Podbridge Builds Podcast Ad Network

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Say hello to Podbridge, an online company that wants to become the leading ad network for time-shifted mobile media.

Founder/CEO Murgesh Navar realized that a major problem advertisers face is not knowing when a particular podcast ad has been seen, by whom, where and how.

"Podbridge enables both advertisers and publishers to accurately track and measure when and where ads have been viewed," he said.

Advertisers choose the metrics -- age, location and times -- they want to reach their audience. They can search for particular types of podcasts and establish budgets and campaign time frames. Podbridge handles insertion and measurement, delivering reports on downloads, listens and other campaign yardsticks.

Ronning Lipsit, a media agency for online radio, sells audio ads for Podbridge.

Mr. Navar said Podbridge works as a branding tool for advertisers who leverage targeted content. Direct response also is enabled through pay-per-call or pay-per-contact through a consumer feedback panel or listening history screen.

Podcast content providers aligned with Podbridge are Military.com, SportsLine, Bloomberg and Clear Channel. Advertisers' names will be released soon.

"Podbridge is providing a higher level of user experience of ads served in its network by actually targeting ads based on anonymous information that the consumer provides," Mr. Navar said.

The company can separate ads from the podcast content so that they are rotated and refreshed and targeted to specific consumers. This also maximizes inventory yield for content providers.

Will online consumers submit age, area and gender information for ads? Mr. Navar thinks so. He likens Podbridge's model to the online magazine and not adware, where consumers have no choice in the ads served to them.

Consumers have grown accustomed to the trade-off between information submitted for the content sought online, he said. In that process, they also receive ads not targeted to them, which consumers expect to happen when they sign up for content.

Podcasting, like blogging, is becoming mainstream. Forrester Research claims 2 percent to 3 percent of online consumers regularly use podcasts, with 23 percent expressing interest in listening to them. Arbitron research shows that 11 percent of Americans have heard podcasts, and 53 percent of that audience is younger than 35.

Podcasting is one of the few mediums capable of moving with the consumer, letting advertisers reach users at the right time and place.

"Podcasting is targeted based on demographics and content," Mr. Navar said. "Podbridge extends the value of this targeting with its opt-in metrics via plug-in, tapping into accurate metrics for age, location and time of consumption."

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