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A Podcast is an Ad for Everything Else we Do

I’m on vacation this week, so my posts will be sparer and pithier than usual (I can already hear some of you mutter “good news!”).  But this one I couldn’t resist….

Filmmaker and celebrity podcaster Kevin Smith in USA Today:

Podcasting doesn’t pay the bills, directly “Stuff comes out of it. The podcast itself is like an advertisement for everything else we do.”

This is almost exactly the same thing Adam Carolla told me about his celebrity podcast.  And it’s much the same thing that Gary Vaynerchuk told me about his online videos.

In the world of these upstarts (the world we all now reside in), anyone can create media and the goal isn’t necessarily for the media to be monetizable but for the media to enable the monetization of other things.

In radio, we call this role of media “advertising” – clients don’t make money from their ads, they make money from what they can sell because of their ads.

So this is a back-alley way for brands with a compelling attraction (e.g., Kevin’s or Adam’s podcasts or Gary’s videos) to create content as advertising which, in turn, allows them to sell event tickets or merchandise or books or consulting services or guest appearances on The Apprentice or whatever.

We are entering a world where any brand with easily available tools and no money down can create content that serves as advertising for their goods and services.

Where does that leave the industries which aggregate these same audiences in large numbers?

It leaves them in competition with their clients for the attention of consumers.  It leaves them in the role of amplifying messages for clients to attract consumers to the “owned media” those brands create themselves.  It makes them less essential in a world of empowered consumers, digital tools, and infinite ideas, where media can be owned and earned, not just bought.

Media will still be bought, of course.  But its supply will continue to stretch towards infinity while the demand grows only modestly.

We don’t need more media or cheaper media, we need integrated media across platforms that solve consumer and client problems.

The value in digital initiatives is not necessarily that they pay for themselves out of the box.  The value is that they create a business model for all media to live by in the years to come.

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