Soundrise connects advertisers to podcast creators with shared values
Soundrise is using technology to scale sponsorships while prioritizing creator independence and listener privacy.
Market Enginuity, a values-driven media sponsorship company, announced a spinoff — Soundrise — dedicated to the growing podcast industry. While Market Enginuity focuses on public radio sponsorships in local markets, Soundrise provides marketing, sales and operational support to premium independent and non-profit podcast networks.
Why we care. Audio is a red hot channel for marketers thanks to pandemic-driven changes in media consumption habits and digital marketing tech. The U.S. has 100 million podcast listeners — the most of any nation, according to Demandsage. U.S. podcasting cracked $1 billion in ad sales for the first time last year, with 72% year-over-year growth, according to an IAB/PwC report. That’s more than double the pace of internet ad growth.
For big brands to capitalize on podcasts there needs to be an infrastructure giving access to ad inventory on premium podcasts. With so many podcasts available, advertisers need someone to provide quality control and brand safety issues, not to mention matching the right ads with the right listeners.
Dig deeper: LinkedIn announces a new podcast network
Non-profit and mission-driven. With Market Enginuity’s roots in public broadcasting, Soundrise is positioned to leverage the growing interest in digital audio by connecting organizations with the right podcasters.
“Podcasters gain the capacity to focus on making great content while our teams handle everything involved with driving revenue to their shows,” Soundrise CEO Harry Clark told us.
Infrastructure. Soundrise’s tech partner is PRX, maker of the Dovetail podcast publishing platform supporting This American Life, The Moth, TED Talks Daily and other popular podcasts. They have a monthly U.S. audience of 25 million, with 100 million monthly downloads.
The company sells ads for about 100 top podcasts through a global private marketplace. For their supply side platform (SSP) they use AdsWizz and for the buyer side, it’s on an invitation basis.
“The marketplace makes shows of all sizes available, as partners can buy across the network by audience or content genre, not by the scale of the program,” said Clark. “We provide the creative for campaigns that run in our marketplace, ensuring a seamless client experience.”
Privacy first. Soundrise uses technology to execute buys across their marketplace, but they do not use data to link sponsors with specific shows, according to Clark.
“The Soundrise team takes the time to align sponsors with the shows that best fit their needs, ensuring a true win-win scenario for both the podcasts and the advertisers,” Clark said. “The end goal is a strong brand alignment and the enablement of true creative execution to increase ad campaign performance.”
Long-term relationships. The Soundrise team wants to put together complimentary sponsors and advertisers for the long haul. This way, the creators maintain their independence and the brands know they’re appearing on quality shows.
“While data on overall listenership and ad performance is important, we’re looking to build closer connections that go beyond a basic metric of total reach and into whether the values of the community align with the advertiser,” Clark explained.
He added, “We look to build connections between brands and the podcasts they sponsor that will be safe for advertisers in the long run, beyond looking at a podcast-by-podcast content analysis.”
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