Interview with Robyn O’Connor from Veritone One about Podcast Advertising


In the ever-evolving landscape of podcasting, where a multitude of voices converge to convey stories, inform, and captivate, advertising has emerged as a swiftly expanding and influential force. Brands are keen to harness this vast potential and engage with the diverse and committed podcasting community.

A Newcomer to Podcast Movement

At Podcast Movement 2023 in Aurora, Colorado, Justine Benjamin, Head of Global Marketing at AdsWizz and Simplecast, had an opportunity to speak with a seasoned expert in podcast advertising, Robyn O’Connor, Senior Director of Digital Media at Veritone One.

While this marked Robyn’s inaugural experience at Podcast Movement, the event acted as a significant catalyst for bridging the gap between the virtual and tangible worlds. Being remote and living far away from many of her peers, she had yet to have the opportunity to meet them face-to-face. She stresses the importance of personal connections within the podcasting community, where online relationships can gain a richer dimension when transitioning into real-life interactions.

Unveiling the Power of Podcast Advertising

Exploring podcast advertising in greater depth, Robyn presented Veritone One’s distinctive approach to crafting memorable and influential brand encounters. Two particularly notable strategies involve host endorsements and digital engagement.

The host endorsement strategy involves aligning brands with podcast hosts who resonate with their target audience. Robyn underscored the power of personal endorsements from hosts who often become influential figures in their listeners’ lives. “The host is kind of like a mini-celebrity to their listeners,” she noted. “In some cases, they actually are a celebrity. They are a bit like an influential friend talking about a product.”

On the digital side, Robyn’s team engages listeners during ad breaks, ensuring that ads reach the right audience and maintain their attention. This approach combines the strengths of pre-recorded spots and host-read spots to maximize engagement and relevance.

The Intersection of Technology and Podcast Advertising

Robyn’s enthusiasm for innovation within the podcast industry highlights Veritone One’s endless drive to push the boundaries of what is possible. At Veritone One, technology and data take center stage in all operations, from podcast tracking to creative production.

For example, one of the clients from Veritone One’s portfolio, Factor, aimed to tap into the reality TV audience, particularly women aged 25 to 45. Robyn and her team executed a campaign using Vanderpump Rules star Scheana Shay, recorded through Cameo. The campaign targeted reality podcast listeners, resulting in impressive performance metrics.

The ads were created using voice synthesis to make multiple variations of a spot without having the talent record them repeatedly. This imaginative use of technology streamlines the creative process while maintaining quality and relevance.

Targeting, Measurement, and the Future of Podcast Advertising

Robyn stresses the need for cutting-edge tracking capabilities and the adoption of advanced digital advertising metrics, particularly advocating for “baseline apples” – a standard set of metrics that could provide a foundation for podcast advertising while acknowledging the medium’s unique characteristics. There also needs to be a greater emphasis on the importance of audience-centric thinking and the need to prioritize the listener experience. Regarding Veritone One’s future, Robyn plans for 2024 with a holistic bias, focusing on 360-degree buys that engage creators and their audiences across multiple platforms.

In Closing

With technology, creativity, and a deep understanding of the listener at its core, the future of podcast advertising is filled with exciting possibilities, and Robyn and Veritone One are at the forefront of this transformative journey, pioneering new ways to engage audiences and create meaningful connections in the podcasting landscape.

Check out more profiles with audio interviews and AdsWizz content on our blog.


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