The Washington Post’s Research, Experimentation and Development (RED) team has released Rhapsochord, a software system that uses automation to monitor and dynamically insert ads against an entire catalogue of podcasts, past and present. In addition to improving production speed and maximizing distribution, this new technology ensures that a listener will hear the most updated ad no matter how they encounter the podcast.
“We’ve made a big investment in podcast programming at The Post and saw that there continued to be millions of downloads after a show was over, so we wanted to create a better system for contextual targeting of ads and make evergreen content more valuable,” said Aram Zucker-Scharff, ad engineering director for RED. “We’re excited to create a scalable microservice for this purpose as more people are listening to podcasts and advertisers are increasingly interested in this format.”
Rhapsochord separates the handling of advertising allowing journalists to focus on content, making production time faster. Rhapsocord, which manages a database of ads, uses automation technology to find ads that match the best podcast episodes by show, content, date and ad type. It then stitches the files together for pre-roll, mid-roll or post-roll placement. The Post can then continue to distribute podcasts to listeners on whatever platform they prefer.
The Daily 202’s Big Idea will be the first podcast to be processed by Rhapsochord.