Podcast Industry Is Reliving The Early Days Of Digital

Does this sound familiar? A publisher ad network invests in technology to support more automated, data-driven advertising. Over time, platform revenue supersedes traditional ad sales. Eventually the business pivots hard to tech.

It’s a story that played out numerous times in digital advertising over the years, at companies like AOL, Collective and Conversant. Now the same narrative has come to the podcast medium. This week on AdExchanger Talks, we talk to one such company: Washington, DC-based Megaphone.

Founded in 2015 as Panoply Media, Megaphone operated a network of podcasts and partnered with others – offering production support and ad representation.

“The thought was to provide two things: editorial services to partners as well as ad sales. Along the way we would create new shows leveraging that editorial talent,” according to CEO Brendan Monaghan. As the business grew, he said, “We started to look around at the technology space and felt like there wasn’t enough innovation happening.”

In 2015 it acquired an Australia-based hosting service with an ad server, called Audiometric, and hired its two founders. (One of those founders, Jason Cox, is still the company’s COO.) By 2018, the company exited the publishing business. Today 3,000 podcasts use the Megaphone’s platform and 1,000 use its ad marketplace.

“Things evolved to the point where technology – ad technology and publisher tools – were the things people were coming to us for,” Monaghan says.

Also in this episode: Is the podcast market consolidating or expanding? Is podcast measurement improving?

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