GenuineVC David Beisel's Perspective on Digital Change

May 13, 2006

I’ve expressed my skepticism about the adoption of podcasting in the past, in addition to questioning what the term really means (and will mean in the future). So while I don’t put a lot of weight in the figures cited in this OMMA article, it does highlight some novel use-cases of advertorial portable audio content. The article opens, “While consumers who tune into podcasts have the ability to skip through ads, it’s very possible they won’t want to because the content they’re downloading may actually be the ad.”

Some of the article’s suggested advertorial uses include choosing a nightlife destination or a car dealership, or a virtual tour of a retail outlet which consumers could listen to as they browse through the store. It quotes Kip Cassino, director of research for Borrell (the analyst firm which produced the report with the figures mentioned),

“Podcasting is a function of the capability of mobile technology, and the mobile phone is already used for a lot more than just communication… I don’t think, in the end, that we’re going to even call it podcasting, because what it’s going to be five years from now is much more than just a transmission of information.”

I find myself agreeing with his sentiment above, but just perhaps not his overly-optimistic projections. There is a lot of magic that occurs in advertorial content – where the content is the advertising, and we see many examples such traditional retailer catalogs, online shopping comparison engines, and job vertical search sites, just to name a few. This article opened my own eyes to yet another media type where advertorial can be applied: in portable audio content. When advertising audio is able to become location-specific (or at least location-relative), there is a lot of power there in the long run. That being said, I believe we’re a ways off from seeing what analysts can envision as turning into reality in the near term.

  • Paul

    “When advertising audio is able to become location-specific (or at least location-relative), there is a lot of power there in the long run.”

    I take this in two ways -

    1. At point of download location relative. The advertisment someone gets in their content is based on a whole host of factors one being the location of the downloader. This is easy, and done today, by the podcast advertising group I work for.

    2. At point of listen location relative. The audio ad being played is for the store or other location you are presently in. Something that is very activly being worked on today. When listening to audio on cellphones it is possible (but not always easy from a carrier standpoint) to get the aproximate location of the listener at the time of play.

    So with both of these location targeting methods possible – in the near term – do the analysts forecasts look any better?

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