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What podcasters get wrong about advertising

Written by Justin on September 24, 2016

While there’s lots of innovation in technology, there’s not much innovation in how businesses make money.

Regardless of whether you’re running a podcast, a newspaper, or a YouTube channel, there are really only two revenue models:

  1. Sell advertising to sponsors who want to sell to your audience
  2. Sell a product / service to your audience

If you want to sell ads, this history is instructive:

The decline of newspaper advertising and what it means for podcasts

This is from Thomas Baekdal’s article, and it’s worth a read. Specifically his distinction between “high purchase intent advertising” (Google) and “low intent advertising” (newspapers and Facebook).

The challenge for podcasters:

Even Alex Blaumberg, of Gimlet, is feeling this squeeze:

There’s one more problem with advertising, and it’s a business problem. I’m not sure the money will keep flowing. Right now advertising rates are high. But historically they’ve fluctuated quite a bit. The companies lining up to advertise on our shows right now might evaporate. Or, decide they’re willing to pay us, just a lot less. You need to diversify your revenue base.

Given this environment, it’s going to get increasingly difficult for small indie shows to make a living through advertising.

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