Vox Media Ups Podcast Ads With ‘Silicon Valley’ Interview

Vox Media has always been known for publishing stories that create buzz. On a recent episode of “Recode/Decode,” host Kara Swisher interviewed Russ Hanneman, the technology investor from the hit HBO comedy “Silicon Valley.” According to a Variety article on the episode, the interview gave some great insights into the world of podcast advertising.

“As advertisers, we’re attracted to podcasting due to the undivided attention of its consumers,” says Dana Flax, director of digital and social media at HBO, in responses that were sent via email. “As storytellers, we love the ability to extend the ‘Silicon Valley’ narratives into the real world and surprise and delight our fans.”

The Variety article discusses how marketers are turning up the volume on podcasting, crediting the new availability of content it “connected cars” as one of the major reasons for the mediums success.

Edison Research earlier this year found weekly podcast listeners typically listen to seven of the programs each week, compared with five in 2017. The market-research firm also found that 26% of people aged 12 and older listened to a podcast in the last month.

“While it only commands a tiny chunk of the overall marketing pie, podcast advertising is growing at an exponential rate, in large part due to its effectiveness,” notes Matthew Stefl, a marketing professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

HBO recently sparked attention by setting up a facsimile of the fictional town that is the center of its drama “Westworld” outside the South by Southwest Festival in Austin Texas. Vox Media executives noticed that, and set about pitching the Time Warner premium programmer on the idea of “custom segments” in its podcasts, says Lang. “They came to the table with the idea of bringing talent and really tying it to a specific episode. It’ not just this disparate piece of advertising.”

If anything, this format should show advertisers and podcasters that we have yet to scratch the surface in podcast advertising and content creation. With the vast amounts of purchasing power up for grabs with those audiences, we can expect to see more savvy brands looking to build those smart partnerships in the podcast space.

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