July 23, 2007

And What’s Going On Under The Covers? [10:13 am]

This is going to require a little scrutiny: Podcasters Unite to Figure Out a Role for Ads

Industry executives say they have closed in on a solution in recent months, which means that consumers may have a much wider array of free audio (and video) content coming to them, if they can stand a little advertising to go along with it.

The effort is a multifront initiative, starting with improvements in technology. Companies have begun distributing media files that stay connected to publishers, giving them a way to track the number of times that advertisements have been heard or viewed, or replace old advertisements.

At the same time, about 15 companies, including Apple and NPR, announced last week the formation of a new industry group, the Association for Downloadable Media, that will help executives improve methods for creating, distributing and tracking advertisements in podcasts.

[...] Susan Bratton, who helped form the Association for Downloadable Media, said her experience as the chief executive of Personal Life Media, which produces audio podcasts on a range of subjects, helped convince her that more industry cooperation was needed to make podcasting a viable business.

Among other things, Ms. Bratton said that technology companies, marketers and publishers need to agree on standard methods for packaging and delivering advertisements, and tracking the number of times an advertisement is heard. Also, there is no consensus on how best to design an advertisement within a podcast. As a result, marketers, advertising agencies and publishers cannot efficiently implement big campaigns across multiple sites.

While I imagine there are lots of cool ideas, I wonder how the privacy side of this possibly can work.

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