The podcast industry is born

Podcasting is the latest thing in media. Listening to audio on a mobile device is becoming a global phenomenon. In the Middle East, as in many other developing markets, we are still catching up on the audio revolution. We are here to fast track the revolution.

First, a little history. Podcasting is 20 years old. The first audio file transferred over an RSS feed dates back to January 20 2001. But it wasn’t until October 2014 that podcasts became really, really famous. On Oct 4 2014 a new true crime podcast called Serial was launched. By Dec 18 2014, 12 episodes of the first season of the Serial podcast were released in the US. Within a year Serial crossed 100 million downloads and by 2020, Serial was downloaded over 1 billion times. If you haven’t heard it yet, go to your favorite podcast app – Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, … and give it a listen. The first season of Serial is about Adnan Syed, a Pakistani origin Baltimore high school student accused of killing his ex-girlfriend.

Around the same time as Serial, in 2014, another podcast called Startup Podcast was launched in the US. Startup by Gimlet Media was about entrepreneurship. It caught the fancy of founders of many early-stage companies and became popular among the niche startup crowd. Gimlet Media was later acquired by Spotify.

Gimlet Media’s show, Conviction: The Disappearance of Nuseiba Hasan is another popular podcast. It is about a Jordanian girl who went missing. It is narrated by Lahore born, Emmy Award winning investigative journalist, Habiba Nosheen.

In the Middle East there are many podcasters who have become active but there is one thing in common. Very few podcasters are monetizing their podcast. Advertisers are limited. We are trying to change this.

Creatives need to be paid. The podcast audience in the Middle East is growing. Advertisers and agencies need to step in to get their brands before an audience that not just listens to podcasts but, if you go by US data, is likely to engage with advertisers 10X times more than they would with a banner ad.

We are confident that the podcast industry will grow and become a significant contributor to the advertising landscape of the region.

Serial Podcast Advertising

The intimacy of the Inbox

Most of the world’s top newspapers and magazines send out email newsletters to subscribers. These could be daily alerts or weekly summaries of top stories. People read them. And they are great tools for advertisers. In the post-cookie world, they will become even more important.

Premium Newsletters is our collection of category specific publishers – from a vast assortment of 2,000+ brand safe newspapers and magazines. You can target females, high-net-worth-individuals, travelers, techies, foodies, sports enthusiasts and everyone in between. Publishers include The New York Times, TIME, Wired, c|net, GQ and Vogue. And, you can target by country.

We also work with a company that just sends newsletters. With 35 reporters on its payroll, it doesn’t publish a magazine or newspaper. It only sends out email newsletters. Every day. And 1.3 million registered users subscribe to these newsletters. The company is called The Information. And they target a few niche segments. Silicon Valley techies, media and finance. Subscribers include Mark Zuckerberg and Sam Altman CEO of Open AI – the creators of ChatGPT. With a 48% open rate, their newsletters get read. And their breaking stories get quoted by the world’s leading media every day. They live by the credo: quality stories breed quality subscribers. And quality subscribers are good for advertisers.

If you want to start on your journey of advertising thru newsletters, get in touch today.

Premium Newsletter Advertising