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Niche mass media

Saturday’s Guardian magazine carried an article about Internet TV “celebrities”; the people behind such vodcasts as Diggnation, Rocketboom and Ze Frank (ZF’s “The Show” has actually ended but the entire archive is available online – watch it now… I’ll wait).

Without exception all three are well-written, well-produced and feature people with real talent that comes across on-screen.

But are they the exceptions?

It’s true there’s a lot of cack out there – any 14 year old with a web cam and a broadband connection apparently fancies themselves an undiscovered comedy legend in waiting or, even worse, a junior Fearne Cotton – but there are also an awful lot of gems outwith those highlighted by The Grauniad, especially for people with “non-mainstream” interests.

And these people are an advertiser’s dream come true. Why? Let’s use little old me as an example…
As a I drive round during the week, I tend to listen to my iPod rather than the radio. The podcasts that fill my commute include Radio 4’s comedy, MacBreak Weekly, Ask a Ninja, High School Musical (for my daughter you understand, but the songs are so damn catchy… anyway…) and Fighting Talk.

So, ignoring the tweeenage Disney-backed shenanigans for a moment, what do my choices of podcast say about me? I like comedy, Macs, ninjas and football. It’s a small leap but imagine if that was the perfect demographic for a product you were trying to advertise. What mainstream media could reach that audience?

A podcast may only have an audience of, say, 100,000 people – but these are 100,000 people who have sought out that podcast, religiously download that podcast and hang on every word of that podcast. How else would they find out about the latest developments in their tabletop war game?

And – most importantly for advertisers – these are 100,000 people who are active consumers of the product relevant to the podcast’s content.

You could be sure that this wouldn’t be the wasted half of your advertising budget.

ps I’ll blog later about maximising these opportunities. Cause the old methods don’t work!

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