When Steve Jobs says there are 160 thousand podcasts, it has to be a thriving business, right? Well for some it certainly is, but those are few and far apart. Basically, podcasts are recurring video shows, served on-site and through RSS. Recurring should mean weekly, but now daily is the new weekly, so the more the merrier. The ad carrot for podcasts is far more enticing as it can be north of $50 per cpm. That ad is sold as a sponsorship and has a list of prerequisites a mile long. More realistic are bulk ads which come in form of pre/post-roll or banners that pay $1-8 per cpm, which is still a lot.
How do you get to that carrot? Well, you have a few factors to work with: viewer-ship, content type, your brand, and infrastructure. The general rule of thumb is 100k views a month. This is measured by actual downloads from various sources, and is the minimum bar to sign a real ad campaign. Now, that number is skewed up if your content isn’t clearly related to a market, and more so if it is concerning for advertisers (like sex or cursing). One method completely at your disposal is your brand, which lowers the viewer bar greatly or raises it, depending on where you land. So, if you’re not Sony, it’s time to get building and make your show a property and community.
The best first step is your own destination site, which will usually directly handle 30% of your viewer-ship. Your infrastructure is adjustable by you but at great cost, as this is principally hiring ad sales, management, and staff. Today, internal infrastructure better maximizes ad value, but outsourced infrastructure at least gets you in the game.
We have a number of highly successful podcast communities built out in Squarespace — Break-a-Leg, and Dad-Labs for starters. Many use Blip.tv for their streaming service, and they’re highly recommended for a good experience. To sum up our advice: focus your energy where you can on a good show, a brand, guerilla marketing and outsource as much infrastructure as you can until you reach your magic viewer number.
Also, check out our manual guide for posting audio podcasts in your journal entries here.