Lee’s Daily Blog

Technology: This Week In Sponsorships

by on Aug.31, 2009, under Technology

TWISTOne of the podcasts I listen to (well I watch this one), is This Week in Startups. Usually it’s a pretty good show with some interesting information and normally ends up with me feeling inspired to go out and create something. I take that as being a pretty great show.

However, something in the past episode (13) really grated on me and although it has been happening in previous episodes, it seemed worse in that one. What is it? It’s how the sponsorships are being pushed.

I know sponsorships are important for a show like this and I think what Jason is trying to do with changing things up a bit is a noble idea (and I’ll be interested to see how things turn out), but the amount it was pushed on the show really got to me this week.

The usual bit of mentioning the sponsors on twitter is a bit meh. I’d personally call it twitter spam – but it’s no worse than the retweet contests that happen, which I’ll admit I take part in. Most of the posts containing the sponsors names are fairly meaningless apart from getting the name out – which as an average person reading a tweet someone has posted, wouldn’t really offer much. As an alternative I’d propose:

Make a post to twitter about one of  oour sponsors and how you’ve benefited from their service and don’t forget to contain #TWIST.

The sponsor is getting their name out, Jason can still do his competitions, but there’s a bit more value there.

The extra thing done for promoting the film, was reasonable for a one-off. I just wish the discussion hadn’t dragged on for quite as long about how good the idea was.

However, pushing the same idea during the Audible ad seemed one step too far for me. Perhaps this is colliding slightly with the way that it is the presenter putting out the adverts (something I’ve only really got used to via watching podcasts as it doesn’t happen on UK TV), but it just seemed to be really pushing Audible on people. I don’t doubt it’s helping audible (assuming people aren’t just signing up for the freebies), but is it just that little bit too much for the average viewer? Especially with the discussion of the idea that followed after. Personally I’d rather have heard a good review/recommendation of a book.

Through the show as a whole, I think the number of sponsors is about right. I like how Audible is sponsoring the homework section (though I hope this isn’t going to stop a few movies appearing in this segment again). The length of time spent on these sponsorships is what I’m not so sure about. It’s not awful – not worse than you’re average TWiT advert, but  things just seem to be pushed harder in this amount of time – maybe this is just me though.

One thing I would request though is if we’ve spent so much time listening to different ideas for putting adverts across (twitter, offering freebies etc.), why not feedback to the viewers how well/poorly this has worked? Especially if you can get a sponsor to comment on it. It’s probably some ideal information for viewers who may be looking towards ideas for business models.

I’ll still be tuning into This Week in Startups – but that’s what I’m tuning in for – not for This Week in Sponsorships. Also, sorry sponsors, but I’m now more than likely going to be fast-forwarding through the adverts.. I’ll leave you to decide if this averages out as value-added from what I’ve seen so far, or value-lost from the future.

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5 comments for this entry:
  1. Minitea

    I agree, the sponsorships are pushed really hard. It doesn’t seem to bother me as hard as you, because I find the rest of the show worthwile enough to sit through the ads. As for the tweeting, it is on the verge of spam as you say.

    Lee Reply:

    I enjoy sitting through the rest of the show, but I’d rather see more show content than advertisements lasting a long time.

    I think the show works well with a 2 hour length, I just don’t want to see most of the time being spent on pushing the sponsors.

  2. Lee

    I should probably re-iterate that I really don’t dislike the show at all. The majority of it is great – My favourite segment is probably the interview with the guest, but ask Jason comes a close second depending upon the questions.

    A lot of shows seem to take a few episodes to get into the swing of things, but This Week in Startups seemed to get there pretty much straight away, which I think is what has helped it to gain so much momentum.

    Perhaps I haven’t been looking properly, but this show seems to hit a fairly niche audience which not many other shows do. I think it’s having the interaction with some of the viewers and hearing what they’re working on which is what gives me inspiration to do things. I just need to sort out my time scheduling to do them!

    Just cut down the sponsorships a little and I think you’ll have one of the better shows out there.

  3. Andrew Warner

    Great post.

    If you have any feedback on how I did the news, let me know.

  4. Review Contest Update

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