TED forms a podcast network, pitches solution to advertisers in “oversaturated market”

TED is a highly differentiated brand, and its TED Radio Hour (150 episodes; #1 in Apple Technology) and TED Talks Daily (160 episodes; #1 in Spotify Business) are steady category leaders. TED cites that its podcasts are downloaded an eye-popping 1.65-million times a day. It makes sense for TED to extend its brand patina outward, and that is what the company has done with TED Audio Collective, a podcast network of shows created both within and outside of TED.

ZigZag, the podcast owned and operated by Manoush Zomorodi, host of TED Radio Hour, is a natural to be in the network. A few other titles: Design Matters with Debbie Millman, Work Life with Adam Grant, and How To Be a Better Human. We see 17 podcasts on the Audio Collective homepage.

Here’s the network’s USP: “The TED Audio Collective is a collection of podcasts for the curious. They’re for listeners as excited by psychology and design as science and technology—who want to dig deep into today’s most exciting ideas.”

TED also describes the venture like this: “A matchless suite of innovative podcasts and partner storytelling formats.”

The offering to advertisers is broken out in five buckets:

  • Exclusive Sponsorships
  • Episode Takeovers
  • Run of Podcasts
  • Content Targeting
  • Content Collaboration

The network is clearly designed to stay parallel with the organization’s identity of expert-driven information and self-help. The pitch to marketers implicitly separates TED from the swarming milieu of general podcasting, which TED refers to as “an oversaturated market,” and TED as “a trusted resource.”


Brad Hill