AI-powered podcast data platform Barometer plans to continue expanding its capabilities and solutions to global markets by translating content into different languages, the company’s CEO and co-founder Tamara Zubatiy said on the latest episode of the PodPod podcast.
The platform currently follows guidelines from the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) to identify the risk level of podcast content across 11 categories. Zubatiy told PodPod that when it came to translating the GARM guidelines to audio, it had to deal with the issue that the guidelines were very Western-centred and didn’t necessarily apply easily to other global markets.
“When we started doing content analysis in the UK, we had to enlist some local people to help us understand what the local language is like, the different dialects, and things like that,” said Zubatiy. “And all of that is getting a lot easier with AI translation where you can translate in the local dialects.”
In order to apply the guidelines for different markets, Zubatiy said that Barometer goes through several steps to make sure that it is labelling the content correctly, which include topic modelling and keyword targeting to understand what category is being talked about, then looking at the context of what is being talked about, and finally looking at the tone.
Barometer currently runs a beta version of its brand safety and suitability solution in several languages including Spanish, French, German, Arabic, and more. The platform does not only rely on AI-powered translations but also hires local computational linguists to help understand and refine some of the alignment required at the lower levels for better accuracy.
“The reason that we've prioritised the languages that we have to date is because our publisher partners and our advertiser partners have deep knowledge in those markets and a desire to buy in those markets,” said Zubatiy. “It’s definitely been quite interesting, particularly in non-Western languages. We just started in Arabic and it's a really interesting time to be looking into that right now so that's been a really interesting learning process.”
Barometer has partnered with a number of publishers to verify that their content is brand safe and suitable including Wondery, SiriusXM, Forever Dog, and more. Brand safety and suitability solutions have become an increasing need for podcast platforms and publishers as the latest IAB US Podcast Advertising Revenue Study 2023 showed that the use of these solutions went up by over 30% year on year.
Zubatiy also highlighted that it is important for advertisers and publishers to know the difference between what is considered brand safe and what is considered brand suitable to make sure that brands are reaching their target audience.
“In the brand suitability space, the space of all content is very vast and what's appropriate for one brand isn't necessarily appropriate for another so it really varies,” said Zubatiy. “Barometer is not a keyword based solution so we actually look at the context of the discussions and the tone of how those discussions are set.”
“For those reasons, we're able to give advertisers a little bit more of a granular interpretation of the things that they might be concerned about, so that ultimately they can make an informed decision.”