March 4, 2021

Podcast Programmatic Ads Explained By Industry Expert

Podcast Programmatic Ads Explained By Industry Expert

While host-read ads are extremely effective in podcasting, they may not be the best fit for your marketing mix. So, I invited Stephanie Donovan, SVP of Publisher Sales at Triton Digital, to join me to talk about podcast programmatic ad...

While host-read ads are extremely effective in podcasting, they may not be the best fit for your marketing mix. So, I invited Stephanie Donovan, SVP of Publisher Sales at Triton Digital, to join me to talk about podcast programmatic ad buying. 

In this episode, she shares her expert knowledge on what advertisers and podcasters (publishers) can expect from programmatic ads, the differences between host read and programmatic ads, and how to incorporate them into your marketing strategy. 

She also covers the benefits and areas of growth that she sees with podcast programmatic ads and how this affects advertisers and podcasters (publishers). 

Visit Triton Digital to learn more about how you can get started with podcast programmatic ads. 

You can also reach out to Stephanie Donovan with any questions you have. 

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and visit us at True Native Media.



This transcript has not been edited.

[00:00:30]Heather Osgood: [00:00:30] Hello and welcome to the podcast advertising playbook. I am your host, Heather Osgood, and I'm pleased to be joined by Stephanie Donovan from Triton Digital today. Stephanie, thanks so much for joining the show. 

[00:00:41] Stephanie Donovan: [00:00:41] Show, Heather, thanks. I'm looking forward to this conversation.

[00:00:44] Heather Osgood: [00:00:44] Excellent, so am I.  Stephanie, you and I met, I don't know, I would say probably about six months ago, and I know that you have been in this space for a very long time and in the audio space, and you've got a lot of knowledge of what's happening in the podcast arena and at [00:01:00] True Native Media. And here on the podcast, we talk a ton about host read endorsement type ads.

[00:01:06] But Triton digital really brings a lot of that programmatic into the space. That programmatic ad buying. And so I was hoping that we could start by just having you tell us a little bit about yourself, as well as Triton digital and your contribution at Triton digital to the ad space. 

[00:01:23] Stephanie Donovan: [00:01:23] Yeah, thank you.

[00:01:24]It really has Triton is all about connecting the audience to the advertiser and creating the pipes, the technological pipes that create that connection. Our mission has always been the last 14, maybe 15 years now. I get confused. Has been about really that developing the tools that'll get us there.

[00:01:43] And that started with live streaming and we built on the backbone of the live streaming to create a really powerful connection with publishers, content, creators, and podcasting to the advertisers. So you're right. We built an audio programmatic SSP that really [00:02:00] allowed us to expand that scale.  It really allowed us to be a true technology that allows for great commerce. What we've seen and what our mission has been is to fuel the growth of audio by that connection.

[00:02:16]So, What I do at Triton is I connect those publishers. We work with publishers, you and I met because we had some podcast publishers that were looking for representation. They were looking for that advocacy to get at more more monetization and more scale. What we are doing at Triton is making those connections, making these relationships like you and I have created, but also allowing an automated delivery, an automated way to effectively buy audio advertising, whether it's live streaming or now podcasts.

[00:02:49] And that's what our programmatic SSP does. It really allows that connection. But in a way that's extremely efficient and transparent. I think the key thing for both sides [00:03:00] of the equation, both sides of the transaction is to know exactly what you're buying and who's buying it. And that's really what our platform has been designed from day one to do so that we're not obscuring what you're buying, what audio inventory you're buying, and also for the publisher, we're not obscuring, who's buying it.

[00:03:18] And so that, that complete transparency, I think really builds confidence in the advertiser as to, you're, we, you know exactly what you're buying and the results can be something that's fully transparent and not a guessing game. 

[00:03:31] Heather Osgood: [00:03:31] Yeah. Yeah. That's amazing. Thanks for that info. So I'm curious, I know that on this podcast, we have some listeners who are really experienced in the ad space.

[00:03:40] We have some listeners who are podcasters, others that are companies who were trying to decide how they can enter the ad space in the podcast arena. If people aren't familiar with the term SSP, can you explain to us what that is? 

[00:03:55] Stephanie Donovan: [00:03:55] Yes. And thanks so much for saying that I never want to be get into the jargon game. [00:04:00] So the sales side platform, essentially we represent the publishers. And so what we bring to the transaction is a aggregated supply of inventory. And in our case and Tritons case it is only audio inventory. That's all that we deal with. And so what we do with our sales side platform is we connect through integration with the demand side, with the buyers. And so when I speak of the DSPs, the demand side platforms, I'm speaking of worldwide buyers, those can be worldwide agencies. Those can be an aggregated group of buyers that go through someone like the trade desk, go through someone like media map and go through really that connector and it makes it incredibly efficient.

[00:04:46] It makes it automated. It makes it transactional, but they're buying audience. The key thing that programmatic connectors does is it allows a buyer and seller to really target the audience rather [00:05:00] than the channel, maybe the genre or maybe just the essence that an ad network does, which is you guys represent the wholistic brand. In programmatic we're representing the audience. 

[00:05:12]Heather Osgood: [00:05:12] Right. And I think that's key and it's so valuable because in the podcast space, one of the big challenges that we have is this targeting element. If you're looking to do host read endorsement ads, it's really difficult for us to tell you who exactly was reached because the audience profiles aren't always super clear, but when you're looking at it from a programmatic standpoint, it's all about audience. And it's all about knowing exactly who this person is, where they're located and reaching them. The difference is that you don't have that ability to partner with a specific host and a specific show because when people do programmatic ad buying, they aren't buying a show. They're not buying a network. They're buying a [00:06:00] specific demographic, a person that's located in a specific place. That's the case, right? Stephanie? 

[00:06:06] Stephanie Donovan: [00:06:06] Yeah, I think it's important. Two things that I want to highlight is when I talk about audience, yes, they're buying impressions, which are listeners to that podcast. But I also think that what you just said is exactly spot on it is still difficult with podcasts, because we don't know a lot about that audience. We don't know a lot about who is listening like we do with live streaming, just because that data is not being passed. And I think that's one of the growth areas that we'll see in the coming. Yeah, probably digital. So coming months, maybe not years to be able to get more at more granular about that audience, more identification of that audience in a safe and private way.

[00:06:44]And so we'll get there. Maybe we can talk about that in just a moment, but, today, I think that's part of what is holding that programmatic podcast buying, today. We're still seeing growth mind you, but I think it will exponentially grow as we've [00:07:00] seen with other inventory units in the months and certainly in this year. 

[00:07:04] To the other point that you made, I think. And we've spoke about this. I think that host reads continue to play a dominant role. I would be the behesed and probably shunned out of your podcast forever if I said they didn't. But I truly believe that they play a critical role in the monetization and the authenticity of a host and their advertising partner.

[00:07:25] I think the role that programmatic plays is really a tertiary role. It's a, it's an opportunity for shows to aggregate with scale. Maybe you're not the biggest show right now, but you could be part of a network in a very seamless way to get at an advertiser that's looking for your audience. It's not something that's going to drive your branding, but it's certainly going to boost your monetization. It's going to boost your availability to be seen by buyers that are looking for an audience like yours. 

[00:07:57] Heather Osgood: [00:07:57] Yeah, absolutely. And one of the [00:08:00] questions that I think everybody asks constantly in the podcast space is how do I monetize my show?  Um, people are looking for ads. And I do think that from the podcasters perspective, oftentimes there's this thought that as soon as I start my podcast, all of a sudden I'm going to have all of these advertisers knocking my door down to come and give me money.

[00:08:22]And that isn't actually the case most of the time. But I do think that question of monetization is a really important question for the industry as a whole, but for podcasters specifically. And if somebody is listening to the show, maybe they're a podcaster and they're like, gosh, I would love to have programmatic ads on my podcast. What are the steps that a host would need to go through to take advantage of this programmatic ad buying that Triton provides? 

[00:08:53] Stephanie Donovan: [00:08:53] Sure. We get that question all the time. We get the, if we just turn it on, they will come. Yes, and [00:09:00] no. But it is true with direct deals and the way that we handle podcasts. And it is in  a direct way, meaning that buyers know exactly that they're buying podcast because of the direct marketplace that we do, they could be a part of that. But I think the expectations have to be set early on that this is going to be, as I said before, this is going to be a layered effect of how you should monetize your shows.

[00:09:25] And I think for beginner shows coming on. They should really think of this as supplemental, not a key driver. And that really helps you. One make sure, as we just said, going out with a podcast that attracts advertisers, attracts brands that really part with your audience, because the biggest thing that is going to happen is if we just go with programmatic, we're going to get ads that reach the audience, but they're not going to be that authentic, as I said before, authentic brand that marries to that [00:10:00] content. And therefore the listener is going to really gravitate toward. And so if we keep at it in terms of a layered effect, programmatic certainly plays a role. But I think that for new shows and shows that are looking to grow their audience, I think there's careful attention that has to be played with, if you do host reads, make sure that it's truly complimentary to your show.

[00:10:22] And I think at the heart of any marketing is really just to make sure that your listeners are going to be encouraged by it rather than it's a turnoff, because as we grow these podcasts and I don't care if you have a hundred million downloads or you have a hundred downloads, I think the audiences attention and the audiences relation to your total content is so important and so important to keep that growth happening. 

[00:10:48] Heather Osgood: [00:10:48] I totally agree. I was just talking with a prospective advertiser and he's newer to this space. He's run some ads on a couple of shows and he is so hesitant and he was [00:11:00] considering some of the shows that we represent and he said, like, what is the add weight essentially here? Like how many ads. Are they going to be running? And am I going to be one of 10? Am I going to be one of five? And you know, when we look at other forms of advertising, let's just say radio, for instance, it always cracks me up because when I listened to terrestrial radio, I'm like, they just did six or seven ads back to back.

[00:11:24] And nobody seems to mind. But, podcasts are different than terrestrial radio. And the difference is that as the host of the show, you're creating this very connected, nurturing environment. You're creating a relationship with your audience and you have to be certain that the advertisers that you're bringing to your audience are going to resonate with them. And if you get way too many ads in an episode, that's really going to turn the audience off. So it is such a delicate balance. And I think, especially with [00:12:00] programmatic, I think you do have to be really careful about how many of those announcer read type ads you're playing on your show because you audience is key., We don't want to turn them off. Or you're not going to have anything. And it sounds like that has been your experience as well. 

[00:12:16] Stephanie Donovan: [00:12:16] It is. One thing I'm truly excited about is right now, There's with programmatic ads, you can be really relative to the audience. Maybe it's not totally complimentary from a contextual standpoint, but you can be relative whether it's geography, because as I said, you can get hyper-local with programmatic ads, which is fantastic because to that one listener, you just resonated with them, even if it's just because it's a location or a retail shop right in their backyard.

[00:12:45] The other thing that I'm super excited about is the onset of contextual advertising, really being able to play into, and this is really where programmatic is going to play a bigger role. And I think that role is going to allow it to not only expand from a [00:13:00] publisher's acceptance. And listener acceptance, but also from an advertiser's acceptance that yes, podcast buy does make sense for our marketing mix.

[00:13:08] And when we're able to use keywords and go beyond just the genres of the show and go beyond just the contextual words that we use inside the, the search elements of the show and really get at where we can target with them then with keywords, that's really where it's going to allow us to expand.

[00:13:27] I know Veritone is doing great work in this space. ComScore is doing great work in this space and marrying that with partnerships like Triton in programmatic, that's really going to allow us to have a deeper connection, a deeper understanding of the audience, again, in a very safe way, but connection with the audience to be able to deliver more targeted advertising to the audience. 

[00:13:52] And that relativity I think, is going to resonate with the podcast because it's staying true to meeting the listeners needs, but it's also going to [00:14:00] resonate for the advertiser because that relativity is going to make that interest higher. They're going to get more return on  that advertising.

[00:14:07] So I think. One other aspect that delivers for the advertiser is brand safety. It makes sure that is really a copacetic way to have the podcast show and the advertiser in a married environment, but it's still done programmatically. It's still done in an automated way. 

[00:14:24]Heather Osgood: [00:14:24] So tell us, I know you were alluding to this a little earlier in the conversation about some of the technological advancements that are going to be happening with targeting.

[00:14:32]And now we've got like this context element as well. Can you explore that a little deeper? If somebody is looking and they're thinking about jumping into the ad space and they want to do some of the targeting, be it like demographic, geographic, or contextual, what kind of parameters are there currently available and what do you see on the horizon?

[00:14:51] Stephanie Donovan: [00:14:51] Sure. So what parameters are available today for the publisher. And again, Triton sits on the publisher side. So we bring his true [00:15:00] control of how that podcast or can make sure, if they have a host read. They can ensure that a category is not going to air, that's going to compete with that key sponsor.

[00:15:09]There's control on geographic boundaries today where they can go in and block certain ads coming in, if they're coming from different locations, but really get granular about how they want their inventory presented to a potential buyer. So those controls are in place today.

[00:15:25]The other thing that's in place today is a dashboard. It's after action, but it's a dashboard of exactly what transpired. Yesterday last hour, last month, et cetera. So they can really monitor. Am I getting. The CPMs I want, am I getting the buyers that want, and who is actually buying? So that transparency, that reporting really allows them to control the business that they've ventured into with programmatic.

[00:15:51] And again, I will reiterate probably for the fourth time, but for importance purposes, that really goes into the layered mix of an ad network or direct. [00:16:00] What's coming, it's certainly a scale. I will say what I'm really two things I'm really excited about is we've seen almost a hundred percent growth year over year in revenue coming to podcasts.

[00:16:13] That growth is fantastic and that's just in the us. The big fat juicy number is we've seen 300% growth in revenue year over year, globally. So the markets outside of the US are just on fire, but so is the US, so that's the exciting part. Maybe I should have led with that and I buried the lead.

[00:16:35]But the other thing that I'm super excited about is being able, as I've mentioned before, and you referenced is being able to get deeper. Even though it's podcasting, we don't know a ton about that user. Get deeper into that connection between the advertiser and then knowing exactly who they're buying and the contextual targeting.

[00:16:53] I think that piece is going to be so important. Layered on with transparency, layered on with connecting to more [00:17:00] buyers. And that's going to fuel the advertisers confidence that this medium really does work for their advertising mix. And we've already seen the shifts in budgets  to podcasting because of trust. And if we're able to continue to layer on brand safety, buying the audience that you want in a protected environment and being copacetic and listeners accept programmatic as part of the marketing mix, we're going to see that those percentages increase year over year. So I think that we, we like to say we're in the first. But I see already the score is certainly racking up in the favor of podcast monetization. 

[00:17:37] Heather Osgood: [00:17:37] Yeah. Yeah. That's awesome. I love that. You say that we're in the first inning, I was talking to an industry professional the other day and I was like what do you think he was actually an investor? And I said, what do you think?

[00:17:48]Do you think that we're like at the beginning or are we in the middle? Cause I think in the industry, we all like to say Oh, this is the beginning, but I'm curious as an investor, what do you think? Do you think we're in the middle or at the beginning? So it was interesting, but I [00:18:00] do think we're still at the beginning and that is amazing, I hadn't heard that stat about 300% worldwide. 

[00:18:06] Stephanie Donovan: [00:18:06] Yeah. And I say that we're at the beginning because we're just at the crossroads are really getting transparent measurement in an automated way from publisher to advertiser, we have a UI now we have a measurement UI now where the advertiser sees, again, if the publisher passes it, the advertiser sees the exact measurement in a standardized way. IAB V2 certified and it's no longer passing it. You know, I say we're in the first inning because at least we got past passing Excel spreadsheet  back and forth. We're beyond that now. Being able to have that instantaneous view and having advertisers be able to create and consider shows based on true metrics. And, it's easy, and efficient to share now. That's the first step. The second step is the automation of being able to buy that. And again, this is not to exclude, but it's to layer on the great [00:19:00] work that's already happening with buyers that are buying direct. That is so critical. Advertisers that are buying shows based on the content, that's so important. And then I think that we just support that in a programmatic manner and in a measurement manner, to be able to truly create commerce with podcasts. 

[00:19:18] Heather Osgood: [00:19:18] Yeah, for sure. I totally agree. So I know that you are on the supply side, but I'm curious as you may be and maybe you do or don't know the answer to this, but have you seen that advertisers will come into the space and programmatic and say like, gosh, this is working really well. What would happen if we got more targeted and invested in specific shows? Or do you think it's the reverse where people are getting results with specific shows with host read, and then they're like, Hey, we're ready to scale. And now they go to programmatic.

[00:19:50] Stephanie Donovan: [00:19:50] Gosh, I, it truly is a hard answer for me because I sit just in the technology. And so the context that I would have on this is just our multitude of [00:20:00] relationships, like with True Native, but, and also publishers. And it would be difficult for me to answer and it would only be conjecture. But what I do see is an expansion of advertisers.

[00:20:13] What I love about programmatic is it's not bringing advertisers that are competing with say a direct response company, but it's bringing advertisers that may not have considered it before, but because they're connected on the demand side with DSPs, we're getting uh, CPG companies. We're getting companies that we may not have attached before because they're just sampling and it works into their narrow targeting, but it's just part of a layer that works for them just as it is for monetization effort for the podcaster So, I don't want to comment too much further on that because that's just not my that's not my purview. And I would only be doing it by relating it to what other people have told me. What we do see is the addition of advertisers coming into audio, which is incredibly [00:21:00] exciting. And the addition of new brands sampling audio, which I think would be part of that percentage growth that I was just referring to from last year and seeing that continue forward.

[00:21:10] Heather Osgood: [00:21:10] Yeah. Yeah, for sure. I know we've been talking about this, but it is so important to look at the industry as not all or nothing. I think that there is an advantage to bring some of those larger companies into the space who wouldn't necessarily be interested in host read because in part of some of the targeting, and also because as you had mentioned earlier, brand safety really can be a big issue.

[00:21:36]As buyers are coming to this space or maybe from the supply side, how do you categorize those shows because there is a lot of content out there. Some of it very controversial, some of it very explicit. How do you allow for that brand safety? 

[00:21:52] Stephanie Donovan: [00:21:52] So I think that we really relied now on users to use the IAB categories, the [00:22:00] iTunes categories today. We can't police that, nor is it our role. As I mentioned before, as we get deeper into contextual targeting, we can be a lot more robust in terms of managing that for buyers. So I think it's part of the evolution. We have certainly tried with our publishers to make sure, one, that they're categorized properly, but because we are working on the supply side, our suppliers, our publishers are the ones that are directing that. And, we try and work with them hand in hand.

[00:22:31] We've got an entire team and Triton that do nothing, but make sure that we're optimizing for our publishers, the connection to buyers. And part of that is just refining how they present themselves again, through our technology, presents themselves in their inventory. So I can't speak in general from a programmatic perspective, but how we approach it is, from a white glove service perspective, to make sure that those publishers are represented well, have curated [00:23:00] and controlled the categories in which they want to present. But also themselves that we've identified them properly. We can only do what the tools are available today, but I think those tools are continually being refined. The market pressures on both sides of the transaction are continually to. update that and force restrictions. I know there's a lot of great work happening yet. IAB there's a lot of great work happening with industry trades worldwide to ensure. And we're part of those conversations in many cases, but we're also adopting to those standards as well. 

[00:23:30] Heather Osgood: [00:23:30] Yeah, that's great. So I'm curious as we look at this space, there has been so much acquisition that has happened and and continues to happen. I know that independent podcasts are really at the core of what this industry is about, and I know that everyone wants. To maintain that independent nature. While of course we're looking for the dollars that [00:24:00] can be invested from larger companies. I'm curious what your thoughts are about the independent nature of the industry, as well as the acquisitions.

[00:24:11] And, it's like we look at companies like Spotify that have invested so heavily. And I think that some of the smaller players in the industry, can get nervous, right? Are they looking to dominate the entire space? What are your thoughts about how the industry is growing?

[00:24:27]Stephanie Donovan: [00:24:27] I think it's an incredible time to be in the audio industry and podcasts in particular. I don't think that the acquisitive marketplace is going to slow down. I don't know if that's a fortunate or unfortunate, I guess it depends on your position. And if you're the acquirer or the one looking to be acquired.

[00:24:45]The best position that I can take in that model is a, we're just welcome to be a part of the commerce. We're welcome to be a part of the technology and to be that independent arbiter to connect. As I said [00:25:00] before the place that we sit is we don't choose. We're not in a position to choose a winner.

[00:25:06] We are really wanting to bring on everyone and connect them to that same democratized marketplace. The beauty of what we've seen, and we work with publishers very small, to very large. We're blessed with that opportunity, but what we see is we're able to take podcasters of any size and bring them into our platform.

[00:25:25] And really create, as I said before, create a marketplace at scale. And so that again, I think really helps. Whether you're an independent and you want to stay that way. At least you've got a sales platform, a sales technology, that's going to help bring you along. But I also think that's where you as True Native or any of the other unique apps or ad network agencies really play a key role.

[00:25:52] And that's why I love working with you is because it really allows them to have that voice, those independent podcasters to have a voice [00:26:00] and be able to be heard by agencies. I think that if they don't have a robust salesforce to be able to go out and get their own brands to connect with them, that's where those, that your relationships are so critical.

[00:26:12] I think where Triton stands is certainly hosting. We can host anyone and we've got a robust platform and an infrastructure to host. We've got a compelling measurement platform that again, democratizes and keeps everyone's measurement the same and consistent across publisher to publisher. So it builds confidence for the agencies to say, yeah, I believe that's the download that makes sense. And being able to share it now and putting it in there in their environment, and then thirdly, the monetization tool to really allow them that connector. To us, we welcome it all. We welcome the interest, that financial interest, as well as the business interest The money as well as the the audience interest in podcasting, because it just grows the space.

[00:26:55] We are pleased to be able to be at the heart of a lot of that congregation happening. [00:27:00] And certainly our position is to continue to foster that be leaderships and advocates, to both sides, to be able to grow the podcast marketplace.

[00:27:08] Heather Osgood: [00:27:08] Yeah. Excellent. Excellent. That's terrific. So one of the things that I talk a lot about that I think is so important for the industry is dynamic ad insertion. And it goes without saying that you cannot do programmatic ads without the capability of doing dynamic insertion. I feel like there is a lot of pushback in the arena of dynamic insertion still. I know when I looked at the numbers recently, it's almost 50/ 50, right? That about 50% of the podcasts out there are doing dynamic insertion and about 50% aren't. What are you seeing with dynamic insertion? And do you think that all shows are going to be headed toward dynamic insertion. Or do you think that we're still gonna see an element out there of shows that like hold, that's embedded, baked in ad approach. 

[00:27:59] Stephanie Donovan: [00:27:59] So [00:28:00] with all due bias that I have of Triton and our technology provides that ad insertion, that seamless ad insertion, I think rather than prognosticating on should all shows do it. I think it really comes down to creative. I believe one of the core things that when people think of dynamic insertion, they think of just an ad that's going to be kind of abrupt and not be in the fabric of that show. And if proper creative is there and, we trust the agencies want to, or advertisers want to be as continuity to the show as.

[00:28:36] The podcasters themselves want to be then really we should talk more about creative and the creative tools. The creative tools these days are so advanced to be able to not just be local based on a geo, but they can be time sensitive. They can be heck that can be weather sensitive. And being able to really place those and be like I said, be really [00:29:00] targeted as much as you are to the spot, you're also targeted with the messaging. I think that helps to raise some of the fears that people have about dynamic insertion. Because I think it's less about putting in the ad. It's more about making sure that ad is relative in that ad creative fits the flow in the framework. You don't want to have somebody like a Sleep Number in a sports comedy in a sports comedy show, if it's  literally an audible mismatch. And I think the creative piece is one that we can address. There's a lot of companies that do it. We work with one as well. But agencies also work with creative and I think the advertisers are very attuned even programmatic with their ability to segment that audience. They can be very particular about the creative that they put into those dynamic insertions. 

[00:29:45] Heather Osgood: [00:29:45] Yeah. Yeah. And I think that, that is one thing that's important that I have certainly heard is that while programmatic is obviously not host read, depending on the company, that's doing the ad placements and depending on the coaching that they have [00:30:00] received, you can really create ads that feel more podcast esk as opposed to a radio ad. And I think that is fairly well known in the industry that the creative should really speak to that audience. And so I think there is opportunity, within that to not feel maybe necessarily you're always just getting these ads that feel very, like you said, abrupt or out of place.

[00:30:26]Stephanie Donovan: [00:30:26] Some of the creative that I've heard so well, is the storytelling. you know, We now have the ability to on a user basis follow, the first time that user, not the audience, but that first time that user heard an ad and then follow it with a subsequent ad that builds upon the first time. And that makes it really relational to the audience. But it does keep with the framework, the consistency, the authenticity of the podcast. So that's just another development that's available. But I think when people think of Dai or dynamic ad insertion, they're not always thinking about the [00:31:00] creative that has to match that insertion. 

[00:31:02]Heather Osgood: [00:31:02] I saw a report. I think it was the report Podsights put out that they had seen a better result with the advertisers when they had that kind of progressive you know, ad storytelling of these advertisers. So it wasn't just the same ad over and over. But maybe it caught them at two different points during that same episode, even which I think there's a lot of power in that. And really it's all about engagement. It's about getting that listener to tune into the ad instead of tune out which is so important.

[00:31:30] The other thing and I'm curious, cause I don't know the answer to this off the top of my head. I know a lot of hosting providers have frequency capping as an option, so that a listener, if let's say they're listening to an episode, they're not going to hear or I'm sorry, several episodes in a row they're not going to hear the exact same ad over and over again. Is that something that, that you guys incorporate as well? 

[00:31:54] Stephanie Donovan: [00:31:54] Yeah, we absolutely incorporate frequency capping as well as industry capping. And so one of the key [00:32:00] things is really protecting that listener from hearing the same category and the competing in the same pod.

[00:32:08] And that's one of the things that's protected in the environment and the sell-side platform that we've built protects against that. And I know that there's others that do as well, but you're right. You don't want to wear out the listener. And just, especially with the lean in moments the podcast offers that could be a a rejection.

[00:32:26] I can offer that, that wasn't, that didn't sound right. Those little things that we can control by just knowing the advertiser who they are and making sure that they are seamless and to the advertisers standards.

[00:32:36] Heather Osgood: [00:32:36] Yeah. Yeah, for sure. I know we need to start wrapping it up here, but as a podcaster, or what do you think that hosts can do to really make their show more attractive to advertisers or set their content up so that advertisers will be more interested maybe in giving, giving their show some consideration.

[00:32:58]What do you think is best there? 

[00:32:59]Stephanie Donovan: [00:32:59] I [00:33:00] have to be careful because I don't want to ever talk to a content creator because I'm so in awe of the creativity of content creators. So I never want to approach this as a, you should do this. So with all of that built in, I would love to say first focused on the audience.

[00:33:13]Because the biggest thing is to make sure that when an advertiser does join. They are joining a loyal following. And so first it's the content always starting with the content. And again, I never want to speak at a content creator. But also I think it's important to really evaluate once you've established your content flow, you've established your audience and your growth trajectory, establish if you want to do, and where you want to put those insertions. Maybe it's just one break in an entire show. Maybe you want to do just one or two breaks, but one insertion per brick, establish those benchmarks so that you get a cadence with your listeners. I think that just also helps with your loyal audience expecting what's going to be inserted, so that [00:34:00] it is harmonious. The other thing is really focus or managing expectations.

[00:34:04] If I can just switch to the monetization side. The thing that we work with our publishers the most on whether it's my team, the publisher team I work with, or the market operations, the advocacy between publisher and agency, we work with managing expectations. And it's a lot of what we just spoke about here.

[00:34:22] It's what role does programmatic play? I know we talked a lot about that in this conversation. I think it plays that supporting role. I think it can also be an evaluation role with the transparency and the reporting that's provided. You can see what agencies and advertisers, maybe big box brands are buying. How can you take that and use it as a tool to maybe sell a direct response in your community, whether that's an auto audio community, a geographic community, et cetera, but you can take those lessons to say, look, these worldwide brands loved my audience. Maybe a local agency would [00:35:00] love it even more.

[00:35:01] And you can do that just within the insights and the business intelligence tools that are provided to be able to grow your own business. So I think that it works both ways. Programmatic can help you build monetization, but not solely and exclusively, but also think that you can take the learnings from these connections, from these automation tools to be able to grow your own business. And, I would be remissed to tell someone how to grow that business. 

[00:35:27] Heather Osgood: [00:35:27] I think that's really fascinating. I love that advice because as you said, like you have as a producer or as a publisher, you're going to have all this really rich content about what were the results. Like who advertise, how many times did they advertise? All that information and what a great spring board. Because again, like we've said several times, it's not just about, I think. Just host read or just programmatic. There has to be a marriage there and there is and I really do foresee as dynamic ad insertion increases, and as the industry is moving into a place of [00:36:00] scaling, we need to have both. But why not allow the two of them to work hand in hand and taking that knowledge is really super powerful. Yeah. That's something that, that podcasts could easily do to maybe take that bit of information and just grow a deeper relationships or maybe even more profitable relationships in some cases.

[00:36:22] Stephanie Donovan: [00:36:22] Yeah, it's an exciting time. It's an exciting time and evolving time. And, we feel like we are, like I said, in a perfect position to be able to serve those publishers in those content creators, but we have wonderful advertising relationships and a tool set that it's really allowing an annex. And watching, as I said before, a tremendous growth. And so I really think the partnership that we've created, but also the advocacy that you do with the podcast and community. I am a fan of your podcast show. I've learned a lot, so I hope that I've contributed just a small bit to add to the education that you're doing, the [00:37:00] evangelization that you're doing.

[00:37:00] So thanks so much for the opportunity. 

[00:37:03] Heather Osgood: [00:37:03] Yeah, thank you, Stephanie. I really appreciate the insight because I do, I am such an advocate of host read ads, and I feel like a lot of times, programmatic gets the short end of the stick, but as we're looking to try and really create a playbook for podcast advertising, Programmatic is definitely a piece of the pie and we can't ignore it.

[00:37:22] And I really appreciate you coming on the show and just shedding some light on it for us, because I know that the technology is amazing, but I think can also be a little daunting to people who are outside of it. If folks want to get in touch with you or learn more about Triton digital and the services you could provide how could they do that?

[00:37:39] Yeah. Very simply put They can certainly email me., but we have a team worldwide that's ready and available. So we have plenty of materials. We have blogs. We have FAQ's. If you're interested in measurement, we've got our methodology.

[00:37:57] We've got rankers. You can see the who's who, of who we're [00:38:00] measuring now. All of that's available on our website. So I encourage that to be the first thought, but I'm happy to answer any one-on-one questions that your listeners may have. And again, I sincerely appreciate the opportunity. 

[00:38:11] Yeah. Thank you, Stephanie.

[00:38:12] It's been great having you on we'll. We'll talk to you again soon. 

[00:38:15] Stephanie Donovan: [00:38:15] Thanks so much.


Stephanie DonovanProfile Photo

Stephanie Donovan

SVP of Publisher Sales, Triton Digital

Stephanie is responsible for revenue through client acquisition for North America. She has been with Triton Digital for 13 years and experienced advertising growth in the audio space in a significant way. She is fortunate to work with great publisher clients and see their success with Triton Digital's comprehensive toolset.