John Wall, Ronin Marketeer extraordinaire, published a blog post talking about the advent and rise of pay per action advertising in the Googleverse, and what it means for marketing online. His conclusions: CPM (cost per impressions) and PPC (pay per click) models are on the way out for the most part, because CPA (cost per action or conversion) will be at the forefront of advertisers’ demands.

From the perspective of a CTO at an Internet company, CPA is a godsend, because we’ll be able to accurately measure the true results of our advertising campaigns. Ultimately, CPA *is* the bottom line – for the Student Loan Network, signed applications are currency. Clicks on an ad are an expense.

From the perspective of a podcaster, CPA is going to be a gold mine for podcasters. Why? Because podcasters generally speaking have niche audiences, highly focused, highly engaged. Few podcasters have mega-media reach; if Nielsens were available for podcasters, compared to TV, the ratings for any one podcast show wouldn’t even be a rounding error.

However, if the advertising model changes from CPM/PPC to CPA, podcasting is going to be a wealth-building business, because the close relationship podcasters have with their audiences will make CPA a home run. No need to run banner ads, no need to relentlessly flog a web site to build clicks – simply mention a sponsor or advertiser in a relevant, high quality way, and even just a few conversions will be the payday that podcasting has been looking for.

Why? Because most advertisers, including the Student Loan Network, are willing to pay significantly more for a conversion. Example: the Student Loan Network pays $100 per completed, signed student loan consolidation application via the StudentATM program. When was the last time you saw any advertiser paying $100 per click?

Podcasters: get ready. It’s payday.

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