This story in today’s Los Angeles Times Business section, about how iTunes is promoting podcasts by Los Angeles NPR affiliate KCRW-FM, points out quite well why podcasting makes economic sense.
Expanded Reach – Listeners outside a broadcaster’s terrestrial footprint can get access to programs that may not be available on their local air ways.
“One thing it could mean is more money for KCRW’s coffers. The nonprofit station relies on the generosity of 500,000 over-the-air listeners and funds from program sponsors.
Seymour expects that 10% of the station’s podcasting listeners will each eventually donate as much as $80 a year to the station. If the trend continues, Seymour anticipates the station may raise an additional $1 million a year, a big potential shot in the arm for its $10-million annual budget. Already, Internet radio aficionados outside of Los Angeles make up 12% of KCRW’s donors.”
Untapped Advertising Revenue – Many podcast already feature advertisers. It’s a natural for radio broadcasters, but publishers can also leverage podcasting to realize an entirely new source of advertising dollars.
“KCRW also expects to solicit more underwriters by offering to mention companies at the beginning of podcasts. Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus brand paid tens of thousands of dollars last month to have the company’s name mentioned for six months in KCRW podcasts, on the station’s website, on the air and at a concert.”
I recently completed a series of Podcasts for Ecast Corporation, which sponsored production. The program format I created positioned the sponsor’s ad after an opening sound bite, but before the main body of the program.