Gumball, an advanced advertising technology solution from the team behind claimed podcast network Headgum, has announced it has closed a $10 million Series A funding round led by Union Square Ventures and Good Friends. Bringing total fundraising to $12 million, the round also includes investment from Craft Ventures, Vertical Venture Partners, Animal Capital, Calm Ventures, Gaingels, and Riverside Ventures.
While host-read advertising is the vehicle that built the ever-growing podcast medium, it is one of the few areas of digital marketing untouched by technology or delivered at scale. Brands and marketers currently negotiate and contact podcasters or networks individually, and independent podcasters must cede control to podcast networks to optimize revenues. Gumball is an innovative technology-led marketplace that streamlines and democratizes the process. With just a click, it allows marketers to connect with multiple podcasters to instantly identify and buy inventory and plan, manage and track executions at scale and in minutes rather than weeks.
The team behind the critically acclaimed and commercial successful Headgum Podcast Network created Gumball. Known for its stable of comedy podcasts, its executive team includes many key contributors that helped build CollegeHumor before its acquisition by IAC and the CTO of Vimeo before its IPO.
Gumball’s current inventory includes 100s of podcasts, including Headgum Original shows, podcasts within the Headgum Network, and hundreds of independent podcasters and content creators. While in development, Gumball worked with more than 500 brands and delivered more than 15,000 host-read ads.
“The host-read ad is the most valuable and powerful asset in podcasting, providing authentic, intimate, and endorsement-level messages natively within target content,” said Marty Michael, CEO. “Despite being equally loved by brands, listeners, and talent, the way campaigns are bought, planned, executed, and tracked is antiquated, gated, and largely unchanged since the dawn of podcasting. Gumball turbo-boosts the medium with a solution that provides the kind of scale and efficiency of programatic advertising. Today’s funding will allow us to further invest in the technology and attract independent talent wishing to take advantage of this impactful marketing discipline.”
Some of the biggest podcasting brands include Capser, CBS, Netflix, OkCupid, Squarespace, Warby Parker, Brooklinen, AMC, Linkedin, and StockX, to name a few successfully using Gumball. It is a powerful tool with benefits for both advertisers and content creators.
Gumball allows Advertisers to:
- Browse and book available inventory in real-time with transparent pricing
- Find audiences by demographic
- Have automatic brand category exclusivity
- Utilize automated ad copy, vanity URLs, and coupon code distribution
- Easily verify ads have been aired and listen in one place
- Scale across thousands of shows
Gumball allows Podcasters to:
- Gain access to the biggest brands that align with their values
- Better manage campaigns with intuitive dashboard tools, including ad scheduling, unified script and referral code access, and timely reminders to make sure ads air on schedule and air checks uploads
- Get paid faster and on time with transparent payments with predictable timelines
- Book more advertising spots, increase revenue, and focus on developing compelling content