Where's the money in blogging and podcasting? Don't look now, but NBC and ABC have found a mess of it. Or they will, once their higher ratings are converted into new ad revenue on their TV networks. Steve Rubel at Micropersuasion reports that the two networks got a ratings boost for the shows they sell on iTunes. TV Week has more details:
NBC's "The Office" delivered a 5.1-its highest ratings ever-last
Thursday among adults 18 to 49, a bump the network credits in large
part to the show's popularity as an iPod download.
In fact, the series is NBC's top-performing video podcast available on Apple's iTunes, where it has been available since Dec. 6.
This is not to say that video podcasts are the savior of traditional network TV. If the networks approach iTunes as merely another way to boost their broadcast ratings, I think they're probably just delaying their demise. But the news does indicate that what happens on the Web can influence the bottom line in all the ways I'm so fond of writing about: by building consumer loyalty, by strengthening relationships, by meeting consumers on their own terms.
All this applies to blogging and audio podcasting. Note that NBC and ABC are not necessarily making a ton of money on the video podcasts themselves. But their ability to adapt, and to meet consumers on the new-media Second Front, has allowed them to improve their position in relation to their customers. In other words, even though the payoff isn't direct, it's still a payoff.