There was no shortage of growth stories during this week’s IAB Upfront podcast. Here’s some of what was announced —
Wondery touts growth and doubled reach
Amazon Music has been one of the biggest newcomers to podcasting in recent years and Vice President Steve Bloom told IAB Upfront that they see a “huge opportunity” to grow their business by leveraging its acquisition of Wondery in 2021. “What a year has it been,” he said. “We have more than doubled the size of our network, while maintaining the highest quality bar that Wondery is known for.” He said they have also begun their international expansion, bringing many of their hit shows to new global markets and in new languages.
Wondery CEO Jen Sargent said over the past year the company has “greatly expanded its reach” as it is no longer just a podcast studio, but rather a podcast network. as it works with outside creators including NBC, Bloomberg, Gen Z Media and Pineapple. Street. “Through content distribution partnerships with top podcasts established this year, we are now reaching more than twice as many listeners,” Sargent told Ad Buyers. This growth has made Wondery’s listener base even more diverse, she added.
This being a start, she said podcasting as a whole is the medium that is the “preferred form of entertainment for engagement” and the “perfect content pairing for advertisers looking for ad effectiveness.”
Wondery Head of Podcast Ad Sales Laurie Pracher also shared some insights from an Amazon Ads and MindProber custom study conducted in March. It showed that streaming audio had positive emotional engagement 1.6 times higher than broadcast radio benchmarks and 1.4 times higher than linear TV.
“Audio listened to on smart speakers generated higher engagement than the same content on other devices, and it was viewed more favorably,” Pracher said. “Using music and podcasts together drives effective metrics down the consumer funnel. Brands are more likely to reach audiences in a variety of mood states and are more likely to move consumers at all stages of this purchase funnel.
Wondery also announced several limited series in the works. The list includes a show called Fed Up, hosted by actress Casey Wilson of “Black Money” and “Happy Endings” that will delve into the dark side of online influence. He’s also lining up for a true crime podcast called Daphne which follows a murder that tears a small island community apart and exposes ongoing corruption and criminal activity. Later this summer, he will also launch a podcast called Stolen Hearts. Based on true events, the series will tell the story of a decorated British police sergeant who fell in love with a man who led a double life and turned out to be Britain’s biggest bank robber.
Acast connects to the Trade Desk
Programmatic podcast ad marketplace Acast partners with demand-side buying platform The Trade Desk. “For the first time in the history of podcasting, we’ve enabled addressability and attribution measurement directly through The Trade Desk DSP, giving media buyers the ability to target down to the household level. and measure success independently with a unified omnichannel view,” said Elli Dimitroulakos, Acast’s Head of Automation for the Americas. She also highlighted the company’s new conversational targeting feature announced earlier in the week. It will use speech-to-text technology, artificial intelligence and natural language processing to refine the targeting capabilities it offers advertisers.
Pod Digital Media goes to church
Multicultural podcast rep company Pod Digital Media is breaking into faith-based content. CEO Gary Coichy said he would launch a new content vertical including religious podcasts with hosts such as gospel singer Hezekiah Walker and inspirational speaker Toya Beasley. like us, as preachers, who will be creating ten new shows slated to launch in June. Coichy told ad buyers that faith-based shows would help them reach listeners aged 35 and older who are increasingly turning to podcasts. Pod Digital Media earlier announced that it is expanding into gaming content through an ad sales deal with ESPAT TV.