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How Can Podcasters Make Podcast Advertising Better?
Episode 2326th October 2022 • Podcast Pontifications • Evo Terra
00:00:00 00:10:47

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The podcast advertising business is, once again, taking it on the chin,

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blasted from inside the industry and out.

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What can podcasters and podcast listeners do about it?

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Hello, and welcome to another Podcast Pontifications with me, Evo Terra.

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Fucking advertising.

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There, I said it.

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Fucking advertising, some will say, is completely ruining podcasting

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on both sides of the equation.

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From ad buyers who are paying for podcast plays that ran inside of

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mobile video games - I mean seriously, read Sounds Profitable's article for

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today to get the insight on that - to listeners like me having to skip

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through, and I'm not kidding, five ads for a total of four minutes and

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fifteen seconds to get to listen to less than seventeen minutes of content.

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That's a 20% ad load, by the way.

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It bears repeating, fucking advertising.

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Only this isn't a rant against podcast advertising.

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Now, don't get me wrong, I am no fan of advertising, which is weird to say.

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Longtime listeners know that I had a decades spanning career in advertising

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until I quit the industry in 2014.

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Okay, well, "quit" may be too strong a word, as I've dabbled in/advised on

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advertising in the podcasting space for the better part of two years now.

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But no, this isn't a rant against podcast advertising because as much as we hate

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to admit it, advertising is what powers a lot of the podcasts we listen to.

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Which isn't surprising as advertising is what powers most of the content we

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consume, at least on our televisions, our mobile devices, and a lot more than that.

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So, no, I'm not complaining about podcast advertising on this

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episode of Podcast Pontifications.

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Instead, I'm asking you, the podcast creator, to accept the responsibility

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that comes with advertising.

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Just take a look at many of the negative comments left in the reviews of podcasts.

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One of the top complaints is almost always "Too many ads."

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And that is a valid complaint in some cases, a valid complaint that consumers

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have about a lot of the content they consume where they don't have any choice

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but to suffer through the advertising.

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But podcast listeners aren't without choices because podcast

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creators can offer ad-free options to their listeners, and that's

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easier to do today than ever before.

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Subscription services built natively into Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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Add free feeds via Patreon, Supercast, Buy Me A Coffee, even.

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Network specific apps like Wondery+ and Realm.

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Chances are, if a podcast you listen to is running ads, a lot of ads, there's

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probably an ad-free option for you.

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And by the way, if there is not, then you should feel obligated or at least

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empowered to pressure the podcasts you listen to to create an ad-free experience.

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Because again, as I just said, that's easier to do today than ever before.

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The issues that I see and have encountered recently that are inhibiting

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adoption of these ad-free sources is twofold - friction and awareness.

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Friction means that the travel from listening to a freely available on any

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podcast listening app show, and then the ad-free podcast is burdensome.

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Now, if the app has both the ad supported and the ad-free feed

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available, then this friction is lessened, but it's still there with the

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possible exception of Apple Podcasts.

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They do make it pretty easy.

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But for everything else, at least everything I'm aware of,

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it means resubscribing to a new feed, which probably isn't even

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in that listening app's directory.

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Or it means downloading a brand new app, which has no idea where you, the

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listener, were when you decided to switch to listen to the ad-free experience.

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Like I said, friction.

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And there isn't much that we podcasters can do about that friction.

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And yes, that sucks, but we can do something about the second

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inhibiting factor, awareness.

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We can make listeners aware that yes, this you are listening to is

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an ad supported feed, but there is an option, or options I guess, to

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get an ad-free listening experience.

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We need to do this reminder not just once in our episodes, but maybe

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a few times in a single episode.

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Maybe, and I'm sure the advertisers are gonna hate this idea, at the

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start of a three run ad block in the middle of the episode.

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Maybe some sort of impassioned plea that says, yeah, I know you hate all these

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ads I'm putting in there, but look, it costs about $150,000 to make this show.

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That's not a crazy number, by the way.

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And it's way more than that if you're making high quality fiction podcasts.

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It costs us that much money each and every year, so yeah, we run ads that you

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can totally opt out of by going here.

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And then being very specific where you point to on the "here" part.

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And there's one other thing that we podcasters can do.

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We can stop complaining about ads in podcasting.

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Production costs, like all costs, continue to rise.

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The quality bar continues to be raised higher and higher, causing

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podcast creators to then rise to that new level, incurring more costs.

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Podcasting may still be a fun hobby to most, and, and by the way, I

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truly hope that it stays that way.

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But the industry of podcasting is driven forward by those who treat

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podcasting like a business, and, for many, ads as well as ad-free options,

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that's a very big part of the business.

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So let's at least accept that fact, shall we?

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And with that, I shall be back next week with yet another Podcast Pontifications.

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Cheers!

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Podcast Pontifications is written and narrated by Evo Tara.

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He's on a mission to make podcasting better.

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Links to everything mentioned in today's episode are in the notes

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section of your podcast listening app.

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A written-to-be-read article based on today's episode is available at

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podcastpontifications.com where you'll also find a video version and a corrected

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transcript, both created by Allie Press.

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Podcast Pontifications is a production of Simpler Media.