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Trying to Make Money From Podcasting

Posted: December 31st, 1969 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Trying to Make Money From Podcasting

Picture of Irv Owens Web DeveloperI listen to tons of podcasts, however I do not create them. The primary reason for this, is that I can't think of anything more boring than listening to me drone on and on about Microsoft, blah, blah, blah for around an hour. Blogging is another thing, it is completely different than podcasting in that Blogging doesn't have to be entertaining.

Many people use technical blogs, or semi-technical blogs like this one for reference, at least I hope. There is information that you may find in a blog that, while you won't want to read the entire blog, you probably will want to read at least a portion, or copy the code from it. With a podcast however, there is almost no chance that you are using it for reference. Podcasts are for fun.

Now that is not to say that there aren't plenty of blogs out there that aren't fun, but I can't find as many fun, silly blogs that are doing well as there are podcasts that are. That being said, one would think that it would be much easier to produce podcasts that are going to generate revenue than it would to generate blogs that would produce money. Unfortunately that is an assumption that is completely wrong. Because podcasts have to be entertaining, they can take a lot to produce, whereas a blog is really a very simple thing to publish. That limits the threshold of entry, and causes many to look for ways to earn some of their expense back. In addition while some blogs are generating gigabytes of throughput across their host, it isn't uncommon for the average to good podcast to use hundreds of gigabytes of bandwidth per month.

With those issues, and the desire to recoup this expense, podcasters have a hard time generating enough from ads to break even let alone turn a profit. It would take some type of “blogger” for podcasts to make it possible to earn money through podcasting.

Podcasting seems similar in a lot of respects to ham radio. It is an expensive hobby that is immensely satisfying if you are into it and have friends around the world. I'd imagine that producing your own podcast and having it become successful would be a great feeling, the only problem is that it would be tough to remain independent. Probably the way that podcasts will make money is through selling out to big media. I can see something like the “Lost” podcast doing really well with kickbacks from the networks, or an EA podcast about Madden or whatever. This is where there is money in podcasts, however the issue then is how do you get people to download them, and once they do, how do you compete with the 50 other podcasts that may be better.

I think that the money in podcasting, similar to the gold rush, will be in supplying the podcasters. I know that Digidesign is making a lot of money off of selling gear to podcasters, I'd imagine that many others are too. It's a hobby and it's fun, but I'm not sure that anyone will find a business model in it. Probably the biggest example of someone making money off of selling gear to the hobbyists, is Apple. They can afford to supply podcasts because it creates an almost endless source of material to feed the iPod. I do smell another bubble around open source and public produced media.