Acast today announced the launch of new conversational targeting features for advertisers.
Available now, exclusively through Acast Marketplace, Conversational Targeting enables brands to target podcast conversations at the individual episode level, across all listening apps.
Using advanced speech-to-text transcription technology combined with artificial intelligence and natural language processing, Acast continuously transcribes and analyzes hundreds of thousands of individual podcast episodes across its broadcast network.
Each episode is then categorized according to the IAB Standard Content Categorization Taxonomy (v2), ensuring ad campaigns are automatically run against the episodes most relevant to their brand message.
Until now, it was only possible to target by category at the show level, and each episode was effectively categorized and tagged the same.
Acast said advertisers can now dramatically expand their reach and can appear on podcasts spanning categories as diverse as sports, beauty or politics, all because the topic of that particular episode is directly relevant to their campaign.
For example, a food delivery service might target individual episodes of a podcast where hosts discuss what they have for dinner or their love of cooking, even if it’s a podcast. quite a different kind.
Where previously a podcast and its advertising inventory was only tagged according to its genre, knowing the episode-level context of the conversation that’s actually happening – and that spans categories like “food ” and “kitchen” – highlights new untapped opportunities for brands.
Conversational targeting provides advertisers with greater relevance without targeting individual listeners or using user-based identifiers or personal information, which maintains privacy and protects the listener experience.
Additionally, for podcasters, these new features open up more of their catalog to potential advertising and associated revenue.
Acast is also working to add new features to its conversational targeting suite this year, including the ability to target by specific keywords and topics, as well as sentiment and emotion.
At launch, Conversational Targeting supports Dutch, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish, and later this year will expand to Swedish and Norwegian.
Chris Wistow, Acast’s Vice President of Advertising Products, said, “We’ve always been proud of Acast’s hard work to innovate the advertising experience, while crucially protecting the valuable listening experience.
“We have a responsibility, both to our podcasters and their fans, to help the brands we work with find the best and most relevant conversations, and Conversational Targeting allows us to do just that.
“We also recognize the acceleration towards greater user privacy – the need to go beyond targeting at the individual user level, and for digital advertising solutions to evolve and innovate to smart, privacy-friendly contextual targeting.
“Conversational targeting helps us and our advertising partners get ahead of the game and continue to lead the way in podcast advertising globally. And, in turn, it will allow us to distribute even more advertising dollars to even more podcasters.