An ad sales director turns a redundancy into an influencer marketing business

By Ruby Derrick | 23 October 2023
Liam Daly.

Liam Daly has broken out of the audio space and jumped into the content creator sphere - the next evolution of podcasting.

The impetus for his latest venture -- Shout Collective -- was the realisation that podcast advertising is most effective when advertisers naturally and authentically integrate with a host/show, he said.

On being made redundant from independent podcast company Acast, the former sales director has started his own media business; a representative service for podcasters and content creators, specialising in creating captivating campaigns that engage people and deliver business results.

Shout Collective is influencer marketing on steroids, says Daly, and is here to help clients unlock the power of podcast advertising.

“I was a sales director at Acast for the last few years and I had a fantastic journey. We were succeeding, we were crushing every target," he said.

At the start of the year, he said, a lot of tech players locally and internationally made a round of big redundancies and unfortunately he was in that cull. 

This gave him the inspiration to consider what he wanted to do next. 

"I wanted to stay in audio – but I didn’t really fancy working in the radio business or for another global player," he said. 

“Now's the chance to give this thing a go, I thought.” 

Prior to this, Daly hadn’t given much thought to going out and starting his own venture, he was happy and succeeding in his role at Acast 

“I started to investigate how can I help podcasters make more money from advertising revenue,” said Daly. 

"I decided I wanted to start my own business to work at a much more personalised level with a select group of podcasters to provide a much more intimate and in-depth service."

He started off providing support for a couple of podcasters initially, including The Squiz and My Millennial Money. This then grew into a larger collection of podcasters he is now working with to improve their commercial outcomes while ensuring they are able to stay true to their brand identity.  

Shout Collective is Daly’s latest project, on a mission to "always challenge the norm".

He said the goal of his business is to help podcasters make more money from advertising.  

“Some podcasters don't want to hand over the whole reigns completely to the likes of Acast and Listnr and Spotify; they want to be involved in the sales process and be proactive out of market," said Daly.

This led him to shape Shout Collective as a business that enables podcasters to be more involved and hands-on in the commercialising of their assets, if they choose to be.

On the advertising front, Daly said, what he has tried to steer away from is buying normal ads, buying audiences or programmatic advertising.  

“I don’t do any of that. You can go to the likes of Acast or Spotify for that,” he said. 

“What I specialise in is creating authentic and genuine advertising content as part of the podcast or part of the socials that actually drives an action for clients. Actions via marketing or business outcomes.” 

The main point of difference with Shout Collective is that it specialises in integration, within the podcast and also beyond the podcast, he notes.

Daly said when people think of podcasting, they think it’s only an audio medium that someone listens to on Spotify or Apple. 

“Which they do, but now a lot of the partners I'm working with film their podcasts, and you can view it on YouTube - which is a huge consumption trend with youth audiences,” said Daly.

So you start to think about product placement in these video podcasts; it’s now a visual medium as well.” 

Daly’s new business also focuses in on the social side being a promotional element for advertisers.  

When he pitches work with clients, he will include that social element 

It’s the host read, it’s the integration in the podcast. You can visually see that on YouTube and cut that content up and promote it on social media. It becomes a holistic integration opportunity,” said Daly. 

I'm poised to do better than the other people out in market because I'm working so tightly with these content creators, and only specialising in integration." 

Being a sales director for more than two and a half years at one of the world's biggest podcast companies, Daly said the reality of what makes a good podcast is that it ultimately comes down to everyone's individual taste. 

"When you find an awesome podcast, you get hooked, you can't wait for the next episode. You start to research the hosts, follow them on socials, you comment in the community chat groups. You basically connect with these content creators or community of followers wherever you can," he said.

"But that doesn't mean a friend of yours with similar interests or tastes would also be a fan of that content."

That's because it falls back to individual taste, but also aligning that to someone's current mood. There's no perfect recipe, he says. 

Video podcasts, and social media are helping content creators grow audiences, and stay connected with their fans. 

“The visual element adds to the experience. When people consume it on YouTube or engage with that content creator back on TikTok or Instagram, that helps to retain audiences, and keep them engaged with the creator/podcaster," he said.

Despite much discussion going on a the moment regarding the issue that there are too many podcasts and buying the the channel can be fragmented, Daly said it doesn't have to be. 

The way Daly thinks of it: "If you want to do something beyond a standard spots and dots by, something meaningful in the space you don't have to be an expert or even a podcast listener. Look at it like your TV sponsorships, align your product to an environment or audience, and naturally integrate into that show - you can do exactly that in podcasting, but in most cases, the integration will be deeper, and more authentic than you get on TV."

At Shout Collective, Daly has already partnered with the 'Bloke in a Bar' podcast, Australian daily news podcast, The Squiz, and with Mark Bouris on 'The Mentor', heralded as Australia’s biggest business podcast, plus a fair few more.

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