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Gregory Galant: 5 Podcast Myths Debunked
Gregory Galant, CEO of RadioTail, has penned an article on iMedia tha attempts to address 5 podcasting myths that are of concern to marketers and potential podvertisers. Great, great reading.
  1. There's a huge incentive to fast-forward through ads: False. Listeners are gnerally tied up doing something else while listening to podcasts. They're not sitting there with their thumbs on the fast foward button. I totally agree with Greg. This is a myth that has been created out of nothing and has grown to ridiculous proportions.
  2. You can't know the profile of listeners: False. I'm on the fence with this one. Greg correctly points out that podcasters have not only been successful in getting their listeners to fill out surveys, but that many directories have social components built in. Having said that, I think Greg misses the mark with this statement: "Every single media file download can be tracked to determine where people are downloading from and what type of software they're using to access the podcast." It's not that he's wrong, it's just that advertisers don't care what software people are using - they want to know gender, age, income, and interests.
  3. There are an abundance of phantom downloaders inflating statistics: False. Greg seems to think that iTunes is the only podcatcher on the planet as his primary rebuttal to this point is that iTunes will now unsubsribe users from podcasts that they haven't listened to. iTunes accounts for about 20% of my listeners so relying on it to do cleanup is naive. He does make a good point that the stats provided by terrestrial radio are quite suspect, however. I'll go one step farther and say that magazine, newspaper, and radio stats are patently made up numbers. There is absolutely NO way to gauge radio listenership, yet it's done all the time.
  4. Creating an effective podcast is cheap and easy: True. I agree - but Greg is correct in focussing on content. The gear may be cheap, but the content needs to be good.
  5. You need to fdo distribution deals for a podcast: False. I agree. As Greg states: "At least for now, all of the meaningful podcast distribution is free".
Read Greg's own words here and I found another analysis of the article on Marketing NIrvana.

3 Comments/Trackbacks

I know Greg and he's a nice guy but he also has an agenda being that he's in the biz of selling advertisers on podcasts.

His first point is not a myth. I listen to a couple of audio podcasts that include ads and I almost always fast forward through them. My brain knows where that forward button is and my finger hits it like pavlov's dog responding to a bell when those ads hit.

Greg's take on podcast metrics is wrong in my opinion. You can't 'profile' a listener by knowing their download location and aggregator. I might be able to find out if people are listening who work at Microsoft for example, but I won't know if they occupy a cube farm or a corner office. You'd also have to make some pretty wild assumptions to gather demographic data based on their aggregator of choice.

Hi Rob,

I can't recall ever fast forwarding through a podcast. I might shut it off altogether if I don't like it, but I can't be bothered to FF through an ad. I wonder which one of us is in the minority :)

I think I recently saw a study that actually had that stat in it, but I can't recall where right now. I'll take another look around.

I'm right with you on the metrics issue. Knowing the geographic location and podcatcher that a listener uses is virtually useless information to advertisers (well, location might be useful). You're right in that there's no way to derive the information that advertisers really want from those metrics.

The podcast that I fast forward through the most is a one hour portion of a popular radio show that they release as a podcast to promote the show. The ads are left in for the podcast. So it's a case where I enjoy the content but get really tired of hearing the ads.

I recently did some fast forwarding on Leo Laportes's show, skipping a pitch for Visa. Again, I like Leo's content but I'd rather save a couple of minutes for more podcast listening.

Another technique I use when listening at my computer is to hit the mute button on my laptop for a minute or so.

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