Bridging the Gap

Instapaper Debuts Ad on The Howard Stern Show

Instapaper has conquered the geek market, creator Marco Arment decides.
howard stern Instapaper Debuts Ad on <em>The Howard Stern Show</em>

(Photo: howardstern.com)

Instapaper’s Marco Arment just made his first big advertising buy with a spot on Howard Stern’s satellite radio show, which aired last week. “I am a huge fan by the way, and this for real, of Instapaper,” Mr. Stern says in the spot. “I have Instapaper on all my devices… I love you Instapaper. I want to make out with you.”

Mr. Stern then walks his co-host through the app, explaining that she can save articles and even recipes without clutter. The ad lasts more than a minute during the news segment of the show.

Mr. Arment and Dan Benjamin addressed the ad on their podcast, Build and Analyze. “That was so much better than I would have expected,” Mr. Arment said. “So I bought my first big ad.” He laughed nervously. “That is a paid ad. I spent way too much money on it, I think, but I don’t know.”

“You’re ascending to new levels,” Mr. Benjamin said later in the show.”

Instapaper has run ads on geeky podcasts and web shows before, Mr. Arment said, but the app is reaching near 100 percent awareness in that market. “I think this audience of geeks and apple fans who kind of like me, or read one of my blog posts, or, according to commentors, on the Verge, hate my guts… I’ve probably already saturated that market,” he said.

Mr. Arment also considered buying ads on commuter trains in New York, which were the inspiration for Instapaper in the first place, but they were too expensive. “The Howard ad was very attractive to me. I know who listens to the show. I listen to the show. People underestimate The Howard Stern Show audience,” he said. “The radio show is a four-hour long discussion and humor show… it really is a great show.”

The Howard Stern ad runs for two weeks. On the first day, Mr. Arment’s servers went down just before the show started; luckily, he got them back up before Mr. Stern plugged the app.

The ad hits around the same time as a major Instapaper release and rumors of the Android version of Instapaper.

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