As podcast networks played show and tell at Wednesday’s Podcast Upfront in New York, digital audio ad tech provider Ads Wizz teed up a new ad targeting product for podcasters. Branded as PodScribe, it offers contextual targeting, meaning that advertisers can use speech-to-text transcription technology to efficiently target by keywords, concepts, topics and interests within the podcast.

Lacking a scalable way to target ads to the sought-after podcast listener, marketers often advertise on a podcast-by-podcast basis. AdsWizz is positioning its latest product as a “a scalable solution” for podcast advertising.

To help advertisers keep their messages away from unsavory content—also known as brand safety—AdsWizz is working with Comscore to provide page-level analysis of podcast websites and landing pages. Combined with its own transcription capabilities, AdsWizz says it can offer “granular understanding of podcast content” and avoid placing ads in podcasts with unseemly content. Podscribe uses Comscore's activation solution suite, which includes a set of audience and contextual segments that help advertisers “reach specific audiences in brand-safe, relevant content across desktop and mobile platforms,” AdsWizz said in a release.

"The podcast industry can only truly take off if ad buying is easy and accessible," said AdsWizz CEO Alexis Van de Wyer. "In order to fully scale, podcast advertising needs to evolve the way programmatic buyers look at digital audio as a whole.” Products like PodScribe, coupled with relationships AdsWizz has with major podcast publishers, will help grow the industry in a way that is safe for the advertiser, he stressed.

The door to reaching a mass audience, a.k.a. scale, will be opened in podcasting by using dynamic ad-insertion and programmatic buying, Van de Wyer insisted. Both techniques are commonplace in streaming audio advertising. That technology can even be used for host-read ads, which Van de Wyer said “can be intelligently served without compromising the listener's experience or the content quality."

Agencies and buyers can use PodScribe in tandem with AdsWizz's AudioMatic ad-targeting platform and via the AdsWizz podcast marketplace, as well as with the AdsWizz AudioServe campaign traffic management system.

"With more than 67 million Americans listening to podcasts on a monthly basis, the audio channel represents one of the fastest growth channels within advertising, and the industry has been asking for a solution that helps them keep up with that rapid expansion," said Rachel Gantz, General Manager, Activation Solutions, Comscore. "We're excited to partner with AdsWizz to deliver on this critical market need."

In private beta for more than a year, Podscribe has been tested with several top podcast publishers. It is currently available with select publishers and advertisers around the world, in multiple languages.