This week we announce the details (and origin) behind the new Buzzsprout Affiliate Marketplace and discuss the long-term impacts of targeted advertising tools in podcasting.
Have an idea for something we should talk about? Submit a topic in our Listener Suggestions form or post it in the Buzzsprout Podcast Community on Facebook.
Have a question? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
This week we announce the details (and origin) behind the new Buzzsprout Affiliate Marketplace and discuss the long-term impacts of targeted advertising tools in podcasting.
Have an idea for something we should talk about? Submit a topic in our Listener Suggestions form or post it in the Buzzsprout Podcast Community on Facebook.
Have a question? Shoot us an email at email@example.com
Was it Tim Ferris who ran the experiment and said he's going to go like a month without doing ads on his podcast. Do everyone donating? You want me to do a Patriot model? Yeah. So we wanted to test a Patrion model and , and one of the biggest reasons, right, that he abandoned that experiment and went back to running ads was he got so much feedback from his audience saying, we love your ads because you don't just accept any commercial from anybody with money. You actually vet the products and you only advertise products that you've tested and that you believe in. Welcome back to another week of buzz cast. Everybody. Alvin's gonna kick us off with some cool announcements before we dive into the, the meat of the episode. So Alvin, take it away.Alban:
Alright , here the uh , the appetizer episode, Simpson salsa of buzz cast 10. Yeah, this is totally free content for you. All right. Number one, we did our podcasts meetup here with the Jacksonville podcasters. Yes, we did. I think we had a great time. It was, I think probably one of my favorite things is talking to people who are podcasting in real life and especially if they use Buzzsprout because you can spend weeks and focus on building something and then you don't really hear about it from anyone. And so it's awesome to meet people in person.Kevin:
What were your takeaways Kev ? Yeah, I had a great time. Uh, Alvin gave a great talk and a lot of people were kind of in our training room area and they were talking about a whole bunch of things, podcasting and I'm not a huge like big crowd guy. So I found three or four other guys who are standing outside of our studio. We all hopped in the studio, put on headphones and then we recorded our own podcast episode . But we didn't record anything. We just spoken to the mix and untied phones on and had a conversation for like an hour. And that's what I did during the meetup and it was a blast.Alban:
I think it's funny that if you get people behind them , Mike with headphones on, they just start talking and I, there's somethings , I don't know what it is like they know it's not being recorded, but we still have those conversations. It's a nice little safe space as a podcast or it's like, Oh, this is familiar. I've been behind a microphone a couple of times. All right . Our next announcement, we're going to shoot podcast this week and so she podcasts , if you don't know what it is, it's a uh , online community of female podcasters and we're headed up there too .Kevin:
exhibitors. Yeah, sponsors. We've got our booth. We're bringing the podcast mobile recording studio, so we'll be recording a lot of live podcasts, which is always fun. I think we have 30 something people signed up to record live and just sponsoring a great event. I think they have 500 and something women signed up for this event and it's their first time doing it. They sold out. They sold out the event, which is incredible the first time. Yep . Yeah. That's going to be quarterly fund up in Atlanta, Georgia, which is a short five hour drive for us. And in Jacksonville hop, skip and a jump , you know . Yep . So road tripping it tomorrow. So tomorrow being Thursday, October 10th, this episode goes out Friday. Yeah , I should say yesterday. Yeah . On the road tripping it yesterday. So if you're listening to this, we're already there at she podcasts. Yeah, yeah.Alban:
if you're at she podcasts come by the booth, say hi to Kevin, Brian , Priscilla and Addie . And uh , yeah, they probably the Buzzsprout t-shirt. Get that Buzzsprout swag. Yeah. And say hi.Alban:
And then last , um, we are hiring, so we're trying to hire someone to be a content creator for bus sprout . So if you were to join that team, you'd be writing a lot of blog posts and guides and emails and helping people become better podcasters and you would get to work with Travis and myself and some with Kevin. And so you could also be on bus cast. I guess I, I've added that to the,Travis:
the job description. I mean that the road, the road castor pro does have four mic inputs, you know, so there's always space for a little more . Now. I'm really excited about this. I think it's been really cool since I came on about 15 months ago since I came onboard . I'm just seeing like all of our different content strategies really start to pick up momentum. And so I think yeah, adding this additional person , uh , to help with all of that is just gonna make all of our content kind of go to the next level and then also just be able to help more people. So super excited to see who we bring on board. And if you're interested, I'll leave a link in the show notes. You can go and check out the , uh, the, the job rec , see if it's, you're a good fit and if you wanna apply. Yeah.Alban:
All right . So that's all of a, the appetizers for the sewed . So I'mTravis:
jumping to the main course tasting . So when you were listening to this episode , uh, two days ago we announced released grand, opened our brand new bus route affiliate marketplace. And I want to tee this up for Kevin cause I know this has been a passion project for him for quite a while . It hasn't been a a a short term project for sure. And so, but I'd actually be curious before we dive into kind of the specifics about what it is and how people can use it and how it can help them with their podcasts, like the origin story behind the idea for the affiliate marketplace . Like how did that all come together where we said this is really the best strategy for podcasts looking to monetize? Yeah, well we, the team at Buzzsprout has been thinking about podcast monetization for years and it's , it's never been like, we don't believe people should start podcasts to like with the goal of making a lot of money off of the podcast. And so it's always a red flag for us when we're at a conference or something or even with people emailing, asking, you know, pre-sales questions before I sign up for your product. If they're talking about how do I make money on my podcast, there's not a lot of money in podcasting. And frankly, like when you look at how could we make podcasting a more lucrative, like financially lucrative opportunity , uh,Kevin:
most of those opportunities come at the expense of what makes podcasting so great, which if we have time in this episode, I want to talk about some of that stuff too. Like the privacy and podcasting and podcasting being an open platform and open system. So we've gone round and round and round about the different models and try and you know, even like throw out all the existing models and could we invent something new and new way to monetize. And we always keep coming back to the same idea of like, why are we chasing sponsors, right? The whole idea of a sponsor is somebody is going to pay you some set of money to talk about their product or business on your podcast with the hopes that that's going to generate them more money than they paid you, right? But the , the risk is all on the advertiser side. So let's say they're going to give you $200 to talk about their product. Now they're risking $200. They're hoping that they get back at least $201 and hopefully a lot more. But because they've taken the risk, they get the majority, the majority of the risks, they get the majority of the reward, right? Right. So they're betting if I give you $200 maybe I'll make back a thousand maybe I'll make that 2000 maybe I'll make 3000 if we can shift some of that risk equation where the podcast or share some of that risk or even takes on the majority of that risk. What's interesting is then the reward side starts to become more balanced. Right? And so how about as a advertiser or as a person with a product or a service? I don't pay you anything. You take all the risks, you donate your air time to me and talk about my product. You get, maybe it's a product that you love already, so you give it an endorsement. You're taking all the risks. So I've just forfeited what I've could have sold for maybe a hundred or $200 on my show. I've just risked that myself. I've forgotten that income to take a risk to talk about your product. Now how about every time I generate a sales lead for you or somebody buys something from you, you pay me a percentage or a flat fee or something based on what they bought. That shift in risk ward actually , um , has the potential to take your podcast earnings and make them much more like exponentially higher than if we're just paying like on a traditional CPM basis. Yeah. One of them . Am I explaining this well? Yeah .Alban:
One of the things that clicks for me is CPM is cost per thousand and what you're doing is you're actually saying the value of one person hearing an ad is always the same. And that's not actually true because if you're talking to the right person, it's really valuable. And if you're talking to the wrong person, it's not valuable at all. And CPMs, just lumping everyone together. What's cool about podcasting is people are self grouping into smaller groups. There's a thousand people that listen to this podcast, but they're all really interested. Tom listens to a star Wars toys podcast. Well, if the host got on there and said, here's a new toy that I really like in a company that's doing some new cool star Wars toys, well that's gonna sellKevin:
out. Everyone who's listening is the right person. And it's also a personal endorsement from the host. They're going to sell a lot more star Wars toys than they're ever going to sell. You know, Geico or something. Yeah. So, so that's, that's what affiliate marketing is. Affiliate marketing is you have an agreement with a company that says we will pay you after we have gotten paid. So it's really a win win scenario for them. Cause they know whenever they pay a podcast host, it's because they've already made more money than what they're paying out. Right. So for them it's a no brainer. Yeah. If you're gonna give me free business and I just reimburse you for customers, I'll do that all day. And then as a podcast host, it makes sense because then you can focus on the products that you know are going to resonate with your audience. The ones that you have personal experience with. And the economics work out a lot better for you if you're not in one of these like top 1% podcast, which is what we talked about a couple of weeks ago about like how many downloads you actually need to get into the ballpark to be able to even get into a CPM agreement with a company or a product, right? It's a much more confident position to take as a podcaster. So you know, your show is good. You know how many people you reach, you know that you have a connection with your audience. You know that they trust you, that they'll, and , and if you recommend a product that they would, that some of them would at least try it. So you know, all these things. So instead of going out there and trying to convince an advertiser of the value that you have, how about you just bet on yourself and go into affiliate marketing? And again, like I think we should talk about some of the strategies. Uh, obviously like if you're a podcast that talks about podcasting, kind of like us, like a good affiliate might be a podcasting host. Ooh . Like Buzzsprout, right? So if you're a podcast coach, then Buzzsprout would be a good affiliate partner for you. Um, but maybe you're not, maybe you just talk about tech or you just talk about homeschooling. So if you have a homeschool podcast, you might talk about the different curriculum that you'd like to use or what , I dunno , Alvin, you were a homeschooler. What other things could have homeschool podcast talking about? You could talk about Bible's arts and crafts. Arts and crafts advice become a crayon affiliate, right? There's tons of things. Here's, here's the other thing that's interesting is that there's value beyond the subject matter. So again, if you're a homeschool podcast, you don't just have to talk about the curriculum that you use and, and try to get people to buy that same curriculum and then you get a kickback. You could also talk about fracture Prince , like, Hey, you're a family. We know that you take great pictures and you want to display these pictures in your house. One of the cool, creative new ways that you can do this is with fracture fracture prints your photos on glass. Follow the link. In my show notes, you'll help support the show and you'll have this awesome new way to display photos in your house. So again, you can earn affiliate income on something that's really not related to your subject matter, but because you have a relationship with your audience and they trust you and you know them, so you know that these are families, then you find a product that's relatable to them. Yeah, I think thatAlban:
if you're , you want to have the incentive to make the ads better on the host, not with, for it to actually just only benefit the product. Because if I'm repping Geico and I'm saying Geico, it's so great, but I actually had a really bad experience with Geico and now I'm on all state. Well that comes through in my voice and people go, I heard this ad redone . It sounds like he doesn't even care about Geico. Well it might be because I don't, but if it's an affiliate relationship and I'm going, I'm picking the two or three things that I actually really like that I think are really good. And so I'm a homeschooler and I'm teaching my kids. I want to talk about the curriculum that I'm using that I think is awesome. Or if you're on Buzzsprout and you want to rep Buzzsprout, you can actually say with confidence that you like it. And so you're actually putting all the incentive on the podcast or to find the right product that they believe in, that they can hold , like honestly endorse rather than someone just popping in and saying, Hey, I've got a lot of money and I just did I sell X, will you try to sell it for me? Well then the incentives are not aligned. Right.Travis:
And what's really cool about affiliate marketing, I think the thing that really sticks out to me is that when it's done right, you don't actually sacrifice the relationship you have with your audience to make money. It actually makes them more loyal to you. Right? So like if I recommend a product that I believe in honesty, you know, just name, drop that here. Um, I'm , I'm on the peach tea now since where we were low on the, the honey, the honey green tea. Oh yeah, I was, I was on the honey green tea for a while . But like, let's say that I start repping honesty cause we drink way too much of it. Um, and then somebody that listens to my podcast says , okay , well I'm going to try it. And they try it and they're like, wow, this is amazing. I'm so glad that Travis told me about honesty because now I'm drinking it. My whole family loves it. It's amazing. They now like me even more than before and they helped me make money through my podcast. Right. And so when you do it right, it doesn't come at the expense of your audience. It actually gives you an opportunity to continue to build the relationship even deeper with them.Kevin:
Right. Was it Tim Ferris who ran the experiment and said he's going to go like a month without doing ads on his podcast ? Do everyone donating? Do you want to do a Patriot model? Yeah. So we wanted to test a Patrion model. And one of the biggest reasons, right, that he abandoned that experiment and went back to running ads was he got so much feedback from his audience saying we'd love your ads because you don't just accept any commercial from anybody with money. You actually vet the products and you only advertise products that you've tested and that you believe in. And so it actually helps us, right . And it helps us in a, in a good way, like based on your experience with the product. Not in like a creepy way. Like I happened to go, you know, search for auto insurance and now I'm listening to this podcast and there's this weird Geico ad that gets dropped in and you're like, that's a weird coincidence. It's not weird. It's creepy. It's invasive. It's like tracking your privacy. Now this is a good way. This is like, Hey, I've got this person who I trust and I listen to them , their podcast every week and I respect them. I respect their opinion. They actually like Geico and they chose it for them and they had this good experience with them. So maybe that would be a good fit for me. Like that's a great way to do advertising. It's a great revenue model and it's not creepy. Yeah. I actually started to realize as we're talking about this, how effective these ads have been on me because I'm a big believer in me on DS now and I also have a Quip toothbrushes . I just bought the bus route. Office is very, it's a very me undies environment. There's a lot of us that are me and I'll bro, we're putting that at the beginning of the episode but not in the pipe . Keep going. Keep going Alvin. But no , but Kevin's got his fracture prints. I think you found out about RX bars. Podcasting bars . For me up, most of the products in the office are a result of podcast advertising. Yeah. So they have one way or another and I and I have a feeling that they might be CPM based models, but they come from there . The result of endorsements, they're not commercials. Right? So are hosts who have actually tried these things and talk about it from personal experience and then we're willing to give them a shot. Yeah. So do you want to talk about what we're doing? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Let's dive into the marketplace a little bit. So, so Kevin, talk about the criteria that we have for a companies that we are partnering with that are coming into our affiliate marketplace to uh , set up these affiliate agreements with our podcasts. So let me tell you what, what this marketplace is. So you'll be able to log into Buzzsprout. You would click on resources, there'll be a new link in there that says affiliate marketplace. If you click on that, what we've done is we've gone and we found companies that have good affiliate programs and we had four main criteria that we were looking for them to be able to meet, to be eligible for a marketplace. And you'll be able to find these programs, figure out which ones, either you already have a brand experience with them or you think they might be a good fit for your audience. Um, I would recommend if you are interested in repping one of these products, maybe buy one of their products and test it out for yourself so you can actually give an endorsement instead of just talking about it in general. But you don't have to do that. You can also talk about it in general too, because we've done some of the homework ourselves. So let me tell you about the criteria. That criteria for us was, it was a quality product backed by a reputable company. So we've done some research to make sure that these companies actually ship quality products and that they stand behind their products and they're well-reviewed, they've got good return policies, all that kind of stuff. So no, no brain enhancing supplements. Right. You're not gonna recommend the product to your audience. And then they're gonna , you know , send them $100 and then they never get anything or they get a piece of junk or something that falls apart in a day or two. Are you guys saying the quality enhancements I've been using? I'll , I'll just say that if you've been using brain enhanced bits , it explains a lot about the last couple of weeks. Right? Um, the second requirement was that they offered an exclusive deal for Buzzsprout podcasters. So all of these companies have public affiliate programs. So I'll tell you, one of the companies that we're doing is knock around. So knock around is a really cool sunglasses company. Um, they're , uh , they're affordable, stylish sunglasses. And if you went to the knock around website and you found their affiliate page and you clicked on it, they're public offering, I think is 10% of the, the first, the total first purchase, right? So if somebody went to knock around and spend $100, your commission would be $10. Well, for, for Buzzsprout, they've offered 11%. So just because you're a Buzzsprout podcaster , you get an extra percent. And everybody who's in the affiliate marketplace has a custom deal. I just don't know what all the public verse our special deal is, but we know that the bus deal is better. Um , the third thing is that they pay out in cash instead of credit. So a lot of these programs , um, at least on the introductory level would pay out with like a credit or um, you know, like an account balance or something like that. So we talked about me on these earlier me on these is famous for this. So if you go sign up the first level of an affiliate for me undies , um, I think you get $10 for every new, a new account that somebody creates and does a purchase, right? So they're going to give you $10, but it's a $10 credit. Well, at a certain point I'm going to have enough underwear, right? Like I don't need all this credit, this Christmas presents and you know, ran out of people and yeah, right. And so when you're trying to use this as a way to monetize, to maybe support your passion project or your hobby or actually build a little side business , um, me undies credit only goes so far. So we wanted programs that would pay out in cash. So you'll give them an email address and I'll either send you a check or they'll, you know, pay you via PayPal or something like that, but you'll get cash. Yeah. At some point you're trying to like money launder all these gift cards that you have for me on these , you're like, sell you $50 worth of underwear for $30. Right? You're ebbing any undies , these underwear. Yeah. So you shouldn't need a side hustle in order to cash out your affiliate. Right? So they should pay out in cash. And what was the last, what's the last criteria it's got to be. There's no, there's no , uh , inquiry about influence. Oh, right. Level of influence requirements. So some of these affiliate programs are famous for, you have to have a certain level of influence before you'll be accepted into the program. Um, very common ways for them to measure that as they want to know. Like, if you have a blog, they want to know how many people, like what's the traffic to your blog look like? Or if you're an Instagram influencer, how many followers do you have? An Instagram, if you're a YouTube or how many followers do you have on YouTube? So we've discussed with all of these brands that are in our marketplace for them to be able to remove all their level of influence requirements to be able to get approved. So if you go into the most proud affiliate program and you say , look, Hey, I need a new comforter. Hey, there's Buffy , they sell computers , I'm going to buy one, I'm gonna try it out. If I like it, I'm going to apply to be a Buffy affiliate. You should be improved in roughly 48 hours or so. Regardless of whether you have one episode on your podcast or a hundred episodes, regardless of you have 10 listeners or 10,000 listeners, they will approve you. So it's a really, we're super excited about anybody who's interested in monetizing. We think this is a fantastic way to start monetizing and we think this is the affiliate marketplaces really great. Probably the best way to start stepping into affiliate marketing, see if you like it to see if anything in this space works for your podcast. And then if so, you can go wherever you want. From there. You can go find as many new affiliates as you want. Um, but this is a simple way with no research, not a ton of upfront work. Just go click a link, read the information on the page, fill out a form, 48 hours, you get a late 48 hours later, you get a link, you drop it into Buzzsprout, talk about that product in your podcast episode and Hey, if somebody buys something, you're going to get a decent commission off of that. And if they don't, you know, no sweat, like maybe try a different product and something else that we did because I know for a lot of podcasters that are just getting into like the host read ad kind of mindset and you're like, how do I come off as not being overly salesy but also confident in the product I'm promoting and you know, make it a , you know, how do I properly communicate the incentive of what is the value that the listener is getting by using my link and stuff like that. We actually recorded examples of host read ads for each of the products that are in our affiliate marketplace. So you could hear an example of, okay, this is something I could kind of model and you know, take some creative license with, but have as a guide to help me create my first host read ad so I know I'm doing a good job. Right? The most important thing with affiliate marketing, and it's not, it's not usually like you do it once and you're out type of thing. But with affiliate marketing day , the brand is saying, Hey, if you want to promote our product, you can, but we are not endorsing your show. And so some people will do affiliate marketing and they'll say, Hey, this week's episode is sponsored by, and then they'll say, and a brand that they're doing an affiliate deal with. But that's not really true. That brand is not sponsoring your show. They're not endorsing your content, you're sponsoring them like you're taking the risk, you're endorsing their product, and they're fine with that all day long. But if you have a podcast that's about something that maybe doesn't align with the brand and you're saying , um, you know, Buffy comforters, thank you for sponsoring our show and your podcast is about something that Buffy is not comfortable with you talking about and being aligned in that way, then they're not going to be comfortable with that language. And so that is if you read the terms of service, when you agree in all these affiliate programs, they'll have verbiage in there and we have reminders in the, in the affiliate marketplace to not say things like that. But there are great ways to talk about a brand to give an endorsement and then drive people to click the link in your show notes to be able to make a purchase. So you can get commissioned without saying thanks to, for sponsoring our show, or thank you to Instacart for sponsoring our show. Again, these brands are not endorsing your show and it's important for you to communicate that to your audience and communicate that you get compensated. So one of the things that we always say is, you know, when you wrap up your endorsement of the brand or your brand mention , you want to say things like, followed the link in our show notes, this lets Instacart know that we sent you and help support our show. So that's a really simple, clean way of doing everything that you needed to do. One saying , um, that we will get compensated if you follow the link, which is part of the disclosures that you have to give and um, and to aligns you with the brand, not the brand, you know, endorsing your , sponsoring your show. Yeah. Cool way to think about it is instead of saying, I'm trying to sell this product, imagine you're having a conversation with a friend and you're like, Oh, I gotta tell you about this thing that I discovered or the , these new sunglasses that I got. And then I'm like finally nice sunglasses that I can afford to replace when I lose them in three weeks. Right, right. Like and think about it from that frame of mind of this is something that I recommend or I've heard great things about or I personally use and I think you would enjoy it too . Like that's the perspective you want to have when you're approaching like promoting these affiliate products instead of, all right, let me put on my used car salesman hat and try and squeeze as many pennies out of my audience as I can. That'd be fair. The way I talk about the cash app is like maybe even beyond used car sale . I literally deleted my Venmo over. People kept sending me stuff at Venmo and I was like, I don't want to invent Mo anymore. I'm like , I'm out. Yeah. Um , the other interesting point I think that's we're talking about is that Buzzsprout is not taking any of of the commission dollars that anybody generates by using any of the brands or tools that we've created in the affiliate marketplace. So oftentimes podcast hosts or people in this space will create monetization tools for their customers to be able to utilize. Um, and sometimes they'll help, you know, set you up with a CPM deal or something like that. And usually as part of that arrangement, there is a certain percentage of the dollars that you earn that the host will take as like a middleman cut. Yeah. Yeah. And so that's not uncommon. Um, but one of the things we really want to do is we were, we want to stick to what we are , our core business model and we want to be the best podcast hosts we can be. And that's where we want to earn our money. Um, and we don't feel like we're , we need to earn money here. And so any affiliate marketing deals that you set up or directly set up between you and the brands, all we have is a marketplace with links and we facilitated some relationships, but we don't feel like that earns us money in , in those relationships. What we want to do is we want to earn your money as the best podcast host, right? So if you ever moved, you could actually take those relationships with you. Um, we don't make any money on your side of the middle side or anything to , for people to get into the market place , right. So if you switch to podcast hosts, you wouldn't have to leave your affiliates behind. Um , if you also do content on YouTube or if you do content on your own blog and you become an affiliate through our marketplace , you can use that affiliate code on your blog. You can use it in Twitter, you can use it wherever you want. Um, none of it's tied to Buzzsprout.Alban:
Yeah. And our whole thinking has always been, we'll do all right if we're making podcast or successful. And so we don't need to create some new secret monetization strategy for us as long as we're helping people create good co podcasts. And we think that if you're able to make some money on the side with your podcast, that that'll be a better experience for you and that we will all win in the end.Travis:
Yeah . So if you want to go and check out the new affiliate marketplace, by the time this episode goes out, it will be live in your dashboard. So you just go to the resources tab in your Buzzsprout dashboard and then you'll see a link for affiliate marketplace and you can go and see all the companies that we have listed in there. And then , uh , it's pretty intuitive. Um, as with most things that we try and put in your dashboard , uh , you shouldn't need a rocket science degree in order to figure it out. But I will be putting together a tutorial video , uh, this week. And so that will go out in the next newsletter, a link to that where I kind of walk through how to navigate all the new features and how to take full advantage of it.Kevin:
The whole affiliate marketplace. One of the reasons that we like that model more than CPM is because the way CPM works to make more money off of it, you have to make more CS or I don't know that the cost has to go up. If you can't make the volume go up the M's. Um, and the wait to do that is by targeting. So this is how Google makes all their money cause you search a term and then they say, Hey, why don't you buy from this person? Or it's how Facebook does it by learning everything about you. And in our opinion, a lot of the negative things about the internet are all driven by ads and ads. The have to know a lot of creepy stuff about you. And so what's really cool about affiliates is that you don't have to know about people. And then we noticed this kind of segues with something that Kevin has gotten into in the past few days on Twitter talking to people about privacy and podcasting, right?Kevin:
So there are a lot of people and as more and more money comes into the podcasting space, it's exactly what Alvin said. Uh, the value in advertising goes up significantly. The more targeted that you can direct your ads. So the use case that we'll talk about now is that there is a company out there now promoting technology that says, Hey, not only can we target shows that attract the type of people that you, your product is a good fit for, but we can actually target beyond that. So we can target, we can have hundreds of shows. And I think the example that this person gave was say you have a product or a service that's targeted towards millennial moms with bachelor degrees. Okay , well we only, we know that there's, here's a show that does 50,000 downloads per episode, but only 5,000 of them are millennial moms with bachelor degrees. So let's just serve this ad to those 5,000 now we have 45,000 other people that we can serve different ads to and we have another show that does 10,000 downloads per episode, but all 10,000 of those listeners are millennial moms with bachelor degrees. So we're going to serve that out a a hundred percent there. And so they're developing technology to be able to do that. If that sounds familiar, it should because that's exactly what Facebook has been doing. It's what Google has become. Uh , it's what made them huge. Um, Twitter does this. Every big media company online that is typically a free service and supported by an ad revenue model. The reason they've gotten big and I've gotten so successful is because they've gotten better and better and better at targeting that, that those are the ideas and methodologies that's pushing into podcasting. And we don't think this is good. We don't think this is healthy. We think podcasting is one of the last , uh, it's one of the last like track your free safe Oasis areas of the internet that I can listen to what I want to listen to and maybe an ad will be based on the me based on a rough profile of the people who listen to the show, but they don't know who I am, what degrees I have, how many children I have, where I live, what car I drive. I can guarantee you that I , I don't want to know. I can guarantee you that. I don't want to know. None of us probably want to know what Facebook knows about us. I mean, we've all read these scary articles. Write about like the women who start getting , um, like newborn and baby coupons from target before they even knew they were pregnant because the profiling systems like built in at Walmart and target had realized that, Hey, this person's probably going to have a baby soon and all of a sudden they start getting baby coupons and next month they are like, Oh, I am pregnant. How did target know before? I did. Like that stuff is all over the internet. Uh , and podcasting is relatively free of it right now and we believe that that's great and it's healthy and we want to support technologies and support efforts and people who were saying we liked that too and we don't want to do that stuff. Um,Alban:
yeah , I think back to my first job ever was working for a library and there is like a, I mean you see librarians and you think they're like quiet kind people who don't have very strong opinions and whenever get in your face, if someone comes and asks what somebody else has checked out, they will lose their mind. Like librarians will go to jail over not disclosing what was checked out and it's very built in and we are starting to realize like how important that is. I remember when Facebook first came out or at least when they started doing the ads, I was like, Oh that's got a cool, I'd rather get ads that were more focused to me and I actually thought of that as being a good thing. But now we're a few years away from, you know, we're starting to see you look at any website. It's hundreds of trackers and hundreds of tracks that are doing like really heavy. Like they learn everything about you. They know every site you've been to and they know things about you that you may not know, which is really kind of strange to think about. And all of that is predicated on we've got to know you better than you know yourself so we can sell you things to influence your purchasing decisions. And one of the things in my mind that's so awesome about podcasting is that it feels much more genuine and it feels much more real. And I think a big part of that is it isn't this, Hey, I will sell you a sunset sensationalist headline because I get you to click so that you get tracked by 30 things and said , I just talk about something that's interesting to me. And if it's interesting to you, you sign it, you go, Oh cool, I'll listen to that as well.Travis:
And so much of it happens behind the scenes too. Like you're not saying I am giving Facebook permission, like explicitly to know this about me and this about me and this about me. It's like the iTunes agreement, you're like, whatever, just scroll to the bottom. Except, I just want the update. Like that's kind of how companies are getting our consents is because they know they're not actually going to read this and understand what we're doing. Um, that's why the EU put out the GDPR laws to really protect people's data and saying, Hey, if you have someone's data, there are rules, there are laws that are enforceable that we can come and audit you and see if you're playing nice or nots . Facebook, Google, all these big companies have already been fined in the EU for violating the rules after they said they were complying with them. Um, and so it really is, it's not even a matter of I'm grateful I have ads that are more targeted to me. It's that there are these companies that are being extremely invasive and your online presence, which is where all of us live now. And really? Yeah , just, just getting to know things about us that we wouldn't feel comfortable sharing if we knew we were sharing them. Right.Kevin:
So I think what we're all describing is this sickness that's , it's infecting our online world. Right. And for the most part, podcasting has, has not been infected with this privacy virus too much. Um, but it starting to happen more and more. And that has led us to some online discussions. One of the companies , uh , there's a company that we admire and use. We use their tool called base camp . The company's called base camp and their founders Jason fried and David Heinemeier Hansson are big proponents of privacy online. And so when I was listening to their podcasts this week, the rework podcast, I realized that it was hosted on a company called art 19 or 19 is a company that's moving very much in this direction. They are the ones that are putting out content that says, Hey, not only can we target your podcast ad towards a specific category or profile of user, but we can actually targeted towards exactly what the example that they gave. And that I quoted was , um, millennial moms with bachelor degrees. And so they're promoting this new technology. So I tweeted it to David Heinemeier Hansson and I said, Hey, interesting. You know, we have this in common that both of us are interested in , in protecting online privacy and we feel like that the internet is afflicted in this way and it's not healthy. Um, but like how do I reconcile that with, I'm listening to your podcast , which is hosted on this company that is pushing this tech. Um, and so how did he respond? Albin has the tweet here. I like the , Kevin is , uh, asking me to read it and you'll know why David uses a different set of vocabulary than I do. Art 19 wants to bring listener targeted ads to podcasting. No, podcasting is the last Oasis where listeners aren't being targeted by who they are, but by what they listened to, we will ditch art 19 for another provider. Right. And Marco as well. The, the, the found , the creative overcast is also come out and said, no, we're not introducing any kind of tracking features within overcast at all. Right? So , so there's, it's not just us, there's quite a few people that are in this space that are like, what's going on, what's happening to podcasting? And then how do we make sure that we preserve what makes it special, right? And so I think it's important for independent podcasters to educate themselves on these issues because the podcasting space is going to move in one direction or the other. Um, and outside of independent podcasts are stepping up and saying, no, that we don't want this. We don't think this is good for our space and we're going to , you know, plant our flag in the ground and hold our ground and say, we are independent podcasters. Uh, we're happy with what we have and we don't want you to change it. Um, again, they're changing it for their own benefit. Like if you look at what YouTube has done, there are very few YouTube creators that make a significant amount of money off of YouTube. But you know, who makes a ton of money off of YouTube? YouTube is YouTube. And so they make like half the money off of YouTube . Right ? Right. And so companies like art 19, they are going to make a few, a very few creators, a reasonable amount of money, a good amount of money. They're gonna make brands and advertisers a lot of money and they're going to make themselves a ton of money, but it's not the independent podcasts podcaster . It's going to win. The independent podcaster is going to end up giving up all this land and destroying the space and making it not safe to listen to things without being tracked. Just like we can't go on Facebook without being tracked, or we can't do a Google search without being tracked. We're going to give up all that ground for the fur , for nothing, for pennies on the dollar, and they're going to be these companies that come in and make this change and bring all this money into this space and who are going to be the big winners? There's going to be the advertisers and the companies that sell those ads and sell that data and tracking technology. And so as independent podcasters , I think we shouldn't educate ourselves. We should become aware of , we should form opinions. We should speak out on these things, and we should not put our creations, our podcasts on people that are taking the industry in an unhealthy direction.Alban:
Yeah, and maybe I'd like to make a quick distinction between secrecy and privacy because one thing I hear a lot is people say, well I don't have anything to hide. I have nothing. I don't need to be secretive here. And I would totally agree with that. If like I'd be happy to read through my entire pod cast app and you know say these are all the podcasts I listened to. That's not what I find concerning. It's not that I'm listening to something bad, it's I don't want to get these ultra targeted ads and then also podcast creators to then be incentivized to try to put out tons of small kind of junkie episodes. I mean you just think of how much the web is cluttered with low effort, not very valuable content that's trying to get you to click. And that is such a negative experience of the web and yet the podcasting world is so positive in my mind and it's like this one spot that we don't have all the junk YouTube. Got it. Facebook's got it. All social media blogs have it. The news has it and we've got like, it seems like we've got one spot that's still on its own. It feels like the web did in the 90s and we're hearing, Oh we've got to make this like the rest of the web. This is the one thing that's working. Let's make the rest of the web like this. Let's figure out a new monetization strategy for the web, not find, take what's not working for the web that's not working for people. It's working for companies that's working for money, but let's find a monetization strategy that works for podcasting and then convince the rest of the web to adopt that and not the other way around. Right.Kevin:
What they're doing with, you know, targeting ads is they're trying to create the same value that Google had inherently had in their original model where you have user intent. So user intent is super valuable because if somebody goes to Google with a question, then you can type that question into Google and Google can conserve up ads that answer that question or with a product that answers that question. So how to get a stain out of concrete. I type that into Google. I might find some helpful articles about how to remove a stain from concrete. I might also get some great ads for products that'll help you remove stains from concrete. That's fantastic. How can we replicate that? Um, in something like Facebook where people aren't necessarily asking questions but are , um, you know, just interacting with their friends or sharing , uh , what they're doing this weekend or photos from last weekend. Well, now I have to know a lot about you because I don't have intent anymore, right? So I have to know that you know who you are, where you live, your gender, your age, the more I know about you, the more I can serve a product that might align with something that you might by have . I know you're a college graduate and I know that you, if I roughly know what your earnings are, then I might serve up products that are at a higher price point. If I think you're, you know, a younger you're , you don't have a full time job yet or you're a student, I would serve different products to you. So in order to sell ads and effective ads without intent, we have to know a lot about somebody in the podcasting world. We don't have intent. We have a general description of somebody who we think might listen to a show like this. And so in order to drive up CPM prices, they're going to have to start tracking people. They're going to have to start creating profiles of listeners and they're gonna have to start pushing ads in that direction. But it completely devalues the most valuable thing in podcasting, which is the trust between the host and the listener, right? That's the most valuable thing. If you want to stop, start dropping commercials in the podcasts that have nothing to do, like the host isn't reading it, the host isn't endorsing it, the host has never tried the product, doesn't believe in the product, doesn't matter because he's just taking a cold stop. He or she are taking cold stop and then we're listening to a 32nd commercial kind of like what we see in YouTube. We can do that, but it's, it's going to change the podcasting space and creators are going to get the short end of the stick when it comes to revenue. If we want to continue to build upon what is really valuable and what's really working and the reason that I have a fractured print on my desk and RX bars in our office and we're all wearing me on these underwear right now, that is based on relationship and that is super valuable and that's what we believe in. We think affiliate marketing is a great way to do that. And this one of the reasons that we're stepping into this space, but the CPM model is dangerous and broken and it is making the whole internet sick and we don't want to see the podcasting space get infected in the same way. Agreed. Agreed. Any final words, Kev ? No. Thanks for letting us rent. We're excited about the marketplace and we're excited about the , uh, the podcasting space, staying open and independent podcasters being able to have a fun, free , uh , open environment to be able to share their message without worrying about their listeners being tracked all over the internet.Travis:
Agreed. Uh , well that's it for this week's episode of buzz cast. If there's something that you would like for us to cover on a future episode, I created a , uh, a listener suggestion form. And so if you wanna send us some topics, some things you'd like us to discuss, you just click the link in the show notes for this episode and you can go and submit your topic, or you can jump over into the buss sprout podcast community Facebook group and , and leave a comment. And I'd actually be curious what your thoughts are about the things that we discussed about monetization, about privacy. Uh, just jump in the Facebook group. We'd love to start a conversation there, but thanks for listening as always, keep podcasing.