A Record Breaking Quarter for Podcasts

Grammar Girl Logo - Mignon Fogarty

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Podcast network Wizzard Media reports that 3rd quarter was a record breaking one for them, with 445 million podcasts downloaded in the 3 months. Wizzard provides hosting, ad serving tools, measurement and monetization services to more than15,000 podcast shows. Most of that is episodic programming, so the actual number of available podcast shows for download is well over a million.

The record breaking traffic came in the summer months, when listening generally slows.  “We attribute this surge to the continued success of Apple’s products, the expansion of Wizzard’s App product and the growth of the audience that has access to podcasts via iTunes.” said Chris Spencer, Wizzard Media CEO.

In fact, 65% of the podcasts they host are downloaded via iTunes, while other Zune and Blackberry are the other major vehicles. In addition, Wizzard offers an embeddable player that makes it easy for listeners to download podcasts directly.

They’re in the business of helping people make a business out of podcasting – Wizzard sells podcast hosting and ad serving solutions to content providers and also offers them revenue sharing opportunities.

So what are people listening to? Top podcasts on the network include Adam Carolla, English as a Second Language Podcast, Learn French, Smodcast, Joe Rogan, Mark Maron and GrammergirlEducation, music and comedy genres dominate the top 20. Top shows are seeing millions of downloads a month.

Ad sales are mostly based on cpms and range, according to Rob Walch, VP Podcaster Relations from $2 for remnant to $45-$50 for certain programs (Wow!) Their advertiser list includes Ford, Coca-cola, Amazon owned Audible, Subway, Netflix, JC Penney and others. Wizzard uses Nielsen Net Ratings for 3rd party verification of ad impressions, an important piece for agency sales.

Podcasting is growing at Wizzard Media – they’ve watched downloaded podcasts move from 1.1 billion in 08 to 1.4 billion in 09 to 1.8 billion (approx) this year. What’s not to like about that?

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