Saturday, November 12, 2005

Podcasting for Fun and Profit

So, podcasting is growing in popularity. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s mainstream, but it just might get there someday soon. That seems more and more likely with companies like Apple and Yahoo rolling out support for the whole thing. Of course, Apple really didn’t have much choice since the ‘pod’ part is pretty much their fault (and I’m sure they’re quite pleased about that).

Despite their popularity, it seems like not very many people have been able to make podcasting into a profitable endeavor. That’s partly due to the fact that advertisers can’t accurately track listenership. Of course, downloads are trackable, so I’m not entirely certain why that’s such a big deal (and that’s a topic for another day).

I mean, let’s say 5,000 people download your podcast. If 80% actually listen to it then you’ve reached 4,000 people. That’s worth paying for isn’t it? And since people pick and choose the podcasts that they want to listen to, I think it’s safe to assume that 80% is a conservative estimate (especially if you ad comes within the first ten seconds of the podcast and is very brief).

With that in mind, there’s a site called Fruitcast which was founded on that concept. I haven’t used it yet, since I don’t have a podcast (currently), but it really got my attention. Through Fruitcast, podcasters can sign up to receive ads and advertisers can sign up to place them. Ads are billed per download with advertisers bidding for placement (bids start at $0.10 per download). Each 10-15 second blurb is, apparently, automatically added to the front and or end of the podcast mp3.

If this thing works out, some podcasters could make this into a profitable hobby. If this thing really takes off, it could make a few lucky podcasters rich. Just think: Your podcast is really popular and 50,000 people download it every week. Advertisers get wind of it and you end up getting $1.00 per download. That’s $200,000 a month. Of course, it’s more likely that you’ll get 500 downloads a month at $.10 a piece. $50 won’t buy a yacht, but it might pay for your hosting (and that’s always nice).

Anyway, if people like to listen to you and you have something interesting to say, maybe you should check into this. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, Fruitcast has some good information and resources on the topic.


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