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How Risky Is A Show Or Host? Barometer And Oxford Road Create Tool To Score Both.

Technology and advertising are joining forces to address marketers’ ongoing concerns about brand safety. The audio ad agency Oxford Road is teaming up with the tech company Barometer that is leveraging artificial intelligence to build a brand suitability and contextual targeting solution for audio. The result is a tool that will offer advertisers a host-specific brand safety and suitability intelligence solution.

Powered by natural language processing, what is branded as Barometer Host Intelligence was tested by four of podcasting’s biggest advertisers. Collectively, the brands represent over $80 million in annual podcast spend and are now filtering their shows through Barometer in order to see their scores, prior to deciding what shows are worth their investments.

Athletic Greens was one of the beta-testers and Senior Manager of Audio Partnerships Sarah Marini says Barometer Host Intelligence has given the vitamin supplement company cross-audio insights they are looking for about hosts when deciding where to place their ad dollars.

“Vetting hosts is an important part of the process of picking a new show to invest in because consumers associate our brands with the voices, topics and content they are exposed to in audio,” said Marini.

Beyond just brand safety, Barometer and Oxford Road say the tool will help marketers save time since they will no longer need to do extensive research analyzing podcast content of a show or a host. That includes assigning a “risk score” that the companies say will go beyond keywords, to analyzing entire episodes in context by interpreting each utterance based on Global Alliance for Responsible Media’s (GARM) brand safety standards. During the process, sentiment about hosts is assessed too – including giving advertisers access to host-related news and sentiment data going back over time.

“Oxford Road initially invested in the development of Barometer to benefit the brands we serve and to shift the value of content away from the loudest voices and toward content of the highest quality,” said Oxford Road founder and CEO Dan Granger. “While we’re excited about the benefits our clients receive from these new solutions, Barometer and Oxford Road are not limiting use to our own agency or those who do business with us. This is a critical movement for the podcast industry as discerning brands desire to scale their values-driven messaging and to raise the bar on content deserving of monetization. We are happy to be the first, and are excited for all the others who are joining us,” said Granger.

Barometer and Oxford Road will also release a monthly listing of podcast content scores that all advertisers can reference.

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