As more big brands look to get their marketing messages across to podcasting, iHeartMedia is stepping up its branded content efforts. Gayle Troberman, chief marketing officer, told Adweek the company plans to triple the number of branded podcasts it produces this year. The company created ten branded series last year and aims to reach 30 by the end of the year. Troberman says the price of a branded series is usually between $1 million and $2 million.
The effort is carried by the success of series such as The Pleasure Is Ours. The condom-backed comedy podcast Trojan has released two seasons so far, with the latest season being hosted by Comedy Central’s “Workaholics” series. In each episode, the men pick out the silliest notions young men and women are exposed to as they grow up, with topics ranging from work to sex, entertainment and social media.
Trojan’s media-buying boutique, Wavemaker, conducted an internal study that reportedly showed how engaging podcast support can be. The first season had a total of 215 minutes of content which listeners spent 26 million minutes listening to. The result was that Trojan saw a 13% increase in their product and brand familiarity scores.
“If you want to be part of the conversation, you have to start a conversation,” Troberman told Adweek. “You invite the consumer to sit down with the brand and spend 30 minutes and have a conversation.”
T-Mobile is among the other brands that iHeart works with. Genetic testing kit brand 23andMe has resumed production on a third season of its Spit podcast series hosted by Bartunde Thurston. The show explores how DNA testing gives us a new perspective on who we are and how we are all connected.
Troberman said iHeart also repurposes some branded content for advertising on the company’s radio stations.