I am an avid fan of podcasts. I listen to many hours a week of interesting and compelling content completely on my own schedule. The TWiT Network produces some of the best, including This Week in Tech, MacBreak Weekly and Roz Rows the Pacific. Leo Laporte is a master behind the microphone.
Leo continues to chase profitability by adding an ever-increasing array of sponsors for his “netcasting” ventures. Drobo and GoToMeeting are recent additions and he is pushing the boundaries of tolerance with the seemingly endless droning on about Visa’s security protection for online fraud.
The award for the long-time favorite sponsor, however, would have to go to Audible — the stalwart anchor that continues to support Leo’s multi-faceted network. And Leo is not alone, as many podcasters are enjoying the revenue producing sponsorship of Audible.com. Could there be a more perfect match for Audible’s target market? Certainly the person who is willing to jam ear buds into his head and listen to two hours of TWiT a week is the ideal market for Audible’s audio books.
But I can’t help but wonder if the budding podcasters, in their enthusiasm to generate revenue for their efforts, have not inadvertently allowed a Trojan horse into their camp. Hear me out. There are a finite number of hours that I have available in a week to listen to audio content. I currently spend all of those available hours listening to my favorite podcasts. Audible’s products are in direct competition for my attention with the very podcasts that carry them as advertisers. If I respond to the Audible ad and buy a book, or worse, a monthly subscription to books, the time to listen to those books is drawn directly from the time I normally spend listening to podcasts.
Audible 1, Podcasters 0.
It would be like McDonald’s in-store advertising carrying spots for Burger King. Or a radio station carrying ads for satellite radio. I am not a marketing guru but me thinks it might be wise to be a bit more selective in the choice of sponsors.