Guardian sells podcast adverts after successful trial

Guardian News and Media will officially start selling advertising around its podcasts next week, following a three-month trial using software that inserts the advert at the point of download.

Former GNM digital consultant Helen Mayor was appointed commercial development manager earlier this month with the task of bringing in revenue from podcasts.

The advertising trial, which began in early September, comes to an end this weekend and Mayor said GNM was set to become the first commercial news organisation to sell advertising around podcasts.

The Guardian is working with San Francisco-based company Kiptronic, which dynamically inserts adverts into the podcast content at the point of download rather than it being inserted into the original podcast at the point of recording by production staff.

The adverts are also geo-targeted depending on the country of download.

‘It means we can be really agile in terms of what ads we can put in,’said Mayor.

‘GNM has been researching usage, impressions and collecting information on audience to enable it to be much more prepared when we go into the market.

‘We wanted to be able to go to the market and give people a real sense of what we know about our audience.

“People are comfortable with the medium and we’ll be working with all the divisions in our commercial department to include audio as part of our multimedia offering.”

Head of audio Matt Wells told Press Gazette: ‘The exciting thing about it is that we are selling ads into podcasts for the first time.

“We’re the first producer of podcasts in the UK to start selling adverts. We’re hoping to tap into an new emerging market.”

Wells said the Guardian and Observer recorded 2.5 million audio downloads in October, and it produces around 10 hours of audio a week – 10 weekly topical podcasts and one daily news show.

In April this year, GNM’s director of digital content Emily Bell said that the Guardian’s podcasts would be profitable within a year.

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