It's sometimes amazing to see the amount of hype around various new media ventures, such as blogs and podcasts. The numbers being thrown around for how much these properties may be bringing in from revenue are often orders of magnitude away from reality. The latest is the claim from some analyst at Nielsen that top podcasts (defined as having 2 million downloads per month) could be bringing in over a million dollars per year -- and that's if they only have one sponsor. If there are podcasts with a single sponsor making that much money, it seems likely that the advertiser is getting ripped off. Looking at the number of "downloads" any podcast gets may be impressive -- but it's worth remembering that downloads do not equate to actual listens. For many users who set their computers up to automatically download podcasts, they may never actually listen to them -- making them worthless to the advertisers. While it's definitely true that advertisers are increasingly jumping into the podcasting world, the numbers we've seen suggest that they're paying a lot less than this Nielsen analyst seemed to pick out of the air. While it certainly would be nice for top podcasters to make a good living from doing what they do -- misleading numbers like this don't do much to help. Even if they could convince an advertiser to pay that kind of money for a little while, it wouldn't take long (you'd hope!) for the advertiser to realize the value received didn't match the dollar spend. Apparently the overhyping of podcasting hasn't died out yet.
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