Brand Safety & Suitability
July 10, 2023
It’s no secret that podcasts are now mainstream. Pew Research just released its Audio and Podcasting Fact Sheet last week, showing 64% of Americans have now listened to a podcast. But as podcasting as an entertainment medium continues to grow, there seems to be something missing: advertisers. Despite the overwhelmingly positive acceptance of podcasting by the general public, the advertising world has been much slower to adapt and reposition itself to reach this rapidly growing audience. Why?
Insider Intelligence forecasts US podcast advertising spend will grow to $3.6 billion by 2026 from $2.25 billion this year — that’s a whopping 60% growth, which any industry would be thrilled about. But $3.6 billion is a far cry from the $60B+ currently spent in the US on TV advertising, or the $72B spent on social media. While TV advertising has been around for decades, social media advertising didn’t really exist in its current form until Facebook began selling ads in 2006, and now it’s the largest advertising platform in the United States based on total ad spend.
However, during social media’s rise to ad spend dominance, there were many controversies and embarrassing faux pas that advertisers were forced to learn the hard way. The scars earned during those early years when brands learned what to do (and what NOT to do) on social media are casting a shadow over podcast advertising today and inspired me to write this post and address the elephant in the room: “How do I know my ads are running in a safe place?”
At DAX US, we work with a large number of advertisers and agencies to plan and execute podcast advertising campaigns in North America who also share this concern. Our ability to guarantee brand safety and provide contextual targeting sets us apart as leaders in the audio space, so let me walk you through exactly how we do it:
For as long as podcasts have been around, widespread adoption by marketers has been hampered by the lack of tools any medium needs to succeed. Brand marketers expect quality environments, advanced audience targeting, and real-time reporting on campaigns. They also need to make sure they aren’t putting their brand equity at risk. Thankfully, technology has now solved the brand safety issue—and is opening the floodgates to advertising spend.
Last summer, we announced a major milestone in bringing podcast advertising to mainstream marketers: We partnered with Sounder to integrate its best-in-class brand safety and suitability technology. Given the speed and volume at which podcast content is published, we knew we needed a technological solution to ensure brand safety for our advertisers-–humans alone could never keep up.
Now that the Sounder product is live, the results they are seeing are incredibly impressive. Sounder’s brand safety solution uses advanced artificial Intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to ensure the safety and suitability of any episode in our podcast portfolio, automatically and transparently, in real-time at scale across our entire catalog. It enables advertisers to purchase media across DAX’s robust podcast portfolio, backed by the assurance that they adhere to brand safety guidelines, including those outlined by the IAB and GARM.
For the first time, mainstream marketers can treat podcast inventory with the same level of confidence as they do any other form of media. They can set their own brand safety standards and have peace of mind they are being met—without having to listen to every placement.
As brands continue to adopt podcasting as a means to reach and engage audiences, they will require an even greater scale of trustworthy environments for their message. At DAX, we understand that trust is hard to earn and easy to lose, which is why we are committed to brand safety, transparency, and delivering real results for our advertising partners.