Catching Up with Lex Friedman, Midroll’s EVP for Sales

Midroll’s head of sales Lex Friedman has been out spreading the good word on podcast ads, discussing the business of for an audio series about podcasting and public radio.

Last week Lex talked with American Public Media’s Marketplace for a piece all about podcast advertising. Reporter Stan Alcorn explored the topic from a few angles, including having an intern survey the ads on every podcast in the iTunes top 100.

While ad reads do vary in style, a consistent quality is that the good ones are authentic. Importantly they are also “ROI positive,” as Shari’s Berries’ acquisition marketing director Nick Fairbairn put it.

Podcasters Jessica Rhodes and Corey Coates have produced a 10-part audio series digging deep into many facets of producing a podcast. For the “Podcast Producers” they talked with over thirty hosts, producers and industry insiders, including Lex.

In episode #2, “Podcasting for Hobby or Business,” Lex explains that Midroll’s top grossing podcasters are bringing in seven figures a year. While not every podcast is going to be profitable–just like not every blog is going to become the Huffington Post–he said that an agency like Midroll can help monetize the undiscovered “diamond in the rough” that is growing in listenership.

The ninth episode tackles podcast advertising directly. On this one Lex described why the products and services advertised on podcasts are both cool and appropriate for listeners, noting that the first wave success of direct response advertisers has attracted branding and tune-in campaigns from television networks and car companies. He also gave some advice on ad reads, excerpted in this clip:

For more of Lex’s insights on the business of podcasting, be sure to catch his appearance on The Wolf Den podcast earlier this year.

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