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Acast Marketplace, the podcast company’s programmatic ad platform, has created a new “front door” to help make buying podcast inventory more appealing to marketers. Acast Marketplace, launched in February with podcast inventory from thousands of shows around the globe, will become easier for buyers to sort through, with filters for various audience demographics such as age, gender and language, and podcast subject categories.

Acast calls it the next step in the evolution of Acast Marketplace, with more updates to follow in the months to come. That will include adding additional languages and the development of a completely self-serve buying and booking platform for advertisers.

“This new ‘front door’ into the Acast Marketplace will help us connect even more advertisers with podcasts, as well as attracting and educating new brands in podcast advertising — which in turn will drive more revenue for our creators,” said Joe Copeman, Global SVP of Sales at Acast. 

The Acast Marketplace features both direct sales and automated buying features to allow the inventory to be bought and sold programmatically. It offers traditional spot ad buys, sponsorships that include show hosts delivering the message, and the creation of branded content either through dedicated segments or episodes within existing shows, or a standalone branded podcast series. Acast also promises marketers their ads will appear in a brand-safe environment and that all GDPR regulations will be complied with — an important factor for sales in the European region.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau reported this week that a small portion of podcast ads were bought through programmatic platforms last year, but industry executives believe interest in machine-to-machine buying and selling is rapidly growing.

Nina Harvey, Senior Director of Audio at Magnite — the former Rubicon Project — said there’s been “a bit of resistance” historically among podcasters. But she told the Voxnest Podcast Advertising Summit earlier this month that the conversations around programmatic buying of podcast ads have changed during the past 12 to 18 months. “That is a way for the podcast audience to start to be made available to the big audio buyers who may already be buying audio streaming but want to now enter the podcast space,” she said.

Other podcast executives said they see programmatic buying as a way to open up money-making opportunities for shows that do not have the large download numbers to attract advertisers on their own.