Subscribe by email, free
The business of podcasting

Amazon Exclusivity Deals Galore + 4 more stories for Feb 18, 2022

Today on The Download, Amazon continues their streak of signing exclusivity deals, agents are becoming more of a common site in podcasting, and Spotify buys both Podsights and Charitable.

Good news for those who missed Ad Result Media and Edison Research’s big webinar on 2021 data from Super Listeners: Caila Litman live-tweeted the event!

Litman, author of Sound Profitable’s column #GoodData, posted a thread of 17 tweets containing screenshots and quotes full of juicy data. According to the thread, podcast power users are eagerly engaging with podcast advertising. 74% Super

Listeners are visiting a product or service’s website after hearing it promoted on a favorite podcast.

53% of those listeners agree they have a more positive opinion of a company when it’s mentioned on a podcast they regularly listen to. A 9% increase from 2019 data on the same question.

After last week’s Amazon-heavy coverage we’re mixing things up with... another Amazon acquisition! Amazon Music and Wondery have signed How I Built This with Guy Raz. The deal gives Wondery exclusive ad sales and YouTube distribution rights for simulcasts while all new podcast episodes will have Amazon Music exclusivity for one week. Meanwhile, NPR keeps radio distribution rights and underwriting credits. In addition, How I Built This will ramp up to a twice-weekly upload schedule.

Amazon’s just getting started in podcasting and deals like this indicate podcast ads are clearly working for them. In addition, their premium Wondery+ subscriptions in their own bespoke app and through Apple Podcast subscriptions are working well enough to continue obtaining more timed exclusive content.

Now we find Amazon at an interesting moment in regards to acquisitions. They’ve got Art19 for tech, Amazon Music for distribution, and Wondery to produce and publish content. Their biggest space for growth is ad sales, something that might change if their offer to buy Audioboom is chosen over competitor Spotify. If big green gets the company, they effectively buy a company that does something they can already do well. Buying Audioboom would effectively eliminate competition in their field.

If Amazon gets the purchase they get closer to a full package of podcast monetization that will become incredibly hard to compete with.

For brevity’s sake, we’ve combined two stories into one segment, as iHeartMedia appears to be in the mood to form partnerships this week. Partnership number one: iHeart partners with Sounder to bring brand safety to audio.

At the moment, all current brand safety and suitability solutions are built for text. If one wants to turn one of those services on for podcasting, the podcast has to be transcribed. This partnership provides similar value to what Adswizz and Acast implemented with Comscore to contextually categorize their inventory for targeting and brand suitability.

This is just a first step, though, as the data has to be actionable by buyers, sellers, and planners in their tools directly. As things currently stand, it feels like the overall podcast industry would benefit more from building a unified framework to tackle this problem than everyone splitting off and doing duplicate work to build their own solution.

And partnership number two: iHeart is looking to broaden its global podcast outreach by partnering with Veritone to use their translation and synthetic voice AI tech to, as Brad Hill reports on RAIN News “translate and synthetically voice iHeart’s leading podcasts for Spanish-speaking markets.” With this Veritone partnership, iHeart is on track to be able to have their more popular podcasts available in global markets via synthetic translated voices.

Our Valentine’s gift this year is an article from The Hollywood Reporter’s J. Clara Chan interviewing talent agents tasked with signing big podcasts. Podcasting is growing fast and a big sign of that is the prevalence of agents. Behind every big acquisition story is an agent getting into a relatively new field and helping the producer. With the industry growing at an exponential rate podcasting has a growing need for representation and agents seem to be stepping up to rep shows big and small.

Chan reports:

“As Hollywood fully buys into podcasting, multimillion-dollar deals are the norm for the crème de la crème of shows, while a growing audio advertising marketplace has allowed more podcasters to make a good living off their work as the industry is expected to exceed $2 billion in ad revenue next year. The major talent agencies have jumped on the train and are building out their audio divisions, with agents increasingly working on podcast deals with clients.”

The big players in podcasting are chasing the new trend of acquiring IP to adapt, and agents are taking notice.

Finally, the biggest news in podcasting this week: Spotify has purchased both Podsights and Chartable. With the acquisition, the podcast measurement service Podsights will remain available to the public. Quoting from Tech Crunch’s Sarah Perez:

“After Chartable is fully integrated into Megaphone, Spotify will deprecate the standalone Chartable platform. Until then, however, it will remain available to both new and existing publisher and advertiser clients.”

Here’s what Sounds Profitable’s own Bryan Barletta had to say in Podnews:

“Third-party analytics and attribution are critical to a growing advertising ecosystem. In podcasting, Chartable and Podsights were two of the three core providers that helped drive that point home. Spotify has bought great technology and acquired an all-star technical and sales talent, but these companies are no longer third-party solutions due to Spotify’s role as a publisher, hosting platform, and ad seller. Just like with Adswizz’s attribution pixel and the Triton ranker, these solutions can still add value, but with this acquisition, they now lack the ability to be seen as truly neutral.”

And finally, in a rare ‘honorable mention’ section, The Download tips its proverbial cap to Alyssa Myer. Thanks to her efforts, we’re seeing more detailed coverage of podcast advertising. If you haven’t checked out her coverage of advertisers experimenting with programmatic ads over on The Morning Brew. Get to it!

The Download is a production of Sounds Profitable. Today's episode was hosted by Shreya Sharma and Manuela Bedoya, and the script was written by Gavin Gaddis.

Bryan Barletta and Evo Terra are the executive producers of The Download from Sounds Profitable.

Special thanks to Ian Powell for his audio prowess, and to our media host, Omny Studio.

See for privacy information.

See for privacy information.

Get the free Sounds Profitable newsletter for more like this.
Our privacy policy keeps your data safe.
(Fill this in now; you won’t lose your place!)

Get the latest about the business of podcasting with our free weekly newsletter