Mario Sundar

LinkedIn's 2nd PR hire. These are my thoughts on products, public relations, and startups.

It’s Podcastic!

A lot has been happening in the world of vlogging and podcasts and I haven’t been talking about them as much as I want to. One of the most interesting articles I read recently on podcasting was by Gregory Galant, CEO of Radio Tail (blog), where he attempts to debunk 5 myths that plague our understanding of podcasts.

Here’s my take. Those where I believe the myth is true are marked “True“; else marked “False“. Simple!

Myth #1: There’s a huge incentive to fast forward ads (True)

RadioTail being the podcasting advertiser they are, the first myth Greg attempts to debunk, is essentially behind the very nature of podcast advertising. Would listeners skip ads? Gregory makes a valid point that it’s inconvenient to skipping ads on a podcast since unlike TiVo, podcasting is not about using a remote control, rather it is about an ad/podcast running in the background while you carry out other primary activities — like jogging or working out.

Myth #2: You can’t know the profile of a podcast’s listeners or viewers (False)

I think marketers have a valid point when they feel they don’t have the control and flexibility to run research on podcast usage. To an extent, it’s true. Market Researchers DO NOT have the depth of data that they normally require to slice-and-dice information as they normally do. The only stats you can glean from your RSS feed are (i) subscription numbers & (ii) download numbers. Let us not forget that one of the biggest benefits for users is the anonymity that RSS/podcasting provides and they aren’t going to give it up anytime soon by providing you more info.

However, let’s look at this from another strategic point-of-view. Direct Marketing/Email Marketing is about SELLING, while RSS Marketing/Podcasting is about EVANGELIZING. You start a blog/podcast to basically share your knowledge, which may or may not translate to a sale, but the fact is your target audience will TRUST you more and that may lead them to ENGAGE in a conversation rather than with your competitors. So when they have questions about a product/service, whom do they turn to? The product experts a.k.a the podcasters, a.k.a YOU.

And, that alone is reason enough for marketers to engage in podcasting.

Myth #3: There are an abundance of phantom downloaders inflating statistics
(True)

I’m not sure about this one, but as I said in my previous point — It is possible to check how many RSS subscribers actually download and listen to your podcast, so there ought to be no concerns about inflated stats when it comes to actual listenership. I’m with Greg on this one.

Myth #4: Creating an effective podcast is cheap and easy (False)

Of course creating a podcast is easy. But I guess the point Greg makes here, is how effective will that be. I’m of two minds here. One of the basic benefits of podcasting is that it empowers the common man to start pontificating on his favorite topics and if he’s as good as these (Top 25 Podcasts by hits) the show’ll definitely be a hit. I don’t think the equipment impacts the content quality of a podcast and so I’d have to differ with Greg on this one too. Creating an effective podcast IS easy AND cheap.

Myth #5: You need to do distribution deals for a podcast (True)

Greg’s right; there are no distribution deals for podcasts – yet. All you need is simple content creation tools and the delivery mechanism for all to use is RSS. So jump into the studio and start creating your own podcasts.

Feel free to differ with me or with Greg by posting your comments down below. You can also check out the entire iMedia article here.

If you want to know more about podcasting in general, check out my earlier posts here, here and here. Most importantly, Podcasting 101.

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One Response

  1. […] 4. Greg Galant: Had a brief conversation with Gregory Galant, CEO of Radio Tail (blog), whose recent iMedia article I had discussed in this little earlier post of mine. […]

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