Spotify, IAS Partner To Establish A Brand Safety Solution For Podcast Advertisers

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Global Media Agency UM Worldwide will be part of the development and testing of this first-of-its-kind brand safety tool

Spotify and Integral Ad Science announced a new partnership to establish a third-party brand safety solution for podcast advertisers. The companies will conduct a rigorous analysis to help the industry understand the tools and resources necessary to effectively deliver brand safety in podcasting and digital audio writ large. Ultimately, the firms intend to create the industry’s first third-party brand safety and suitability reporting tool to bring more transparency and confidence to podcast advertising. Global media agency UM Worldwide will be part of the learning and development process as the first holding company to test this solution, ensuring that the voice and needs of advertisers are considered from the outset.

Podcast ad spend has grown rapidly over the past few years alongside an influx of listening worldwide. In fact, podcast ad revenue surpassed $1 billion in 2021 and is forecasted to almost triple to more than $4 billion in 2024. As investment and innovation in podcast advertising have surged, so has the importance of ensuring suitability for advertisers. There are well-established brand safety guidelines and technology across the digital advertising ecosystem, most notably in the video; however, these do not yet exist in audio. Creating a third-party solution for this now the mainstream medium is critical to maintaining advertiser confidence and continued media spend.

To solve this challenge, Spotify and IAS are embarking on a joint effort to better understand how to responsibly and effectively validate that advertiser messages are served in their intended context for podcasts. In the future, the results will be used to create a first-of-its-kind brand safety and suitability tool to aid in campaign planning, management, and reporting.

The solution will be powered by Spotify’s first-party data and verified by IAS’ independent analysis solutions based on the Global Alliance for Responsible Media’s categories and guidelines. Their initial efforts will focus on third-party content within the Spotify Audience Network.

“Spotify pioneered the digital audio landscape as we know it today and we’re excited to continue our leadership here as we rise to the next challenge: brand safety,” said Julie Clark, Global Head of Advertising Revenue Innovation at Spotify. “We are pleased to be partnering with IAS – one of the most trusted leaders in media – to give advertisers confidence that their messages are heard in the right place while further validating the contextual targeting solutions we already have in the market.”

“Partnering with Spotify and UM to develop a podcast brand safety and suitability solution will be a transformational step for advertisers targeting the audio space,” said Yannis Dosios, Global Chief Commercial Officer at IAS. “With podcasts expected to reach more than 500 million listeners worldwide by 2024, this solution will offer advertisers more control and confidence that their messages will deeply resonate with their intended audiences.”

“Podcasts have hit the mainstream in a big way and our clients are ready to increase their investment in the space given the undeniable opportunity to connect with audiences; however, without a way to validate brand suitability across the depth and breadth of shows, they are hesitant to go all in,” said Joshua Lowcock, Global Chief Media Officer at UM Worldwide. “We’re pleased to see Spotify and IAS step up to create a brand safety solution and are ready to work with them during the building and testing phase to ensure advertisers’ needs are addressed from the start.”