ChasNote

22 September 2005

Forbes on Podcast Money-Making

From a Forbes.com article on podcasting revenue models:

"Stan Sorensenm, senior director of product management and marketing of Melodeo, believes there are four possible ways to monetize podcasting:

"-- Embedding advertising in the audio itself. Basically, this uses the traditional model of radio.

"-- Free and premium channels. This is how many content sites make money. There may even be subscription services, kind of like a magazine.

"-- An enterprise model. This would mean selling sophisticated products to major customers that would have special features, such as security.

"-- Advertising, which is currently the predominant approach."

Um, I recommend merging #1 (advertising) and #4 (advertising) into a single revenue line in the business plan before you talk to the VCs. I do agree that advertising is a valid income stream whenever large, upscale audiences tune in to quality programming. The trick is scale. One wonderful aspect of personal media is its ability to make public voices that aren't mainstream, which often also means smaller, more intimate audiences. Programmers who appeal to similar audiences will need to band together in order to deliver advertisers hundred of thousands of listeners at once. As for #2, though, I'd be surprised to see podcasts succeed with paid-by-consumers models where just about every other online content play, many of which are "kind of like magazines" today, has failed. I'm willing to bet the bulk of podcast revenue in the next 2 years will come from some variation of #3 -- corporate customers paying for professional content (especially if we include investors here), or B2B marketers who cover these fees by sponsoring podcasts aimed at corporate customers.

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