Tag Archives: Acast

Samsung Launches its First Branded Podcast in Partnership with Acast

Acast has announced its partnership with Samsung Electronic Australia to produce and distribute the company’s first branded podcast within the Australian Market. The Rule Benders podcast will feature conversations with extraordinary Australians who have bent the rules, defied convention, and redefined what is possible.

Rule Benders is a six-week branded podcast campaign, with a new episode dropping each week. Presented by Samsung Galaxy, the podcast forms part of the marketing campaign for Samsung’s latest foldable smartphone range, the Galaxy Z Fold3 and Galaxy Z Flip3. With its revolutionary new folding smartphones challenging the norm by featuring bendable glass, the podcast will also challenge the norm with stories of Australians who are bending rules.

Rule Benders is the largest-scale branded podcast to be launched so far by the Acast Creative team in Australia. Acast Creative is a pillar of the Acast Marketplace, helping brands navigate the rapidly evolving podcast landscape and elevate commercial messaging its greatest potential. The Samsung and Acast partnership was facilitated by Samsung Electronics Australia’s media agency, CHEP Media.

Tom Roach, Creative and Strategy Lead, Acast Australia and New Zealand, said: “The concept of Rule Benders was inspired by Samsung Galaxy and the new Z Series foldable smartphones. We wanted to reflect people who think differently and shake up the status quo, while helping Samsung build cultural connections with new audiences by making the show available throughout the open podcasting ecosystem.

“This is a doubt the biggest, most high-profile branded podcast we’ve launched in Australia, and it’s more proof that brands are starting to realize the power of podcasting and the creative ways that they can tap into huge audiences of highly engaged listeners.”

Hayley Walton, Head of Brand Marketing, Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics Australia, said: “Samsung’s brand purpose is to create new innovations that defy barriers and can help to make our world a better place. The incredible Australians that we feature in Rule Benders epitomize the Samsung Galaxy brand with each individual challenges the status quo and forging new paths that will make our world more inclusive, positive and accessible for more people.

“We believe that using these talent in our first branded podcast series will help engage audience on a deeper level and help them to connect with Samsung in a way we’ve not achieved before. With podcasts becoming exponentially more popular in recent times, our partnership with Acast was a no-brainer and we’re thrilled to see it go to air.”

Acast – the creator-first podcast company that works with some of Australia’s biggest shows – will distribute Rule Benders, making it available across all podcast apps and played such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

Acast Hires First Content Business Development Director

In an initiative to help more US publishers monetize their expanding global ad inventory, Acast – the global power source of podcasting – has appointed its first Content Business Development Director. The new role has been filled by Michael Leonard, who’ll help premium US media organizations, networks, and creators capitalize on their growing international audiences.

An analysis of Acast’s 100 most-listened-to US podcasts shows that there are massive audiences of international listeners on American content. Between April and June 2021, an average of 22% of all listens to these most popular US podcast came from outside the country. On average, they had listeners in 150 different countries or territories, while 7% of total listens came from countries where English isn’t a primary language.

Acast is uniquely suited to monetize publishers’ international listenership due to its unparalleled global sales footprint within the podcast industry. The company holds presence in 12 countries with local, in-house teams that sell advertising and sponsorship across more than 30,000 podcasts around the world. In Q2 2021, the company reported net sales growth of 130% compared with the same quarter a year prior.

Having Leonard in this newly created role, focused solely on monetizing international listens, is part of the company’s wider strategy to help more US publishers — including those whose current solutions do not have global capabilities at the scale of Acast’s — expand their businesses by unlocking the enormous advertising opportunity in international audiences.

“One of the most lucrative opportunities for US podcast publishers right now lies in harnessing their popularity with international audiences,” said Veronika Taylor, Managing Director, Americas at Acast. “Many media organizations and networks are leaving valuable global inventory unused — and money on the table. We’re offering US publishers the best marketplace to sell their programming across the world and maximize their profits.”

Leonard most recently worked at mobile advertising company Kargo, where he spent seven years working in publisher partnerships and managed ad supply across content from hundreds of publishers. He joined Acast in August and is based in New York.

“With a strong presence in international markets, Acast is the right partner for any publisher looking to expand and monetize their audio footprint globally,” said Leonard. “I look forward to working with leading publishers and creators in the US, and helping them reach their full potential.”

Acast Launches Acast Creative in the US

Acast announced the expansion of its Acast Creative offering to the US. Acast Creative is a pillar of the Acast Marketplace, helping brands navigate the rapidly evolving podcast landscape and elevate commercial messaging to its greatest potential.

Acast first launched Acast Creative in its European market in 2018, and has seen a 250% increase in branded content spend over the past three years. Now, Acast has expanded the offering across the Atlantic and tapped Shantae Howell as Creative Director of the Americas to lead the team and replicate the success of Acast Creative in this market.

As the podcasting landscape continues to explode, brands are flocking to the opportunities it offers and the top-notch creative talent at their disposal. Despite industry projections that podcast ad spend will balloon to nearly $2.5B by 2025, there is no rule book when it comes to podcast advertising – so Acast is pioneering these brand conversations by launching Acast Creative to push boundaries and consistently innovate for its partners.

The Acast Creative team works in tandem with sellers and production partners to offer new creative solutions that help to tell brilliant stories — through both short- and long-form content.

“As a storyteller, creative marketer and avid listener, I was drawn to Acast’s commitment to supporting creators in their efforts to grow and monetize, while ensuring the podcaster maintains creative ownership,” said Howell. “It’s a business model that benefits the podcasters we work with, the audiences they serve, and the brilliant brands whose stories we get to tell.”

As Creative Director of the Americas, Howell leads the creative vision and strategy execution for Acast’s brand partners in the region and plays an integral role in Acast’s growing global team. Prior to joining Acast, Howell was the Senior Audio Strategist and Producer for Vox Media, where she was central to the development of Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America, a podcast in partnership with Ben and Jerry’s that examines the lesser-known history of racial injustice.

Acast Appoints Kate Digby as Group Sales Lead, Australia and New Zealand

Acast announced the hire of Kate Digby as Group Sales Lead, Australia and New Zealand. Digby joins Australia’s most comprehensive insights, strategy and sales unit solely dedicated to podcasting, and will be responsible for guiding the team and offering further insight to brands and agencies looking to include podcasting within their audio marketing strategy.

The appointment comes at a time of tremendous growth for the podcast industry both on a global and local scale, with shows part of the Acast network continuing to exceed 25 million monthly listens in Australia alone.

With more than 15 years’ media experience spanning London and Sydney, and specializing in audio, Digby joins Acast from previous roles as Commercial Director at Sonder and Group Sales Manager at Nova Entertainment. Prior to this, Digby held roles at the former out-of-home company Adshel, and Global Radio London.

Digby will work alongside Liam Daly, Group Sales Lead Australia and New Zealand, and will report directly to Henrik Isaksson, Acast’s Regional Manager Directing for Australia and New Zealand.

Isaksson said: “Having Kate as part of the team represents the next stage of growth for Acast locally as she brings a wealth of experience working with major brands, across multiple platforms, to drive positive business results. Her expertise will be invaluable for any brand wanting to tell their story within podcasting, while maximising the potential of their investment and sales objectives.

“Podcasting is home to some of the most engaged audiences of any advertising channel, and Acast is home to some of the most talented creators and biggest shows in Australia. We continue to go from strength to strength, so there’s never been a bigger opportunity for creators and brands to work together and deliver creative podcast advertising that works.”

Digby added: “I listen to podcasts all the time — whether I’m driving, cooking or walking — so joining such an innovative, global leading podcast business at a time of continued growth feels like the perfect move.

“Smart brands are seeing the possibilities presented by podcast advertising, and I’ll be working with them to help achieve meaningful results through the unique and engaging environment it provides.”

Acast Signs Partnership with Assenmedia

Asennemedia, one of Finland’s most prominent influencer marketing agencies, has partnered with global podcast powerhouse Acast to expand its podcast offering in the region. Asennemedia hosts nearly 50 shows and represents some of the most valuable influencers and podcasters in the market, such as Jäljillä-rikospodcast, Mimmit sijoittaa, Kroonisesti ärhäkkä and Afterwork.

With more than 28,000 podcasts in its portfolio, Acast enables creators to host, distribute, and monetize shows at scale. Assennemedia is the first partner to get access to the world’s biggest podcast marketplace in Finland – giving advertiser both direct and automated access to the most talented creators and the most engaged listeners. The partnership will enable Asennemedia to monetize its own content – across any and every podcast platform out there.

Fredrik Hermansson, Nordics Managing Director at Acast, said: “We’ve seen great potential in Finland in recent years, with listenership of Acast-hosted podcasts increasing to nearly two million a month. Our partnership with Asennemedia is a great step for Acast and we look forward to supporting Asennemedia in accelerating its podcast business, and making its podcast offering as attractive as possible using our services and Acast’s dynamic ad insertion (DAI) technology – today widely adopted as the norm throughout the industry.

“With DAI, advertisers are able to reach a specific audience at a specific moment, with ads that are always up to date. Equally, creators can make money from their podcasting content, no matter where listening takes place.”

Introducing the Acast Marketplace in Finland will give advertisers and creators more flexibility and creativity than ever before. Advertisers will also be able to target campaigns to Finnish listeners all over the world, reaching an audience of 28,000 podcasts globally via shows such as Global News Podcast from the BBC and many more.

Noora Kunttu, Development Director at Asennemedia, said: “Working with Acast will allow us to bring a new level of growth to our influencer marketing and podcast business. The influencer marketing business in Finland was worth 28 million euros last year, and we’re looking forward to accelerating that by partnering with such an established and important player.

“For Asennemedia, this partnership allows us to grow even more, and also gives us more ways to serve our clients. Podcast advertising is a delicate act of creativity fueled by insights. We get to offer our clients something completely new in terms of creative, alongside the advantages of Acast’s dynamic ad insertion technology, and for our creators it means more ways to monetise the fantastic content they’re creating. We’re looking forward to being the most valued, most lucrative podcast and influencer marketing agency for both creators and clients.”

TYT Taps Acast to Expand Podcasting Business with New Programming

TYT, America’s largest online progressive news network and the creator of the flagship political show The Young Turks, has partnered with podcast powerhouse Acast to expand its podcast offering.

Through the partnership, TYT and Acast will bolster the former’s podcast production capabilities, and deliver new podcast programming to audiences by both creating original series and acquiring established series onto the TYT Network.

While some of its upcoming programming will focus on offering progressive analysis of news for diverse audiences, others will extend beyond political news and feature unique and compelling voices that offer expertise on a variety of cultural topics.

TYT’s new audio strategy aims to attract and be inclusive of audiences with interests beyond the realm of news and politics. Its current roster of programming includes The Young Turks, The Damage Report with John Iadarola, The Conversation, and Old School.

“TYT is known for its authentic voice, and podcasting is a great fit for our content because the platform provides an intimate and real audio experience,” said Praveen Singh, Chief Marketing Officer at TYT.

“This year, we’re investing in marketing and production resources that will offer an intimate, audio-first experience for audiences across all of our shows. By signing with Acast, I see a true partnership that will help TYT in our renewed focus on our podcasting business and in reaching new and existing global audiences.”

“Acast has a strong understanding of our mission and vision, and they’re invested in our success. Together, we are in a strong position to build our presence.”

The move is part of TYT’s ongoing investment in making progressive news highly accessible for traditional and emerging audiences across immersive digital channels.

Acast – which works with publishers such as PBS NewsHour, A+E Networks, Discovery, Daily Beast, BBC and The Intercept – will host and distribute all of TYT’s podcasting programming widely, making it available to audiences across all podcast apps and players, such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Amazon Music, and Google Podcasts. Acast will also manage monetization of the shows through ads and sponsorships.

“The appetite for accessible digital news that’s trustworthy, equitable, and inclusive has never been stronger,” said Rebecca Steinberg, Director of Development at Acast.

“TYT’s investment into podcasting perfectly complements its unparalleled success in the digital video space, attracting progressive audiences of varied backgrounds and demographics. We look forward to helping TYT widen its reach, make its audio content more accessible than ever, and meet people where they are – on one of the fastest growing mediums in the world.”

Acast Secures Exclusive Deal with The Irish Times Podcasts

Acast has signed The Irish Times, Ireland’s leading independent and trusted source of news and journalism, to its network of publisher partners. The exclusive partnership with Acast supercharges The Irish Times’ audio strategy by enabling the publisher to distribute its expanding podcast portfolio to every listening platform, as well as generating revenue through the Acast Marketplace with dynamically inserted ads and programmatic buying.

The Irish Times taps into a weekly audience of one million people across its digital content and print newspaper. Committed to engaging and broadcasting its audience, as well as strengthening its compelling and distinctive journalism, The Irish Times is investing in such formats as podcasts to serve the changing needs of its readers.

By partnering with Acast, the publication can focus on making the podcasts, while Acast handles the rest – hosting, distributing and monetizing its shows to reach new audiences and unlock new revenue streams. The publisher will also get access to Acast’s powerful analytics tools, to help understand all aspects of its listenership.

On May 24, 2021, The Irish Times launched its newest podcast, In The News. Hosted by journalists Sorcha Pollak and Conor Pope, the show takes a closer look at the stories that matter in Ireland and around the world.

In The News will be published in the morning, initially launching with two episodes per week on Mondays and Wednesdays, but with the aim of increasing this frequency in the months ahead. The goal is to bring a broad range of its journalism to listeners in an accessible, entertaining and authoritative way.

Liam Kavanagh, Group Managing Director at The Irish Times, said: “Our objective is to build the largest possible audience, bringing our trusted journalism to more people in new ways, and working with the world’s leading podcast platform gives us the best possible opportunity to do that.”

“The Irish Times has long been one of the most innovative news organizations in Ireland, jumping into podcasts before many others,” said Jennifer Dollard, Senior Content Development Manager at Acast Ireland. “Counting its podcasts as part of our growing publisher network is a landmark moment for Acast, both in Ireland and globally – we can’t wait to work with its exceptionally talented team.”

The Irish Times is part of the Acast Creator Network, and its shows – including In The News – are available on every podcast listening app, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music and Spotify. Brands and agencies looking to advertise in The Irish Times’ podcasts can do so exclusively through the Acast Marketplace.

Acast Signs Tortoise Media to Host and Distribute Slow News Podcast

Acast has signed Tortoise Media, to its network of publisher partners which includes the BBC, the Guardian, Financial Times, Economist, gal-de and Hearst.

The partnership with Acast will enable the fast growing audio-first media platform to distribute its journalism podcasts, including The Slow Newscast and Sensemaker, to every listening platform, and monetize its content for non-members through dynamically-inserted ads and sponsorship through the Acast Marketplace.

Tortoise Media launched in 2019 with a slow news approach to journalism with a membership-subscription model, focusing on the in-depth stories that really matter – in the UK and around the world.

Its slate of podcasts launched with the weekly Slow Newscast, hosted by former Guardian and HuffPost journalists Basia Cummings. The podcast takes a considered approach to news podcasting and is Tortoise’s flagship podcasts.

More recently, at the start of 2021, Tortoise launched Sensemaker, a daily news podcast that examines one story every day to help listeners make sense of the world. Episodes typically run for five minutes and distal topics such as the race for Covid-19 vaccines into digestible podcasts that can be listened to in the time it takes to brew a pot of coffee.

Tortoise studios is headed up by Ceri Thomas, former Editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme and Panorama, and Basia Cummings, former Editor at The Guardian and HuffPost. Its four part series My Mother’s Murder was recently number one in Apple’s UK News category and The Slow Newscast was one of Spotify’s favorite new shows of 2020.

“As an audio first publisher Acast was the logical podcasting partner of choice for Tortoise’s growing podcast journalism,” said Ceri Thomas, Editor and Partner at Tortoise Media and Co-Head, Tortoise Studios. “We’ve seen a significant rise in listeners of our podcasts in recent months. I look forward to building on our success and unlocking our audio strategy as a new revenue stream through Acast’s bespoke podcast monetization model.”

“Tortoise Media is one of the most exciting news organizations in the world right now, and its approach to the newsroom is exceptional, especially at a time where it’s critical to take stock and consider the facts of an unravelling story,” said Sam Shetabi, director of UK content at Acast. “Adding Tortoise to our growing number of publisher partners strengthens our growing journalistic podcast offering, and is indicative of the flexible and powerful podcasting solution Acast offers publishers for hosting and monetization.”

Acast Australia Releases Sounds Smart Report

Acast, Australia’s biggest creator-first platform for hosting, monetizing and distributing podcasts, saw an incredible reaction to podcasts in 2020, growing listens to its content in Australia by 54%, with a 144% increase in the number of podcasts joining its platform globally. As a preferred advertising channel, Acast Australia has recorded a 200% increase in ad revenue year on year since 2017.

Now together with research agency The Lab and Nature, Acast surveyed over 2,500 Australians of which 1,000 are active podcast consumers. The research will help establish the current state of play when it comes to audio and podcasting in Australia.

The findings reveal:

  • Australians are listening more than ever before. In the past three months over a third of Australians (37%) have tuned into podcasts, and podcasts are set to grow even further as more than half (56%) of those surveyed intend to listen more in the future.
  • Podcast audiences can only be reached via podcasting. 90% of podcast listeners pay for a premium music streaming service (with no advertising), whereas over half (56%) listen to commercial-free radio. The data highlights the unique opportunity of podcasting with an audience that can’t be reached via commercial radio and streaming services.
  • A medium that genuinely connects. 93% of people listen to podcasts on their own, creating an unrivaled connection between podcast content and the listener. 80% said podcasting content aligns to their passions and 78% said podcasting provides content that they want to dedicate their attention to.
  • A preferred advertising medium. Only 17% of Aussies believe podcast advertising is not relevant to them. Almost half of respondents (49%) said that they pay more attention to advertising when it’s read by the podcast host.
  • Pre-covid commuter pastimes shifts to daily routine. Beginning March 2020, peak daily listen periods shifted from early morning and evening to steadier, more consistent listening throughout the day. Reflective of where listening takes place, the majority of respondents listen while walking (54%), driving (54%) and during housework or gardening (43%).

“There’s no question that podcasts have carved out a unique, influential and sizable space in the audio landscape in Australia,” said Henrik Isaksson, Acast’s Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand. “We know podcasting has become a vital part of consumer life, and a channel considered in all marketing strategies for brands. But now this has been further cemented by the first-hand research we’ve conducted with the Australian public – further positioning podcasting as a medium that now provides fantastic reach and very effective advertising opportunities.”

Acast Marketplace, the podcast buying platform globally that connects advertisers and podcasters also allows for an in-depth look at advertising spend. Data shows a record-shattering year for Acast, recording a 40% global growth in the number of new advertisers, solidifying podcasts’ position as a valuable channel.