Wizzard Media, the largest podcast network, has made it easier for broadcasters to monetize podcasts with its newly announced partnership with Ando Media for ad measurement and ad insertion. Wizzard provides hosting and ad insertion services to podcast content providers, and broadcasts millions of podcast impressions each day. They currently distribute about a third of the top 400 podcasts on Itunes (the main source for podcast content).
“Podcast audiences comprise the smartest, most product-aware consumer demographic in the world, with most downloads passingthrough Apple’s iTunes service. We’re excited to work with Ando Media and their ad partners to target specific products to the right buyers,” said Wizzard CEO, Chris Spencer. Non-intrusive advertisements will be stitched to the beginning, middle or end of participating audio podcast programming in the Wizzard network that now includes over 17,000 content producers and over 1.2 billion download requests per year.
Interest in listening to podcasts is growing, according to research by Pew Internet and American Life Project. Nearly one out of every five adults (19%) have downloaded and listened to a podcast, and that number is up from 12% in 2006. (See chart from my earlier post here.) Wizzard Media hosts content and received an average of 2.75 million requests for podcast episodes per day in 2007, a nearly 300% increase over the daily average in 2006. WCBS sees 700-800,000 downloads a month and significant revenue from its podcast content. (reported earlier here.)
Podcasts are an excellent opportunity for broadcasters, who already produce lots of unique content, to connect with their audience in a highly engaging form. Because the listener selects, subscribes, and downloads the content to listen, the content-to-listener connection is greater. Podcasts should be sold as a more engaging, hyper-targeted medium. Distributors like Wizzard Media provide easy platforms for audio content to be distributed and monetized.
Ando Media has released its January Top 20 – a ranking of the Top 20 Internet radio stations or groups of stations. The most significant change from last month is that CBSRadio – which for the first time last month was rolled into the Katz Online Network number – is now not included in that network’s number. According to Brian Benedik of Katz 360, “CBS’ stations are still part of our network, but they are choosing to only be shown as a standalone network in the Webcast Metrics ranker.”
Katz Online Network posts a total week (Monday – Sunday 6am – midnight) cume of just over 4 million and an AQH of about 270,000. CBSRadio shows a cume of 4.5 million but an AQH of 120,000. Clear Channel’s network of online stations posts a cume of 2 million, and an AQH of 75,000.
By comparison, CBSRadio’s ratio of AQH to Cume is much lower than the other two networks. I asked Jordan Mendell of Ando Media to explain. “AOL listeners account for a significant amount of CBSRadio’s network AQH, and the listening sessions for AOL are not as long as those of other stations, says Mendell. “For example, the average time spent listening for AOL channels is 60 minutes while the average time spent listening for Clear Channel is 96 minutes.”
It makes sense that a huge portal like AOL would get a lot of people sampling the radio streams, but not necessarily listening for as long as people who listen to stations at websites where the radio station is the destination (purpose) for visiting the site.
Online broadcasters continue to post significant audience numbers – Digitally Imported, 977Music, 1.fm and AccuRadio were the top online brands in the survey. AccuRadio’s numbers were off of their November-December high. (That station does particularly well with its offering of multiple holiday channels.) Other big broadcasters in the top ten: Entercom, Cox, Citadel, and ESPNRadio.