Can Google Replicate Adsense Success in Audio & Video Podcasting ?

Fred Wilson makes an interesting point in favor of sites that use contextual advertising to monetize traffic - "Ads are content just like everything else. Good ones that are relevant and attractive are additive in my opinion." Fred donates the advertising revenue from his blog to charity.

Jason Calacanis has a brilliant idea for Wikipedia - Put one Leaderboard ad unit and Wikipedia could be making $100 million a year which can be used either for charity or development of software like Firefox. Jason recently decided to do podcasts for and the money earned from the podcast will be donated to charity.

Robert Scoble is also thinking of putting ads on Scobleizer. I think he should take the plunge. Blog readers generally love highly relevant ads and with the kind of traffic that Scoble has, he could be the next success story. Infact, lot of advertisers would be willing to strike direct deals with Scoble.

Finally, some good news for Video Bloggers and Podcasters - Google could soon be releasing an Adsense style program for monetizing your podcasts. Infact, Google was expected to enter the "podcast advertising" business ever since they acquired dMarc. [Thanks Patrix]

While it is not immediately known how Google will incorporate ads inside podcasts, it is fairly reasonable to assume that short audio clipping could be inserted either in the beginning or the concluding section of the podcasts. But there are challenges that may need to be addressed before advertisers pump in the kind of money in podcasts as they are putting in text webpages. For instance:

1. There's no way to identify whether the end user actually listened to the podcast after downloading it offline on his hard disk.

2. If the user is listening to the podcast online, he could hit the stop button somewhere in the middle without hearing the advertising message though the advertiser will never know about this.

Nonetheless, these are exciting times both for podcasters and the advertiser base as they get more real estate to showcase their products.