Amazon ad boss details how the company is ramping up its pitch for podcast advertising dollars

  • Amazon’s ad boss Alan Moss said that it plans to expand the amount of podcast ad space this year for advertisers.
  • The market for podcast advertising is growing as Amazon, Spotify and others look to make it more automated.
  • He also said that Amazon will roll out remote control-activated ads this year for TV ad formats.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Amazon wants to make more money from podcasts.

Amazon’s ad boss Alan Moss told advertisers that the e-commerce giant plans to roll out ads in podcasts.

Amazon acquired podcast firm Wondery last year, which runs host-read ads. Amazon has not up until now pitched advertisers on an ad network that lets advertisers buy ads in multiple shows. Wondery’s podcasts include “Dear John” and “Dr. Death.”

Amazon also sells ads in its music-streaming service Amazon Music.

“This year, we’ll be increasing our audio supply to help advertisers reach a broader audience, and we’ll be launching advertising within podcasts this year to allow advertisers to immerse their brand in premium audio content,” Moss said during a talk at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Annual Leadership Conference on March 10.

Moss did not say when the ads would be available to advertisers, and a spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Audio advertising is a growing area for tech companies and publishers. The IAB estimates that podcast advertising hit $1 billion in ad sales last year.

Buying audio ads is typically a manual process for advertisers that requires them to buy shows individually. Giants like Amazon, Spotify, and IHeartMedia are aiming to make audio advertising more automated with software that advertisers use to reach audiences across shows.

Spotify in particular has made a number of big podcast acquisitions, including advertising firm Megaphone for $235 million, Gimlet Media, and Anchor. IHeartMedia agreed to acquire podcast analytics firm Voxnest last year.

Moss is a former longtime Google ad sales exec who joined Amazon in the top ad sales role of global VP of ad sales in July 2020.

Moss also said that Amazon plans to give advertisers more first-party data about Amazon shoppers for targeting and measurement tools as third-party ad targeting cookies disappear.

Amazon has also made a big push into ad-supported streaming with properties like IMDBTV and Fire TV. Moss said that Amazon’s ad-supported video audience reaches more than 55 million monthly users, up from 20 million in 2020. The amount of total weekly hours that people watched IMDBTV between 2019 and 2020 increased 519% between 2019 and 2020, he said.

Moss said that Amazon plans to launch “actionable ads” that allow viewers to use their remote controls and voice to interact with ads. Hulu and Roku, two other giant OTT ad companies, also have ad products that use remote controls.

“We believe the shift in the advertising landscape is an opportunity for invention and to scale new forms of advertising measurement,” he said.

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