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2021 : Time for a new type of podcast ad? Q+A with Bryan Barletta.

If you missed our insightful chat with podcast ad tech expert Bryan Barletta, you can play catch up here. Bryan is an industry leader, operating Sounds Profitable, an in-depth free weekly newsletter covering everything you need to know about ad tech in podcasting


We opened the floor up for questions after the Lunch & Learn for Bryan- thanks to everyone who sent them in. Read on for his thoughts on podcast trends in 2021 and his top tips for staying across the ever changing podcast universe.


Q1: After podcasts, what is your preferred ad/media platform?



I really think that any channel can work if you approach it based on your goals and really learn it, even the ones that have been templatized to death. I think streaming like Twitch and other platforms are very interesting, because they capture an audience in a similar way to podcasting. I absolutely dismissed the fun of watching people play a game while live streaming until I started exploring tabletop roleplaying game streams, and you would be shocked at the number of hours I've found myself comfortably watching a handful of people roll dice.


Q2: What key resources do you consume stay on top of everything that's happening in the Podcast industry?



- Podnews

- Evo Terra's Podcast Pulse Twitter List

- Inside Podcasting

- Pacific Content's blog

- Tom Webster from Edison Research's newsletter


Q3: Please tell us more about your predictions for 2021




1) User privacy, which has taken the center stage in all other digital mediums, will be taken more seriously. Today, each of the actors in the podcast chain (Podcast player, analytics, host, attribution) are all operating as islands. Some discard any information received from countries or states with privacy laws, while others assume that receiving the data implies consent. The podcast players themselves (Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, etc) will be held responsible for passing on actual user consent down the line.


2) Contextualization of content will gain major focus for ad targeting at scale. Every podcast has content, and that content can be transcribed and contextualized and then targeted. But less than half of all podcast downloads come from IP addresses that can be resolved to a household, let alone an individual. There's a massive brand safety industry in digital media that can directly apply to transcribed podcasts, opening the doors to substantially larger budgets in podcast advertising.


3) We'll enter the beginning phases of creating a new type of ad. Something between host and announcer read. Whether through pure technology or brilliant creative storytelling, we'll break ground on that third option. I'm looking forward to seeing all the failures along the way, so we can learn from them.


Big thanks to Bryan for for his time and insights. You can subscribe to his awesome weekly newsletter here.

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