Tuesday, May 02, 2006

National Public Radio considers podcast sponsorship

National Public Radio (NPR) in the United States is now fearing that the popularity of their podcasts will damage on air pledges during their fundraising drive.

Now, this is the argument of radio stations. That podcasting is taking away listeners from their current programming. Funny thing is, the Forrester Report on podcasting that came out a few weeks ago showed that podcast listeners preferred listening to existing content from radio and TV stations over and above original content from unknown sources.

However, the problem with podcasts is exactly what NPR is running into. People are using podcasts to provide their entire programming to listeners for free.

I've always argued that podcasts should give listeners the hors d'oeuvres, not the full course meal. For example:

  • If you have a radio station, provide just 10-minutes of a 60-minute show.
  • If you're a service professional, provide just 5-minutes of a 30-minute client session.
  • If you organize a trade show or conference, provide 7-minutes clips from the conference floor and from select panel discussions, not the entire 60-minute speech.

Your podcast should be a lead generator that guides listeners to your website for more information. Otherwise, it's like a restaurant offering a meal for free when all you wanted to do is check the menu. Or Baskin Robbins giving you a full scoop for free when all you asked for is a sample on a pink spoon.

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