How to ruin a podcast

A while back I signed up for the CBS News Katie Couric podcast. Called at various times “Katie’s Notebook,” then “Couric’s Notebook,” now “CBSNews.com Notebook,” the segment is 60 seconds of Katie on one topic or another. At least it was, until they tagged it with a 30 second pharma ad for erectile dysfunction.

So they took a 60 second segment that wasn’t great or substantive to begin with and increased its length by 50% with a bad spot. Then they decided to do this every day with the same bad spot.

In our zeal to monetize our online content, remember that podcasts are downloaded and played voluntarily. It’s because we like you and want more of you. Yes, we’ll tolerate advertising in podcasts – but not 30 out of 90 seconds! And not a daily dose of erectile dysfunction.

So remember to respect the time and interests and intelligence of your consumer. Remember that if I’m interested enough to download your podcast, perhaps you should be interested enough to give a damn about what I’m interested in.

Because now you’ve lost me.

And fewer downloads means Pfizer’s solution for erectile dysfunction will pay you less.

And now I’m going to watch Brian Williams over at NBC.

Well done.

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