Marketing With Podcasts, Part 2

Last week, we talked with Greg Cangialosi, author of the podcasting bible, “Podcast Academy: The Business Podcasting Book.” This week we continue the conversation with another podcasting guru, Podtrac CEO Mark McCrery. Podtrac is a leader in creating podcast networks using dynamic ad-insertion and measurement technology.

Harry Gold: Please tell me briefly about your company.

Mark McCrery: Podtrac is the largest advertising network for podcast online audio and video content. Our service is being used by many podcasts and provides advertisers with sophisticated measures of audiences and ad delivery. Podtrac’s measurement, demographics, content ratings, and ad-serving capabilities provide the infrastructure for connecting advertisers with targeted audiences in podcast audio and video media.

HG: Who are some of the podcasters in your network?

MM: Some of the leaders we work with include Twit’s “This Week in Tech,” Revision3’s “Diggnation,” Pixel Corps’ “MacBreak” and DL.TV’s “Cranky Geeks,” “Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tricks for Better Writing” of Oprah Winfrey fame, “Scientific American”‘s “Science Talk,” Next New Network’s “VOD Cars” and “Channel Frederator,” the smart and lovely how-to experts of “French Maid TV,” comedy news “Goodnight Burbank,” undiscovered music talent from IndieFeed, the ever-popular MuggleCast, “Coffee Break Spanish,” the funny characters from “Happy Tree Friends,” “Yogamazing,” and the top-ranked videos from Comcast’s G4.

HG: Who are some of your advertisers?

MM: Podtrac works with many advertising agencies throughout the U.S. and national brands that are household names. Some of these include the leading theatrical, television, and home entertainment companies; major credit card brands; computer and consumer electronics manufacturers; recruiting firms; wireless carriers; and auto manufacturers.

HG: Can you give me any recent stats on podcasting from the industry at large and even your own network?

MM: Sure. From an audience-size perspective, the most popular podcasts have more than 200,000 listeners or viewers for each episode. From a content perspective, some of the most popular content is in the news and comedy categories, as I mentioned earlier.

Below is a breakout of all podcast content consumption by category across the entire market:

Top 10 Online Serial Content Categories by Audience Size
Category Audience (%)
News 25
Comedy 25
Technology 8
TV and film 8
Arts 7
Music 6
Education 3
Science and medicine 2
Society and culture 2
Business 2
Source: Podtrac, 2007

Demographics vary considerably from podcast to podcast. But across 10,000 of the top podcasts, here are some averages and highlights:

Podcast Listener Demographics
Age Audience (%) Index to MRI
18-24 20 151
25-34 33 177
35-44 23 114
Education Audience (%) MRI
Bachelor’s degree 33 201
Master’s degree 12 196
Doctoral degree 2 200
Other professional degree 3 272
Income Audience (%) MRI
$75,000-$99,999 15 114
$100,000-$149,999 15 130
$150,000-$199,999 5 131
$200,000 or over 5 170
Note: Once a podcast has a statistically significant number of respondents to the Podtrac Survey, which has been developed in conjunction with MRI, Podtrac will calculate indexes to the MRI data and apply the index to each podcast’s survey responses.
Source: Podtrac, 2007

How audiences listen or watch the audio or video content also varies by podcast. Overall, here are the averages:

Podcast Device Consumption
Device Amount (%)
Computer 45
Portable device 52
Other 4
Source: Podtrac, 2007

HG: Can you tell me a little bit about the promise of podcasting and where you see it going in the future?

MM: In the years ahead, content originally produced for television will slowly migrate online as ad measurement improves, audiences are adequately described, and inventory appropriately valued. This will be commonplace in the next few years, and it will take a cooperative effort between television and online ad sales organizations to recognize market trends and meet the changing media consumption habits of consumers. Like other serial audio and video content online, television content will be available to consumers as podcasts.

From an independent media company perspective, many of these online shows are already building audiences which rival cable network shows, and at much lower budgets. As ad dollars continue to flow into the space, production quality of independent shows, which is already good, will be even higher. And because much of the content online is shorter form and its ad format is shorter and, in many cases, more targeted and effective, the online serial show can ultimately be more profitable.

Thanks, Mark. Next week, we’ll finish the interview with a discussion of the heavy-weight podcasters and some best practices for sponsoring podcasts.

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