The Surprising Business of Podcasts - America East Session Recap

by Cara Neil, Communications Director | Apr 14, 2016

Everybody is doing a podcast, but where is the business side of it? Seen and Heard’s Karen Unland, Midroll’s Lex Friedman, and The Memphis Commercial Appeal’s Danny Bowen discussed how to create businesses out of podcasts.

Before thinking about generating business from podcasting, there has to be a podcast. The panel provided a few tips about how to start a successful podcast.

The ideal length of a podcast is between 30 and 45 minutes.

  • Set up a studio in an empty office and if necessary, borrow equipment from the library.
  • Invite community leaders to tell their stories in detail. Use podcasts as a supplement to a written story.

After planning the podcast and its topics, it’s time to consider the business end of podcasting. It’s important to note that 32% of podcast listeners engage with podcasts while working out; 50% listen in the car; 37% when commuting on public transportation; and 40% while walking, running, or biking. The easiest place to start for podcast ads are pre-roll, post-roll, and in segment. These spots should range in length, running between 15 seconds to 60 or more seconds. They can also be featured on the podcast’s website.

Should the ads be pre-recorded, like a radio spot? They can, but the panel concluded that announcer read advertising spots are more effective, commanding an 89% recall rate and adding to the credibility of the message. Advertising sponsorships are also a great way to generate revenue from podcasts. Find a sponsor to underwrite the podcast for a pre-determined amount of time. Think of it as an ongoing ad in the newspaper; the same company or organization sponsors the podcast for a specific amount of time, increasing their brand recognition and giving the podcaster time to pull together additional ad spots once the sponsorship ends.

How does pricing work for podcast advertising?  Advertising on a podcast is typically priced on a CPM basis. When looking for advertisers, the panel advised  not to accept advertising that doesn’t fit the tone of the content or brand of the podcast. It’s also worth reaching out to advertisers who are primarily on TV or radio, since they have copy and content ready.

Podcasts are increasing in popularity as a compelling, fun, engaging, and informative option to share important information – amplifying what newspapers are already doing within their communities.  They also connect local audiences with local businesses through unique advertising sponsorships.  Because podcasts deliver unfiltered content, listeners develop an intimate connection with the host – which can build the credibility of your brand, and it is relatively inexpensive and easy to get started. For more information about podcasting, view the presentation slides on the America East website.