DAI: Powering The Podcast Host Read Since 2016

A brief history, plus creative solutions for the future.
Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash

When we first started selling podcast ad inventory, the industry looked very different. Crime Junkie was years from recording its first episode, Serial had not yet blown up, and celebrity names were few and far between. 

Advertising in the space was just as nascent and very experimental. Niche advertisers relied on promo codes with traditional baked-in host reads. Guess what? They were working for those advertisers.

100% authentic, host reads offered the best of influencer marketing before Instagram made influencer marketing what it is now. Could they also be the key to growing the industry beyond the traditional direct response advertisers? If only there was a more efficient way to reach listeners at scale…

In 2016 we chose Megaphone to be our preferred hosting partner because we knew dynamic ad insertion (DAI) would be the future of podcast advertising. 5 years later, we are still bullish on the idea that podcast ads could be host-read AND dynamically inserted – unlocking scale, accountability, and flexibility for all kinds of advertisers. 

DAI continues to catch on. In 2020, the IAB reported that 67% of podcast ad revenue came from dynamically inserted ads, up from 48% the year prior. But as with any piece of ad tech, DAI is continuously improving and evolving its capabilities. 

With that, here are 3 ways to use DAI host reads for your next campaign that you may not have thought of before.

A programmatic complement…or alternative.

If you’re buying podcast ads via a programmatic-style platform (like MTM or a similar ad exchange), DAI host-reads can work with an existing announcer-voiced campaign, adding reach and frequency.  

If brand safety is a concern, this is also a more brand-safe alternative to programmatic – using the talent’s voice while still delivering scale (we have over 70 million monthly downloads across our portfolio). You’ll have control over the content and know every show that goes into your plans. 

Turn any campaign into a performance marketing campaign.

In a performance-driven world, even brand awareness campaigns can have all the data – data that measures really important KPIs like ROI, Return on Ad Spend, and Conversions. Pixel-based attribution is yet another layer that can be added to DAI host reads for real-time insights on ad exposure, conversions (like visiting a website or making a purchase), and lift.

Choose your own (target audience) adventure.

Target major retail markets? Android users? Women 18-44 who drink coffee? The host read can do that. Get even more value from a host-read campaign by targeting the listeners who will find your messaging the most relevant- and relevance is crucial in such an intimate environment.

In addition to geo and device targeting, plans using Nielsen Segment Targeting can target host reads based on nearly 20,000 demographic and psychographic buying segments from Nielsen’s Marketing Cloud. 

For more on what DAI can do, check out these other resources from the archives:

DI vs. Baked In

Dynamic Mechanics

Impressions Are The New Downloads

Is DAI part of your podcast strategy? Premium host-read ads, delivered to your target audience at scale are our specialty. Get in touch to learn more. 
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