Last week, we had the pleasure of a visit from one of our more “famous” clients, Oscar Zeballos, from the radio team Big O and Dukes. Contensive developed the application that runs the back office and billing side of their online podcast site bigoanddukes.com. Oscar was here to review the progress of the new billing application we are building for his site, but the conversation quickly evolved into a discussion of the state of radio and podcasting. According to Oscar traditional radio has evolved to a point where the business model is driving the content thus stifling creativity and uniqueness of the radio artist.
Personality driven shows can be found on the radio, but there are fewer and fewer of them and those that remain are typically syndicated shows that spread the production costs across multiple markets.
As Oscar said, “We all got into this business to express our creativity. Unfortunately, the business side of radio has forced the content to become vanilla. It is much easier sell top 40 music than alternative rock, and easier to sell local sports talk than two guys who have a segment where they rate snack foods.”
This is one of the reasons that podcasting has become so popular for personality driven shows and non-main stream topic shows. The amount of money required by a traditional radio station to support a tower, electricity, staff, sales, and talent is astronomical compared the infrastructure expenses of a podcast. The smaller expense footprint allows podcasters time to build their loyal audience. A good podcaster can tell you with precision the number of plays that each podcast receives, and who is actually listening. And advertisers are staring to listen as well. Without the huge expense of “run of air” campaigns an advertiser can gain exclusivity to a podcast and know exactly who is listening and when. And when teamed with a good podcaster the call to action can be such that there is a measurable response rate.
Oscar, who also works in marketing promotions, states that he knows that a targeted podcast will outperform radio any day of the week, and advertisers are starting to understand that as well. This is just another example of how inbound marketing can replace and improve on traditional marketing. The trick is to find a podcast with a large enough audience that matches your demographic, meet with the hosts and work with them to integrate your marketing message into their content presentation and you now have another cost efficient arrow in your inbound quiver, replacing the expensive scatter shot gun of traditional marketing.
Note—“Big O and Dukes” podcasts can be found on iTunes and on their site www.bigoanddukes.com. They produce a weekly show to over 30,000 fanatical subscribers.