The other night I went for drinks with a friend of mine who has an amazing talent for broadcasting. Her day job, while in the right field, isn’t necessarily catering to her desired path so we were brainstorming whether she should start her own podcast. I embarrassingly told her that, even though I love her so much, I’m not a big fan of audio content without visuals unless it’s music. It’s rather ironic because I am a musician and a linguist so I should love all things audial. But I’m also dyslexic so if there isn’t a way for me to engage artistically and its just people talking with no physical context I tend to become disengaged.

This led to a conversation about how uploading a podcast both audibly and visually will only increase your demographics and potential fan base. On Monday, YouTube announced that it’s “giving advertisers more intentional ways” to work with podcasters specifically.

This brings me on to YouTube BrandConnect. BrandConnect is YouTube’s branded-content platform that connects creators with advertisers, and is piloting a program that offers video ads read by podcasters, signalling YouTube’s continued interest in expanding its footprint in the podcast world.

It works like this; Brands that test the program can opt for either 60- or 90-second ad segments read by a podcast host. These ads only appear on podcasts published on YouTube, not in the audio-only content published on podcast platforms, said Lori Sobel, managing director of YouTube BrandConnect, in an email from Falodun. They include either a video of the host reading the ad or a custom title card with audio overlaid.

Despite it just having been launched, there are already several brands testing it out, according to Sobel. For instance, Neutrogena is currently running a campaign with The Financial Diet, the channel behind the podcast The Financial Confessions.

It’s certainly opening opportunities for brands, the platform and fan demographics alike. 

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