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Spotify secures brand safety deal ‘to give advertisers confidence’ in podcasts


By Hannah Bowler, Senior Reporter

June 15, 2022 | 3 min read

Spotify is to develop the first ever third-party brand safety tool for podcasts with Integral Ad Science and UM Worldwide.

Spotify to tackle brand safety concerns

Spotify hopes to tackle brand safety concerns with a new tool / Pexels

Spotify has teamed up with Integral Ad Science to tackle brand safety in a bid to bring transparency and confidence to podcast advertising.

The companies are to develop the podcast industry’s first third-party brand safety and suitability reporting tool after a vigorous research period.

Spotify’s brand safety plans follow the fallout from the Joe Rogan saga in February, in which Spotify was condemned for allowing the podcaster to spread Covid disinformation.

Podcast ad revenue is projected to hit a whopping $4bn by 2024, almost triple 2021’s $1bn revenue. As podcasting continues to grow exponentially, so have brand safety concerns. Julie Clark, global head of advertising revenue innovation at Spotify, called it the next big challenge for Spotify to “rise to.”

Spotify and IAS will first need to investigate how to approve that an ad has been served in the correct context for a podcast. The results of this research will then be used to create the brand safety tool. There was no indication from Spotify when the tool would be available.

Clark aims that the tool will “give advertisers confidence that their messages are heard in the right place while further validating the contextual targeting solutions we already have in the market.”

The media agency UM Worldwide is also attached to the project and will be the first holding company to test out the solution. To build the tool, Spotify will use its first-party data, which will then be verified by IAS’s independent analysis solutions.

UM Worldwide’s global chief media officer Joshua Lowcock said that given the increased investment in the medium, “without a way to validate brand suitability across the depth and breadth of shows, they are hesitant to go all in.”

Lowcock added that UM Worldworld’s testing phase will “ensure advertisers’ needs are addressed from the start.”

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