Stop Looking To iTunes – Or, Mommy, Where Do Audiences Come From?

I always know we’re between a rock and a hard place when a student’s first question is “how do I get listed in iTunes?

First of all, the whole process takes about a minute and is explained here.

But the problem is simple, there is this understanding out there that you

A) Produce a Podcast
B) Submit to iTunes
C) Rake in the big money

Sorry, but it isn’t that easy.

It’s more like this.

A) Produce a Podcast that has a viable model for revenue generation.
B) Submit to iTunes so you can be found there on the tiny chance that someone might be looking for you there.
B.5) Grow an audience for your profitable Podcast the way you grow an audience for anything else.
C) Rake in the big money.

Most people get stuck on the “A” part. The rest forget the “B.5” element.

Let’s assume you’ve got a Podcast with a viable model for revenue generation.

Heck, let’s touch on that right now …

If you’re thinking your viable model is advertising, let’s run some simple numbers on a thrice weekly show (which like 3 people have, but that’s another story all together).

Let’s assume you’re getting a very nice $20 CPM.

Let’s assume (for the sake of making the number easy), there is no cost associated with your Podcast.

Let’s assume you want to make $50k a year.

Let’s assume the industry standard 1.6 multiplier to figure out things like insurance, taxes, etc.

So, you’d need to generate $80,000.00.

3 shows a week, 50 weeks a year (take two off for vacation, etc.) is 150 shows.

This means you’d have to generate $533.33 per show.

At a $20 CPM, that means you’d need 26,666 downloads per episode.

And, don’t forget, you’re doing that 3 times a week.

If you can pull off those numbers and get those advertisers, great, but if not, you’re still stuck in part “A.”

So, back to the audience generation thing.

In our experimenting around here, you can generate, at best, about 400 new subscribers, just by being in iTunes. We’ve submitted enough shows to iTunes with no additional marketing to feel fine about that number.

So, where do the other 26,200+ subscribers come from?

Side note – now you know why I don’t really like the massive audience game in my Podcasting ventures. I look for a very profitable niche where I can still make good scratch on a 1,000 subscriberish show. Really, in the end, it is much easier.

But where do you get the audience?

iTunes ain’t bringing it to you.

Podmevio ain’t bringing it to you.

Podango ain’t bringing it to you.

Wizzard ain’t bringing it to you.

Zune ain’t bringing it to you.

Ads on a show with a smaller audience than yours ain’t bringing it to you.

Even passing out business cards at the New Media Expo isn’t where you get your audience.

So, where do you get your audience?

You have to advertise OUTSIDE of the Podcasting “Space.”

The cool thing about that option is that OUTSIDE of the Podcasting “Space” is a pretty big space.

There are billions of people there.

And they want your content.

And it ain’t iTune’s job to show them the way.

It’s yours.

So, what are you going to do about it?

Leave your comments below.

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