Sci Fi Podcasts for Promotion

Apr 4, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Grabbing one of Internet marketing’s newest buzzwords, Sci Fi Channel has introduced three “podcasts” to its Web site, Scifi.com, to promote its shows. A podcast is downloadable audio content, such as a radio show, that can be played on an Apple iPod.

Last month the network began offering a podcast in connection with its popular show “Battlestar Galactica” in which the show’s executive producer Ronald Moore provides an audio commentary for each episode, said Craig Engler, general manager for the Web site. Viewers can listen to the commentary when they want, including while watching the episode.

He said the “Battlestar Galactica” podcast marks the first time a network has created content for a podcast other than the audio stream of the show itself.

Mr. Engler doesn’t have numbers for the use of the podcast, but estimates it’s been downloaded up to 30,000 times. Though the run of the first season ends this month, Mr. Moore will continue to podcast when the second season starts shooting this month. During production, his podcast will be behind-the-scenes shooting commentary. He’ll resume the show commentary podcasts when the second season starts airing in July. In addition, the show’s other executive producer, David Eick, will do a behind-the-scenes video blog during the shooting of the second season.

The success of the “Battlestar Galactica” podcast has sparked others at Scifi.com. The show “Stargate: Atlantis” now includes online a podcast with two of the show’s writers discussing the episode with DVD-style commentary, and the Web site also offers a podcast of sci-fi entertainment news. “It’s a big buzzword now, and if it continues to be strong in the future we’ll look at [continuing],” Mr. Engler said. “We’re interested in the promotional aspects and being cool because that’s a part of our job at the Sci Fi Channel.”

Nat Geo to Add Clips to Web Site

At the end of this quarter, National Geographic Channel plans to beef up the broadband video it offers on its Web site with a slate of online video clips from its shows, including “National Geographic Presents” and other current offerings. The clips will come in the Video Juke Box section, which will launch with about 250 clips. The site will add about five per week. The network said the aim is to increase time on the site, awareness of the channel’s series and on-air tune-in.