Yes Virginia, Podcast Download Numbers Are Important

I get really frustrated with the lower level discourse out there regarding Podcast networks and who “sucks,” etc. A comment was made by someone who gets a lot of press for making outrageous comments that I would have ignored but …

It got Curry from Podshow to respond with some very interesting facts and numbers – something this industry doesn't talk about enough. I point you to his original post here. But must make some comments accordingly.

PodShow doesn’t sell advertising based on downloads. We sell the relationship between a (podcast) producer/host and the audience.

Good to hear. I've said it since day 1 – if our only option for monetization is traditional CPM-based ad sales, we're sunk.

Podshow’s brand advertisers place a very high value on our network’s ability to involve audiences with our promotions, to convert them to enthusiastic customers. A quick back of the napkin calculation puts our cpm at $100 and higher.

Gorgeous. I would love to have some of the other advertising in Podcast types tell me what their effective CPM is. Get me a ~$100 CPM third-party-advertising-only show and I'd consider doing one myself.

And, admit it, so would you.

For the record, In December 2006 the network produced 52 million download requests.

NICE. Awesome sir! Congrats. Anybody in our industry with any other response needs to ask themselves some serious questions about what makes them tick.

Of the (at time of writing) 103 comments that follow his post, I can only imagine there will be lots of “notice how he doesn't say “downloads” or completed, etc. …. what is he trying to hide?

One of the things I really like about Podshow is their understanding that this ain't just slapping a 15 second pre-roll on something and whining because you only get radio rates for a radio paradigm. They're attempting a network and their attempt a new generation of advertising that something like Podcasting can enable. “Download requests” are the only thing you can call them when your network includes non-Podcast elements (music anyone?) and content that is both downloaded both via iTunes (I get Geekbriefed often on my Xbox using the WMV feed) as well as direct click-to-play links at the Podshow site. You tell me what term he should use?

My readers know I've been frustrated with Podshow's relationship to the PME and believe we can all be big enough to play in the same sandbox. I may question a business technique or two, but I too consider us all big enough to play in the same sandbox.

But take note … They got 52 million download requests 12/2006.

Yes, Virginia, Podcast download numbers are important.

And these are important numbers.

How can this not be “important” for anyone who reads this blog?

p.s., I should be getting some more information about Podshow soon and helping make some real sense of these numbers. A panel I'm moderating at Corporate Podcasting Summit Europe (entitled “Podcast sponsorship and how you make it work“) has Daniel Winner, General Manager of PodShow UK on the slate. Curry also promised to do my Profitable Podcasting show after the bru-hah-hah around the Alexa question a few weeks back.

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