With more big brands looking to take their marketing messages to podcasting, iHeartMedia is ramping up its branded content efforts. Chief Marketing Officer Gayle Troberman tells Adweek the company plans to triple the amount of branded podcasts that it produces this year. The company created ten branded series last year, and it is aiming to hit 30 by year-end. Troberman says the price tag on a branded series typically runs in the $1 to $2 million range.
The effort is buoyed by the success of series such as The Pleasure Is Ours. The comedy podcast backed by Trojan condoms has released two seasons to date, with the latest season hosted by Comedy Central’s “Workaholics” series. In each episode, the men pick apart the dumbest notions that young men and women are exposed to as they come of age, with topics ranging from work to sex, entertainment, and social media.
Trojan’s media buying shop Wavemaker conducted an internal study which reportedly showed how engaging the podcast medium can be. The first season had a total of 215 minutes of content of which listeners spent 26 million minutes listening to. The result was Trojan saw a 13% lift in its product and brand familiarity scores.
“If you want to be part of the conversation, you have to start a conversation,” Troberman told Adweek. “You’re inviting the consumer to sit down with the brand and spend 30 minutes and have a conversation.”
T-Mobile is among the other brands that iHeart is working with. The genetic testing kit brand 23andMe just reupped to produce a third season of its Spit podcast series hosted by Bartunde Thurston. The show explores how DNA testing gives us a new perspective on who we are and how we are all connected.
Troberman said that iHeart is also repurposing some of the branded content for advertising on the company’s radio stations.