Seekr introduces Align, a brand safety and suitability platform, aimed at doubling podcast industry revenue
Seekr, an artificial intelligence company specializing in transparent content evaluation and generation, announced today the release of Seekr Align, an advanced brand safety and suitability tool that unlocks new audience reach by giving brands and ad agencies unprecedented visibility into hundreds of thousands of podcast episodes whose brand safety and suitability is largely unknown. Align, which is built on Seekr’s large language model, combines Seekr’s proprietary content evaluation and scoring capabilities with and industry-leading user-friendly interface.
“Seekr Align unlocks more brand-safe advertising opportunities in a podcast landscape that is notoriously complex and difficult to navigate,” said Rob Clark, President and Chief Technology Officer of Seekr. “In a short period, Align has already evaluated over 8 million minutes of podcasts and applied Seekr’s proprietary scoring, enabling the desired alignment between a brand and content. The volume of content scored by the platform will increase five-fold by the end of the year, far outpacing competitive offerings.”
During the product beta launch, Align generated pre-order commitments from top brands whose collective 2024 spends are expected to exceed $100 million. Leading brands that have signed on to use Align include Babbel, Bayer, Constant Contact, MasterClass, Quip, SimpliSafe, and Tommy John, among others.
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“Brand safety and suitability should do more than blocking words or avoiding complex conversations. First-gen audio tools have been overcomplicated and unreliable: they are too prone to false negatives and false positives, routinely allowing key words to trigger risk content ratings. This has created confusion among marketers, while scaring them away from responsible podcasts and generally causing them to underutilize podcasts for advertising,” said Dan Granger, CEO of Oxford Road, the nation’s largest independent audio advertising agency, which helped in the development of the platform. “Align simplifies the process of finding safe and suitable podcasts by marrying world-class engineering with innovative and transparent ratings, allowing brands to navigate with nuance so they can confidently grow their audio campaign with increased clarity and speed.”
Align is being introduced at the outset of what promises to be a highly polarized political season, and at a time when many brands say they’re facing growing reputational risks as their ads inadvertently appear next to problematic content. At the same time, brands continue to face challenges in reaching larger, highly engaged audiences safely because they have little to no visibility into the brand suitability of the “long tail” of podcasts – thousands of shows that fall outside of the Top 100.
Seekr Align identifies never-before-measured, industry-specific signals that strike at the heart of safety and suitability by capturing the nuanced essence of a conversation, going above and beyond the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) brand safety and suitability floor, ultimately enabling brands to safely reach a much bigger audience.
The first of these signals, Seekr’s Civility Score™ (patent and trademark pending), tracks personal attacks, including those that may not necessarily register as hate speech under GARM, but are still hostile in nature. The Align platform, which is built on Seekr’s large language model applied for the Civility Score™, allows the end user to overlay desired risk filters, including GARM, giving brands more control and simplicity.
Because of the limitations of current technology, Seekr offers human-in-the-loop capabilities to ensure that brands can feel confident they’re aligning with programs that discuss a broad spectrum of diverse topics without promoting divisive and incendiary content.
Seekr Align is redefining how podcast content is evaluated to align with brand objectives because of its ability to truly understand the nuances of language in audio. Anticipated advances in brand safety and suitability are one of the main reasons why the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) projects podcast advertising revenue will more than double to $4 billion in 2025.
“There is a very different way that Oprah and Alex Jones might treat the same subject in a piece of content,” added Granger. “Align supplements GARM with more nuanced capabilities such as the Civility Score™, which puts the emphasis on the spirit of the conversation, instead of punishing creators who take a responsible approach to discussing important issues that are potentially controversial.”
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.