WASHINGTON DC: Further evidence of the intense interest in all things audio comes from The Washington Post which has created a way of inserting advertising automatically into podcasts.

It’s a potentially significant development in a fast-growing area for both content and advertising.

Recent IAB data indicated the US podcast market saw strong growth in 2017, rising 86% to reach $314m.

While this is a small total in the greater scheme of things, it is a figure that could be even higher if older, popular podcasts which are still downloaded long after their release could include up-to-date and relevant advertising.

Currently that’s not the case as ads are baked into the content, unlike online articles which are able to insert new ads for each user every time a page loads.

But, Ad Exchanger reports, The Washington Post’s Research, Experimentation and Development (RED) team has developed Rhapsocord, a dynamic ad insertion tool that identifies pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll spots, inserts ads and updates the files so producers don’t have to manually re-edit a podcast.

Further, Rhapsocord stores metadata about each podcast episode so advertisers can buy based on topics such as politics, finance or history.

“Because we built an automated system, anyone who complies with the ads API standard could serve ads into the system, whether it’s a self-serve platform or an integration with a programmatic platform,” explained Aram Zucker-Scharff, ad engineering director for RED.

The product is currently being tested on the Post’s own podcasts but could ultimately be more widely used by advertisers since Rhapsocord updates podcasts across every place listeners access their preferred shows.

A brand such as Ford has found that a nuanced, contextually-relevant approach to podcast advertising has delivered impactful communications, improving brand metrics and purchase intent.

Sourced from Ad Exchanger; additional content by WARC staff