SXM Media’s Lizzie Widhelm on the challenges advertisers face with podcast ad shopping for

Podcasts are a booming apartment for publishers and advertisers alike: podcast ad income is anticipated to reach over $1 billion this 365 days, and about 80 million People are now weekly podcast listeners, a 17% amplify over 2020, in conserving with Edison Research. Standard displays like The New York Events’ “The Each day” secure bigger than four million downloads per day. However the ad market remains to be being developed, and which capability advertisers are going by challenges around dimension, focused on and programmatic ad insertion.

Digiday spoke to Lizzie Widhelm, svp of ad innovation and B2B marketing at SXM Media, to learn the vogue SiriusXM Holdings’ combined ad sales group is drawing near these disorders, what solutions are to come support in due course, and the put she sees the trade animated into 2022.

Widhelm oversees the SiriusXM, Pandora and Stitcher platforms at SXM Media, a role she took on in Might maybe maybe after in terms of 16 years at Pandora, which SXM Media got in 2019. SXM Media’s programmatic ad solution lets advertisers design shut inventory from Pandora, Stitcher and SiriusXM, besides to podcasts from birth air publishers equivalent to NBC. SXM Media’s podcast community reaches 45 million U.S. listeners, in conserving with the company.

The dialog has been edited and condensed.

Whereas podcast selling income is anticipated to be over $1 billion this 365 days, programmatic shopping for represents lower than 5% of that income. Why create you’re thinking that that’s the case?

Let’s convey there’s 100 million impressions accessible — there’s method extra, however fair for uncomplicated math. Most of those impressions in rather a pair of these displays are listening to a host-learn ad. Both the creator appears prefer it keeps the expose official or they need control over every single ad that runs.

We favor to roam to every single expose and seek the advice of with them about dynamic insertion, about what programmatic is, which is no longer the ability to approve every single ad — a machine takes over to mediate the role of the approver to position an ad to your expose. This brings up so many questions:  What are the principles for the vogue creative can sound? Can it delight in tune or no longer? I delight in an outlandish with this mattress supplier so no diversified mattress supplier can flee?

We favor to monetize the technical course of around how adverts expose up in displays. We had been doing that for over a 365 days now, with over 5,000 displays below our umbrella, and rather a pair of them delight in moved over to permit for programmatic adverts to be delivered in their expose. The CPMs are right, the set up a query to of producers that need to design shut programmatically are sizable producers, creators are the producers we expose them — they assuredly is also their expose [having] a programmatic transaction mannequin. It takes a while to modernize the ecosystem, however there is so powerful capability to develop the overall pie.

What are among the dimension hurdles that also exist with podcasts?

One of many issues the trade is going to in actual fact grapple with is downloads versus impressions. The definition of the two is serious: if I decide up a expose and don’t eavesdrop on it, that’s a decide up, however if I’m served an impression I’ve in actual fact loaded the expose and it is streaming to my ear. It’s the chance to eavesdrop on an ad. It is serious to attain the adaptation. The gold traditional is any individual in actual fact listening to the expose, no longer fair “Did they’ve a subscriber alert turned into on however didn’t eavesdrop on it?”

That’s the diversified discipline of dimension we’re going to need to secure some agreement on in the trade: how we’ll measure total audience dimension, the overall on hand inventory to advertisers. These challenges are all coming in this acceptable time body. We fair delight in some modernization to make a decision on.

What dimension instruments is SXM Media organising to tackle these disorders going by advertisers?

We’re building the ad tech for the longer term and dimension solutions for the longer term, so possibilities feel like they’re going to design, form, design shut and measure in this ecosystem. Advertisers favor planning instruments and to attain the put audiences are. Our focused on solutions allow producers to topically target, and realize audiences by gender and geo for networks. They favor the audience focused on that they’re worn to. And on the put up-sales facet, one method to measure their ROI. We’re working exhausting, with our vendors, on rep 22 situation dimension, sentiment evaluation, audience segmentation, audience-basically based shopping for methods and ad effectiveness dimension that [advertisers] request.

In what diversified ways is SXM Media working with advertisers to abet them design shut adverts and target the audiences they need to reach?

[We] are helping to coach the advertiser market. We launched AQ Academy, a coaching academy to abet onboard [advertisers] to the podcast apartment and educate them all the pieces they need to know to be a smartly-trained podcast purchaser. We moreover delight in an in-apartment creative consultancy hanging out a absolute top practices creative playbook to present marketers [a guide] on what to mediate of when shopping for host-learn adverts or even customized work in a expose or announcer layout, like how long it takes to flip around an announcer versus host-learn ad.

The vitality of our offering is we reach 150 million listeners a month, so we gaze and procure extra than one recordsdata signals right by extra than one apps. We’re engaged on a terribly compelling solution for factual audience focused on on the person level for podcasting that is also combined with contextual focused on. In podcasting, both [audience and contextual targeting] topic. In case you’re staring at a news expose versus a factual crime expose, it’s an opportunity to bring a particular form of ad. Contextual is serious, however factual audience identification technique on high of this may per chance in actual fact push us into the next a part of insist in this apartment.

Programmatic adverts seem like a trouble level for some advertisers. It appears they need the ability to dynamically insert an announcer-learn creative put by automation into various podcast displays, however host-learn adverts proceed to dominate. Why is that the case?

No longer all podcasts are the same. Evidently displays, you may insert a commercial spoil the put it is seemingly you’ll per chance effortlessly delight in announcer-learn adverts that create a ton of sense. Some displays are so intimate, so particular, that per chance to interrupt with an announcer obtained’t feel natural. What we’re doing with our companions is understanding when is the fair time to thrill in an ad spoil. TV has been doing this for a truly long time; Hulu does this. It’s in actual fact about discovering the fair prescription, the fair spoil second on all these diversified expose sorts.

One correct instance is NBC News by Dateline [has a podcast called] “Mommy Doomsday.” It turned into as soon as high of the charts a pair months up to now. Lester Holt and diversified voices serious about the expose weren’t going to memoir host adverts, so it turned into as soon as 100% announcer-learn adverts in the expose and it’s an unparalleled listening expertise. It’s an instance of an gigantic media ticket recognizing they’ve sizable assert material, with a expose on the tip of the charts they assuredly can monetize it in actual fact smartly with sizable producers. So, no longer every person is initiating from a suite of dread. Many are working out what announcer-led creative programmatic transactions [can do]. Here’s going on now. Creators and media firms realize that leveraging modernized ad technology is a large approach to monetize their assert material and moreover so as to secure admission to a diversified advertiser pool.

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