Twice a week over 250,000 people listen to Mohr Stories, the popular audio podcast that actor and comedian Jay Mohr hosts and produces from his garage in Los Angeles, California. The past several months have seen Mohr’s podcast rise from nonexistence to a consistent spot among the top 50 podcasts in iTunes – despite the fact that Mohr Stories has had little in the way of promotion aside from some featured placement in the iTunes Store itself.
That’s over 2 million consumers per month intently listening to Mohr and his guests for an hour or more, and yet only in the past few weeks has Mohr’s podcast contained what you might call “traditional” ad spots for nationally recognized products – still very much a rarity in the podcast world.
Podcasts by their very nature are a unique medium and represent unique advertising opportunities. As such I’m stunned at the lack of sponsor messages contained within them.
Consider the following:
Here in Portland, Oregon where I live, no other locally produced podcast is more popular than cortandfatboy – a daily podcast by former radio personalities Cort Webber and Bobby “Fatboy” Roberts. While their listener numbers might pale in comparison to shows produced by nationally known comedians like Jay Mohr or Marc Maron, Webber and Roberts have nonetheless proven that podcast sponsorship can be beneficial to advertisers – particularly those advertisers with a niche or local audience.
Andrew McIntire, Senior Director of Retail Operations at Things From Another World (TFAW), a sister company of Dark Horse Comics says “TFAW has seen great gains in maximizing our brand equity through our partnership with Cort Webber and Bobby Roberts of cortandfatboy. On both a local and national level we have seen that their objective (and witty) ‘geek cred,’ and the trust this engenders amongst their fan base, translate to not only an increase in generating goodwill for our brand but in measurable bottom line increases as well.”
Measurable bottom line increases. In other words, advertising on a podcast has led directly to sales. McIntire and TFAW have seen so much benefit from working with the cortandfatboy podcast that they’ve “…recognized far greater success than with many comparable ‘structured’ advertising relationships.”
A survey conducted by Edison Research and Arbitron in May 2012 showed that one in six Americans had listened to a podcast in the last month alone, and a full 72% of them use the Internet as their primary means of consuming information – nearly 3 times more than television, radio, and newspapers combined.
It seems incredibly odd to me that advertisers, so many of whom are desperate to find new ways to advertise in digital and social media, are overlooking such a large and web-savvy demographic. Aren’t these the very same consumers that they’d be hoping to reach with Facebook ad campaigns or via Twitter? And if so, wouldn’t it be quite a bit more effective to find out where else, beyond social media, these consumers can be reached?
1 in 6 can be found regularly consuming podcasts – and your message isn’t getting through to them because you aren’t advertising there. It’s only a matter of time before someone else does.