Acast launches Acast Creative in the US to offer brands the best creative solutions and more tailored listening experiences
Shantae Howell appointed Creative Director of the Americas to lead regional charge
Acast, the creator-first podcast company, has announced the expansion of its Acast Creative offering to the US. Acast Creative is a pillar of the Acast Marketplace, helping brands navigate the rapidly evolving podcast landscape and elevate commercial messaging to its greatest potential.
Acast first launched Acast Creative in its European market in 2018, and has seen a 250% increase in branded content spend over the past three years. Now, Acast has expanded the offering across the Atlantic and tapped Shantae Howell as Creative Director of the Americas to lead the team and replicate the success of Acast Creative in this market.
As the podcasting landscape continues to explode, brands are flocking to the space to take advantage of the opportunities it offers and the top-notch creative talent at their disposal. Despite industry projections that podcast ad spend will balloon to nearly $2.5B by 2025, there is no rule book when it comes to podcast advertising — so Acast is pioneering these brand conversations by launching Acast Creative to push boundaries and consistently innovate for its partners.
The Acast Creative team works in tandem with sellers and production partners to offer new creative solutions that help to tell brilliant stories — through both short- and long-form content.
Recently, for example, Acast Creative designed a branded episode of the popular beauty and wellness podcast Gloss Angeles with Ulta Beauty. Just in time for summer, the collaborative episode explored the history of sunscreen, pulled back the curtain on common myths about sun protection, and highlighted Ulta Beauty sun protection products.
Earlier this year, Acast Creative also launched a fully branded podcast series with high-end audio solutions provider EPOS. Powered By Audio is a podcast about sound and the stories behind the sounds we hear every day.
With a trove of successful global campaigns as a roadmap, the extension of Acast Creative and Howell’s appointment in the US will ensure that brands have full access to the wealth of experience and unique tech capabilities that Acast offers.
“As a storyteller, creative marketer and avid listener, I was drawn to Acast’s commitment to supporting creators in their efforts to grow and monetize, while ensuring the podcaster maintains creative ownership,” said Howell. “It’s a business model that benefits the podcasters we work with, the audiences they serve, and the brilliant brands whose stories we get to tell.”
As Creative Director of the Americas, Howell leads the creative vision and strategy execution for Acast’s brand partners in the region and plays an integral role in Acast’s growing global team. Prior to joining Acast, Howell was the Senior Audio Strategist and Producer for Vox Media, where she was central to the development of Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America, a podcast in partnership with Ben and Jerry’s that examines the lesser-known history of racial injustice.
Howell also worked on the TMI Project “Black Stories Matter” podcast, spearheading partnerships with major distribution platforms like Apple Podcasts, to improve discoverability — and played a key role in developing cross-promotional partnerships with like-minded platforms such as KQED’s “Truth Be Told.”
Howell spent the early days of her career at Facebook, and was named to the 2019 ADCOLOR FUTURES Class.
In addition to Howell’s appointment, Jack Preston, who previously held the position of Acast Creative Director UK+, has been promoted to the global role of Director of Acast Creative UK+ & US. Preston will continue to work to grow Acast Creative’s offering within the UK+ region, but with a focus on leading the expansion of Acast Creative within the US market.