In the UK, confectionery maker Cadbury has just launched a talent contest based on podcasting. The contest aims at discovering undiscovered talent, no matter in which field, as long as it can be expressed through audio. Singers-songwriters, poets and/or writers can submit their mp3 and be featured in a weekly selection distributed as podcast. The public will then be able to download the file and vote for the best work. I can’t tell you exactly why, but I very much feel like these guys just thought: what’s hot in online marketing? Podcasting. So let’s make something using podcasting, no matter if it’s not original nor funny… [news via NMA]
A new study from market research agency BMRB suggests that over 10% of the adult population have already downloaded a podcast in the last six months and figures will continue to grow. Digital Bulletin reports that in the UK over 7.9m adults could be downloading podcasts over the next six month, representing a unique opportunity for brands to advertise on already successful podcasts or create new (high quality) branded audio content. BMW docet?
Remember when BMW said it was giving up its efforts on branded content? Well, maybe they were lying since they just launched a series of audio book podcasts… Leading authors at the publisher Random House have written 45-minute audio books, each one featuring a different BMW car. The audio books are available for free at www.bmwaudiobooks.com. The first podcast is Don Winslow’s The Beautiful Ride.
In France, Maybelline has launched a series of “beauty podcasts” featuring tips to get a perfect make-up. The podcast marketing effort is divided in two parts: a weekly video to download for the new iPod and a “traditional” audio podcasts section sharing make-up suggestions by Max Delorme (who?). [news via iPub]
If you know the past you can predict the future. This isn’t always true, but this post by Doc Searls really helps understanding how the podcasting business model can evolve. If you’re interested in the topic there is also a (very long) post on Ratcliff blog which, on the contrary, considers the “future” of podcasting. Be aware you need some time to read the discussion, and you will also have to skip some flames. But it’s worth reading to get a better idea of where the podcasting business can or cannot head.
On Business Week Heather Green explores some of the possibilities to make money out of podcasting. Sponsorship is at the moment the most used business model and it’s usually based on a flat rate deal with the advertiser. Sponsorship implies a 15 or 30 seconds audio ad at the beginning of the podcast. Of course, as the article points out, if the ads are based on a flat rate, they can end up being a bargain or a total failure, depending on the number of downloads the podcast will receive. Prices per thousand downloads range from $10 to $25, with podcasters taking advantage of the fact they reach specific target groups. The more selected the audience, the higher the value for the advertiser. However, several podcasters want to stay “pure” and avoid advertising to make money out of their audio files. Some are asking for donations (even $2 can help) or charging subscription fees.
Mediapost reports Adobe has launched an infomercials to be watched on the new iPod Video. It’s an half-hour guided tour of Adobe’s Photoshop dubbed “Photoshop TV”. Since the first episode is in mp4, I think you can also watch it on your PSP. Get ready for another device for viral marketing… the iPod.
On Blogspotting Heather Green questions whether podcasting is just a bubble or it really has business potentials. Recently Yahoo! released a report (RSS—Crossing into the Mainstream) in which 28% of the people surveyed said they were aware of podcasting, but only 2% actually listened to podcasts. So back to the main question… Is podcasting just a bubble? Well, podcasting has been probably a little bit overhyped until now, but don’t worry, it is here to stay (and to grow).
A research by DDB London found out that there is no buzz about blogging and podcasting outside of our media industry bubble, and also that people have no understanding of what the words mean.
Forbes explores the podcasting world, questioning if and how it is possible to make money out of podcasts. Stan Sorensenm, senior director of product management and marketing of Melodeo, suggests there a few possible ways to monetize podcasting: embedding advertising and creating premium channels. Ad-supported model for podcasting (replicating the radio model) is probably the easiest and (at the moment) best solution. However finding the right ad-format still requires some testing. The “traditional” 30 seconds radio spot is way too long, with the fast-forward button just one touch away. Ads need to be short enough where it does not make sense to skip them.