How Betches is making podcasts a key part of its monetization strategy

The media company’s podcast revenue is up 101% year over year so far, and it’s worked on campaigns involving podcasts with brands like Heineken, Pizza Hut, and Nature’s Bounty.
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· 5 min read

All the cool digital media companies are podcasting. Presumably, they’re not just in it for the fun.

Podcasts present another potential path to monetization for publishers, who for years have been pitching advertisers on 360 campaigns that can include branded content, social media posts, and live events. For some, podcasts are now part of that mix.

Betches is one such company leveraging its podcast slate, which includes 13 original shows with a combined 30 million downloads, as part of broader offerings to advertisers. It does offer advertisers the opportunity to home in on one channel but suggests a cross-platform approach whenever possible, Randi Windt, VP of sales and brand partnerships, told us.

Podcasts in particular have been “an increasingly popular medium of ours,” she added. Its podcast revenue is up 101% year over year from 2021 to 2022 so far, and podcasts have been a part of recent campaigns Betches ran for brands including Heineken, Pizza Hut, Nature’s Bounty, and E. & J. Gallo Winery.

The newbie

Nature’s Bounty had never advertised on a podcast before working with Betches, but found the opportunity “very enticing,” said Debra Romero, head of integrated branded communications at Nestlé Health Science US.

“For us to be able to hit our sales goals, we have to have a lot of reach and a lot of impressions, and we have to be able to do that relatively efficiently,” Romero said. “Podcasts are not generally that, but we know that they’re important, so this was a great way to get them in there without having to go crazy overboard.”

The brand worked with Betches during Q1 for a campaign promoting its Jelly Beans vitamin line that included TikToks; Instagram memes, videos, and Stories; newsletter mentions; and podcast ads.

Betches had the right audience (millennials), “knew how to play” on social platforms like TikTok, a track record of previous work that showed “the team really knew how to authentically weave us in to the conversation,” and measurement systems in place to track stats like engagement and click-through rates, which helped seal the deal, Romero told us.

The Nature’s Bounty campaign saw 21% overperformance compared to Betches’ CPG campaigns in general, meaning that “the engagements we saw on this given campaign outperformed engagements we had seen per post for all of our other CPG campaigns” combined, Windt explained.

Windt said the overperformance could be attributed to audience insights applied to the campaign (it was shaped by the theme of nostalgia, “which we know does really well with our audience,” she explained), and also possibly to Betches’ host-read-only approach to podcast ads.

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On the podcast front, seven spots in Betches Moms and Diet Starts Tomorrow delivered about 61% more impressions than planned, according to data shared by Nature’s Bounty.

The vet

Unlike Nature’s Bounty, E. & J. Gallo Winery—the company behind brands like hard seltzer High Noon—is no stranger to podcast advertising. It worked with Barstool Sports on Pink Whitney, a vodka brand that was inspired by the Barstool hockey podcast Spittin’ Chiclets.

In April, E. & J. Gallo teamed up with Betches to debut canned-cocktail brand Faux Pas.

“We were looking for a unique and powerful way into canned cocktails,” said Kimberly Roberts, senior director of marketing. “So rather than just creating one and putting it out there and then developing a media plan, we wanted to go out with a brand that we knew would resonate with the target consumers.”

The drink is being promoted as part of a campaign running through the end of the year and spanning Betches channels including Instagram, podcasts, and live events. Betches co-founder Jordana Abraham’s U Up? dating podcast was a particularly good fit, Roberts said. Faux Pas is the presenting sponsor of the pod, as well as its six-city live tour.

“Dating and drinking don’t go hand in hand, but there’s certainly a bit of a tie to it,” she explained, adding that the U Up? audience is “really passionate,” which made for a good opportunity to incorporate a live-event element to the campaign built “around a podcast.”

The campaign is ongoing, according to Betches Senior Director of Marketing Arisara Srisethnil, but it’s already showing results. The live tour sold 4,200 cans of Faux Pas, Srisethnil said, and clicks on the Stories promoting the tour (which included Faux Pas logos and other brand images) performed about 540% better than the Betches benchmark for branded Stories.

“The partners that leverage us in an audio capacity and then complement it with social see that higher reward,” Windt said. “Faux Pas is a really good example of a community of podcast listeners who become accustomed to Jared and Jordanna, the two hosts, talking about Faux Pas and it being an active part of their listening experience. The brand almost became synonymous, in many ways, to that podcast.”

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