The big podcast networks will have their day in front of advertisers at next month’s IAB Podcast Upfront. But small, independent publishers are angling for a slice of marketer budgets too and they are banding together for The X Fronts. The first-of-its-kind event will unite more than 15 podcast companies in a single presentation to preview new shows, seasons and rising stars to an audience of leading brand marketers, advertisers, and media buyers.
The X Fronts — set to take place Thursday, Sept. 24 — will be a six-hour virtual event with Crooked Media, Talkhouse, Wonder Media Network, Kast Media, Headgum, Qcode, Lipstick & Vinyl, Advertisecast and DCP Entertainment among the headliners. There will also be industry insights sessions put on by Simplecast, Magellan AI and Adswizz to help educate ad buyers about the medium. And to add a bit of showbiz, the event will also feature performances by special guests to be announced.
The X Fronts are the idea of Work X Work, the creative agency that has developed high-profile campaigns with NPR and Stitcher. The agency works with Sonos, Spotify, Adobe and Netflix, and produces the On Air Fest events in New York and Los Angeles.
“We believe in the power of indie. In uncertain times like these, fresh voices and new leaders will guide the way,” said Scott Newman, founder and creative director of Work X Work. “We are thrilled to provide a showcase where brands and buyers can experience the next big thing.” The event is free but will require registration.
Separately, the IAB announced last week that registration has soared 400% for its annual podcast upfront, which will showcase 21 large podcast companies compared to a year ago, signaling more interest in the buying community. The IAB Podcast Upfront will span three days, Sept. 9-11.