The Rising Success of MSW Media with the AdsWizz Audio Marketplace

Allison Gill discusses diversification, from monetizing strategies to bolstering new voices

5 min read

Meet Allison Gill, Chief Executive Officer of MSW Media, a female-led podcast network of over twenty-five shows that all shine a light on truth in politics, news, and the arts. When Allison began her podcast Mueller, She Wrote, she worked with a network to monetize the show.  She founded MSW Media to support other similar mission-focused independent podcasters and quickly realized that going independent was the best way to scale while maintaining the control she and her collective of shows preferred. MSW Media provides comprehensive marketing, consulting, production, and monetization support to their shows. While Mueller, She Wrote is no longer in production, Allison currently hosts three MSW Media podcasts: The Daily Beans, Cleanup on Aisle 45, and the network’s number one show, Jack: A Special Counsel Podcast

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As is the case for many independent podcast networks, figuring out an optimal revenue model has been of utmost importance for MSW Media’s success, especially as the landscape of the podcast industry continues to evolve.  Originally, MSW Media primarily monetized via host-read ads as well as subscriptions through platforms like Patreon and Supercast. A decrease in sell-through percentage for host-read ads over the past two years prompted Allison to seek out additional monetization solutions for the network. 

In a panel at Podcast Movement 2023 hosted by Grace Kane (Director of Business Development at Simplecast & AdsWizz), Allison explained that although they started off with host-read ads only, they have seen direct success from also monetizing through the AdsWizz Audio Marketplace – a curated digital exchange for audio publishers and advertisers to buy and sell audio advertising – since migrating to Simplecast. Simplecast and AdsWizz are sister companies, both part of the SiriusXM family. 

In her words, “we’re able to just upload our shows, plug in our time stamps of where our ads go and they go in.”  She added that about five years ago “75% of my income came from host-read ads. And today about 80 or 90% of my income comes from marketplace or dynamically inserted advertising” to stress the importance of adding marketplace advertising. She said another great benefit of marketplace ads, especially for independent podcasters like the ones supported at MSW Media, is that content creators are still able to create ad-free episodes for Patrons and other subscribers to support their additional revenue streams without needing permission from an ad sales partner. Flexibility is key.

The most important factor in choosing a monetization solution for Allison was the value that MSW Media’s slate of podcasts is bringing to the listeners. After migrating to Simplecast, MSW Media has had success being able to host premium ad-free feeds and being able to continuously monetize the podcasts’ back catalogs, as opposed to only having host-read ads booked for future episodes.  

MSW Media has also seen an increase in both overall fill rate and revenue. Allison highlighted Simplecast’s readily-available, comprehensive data as a bonus to switching monetization platforms. She has been able to view metrics such as the average CPM and net revenue earned for each show in real-time. 

Since switching to Simplecast, MSW Media’s main goal has been to increase listenership and democratize the New Media space with new and diverse voices. Allison said at Podcast Movement 2023, “diversification is the wave of the future and it should have been the wave of the future fifty years ago, but here we are now”, and that “being a collective of independent podcasts has really made the difference in morale and monetization. It’s a win-win.”

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