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Apple Announces Linkfire, SXM Media partners with The Trade Desk, & More

Apple Announces Linkfire, SXM Media partners with The Trade Desk, & More

August 21, 2023

Today in the Business of Podcasting

Three updates to Apple Podcasts

As of this morning, Apple now provides Subscription Analytics in Apple Podcasts Connect, adding the ability to track how many listeners started free trials, number of paid subscriptions, the percentage of users who converted from free to paid, and more. The new batch of providers approved for Delegated Delivery – Apple’s system allowing hosts to directly submit episodes to a premium Apple feed – will include Audiomeans, Captivate, Podbean, Podspace, and Transistor by the end of the year, with Podbean starting today.

And last but not least in our Apple Corner: the Linkfire marketing platform has expanded into podcasts with an exclusive integration with Apple Podcasts. Linkfire for Podcasts users have the ability to generate unlimited smart links to landing pages for their podcasts, which provide anonymized audience insights to a Linkfire dashboard. Linkfire for Podcasts will start at $9.99 a month at launch.

The first partnership will allow SXM Media to add support for third-party audibility measurement to programmatic campaigns bought through The Trade Desk. HUMAN, a fraud sensor network accredited by the Media Rating Council to detect invalid traffic, will be a traffic validation solution for Adwizz’s marketplace inventory.

Barry Hott on Instagram Reels over-serving ads

Growth marketing consultant Barry Hott took to X (formerly Twitter) to share a screenshot of a new update to Instagram Reels advertising. The screenshot shows a displays four tiled ads on screen at once instead of the traditional one in the Reels feed. Hott frames the four simultaneous ads as reminder that not all impressions are equal. He also attributes the move to Meta trying to maximize ad impressions for the same amount of scrolling real-estate. While it is possible to over-load a podcast with ads, podcasting as an industry is firmly in the habit of only serving one ad at a time.

Spotify hits record number of users worldwide but struggles to monetize growth by

According to eMarketer data aggregation, Spotify more than doubled its initial projection of adding 15 million new years in the last quarter. Factors attributed to this are Spotify branching into new markets like Argentina and China, with the share of users outside the US increasing from 15% to 30% over the last four years. The company did experience slower revenue growth quarter-over-quarter for Q2, which analyst Daniel Konstantinovic attributes to high-quality music streaming from competitors for a cheaper price and the recent Spotify Premium price hike threatens to shake off cost-conscious users. Podcast growth remains promising, though Spotify faces the (industry-wide) challenge of turning new audiences into podcast listeners.

Former UTA Agent Launches Kids and Family Audio Company With Agency Backing by Lacey Rose

Jed Baker, most known in the podcasting world for being involved in the Peacock TV deal for Dr. Death, has launched an audio network focusing on kids and family content named Starglow. Baker says Kids & Family is the fastest-growing genre in audio and positions both podcasts and audiobooks as an ideal alternative to screen time for children. The company’s initial slate of content is built of pre-existing content licensed for Starglow ahead of planned original content that will target kids 3 to 12 years old.

…as for the rest of the news: Variety covers a star-studded new podcast with ad sales handled by Gumball, publishers are seeing per-subscriber revenue increases amid ad revenue decline, and both Digiday and The New York Times covered allegations that YouTube’s adtech is serving ads specifically to children, in violation of the Child Online Privacy Protection Act.