When Sounder set out to create an innovative brand safety and suitability solution for podcasting, we knew our AI models had to support the diverse and talented creators we had been working with for years. In the process of poring through content, developing models, and evaluating our work countless times over, we knew it was critical to assess our product with the diverse creators we support.
We’re passionate about facilitating an open dialogue around equity and breaking down long-held misconceptions that uncomfortable conversations are uniformly unsafe or Black creator content is too risky. We know that legacy keyword blocklist solutions prohibit more than propel, but as with any data-driven team, we wanted to prove our hypothesis.
In a groundbreaking collaboration, Sounder and Urban One, the largest diversified Black-owned media organization in the United States, conducted extensive research to revolutionize advertising opportunities for Black content creators. Through innovative AI/ML-driven technologies, this partnership seeks to address the underrepresentation of diverse voices in the advertising community and provide a platform for Black creators to share their unique stories and perspectives.
With 43% of Black Americans tuning into podcasting on a monthly basis, podcasting has exploded in popularity among the Black community1. Urban One, the leading voice of Black America, reaches an astounding 80% of all Black Americans monthly, making it the ideal partner for this research. It is clear that podcasting is becoming a mainstream medium for advertisers to reach multicultural and diverse audiences.
Despite the growing podcasting landscape, Black creators face several challenges that hinder their equitable representation in advertising. One key issue is the lack of tools capable of capturing the cultural nuances present in their content. This results in under-monetization and a limited platform for advertisers to connect with these audiences.
Sounder and Urban One's research on AI-based brand safety and suitability models is a significant step forward in ensuring equal monetization opportunities for diverse creators in podcasting. By addressing concerns about AI/ML-driven brand safety and suitability models, Sounder's technology supports authentic and inclusive content representation. The findings demonstrate that AI/ML-driven tools designed without bias can accurately classify diverse content, leading to greater inclusivity, representation, and advertising opportunities for underrepresented voices.
Read the full report here.
Source: 1. Edison Research Black Podcast Listener Report 2023
Brittany Kandybowicz is Sounder’s VP of Platform Operations. She brings 15+ years of experience in advertising and sales operations for companies such as Spotify, AOL, and most recently Flipboard.