MISHAWAKA, Ind. — In the summer of 2016, we launched our podcasting network to augment our growing linear and live streaming businesses. As our network grew, we had several opportunities to monetize our podcasting content with deeper sponsorships and requests to target ads across episodes and devices. While our existing podcasting solution was sufficient for basic functionality such as hosting multiple podcasts, organizing content by station, and uploading feeds to podcast directories, it lacked the advanced functionality to keep up with the growing popularity of podcasts and the associated demand from advertisers. Furthermore, our staff felt the existing monetization software was not intuitive or user-friendly and required complicated, manual ad insertion.
In 2019, after testing multiple alternate podcasting solutions, we decided to expand our relationship with our long-time media operations partner, WideOrbit. Their WO On Demand product could provide Federated Media the necessary advanced monetization functionality to scale our podcasting business immediately. Transitioning over to WO On Demand was simple because WO Streaming had been our live streaming platform for many years and, on the linear broadcast side of the business, WO Traffic was our system of record for some time.
Because our staff was already comfortable with the WideOrbit interface and workflow, training for WO On Demand was simple and quick. The workflow is a natural extension from WO Streaming for both our end users as well as our engineers. In addition, we have the flexibility to manage and monetize our content in many new ways. Today, we can offer: ad insertion for podcasts at the show, station or network levels; streamlined file management to update intros, promos and sponsorships; Dynamic station ID tag insertion for an enhanced listening experience; and “Broadcast-to-Podcast” ability to auto-create podcasts from previously recorded original content.
WideOrbit has been a trusted and reliable partner on many levels. They continue to evolve their products as the media landscape shifts and I’m looking forward to improvements such as repurposing on-air content into podcasts with separate dynamic ad insertion; adding an embeddable player for our website, blog and social media; and reducing ad load by optimizing ad placement and balancing with content.