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

Podcasts are a booming dwelling for publishers and advertisers alike: podcast ad income is predicted to be triumphant in over $1 billion this 300 and sixty five days, and about 80 million Americans are really weekly podcast listeners, a 17% amplify over 2020, based totally on Edison Compare. Common presentations fancy The New York Times’ “The On daily foundation” gain more than four million downloads per day. But the ad market is aloof being developed, and which ability advertisers are dealing with challenges spherical size, targeting and programmatic ad insertion.

Digiday spoke to Lizzie Widhelm, svp of ad innovation and B2B advertising and marketing at SXM Media, to search out out how SiriusXM Holdings’ mixed ad gross sales organization is drawing near these points, what alternatives are to discontinuance in due course, and the obtain aside she sees the enterprise coming into into 2022.

Widhelm oversees the SiriusXM, Pandora and Stitcher platforms at SXM Media, a role she took on in Can even after nearly 16 years at Pandora, which SXM Media received in 2019. SXM Media’s programmatic ad solution lets advertisers design discontinuance stock from Pandora, Stitcher and SiriusXM, moreover as podcasts from starting up air publishers reminiscent of NBC. SXM Media’s podcast network reaches 45 million U.S. listeners, based totally on the company.

The conversation has been edited and condensed.

While podcast selling income is predicted to be over $1 billion this 300 and sixty five days, programmatic shopping represents no longer as a lot as 5% of that income. Why make you specialize in that’s the case?

Let’s teach there’s 100 million impressions available — there’s far more, nonetheless real for easy math. Most of those impressions in many of these presentations are listening to a host-read ad. Either the creator feels fancy it retains the expose dependable or they opt prefer an eye fixed on over every single ad that runs.

We elect to shuffle to every single expose and focus on over with them about dynamic insertion, about what programmatic is, which isn’t the potential to approve every single ad — a machine takes over to capture the role of the approver to build an ad for your expose. This brings up so many questions:  What are the foundations for how inventive can sound? Can it maintain song or no longer? I really maintain an unique with this mattress provider so no varied mattress provider can dash?

We elect to monetize the technical course of spherical how advertisements expose up in presentations. We maintain been doing that for over a 300 and sixty five days now, with over 5,000 presentations below our umbrella, and lots of them maintain moved over to permit for programmatic advertisements to be delivered of their expose. The CPMs are sturdy, the search info from of of producers that decide to ranking programmatically are monumental producers, creators are alive to about the producers we expose them — and they’d per chance furthermore furthermore be alive to about their expose [having] a programmatic transaction mannequin. It takes a whereas to modernize the ecosystem, nonetheless there would possibly per chance be so great attainable to grow the total pie.

What are just some of the size hurdles that aloof exist with podcasts?

One of the fundamental things the enterprise goes to really grapple with is downloads versus impressions. The definition of the 2 is a most fundamental: if I obtain a expose and don’t listen to it, that’s a obtain, nonetheless if I’m served an affect I’ve really loaded the expose and it’s streaming to my ear. It’s the opportunity to listen to an ad. It’s crucial to realize the variation. The gold same previous is somebody really paying attention to the expose, no longer real “Did they’ve a subscriber alert turned on nonetheless didn’t listen to it?”

That’s the assorted dwelling of size we can have to gain some settlement on within the enterprise: how we’re going to measure entire target audience size, the total on hand stock to advertisers. These challenges are all coming in this acceptable time body. We real maintain some modernization to design discontinuance on.

What size instruments is SXM Media constructing to cope with these points facing advertisers?

We are constructing the ad tech for the prolonged dash and size alternatives for the prolonged dash, so clients really feel fancy they are able to understanding, abolish, design discontinuance and measure in this ecosystem. Advertisers opt planning instruments and to realize the obtain aside audiences are. Our targeting alternatives allow producers to topically design, and realize audiences by gender and geo for networks. They opt the target audience targeting that they’re used to. And on the submit-gross sales facet, a ability to measure their ROI. We are working exhausting, with our vendors, on space size, sentiment diagnosis, target audience segmentation, target audience-based totally shopping ways and ad effectiveness size that [advertisers] query.

In what varied ways is SXM Media working with advertisers to abet them design discontinuance advertisements and design the audiences they decide to be triumphant in?

[We] are helping to educate the advertiser market. We launched AQ Academy, a coaching academy to abet onboard [advertisers] to the podcast dwelling and educate them all the pieces they have to know to be a well-educated podcast purchaser. We furthermore maintain an in-home inventive consultancy placing out a easiest practices inventive playbook to give marketers [a guide] on what to assume about when shopping host-read advertisements or even customized work in a expose or announcer layout, fancy how prolonged it takes to flip spherical an announcer versus host-read ad.

The energy of our offering is we attain 150 million listeners a month, so we scrutinize and assemble more than one info indicators right through more than one apps. We are engaged on an extraordinarily compelling solution for lawful target audience targeting on the patron stage for podcasting that would per chance per chance well furthermore furthermore be mixed with contextual targeting. In podcasting, both [audience and contextual targeting] topic. If you’re staring at a info expose versus a lawful crime expose, it’s an opportunity to bring a clear style of ad. Contextual is a most fundamental, nonetheless lawful target audience identification approach on top of it will really push us into the subsequent piece of advise in this dwelling.

Programmatic advertisements look like a effort point for some advertisers. It appears to be like they opt the potential to dynamically insert an announcer-read inventive space through automation into diverse podcast presentations, nonetheless host-read advertisements continue to dominate. Why is that the case?

No longer all podcasts are the an identical. For obvious presentations, you would possibly per chance well per chance insert a commercial break the obtain aside you would possibly per chance with out problems maintain announcer-read advertisements that abolish a ton of sense. Some presentations are so intimate, so particular, that per chance to interrupt with an announcer received’t really feel pure. What we’re doing with our companions is figuring out when is the lawful time to maintain an ad break. TV has been doing this for an extraordinarily prolonged time; Hulu does this. It’s really about discovering the lawful prescription, the lawful break moment on all these varied expose varieties.

One lawful example is NBC News through Dateline [has a podcast called] “Mommy Doomsday.” It modified into top of the charts a couple months within the past. Lester Holt and varied voices interested by the expose weren’t going to file host advertisements, so it modified into 100% announcer-read advertisements within the expose and it’s a incredible listening ride. It’s an example of a sizable media stamp recognizing they’ve monumental sigh material, with a expose on the tip of the charts and they are able to monetize it really well with monumental producers. So, no longer all americans appears to be like to be ranging from a teach of wretchedness. Many are working out what announcer-led inventive programmatic transactions [can do]. Here goes on now. Creators and media companies realize that leveraging modernized ad technology is a monumental solution to monetize their sigh material and furthermore to be ready to gain admission to a diverse advertiser pool.

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