Barometer and Audiohook Launch Brand Suitability Framework

Press Release · New York, NY, USA ·

Barometer, a contextual AI engine redefining the legacy of contextual targeting and brand suitability, and Audiohook, the audio industry’s leading independent ad platform, present an innovative applied brand suitability framework for audio advertising. This alliance is set to bring clarity and consistency to brand standards in podcasting with the introduction of these brand suitability definitions.

In this collaboration, Barometer and Audiohook present brand suitability definitions that enhance and expand upon the existing GARM categories, ensuring unmatched transparency and accuracy in risk assessment. The Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) originally created the industry-standard definitions, but these were primarily designed for visual, user-generated content, not premium audio, leading to inconsistent interpretation across different vendors.

The definitions, tailored specifically for audio content, address its unique nuances, including context, content length and alignment with advertiser requirements. Though long-time table stakes in display and CTV media-buying, brand suitability standards have only recently been made actionable in podcast advertising, thanks to Barometer. Last year, Audiohook became the first DSP to integrate Barometer as a pre-bid targeting solution, finally making it possible for advertisers to achieve the workflow they’ve come to expect.

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Designed in collaboration with industry leaders and refined over many years, these definitions are purpose-built for audio, moving beyond the limitations of definitions created for visual short-form user-generated content. Furthermore, through advertiser feedback, the partners have expanded the categories to also include non-GARM defined segments such as Natural Disasters, Gambling, Occult and more. This makes it possible to more finely pinpoint brands’ specific requirements, resulting in including more inventory and excluding less. As the industry wisdom goes, brand suitability should be used as a scalpel not an ax. By adopting these definitions, industry leaders are setting a new, fit-for-purpose benchmark for brand suitability, fostering a consistent and reliable standard across the audio advertising landscape.

This approach empowers buyers to confidently address brand safety and suitability concerns more efficiently, facilitating responsible investment growth in audio advertising. Despite audio’s status as a top ROI channel, leading marketers like Rocket Companies’ Trent Polley have emphasized the need for robust brand safety processes, stating that “without a proper brand safety process, audio’s performance is not worth the risk.” Even those who continue to evaluate content manually can leverage these definitions to streamline their assessment process, ensuring a consistent and effective evaluation. The goal here is to make it possible for advertisers to benefit from the incredible power of the podcast advertising medium while still enforcing their brand standards in the way they have come to expect.

“We are thrilled to partner with Barometer to bring a new level of brand suitability to the podcasting industry,” stated Audiohook CEO, Jordan Bentley. “This refined framework offers advertisers a robust and nuanced approach to evaluating and aligning content with their brand values. By implementing these industry-tailored definitions, we are enhancing transparency and trust across the audio advertising ecosystem. This partnership marks a significant step forward in enabling advertisers to confidently scale their investments in audio, ensuring that brand safety and suitability are upheld to the highest standards."

Tamara (Zubatiy) Nelson, CEO of Barometer adds “As the leader in the podcast brand suitability space, I believe in the importance of brand suitability definitions that can be easily related to the industry-standard definitions available for display and other channels. Clear standards ensure that brands can navigate the podcasting landscape with confidence in the context of their omnichannel buy. It’s not just about avoiding controversy; it’s about fostering trust and authenticity in every episode - ensuring that every brand’s message aligns with its audience. Barometer prides itself on being an “inclusive” brand suitability solution, meaning that we strive to qualify as much content as possible for inclusion through an unprecedented understanding of context.”

This alliance between Barometer and Audiohook is poised to set a new standard in audio advertising, offering unparalleled confidence and clarity for advertisers navigating the ever-evolving world of podcasting.

This is a press release which we link to from Podnews, our daily newsletter about podcasting and on-demand. We may make small edits for editorial reasons.

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