Powering audio for everyone in 2024

Portrait of Jon Stephenson Jon Stephenson , CEO

One of the things I like to do at the end of each year – outside of the most important task of hanging with my lovely, growing family – is assess how well our business has lived up to its promises. 

What did we set out to do at the start of 2023? Here’s what I said: if you’ve put yourself in charge of building technology that provides the infrastructure to serve all voices in digital audio, you should be building it in a way that opens up more opportunity for everyone.

We of course work with podcast and streaming businesses of every stripe (through SoundStack directly, our partners, and our owned and operated platform Live365). But a big part of our mission is solving for a disparity in the market. It’s really about access. The fact is, it’s not so easy for small-to-midsize audio companies to incorporate the latest technology, or connect with any partner, so they have an equal opportunity to grow.  

If you’ve seen me out on the road this year talking about powering “the rest of the audio space,” this is what I meant. It applies to businesses across the (sound)board – from smaller podcast networks with limited resources to media representation companies looking for a simple way to connect more ad buyers with tens of millions of listeners without high duplication. 

Being a platform that’s independent of any corporate media interest, and that plays nice with other technologies (“tech-agnostic”), is core to this principle.

So how’d we do?

Building the Product

  • We released our public-facing Podcaster-API, and improved our Engine-API, to make it easier for our partners to “orchestrate” their podcast/streaming resources themselves

  • We enhanced our advertising capabilities to support an array of third-party ad servers and SSPs for content delivered via SoundStack’s Global CDN

  • We launched automated royalty reporting to SoundExchange, making publishers lives easier while ensuring creators get paid accurately for their work 

  • Launched our Marketplace Dashboard to give publishers greater transparency into their ad performance 

  • Added enhanced players, publishing capabilities, and workflow improvements for several larger podcast enterprises that migrated to SoundStack in 2023

The Power of 70+ Stackers

This space is really complex, even with the most intuitive tech. With that, service and collaboration can’t just be words to check off a list. They are, and always have been, fundamental to ensuring our partners get the most out of our platform and grow their businesses. 

  • We built out our publisher enablement and support teams, introduced tools to bring more efficiency, and collaborated deeply to build relevant solutions to real problems 

  • We welcomed our CTO, Mihai Ciurea (AdsWizz, TopTal)

  • We expanded our business development team, adding Michael Fischer as VP (Triton Digital, AirKast)

  • We scaled Engineering to invest in more self-serve tools for publishers and ensure the continued quality of releases

Fostering open standards

Making digital audio more fruitful for everyone comes from more than just building out your own business. It comes equally from collaborating with others on initiatives that level the playing field. 

In addition to continuing to serve on the IAB Audio Committee, being part of the Sounds Profitable coalition to help educate the market, and a lot more, SoundStack also joined Prebid to help create its audio initiative. The organization, which develops open standards for header bidding, has already made programmatic advertising more accessible and effective for numerous businesses in other segments. We’re thrilled to do the same for audio.

Full Throttle into 2024

The above are just some of the ways we’re set up to deliver big on our promises in ‘24 – for our partners, our team, and the audio market overall. I’ll say it again: when every player in this space has a fair opportunity to flourish, everyone flourishes – podcasters, broadcasters, advertisers, networks, technologies and more. 

Thank you for helping us, and everyone across digital audio, see the mission to fruition.

Lead Stacker & CEO,

Jon Stephenson

Let's get your audio in order