A New Podsights | Product, Funding, and Team

January 28, 2020

Funding

Ask any brand that you consistently hear on podcasts, and they will tell you podcast advertising works. Get them in a room and ask specifically what’s working, and they have no clue.

See, the medium works so well that for these few brave marketers, they can overlook the traditional shortcomings of podcast advertising and double down. Those brands are rare, just 3% buy half of all podcast advertising, and on average, a brand buys less than 20 spots before churning.

Podcast advertising has traditionally lacked transparency. It’s one of the core issues that the medium faces. We rely on impression metrics that vary from host to host and are shared months after the fact via one number on a spreadsheet.

To measure success, we use vanity URLs, surveys or discount codes which don’t begin to capture the real effects of the placements. A code gets shared on to Honey, or Google starts suggesting a vanity URL, and your whole attribution model is ruined.

Podsights’ goal has always been to help grow the industry. We want publishers’ inventory to be consistently sold out so they can invest in a new and more diverse set of content to attract new listeners. We want marketers to have access to consistent, real-time data that they have come to expect from digital, tv, and radio.

Podcasting doesn’t need more brave brands; it needs smart ones. At Podsights, we want to build the tools to make smarter brands.

To that end, we are announcing new features, a funding round, a rebrand, and some new hires to help achieve these goals.

One Product

Previously, we had two separate products: Analytics and Research. Today, they are getting merged into one product that anyone can sign up for free. Podsights wants to be with you from the first time you think about podcast advertising through measuring success at the end of your campaign.

We offer a database of over 200,000 ads, classified by brand and publisher, for you to know who is buying where. Whether you are a brand looking to understand where the market leaders are having success, or a podcaster looking for advertisers, Podsights has you covered.

Our reporting shares impression data in realtime, which is the first step in transparency. We provide essential metrics like household reach and frequency for brands to optimize their spend across podcasts and networks.

Finally, we offer attribution so brands can get true ROI on their investments in podcasting. Podsights integrates with the brand site and the publisher’s hosting provider to measure attribution via households, URLs, and codes to give a complete picture of performance.

Unified Podsights

New Features

A unified product allows us to do some interesting integrations. We are going to start small today and expand out over time.

We are excited to add the ability for brands to contact publishers directly through research. All too often, brands are discouraged by their first buy because they do not know where to begin. They are scouring Apple Podcasts, Googling publishers/hosts only to find a different company represents the show.

We want to simplify this process. If a publisher opts in, we will show a “contact publisher” button on research. Answer a few questions, and Podsights will shoot your information to the publisher.

Contact Publisher

To be clear, Podsights does not take a commission here; our goal is to connect buyers with sellers in order to promote industry growth or grow the industry as a whole.

Other improvements include:

  • Agency Views. Agencies can manage all their brands through one dashboard.
  • Sell-Side Agency Views. If you represent multiple podcasters, Podsights lets you run a campaign on their behalf, while the podcaster retains ownership of their podcast.
  • Reporting Only Campaigns. Attribution may not be the primary KPI of a campaign. Podsights lets you run impression only campaigns to centralize your podcasting efforts.

There is a lot more to do, so to help get there we raised some money.

Funding

To help us realize our goals, we have raised $1.5 million from Greycroft, Betaworks, BDMI, Rooks Nest, and a host of angels, including Howard Lindzon (Social Leverage), Michael Kassan (Founder MediaLink) and Ilia Papas (Founder Blue Apron).

These are funds with deep expertise in the space. Greycroft has invested in Wondery, membership provider Glow.fm, and the marketing platform Chartable. Betaworks was an early investor in Gimlet, the app Breaker, and hosting provider Anchor. BDMI is in Wondery, Art19, and A Million Ads. (They also have a great deep dive into Podcast Advertising here.)

“It’s rare to come across a firm that has the potential to fundamentally shape an industry but Podsights is truly that. At every turn, we’ve been impressed by their deep understanding and genuine passion for what they’re doing. We couldn’t be more delighted to be part of their journey.” - Phoebe Arkell.

“We couldn’t be more excited” is a common refrain uttered after an investor list, but we actually mean it.

Team

With that, we have hired some new faces to help us grow.

Team

Brigid Judge joins us from Horizon Media, where she was the Digital Audio Investments Manager. She brings a deep background from the buy-side, and will help shape the product for brands and agencies.

Samantha Rivera is the new master of schedules. As our account manager, you’ll meet her as you begin running campaigns through Podsights.

Pedro Garcia is our new frontend developer that built the site you are on. He’s responsible for all the new features in Podsights and will be bringing all the new dashboard features.

We will be continuing to grow the team in 2020. If you are interested in Podsights, you can view our current openings here:

Rebrand

Podsights looks a little different today than yesterday, and we have adopted a new mascot, the loyal and elegant kazoo. If you are unfamiliar, a kazoo is a precise musical instrument played by only the finest musicians worldwide. It’s also heavily featured at children’s parties.

Branding

You all ruined logos with headphones, microphones, sound waves, speakers, and really everything to do with sound. We are forging our own path, one that delights and doesn’t take itself too seriously.

The fine folks at Fuzzco worked with us on this. We wholeheartedly recommend them.

Future

We are the first to admit advertising isn’t the best option for every podcaster. Events, merchandise, or tools like Glow.fm for user-supported monetization are better angles for many.

Advertising is still the primary revenue source for the majority of large publishers. Podsights helps publishers like Wondery, NPR, Cadence13, Acast, Barstool, and many more attract brands and retain them for longer.

“Definitely, definitely, definitely, I recommend Podsights” - Hernan Lopez - CEO Wondery.

If you are looking to buy or sell podcast advertising, we would like to work with you.

pssttt. we are hiring.