Despite more than 100 million Americans listening to a podcast every month, podcast creators and networks have not had an effective way to fully monetise their content and brands. With this combination, for the first time there will be one podcast technology platform that can bring together all of the demand sources with the largest supplier of podcast inventory.
Describing itself in the press release as “the No. 1 audio company in America and the No. 1 commercial podcast publisher globally”, iHeartMedia has announced it will be acquiring the podcasting solutions operation Voxnest, which includes Spreaker, Spreaker Enterprise and Dynamo.
Per the press release, the acquisition, once completed, means iHeartMedia will now be able to,
Provide podcast advertisers with additional targetable inventory at scale by allowing the effective and efficient monetization across an entire range of podcast inventory on this one-of-kind programmatic platform (that) will increase the monetization of iHeartMedia’s full range of podcasts and advance the podcast marketplace for both buyers and sellers.
The press release continues,
iHeartMedia will also be able to drive greater monetisation for creators of podcast content – wherever they currently publish their shows – by connecting Voxnest’s advanced ad technology with multiple publishing platforms across the industry.
There is of course a lot of the to-be-expected press release hype here, but balancing this we need to allow that iHeartMedia is going to take monetised podcasting to a whole new level with this acquisition, and for authors and publishers this is a huge step forward in what is often (wrongly) regarded as a poor man’s audiobook sector.
Many publishers are already exploring the huge advantage podcasting delivers, and this new merger of two of the field’s biggest operators is, per the headline, seismic for the sector and for authors and publishers willing to run with this baton.
But many more publishers seem oblivious to podcasting as a tool to reach audiences and deliver sales, or are too busy focussing on the widely-extolled virtues of the digital audiobook such that digital podcasting has been left in some publishers’ rear-view mirror. For this reason this TNPS post will have more than the usual direct quotes from the press release, not so much to extol the companies involved as to extol the values of the medium.
Voxnest’s additional advertising technology capabilities include:
• Dynamic ad insertion;
• Audience and content targeting to the right listeners based on demographics, territories, devices and interests;
• Programmatic podcast buying across all audio platforms by providing:
o Native support of VAST, the industry standard template for audio and video advertising.
o OpenRTB, a protocol for enabling integrations that connect to all major audio programmatic exchanges.
• A full podcast analytics platform.
iHeartMedia CEP Bob Pittman said:
This is an important addition to the iHeart digital product ecosystem, which includes our SmartAudio suite of data-driven broadcast radio advertising solutions; our position as the No. 1 commercial podcast publisher with massive distribution and promotion across all our broadcast assets; and the iHeartRadio digital platform.
The addition of iHeart’s offerings to Voxnest will ensure critical mass for the platform and accelerate its growth. As we continue to invest in podcasting and lead the industry, we anticipate this acquisition will have an important impact on iHeart’s ability to more fully monetize its podcast inventory, and will also benefit the other podcast publishers that are part of the Voxnest network and the advertisers who are using it.
For Voxnest, CEO Francesco Baschieri said,
We’re excited about the growth potential from this unique combination. The podcast marketplace has been fragmented, with supply and demand spread across multiple platforms – creating scale challenges for marketers who want to buy podcasts.
And despite the massive growth of the podcast industry, with more than 100 million Americans listening to a podcast every month now, podcast creators and networks have not had an effective way to fully monetise their content and brands.
With this combination, for the first time there will be one podcast technology platform that can bring together all of the demand sources with the largest supplier of podcast inventory – creating the only podcast technology platform that consolidates all the podcast markets into one, making buying more efficient for buyers and sellers of podcast advertising, and creating a unique benefit for the 10,000+ podcast publishers that are part of the Voxnest network today.
iHeartRadio sees over 250 million podcast downloads each month from its 750 original shows.
Parent iHeartMedia describes itself as,
The number one audio company in the United States, reaching nine out of 10 Americans every month – and with its quarter of a billion monthly listeners, has a greater reach than any other media company in the U.S.
The company’s leadership position in audio extends across multiple platforms, including more than 850 live broadcast stations in over 160 markets nationwide; through its iHeartRadio digital service available across more than 250 platforms and 2,000 devices; through its influencers; social; branded iconic live music events; other digital products and newsletters; and podcasts as the No. 1 commercial podcast publisher.
The power of Voxnest lies in the company’s,
Tools for podcast creation, distribution, management, measurement, monetisation and advertising which includes Spreaker, catering to independent podcasters, Spreaker Enterprise, a turnkey platform for enterprises, and Dynamo, a standalone monetisation solution that gives any podcaster, regardless of host or distribution platform, the ability to earn revenue using Voxnest’s real-time, dynamic ad injection technology.
Read more in the press release here.