Advertising Week: Interview With Global CEO Matt Scheckner

Advertising Week New York celebrates 15 years in 2018 and CEO Matt Scheckner has been there since the beginning. The Manhattan-based event spans over four days and always counts among its attendees and speakers many of marketing’s heavy hitters. Since 2004 Advertising Week, which is managed by Stillwell Partners, has expanded across the globe and now includes events in Latin America, Asia and Europe. Scheckner co-founded both Advertising Week and Stillwell Partners and remains heavily involved in the production of the global event platform. AList, in partnership with our friends at AW360, spoke with Scheckner about the humble beginnings of Advertising Week and where it’s headed.

How did Advertising Week begin?

A random phone call in July of 2002. Abby Hirschhorn, DDB Worldwide CMO, was looking for a big idea in support of an effort led by 4A’s Chairman Ken Kaess and CEO O. Burtch Drake to attract young talent, boost the image and morale of the industry, and reaffirm New York as a global advertising hub.

The first-ever meeting about Advertising Week offered a preview of the future. A thought leadership foundation, environment and experience were all established as key anchors of the game plan. And so, it was an October afternoon in 2002 in the Roxy Suite at Radio City Music Hall where it all began. Planning began in earnest in May of 2003 after it was agreed that the first-ever Advertising Week would take place in September of 2004. With long-time business partner Lance Pillersdorf and a small team, Advertising Week opened its doors for the first time with such venues as NASDAQ, the Museum of Television & Radio and a memorable first Opening Gala at Gracie Mansion hosted by Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

What did you do before Advertising Week?

At 23 I was the founding Executive Director of the New York Sports Commission. After time spent interning, I pitched Mayor Koch that New York City needed to recognize sport for what it was: a gateway to further economic development. Over 8 years we re-established New York as a center for big-time Olympic level competition and drafted winning bids for the 1993 Olympic Congress, and the 1998 Goodwill Games. The latter seems crazy when you look back. I spent the summer of ’94 in St Petersburg with luminaries like Ted Turner, Boris Yeltsin and Governor Mario Cuomo.

Since 2004, how much have you seen the industry change? 

In the years since The Week began, the smartphone has marched forth and become the standard. Anyone with access to a laptop and Internet connection is able to understand, reach and engage potential consumers. Brands can have real-time conversations with their customers whilst they interact with websites, mobile apps and platforms. Today’s advertising and marketing skill set looks nothing like 2004’s.

On September 27, 2004 when Advertising Week kicked off, Mark Zuckerberg was still on the Harvard campus. The iPhone was two years away and YouTube was three years away. Without exception, none of the tech-driven innovations which have re-shaped consumer behaviour and our industry were on the radar, or existed in any form, in 2004.

In many ways, I consider the timing of Advertising Week incredibly lucky. As it has evolved in New York City and everywhere else, Advertising Week has become a mirror of our industry and of the broader arena of business and popular culture. It has also become the place where the agenda is set for the year and where the most difficult and challenging issues facing our business – and often broader society – are tackled head on. Navigating change really sums it all up, and so much has changed from September of 2004.

Who are some of the musical acts you’ve had at events over the years?

In no order whatsoever: Jon Stewart and Curb Your Enthusiasm star, Susie Essman, at Jazz at Lincoln Center and Gnarls Barkley at the old Nokia Theater in 2006. Bruno Mars, Outkast, LCD Soundsystem, Alessia Cara, Pharrell Williams, Dua Lipa, Mark Ronson, Wyclef Jean, Ziggy Marley, Rita Ora, Sting, Nas, John Legend, The Roots, Snoop Dogg, Amy Schumer, Jimmy Fallon, Lewis Black, J. B. Smoove, Pete Holmes, Trevor Noah, Jeff Ross, and so many more. All have graced Advertising Week stages.

What do the next 15 years look like?

Well, let’s start with 2018. New players have emerged as kings and queens, others have disappeared, and the flow of ad dollars has rapidly shifted from traditional to emerging platforms. But what has not changed is the power of big ideas, good old-fashioned creativity, the influence of disruptors and innovators and our fundamental need as people to be inspired.

Looking ahead, no one can say how the future will play out, but as it unfolds, Advertising Week will be there every step of the way. And with our learning platform just around the corner, AWLearn will provide year-round engagement. It’s never been a more exciting time.

Gamers Spent $8.47B In August; Madden Sets New Record

The video game industry earned $8.47 billion in digital sales for August, according to the latest figures from SuperData Research. This represents seven percent growth over last year, driven by pay-to-play PC and free-to-play console titles.

On PC, World of Warcraft‘s Battle of Azeroth expansion was a big hit, earning Blizzard $161 million. This doesn’t include pre-sales leading up to the launch. In fact, WoW West subscribers reached its highest point since 2014. As a result, WoW held the number two spot for digital PC sales in August, with Dungeon Fighter Online holding the top honors.

Capcom’s Monster Hunter World sold two million units on PC after a successful launch on console. The adventure game, which has a film in development, knocked PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds down to second place on the PC rankings for August.

League of Legends, meanwhile, could experience its worst performing year since 2014. The popular free-to-play MOBA title dropped 21 percent compared to the same time period in 2017. Mastercard recently signed with League of Legends as the game’s first global partner, which will offer its cardholders VIP esports packages. With new exposure around the competition circuit, Riot Game’s title could bounce back during the World Championships beginning October 1.

Both free-to-play PC and social games experienced single-digit declines last month.

Epic Games’ critical darling, Fortnite continues to dominate the console charts at number one, followed by FIFA 18. Thanks to its loyal community and frequent updates, RockStar’s Grand Theft Auto V still holds its own at number three.

Madden 19 launched at number four on the console charts for August. SuperData estimates that Madden 19 sold 664,000 digital units, making it the best ever launch month for the franchise.

The usual mobile contenders defended their top positions last month, led by Honour of Kings, QQ Speed and Pokémon GO.

AList Partners With Advertising Week NY; Hosts Panel With CMO’s From GE, Equinox, Getty Images, Sundance

AList is proud to announce our partnership with Advertising Week New York, the world’s largest annual gathering of advertising, creative, entertainment, marketing, media and technology industry leaders. Taking place October 1 – 4 2018 at AMC Loews Lincoln Square, this year’s AWNewYork will feature speakers from across media and marketing. AList’s very own panel will be taking place Tuesday, October 2nd at 10:20 am where our panelists will be exploring the topic of recovering from failure.

How a marketer emerges from missteps and mistakes can massively influence future success and opportunity. This panel of marketers will have a frank discussion about attitudes around failure, how to pivot when you sense things are going awry and provide practical advice for those at any stage of their career on recovering from a failure.


  • Monica Halpert, CMO, Sundance Institute

  • Vimla Gupta, CMO, Equinox

  • Gene Foca, CMO, Getty Images

  • Dara Treseder, CMO, GE Business Innovations & GE Ventures, General Electric

Moderator: H.B. Duran, Reporter, AList

About Advertising Week
Since it began in 2004 led by co-founders Matt Scheckner and Lance Pillersdorf, Advertising Week has evolved into the number one business-to-business event in New York cutting across all industries and has expanded rapidly across the globe replicating its signature formula blending thought leadership on the business of the business by day and show business by night. The Week now enjoys a global footprint with editions in London, Tokyo, Mexico City and Sydney and via AW360 has extended the thought leadership platform beyond the events onto smartphones and tablets the year-round.

Advertising Week is produced globally by New York-based Stillwell Partners.

About AList
AList is an award-winning media platform providing over 1.3 million members of the media and marketing community with insights, trends, data and analysis via our site, events and newsletter, facilitating an active community for our readership across platforms to connect and share insights. We are proud to count the world’s leading marketers and media executives in our core readership.

Bacardi Collaborates With Horror Producers For Halloween Campaign

Bacardi has launched a new Halloween campaign that pays tribute to horror movie classics. Filmed at a horror production house, the spot was designed to inspire cocktail ideas with a lighthearted scare for Bacardi’s favorite holiday.

Having a bat logo puts Bacardi at an advantage when consumers are planning Halloween festivities.

“Halloween is our biggest occasion,” Laila Mignoni, director of creative excellence at Bacardi told AList. “Every year we do something different for the holiday. We own it.”

This year, the spirits brand tapped into imagery from horror movie favorites like The Ring, The Shining and Psycho with a spot called “The Zombie.” Shot from a first-person POV, the ad tells the story of a mysterious VHS tape, labeled only with the Bacardi bat logo.

As the video begins to play, the imagery gets weird in the style of The Ring—a lemon and lime being sewen together, rum being poured out of upright bottles in reverse, bottles of Bacardi Black and Bacardi Superior appearing in a long hallway a la The Shining, etc. until a zombie appears to have been summoned into the viewer’s world.

“The Zombie” ends with a recipe for a cocktail and the slogan, “Do what moves you.”

Mignoni said they didn’t want the video to be shot like an ad, so they enlisted the help of The Voorhes, a couple that specializes in stylized marketing photography and video.

“[Robin Finlay] and I began by watching a ton of short horror films and thinking about the classics that we all know,” Adam Voorhes recalled on Instagram. “We originally wrote six different scripts that could play off of a cocktail, or stand-alone pieces. [Bacardi] loved The Ring inspired VHS throwback approach, so we flushed out two versions that had abstract weird video vignettes to illustrate each aspect of the cocktail. We took advantage of opportunities to nod to other films, like [Robin] building a mini hallway inspired by The Shining. And I got to play with stop motion, time lapse, slomo video, fun camera chases and lots of practical special effects. I loved this shoot!”

Mignoni, who visited the set, said it was like being in a haunted house. “The production was even a little bit scary,” she said.

Bacardi has timed its new campaign to coincide with online searches. Mignoni explained that Halloween entertaining searches begin in September, and Bacardi will be there to offer content and suggestions.

“We know they’re searching for Halloween drinks that are different [along with] different kinds of food to serve. People love to create. When they’re searching, we want them to think of Bacardi. We want to entertain them, as well. [‘The Zombie’] is scary but it’s lighthearted at the same time.”

The ad will be displayed on social media and across programmatic channels. Shorter cuts will be shared on Facebook and Instagram, Bacardi explained. A few fans that engage with the campaign will receive a gift pack that includes a long version of the creepy video . . . on VHS, of course.

When marketing around Halloween, Mignoni warns against campaigns that are too serious. Instead, offer inspiration and discovery around the holiday.

“Don’t overthink it. Halloween is playful, people are creative and they want to explore ideas,” she said. “They don’t want to be told what to do. Keep it lighthearted. Look at what people are doing [online]. In this case, people search Google for Halloween ideas—some of them are hilarious, like how to scare your friends with drinks. All of that is insightful. We are just listening.”

A Guide To Advertising Week New York 2018 Parties

Advertising Week New York parties have a reputation for some pretty epic moments. For delegates about to cut loose and network, we salute you. Here are the parties, mingles and networking events we think you should know about.

Monday, October 1

IBM Networking Meet-Up

Chat AI with fellow delegates in a relaxed atmosphere.

When: 4:00 p.m.

Where: AW Connects Bar, Level 2—1998 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

Requirements: Open to all delegates

AWNY Y Media Labs Connects Networking Cocktails

Relax and network with fellow delegates.

When: 5:30 p.m.

Where: AW Connects Bar, Level 2—1998 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

Requirements: Open to all delegates

15th Anniversary Madison Avenue Walk Of Fame Opening Gala

Watch as the biggest brand icons walk the red carpet in the heart of Times Square, then join fellow delegates for dinner, cocktails and awards celebration.

When: 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Where: PlayStation Theater—1515 Broadway, New York, NY 10036

Requirements: Ticket required

Opening Concert

As far as Advertising Week New York parties go, this one comes with a reputation. Enjoy a live performance presented by iHeartMedia. Past headliners have included Demi Lovato, Snoop Dog and Macklemore.

When: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Terminal 5—610 West 56th Street, New York, NY 10019

Requirements: Open to Super and Platinum Delegates or via invitation

Tuesday, October 2

AWNY Connects Networking Cocktails

Samsung Ads will provide bites, cocktails, demos, VR and interactive art installations.

When: 6:30 p.m.

Where: Samsung 837—837 Washington St, New York, NY 10014

Requirements: Open to all delegates

D&AD Impact Awards Ceremony

Network with Impact winners, jurors, and like-minded leaders during the cocktail hour, discover the best creative ideas with impact through the white pencil awards recipients. Presented with Facebook.

When: 7:00 p.m.

Where: AMC Lincoln Square 13—1998 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

Requirements: Platinum delegates or by invitation

Stand Up Live

SNL “Weekend Update” co-anchor Colin Jost performs on Advertising Week’s late night stage.

When: 9:30 p.m.

Where: Gotham Comedy Club—208 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011

Requirements: Platinum delegates or by invitation

Wednesday, October 3

Accenture Networking Meet-up

Are you a person? Then join other people in a discussion about people-based marketing.

When: 4:00 p.m.

Where: AW Connects Bar, Level 2—1998 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

Requirements: Open to all delegates

AWNY Bazaarvoice Connects Networking Cocktails

Come, network and meet your fellow delegates at this special cocktail reception hosted by Bazaarvoice.

When: 5:30 p.m.

Where: AW Connects Bar, Level 2—1998 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

Requirements: Open to all delegates

Thursday, October 4

AWNY Deloitte Digital Connects Networking Cocktails

Relax and network with fellow delegates.

When: 5:30 p.m.

Where: AW Connects Bar, Level 2—1998 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

Requirements: Open to all delegates

Wrap Party

Close out the Week with a special live performance by Grammy-award winner Alessia Cara.

When: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Terminal 5—610 West 56th Street, New York, NY 10019

Requirements: Open to Super and Platinum Delegates or via invitation

Founders Club Dinner Presented by IBM Watson Marketing

IBM Watson Marketing hosts the final VIP event for partners and invited guests to reflect on the week that’s past and get ready for the next 15 years.

When: 7:00 p.m.

Where: Sotheby’s—1334 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021

Requirements: By invitation only

Did we miss any? Let us know which Advertising Week New York parties you plan to attend and share this list with your fellow delegates. See you there!

Carnival Launches ‘OceanView’ App For Branded Travel Content

Carnival Corporation has compiled its branded video content in one place with the launch of OceanView Mobile. The new app features over 150 full episodes of popular ocean travel TV shows and short-form videos with the goal of increasing cruise vacation awareness.

OceanView Mobile is available now for iOS and Android devices and will launch on the company’s website this October. The app offers Carnival Corporation a unique opportunity to inspire cruise line travel through education and entertainment.

All content on the app is free to view. Consumers can view full episodes of Ocean Treks with Jeff Corwin, Vacation Creation, The Voyager with Josh Garcia and Good Spirits which also air on ABC, NBC, A&E and FYI, respectively. Carnival says that its three network shows consistently rank number one or number two in their time slots.

Short form content will also be available for viewing on the platform, including five-to-ten minute episodes of GO and Local Eyes. In addition to Carnival’s existing TV content, the brand will include video collections from its wide range of cruise line brands that include behind-the-scenes, ship attractions and new ship christening ceremonies and more.

“Our ability to extend consumer brand engagement from broadcast TV to all major video-on-demand platforms, all major over-the-top platforms and all major mobile platforms is unprecedented in the travel industry,” John Padgett, chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation said in a statement. “This allows us to showcase the extraordinary experiences available on cruise vacations to millions of potential guests, and to help them get excited about where they’ll go next, whenever they prefer.”

Carnival has not been shy about trying new things to inspire travelers to book a cruise. The brand frequently uses augmented and virtual reality both on and off-board its ships, integrates the Internet of Things and recently launched a touring blimp reminding consumers of its many US home ports.

Atari Partners With Foodgod For ‘RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch’ Update

Atari has teamed up with Jonathan Cheban, aka Foodgod for the latest update to RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch. The TV personality and social media influencer appears in the game as a rendered character alongside his restaurant and other food-related items.

RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch, the mobile version of Atari’s popular amusement park management game, is using influencer marketing to engage exist players and attract new ones. A food-themed update was added to the game on Thursday, starring a rendered version of Foodgod, known for his appearances on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Celebrity Big Brother House and his culinary exploits on social media.

The Foodgod partnership with RollerCoaster Tycoon will allow for cross-promotion between the two brands and encourage in-game purchases, as the game is free-to-play (FTP).

The Foodgod update adds six new food stands and “FoodPalace,” a large food court restaurant themed after the influencer’s “signature gastronomic style and affinity for over-the-top foods and desserts.” Players can offer their guests treats such as tropical smoothies, donut waffles and hot dogs with ketchup, among others menu items.

In the game, players can customize their amusement parks to keep its virtual guests happy and spending money. Different add-ons can be obtained through cards which can be earned or purchased. Players can find Foodgod cards in the game’s standard card packs or purchase them in the store.

Atari chose Cheban as a brand partner because of his affinity for both food and games, CEO Fred Chesnais explained in a press release. His large social following doesn’t hurt either—the young foodie boasts over 2.8 million followers on Instagram. One video of Cheban eating a hamburger garnered over half a million views alone.

RollerCoaster Tycoon was a favorite game growing up. Now, to be able to share my food experiences in RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch is surreal,” said Cheban in a statement.

Spotify Measures Ad Impact With Expanded Nielsen Integration

Spotify is offering more advertising insights by expanding its partnership with Nielsen. The integration of Nielsen Brand Effect captures exposure to audio, video and display ad formats across the app, giving marketers more data with which to make campaign decisions.

Brands advertising on Spotify now have access to Nielsen Brand Effect in addition to Nielsen Ad Ratings. The extended partnership grants Spotify marketers tools that measure the effectiveness of a campaign by tracking exposure to audio, video and display formats heard or seen across desktop, mobile and connected devices.

Spotify’s integration of Nielsen Brand Effect is now available in the US, Germany, Canada, Mexico UK, Spain, France, Netherlands Japan and Australia.

“As our advertising platform matures, we’ve set out to prove that Spotify is so much more than the cool kid on the block—it’s a valuable platform that delivers major impact for brand advertisers,” said Brian Benedik, global head of advertising at Spotify in a statement. “With Nielsen’s industry-leading measurement tools in our arsenal, we’re able to prove just how big that impact is.”

The streaming music app reported 23 percent YoY growth in ad-supported users during Q2, totaling 101 million. Spotify is building a two-sided marketplace to provides tools and services for labels and artists to focus on promotion and marketing.

Music streaming has become a $5.6 billion industry, and adding Nielsen Brand Effect to its offerings allows Spotify to continue its growth through what it calls “data storytelling.”

“The thing I think a lot about is how to get the most out of the data,” Danielle Lee, global head of partner solutions at Spotify told AList in a previous interview. “Big data is just that but if you can extract the insights that are going to resonate with different communities, [those] insights are going to allow us to tell stories that haven’t been told before.”

Hennessy Likens Taste Notes To ‘Odyssey’ In Ridley Scott Branded Film

Sir Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner) has returned to his advertising roots, partnering with Hennessy to direct a branded film about the cognac’s seven “taste-scapes.”

The branded film is designed to illustrate the “Worlds of Greatness” connoisseurs will experience while drinking Hennessy X.O. Scott’s film will be divided into seven commercials, each tying into a different tasting note—Sweet Notes, Rising Heat, Spicy Edge, Flowing Flame, Chocolate Lull, Wood Crunches and Infinite Echo.

“Luxury appeal is about emotion, it’s about building a dream,” Thomas Moradpour, global chief marketing officer for Hennessy said in a statement.

Scott’s visual interpretations of Hennessy X.O tasting notes will be adapted into seven 3D ads that will debut this Fall. Each 3D ad will feature a symbolic tunnel that leads consumers to an ad for the completed film, which debuts in 2019 as part of a global campaign. Hennessy says the campaign will offer “tactile, hyper-graphic and poetic visuals that hover between reality and the mythical.”

Joking that feature films were getting on his nerves and he missed advertising work, Scott said he was inspired by Hennessy’s original script, scribbling ideas and drawing storyboards. He explained that although he hadn’t specifically planned to return to advertising, the director always remained open to something “special.” Scott’s Worlds of Greatness film will take on a surreal aspect, visually leading audiences through an “odyssey” of sensory ideas.

“The result [of this film] is not simply advertising, it’s entertainment,” explained Scott of his first ad in 15 years. “I think advertising has realized after 30 years that it must shift back to entertainment and stop treating their consumers like demographics.”

Hennessy is experiencing a boon among American consumers. The cognac brand reached $1.6 billion in retail sales in 2017 to become the largest spirit brand by value in the US.

For several years, Hennessy has used visual interpretations to describe its products. In June, the brand partnered with urban artist Alexandre Farto, aka “Vhils” to design its 2018 Very Special Limited Edition bottle. The campaign included art installations in a number of cities including New York and Chicago, created to represent “making the invisible visible.”

Podcast Networks Are Courting Brands More Than Ever

Podcasts have grown into a powerful form of media in recent months, with eMarketer reporting that ad spending in the US market will more than double from 2017 to 2020, reaching $659 million. Yet, overall ad spending on the format ranks low compared to radio and television. That’s mainly because of two issues, the lack of data for brand advertisers and the challenge of show discovery in an extremely crowded space.

Although the podcasting industry has been primarily driven by direct-response advertisers using each show’s download numbers, URL referrals and special code redemptions as KPIs, brand advertisers have been more hesitant. That’s beginning to change as brands continue to recognize the success direct-response has seen in the space, but not having detailed dashboards or national ratings services that other platforms have to provide data remains a challenge for the space.

“But brand advertisers are getting more interested,” said Suzanne Grimes, EVP of marketing at Cumulus Media and president of Westwood One, speaking with AList. “I think that if those that can measure sales, costs per order or costs per acquisition that are cleanly are coming back over and over again, then there must be something to it, even if they can’t prove it out yet.”

For now, the number of downloads, which indicates a show’s popularity, determines ad pricing. Whether it’s a CPM pricing model or cost per read model, it’s all rooted in the perceived audience size. That has been enough for some shows to retain up to 80 percent of its advertisers, but steps are being taken to create a standard measurement.

Podcast Media Marketing president David Raphael is on the IAB Audio Committee, which was formed to establish a standardized metric for downloads. He told AList that all major networks will be working toward IAB compliance in the coming months and that the standard will allow podcasts to expand with true brand campaigns.

“This is different from any other form of media,” Raphael explained. “Each listener is a program director. They get to take their devices and decide what they’re going to listen to. They’ve made the choice to listen to something, and that’s an experience that delivers different results for advertisers than from the TV or radio world.”

That choice creates a very engaged listening audience, with top shows having listening completion rates above 90 percent. Performance between pre-, mid- and post-rolls differ between shows, with some having equal performance across all spots. Post rolls are also effective if users decide to binge past seasons of a show, or if there’s a preview of the next episode at the end.

“I think you would be hard pressed to find a more engaged audience than the podcast listener because the ad load is so light, and they’re entertained by the ads,” said Sarah van Mosel, chief podcast sales and strategy officer at Market Enginuity.

For ads to be successful, they need to be integrated well into each program. Live read ads usually perform significantly better than pre-produced ads because the audience has a connection with the host and is therefore more likely to follow their endorsements. Meanwhile, some shows will fully integrate ads as content, as scripted mystery show The Truth did when it played an ad as part of an amusement park’s loudspeaker announcement.

Having a few creative and relevant advertisements are the key to preventing the ad fatigue that has set in on media such as radio or television. For example, a product endorsement on one show will sound very different on another, and there shouldn’t be too many of them. Another potential risk is ads living forever on podcast shows—audiences may become frustrated if the product from an old episode is no longer offered.

According to a recent study conducted by Westwood One exploring audience demographics, podcast listeners tend to be younger, more upscale and more employed than audiences of other media. Although listening audiences are predominately men, the study found that women are a fast-growing audience demographic, growing by 20 percent in 2017—driven mainly by genres such as true crime and increased smart speaker adoption. That led the media company to launch the Empow(h)er podcast network at the IAB Podcast Upfront to provide more female-oriented programming.

But that still leaves the issue of discovery. There are hundreds of thousands of podcasts currently on the market, making it difficult for new shows to find an audience.

“No one has figured out the genome of the podcast the way Pandora has with music. People have made a stab at it, but the challenge still remains,” explained van Mosel.

Serial was originally launched from This American Life, which is usually ranked as the top podcast in the nation, but those kinds of cross promotions remain rare. Some hosts have audiences from other platforms such as YouTube, but having audiences cross over isn’t always guaranteed.

Apple Podcasts remains the top platform for finding shows, and van Mosel explained that studies show that Android users tend to be very different from Apple users, stating that they tend to be “more culturally diverse and international.” Google launched a podcast app in June that offers recommendations, and music streaming platforms such as Spotify and Pandora host shows, but searching for them still remains an issue. There are also over 100 million Americans who don’t know how to download and listen to podcasts, which adds to the challenge.

“Marketing to existing podcast consumers is a good strategy, but a lot of us need to look outside of our ecosystem if we want to raise the ceiling for this industry,” said Raphael. “The way to get there is through mass market.”

Networks are beginning to rely on well-known celebrities from TV and radio to educate people about podcasts, sometimes even expanding them. For example, Univision vice president of podcasts and experimental growth initiatives Stephen Hobbs told AList about working with a liquor brand from Spain to engage with Hispanic American podcast listeners (comprised of over 4.8 million people) with Latin pop star and radio host Thalía. The company turned the podcast promotion into a 360 radio, TV and influencer campaign across 27 markets across its platforms.

Hobbs also said that since some of its hosts come from radio or television, its listeners are already accustomed to live read advertisements, which usually relate personal experiences from the host. While Univision tries to align Spanish and English ads to the same language shows use whenever possible, there are instances of mixed language content.

“It’s about the ability for an influencer to connect with our audience. It’s not about language, it’s about the authenticity of the content,” said Hobbs.

Univision also has the opposite challenge when it comes to discovery compared to most other networks, since about 70 percent of Hispanics are Android users. As it seeks to create a larger presence on Apple’s platform, Hobbs said that Univision’s greatest advantage is its ability to take podcasts to its local markets.

“Being able to see a podcast live in a 1,000-person venue is something the Univision will be able to deliver better than most,” he said, adding that advertisers shouldn’t be afraid of branded content. “Why make ads that people are blocking when you can create programming that tells the narrative of the brand in a great story?”