December 31, 2009

Adam Carolla - Created the #1 Podcast on iTunes After Firing in 2009

Will radio reugees be able to make their own podcast profitable? This could be a question for many radio personalities that are running out of options like Howard Stern, as he contemplates leaving Sirius XM radio in 2010, the last year of his contract.

The Adam Carolla Show was a syndicated morning radio program, which began airing on January 3, 2006 and ended on February 20, 2009. The show was produced by CBS Radio and was based out of KLSX in Los Angeles. On February 20, KLSX changed format from hot talk to Top 40 (CHR) station 97.1 AMP and the Adam Carolla show was canceled.

Carolla's next move was to create a podcast within a month. He soon reported 1.6 million cumulative downloads after only three episodes, and a shocking 250,000 people grabbed the first podcast before it even found its way into the iTunes directory.

The podcast is absolutely hilarious. In a Carlton Banks, LMAO sort of way. On one of the podcast, he chats it up with Brad Garrett from "Everybody Loves Raymond." After you find it listen at the 33:00 mark as they talk about the "bankability" of a podcast and the lost of his radio show. Then listen at the 41:00 mark as he slams most industry executives' inability to know what is and what isn't funny. Listen here

This is how he does it. **explicit content**


But is Adam Carolla making any money from all of this?

Peter Kafko of Media Memo answers that question:

All in all, Carolla estimates he’s spending about $3,000 a month to produce the show, primarily on bandwidth bills. Revenue: Zero.

That’s primarily because Carolla can’t make any money from his show until the end of the year. He’s still getting paid–very well–by CBS, and his contract has a noncompete. But it’s also because it’s unclear how Carolla could actually go about making money from his podcast even if he wanted to.

The basic options: Try to charge his listeners or try to sell advertising. The former hasn’t been done before, and the latter hasn’t made other podcasters much money so far.

“I think that he’s going to have a tough time,” says Marc Horine, VP at ESPN Digital Media, who oversees a stable of podcasts that were downloaded about eight million times a month last year. Even at that volume, Horine says, ESPN has only been able to turn that into a “7-figure-plus” business–and that’s with a large sales staff and the ESPN brand name.

The problem is that podcasts are still considered “experimental” buys for advertisers. And until podcasts can aggregate bigger audiences–and provide marketers with better ways of tracking their ads’ performance–they are probably going to stay that way.

Internet streaming stations, HD radio, satellite radio, podcasts, music apps; will all start to look and sound the same to listeners. I say mobile devices have and will continue to change the radio game in 2010 and beyond. Podcasts profitable??? Maybe sooner than you think...

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