On ATS #83, which I uploaded on Sunday morning, I spoke about an interesting experiment regarding the monetization of podcasts (or blogs for that matter). I don't have this confirmed, but I'm sure one of you will verify this, but according to Technorati, only 8% of bloggers have monetized their blogs. That's troubling.
Besides joining the large podcasting and blogging networks, which skew unfavorably towards the very large of the large, how else can a podcaster for example make money?
I tried something different on Sunday. I basically "wished" for a new Apple iPhone, and in exchange I offered up sponsorship of one episode of ATS. I wasn't entirely sure anyone would bite, but I figured this could be a novel twist on the old barter arrangement to assign a value to one specific episode of my podcast.
Within an hour of the episode going live, I had my offer. Chip Griffin, CEO of Custom Scoop, responded (actually, I had two offers) and on Monday, 24 hours after I made my offer, I purchased my iPhone (this picture of the iPhone box was taken with my iPhone), which Chip will reimburse.
Chip will most likely come on ATS as a date to be determined to co-host the show.
Custom Scoop and myself put out a joint press release. You can view it here
As an aside, Greg Verdino told me he bumped into Steve Rubel last week who proudly displayed his iPhone that he waited for hours to purchase. It's ironic that it is Across the Sound - the podcast that Steve and I launched together that ended up being responsible for myself getting an iPhone.
So where to from here? I'm going to try for a fully-loaded MacBook Pro or a Vaio (I'm going to let the barter sponsor choose) in exchange for a full month's sponsorship of the show. Alternatively, if I receive a second iPhone, perhaps I'll trade it up for the MacBook Pro or Vaio...think of this as One Red Paperclip meets Ad Sales :) Oh, the possibilities...
I really think this could be seminal moment for podcasters (and bloggers) to be able to monetize their sites and content with brands - and smart marketers - as the heroes. There's an explicit value exchange present, which allows sponsors plugged into the conversation to validate specific podcasters and connect with their audiences in a fun and transparent way.
PS I LOVE my iPhone and will give a detailed review of it soon