Spotify and Integral Ad Science (IAS) have partnered to create the first third-party podcast brand safety and suitability reporting tool for podcast advertisers to have more confidence and transparency in podcast advertising. The reporting tool will undergo rigorous analysis in order to analyse and identify the tools and resources needed to deliver brand safety. Mediabrands' UM Worldwide will be the first holding company to test out the reporting tool while taking into consideration of advertisers’ needs and voices.
The collaboration will now create a medium to understand how to ensure that advertiser messages are presented in their intended contexts for podcasts. The third-party reporting tool is expected to be able to aid in campaign planning, management, and reporting, powered by Spotify’s first-party data and verified using IAS’s independent analysis solutions, based on the Global Alliance for Responsible Media’s categories and guidelines – initially tested out on third-party content within the Spotify Audience Network.
Due to a global increase in listeners, podcast ad spending has dramatically expanded in the recent years, surpassing US$1 billion in 2021 and is forecasted to almost triple, to over US$4 billion in 2024, according to IAB. More companies are also expanding into the podcast space, such as YouTube .
The increase in innovation and investment in podcast advertising has further established the need to ensure suitability for advertisers. Although digital advertising already has well-established guidelines in brand safety and technology, these are only apparent for video, and do not exist yet in audio. Hence, Spotify and IAS said the establishment of a third-party solution for audio is essential in order to maintain the confidence of advertisers and continued media spending.
Julie Clark, global head of advertising revenue innovation at Spotify has said it is pleased to be partnering with IAS to give advertisers confidence that their messages are heard in the right place while further validating the contextual targeting solutions that Spotify already has in the market.
Meanwhile, Yannis Dosios, global chief commercial officer at IAS, added that the collaboration would be a “transformative step for advertisers targeting the audio space”. He added: “With podcasts expected to reach more than 500 million listeners worldwide by 2024, this solution will offer advertisers more control and confidence that their messages will deeply resonate with their intended audiences."
Joshua Lowcock, global chief media officer at UM Worldwide, explained that podcasts have hit the mainstream in a big way and its clients are ready to increase their investment in the space given the opportunity to connect with audiences. "However, without a way to validate brand suitability across the depth and breadth of shows, they are hesitant to go all in. We’re pleased to see Spotify and IAS step up to create a brand safety solution and are ready to work with them during the building and testing phase to ensure advertisers’ needs are addressed from the start.”
This development is crucial for Spotify as it also helps the brand deal with potential brand safety issues and misinformation spread. Earlier this year, popular Spotify podcaster Joe Rogan stirred up online chatter when he used racial slurs on his show, The Joe Rogan Experience, and also faced backlash for COVID-19 misinformation on his programme.
Industry players MARKETING-INTERACTIVE spoke to previously said that while podcasting as a content stream will remain at the forefront for the company, Spotify also has to ensure it has the iron-clad guidelines in place to deal with misinformation spread and brand safety issues as more content creators venture into the space.
Meanwhile, in 2017, IAS partnered with Snap to review its protocols to minimise the risk of negative exposure for brands to enable advertisers in ensuring that their media buys are in line with brand safety parameters. IAS advised Snap on brand safety models to ensure its efforts are in line with industry best practices and provide it with media quality measurement capabilities beyond brand safety.
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