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Keyword Blocklist Danger, Spotify’s Brand Safety Play, ARN Aims for SCA, & More

Keyword Blocklist Danger, Spotify’s Brand Safety Play, ARN Aims for SCA, & More

October 18, 2023

Today in the Business of Podcasting

Streaming-Powered Tools Coming to Spotify

Megaphone, Spotify’s enterprise-level hosting service, is testing out what it calls “streaming-powered tools for Spotify.” The new system will allow users to upload and monetize video podcasts on Spotify, access enhanced analytics reporting, and use a new clickable promo system to cross-promote an episode with other podcasts you own on Spotify. Podnews reports select users have sent screenshots of announcements and direct invitations to use the new features. [Source]

ARN takeover bid for SCA by Chris Pash

The audio boom continues down under. Australian broadcaster ARN Media has announced a takeover bid for SCA (Southern Cross Austereo). ARN chairman Hamish McLennan estimates the regional radio footprint of ARN would be nearly doubled by the acquisition. If successful, the subsequent dividing of their television and radio assets would create two national media organizations with ownership independent of each other: a metro radio network of ten radio stations in major cities, and a regional radio network of 90 stations across the country. [Source]

Dave Byrne on Spotify’s “Sensitive Topics” Tech

In a Hot Pod interview with Amrita Khaled, Spotify’s director of global ad platform integrity spoke to what methods the tech Spotify and Integral Ad Science have developed to monitor brand safety and suitability. Byrne says their tech attempts to avoid the old-school brand safety problem of outright banning keywords. Keyword blocking is an antiquated method in Byrne’s eyes, including a recent experience when he discovered a brand has unknowingly blocked the term “Janet Jackson” for the last 19 years. Spotify’s tech instead uses contextual cues to figure out what topic is being discussed and if it qualifies as one of their proprietary “sensitive topics” built from the GARM framework. While no direct labeling controls are announced for podcasters to influence how their show is tagged by the system, Byrne says Spotify fully explains how the categorization and contextual tools work so creators can understand the system. [Source]

Why publishers are the new brand ambassadors by Kayleigh Barber

Metrics like viewability and click-through-rate are losing their appeal in the current marketing climate. Game-changers like the death of third-party cookies, concerns about made-for-advertiser content, and changing consumer behaviors online are leading advertisers and agencies to find new ways to prove return on their investments. One new evolution is turning publishers into tastemakers. One example given is eBay creating brand ambassadors out of companies in the Conde Nast portfolio, putting eBay into conversations adjacent to high-tier events like the Met Gala to generate buzz that eBay is a luxury reseller platform. According to The Podcast Landscape, 41% of respondents would likely listen to a podcast about their favorite brand or product. Branded podcasts are a powerful thing, and we could see an uptick in high-end publications producing them as the publisher brand ambassadorship trend continues. [Source]

…as for the rest of the news: a new AdExchanger Talks episode pleads with brands not to add terms like ‘Israel’ and ‘Hamas’ to keyword blocklists, and a new 30 second Allstate ad stresses ‘there’s a podcast about that.’ According to Magellan AI data, Allstate’s current estimated podcast ad spend for the year is a hair over $61,000 as of the end of September.