Podcast Movement 2023 Recap

The Early Adopter Mentality

How Podcast Publishers and Advertisers Are Making Programmatic Work

The undeniable impact of podcast advertising and the streamlined and expansive advantages of programmatic advertising bring many collective benefits. During the “Early Adopter Mentality” panel at Podcast Movement, industry trailblazers shared their experiences and insights into how podcast creators embraced programmatic advertising, regardless of scale and content.

  1. Anne Frisbie (Moderator), SVP of Global Supply & Partnerships at AdsWizz
  2. Hernan Garcia, Head of Production and Development of Podcasts at Uforia
  3. Brian Goldmark, Head of National Sales and Brand Partnerships at Locked On Podcast Network
  4. Gretchen Smith, Vice President of Media at Ad Results Media
The Shift Towards Programmatic

The panelists began the conversation by sharing their reasons for embracing podcast programmatic advertising. Brian outlined his decision to explore programmatic to tap into a new revenue stream that aligns with leading industry trends and meaningful growth. Hernan also described his company’s adoption of programmatic advertising, emphasizing that as TelevisaUnivision, a podcast producer with a significant portion of content in Spanish, programmatic has helped expand reach, increase revenue, enable entrance into new markets, and cater to specific advertisers’ needs.

Impact on Advertiser Diversity

The discussion delved into a comprehensive exploration of how programmatic advertising has significantly broadened the horizons for advertisers, making it particularly accessible to smaller brands and those with a keen interest in connecting with niche audiences. The panelists underscored this transformation in advertising dynamics and highlighted programmatic’s remarkable scalability and exceptional adaptability when pinpointing precise demographics, languages, and content themes.

Integration of Programmatic with Direct Sales

The topic of equilibrium between programmatic advertising, direct sales, and host-read endorsements then took center stage. The consensus was that these approaches harmonize instead of vying for supremacy. Programmatic advertising’s strength lies in its capacity for extensive outreach, which is particularly advantageous for targeting different audiences. On the other hand, host endorsements preserve the message’s genuineness and uphold a human connection that resonates authentically with the audience.

“They all have a part in the advertising ecosystem, and it’s important for an advertiser to understand and often the agency to explain that they’re very different forms of advertising. They’re going to have different creative, various performances. And it is just essential to understand that as you approach each campaign and creative goal, a distinct execution, that programmatic does have a place in there, and they all have different creative roles.”

-Brian Goldmark, Head of National Sales and Brand Partnerships at Locked On Podcast Network
Brand Safety Solutions and Contextual Targeting

There was a unanimous consensus acknowledging the critical importance of upholding brand safety within the realm of podcast programmatic. However, the panel offered a word of caution against excessive content filtering, as this could curtail the reach and effectiveness of campaigns, underscoring the intricate nature of contextual nuances present in spoken content. There needs to be a balance between ensuring brand safety and preserving the inherent authenticity of the medium.

“You have to find a balance and really listen to your clients for what they need. But the reality is that if you’re going to apply every block possible, you’re probably not going to scale. So, these are hard conversations, but there are tools to help, and you need a human touch. So, I would encourage all people working with clients to think about why brand safety is important to your brand and what the actual demand is behind putting all those filters on it.”

-Gretchen Smith, Vice President at Ad Results Media
Dispelling Myths about Programmatic

Going back to the symmetry of programmatic with other strategies in the podcast advertising ecosystem, one of the top misconceptions was the belief that programmatic implementation would undermine esteemed premium partnerships and reduce CPMs. The panel effectively dismantled this misconception by highlighting that programmatic’s integration wouldn’t overshadow traditional premium partnerships.

They emphasized that programmatic occupies a distinct position within the broader monetization framework and can be skillfully managed in inventory and pricing, thereby dispelling any apprehensions regarding its potential to disrupt established norms. Another misunderstanding of programmatic highlighted was the potential lack of control by the creators of what gets advertised on their shows.

“I’ve heard from some creators that they think they’re going to lose control of who’s advertising at the show. That’s completely not true. You can tailor whitelists, and blacklists, and industry-specific timings. You can control who your programmatic inventory is open to, and then if you don’t like them, they hit once; don’t hit them again.”

-Hernan Garcia, Head of Production and Development of Podcasts at Uforia
Advice to Past Selves and the Future Success of Podcast Programmatic

Reflecting on their journeys, the panelists offered advice to their past selves. For example, Hernan wished he had embraced programmatic earlier to capitalize on its benefits and flexibility. Brian underscored the importance of patience with his past self and staying true to the unique attributes of podcasting (even amid rapid industry changes).

The unanimous consensus was that programmatic’s success lies in increased demand, improved technology integration, and combining programmatic insights with broader advertising strategies. The panel expressed optimism about the growth of podcasting as an industry and the role programmatic advertising will play in expanding podcast reach.

Key Takeaways
  • Diverse Advertiser Landscape: Programmatic widens access for smaller brands and niche markets, showcasing its scalability and adaptability in targeting specific demographics and languages.
  • Harmonious Advertising Strategies: Programmatic and direct sales complement each other, acknowledging programmatic’s outreach capabilities and sustaining authentic human connections in ads.
  • Brand Safety and Contextual Precision: While brand safety is vital, over-filtering risks undermining campaign effectiveness by neglecting contextual intricacies in spoken content.
  • Demystifying Programmatic: Programmatic can coexist effectively within the advertising landscape and be strategically managed without compromising established norms.
  • Effective Programmatic Management: Creators can control programmatic advertising by customizing whitelists, blacklists, and timing, ensuring alignment with their show’s ethos and values.
by Daniel Einhorn, Senior Manager, Content Marketing

Click here for more recaps from Podcast Movement 2023.


Daniel Einhorn

View posts by Daniel Einhorn
As the Senior Manager of Content Marketing, Daniel spearheads the development of insights-driven content for AdsWizz, working with the Global Marketing team to execute across platforms, including blogs, bylines, industry reports, events, and email. Before AdsWizz, he held marketing and content roles at CFA Institute, Nielsen, and Verifone.
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