Month: July 2023

Sounder and PodRoll Announce Strategic Partnership

Sounder, an audio intelligence platform that builds powerful data solutions to unlock podcast monetization, brand safety, contextual targeting, and discoverability for audio content, and PodRoll, the innovative start-up company aimed at revolutionizing podcast recommendations and discovery, are thrilled to announce their strategic partnership. This collaboration drives more nuanced, relevant, and personalized content recommendations, transforming the podcast listening experience.

PodRoll, founded by podcast industry veterans who previously co-founded Megaphone, has chosen Sounder as its premier partner to power its recommendation engine. With PodRoll’s unique strategy of increasing podcast consumption through post-episode recommendations, this partnership solidifies both companies’ commitment to enhancing user engagement and providing meaningful content to podcast listeners.

“Sounder’s AI-driven solutions, coupled with their exceptional brand safety and suitability solutions and contextual intelligence, perfectly align with PodRoll’s vision of introducing a first-of-its-kind platform,” said Jason Cox, co-founder of PodRoll.

Sounder’s technology enables PodRoll to deliver highly personalized podcast recommendations based on each listener’s preferences and behaviors. By leveraging Sounder’s cutting-edge AI tools, PodRoll can analyze and classify podcast content at scale. This powers PodRoll’s recommendation engine and helps them direct listeners to their next favorite episode.

The power of this partnership lies in the intersection of Sounder’s industry-leading AI and PodRoll’s innovative approach. The extensive industry knowledge and expertise of PodRoll’s founders, combined with Sounder’s advanced AI capabilities, ensure that the partnership is set to provide a breakthrough service for the podcast industry. 

“PodRoll’s mission to increase podcast consumption aligns seamlessly with our own goals of elevating to be their chosen partner, leveraging our AI technology to provide deep, meaningful content insights that drive the discovery and recommendation engine at the heart of PodRoll’s platform.”

This partnership provides podcast publishers with unprecedented ability to buy, sell, and monetize podcast recommendations, offering a game-changing opportunity to grow their podcasts(s) at scale. Listeners benefit from this collaboration through improved content discovery, personalization, and better contextualization of podcasts.

Sounder and PodRoll’s collaborative tools have already delivered a measurable uptick in listener engagement, with early data showing a 30% increase in podcast consumption.

“This partnership with Sounder enables us to enhance our platform’s ability to deliver relevant, engaging podcast content to our users,” said Matt Turck, co-founder of PodRoll. “We’re excited to bring a new level of sophistication to the podcast discovery and recommendation process.”

About Sounder

Sounder is an industry-leading AI company specializing in podcast content classification. Its advanced technology enables precise content discovery and recommendations, providing brand safety and suitability solutions, and contextual intelligence to podcast creators and consumers.

About PodRoll

PodRoll is a new podcasting startup founded by industry veterans who previously co-founded Megaphone. The company is focused on improving podcast discovery and recommendations, driving increased consumption and providing publishers with an innovative platform to monetize their content.

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Never mind, tweets should be called posts now

The Twitter bird impaled on the X logo.
X is coming for every last mention of Twitter. | The Verge

Last week Elon Musk announced the death of Twitter as a brand. He had the sign on the HQ taken down and replaced with a garish X, he axed the logo on the website and in the app too. Lingering longer was the “Tweet” button itself. Today the Tweet button briefly changed to Post, hinting that soon every evidence of the little blue bird and its associated twitter will scrubbed from the every place X, the company formerly known as Twitter, can touch.

But that’s not why I think it’s time to retire the “tweet.” I wanted to save it. I felt that it was clearly becoming independent of the brand that had adopted it. I argued we should call all microblog posts tweets to avoid this goofy cycle of toots, skeets, threets, and now xeets. But with every…

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Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Apple confirms bug stops Screen Time limits from sticking for kids

An illustration of the Apple logo.
Illustration: The Verge

If your kid has been mysteriously busting through the Screen Time limits you set on their Apple device, the Wall Street Journal might know why: the publication found that a bug has been preventing certain Screen Time limits set via the Family Sharing system from saving correctly for months. Apple was supposed to fix the issue back in May, but apparently the problem has persisted.

Apple’s Family Sharing system allows parents to put usage limits on their kids’ devices, with one of the key controls being the ability to monitor and limit their usage of specific apps and the device as a whole through a feature called Screen Time. The Journal reports finding that a specific setting known as Downtime, which blocks access to the entire device,…

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Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

iPhone 15 Pro might get a titanium frame, thinner bezels, and a price hike

iPhone 14 Pro Max in-hand showing Dynamic Island displaying phone call info.
An iPhone 14 Pro Max. | Image: Nilay Patel / The Verge

Some big changes are expected to come to this year’s iPhone 15 Pro lineup — but they might come alongside a price hike, too. In Bloomberg this morning, reporter Mark Gurman confirmed a handful of details that have been floating around all year about what to expect when the next iPhone lineup is announced in just over a month.

The new Pro models will both come with titanium frames, instead of stainless steel, making them stronger and lighter, according to Gurman. Their screens will also have thinner bezels, thanks to a new display technology, shrinking the size of the black border by about a third. (Earlier leaks show what that might look like.) And as previously reported, expect the mute switch to be swapped out for a customizable button…

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Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Veritronic And Acast Highlight What Success Sounds Like With Programmatic Podcast Ads

Veritonic, the industry’s comprehensive audio analytics and research platform, partnered with Acast, the world’s largest independent podcast company, to bring new data to market around the commonalities – and divergence – of audio creative on podcast ads served programmatically. 

In addition to identifying these global overlaps and points of differences, the goal of the research was also to help media buyers identify strong tactics and best practices in programmatic podcast advertising across three key media markets: the US, Australia and New Zealand, and EMEA.

Together the companies sourced and and analyzed podcast ads transacted programmatically with Acast and spanning various verticals including: automotive, tourism, retail, healthcare, entertainment, and more. They then identified the common threads and differences in the creative executions by region by examining themes like ad length, number of voiceovers, gender of voiceovers, use of sound effects, call to action placements, and more.

“As an industry there is still a lot of myth-busting to do around programmatic ad buying. At Acast, we firmly believe that programmatic advertising should not be a rigid experience for the media buyer, podcast host, and certainly not the listener,” said Elli Dimitroulakos, Global Head of Ad Innovation at Acast. “Podcast advertising is effective because it’s a seamless part of the listening experience and that shouldn’t change based on how a transaction occurs. Programmatic ads can – and should – have creative elements that enhance the listener experience and brand relationships.”

According to the research, across all markets the majority of ads were a minimum of 30 seconds in length. This was the most predominant in the US and EMEA regions which resulted in 80% and 73% of the examined ads, respectively. The Australia and New Zealand market trailed slightly behind with 56% of programmatic ads running at least 30 seconds long. The remaining 44% in the market were 15 seconds in length.

All three markets also reflected similarities in the use of single voices for the voiceover content. The US led the way with 86% of programmatic ads in the study using a single voice for the voiceover. EMEA and Australia and New Zealand were most similar with 66% and 68% of programmatic ads using a single voice for the voiceover, respectively.

However, when it came to gender detection in voiceover content, dissimilarities across the market presented themselves. In the US, half of ads analyzed featured a female voiceover, 47% of ads feature a male voiceover, and the remaining 3% featuring both male and female voiceover. 

In near equal numbers, the three regions all used sound effects in slightly less than the majority of programmatic ads, indicating that this may be a newly emerging trend in the space. According to the study, sound

effects including birds chirping, phones ringing, engines revving, and more were used on 40% of programmatic ads from the US, 38% from Australia and New Zealand, and 33% in EMEA.

“Hope is not a strategy; it’s no longer enough for a brand to create an audio asset and simply hope it will move the needle,” said Scott Simonelli, CEO of Veritonic. “Having confidence that your marketing efforts and investments will pay off is crucial, especially in today’s economy. With audio reaching more than 214M adults in the U.S. monthly and having a 36% higher impact on memory than video, marketers need to be leveraging creative testing solutions like the Veritonic platform to ensure they are putting their best audio creative forward, regardless of how the ad itself is purchased or served.”


Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Barnes & Noble is reinventing itself, but not its e-readers

An image of an e-reader being held in front of yellow flowers.
The Nook Glowlight 4e struggles to stand out, but at least it’s got buttons to turn the page. | Photo by Sheena Vasani / The Verge

The company is looking to give its stores an indie bookstore vibe, but its e-readers have more of an Amazon Kindle in the early 2010s vibe.

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Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Etsy sellers say a fraud protection program is destabilizing their businesses

Illustration of the Etsy logo
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

D., a carpenter and Etsy seller of several years, recently sold a piece of custom, made-to-order furniture for around $150. The sale itself was business as usual for their shop — but it came with a sense of exasperation. Their earnings would be tied up for weeks while bills, rent, and expenses pile up.

Since late June, Etsy has had D.’s account under restrictive settings, putting a hold on the bulk of money that’s coming in as customers place orders. In D.’s case, 75 percent of earnings from a $150 order, as an example, are being held by Etsy — in what’s known as a “payment reserve” — for anywhere between two weeks and 45 days. After Etsy fees, taxes, and other expenses are pulled from the remaining 25 percent D. has access to, they’re…

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Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

The Tile Mate and Apple’s AirTags have dropped to some of their best prices

A close-up image depicting a set of hands holding a selection of Apple AirTags.
You can buy four AirTags for $84.99, or about $21 each. | Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Now we’ve reached the end of July, back-to-school season is officially upon us. If you’re starting to shop for supplies to help kick off the new school year on the right note, we curated a guide to a range of helpful gadgets. We also found a number of good deals this week that’ll help you prepare.

Right now, for example, you can buy some of the best item trackers from Tile and Apple at some pretty notable prices. First off, the latest Tile Mate in black with a pack of lost and found labels for $19.99 ($10 off) from Amazon, which is an all-time low. The platform-agnostic Tile Mate will help you or your children keep track of backpacks, lunch boxes, tote bags, keys, and other belongings up to 250 feet away. That might be 150 feet less than…

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Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Rise Of The Chief Audio Officer: The Missing Ingredient

Oxford Road, the leading independent audio advertising agency, has just released  its latest through-leadership white paper, “Chief Audio Officer: The Champion Every Brand Needs To Win in Audio”. 

The report highlights how to unlock the often-underestimated power of audio as a marketing tool through specialized dedication and features insights from leading marketers who fit the role of “Chief Audio Officers” (CAOs) at their respective companies, including seasoned practitioners: Nick Karrat (CMO, Tommy John), Shane Pittson (VP, Growth & Acting CMO, quip), Corey Eng (Senior Growth Lead, Shopify), and Morgan Ainsworth (Growth Marketing Manager, Indeed). Chief Audio Officer also includes context and commentary from Stew Redwine (VP Creative Services), Giles Martin (EVP Strategy & Insights), Spencer Semonson (Media Buyer & Planner), Steven Abraham (President), and Dan Granger (CEO/Founder) at Oxford Road.

These leaders make the case why audio is a transformative marketing opportunity within their brand’s channel portfolio and why a dedicated role is needed to take full advantage of this unique marketing channel. The white paper shares hard-won knowledge of how to manage and champion audio across all its nuanced formats (radio, podcast, streaming) while answering challenges and driving results.

“A Chief Audio Officer functions like an internal Center of Excellence. They’re responsible for communicating how audio works to the rest of the marketing organization,” observes Morgan Ainsworth of Indeed.

Why should brands pay attention? To begin with, the audio advertising industry is expected to reach $17.5B in 2023. As the white paper states, “while only 39% of Americans believe in the statement ‘most people can be trusted,’ 70% of podcast listeners mentioned feeling a sense of companionship or connection with a podcast host.”

That level of trust, argues the paper, more than justifies the Chief Audio Officer. “Audio is in a league of its own. There’s a lot more to be done,” says Corey Eng of Shopify. “You can’t rely on vanity metrics in audio because they are not a reliable indicator of success. You have to go a level deeper.”

While the term “Chief Audio Officer” may seem novel, this paper underlines several marketing leaders’ successful use of audio strategies, regardless of their official titles, to catapult their brands to new heights. From radio and podcasts to streaming audio, the capacity for audience engagement through audio is powerfully demonstrated. The efficacy of building a strong relationship with audio hosts who have a direct line to their audience is unmatched in marketing.

“Genuine endorsement is unique. It’s the most powerful channel for the consumer, but it’s also the most defendable for the brand,” said Nick Karrat, Tommy John’s CMO. “That’s why the audio channel is unique and why live endorsements within audio are the crown jewel.”

The white paper argues that the rise of the Chief Audio Officer is the next step in giving audio marketing the energy it deserves to unlock transformative growth for brands and the industry.

“For many brands, audio is an afterthought, or a box to be checked in media planning,” says Granger. “But for brands who accept its challenges and lean in, it can become their secret weapon for acquiring new customers at scale. Our new study explores this concept deeply, calling for a dedicated role to ensure the success of this channel. It’s not about rebranding an existing role, but understanding that audio needs a champion who can help the brand navigate and maximize its unique opportunities.”

Stew Redwine (VP of Creative, Oxford Road) emphasizes the point: “when your favorite audio host adds a personal connection to the product or service being advertised, they unleash the maximum power of audio.”

In the era of impersonal digital marketing, what sets audio apart from other kinds of advertising is the relationships forged between host and curious, passionate individuals, unleashing the channel’s full potential. Nick Karrat says it best: “Whether it’s on a podcast, terrestrial, or satellite, you’re dealing with relationships and people.” In order to get the most from those host-to-audience connections, you need a Chief Audio Officer to bring it all together. “Chief Audio Officer: The Champion Every Brand Needs to Win in Audio” by Oxford Road, is available now for download.

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News