow) independent (slight smirk) music."


Another interesting quote came from one of the video podcasters (or is it videocaster, vidcaster, vodcaster, vidblogger, someone make the final decision please), Matthew Hoos of Dead End Days and Cerealized.

Of course, they grouped together in a corner looking like they were sharing the secret documents on how the caramel gets into a Cadbury chocolate bar. I approached the group just to say a quick hi as I was on my out and when I asked what they were doing, Matthew said, "Oh, we're the video podcasters. Audio is just half the story."


Another great quote came from Joe of the Indie Can Music podcast. When Jay asked if a mutual colleague was going to attend the meeting, Joe said, "No, he's had domestic management issues."

I've got to use that one.

The podchick should be producing a video podcast of our meetup. I'll post the link as soon as she posts it.

Other podcasters of note:

There were others whom I met, but I didn't grab their business cards, so I don't really remember who you are. However, I do want to say it was an awesome meetup and now it's time for us to take this podcasting thing to the mainstream.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Mesh 2.0 Conference, May 15-16

So, there's this cool conference taking place in Toronto in a few weeks called Mesh 2.0.

And before you ask, no, I'm not speaking at this event. However, some pretty interesting people are. And it was organized by some cool guys.

Don't confuse this event with Mush (Peter Mosley is so silly).

Okay, word of the day - cool.

Kantor: Too many podcasting choices equals disinterest

Just read an article written by Andrew Kantor over at USA Today about the reasons why podcasting hasn't taken off as quickly as people have predicted.

I found the beginning of his article quite hilarious, in particular his take on what makes podcasting different from putting audio files on your website:

The automatic part is important. Podcasting is not simply putting audio files on your site and letting people download them. That's known as "putting audio files on your site and letting people download them." To be a podcast, it has to be automated. No RSS, no syndication, no podcast.

What a gem!

Now, Kantor goes on to give 3 reasons why podcasting hasn't run radio off the map as quickly as some have predicted, in particular:

  1. There's just way too much "junk" podcasts out there creating what I call "podspam."
  2. The technology to access podcasts is too complicated.
  3. And lastly, the vast amount of choice makes podcasting too overwhelming to be bothered with.

Okay, so I agree with Kantor on #1. For #2, podcast listeners should just download iTunes and be done with it. It's the only podcatcher that really matters anyways.

But for #3, I would argue that the same holds true for radio and TV. With digital cable, satellite TV/radio and the Internet all competing for our earholes and eyeballs, we are given way too many choices when it comes to our entertainment.

I may be able to just click the "on" button on my remote, but because I now have digital cable, I have 900 channels to flip through. In the city of Toronto where I live, there are hundreds of stations to choose from. It would take me a week just to go from station to station to decide what I'll listen to.

So no, podcasting isn't the only culprit here when it comes to choice.

8:49pm ET update - Here's another take on USA Today's coverage of podcasting.

PRWeb calls podcasting a sound (financial) decision

PRWeb, the largest distributor of online press releases, has said that adding a podcasting service to its line of offerings has been the best decision it has made.

What's even better, is that PRWeb charges people $200 to be interviewed for its podcast.

Here's how the process works:

  • A company, let's call them XYZ Corp., writes a press release about a new product launch and submits it to PRWeb.
  • To enhance the delivery of the press release, XYZ Corp. purchases a package in increments of $10. For as little as $30, XYZ Corp's press release will be sent to 5 news outlets. For $50, it will be sent to 8 and so on.
  • Then, for an extra $200, XYZ Corp. will be contacted by a PRWeb staff member to be interviewed for its podcast.

According to Andrew Schlichting, PRWeb's Web 2.0 Content Manager, there have been 30,000 downloads of their podcast since launching the service in February 2006. With just over 200 podcasts produced to date and each podcast featuring 1 guest, this works out to be ($200 x 1 x 200) = $40,000 in 60-days. Not a bad chunk of change, huh?

Want to listen to the PRWeb Podcast? The best thing to do is download iTunes to your computer. Once you've installed it, open iTunes, then go to Advanced > Subscribe to Podcast, then copy and paste this URL into the box -

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Tim Bourquin says hold on to your hats

Expo Magazine has named the Podcast and Portable Media Expo one of the best new trade shows of 2005. Read the article here.

The 2006 Podcast and Portable Media Expo will be held September 29-30, 2006 in Ontario, California and today was the deadline for speaker proposals. I pitched 3 topics and the show organizer, Tim Bourquin (seen at right), emailed me to say that the decision on speakers will be made the first week in May.

Cross your fingers and wish me luck.

Average number of podcast subscribers is 35

Feedburner has done it again. They now report that the average podcast has only 35 subscribers.

Well, my podcast has three times that amount, so there! So, you may be asking yourself, "Well, why would she even bother? For just barely over 100 people?"

The reason why I podcast are many:

  • I get loads of search engine traffic. Search engines love fresh content and anytime I do an interview for someone else's podcast or when I update my own, I get favourable rankings in search engines. Don't believe me? Punch in the keyword phrase "selling mistakes" into Google. My podcast is listed #1 (as of April 19th). Try "selling mistakes to avoid." Where's my podcast?

  • I get new clients. Yup, you heard me. I have signed up new coaching clients as a result of my podcast. Since launching my podcast in October 2005, I've enrolled 10 new clients. Doesn't sound like alot, huh? But that's 10 people x $597 USD and you get $5,970. It takes me 1-hour to prepare my podcast, then factor in monthly hosting ($3.95 per month) and domain name renewal ($20 per year) and you can see where this is profitable for me. This doesn't include all the other income streams that I generate each month.

  • I have eliminated complimentary sessions. There's no need for me to do them anymore. I used to go through 30 comp sessions a month and only net 3 new clients. So, I wasted about 15-hours on the phone (30 prospects x 30-minutes) a month just to turn 3 clients. Now, I use a product funnel where I offer my ezine and my podcast as freebies. Listeners can get used to my coaching style while listening to my podcast, so by the time they email me, they're ready to hire me as their coach.

So, these are the reason why 105 subscribers are worth it to me. Subscribers get used to my style, they start to like me and when someone likes you, they trust your judgement. With trust comes sales and that's why the ROPI (return on podcasting investment) works for me.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

International Podcasting Expo

Just a heads up that I'm participating in a virtual expo on podcasting. Click on the banner above to find out how you can attend as an exhibitor, attendee or even as a sponsor.

If you view the seminar schedule, you'll see that I'm speaking on 2 topics:

Friday April 21st @ 11pm ET - What Makes (Or Breaks) A Podcast - Podcast Listeners Speak

Sunday April 23rd @ 4pm ET - 7 Ways to Turn Podcast Listeners Into Clients

If you really want to find out what makes podcast listeners tick, you have to attend the session I'm hosting on the 21st. Tickets to get into this virtual event are only $11. Click here to purchase your ticket.

Plus, there's a whole bunch of cool prizes that will be given away during the expo. You can see the list here (look on the right hand side). I'm contributing copies of an ebook I'm co-authoring called Jump Start Your Podcast (released later this spring) and a CD called How to Turn Listeners Into Clients.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

No podcast listeners? Think again!

About a week ago, critics of podcasting were cheering a report released by Forrester Research that only 3% of the 5,051 people surveyed said they've ever tried listening to a podcast.

"See," critics sneered. "Podcasting is just a fad."

Feedburner Podcasting Market Report Well, hold on bronco! Feedburner just released a report with actual numbers - not guestimates from surveys of a small sample of people - that show that those who subscribe to podcasts are now in the millions. Just under 1.6-million to be more exact.

How does Feedburner measure this? Well, they have snazzy statistics that help podcast producers know how many people subscribe to their podcast, which podcatcher subscribers are using and some other cool stuff.

The report went on to highlight these points:

  • There are just under 45,000 podcasts serving just under 1.6-million podcast subscribers.
  • Twenty percent of all new feeds created through Feedburner are podcast feeds.
  • Podcast feeds have grown 15% each month between June 2005 and April 2006.
  • Fifty-seven percent of podcast listeners use iTunes to access their podcasts.
  • The viral nature of podcast feeds means that they're resyndicated, thus increasing its reach.
  • Based on current growth, there will be over 100,000 podcasts and 5-million podcast subscribers by the end of this year.
  • Podcasters will start making money and demanding the tools to help them measure their listenership.

Interesting. I still hold firm that podcasting is the wave of the future, especially in light of declining radio listenership.

Measuring the return on podcasting investment

I met with a prospect this morning, trying to convince him that he needed to add podcasting to his online marketing mix. While he was intrigued, he questioned the ROI. In particular, he wanted to know how one can measure the podcasting results.

Okay, I can understand why one would want to measure podcasts. But my goodness, why is it that people put so much pressure on internet marketing tools? No one would go to television network and say, "For my 30-second ad, how many actual viewers watched it? No, not just the CPM, I mean actual numbers?"

No marketing director can tell me that a person walked into their car dealership or that someone chose one shaving gel over another as a direct result of an ad they viewed on TV or heard on the radio.

I'm not talking about brand awareness. I'm talking about the direct correlation between someone seeing an ad on TV and then going to their grocery store to buy that item off the shelf. Those type of metrics don't exist, not unless you run a specific contest or other campaign.

So, why is podcasting being treated differently?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Let me interrupt your FM feed

I'm not entirely sure about this approach to advertising, but it merits discussion. A company in the US is using an FM transmitter that plugs into your iPod to transmit its ads.

This kind of reminds me of something that happened to my sister over the weekend. She went to use the washroom at 3am and the scented puffer thing she bought that emits pretty smells once every hour went off as she opened the door. She told me that she nearly had a heart attack thinking that someone was hiding in wait.

I liken my sister's experience to this ad transmitter service. Totally useless. Consumers don't want more ads. They don't want more clutter in their otherwise busy days. Although ad spending is going up, the attention span of consumer in regards to those ads are going down.

Can the FM transmitter approach. It will be ignored and seen as intrusive.

Who will win the online downloads war?

Here are 3 different approaches
that broadcasters are using to make their TV shows available online.

Here's how all 3 stack up:

  • Fox is using a complicated revenue-share to offer its content for downloads.
  • ABC is using an ad-supported model and will offer its content to be downloaded for free.
  • NBC will offer its content for a small fee.

I have mixed feelings about all 3 approaches, but the broadcaster who offers their content for a small fee and has no ads in it will win out in the long run.

Even my boomer dad gets it

Yesterday, I visited my dad to have an Easter Sunday dinner. He's a Baby Boomer and at 59 years old, he said something to me that lets me know that he "gets it." Although he has never been online, he certainly understands why certain industries, such as broadcasting, are doing so poorly while podcasting is taking off.

Over roasted chicken and rice & peas, my dad talked about the reasons why he would never pay for cable (although he's had it for years - don't ask).

He said, "The cable companies show me the same thing over and over, so why the heck would I ever pay for it? Give the people what they want, or they'll go somewhere else to find it."

Little did he know that he's talking about the exact phenomenon that's sweeping the Internet right now - on demand content. It's the reason why more and more broadcasters are offering their TV shows as a download through iTunes (albeit for a fee). It's the reason why podcasting is taking off.

Cable companies and broadcasters need to wake up. In the words of my boomer dad, "Give the people what they want, when they want it."