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A Deepdive Into Podcast AdTech

· By Bryan Barletta · Editor: Evo Terra

I remember a time when it was fairly simple to be well versed in all aspects of podcast adtech. But that was when there were half a dozen tools and service providers. Today, there are several dozen, and it’s hard for anyone to keep up. That’s why I  created the Product Deepdive series—the no marketing BS, on-demand solution that allow you to learn how all of this actually works. I’m excited to share this recap of the products and services we’ve covered so far, and what’s to come.

Sounds Profitable podcast
Evo Terra and Ian Powell join me on the podcast to talk about Sounds Profitable the Podcast: Season 1. We’re running a podcast listener study with Edison Research, so please listen to an episode and fill out the survey!

When I started Sounds Profitable in September 2020, my entire goal was to educate more people in the podcast industry, as well as those looking to get deeper into it, on how advertising and specifically advertising technology works.

The 13 years I’ve spent deep in the trenches of adtech have taught me two really vital things:

One, in the same way your parents don’t have all the answers or make the right decisions when you’re growing up, neither does the management above you. While I’ve had some great managers that have helped me grow as person, very few were experts in the industry, and fewer still had mastery of the tools used to ply the trade.

Two, meetings are constantly happening all around you that you probably should be in. But someone made the decision to not invite you, leaving you out of major internal or external decisions that ultimately will become your responsibility.

My newsletter and podcast are my attempts at solving the first thing. My product deep dive series is my attempt at solving the second. 

The global pandemic and an industry that is learning to embrace a remote workforce has made it sadly easier for the right people to be left out of critical meetings, especially when it comes to evaluating new products to use. My entire goal of the deep dives was to replicate those meetings with me playing the role of CTO/COO on the final product review before a company signed with that partner. 

And today, to close out the first year of Sounds Profitable, I wanted to highlight the amazing companies who had the guts to fully walk through their product in public, for you to figure out if it’s the right fit for your company, on your own time.

Deepdive Process

As I rewatch the deep dives from last year, I’m struck by how genuinely excited I was—and still am— to share these products with the world. I’m picky when I get a deepdive request, and the first step I make every service provider go through is a rehearsal. This ensures I fully understand the product and that the presenter is incredibly comfortable walking through it. And if I come up with hard questions, they’ve got until the final recording to figure out an acceptable answer.

All of the deepdives are recorded remotely, and while some of the first few had major hiccups, like sometimes losing the entire screenshare, we’ve now got our technical flow down pat. We switched over to Squadcast to handle all the recordings, including screen shares with zero loss! The team over at Podify created a custom template for us and edits the final product.

I couldn’t be more happy with the end results, as I truly feel like I’m sharing some of my favorite podcasting products with you. I was incredibly familiar with some of those services before starting Sounds Profitable, while others were brand new to me. But each product deepdive showcased a product that I encourage you to explore more on your own if you feel it fits your needs.

So let’s check them out!

Podscribe

Podverifi, Powered by Podscribe

Kicking off this piece, we’ve actually got a brand new product deepdive from Podscribe, where they publicly announce their new product, Podverifi. I’m bullish on this product because I think it adds a new category to podcast adtech: Verification. Instead of mimicking other media channels methods that don’t apply to podcasting, Podscribe focuses on live airchecks at time of episode publishing and incredibly detailed transcription checks to make sure every scripted point, promo code, or URL was implemented correctly. Tools like this will increase buyer confidence and comfort with exploring the medium.

Podscribe Competitive Intelligence

Our first Sounds Profitable product deepdive kicked off in December 2020 with Podscribe’s core offering: a competitive intelligence tool. By consistently transcribing a mix of the top podcasts in addition to specific podcasts requested by their clients, the Podscribe team has built out a really strong offering that benefits both brands and podcasters looking to find the right fit for future campaigns.

Triton Digital

Triton Digital Podcast Metrics

Triton Digital Podcast Metrics is the infrastructure behind their monthly Podcast Reports. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Their focus is on taking raw, unprocessed logs from their podcast clients hosting providers, and processing them all with the same methodology. While most of the industry is now IAB compliant, it’s absolutely expected for there to be discrepancies between hosting partners, third parties, and of course how publishers pull their data to share. Each publisher maintains full control of their data, with the ability to share access with buyers on request through the same platform, reducing the operational headache for buyers and publishers alike in trying to line up analytics to plan a campaign.

Omny Studio for Enterprise

When I think of what an enterprise solution would be for podcasting, I think about API’s and incredibly granular permission structures. Omny Studio has really taken that to heart, enabling publishers to get a fully customizable experience for teams of any size within their UI, or to bring it completely out and build it into their own CMS. From large media companies to partners looking to offer their own take on podcast hosting and advertising, there are a lot of bells and whistles here for you to check out.

AdsWizz

Audiomatic

Programmatic advertising can be daunting and for podcasting, so it’s important to remember that we’re still in the early days of it. AdsWizz Audiomatic provides buyers who don’t have their own DSP (Demand Side Platform) or are looking for more podcast-first features the ability to try out buying programmatically without the massive commitment it usually takes. This deep dive focuses heavily on highlighting these features for buyers, but publishers should take note of just how easy it is to get set up with AdsWizz. Assuming you’re on a VAST-compatible hosting platform.

Spreaker

Spreaker Enterprise for Publishers

Spreaker is the first podcast monetization platform I’ve come across with a yield optimization strategy. Their mission is clear: high fill rate through programmatic advertising is their top priority. There is a lot of information and even more adtech power being provided to publishers of all sizes right now, but there are very few definitive statements on how exactly a product or service will operate. Publishers looking for a robust hosting platform with a heavily hands-on approach to monetizing your unfilled inventory should definitely check this out.

StreamGuys

SGRecast from StreamGuys

For radio folk and those straddling the line between radio and podcasting, the SGRecast tool is definitely something to check out. Streaming audio focuses heavily on metadata frameworks to identify all the different segments in a show, and SGRecast enables each publisher to capture their unique configuration per show, to automatically add and remove segments from the streaming audio feed to export a complete podcast episode. A very powerful tool for a very specific job.

Kevel

Kevel Custom Adserver

Kevel offers a complete ad serving solution for any podcast hosting platform that’s looking to up their game in the dynamic ad insertion and programmatic space. Building an adserver is no joke. Maintaining and updating it can be even more work than getting it off the ground, so the idea of being able to plug in a third-party solution in under a week is incredibly impressive. This was the first deepdive we did with both the company and an active client (Andrew Kuklewicz, CTO of PRX) and I think it added a whole new depth to the deepdive series.

Upcoming Deepdives

As great as this has been over the last year, there’s lots more coming! Over the rest of 2021, you’ll get more deep dives coming from: 

And though 2022 is still many months away, I’ve already secured some repeat guests in both Triton Digital and Podscribe, along with new products from ThoughtLeaders and Podbean.

If you want your podcast adtech product or service featured on your own deep dive, please get in touch, as the calendar is filling up fast! And if you’ve found value in watching these, I’d love to hear about it.

Yappa

New Sponsors

Sounds Profitable exists thanks to the continued support of our amazing sponsors. Each sponsor receives one hour of consulting per month as a way to say thanks. 

Want to learn more about sponsorship? Hit reply!

Rel’s Recs

Sounds Profitable podcast
Arielle’s pick for this week is: Private Parts Unknown

Private Parts Unknown is an entertaining and eye-opening podcast that brings listeners stories of sex and love in far-off lands. Hosts Sofiya and Courtney are LA-based comedians who travel to countries such as Belize, Finland, and Japan to document and partake in sex and dating-related culture. They draw parallels, speak with locals, and do it all with sharp-witted humor.

Market Insights - with ThoughtLeaders

A graph from ThoughtLeaders

Noam Yadin, Content and Social Media Manager at ThoughtLeaders joins me this week to share insight into current trends:

Due to a combination of factors (the pandemic and staying at home, just to name a few), more and more podcasters added a sprinkle of 'health and wellness’ into their content in 2021. It’s interesting to point out that most of the podcasters talking about 'health and wellness’ are in the lifestyle category.

What else is going on… with Podnews

Podsights terminated its contract with Libsyn’s AdvertiseCast, citing repeated bad conduct from a Libsyn employee; Joe Rogan’s exclusivity on Spotify is hurting his influence; Audioboom had an offer from an investment company to buy its business for $258m - All Active Asset Capital has until September 13th to revise its offer; and after just 45 days, Darknet Diaries has attracted more than 670 paid subscribers in Apple Podcasts. Subscribe to Podnews.

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Bryan BarlettaBryan Barletta (He/Him) is the voice behind Sounds Profitable. He started in the adtech industry so long ago that they used to ask, “Mobile advertising? Like on taxis?” (2008) before shifting into podcasting in 2015. His goal is to make in-depth adtech more accessible for readers and listeners. And, yes, it is sunny and warm in Austin today.

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