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Brands catch podcast fever

Brands are getting so comfortable with the idea of podcasts that they’re starting to produce their own.

Prudential, Umpqua Bank, GE and Netflix are just a few of the big brands that have in the last few months launched large-scale podcast productions that people are actually listening to. Panoply, Slate’s podcast network, also recently launched a custom unit that works with brands to help make those podcasts a reality.

To date, the network has had plenty of publisher partners but said that only recently have brands become more comfortable creating branded podcast content. Panoply has so far worked with six brands, and chief revenue officer Matt Turck said interest from brands to produce podcasts is growing.

Podcasting is enjoying a boomlet: 46m Americans listen to podcasts monthly, and the average listener listens to six a week, if you believe researcher Edison. The medium has plenty of advertisers — you can’t listen to certain podcasts without hearing spoken native ads for Stamps.com, Squarespace or Casper. But what is increasing is how many brands are now creating their own series.

Prudential, for example, created a four-episode series called “40/40 Vision,” hosted by public radio host and actor Faith Salie, that explores what it means to be 40 and older. The brand was drawn to the unedited, intimate style of podcasting, said vp of media Anna Papadopoulos. “Forty-year-olds are the generation that has been impacted the most and benefited the most from what is happening culturally, so we wanted to talk about that.”

Slate’s team helps Prudential come up with ideas for the episodes. Papadopoulos said she likes it because Slate treats the brand work the way they would treat editorial.

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Source: Digiday

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