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Innovative Podcast Demographic Idea
Ted Demopoulos from Blogging for Business has a neat idea to gauge podcast listenership:

offer [listeners] transcipts of your podcasts for free IF they provide some basic information, for example demographic info advertisers would be interested in. It's simple and easy, and transcripts are very valuable -- the ultimate show notes.

As Ted points out, demographic information is valuable both to podcasters and to potential advertisers. Any way you can collect that type of information from your audience is good.

I do see a few sticking points with Ted's idea, however.
  • You're going to have to spend either time or money too create your transcripts
  • I don't see a huge demand for podcast transcripts right now so I'm not sure how many respondents you would get
  • The true power of a transcript, in my opinion, is that it makes your podcast searchable by search engines. In order to realize that value, however, you need to post the transcript on the web. If you post it...who's going to fill out a survey to get it?
It's an innovative idea, however, and perhaps it can be used effectively with other techniques to effectively gather audience demographics.

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2 Comments/Trackbacks


You raise some very valid points! My thoughts on them:

It's reasonably cheap to have students or use something like elance.com to produce transcripts and automated tools are getting better.

Looking at teleseminars, some folks have had success selling both recordings AND transcripts (e.g. Dan Janal at prleads.com) so obviously there is some interest in transcripts of audio.

Free and easy transcripts online would be GREAT for SEO - one potential strategy would be to put them online -- eventually, maybe after a month or two.

Now some podcasts have had success simply saying, "Hey faithful listener, please fill out this survey." Probably the simplest approach. It's worked, for example, for forimmediaterelease.biz

Hey Ted,

I didn't think about freelancers like those on elance. Good idea.

Yes, finding some way to put the transcripts online while not eating into the sales too much would certainly be the holy grail. I think it is a case of one or ther other, though, so perhaps a waiting period like you describe would work.

I think we can all agree that simply asking listeners to fill out a survey is not only ineffective, it's also error prone. Voluntary web surveys have little crediblity in my opinion.

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