Holes In The “Google Adwords For Podcasting” Theories

Man, eMarketer is getting good press for a report that not only doesn't come out until the 22nd, but seemingly has the plot twist already out of the bag (nope, I still haven't seen the report – they promise it to me Thursday). BusinessWeek picked up the story now and well, there are some real holes in the “Google Adwords for Podcasting” theories that I thought I might mention.

First of all, Google is failing miserably in the audio realm. Not only do they have no understanding what a Podcast is (at least the Google Base team) but their purchase of Dmarc has resulted only in the top execs departing (after a rumored frustration with their purchase price via the YouTube purchase price). Obviously, Google can learn what Podcasting is and hire back some smart people, but they haven't “started' well.

Secondly – the comparison of Adwords and Podcast insertion is along the lines of comparing the old Atari 2600 game “Combat” to the coming release of Halo 3. Yes, a lot of kids are going to be spending a lot of time in front of their televisions because of Halo but , … it is slightly more complicated than that first 2k game. Dynamic insertion requires an understanding of the content you are inserting within (easy when you have the text content indexed – much harder when you're dealing with audio content) and the tech to get these ads inserted is going to be much more complicated than a few lines of Javascript. Yes, it can happen – but it won't be as easy (for either party), and the complication will make the numbers far less than desirable (for either side).

Finally, and this has been my beef all along, the numbers for random insertions will never ad up.

A show with numbers that make an ad strategy viable will never let a computer program insert random ads on their behalf for a piece of the action. There are plenty of ad sales type who can pull better numbers (even after their commission).

A show without the numbers to make an ad strategy viable aren't gonna work with a complicated ad insertion system to make no money.

But Paul, aren't these the same with Adwords/Adsense?


I have several sites that are making 50% more via Adsense than the average ad guy says he/she can get me (before commission). When an advertiser pulls out, the same javascript I had inserted into my system brings up the next ad. I don't have to change a thing.

Yes, that “automation” could be part of a Google audio ad insertion engine but the numbers still aren't there.

Show me an advertiser that wants to generically market to Podcasts with listening audiences of dozens.

I have several sites where I'd lose a great deal of money if I replaced my affiliate opportunities with Adsense. So, guess what … I don't.

Adsense makes sense in certain markets and sites. That is where it does well.

I can't find a Podcast scenario where a Google audio ad insertion would make sense. Can you?

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