Monday, July 31, 2006

Podcasts Proliferate, Challenge Ad Models, Attract Ads

Podcasts Proliferate, Challenge Ad Models, Attract Ads

July 25, Marketing Vox

Podcasts have been propelled into the mainstream since iTunes launched, and they could significantly affect ad models, according to a Nielsen Analytics report.

Nielsen's "The Economics of Podcasting" study found that more than 6 percent of U.S. web users, or nearly 9 million people, have downloaded at least one podcast in the last month, reports the Financial Times. Of those, about 10 per cent are "heavy users," downloading eight or more podcasts a week. Moreover, 38 percent of "active" podcast listeners say they less often listen to the radio now than before they began downloading podcasts.

The most successful podcasts are garnering as many as two million downloads a month, enabling them to attract mainstream advertising. For example, Dixie Paper Company now sponsors the Mommycast Podcast Series starring Gretchen Vogelzang and Paige Heninger.

However, some 60 percent of podcast downloaders - the vast majority of downloaders are men - fast-forward through commercials in their podcasts, according to the research. Women are more likely to do so than men; 67 percent of women say they always fast-forward. Accordingly, advertisers are devising more effective means to reach consumers, such as embedding their messages within the program content or having podcast hosts endorse their products and services.

The survey found that the average length of the podcasts being listened to was 44 minutes. The emergence of video podcasts will likely shorten the average duration.

Related stories:

- Nielsen: Podcasts Gaining Foothold
- Research: Podcasts Penetrate B2B Mainstream
- Ingenio, Podbridge Team for Podcast Pay-per-Call
- Scoble Leaves Microsoft, Joins Video Podcast Startup
- Slate to 'Textcast' on iPod, Lexus to Sponsor
- Podcasts Siphoning Revenue from NPR Stations
- Forrester: Podcast Listeners Still Few

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