A Second Podvertising Perspective: Explaining Once More Why Podcast Product Peddling Couldn’t Hurt


In two years podcasting has grown from a fringe craze, to the next big thing and is now a household word. Podcasters themselves have grown from hobbyists to professionals with a business side to compliment their creative side. A quick review of the iTunes Music Store’s podcast showcase reveals programming not only from podcasting pioneers like Dawn and Drew or Steve Gillmor but from mainstream sources like television, radio and print news outlets, entertainment companies, movie studios and educational and religious institutions.

While the programming on podcasts has grown from the genre’s early experimental days, so has interest from marketers and advertisers who view this new medium as a new vehicle to reach customers.

For marketers and advertisers, the allure of podcasting is in its ability to reach specific niche audiences. If you want to reach wine enthusiasts, a sponsorship on Winecast or any of several other wine podcasts costs a lot less than an ad in Wine Spectator and is a lot more targeted.

And just as advertisers have begun to show interest in working with podcasters, so have podcasters begun to think of ways they can open their doors and work with advertisers. Podcasting networks have sprung up to support the business side of podcasting. Standards have developed with regards to the way in which advertising and sponsorship can best be integrated into podcast programming so that advertisers and podcasters aren’t reinventing the wheel.

There are many advantages to advertising on podcasts.

While television and radio are still somewhat tied to specific times and locations, podcasting literally exists outside of time and space. People watch TV in their living rooms; they listen to radio in their cars. Podcasts, on the other hand, can go wherever you can take an MP3 player — to the gym, along for a commute, on a walk or to the mall. In that sense, podcasting is a much more intimate medium.

Podcasts are truly multi-channel opportunities. Not only can you get a mention on a podcast itself but there are opportunities on the web site or blog of the podcaster. Sometimes these opportunities are even greater. The publisher and one of the editors of The Mac Observer, for example, host the Mac Geek Gab Podcast. So a sponsorship of the podcast can be tied to an ad on the main web site reaching many more hundreds of thousands of viewers a month.


  1. David, this is a fantastic article and one I hope readers/advertisers will take to heart. People tend to forget that podcasts allow for niche marketing to the nth degree and that advertising for that specific an audience can increase your ROI more effectively than a scattershot radio ad in a market where you’re not sure who’s listening.

    Advertisers also can learn from podcasters in terms of the value-add mentality listeners demands from their podcast shows. Gone (hopefully) is the Used-Car salesperson approach to advertising your product/service; consumers now demand honest depictions of a company in a relationship-marketing paradigm. Or at least an entertaining spot that shows you aren’t speaking down to them.

    Great article.

  2. I too would agree with David’s assessment. More broadly, I would argue that Podcasting actually offers a myriad of advantages to all communications professionals, as well as marketers, over the traditional methodologies.

    At CityCast, we’ve summarized the advantages of Podcasting in the following 5 pillars;

    1) Offers the ability to develop customized client-centric media.

    2) Media continues to “live-on” and reach new audiences over time.

    3) Enhanced visibility online – allows a clients message to be delivered beyond their own site.

    4) Fully on message – gone are those traditional barriers, which would potentially skew a campaign off of its intended message.

    5) Measurable impressions – the results are real and straight-forward – no more doctored numbers.

    Jason Cohen
    President, CityCast Media, LLC.
    Specializing in Podcasts, Webcasts, Blogs, & RSS Technologies

  3. I’m not too familiar with podcasting and how it works, but I do know the basics of it. I think that it is an excellent way for advertisers to reach out to their customers while at the same time reaching to a whole new audience that would never see their advertisement if it were on television or radio. Many people are constantly browsing the web to look for news and information. Podcasting allows people to take the news with them. There are some questions that come to mind when thinking about this. How far are the advertisers going to go? Who is responsible for making sure that the podcasts are suitable for all audiences?


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