Thursday, December 07, 2006

Google's AdWords for Audio comes one step closer

Mark Ramsey at Hear 2.0 has an interesting post on Google's new "Ad Creation Marketplace". Google is accepting applications from "audio ad specialists" to create a searchable directory of professionals "to help AdWords advertisers to create radio advertisements".

Although AdWords for Audio has the potential to dramatically mature podcast monetization, there are difficult issues to address: How would ads be targetted? By channel, like existing RSS ad networks Feedburner and Pheedo? Or contextually using speech-to-text conversion? How would the ads be sold? CPM? Cost per acquisition in conjunction with pay-per-call?

Here's where I'd place my bets: AdWords for Audio will release without support for podcasts. Google's timeline is already rumored to have slipped a couple of months. Why deal with the headache of supporting podcasts when the money in the offline radio market is orders of magnitude larger than the money in podcasting? Support for podcasting will come -- but it will be months down the road. My guess is that Google won't offer ads in offline podcasts -- instead, they'll make a Flash mp3 player available, so that podcasters can monetize listeners that consume their podcast in-browser. The mp3 player will include a text or image ad related to the audio ads, so that listeners can immediately take action on the ad that they hear. Ads will be targetted contextually against the website on which the audio is embedded -- not against the audio itself. This allows Google to play to all their strength -- deep analytics, existing click-fraud protection, the existing pay-per-click pricing model and the existing AdSense contextualization technology.

So is AdWords for Audio good for podcasters? Absolutely. Is it a short-term fix for podcast monetization? I wouldn't balance my checkbook on it.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Slight interruption in Talkr's Service

You may notice a slight interruption in Talkr's service today. We need to tweak the text-to-speech server, so you won't be able to create new audio files for a few hours. Apologies for the inconvenience.

And, we're back. Everything should be back up and running. Please let me know if you run into any issues.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Make it easier for people to find your Talkr Feed

Talkr's latest release makes it easier for people searching for podcasts to find your Talkr feed. If Talkr creates a podcast from your feed, log into your account and describe the topic of your feed, assign categories that explain the basic subject matter that your blog covers and specify keywords related to your feed.

(If Talkr doesn't create a podcast from your feed yet, what are you waiting for? Create a free podcast now!)

Why is this a big deal? By providing this information to Talkr, we'll make it easier for people to find your feed and for advertisers to advertise in your feed. Once you provide customized information, we'll generate an iTunes-friendly version of your podcast. What's more, advertisers looking to advertise in a particular category can see which categories your feed belongs in! And that means more listeners and more revenue.

Speaking of advertising, we've added a new option in your Talkr control panel to give you more control over how advertising is used in your podcast and feeds. Log in to your account and click on the "Make Money" tab.

We've released a number of bug fixes and back-end improvements which should create a better user experience:
  • We have had some complaints from bloggers that our crawler wasn't consistently pulling their feed. We've released a new version of the crawler that resolves these issues.
  • We've also fixed a handful of bugs in the code that allows your readers to listen to your blog within their web browser.
  • Finally, we've made some look and feel changes which should simplify site navigation.
We are always interested in hearing your feedback (especially the stuff where you tell us how to do a better job)! Please feel free to leave comments on this blog, or email them to: support at talkr daught com.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A couple of Interviews about Talkr

If you want to hear the latest on Talkr (and my brilliant, eloquent and prescient explanations of where podcasting is headed) you might enjoy these two podcast interviews:

1. Internet Marketing Voodoo
2. Eric Mattson's Marketing Monger

I always enjoy these sorts of interviews, although I sometimes think my mouth outruns my brain....

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Talkr now support Atom feeds

Talkr now supports both Atom and RSS feed formats. This means that folks that use Blogger or other blogging tools that only provide Atom feeds can use Talkr without needing to use an intermediate service such as FeedBurner to convert their Atom feeds into RSS.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Talkr launches reporting functionality

We're providing a limited release of our reporting functionality today. This allows partners to check how many times their audio has been downloaded from the "Listen to this post" links on their blogs. You can view the number of downloads by date as well as by story. Multiple downloads of the same story from the same IP address are reported as a single download.

We have not yet integrated statistics on the number of downloads by podcatching clients.

To access your statistics sign in to your Talkr Partners account and choose the "Reports" tab.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Quick update

Just a quick note -- we've been working on improving Talkr's stability, and have begun to add a few new features. As we mentioned previously, Talkr had some problems with downtime in October and November. Since then, we've spent a good deal of time figuring out what caused the downtime, and we've added scripts to address those problems. We have also added an automatic site monitor, and negotiated the system administration services of Todd Finney, aka Boy Genius. With the exception of a bit of flaky code on January 17th, we've had a very nice month, thank you very much.

We've also started coding a set of feature improvements: first up is a long-overdue tool to allow bloggers to force a refresh of the audio that Talkr has created from their blogs. Just login to your free Talkr Partners account, and click on "Refresh this feed". Much more to come.