Commercial Podcasting Survey Shows Strong Support for Global Standards

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Eighty three percent of podcasters who responded to a survey on commercial podcasting said that standards for podcasting are absolutely important to advertisers, sponsors, investors or clients. This was one key finding that came out of a survey of 290 commercial podcasters conducted by the International Nanocasting Alliance (INA), (http://www.nanocasting.org) the international trade organization for commercial podcasting.

Eighty three percent of podcasters who responded to a survey on commercial podcasting said that standards for podcasting are absolutely important to advertisers, sponsors, investors or clients. This was one key finding that came out of a survey of 290 commercial podcasters conducted by the International Nanocasting Alliance (INA), (http://www.nanocasting.org) the international trade organization for commercial podcasting.

The survey was first in a series conducted over the summer and was intended to gauge sentiments about the need for commercial podcasting standards. “The survey revealed very strong support for the establishment of commercial podcasting standards and some very clear ideas about who should set those standards,” said Errol Smith, co-founder of the INA.

Two thirds of those who responded said that commercial podcasters should collaborate to set voluntary standards for the industry. While 20% said that each commercial podcaster should set his/her own standards and publish them, 10% said that the National Association of Broadcasters should help to set standards for commercial podcasting. Only 3% said that commercial podcasting should be free of standards altogether.

“These findings stand in stark contrast to many of the discussions we’ve had with early podcasters who viewed podcasting more as a channel of free speech than a commercial medium and were vehemently opposed to anything that could be perceived as a restriction,” said Smith.

Other findings include:

52% said that work is needed in the area of content quality

76% said that there are best practices being used by some podcasters that could benefit all if they were identified and broadly embraced

3% said that setting standards would create a loss of the core benefits and value that podcasting brings to audiences, while 31% said it would not, and 45% said maybe.

The survey was part of the first global initiative to establish universally accepted standards for commercial podcasting spearheaded by the INA. The program is consulting a wide spectrum of podcasters from around the world, along with a coalition of academics, media, marketing, advertising and legal experts.

“Many people blog or podcast for the fun of it; they will probably show little interest in professional standards,” said Dr. Joseph Dominick, head of the telecommunications department at Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and founding member of the International Nanocasting Alliance. “Adherence to professional codes is voluntary,” said Dominick.

The global standards initiative seeks to identify guidelines and best practices that participating commercial podcasters will voluntarily agree to follow. Participating podcasters would display a "member seal" that serves to identify the media outlet's commitment to these standards and distinguish them from sites not committed to the established code and best practices. The first 189 companies have already signed up to participate and are currently displaying the seal. Once fully established, the code and seal will be part of an integrated system designed to enhance credibility, trust and confidence among listeners, advertisers and clients. A major component of the program will be an awareness and education program for consumers and podcasters who are interested in moving from podcasting for fun to commercial podcasting.

For more information or to participate in the program, go to: http://www.nanocasting.org or contact Jeannette Bernstein with The International Nanocasting Alliance at 320-210-1857.

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