NEW YORK – Podcast giant Acast will make ad inventory from its entire portfolio of 20,000+ podcasts available to buyers on FreeWheel’s Strata platform. For the first time, the Strata platform — which has helped agencies and marketers automate their campaign planning, activation, optimization and financial management in one system for nearly 40 years — will enable buyers to plan and purchase advertising on podcasts within an automated workflow.
FreeWheel will become one of the first systems to enable an automated workflow for planning and purchasing premium podcast inventory, alongside digital audio and terrestrial radio buys across both local and national footprints.
Now, all advertising agencies using the Strata platform — which totals more than 1,100 — will be able to identify relevant Acast podcasts for their campaigns and purchase inventory across select shows from the Acast library.
From launch, Strata buyers can use automated processes to purchase inventory directly from the Acast sales team, including receiving proposals and sending orders electronically.
“Podcast advertising is booming, not only because of the rapid growth in audience, content, and listens, but also because it’s driving real, measurable results for brands,” said Nick Southwell-Keely, U.S. director of sales and brand partnerships at Acast. “Our integration with FreeWheel now makes it easier than ever for buyers to discover and evaluate inventory, and to connect with our sales teams to plan and activate their campaigns.”
Podcasts are among the fastest growing advertising channels in the country. The latest eMarketer report forecasts that podcast ad spend in 2021 will surpass $1 billion in the U.S. – a 45% increase year-over-year.
“The Strata platform allows users to manage media workflows across traditional TV, digital video, radio, and digital audio channels, but up until now, podcasts were not on that list,” said Ian Banks, Business Development Manager, FreeWheel. “Acast was a natural launch partner to meet the needs of agencies as podcasting continues to grow. Now, our users can plan and buy podcasting inventory, at scale, right along with their other media buys, providing them a complete picture of how podcasting fits into their larger strategic plan.”
Strata buyers will receive access to Acast’s entire portfolio, including shows from major publisher partners such as A+E Networks, HuffPost, Daily Beast, CBC, Vice, BBC, Financial Times, and Complex, as well as shows from indie creators and networks, such as In The Thick, Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, and Pantsuit Politics. Buyers can also run campaigns across entire categories of Acast shows, including by genre (for example news, beauty, reality TV, lifestyle, and fiction) and by collection. Acast’s network of shows amasses 70 million listens in the U.S. each month.
Acast’s pioneering dynamic ad insertion technology allows for timely, contextualized, and targeted podcast ads to be delivered to listeners on any app, upon download or playback of its shows – as opposed to static, non-targeted ads that are baked into the podcast audio file, and can remain even after an ad campaign has ended. The technology allows for advertisers on Strata’s platform to reach specific audiences and run campaigns at scale.
“Strata’s integration with Acast makes it more efficient to purchase individual shows and collections in the same manner as other audio platforms, from RFP to invoicing. Having visibility into holistic audiences across platforms during the pre-buy evaluation phase is a positive step to increase billing growth within the podcast sector. I’m looking forward to seeing other publishers following Acast’s lead, allowing for a seamless buying experience,” said Maria Tullin, associate director, digital and advanced audio, at Horizon Media.
Podcast giant Acast is the engine powering creators, advertisers and listeners everywhere. Its services are the most sophisticated available and are constantly being updated with innovative new tools and functionality.
Acast hosts more than 20,000 shows worldwide, monetizing and growing global smash hits including My Dad Wrote a Porno, The Earios Network, and Forever35, as well as podcasts from publishers such as the BBC, PBS NewsHour, Vice, Complex, HuffPost, CBC, and Financial Times.
Founded in Sweden in 2014 by Johan Billgren, Acast’s team of more than 200 audio lovers are creating a sustainable and open podcast ecosystem — ensuring the whole industry continues to grow and flourish. Over the past six years Acast has generated nearly $100 million in revenue for podcasters around the world, running hugely successful ad and sponsorship campaigns for more than 3,000 brands.
The company has on-the-ground operations in 10 countries around the world, including Canada, the UK, U.S., Mexico, Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, and Sweden.
FreeWheel, A Comcast Company, empowers all segments of The New TV Ecosystem. We are structured to provide the full breadth of solutions the advertising industry needs to achieve their goals. We provide the technology, data enablement, and convergent marketplaces required to ensure buyers and sellers can transact across all screens, across all data types, and all sales channels, in order to ensure the ultimate goal – results for marketers.
With offices in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, London, Paris, Beijing, and across the globe, FreeWheel, A Comcast Company, stands to advocate for the entire industry through the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video. For more information, please visit freewheel.com, and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
For FreeWheel, contact Elaine Wong, 929-388-9098, firstname.lastname@example.org
For Acast, contact Ryan Hatoum, 202-340-8675, email@example.com
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