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Acast’s programmatic ad sales revenue grew 215% in 2020


Acast, the global podcast giant, has announced 215% year-on-year growth in programmatic ad sales revenue for 2020.

Leading the way in programmatic buying for the podcast industry, 2020 saw the company set up a dedicated Acast Automated team — including the recent hire of Elli Dimitroulakos as Head of Automation, Americas — and join a number of internal marketplaces with leading Demand-side Platforms (DSPs).

Last year was another record-breaking one for Acast, with its global podcast network expanding to more than 20,000 shows receiving a combined total of more than 300 million listens every month.

Acast began testing programmatic ad sales for podcasts more than three years ago, and is today the market leader — working with 112 agency trading desks that are regularly buying across 15 markets globally.

Growth has accelerated since Acast hired Michael Bayston in the new role of Global Head of Automation in November 2019, leading the Acast Automated team. Bayston’s appointment led to a renewed programmatic sales focus for the business in 2020, as it carried out presentations to more than 130 customers — including DSPs and trading desks — across 52 markets covering the US, LATAM, EMEA and APAC regions.

Bayston said: “Programmatic buying was integral to scaling up Acast Marketplace, the home of podcast buying globally, in 2020. But the most important player in all of this is the podcaster, so we place a lot of focus on controlling the quality of ads that run in our creators’ shows — balancing revenue with listener experience.

“That includes offering one-to-one traded private marketplace and programmatic guaranteed deals, rather than open marketplace execution — and clients are really buying into this. For example, 60% of DV360 buyers using the Acast Marketplace opted for programmatic guaranteed deals in the final quarter of 2020.”

Acast inventory was listed for greater discoverability in three major DSP marketplaces in 2020 — The Trade Desk, DV360 Marketplace, and DSP Verizon Inventory Storefront — and became the first company to make podcast inventory available through FreeWheel’s Strata platform, bringing simplified, automated buying to more than 1,100 US advertising agencies.

The company also developed new, enhanced targeting options for advertisers in 2020, launching contextual ad tech that uses artificial intelligence and transcription to place targeted ads into topically relevant podcast episodes. This allows advertisers to reach audiences based on specific content parameters relevant to their campaigns and intended goals.

And, making good on its commitment to supporting and amplifying diverse voices, Acast partnered with Mindshare on its Black Community PMP (Private Marketplace) — which features podcasts from the Acast network including Naked Beauty, Toure Show and many more.

Acast is committed to evolving Acast Automated through new product offerings throughout 2021, and delivering new technology in local markets. With Acast focusing its efforts on programmatic, and especially the US market, the company projects that programmatic advertising will represent upwards of 10% of its total global revenue this year.

About Acast

Acast is the power source of podcasting, offering everything creators and advertisers need to find and reach millions of engaged listeners around the world. We’re supercharging a thriving, profitable, fair and sustainable open ecosystem for the world’s podcasts — from those of household name media brands to shows from celebrities and influencers, or simply anyone who wants to create. We connect podcasters, listeners and advertisers through the most innovative, world class products, tools and services, and the world’s biggest podcast marketplace. Founded in 2014, Acast now hosts 20,000 podcasts — reaching more than 300 million immersed listeners every month and working with thousands of brands. We’re For The Stories.

For brilliant podcasters

For smart advertisers

For The Stories.

This is a press release which we link to from our daily newsletter about podcasting and on-demand. This is reprinted verbatim; we may rewrite headlines and descriptions.

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