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  • Patent Filing Reveals Apple's Investigation into an Automated Ad System for Podcasts

    Published by the US Patent and Trademark Office and titled “Technologies for inserting dynamic content into podcast episodes,” Apple’s invention simply looks to be an automated advertising system for podcasters. The key difference for advertisers used to live reads or spots served up by content owners is the potential access to Apple’s iAd platform, which provides analytics and backend support for comprehensive user targeting.

    By leveraging the tools described in the recent filing, content creators or ad services would potentially be able to mark one or more insertion points within a given podcast episode, perhaps at a regularly scheduled break time by using a metadata tag. Traditionally, podcast apps track playback on a client device and when a tag is reached, pause the episode, dynamically inserting a targeted ad and resuming programming automatically.

    What’s more important here is that the ad delivery component is able to feed ads to a client device while a podcast is playing, downloading or streaming. Furthermore, ad inventory can be cached in a local database or varied therefore being more effective in terms of placement. In another iteration, the system can regularly check in with the central server to download new ad content in the background, allowing a consistently fresh and working database.

    The mechanism mentioned regarding ad targeting is a basic description of Apple’s iAd platform, which taps into iTunes account info, anonymized user metrics, device type, an estimated location, time along with other data. Deeper integration involves user behavior and demographics targeting, though being a vocal opponent of customer data commoditization, Apple is unlikely to use such tactics.

    Other notable mentions included a powerful analytics tool that monitors ad play counts and consumption rates for multiple users over multiple devices. This particular feedback method provides vital information to primary or secondary ad services and should in some cases determine payout to a podcaster. As far as the ads go themselves, Apple notes a variety of formats including audio, video and interactive content.

    As of right now, it continues to remain unknown if Apple plans to roll out such capabilities, although its iAd business did get some improvements earlier this year with the activation of automated ad buying and a consumer targeting tool called Customer Match.

    Just for the record, the iAds for podcasts patent application was originally filed for in January 2014 and it credits James O. Boggs, Ryan Griggs and Sam Gharabally as its inventors.

    Source: USPTO via AppleInsider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Patent Filing Reveals Apple's Investigation into an Automated Ad System for Podcasts started by Akshay Masand View original post