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Podcasting at Wal-Mart

WalmarttvPodcasters would do well to study the Wal-Mart Network, which captures some 130 million viewers every four weeks at nearly 2,600 locations, and is about to go through an upgrade. (Registration required.) 

The network is managed by Premier Retail Networks, who also manages podcasting-style services for Best Buy, Costco, Sears, and Ralphs. Market research firm InfoTrends/CAP Ventures estimated the "in-store TV network industry" (which is essentially "podcasting for retailers") will go from $452 million last year to $2.1 billion by 2009, without factoring in podcasting. Advertisers pay $137,000 to $292,000 to show a single commercial on the Wal-Mart network for a four-week period. And it works - research shows that in the stores that included in-store TV advertising, sales of the advertised products averaged 29 percent more than in the other stores,

Premier Retail Networks provides the content and advertising sales. In addition to the found revenue, Wal-Mart has found house advertising, or using in-store TV for self promotion, to be very effective. House ads are used to defend Wal-Mart against its increasingly vocal critics, showcase the company's community service efforts and the kinds of jobs found there, and to rally the employees.

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