Center >> March 2007
percent growth in advertising and sponsorships projected for the
medium by 2011.
by AICPA Custom Media Solutions
Podcast advertising and sponsorships grew to $80
million last year, up from only $3.1 million in 2005, and eMarketer,
the New York-based market research firm projects podcast sponsorships
will grow five-fold to roughly $400 million in the next half decade.
As a rule, the most widely consumed podcasts still
have less than 50,000 downloaders, and most have far fewer, but
podcast distribution and viewing mechanisms are proliferating and
podcast advertising has marketers buzzing, says eMarketer.
is a niche marketing channel. It may be the right niche for some
marketers, but it's still a niche," says James Belcher, eMarketer
senior analyst and the author of the new Podcast Advertising report.
"The fact that podcasts are supplemental ad channels for most
marketers is not for lack of choice, however. Downloadable serialized
short content format is increasingly available, and iPod sales are
"Podcast sponsorship uses the medium's strengths:
self-selected subscribers, host endorsements and low-waste ad impressions,"
says Mr. Belcher. "Yet the time and effort required to develop
an effective sponsorship will keep podcasting from cannibalizing
ad dollars in other channels anytime soon."
As of now, only a minority of US Internet users
listen to podcasts, but according to the "Podcast Downloading"
report from the Pew
Internet & American Life Project, roughly 12 percent of
Internet users say they have downloaded a podcast to listen to or
view at a later time.
The audience of people who have been exposed to
podcasts is growing. That number compares to seven percent of Internet
users who reported downloading a podcast in Pew's February-April
Mary Madden of Pew, the author of the report, estimated
in a podcast interview that 17 million people had downloaded podcasts
for use on their computers or iPods.
"The bad news is that in surveys only one percent
of respondents reported downloading a podcast on a typical day,"
says Mr. Belcher. "In other words, the frequency level remains
for podcasters is: Can they deliver the right, well-targeted
niche audiences at comparative or at least competitive
ad rates? In the business-to-business space, the answer seems to
be trending toward the yes side of the equation.