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06 January 2022
Podcasting's programmatic hiccup
Brand safetyPodcasts, streaming & on demandProgrammatic buying
The smooth route to podcasting’s programmatic ad future has hit a few bumps recently, as The Verge reports examples of ads appearing in inappropriate places.
Why it matters
Recent takeover activity in the podcast industry has largely revolved around podcast networks acquiring ad tech companies capable of automatically inserting ads into podcasts. But if the latter aren’t doing that correctly – whether that’s because of simple mistakes around categorisation, because the categories themselves are too broad, or something else – not only may it become more difficult to recoup that investment but the trust between podcaster and listener may be breached and the current effectiveness of podcast ads lessened.
An ad for the TV show The Sex Lives of College Girls appeared on a children’s show on an American Public Media podcast.
Ads for BP and ExxonMobil appeared in a science podcast that had blocked ads for oil and gas companies.
What to do?
Publishers have long lived with the issue of inappropriate ads appearing alongside certain types of content, but the intimacy of podcasts means it’s more difficult to play down. Podcasters could educate their listeners on the differences between ads they themselves read out and endorse and those that are automatically inserted. But that would potentially reduce the latter to the level of display ads that listeners could then ignore.