A new report by EMarketer this week discusses the revenue opportunity for podcasts as small. Citing Online Spending projections by Zenith Optimedia, they report that spending on podcasting will be $28million in 2009 and increase to $43million by 2011 – a mere 0.2% of predicted total online spending.
This year 21.9 million people (11.9% of US Internet Users) will download or stream at least one podcast per month. While advertising is increasing, says EMarketer, it’s increasing slowly from a low base and is not about to make anyone rich.
None of this information spells doom for podcasting. As I have emphasized before, podcasting is not a mass appeal medium like radio. It requires effort and engagement on the part of the listener, and therefore is well suited to premium, desirable content. The level of engagement of the audience merits premium pricing as well.
To optimize podcasting’s revenue opportunity, content producers must understand who the listener is and identify advertisers who can perceive the value of engaging with those consumers in a highly targeted format. Since advertising these days is all about targetability, this shouldn’t be a challenge.