Podcast ads are a hard sort of thing to keep updated.
A podcast, at the moment, is a much more static piece of content than we would like to think, and podcast ads are also. Perhaps we don’t tend to think of our podcasts as such static creations, but when reality starts picking at the giant scab on the medium’s shin, it becomes crystal clear that there are some potential issues.
Depending on which side of the coin you like, those potential issues can either benefit you or be detrimental to you. If you are a podcast advertiser using the current system – where ads are integrated into a podcast at the time of post production (or even production), and are always a static element in those podcasts in perpetuity, then you benefit from the current system.
If you are a podcast host, or producer, and you want to recycle your old podcasts as part of your overall marketing collateral process, then your old podcast ads will be running for companies that are no longer paying you for new exposure to the ads. The alternative is to manually go back and re-edit the episodes, changing the advertiser and/or ads you are running, but that’s a lot of work and you run the risk of making current advertisers mad if they think they are being shortchanged.
Podcast ads delivery could be changing dramatically?
Enter Rhapsocord, the first dynamic ad insertion platform designed for podcast ads.
The Washington Post has developed a way to dynamically insert ads into podcasts, much the same way as companies like DoubleClick or AdRoll dynamically insert online, or in mobile, advertising based on context and delivered just like television or live radio ads.
Rhapsocord, according to the Post –
“wanted to create a better system for contextual targeting of ads and make evergreen content more valuable,”
Rhapsocord, which manages a database of ads, uses automation technology to find ads that match the best podcast episodes by show, content, date and ad type. It then stitches the files together for pre-roll, mid-roll or post-roll placement. The Post can then continue to distribute podcasts to listeners on whatever platform they prefer.
Looks like wider adoption may be possible.
While it could be that Rhapsocord was only available to high dollar productions, it appears that the Post may be toying with utilizing the Amazon means of securing a market – enabling anyone to use the technology, potentially at a price the average person with a podcast could, or would, find affordable.
Rhapsocord connects to the Post’s CMS and podcast encoding system, but the tech can connect to another CMS.
By contrast, other podcast technologies require using their services end to end to benefit from automation, Zucker-Scharff said. Many proprietary solutions only offer monetization within their platform, while Rhapsocord updates podcasts across every place listeners access their podcasts.
The tech also complies with IAB standards of counting, so it would seem that there’s some way that a remote reporting system is also built into the process, although the details are a bit on the murky side at the moment.
We’re still not quite sure how the technology would be able to handle the insertions and then relay the media back to the average podcast – the kind that isn’t built in a studio, lives on a WordPress or similar install, and doesn’t have an entire post production team to work on it. However, these are the types of podcasts that could vastly benefit by this technology.
What would Amazon, err, The Post rather, get out of it?
That remains to be seen, but there is a guaranteed hook in there somewhere for their benefit. Is the Amazon giant contemplating getting more into the audio space, and perhaps challenging Apple’s dominance in the category? With the release of Google’s Podcast App a couple of weeks ago, things definitely seem to be heating up in the space.
We’ll keep you posted as we find out more, it certainly does pose some interesting ideas, conundrums and potential solutions for a wide variety of problems that we didn’t even know we had.