Home Audio Transcription IAB Podcast Upfront Notebook: AdsWizz, Sony Music Entertainment, Slate, Vox Media. |...

IAB Podcast Upfront Notebook: AdsWizz, Sony Music Entertainment, Slate, Vox Media. | Podcast News Daily


Here is some of what is making news at this week’s IAB Podcast Upfront —

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AdsWizz: Podcast Newcomers More Open To Announcers

AdsWizz says it had a 157% increase in ad spend by impressions during 2021 alongside a 300% year-over-year growth in the number of publisher using AdsWizz ad tech. In its annual Podcast Trends Report released during the IAB Podcast Upfront, it has some good news for marketers looking to use pre-produced ads. AdsWizz says new listeners — those listening a year or less — are 19% more likely than “old guard” listeners — those listening for six or more years — to say that non host-read ads are a good fit with the podcasts they listen to. 

New listeners also tend to be younger and more gender-balanced. They also listen for shorter periods of time, averaging 4.4 hours of listening time per week versus 7.1 hours among old-timers. New listeners are also 36% more likely to jump between podcasts. And while Comedy is the top genre for both groups, True Crime and celebrity chat shows do better among newcomers compared to the old guard that puts News and Sports podcasts near the top. 

“We’ve seen the continued rise in multicultural and independent content. The acceptance of relevant ads by listeners. And an increased number of advertisers leveraging the power of podcasts to reach active and engaged audiences,” said AdsWizz Senior VP Anne Frisbie.

Read the full 2022 Podcast Trends Report produced by AdsWizz and its SXM Media partners HERE.

Frisbie also announced during AdsWizz’s upfront presentation that the company is working to leverage its two-year old Artificial Intelligence-powered transcription technology beyond ad targeting and brand safety uses after analyzing nearly five million podcast transcriptions. “We are working with the IAB to see how we might further leverage this for the industry,” Frisbie said.

More ‘Always On’ Shows From Sony

Sony Music Entertainment says it will grow the number of always-on podcasts, typically personality-driven conversation series. “During 2022, you can expect a lot more from us in these spaces,” said EVP/Co-Head of Global Podcasts Steve Ackerman. He told the IAB Podcast Upfront that such shows typically attract a younger and more diverse audience. 

Sony Music Entertainment also previewed nearly a dozen new titles in today’s Upfront presentation, highlighting two new projects from Adam McKay’s Hyperobject Industries including a show called Bedtime Stories that it describes as an “immersive and lulling auditory experience.” No two episodes are ever the same for the adult-targeted podcast, with each story improvised by McKay which stems from one word chosen at random by his producer Harry Nelson. 

There are also several upcoming true crime releases from Campside Media and March Smerling’s Truth Media which has a pot-laced true crime series. Plus brand new seasons of hit series Smoke Screen and Spectacle from Neon Hum, and multiple new titles across all genres from Somethin’ Else. “Sony Music has believed in the power of the voice for as long as we’ve existed and we’re proud to work with some of podcasting’s best storytellers to bring their ideas and voices to listeners around the world,” said Ackerman. “From New York to LA to London, our team is uniquely positioned to engage loyal audiences with an expanding roster of shows across all genres and formats.” 

Slate Increases Show Frequency

Slate announced it plans to ramp up the release schedule for several of its shows, which Slate President/Chief Revenue Officer Charlie Kammerer said they think will help grow their relationship with listeners. Slate started the move last year with the internet culture show In Case You Missed It which drops two episodes a week. Kammerer said it has “grown wildly over our expectations both in downloads and ad revenue.” So Slate will do the same with three more weekly shows this year — the tech show What Next: TBD, the parenting show Mom and Dad Are Fighting, and its job life show Working — and increase their frequency to twice-weekly. It has also added a monthly author-focused episode to Political Gabfest.

On a marketing front, Slate is also pitching branded mini-features to advertisers that may not want to commit to an entire podcast. They worked with Nielsen to show how some test campaigns worked when compared to traditional podcast advertising. “The branded mini-features actually outperformed the host-reads, achieving significant lift across key metrics like brand association, favorability, and even purchase intent,” said Director of Creative Strategy Lily Butler. “Standard host-reads also showed positive lift across the same three metrics versus those not exposed, but branded mini-features drove even stronger lift.” 

Slate is also creating something called Audiograms built from a podcast clip which it says will be converted into video ad units that can be leveraged across multiple platforms including social media. Director of Marketing Stephanie Snyder told ad buyers they’ll greatly increase their ROI for investing in the audio in the first place.

Expertise, Not Celebrities For Vox Media

Vox Media Editor in Chief Nilay Patel said their mission is clearly different. “Other networks may chase celebrities, but we chase expertise,” he said during the company’s presentation. Patel also touted a year of growth for the Vox Media Podcast Network, which doubled its monthly downloads across the network, acquired Criminal Productions and Cafe Studios, and struck partnerships with shows including The Prof G Pod with Scott Galloway, Longform, Gastropod, and Waveform: The MKBHD Podcast. 

Phoebe Judge, host of the Criminal podcast, said the move to Vox is allowing the show to dramatically expand. “By the end of the year, we’ll have doubled our team. Our goal is to release more episodes of Criminal every month as well as continue to release more episodes of This Is Love. We also have plans for two serialized stories that we hope to be able to announce soon,” said Judge.

Café Studios cofounder Preet Bharara said he plans to release a new season of their history podcast Now & Then while also releasing a second season of the true crime podcast Up Against The Mob.

Vox also told ad buyers their latest audience data shows one quarter of Vox Media’s podcast listeners are executives or business owners. And nearly 70% have sought more information on a brand or service that they heard about from a Vox Media podcast. 

More updates from this week’s IAB Podcast Upfront in tomorrow’s Podcast News Daily

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