Podcasts

Acast further automates podcast ad buying

Its new tool, which was created with small and mid-sized businesses in mind, is the latest sign that podcast advertising is increasingly becoming more automated.
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Podcast advertising often requires interpersonal interactions. Cue shudders from those who dread picking up the phone.

Programmatic capabilities exist in the industry, but brands that aren’t looking for bid-based buying might be faced with more manual processes. Until recently, that was the case for advertisers working with Acast, a global podcast company with about 88,000 podcasts in its marketplace.

A couple of months ago, Acast introduced a tool that enables advertisers—especially those that might not have massive budgets—to buy and run campaigns through a fully automated process, Product Manager Niklas Lagerberg explained to Marketing Brew.

The little guy: The self-serve platform, which has a minimum required spend of $250, was designed with small and mid-sized businesses and boutique agencies in mind, according to Lagerberg. His team also found that there’s demand for this kind of tool from podcasters looking to run ads promoting their own shows, he added.

Prior to the introduction of the tool, buyers who weren’t opting for programmatic had to use a lead-generation form to contact Acast, Lagerberg told us. But those with budgets that did not meet a minimum required spend were being turned away, “which led us down this path of trying to figure out who these buyers are and what kind of needs they have,” he said.

The minimum spend to work with a salesperson differs based on region, but in the US, anyone with a budget of $10,000 or lower is directed to the self-serve option.

How it works: Now, advertisers looking to place ads through the Acast marketplace without buying directly through a salesperson can qualify for the self-serve platform, which lets them upload preproduced ads, set campaign run dates, and target based on criteria like geographic location, age, gender, and podcast category, Lagerberg said.

“We’re building a user interface where… even if you’re new to podcast advertising, or even digital advertising in general, you understand how to do it,” he said.

Dozens of buyers have used the tool so far, according to Lagerberg. Acast formally announced its self-serve option last week.

The context: Acast is one of many major podcast companies, like SiriusXM and PRX, working on increasingly automating advertising systems as the podcast ad industry grows.

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