EXCLUSIVE: SXM Media partners with The Trade Desk and HUMAN

Partnerships will bring enhanced third-party measurement and brand safety tools for audio ads

Audio powerhouse SXM Media has announced the launch of two new partnerships with programmatic ad buying platform The Trade Desk and cybersecurity company HUMAN to offer enhanced third-party measurement and brand safety solutions for audio advertisers, PodPod can exclusively announce.

Through its partnership with The Trade Desk, SXM Media will add support for third-party audibility measurement to programmatic campaigns bought through the platform, as well as the IAS tracking standard, while campaigns bought directly from SXM Media will support both the IAS and Moat standards. 

“What we want to do is allow measurement of [audio ads] by external parties so that an advertiser doesn't have to trust when we say that we don’t have a lot of skipped ads and low IVT, we want to make sure they can bring their own vendor and they can measure that,” vice president of ad quality measurement and audience data operations Maria Breza told PodPod. “Moat and IAS have been doing some really great work, creating features in the audio space to measure audibility.”

“It’s just the notion that the volume was on when the ad played and it played for two seconds of time, continuously, and that the user had a real opportunity to hear it. It's very similar to viewability in the display space, but obviously viewability doesn't make sense in audio, so this is what that metric represents. It also represents that a human heard the ad.”

Campaign data that Moat and IAS can provide to clients of programmatic buying includes audible impressions delivered, quartile delivery representing how long each user spent listening to an ad, and invalid traffic (IVT). Breza also emphasised the importance of forming partnerships in the audio space and encouraged any other partners entering the space to use these technical standards. 

The company has also formed a partnership between audio adtech subsidiary AdsWizz and fraud sensor network HUMAN, a firm accredited by the Media Rating Council to detect invalid traffic. The partnership integrates a traffic validation solution within Adswizz’s marketplace inventory using HUMAN’s 350-plus machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms, which are regularly updated based on traffic patterns, to analyse audio ad impressions and detect bots and invalid traffic. 

“We are thrilled to help safeguard the world's leading audio publishers, podcasters, and advertisers with robust ad fraud defense by integrating Human’s MediaGuard solution with AdsWizz’s full-spectrum audio platform,” said HUMAN account management vice president Lauren Irvin. “Through this partnership, we aim to empower brands and advertisers to spend with confidence on audio platforms by tapping into this rapidly emerging channel and adding it to their marketing campaign mix.” 

Breza told PodPod that HUMAN adds another level of protection for advertisers and makes sure that the AdsWizz inventory is high quality and free from bots and non-human traffic. Prior to partnering with HUMAN, AdsWizz used both manual checks on the content when bringing in a new partner, as well as automated solutions in the background. 

“When you think about HUMAN, they're a company that really specialises in this area and they have 350 machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms that are looking at the traffic,” said Breza. “So they have a lot more information than we do about other things to look out for and so we feel like this is a really great partnership to bolster what we already are doing ourselves.” 

Additionally, Breza noted that brand safety is a particularly big concern for podcast advertisers, more than it is with streaming and music. One way to ensure that brands can have more trust in the content, she said, is by working with third-party service providers to offer validation for the episodes by looking at the transcripts via a more automated process. 

“We're experimenting now with ways to pass that in a tag to make it more real-time, instead of a log file of all the episode IDs,” said Breza. “So there's vendors out there and we are partnering very closely with all of them to try to bring them to market as quickly as possible.”

A number of podcast companies and networks have been partnering with services such as AI measurement platform Barometer to ensure brand safety and suitability for advertisers. Barometer’s technology uses contextual targeting tools to determine the risk level of podcast episode transcripts based on keywords, tone, context and sentiment. Libsyn has also this week rolled out a new contextual targeting tool to better ensure brand suitability.