Podcast Ad Sales – An Opportunity

This is a topic I’ve discussed with a number of high-end podcasters in the past two weeks. Many of us are ready to get serious about sponsorship and underwriting of our programs. The problem is that we’re not ad-sales people — we’re hosts and producers — and none of us have enough traffic to support a salesperson. We need the same level of professionalism in ad sales that exists for more traditional web advertising and sponsorship, and we need that help from someone who can explain to prospective sponsors the unique opportunities (and challenges) of podcasting. For example, unlike display-ad sites, we don’t get explicit click-throughs since most of our listeners are anonymous, retrieving their content via RSS and podcatcher software.

I doubt that any single podcast will achieve the levels of traffic sufficient to support a full-time ad-sales person this year. But if an independent sales rep or organization were to build a portfolio containing today’s best podcasters, I’m confident there’s enough revenue potential to justify at least one dedicated person.

The opportunity is there with the existing high-end podcasts. All it takes is for a qualified person or company to step up and take it on.

Update: See a post by Brad Gibson.

3 thoughts on “Podcast Ad Sales – An Opportunity

  1. What you might consider using is an independent ad sales agency that focuses on internet and new media properties. My partners and I are facing the same issue you discussed and one of the partners is starting to build that independent agency just mentioned. I would love to have more dialogue about the topic. Send an email and we can then maybe get to a phone connection as well. Thanks.


  2. Doug — Thanks for starting the dialogue. We’re looking for ways to do this, too. Perhaps, as you suggested at the podcast dinner last weekend, all interested parties should form a group or alliance of some sort.

    As you also asked at the podcast dinner: Should there be some common metrics? Should we form a group to explore the issues so we can all have a standard to work by? And if so, should we, as podcasters, get more involved in the development of podcasting so we have some voice in the discussion with hardware vendors and the big guns out there?

    Again, thanks for taking the initiative, Doug.


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