Wondery’s Contract With Listeners And Advertisers

Wondery, Inc. (“Wondery”) is a network of storytellers. Our hosts create a bond with listeners through immersive storytelling and a commitment to authenticity.

Our advertising partners make our shows possible through their investment. They expect a return. The path to achieving that return starts with our commitment to aspire and endeavor to deliver compelling ads to an engaged audience, in the placements and against numbers we agree upon.

A seamless process is part of the commitment, and that includes an ability to adjust your campaign mix quickly. While nothing is ever perfect in the world of advertising, we will always strive to exceed our clients’ goals in a way that doesn’t break our contract with listeners.

These terms and conditions in the form posted at wondery.com/ads on the date of an applicable insertion order (“I/O”) apply to that insertion order and supplement and amend and supplement the IAB Standard Terms 3.0 (https://www.iab.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/IAB_4As-tsandcs-FINAL.pdf) which are incorporated herein by reference, and govern in the event of a conflict with the IAB Standard Terms 3.0.

Our Promise to Listeners

Advertisers, including presenting sponsors, have no influence over Wondery’s editorial content. The only exception is when episodes are expressly stated as branded content.

Our hosts and producers voice advertisements paid for by our sponsors. Even when they genuinely talk about their positive experience using products or services, you should always assume that any mention of a commercial brand is a paid advertisement.

We greatly appreciate our sponsors’ support, since they allow us to produce and distribute thousands of podcast episodes a year completely free to our listeners. We also offer advertising-free versions of many of our shows on Wondery+.

What kinds of ads do we run?

Most of our ads are Host-Read, voiced by the host or hosts of our shows. If you have ordered this type of ad in ad in an I/O, and our hosts have genuinely tried and enjoyed the product, they will talk about their personal experience in the ad.

For a few shows (e.g. news), ads will be Producer-Read – by a convincing, professional voice (sometimes the host of another show of ours). If you have ordered this type of ad in ad in an I/O and the producer has genuinely tried and enjoyed the product, he or she will talk about their personal experience in the ad, though without implying endorsement by the show or its host.

Immersive Ads are those where we add sound effects and/or music, to help listeners imagine themselves using the product being. They can be host-read or producer-read.


Where and how do we place them?

Most of our ads are either Mid-Roll or In-Content Pre-Roll. A Mid-Roll is an ad placed anywhere from 10 minutes from the start of the show to 8 minutes before the end (the longer the episode, the more removed from the end we want them to be).  Unless otherwise specified in an I/O we determine placement.

An In-Content Pre-Roll is placed around 2 minutes from the beginning of the show, after listeners are ‘leaning-in’. A True Pre-Roll is placed before the content starts.  A Post-Roll runs at the end of the episode, usually after the credits.

How Long Are They? How Many Do You Run?

Most Personal Experience Host-Read are sold as :60s, while other ads are shorter (:30s, :45s, :15s). We never want an ad to feel “rushed”. If a host has a great story to tell about a product they love, but the story needs more time, the ad will be longer. We will let advertisers know clearly how many ads we intend to run per episode in advance. Our general guideline is up to 4 pre- or mid-roll ads per episode, or up to 3 for episodes shorter than 30 minutes. Some shows have stricter limits.

How Do We Integrate Ads Into The Content?  

We offer Dynamically Inserted ads (“DAI”); as well as Baked In (“BI”, also “Embedded”) for many Personal Experience-based ads. Baked In ads are recorded in the same audio file as the episode received by every listener worldwide on a certain day. Dynamic ads are integrated into a single audio file received by an individual listener.

Today, targeting capabilities on dynamic ad insertion are limited to geography (Country, State, DMA) and time (you could have your campaign run exactly from the 1st to the 21st, for instance). In the future, we will introduce frequency caps, demographic and interest-based targeting.

Here’s a comparison of the features, pros and cons associated with each placement:

Baked In Dynamic
Targeting Worldwide only Country, State, DMA
Inventory and budget Limited, discrete (1 or 2 spots per episode) Flexible
Minimum test 3 episodes, no less frequently than 1 episode on, 2 off 2 weeks “on” within a 5 week period. Recommended 20% share of voice
Creative pre-approval Not available Available, up to 1 revision; posted on Dropbox, tacit approval
Pricing Flat per episode Per impression
Cancellation 30 days 14 days
Delivery to be met or exceeded in 60 days from episode drop date Within flight
Estimates based on Expected global downloads per episode within 60 days of drop date As agreed upon with advertiser based on recommended SOV
Window for ad removal Ads remained baked in for 3 months, except that we reserve the right to remove them upon 120% delivery, or upon client’s request N/A (Impressions-based)
Cross-guarantee Any potential over-delivery on a contracted show may off-set under-delivery on another Any potential over-delivery on a contracted show may off-set under-delivery on another
Exclusivity for Personal Experience-based ads 30 days from end of flight (subject to ad being placed in no less than 1 out of 3 episodes) 30 days from end of flight

(subject to no more than 2-3 weeks between flighted weeks)

Measuring Downloads and Listens

As of July 2018, we measure downloads and listens using the IAB Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines 2.0 and a 24-hour filtering window.
Measuring Results

Most direct response advertisers measure their response through a combination of promo codes and/or custom URLs. Since our listeners tend to hear the same ad in multiple podcasts, we must make every possible effort to make sure listeners remember our promo code. Here are some of our practices and recommendations:

  1. In most of our shows, we will include a thank you to our sponsors and a link to their custom URLs on the episode notes. Our hosts will invite listeners to check them out.
  2. We encourage our hosts to post photos of our advertisers’ products on social media, which will include a FTC-recommended disclosure such as #AD or #Sponsored.
  3. We recommend that all advertisers use the same promo code for our shows (e.g. /Sword for Sword & Scale, /Vanished for The Vanished)