Independent podcast company Acast has announced that it will now be rolling out interchangeable ad slots across its network to increase marketplace capacity and ensure more inventory sales.
Acast Marketplace is a platform that connects over 90,000 podcasts with more than 400 million monthly listeners to 2,300 advertisers. Previously, podcast ad campaigns were made through choosing only one message per ad slot that is either host-read or pre-recorded from different brands.
With the addition of the interchangeable ad slots feature, Acast can now help advertisers identify if a sponsor-read ad slot has not been sold on a show and can instead replace it with a pre-recorded ad, which leads to an increased podcast inventory for brands and fewer ad slots going unsold.
“We’re continually exploring product enhancements to increase the value proposition of our marketplace to advertisers and, in turn, earnings potential for our podcast creators,” said Acast CEO Ross Adams. “Interchangeable Ad Slots allow us to pursue our mission of building the most valuable podcasting marketplace in a scalable, automated way.”
The interchangeable ad slots feature previously existed in a beta version trialled by a group of creators, which resulted in a 10% increase in Acast’s marketplace capacity with more advertisements getting sold.
This is one of many advertising features from Acast – the independent company has released various innovations that have established it as a player in the podcast advertising space. This includes the launch of a keyword targeting tool for advertisers to ensure contextually relevant advertising and brand safety, and its self-serve ad platform that launched in November 2022.
Adams, who is based in the US helping to grow the company’s reach in the podcast market across the region, previously spoke to PodPod, when he appeared as a guest on the podcast, about how the US is still behind when it comes to investing in digital advertising compared with the European market.
“We were laughed out of the room five years ago when we launched programmatic [advertising], and with big headlines saying that programmatic is gonna kill podcasting,” said Adams. “I think a trend in the US is that they understand how to monetise podcasts from a direct response perspective… whereas when it comes to brand advertising, they're still fairly nascent when it comes to ad technology within podcasting and targeting… so I think there's lessons from both sides that are starting to come together.
“There's a lot of interesting learnings we are gaining here that we can bring to Europe, but there's a huge amount of technology in the digital front and ad tech world that we can bring from Europe to here that will benefit both worlds.”