Podcast network launches Gumball, a marketplace for buying host-read ads

Podcasts are developing a reputation for advertising success, largely on the ability of host-read ads to connect with listeners. A new service could offer even smaller podcasting operations a way to find brands to buy those advertisements, and to bring a bigger scale to the practice.

Comedy podcast network Headgum has introduced a platform called Gumball, a marketplace for brands to buy host-read ads directly from podcasters. Headgum used this technology for its own network and grew its revenue by 55% year-over-year. To date, Gumball has helped deliver more than 4,000 host-read ads from more than 300 brands. Headgum advertisers using Gumball so far include familiar names in podcasting, such as Casper, HelloFresh, Squarespace, and ZipRecruiter. Both brands and content creators of all sizes can opt to join the new marketplace.

“Until today, advertisers and podcasters have been faced with an archaic advertising ecosystem, which was not developed or optimized for the rapidly-changing podcast medium. We listened and heard that the lack of reliable tools made it difficult for advertisers and podcasters to easily and transparently collaborate. We built a platform that fully supports listener-centric, impactful advertising campaigns for both podcasters and advertisers,” Gumball Co-founder Marty Michael said. “We are proud that Gumball is the best advertising marketplace developed by, and for, podcast creators.”

Anna Washenko