Smaller Is Better With Podcasting
iPressroom Founder and Chairman Eric Schwartzman moderted the session entitled "Podcasts and vidcasts for marketing and public relations. The panel consisted of CP+B VP/Director of Communications Katie Kempner, TNC New Media Founder and CEO Tim Borkquin, The Gilmore Gang's Steve Gilmore and Kelly Wagman. The goal of the session was to inform the audience of the benefits of the podcast as a medium and Schwartzman set the stage by saying podcast advertising revenue will hit $327 million in 2010, up from $3.1 million in 2005.
All of the panelists explained to the audience the podcasts is very different from traditional media channels. Podcasts are usually created by one person's unedited voice with no third party edit. This notion is tough for some to swallow, especially those who are used to the very controlled nature of traditional media.
Steve Gilmore, whose podcast carried an Earthlink ad a while back which caused a stir among podcast and blog purists, turned the controvery on its head by explaining to the purists Earthlink was supporting and making possible the growth of the podcast medium. From that, a discussion ensued on the types of ad units that should appear in a podcast. There was really no consensus on this point but all agreed experimentation, transparency and improved metrics would all play a role in the growth of the medium.
Kelly Wagman's approach to podcasting consists of creating community and using the medium to extend voices within the community to a broader audience. In answer to an audience member's concern over the ability of an advertiser to keep track of the thousands of podcasts that might be relevant as an ad medium, Tim Borquin explained there are several aggregation networks such as Radiotail, Podziger an Kiptronic that can make the job easier.
Casting aside notions the medium will always remain a tiny, also-ran, Steve Gilmore told the audience he had spoken with Dan Rather about launching a podcact. Apparently, CBS has a policy against podcasts but Rather eluded to Gilmore, he might leave CBS to start his own podcast. If the medium hasn't already arrived, Rather launching a podcast would certainly raise awareness.
Mostly, the big hurdle for the pocast medium is getting advertisers to understand there's nothing wrong with small audiences. The industry has already bought into the notion of nice audiences. Podcasts simply extend that notion exponentially. And as Tim Borquin said in answer to an audience member who said he would not be able to get his client interested in such a small audience, if an IT advertiser could advertise on a podcast with only three people and those three people were Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison, the concern would be put to rest. And that, my friends, is what podcasting can deliver.