Katz Media Group is turning to artificial intelligence to help better monetize its network of more than 250,000 podcasts. Its Katz Digital division has struck up an alliance with Barometer, an AI company that specializes in brand suitability and contextual targeting technology for digital audio. The partnership will provide Katz Digital with access to its premium brand-suitability and contextual targeting insights to help ensure ads effectively reach the right audio audiences at the right moment, within the right contexts.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Barometer, a leader in brand suitability and safety technology, to advance podcasting,” said Scott Porretti, President of Katz Digital. “This capability, coupled with the hyper-engaging content produced by our partners, will provide confidence to the buying community that will accelerate growth within the marketplace,” he said in a joint announcement.
Barometer has developed a patent-pending AI-powered brand integrity cloud that cofounder and CEO Tamara Zubatiy tells Inside Radio allowed them to build a scalable self-service platform that stakeholders on both the buy and sell sides can leverage to achieve improved transparency and increased ROI in digital audio advertising. It includes three different types of analysis that marketers can use, including brand safety and suitability, contextual targeting and host intelligence. Users such as Katz Digital are able to access Barometer’s data through its media planning platform, but it also makes the data available through various integrations with other platforms.
Brand safety issues have grown in importance to marketers and in many cases buyers are using keyword-based services that scan a podcast’s transcription to determine if a show is right for them. But Zubatiy says Barometer is now going far beyond keywords.
“Our patent-pending AI solution uses tone, context, and sentiment analysis to grade each show and episode based on four levels of risk -- no risk, low, medium, high,” she explains. It also looks at content for 11 triggers, including Hate Speech, Adult Content, Obscenity & Profanity, Arms & Ammunition, Debated Sensitive Social issues, Death, Injury or Military Conflict, Crime & Harmful Acts, Illegal Drugs/Tobacco/e-cigarettes/Vaping/Alcohol, Spam or Harmful Content, Terrorism, and Online Piracy. She says the categories are also compliant with the brand safety standards created by the Global Alliance for Responsible Media’s (GARM) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s content taxonomy 3.0.
Barometer also relies on a real-time news analysis to automatically update its list of trending topics proactively. And it closely looks at the host. “Sometimes the content is just right, but the person saying it creates risk by association. This is why we analyze over 50,000 news sources every day and report on the latest public sentiment around each host,” Zubatiy says. “Our intelligent entity detection solution identifies all the content specifically discussing the person of interest, and weights the sentiment based on factors predictive of the reach of the discussions.” Barometer allows a buyer to look back over a full year of host trends to help vet and monitor the content they are supporting.”
Data from the IAB’s 2021 Revenue Report shows less than a third of podcast publishers utilize podcast brand suitability solutions. Barometer calls that an “alarming gap” that also represents an opportunity to build advertiser confidence with third-party solutions like its own.
“With so much emphasis on a small number of podcasts, we are missing out on maximizing both revenue and audience reach within the podcasting industry,” Zubatiy says. “Katz Digital has enormous reach and is investing in providing data for the scope and the size of their network, opening up more targeted access to the broader podcast industry.”
Katz Digital has become the latest podcast company that is working with Barometer. It has earlier struck several ecosystem partnerships with companies including Audiohook, Gemini XIII, Gumball, and Podbean. It also announced in December that it is working with the audio ad agency Oxford Road to leverage AI 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.