Here’s a new term for you. As podcasting becomes all the more mainstream as a media platform, opportunities to diversify revenue beyond straight-ahead advertising are being developed. One area of focus, according to Midroll—the podcast content company owned by radio and TV operator The E.W. Scripps Co.—is merchandising, which it deems PodSwag.
The company’s blog offers a two-part 2018 forecast for the industry, in which Lex Friedman, Midroll chief revenue officer, explains, “Last year we created a new platform for selling merchandise across podcasts. We’ve seen success beyond t-shirts and coffee mugs with both our owned-and-operated shows, as well as others in the Midroll network.”
For example, it offers a magnet set for the podcast “Hello from the Magic Tavern,” as well as enamel pins, stickers, laptop decals, “all the stuff people want so they can celebrate their favorite podcasts,” he says. The value-add has become so much a part of the overall marketing plan for podcasts, that the company hired an experienced merchandiser from the fashion industry “who will lead this division to continued growth in the coming year.”
Revenue diversification extends to subscription content with Stitcher Premium. The service delivers to customers ad-free original podcast series, along with archives and bonus episodes of established series like “Comedy Bang! Bang!” and “WTF with Marc Maron,” and other audio programs, like comedy albums and BBC audio dramas.
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