Friday, June 16, 2006

Ohhh .......... Podcast Advertisements!

When I began listening to podcasts, part of my enjoyment came from hearing radio-like programs with nary an ad. Podcasting has traditionally been a money-losing medium looking for a way to make money. Some podcasters, feeling a desire for ad-like material to break the flow of their programs, would invite other podcasters to send self-promotions that they could mix into their podcasts.

Recently, a few of my favorite podcasters have acquired real sponsors. I don't begrudge them their ads, and I'm glad to hear them. I'm glad they can make a little money in this business, because I know from their podcasts that some of them are barely able to make ends meet. I've even heard one podcast ad that had an ad-within-the-ad! The speaker was promoting a certain website, and suddenly, talking faster, described how we could get a desireable cellphone for free by signing up for a two year network deal.

So now we have podcasts ads. "What next?" you ask. (Well, I doubt you asked that, but really, you should have.) Obviously the next step is for audio players to include the ability to skip over ads; or more specificially, to skip to the next place in the audio where an obvious splice has occurred. (That would even enable us to skip over music inserted as filler between talks. Or to skip over talk inserted as filler between songs.) Then I could happily ignore the ads again and hope that someone else was listening to them and buying the product ...

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