Triton Digital Buys Sounder In Move To Enhance Its Audio Advertising Capabilities.

Inside Radio
March 26, 2024

Two years after iHeartMedia made a strategic investment in Sounder, iHeart’s Triton Digital has acquired the company outright. Triton is already deep into streaming and podcasting monetization and measurement and the addition of Sounder will give it new artificial intelligence-powered capabilities related to contextual targeting capabilities, brand suitability, and podcast promotional tools.

"We are thrilled to welcome Sounder to the Triton Digital family," Triton President/CEO John Rosso said in the announcement. "The Sounder team are visionaries in audio intelligence, and their technology adds an essential layer to our offerings. This acquisition empowers us to deliver more value to advertisers and publishers with highly targeted, contextually relevant, and brand-suitable audio advertising solutions. Looking ahead, we are excited to leverage our combined strengths to drive innovation and growth in the digital audio marketplace." 

The acquisition combines Triton Digital's audio streaming and podcasting technology and expertise with Sounder's brand suitability solutions and podcast expertise. Triton says the combination will enable a more seamless, practical, data-driven advertising experience for brands, agencies, publishers, and podcasters. 

Sounder’s contextual targeting tools will give the Triton Ad Platform a more robust targeting capability with scale, transparent reporting, and forecasting, Triton said in a joint announcement. It will also bring improved brand suitability tools to Triton at a time when brands more than ever are focused on making sure their ads are placed in a suitable listening environment. 

Audio publishers on Triton’s platform will also have access to Sounder’s AI promotional tools that combine GenAI and large language models with Sounder's natural language processing technology.

“Becoming part of Triton Digital is a significant milestone for Sounder, giving us the ability to accelerate our growth and innovation while continuing to work across the entire podcast landscape," said Kal Amin, CEO and co-founder of Sounder. “Our AI-powered content analysis enables Triton to bring unprecedented insights, targeting, and promotional capabilities to the audio marketplace." 

Terms of the deal were not immediately released.

Founded in 2019 by former Google and Spotify executives, Sounder brought iHeartMedia onboard as one of its minority owners in 2022 as part of a fundraising round that raised $7.7 million in new capital. It then made a pivot in the business, announcing in late 2022 that it would focus all of its energy on building data solutions that service the audio industry. “Sounder’s new mission is to make it simple for organizations to use trustworthy audio data, enabling the confidence to make decisions and act,” Amin said at the time. 

Sounder has announced deals including with the programmatic platform Audiohook to leverage Sounder’s Audio Data Cloud to offer advertisers more confidence in the audio inventory they are buying through its demand-side platform (DSP). Sounder also signed its first advertising agency when it announced BAM Strategy will also use Sounder’s Audio Data Cloud to help clients identify brand-safe, relevant audio placements for their advertising campaigns. Sounder has also announced deals with publishers including AudacySpoken LayerDAX, and Jam Street Media. It also works with publishers including Condé Nast, Hearst, The Economist, Time and Dotdash Meredith. 

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