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Claritas Acquires ArtsAI, Audible’s Into the Buffyverse, Google’s Antitrust Case, & More

Claritas Acquires ArtsAI, Audible’s Into the Buffyverse, Google’s Antitrust Case, & More

September 14, 2023

This Week in the Business of Podcasting

It’s a good week in podcast-relevant news, both for the data-nerds and the pop culture nerds. My condolences to those of you who’re about to get lost in a seven season rewatch of a supernatural drama series from the last 90s. Before you boot up Hulu, let’s get into the news.

Track behaviors, trends, and insights: Download Magellan AI’s podcast advertising benchmark report for Q2

Study finds over half of business owners are daily podcast listeners

 Last Friday from Reem Makari, writing for PodPod: podcast production company Lower Street, in partnership with ContentFX, published a report looking at the impact of business-to-business podcasting.

The study was built from the listening habits of 511 senior-level individuals in the business sector of the US and UK, including owners, executives, leadership team members, and managers. A quote from ContentFX lead researcher Peter Hammer:

“We’re excited to partner with Lower Street to apply our research approach to the growing B2B podcasting sector. These findings highlight that likable, well-branded podcasts can deliver strong outcomes for marketers.”

51% of respondents listen to podcasts daily. 36% of respondents use podcasts to learn new things and 43% use them as their primary source of information.

Similarly to the sentiment of Tom Webster’s recent article The Podcast You Want to Make, Lower Street presents the study results as an indication B2B podcasting has their target audience into account when creating and promoting content.

Claritas Acquires ArtsAI

This Tuesday from Jack Neff at AdAge: Two of the bigger audio measurement players are now one. ArtsAI has been acquired by Claritas. The acquisition will allow the two companies to combine their tech and work to democratize the advertising business via advanced data and AI-powered personalization.

A theoretical example given was using ArtsAI’s tech to identify a demographic of soccer moms who like to travel and then serve them a Peloton exercise bike ad featuring European scenery around the instructor on the bike’s screen.

Keri Degroote, senior VP of sales research & analytics at SXM Media, told AdAge: “We are big believers in an open ecosystem and transparent third-party measurement. So we’re thrilled to see two of our key collaborators in Claritas and ArtsAI join forces to create an even stronger, more seamless option that will deliver for both our business and our clients.”

Audible to Produce Buffy Spinoff With Original Cast, Kc Wayland to Direct

This Wednesday from Entertainment Weekly’s Sydney Bucksbaum: Branded audio fiction is nothing new. One only need look to Big Finish, who has been producing officially-licensed Doctor Who audio dramas four years before the first podcast. But recently, the genre has gone through a resurgence. First Disney announced a Frozen continuation, then Wondery signed multiple Dr. Seuss podcasts, and Nickelodeon is ringing in the Halloween season with a podcast continuation of Are You Afraid of the Dark? 

Now Audible is bringing cult classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer back with a multiverse twist. Slayers: A Buffyverse Story introduces fan-favorite vampire Spike to an alternate reality where the titular Buffy was never born. The cast features eight cast members from the original TV series reprising their roles, including James Marsters as Spike.

Behind the microphones, the series is co-written by actor Amber Benson (known for her role as Tara in the original Buffy) and novelist Christopher Golden. The series is co-directed by Benson, Golden, and Kc Wayland. Wayland is most known for his zombie apocalypse audio drama We’re Alive in 2009 which has spawned a franchise of multiple spinoff podcasts. The fact that Audible sought out a known director in the field with a horror background shows they’re taking branded audio fiction seriously. The show is set to premiere October 12th.

The Department of Justice’s Case Against Google

 New from Digiday’s Ronan Shields this Tuesday: The Department of Justice’s antitrust lawsuit against Google started this week, and here’s what that might mean for advertising.

The suit, brought by both the DoJ and Attorneys General from 11 different states, alleges Google has violated The Sherman Act, a federal law designed to prevent the formation of monopolies. The suit argues Google has “de facto exclusivity” as the prevailing search engine and can use that position to play favorites with which companies get preferential placement in the search engine.

While a government-enforced breakup of Google would change the landscape of marketing as we know it, this case will likely take weeks, if not years, to get as far as the prosecution proving Google has broken any antitrust laws. It also is worth noting the DoJ has not yet expressed their intended outcome if they were to win. Any outcome, positive or negative, will potentially take years to come into effect.

The digital sky is not falling, yet.

Industry Insights with Magellan AI

Between Q1 and Q2 2023, overall average ad loads increased from 5.55% to 5.97%. Year-over-year average ad loads were relatively flat Y/Y, from 6% in Q2 2022.

Looking to get a handle on podcast advertising metrics? Book a demo with the Magellan AI team.

Quick Hits

While they may not be top story material, the articles below from this week are definitely worth your time:

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