Nielsen launches Gracenote Audio On Demand for intelligent podcast search

Nielsen is announcing a new vertical for its Gracenote division: Gracenote Audio On Demand. The company describes this as a comprehensive dataset which is “the catalog of reference driving podcast services with the ability to enhance navigation and discovery capabilities.” In other words, Gracenote is doing for podcasting what it has historically done for music — catalog the entire medium with metadata. In this case the dataset identifies and locates podcasts according to topics, personalities, and other criteria.

Gracenote On Demand is a B2B service, not a direct-to-consumer search engine. Target client companies include streaming music platforms, consumer electronics (CE) companies, Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPDs) and automakers.

“Podcasts have entered the mainstream as a broad-reaching entertainment medium.” –Gracenote

Nielsen Scarborough believes that the growth curve for podcast consumption could double the audience by 2023. The current dataset includes 900,000 shows and 37-million episodes; no telling how big the catalog will  be in 2023 but Gracenote speculates it could double.

At launch, Gracenote Audio On Demand will have standardized podcast titles, descriptions and imagery across more than 900,000 podcast series.  Each podcast series will be assigned a popularity score to help surface the most popular content, while the top series will leverage more descriptive information such as Category Hierarchy and Celebrity Links for more powerful universal search across platforms and cross-media linking capabilities.

  • Popularity Score: Improves search and discovery capabilities by identifying and surfacing the most popular podcasts in a catalog.

  • Category Hierarchy: Provides three levels of categories when classifying series and episodes to enable more engaging and unique discovery experiences.

  • Celebrity Links: Allows listeners to identify verified celebrity links across content, providing rich discovery experiences.

“A big challenge for podcast listeners today is the ability to easily navigate all the audio-on-demand content across different platforms and services,” said Greg Gentschev, SVP of Product Management, Gracenote Music and Auto at Nielsen.  “This is due to the sheer volume of content and lack of descriptive metadata and identifiers used to power search and discovery algorithms.  With Gracenote Audio On Demand, we are applying the same rigor, methodology and approach to podcasts that currently underpins next gen search and discovery of today’s TV shows, movies and music.”


Brad Hill