Skip to main content
Up Next: A Better Way To Buy Podcast Ads, and More

Up Next: A Better Way To Buy Podcast Ads, and More

Written By

Bryan Barletta

Know the Author

May 10, 2021


About a month ago, I had the crazy notion of upgrading the standard “up front” ad sales event, popular in both TV and in podcasting. I say “upgrading” for a few different reasons, but mostly because I like taking inspiration from other forms of media to create something unique to podcasting. Fortunately, more than two dozen companies picked up what I was putting down, and you’re invited to see hear the results!

Up Next – Spring 2021

We’ve taken the standard up front and adapted it to showcase the best aspects of podcasting, uniquely designing and developing something that better fits the podcast audience, which brands, advertisers, and agencies are absolutely a part of.

Our goal was simple: use audio to sell audio, and deliver an experience that feels very “podcast”.

And now, you’re invited to experience all the great content from Sounds Profitable’s Up Next Spring 2021 right in your podcast player, thanks to our friends at Supercast.

Up Next Spring 2021

Your hosts are Michelle Khouri of FRQNCY Media and Tom Webster of Edison Research, both of whom are amazing, passionate, and ridiculously funny individuals who care deeply about podcasting. Through a “bonus” episode to start, they’ll briefly explain what makes our Up Next different from traditional up fronts and then introduce two additional episodes that explore the thoughts and insights from industry leaders.

The first will feature the top agencies in podcast advertising—Ad Result MediaVeritone One, and OXFORd Road—in conversation with Podsights. The second will highlight the point of view that brands bring to the table in podcast advertising with Curoloy answering questions from Magellan AI.

Now, it’s time for the content! Each participating partner will have their own “season” in the feed, and each season follows the same format.

Episode 1 is a pitch episode, with some insight about the publisher, what they do best, the success they’ve helped advertisers achieve, and of course, why media buyers should buy their available inventory. We’re taking full advantage of the episode description by providing links to additional resources to help buyers make a more informed decision and make easier connections.

Episodes 2 through 6 are hand-picked episodes showcasing the amazing properties the publisher has created or represents, giving any listening buyer a solid feel of not only what content their brand(s) will be associated with, but also how that publisher institutes ad-reads, as these will likely point to live episodes from the show’s active feeds or uniquely hosted episodes.

Those partners are:

All of this is available to you, to listen to in whatever order you like, whenever you like.

This is my mixtape to the business side of the podcasting industry. This is a plea to not ignore the amazing and unique space we all are working so hard to grow. I hope you find this as exciting as I do. And if it goes well, we’ll do this every quarter and invite more amazing partners to participate.

Sounds Profitable’s Up Next can only exist with support from our amazing sponsors, including those who aren’t actively participating in Up Next. So please do me the biggest favor and share both Up Next and Sounds Profitable with your friends and colleagues that you think will find this interesting.

None of this would be possible without the hard work of the following people:

Marcus dePaula of the Podcast Audio Lab handled all of the audio engineering work for the three bonus episodes. Marcus has a whole suite of audio courses coming out shortly for all skill levels, and will also be coming back to Sounds Profitable as a guest writer and will be someone I intend to work with a lot in the future.

Evo Terra produced and strategized how the concept of Up Next would come to life. Evo’s experience from being on the mic all the way to handling ad campaigns is truly why I believe that everyone should be subscribed to his amazing podcast and newsletter, Podcast Pontifications. His ability to talk directly to the intersection of the entire space makes his content appealing and thought-provoking for everyone in the podcast industry, so please follow his content.

Ryan Brunner from Supercast simply replied “yup, we can do that” when I pitched the idea. Ryan has put in nights and weekends to help make this happen, along with the amazing engineering team at Supercast, so they deserve a ton of applause for all that hard work.

Jake Crowe for always creating art for Sounds Profitable that fits what I’m going for. I am so thankful that 17 years ago Jake accidentally poured an entire bottle of water into my brand new laptop, and we somehow became amazing friends.

And to all of you amazing subscribers of Sounds Profitable, please help me make this crazy idea a success by signing up for the feed and sharing it with your friends and colleagues.

Homework – with Yappa

Last week, Peter Birch of Talking HealthTech asked a great question over on Yappa about how I manage to use both Supercast and dynamic ad insertion. To expand on my answer, I still host everything on Whooshkaa, I just made a new RSS feed which I didn’t submit anywhere. Supercast lets me import an RSS feed into their platform and then assign how each piece of content works from there, so when you’re listening to my Supercast feed, it’s pulling directly from my Whooshkaa feed that’s not listed anywhere, giving me the best of both worlds.

If you’ve got questions like Peter, click the Yappa image below and let me hear them. I’m here to help all of you out as best I can.

Sounds Profitable News


Sounds Profitable is entirely sponsorship supported. Everything I do is about education and providing a resource to grow podcasting. That’s why I take such pride in announcing new sponsors that help me continue to build Sounds Profitable as an independent resource for the industry.

  • editaudio is a queer-led, all woman, non-binary, and trans podcast team of podcast producers and creators, who work to make the audio industry more representative of what the world actually looks like.
  • Strategic Media is an audio-only agency representing an impressive roster of established & emerging performance brands across all industries: Zip Recruiter, hims, Babbel, Warby Parker, Beachbody, Cameo, TrueBill, and many more.
  • Roaring Earth is an Apple New and Noteworthy science podcast that tells the untold stories of our world’s wildest animals, places, and phenomena. It launched on Earth Day two weeks ago and is already among the most downloaded science and nature podcasts.

If your company is interested in becoming a sponsor of Sounds Profitable, just hit reply and let me know!

Product Deepdives

Adswizz is back this month for their second deepdive of 2021! We’re recording this week and I’m excited to share even more with you next week. You can find all our previous deepdives here!

Market Insights – with ThoughtLeaders

Branding around specific holidays is always interesting to me. It’s definitely weird to see Patreon and Anchor at the top. Netflix at the bottom might be over my head as I haven’t seen any Mother’s Day focused content thrown our way this week/weekend, but Skylight Frame and StoryWorth are clearly putting in the effort. I think personally I’ll be interested in seeing what other holidays we see those brands pop up around, and if anyone from those brands is reading, I’d love to talk to you about your success in podcasting.

Also happy belated Mother’s Day!

About the author

Bryan Barletta (He/Him) is the founder of Sounds Profitable, and a widely-cited expert in adtech, sales, and monetization of podcasting. He founded Sounds Profitable in 2020 after a successful career working with some of the leading companies in advertising technology, including AdTheorent, Claritas, and Megaphone. Barletta helped to design some of the tools in use by podcast platforms today for attribution, measurement, and serving audio ads, and uses that expertise to help clients and sponsors get the most from their sales and advertising efforts. He founded Sounds Profitable initially as a platform to help educate persons working in the podcast industry about advertising and sales technology, but has since expanded the brand to become the industry’s premiere source for education, advocacy, and insights designed to grow the entire space. He is an avid gamer and father of two boys, neither of whom have their own podcast, yet.