Barometer, Katz Partnership Brings Contextual Targeting to Podcasting

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Podcasting is huge right now, with 53% of Americans saying they’ve listened to a podcast in just the past month. You know what else is huge right now? Artificial intelligence. OpenAI’s ChatGPT reached 100 million monthly active users in January, just two months after it debuted.  It should come as no surprise, then, that Barometer and Katz, two major players in the podcast advertising and AI spaces would find a way to align.

Barometer, an AI company that specializes in brand suitability and contextual targeting technology for digital audio, just announced that it’s partnering with Katz Digital, the digital division of Katz Media Group. News of the partnership was released this morning.

Through the new partnership, Barometer will be providing Katz with access to its premium brand-suitability and contextual targeting insights at scale. The offering combines Barometer’s technology with Katz’s massive podcast inventory, to drive targeted advertising campaigns in the digital audio industry. 

“Katz Digital has an enormous reach and a massive inventory of content that represents a great opportunity for advertisers seeking to buy digital audio at scale. Our partnership was born out of Katz’s desire to be a responsible supply partner to their advertisers,” says Barometer Founder and CEO Tamara Zubatiy. “They are truly pioneers in prioritizing brand suitability and contextual targeting at scale.”

Katz will be using Barometer’s AI-powered insights to optimize their clients’ campaigns in ways that Zubatiy says have never been possible before. For example, advertisers buying Katz’s inventory will be able to target not just by demographic—like gender or geographic location—but also by taste. Although demographics are a popular targeting parameter, advertisers have struggled to differentiate between broad cohorts, like gender or age. 

“Demographics are a common targeting parameter, but how much do two women in their thirties really have in common? Taste is a lot more nuanced and our AI-powered insights make it possible to achieve this new level of custom targeting beyond demographics,” Zubatiy says.

Katz has an impressive resume in the digital audio streaming space. The company reaches more than 230 million listeners, with 250,000 podcasts and more than 5,000 audio streams. That wide reach, combined with Barometer’s technology—which can process a 90-minute episode in as little as 30 seconds—is expected to make the fragmented world of podcast advertising easier to scale, and ultimately safer for brands.

Despite its impressive growth, podcasting has failed to attract top tier advertisers at the same rate as other media channels. In order for the industry to grow into a mature advertising channel that meets the expectations of the largest brand advertisers, Zubatiy says providers need to deliver on scale, brand suitability, targeting, and measurement. 

“Our partnership with Katz Digital covers scale, brand suitability, and targeting, and leaves room for advertisers to plug in their measurement providers of choice,” she says. “Our scale of AI-powered processing allows us to analyze literally thousands of new shows every month.”

Going forward, Zubatiy says she hopes the partnership between Barometer and Katz can evolve towards supporting programmatic advertising, in addition to the company’s direct i/o work. 

“As the podcast advertising industry grows from just 2% of impressions delivered via real-time bidding on an open exchange, there will be more and more of a need for automation in the bidstream in enforcing advertiser standards,” Zubatiy says. “All of that future targeting hinges on our ability to have analyzed all the inventory in time for the bidding to commence.”

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.