I interviewed Jonathan Cobb from Kiptronic a while ago and I learned a lot about the Kiptronic system.
There are two basic models for putting ads in podcasts right now:
- The podcaster does it manually
- There is some server level trickery to insert ads automagically into shows as they are downloaded by listeners
Option number one isn't going over very well. Advertisers don't have the time or inclination to go after one-of podcasters. Option number two is doing well, but it has problems.
Most of the type-two services insert ads into your feed. That's great for the 30%-50% of your listeners that actually use a podcatcher. Those that direct download never see/hear the feed. Some services are making headway into that space by also inserting ads into the audio files themselves so that no matter how the show is downloaded, the ads can be present. This isn't such a great model either because in order to insert those ads into the files, your advertising agency needs to become your host. Not exactly the group of people that I want looking after the very technically demanding job of running a server farm.
Kiptronic is the only service that I'm aware of that can insert ads directly into the media file as it is downloaded by the listener and doesn't need to host your files. Kiptronic is primarily available in partnership with hosts like Libsyn, but there is an Apache module which any individual podcaster using Apache can make use of. Mine doesn't work and my support emails have gone unanswered so it's not really practical yet, but it's a great idea.