Acast launches AdCollab to simplify host-read sponsorship buying process

New feature allows podcasters and advertisers to collaborate on host-reads in real time

Acast has launched AdCollab, a new feature on its self-serve advertising platform which aims to simplify the host-read sponsorship buying process for podcasters and advertisers by allowing them to work together in real-time, the company announced. 

AdCollab is designed to reduce the ‘back and forth’ between sales teams and advertisers, and instead allows advertisers to connect directly with global podcasters from the Acast Creator Network. This follows Acast’s launch of self-serve host-read ads in June, which allows advertisers to browse through podcasts that are part of the Acast Marketplace to find the right partner, with rates, audience information, and advanced filtering options available through the portal.

“Empowering podcasters to create, and to earn money from that craft is a laser focus for us at Acast” said Acast product manager Richard Jenkins. “However, the process of crafting sponsorship reads has often been time-consuming and limited in scalability.”

“We’ve developed a product to streamline the collaboration between podcasters and advertisers, while ensuring we maintain authentic and engaging ad experiences for listeners. It’s increasing efficiency, creativity, and ultimately revenue potential for content creators and brands alike.” 

Big-name podcasts that are available to partner with on Acast’s self-serve advertising platform include ones such as WTF with Marc Maron, Shagged, Married, Annoyed, and podcasts from Barack and Michelle Obamas’ Higher Ground Network.

Acast has already been beta testing AdCollab since April with podcasters and advertisers in the US, UK, and Sweden, which resulted in the time to book a host-read campaign being reduced by more than 85%. One example includes the Pantsuit Politics podcast, whose community engagement manager Maggie Penton said that AdCollab’s streamlined process allowed them to focus more on the podcast than on the admin of one sponsorship, while still allowing them to work with brands that they and the listeners love. 

The launch of AdCollab is part of Acast's wider self-service strategy to make podcast buying accessible to more people and marketers within the industry, Acast product director Milly Botes previously told PodPod. This follows on from Acast’s prior focus on conversational targeting at both a category and keyword level, as well as its first party data onboarding solution which allows advertisers to target audiences using their own customer data. 

“As Acast grows, the scale and the way that we process transactions between our demand, which is our buyers, and our supply, which is our podcasters, grows, and we need to make products that enable us to process those transactions faster,” said Botes. “But equally there is a big need for new buyers to be able to transact with Acast at a smaller budget level and at a lower barrier to entry, so that's why we've chosen to invest in a self-service offering.” 

Acast’s self-serve platform was introduced in November last year with spot ads, allowing advertisers to book pre-recorded ad campaigns with minimal interactions. The platform allows any company, large or small, to get started with advertising for as little as $250.