Canadaland partners with Acast to attract new ad opportunities

The podcast platform will handle distribution, sales and promotion for the network's news and culture shows.

Canadaland has chosen Acast as its new podcast partner to lead distribution and accelerate promotion and sales for its podcast network, both domestically and globally, and offer new sponsorship and branding opportunities.

Going forward, advertisers will be able to purchase ads in a variety of different formats on Canadaland podcasts through the Acast Marketplace, which supports both traditional and programmatic buying. In 2020 alone, Acast saw a 215% year-over-year growth in programmatic ad sales revenue.

Furthermore, ads and sponsorships on Canadaland podcasts will utilize Acast’s dynamic ad insertion technology, meaning each listener will hear targeted, timely ads placed into episodes the moment they’re streamed or downloaded.

“Brands looking to align with Canadaland’s premium content will now be able to do so on a massive scale and will be able to work with us to create highly engaging, impactful campaigns that drive real results,” says Heather Gordon, managing director, Canada at Acast.

Boasting more than eight million listeners per year and 10,000 monthly paying supporters, Canadaland’s series include its namesake podcast, which examines Canadian media and the country’s other major news stories; The Backbench, which looks at Canadian politics; and Commons, which digs deep into a different subject shaping the country every season.

Meanwhile, Acast has 66,000 shows with more than 400 million listens each month. One of the most important features the platforms will now offer is host-read ads that will be dynamically inserted.

Jesse Brown, publisher and editor-in-chief of Canadaland, says the host read is a feature Canadaland spearheaded and formed the backbone of a “really strong and unique sponsorship business.” Canadaland’s advertisers have included the likes of Freshbooks, Squarespace, Article, Oxio, Rotman School of Management and PolicyMe.

“We’re still the only news company where hosts talk about brands to the listeners who trust them,” Brown says. “If you’re not using host-read ads, you’re not maximizing the value of podcasting. Listeners choose the people they want to listen to, and when those people talk about sponsors, the conversions can be double or triple what you would get from canned ads.”

In a recent study Acast conducted with Nielsen, the company found that 43% of Canadian podcast listeners trust podcast hosts when they endorse products or services. The same research found that 42% of Canadian podcast fans say they develop a more positive opinion towards brands that advertise on the shows they listen to.

“One thing that’s been proven time and time again is that podcast advertising is among the most effective media channels in the industry — especially when it comes to host-read sponsorships,” adds Gordon.

Canadaland joins Acast Canada’s portfolio of publishers and news organizations, including the CBC, eOne and Apostrophe Podcast Network. Acast first came to Canada in September 2020. In April of 2021, the platform took traditional sponsorship reads a step further by introducing “Sponsored Stories,” an ad unit designed to emulate editorial content more closely.