The case of a media corporation: how to create features to monetize podcasts

The case of a media corporation: how to create features to monetize podcasts
  • 01

    American platform that helps monetize podcasts with advertising.

  • 02
    • Set up integration with advertising networks
    • Expand functions of personal accounts
  • 03

    Over 250 podcasts

    on the platform

    98% of podcast authors

    appending ads to commercials

    4 months

    development time

Up to 150,000 users every day

Client is an advertising company in the USA, and one of its projects is a platform with podcasts on a variety of topics. Most of the content is published in the form of audio files, and they are popular: up to 150 thousand users listen to them every day.

The customer earns revenue from advertising: companies pay for placing their commercials in podcast episodes. The more users that listen to a podcast, the more advertising, and the greater the customer’s income.

 Thematic selections of podcasts
On the platform you can listen to podcasts for all tastes: from audiobook reviews to training courses — each has dozens or hundreds of episodes.
Platform plans
The platform earns not only on advertising, but also from the authors of podcasts: to place a project on the platform, an author/podcaster must pay a subscription fee.

Task: set up integration with advertising networks

The platform has contracts with advertiser publisher networks for access to commercials. The platform selects ads for podcasts independently from its partners' repositories. The built-in algorithm focuses on the category of the podcast and its title, and suggests an ad from the same topic. For example, the platform will suggest several car brands for a podcast about choosing a car. They will be embedded in the podcast audio file automatically.

For convenient operation, a company needs to set up integration with advertiser publisher networks storage. Integration has to be done every time a company enters into a new contract, which is often the case.

Objective: to expand the functions of the personal account

The platform provides podcast authors with a personal account to work from. There are various functions available:

  • Create a podcast page with its description
  • Upload podcast episodes
  • Option to listen to episodes before publishing
  • Possibility to postpone podcast episodes uploading

The platform wanted to add ad selection functions so that the user could decide where ads would be placed: at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of the podcast. Another task was to add categorization of podcasts for different platforms, so that it would be easy to search for them in the catalog.

Podcast Page
This is what the podcast page looks like: the cover, description, and list of episodes. You can listen to them directly on the platform

Solution: revision of the platform by OrbitSoft specialists

The company turned to OrbitSoft to improve the platform. We were interested in their ready-made advertising tool — Ad Server platform. We talked more about it in the article «How a website owner can make more money from display ads».

Task Setting. In the first stage we discussed development tasks and possible problems, and agreed on a work plan and deadlines:

  • Connect to the Ad Server platform and configure it
  • Set up integration with other advertising platforms
  • Add the ability to adjust the number of commercials in an audio file
  • Add the ability to categorize podcasts for Android and Apple platforms

Development and testing. We connected the Ad Server service to the platform. It gave the platform access to commercials, as well as the ability to analyze different indicators of audience engagement, such as how many people listened to the podcast and how long they did so. These statistics enabled the platform to receive reports on the effectiveness of ads in different podcasts for its partners.

We also fine-tuned the platform’s settings to make it better accept ads from advertising network storages. The problem was that the algorithm for selecting an audio file sometimes malfunctioned: it didn’t recognize relevant clips by topic or blocked them for no reason. We changed the algorithm slightly, and the problem disappeared.

We added the possibility to choose the number of ads and their position in the podcast, i.e., the minute at which the commercial is played. We also changed the field for entering a description of the podcast, making it universal for all. We added the possibility to set a different category for Android and Apple.

Before we updated the platform, we checked to make sure that all the innovations functioned properly. We went all the way to the user: uploaded a podcast, selected the number of ads for it, listened to it, and added a description with categorization of the podcast.

Launching. After testing, users had access to a personal account with new features: they began to use the new system, and we made sure that everything worked without errors.

Support. If we find errors while using new features, we fix them. For example, if for some reason users hear a commercial in the wrong category. If necessary, we refine the settings and add new features to the platform.

Results: launched new features as planned, and they are in demand

  • It took us three months to develop the platform for uploading podcasts, and another month to finalize Ad Server. We met our deadline.
  • The platform uses Ad Server content for podcasts, uses ads analytics, and generates reports for partners.
  • OrbitSoft continues to monitor the platform and fix bugs if something goes wrong.

Technical features of the project:

Programming languages:

  • PHP
  • Java
  • Go


  • Flurry (Analytic);


  • MySQL+Elasticsearch

Whatever your needs, we can help!

Tell us what problems you’re facing with your business. We look forward to hearing from you.

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