Talk radio has always been one of my favorite entertainment mediums. I went to school for Radio Production/On Air Personality and even had a pretty popular online radio show for a while. When i’m not listening to Sirius, I tend to be listening to podcasts because it doesn’t kill my monthly bandwidth and there are some really entertaining and free podcasts. One of my favorite has always been the Adam Carolla Show. Adam Carolla’s podcast rivals any Sirius or Broadcast radio show entertainment wise. It also has far less commercials then Broadcast or Sirius talk shows and it’s FREE! Recently. Adam Carolla’s broadcast network “Ace Broadcast Network” made a deal with Penn Jillette and gave him his own free podcast as well. Also a good show.
Both shows have something in common that we as affiliate marketers may find interesting. Both shows use affiliate marketing as a primary method of monetizing their content. How you may ask do they do this?
Throughout the shows the hosts remind the listeners that if they are going to be buying something online to first go to their websites and click the Amazon banner. They explain that if you do this, it will cost you as the listener nothing more to buy the items you were going to buy anyway and that they as the hosts get a small percentage of the sale. By doing this you support the show and they make enough money to make it worthwhile distributing their shows for free. Penn Jillette even takes it a step further by asking you to clear your cookies first.
I think that this is freakin’ genius. Both personalities are driving traffic to affiliate links using an offline medium. They spare you from hearing tons of commercials during their shows by asking that you do something you were going to do anyway; buy something online. This is the next generation of affiliate marketing and content monetization and these two guys are leading the way. I think this is smart for a variety of reasons. First, as small shows, they don’t have to have sales teams to land them commercials in order to make money off their shows. They just need an Amazon Associates account. Second, you let your listeners show support for the show in a way that doesn’t cost them anything extra and get the audience involved in keeping the show going. My guess is that this leads to a more loyal audience since they feel they are keeping the show afloat.
Now, the question that can be asked is does Amazon like this? I have no idea if they have a deal with Amazon beyond the standard associates program but I can’t see Amazon NOT liking this. Amazon get’s free exposure on extremely popular podcasts and only have to pay a percentage of the sale. Yea, Amazon may have made those sales anyway but they still get advertising.
I like what Adam Carolla & Penn Jillette are doing and I think they are leaders in creating free content and monetizing it themselves. I bet they can make even more money with creative ideas like a coupon website called PennsCoupons.com or a deals website like Adamsdeals.com where they leverage 100’s of affiliate programs to make even higher commissions then what the Amazon Associates program pays. If you guys need ideas, hit me up!