In a new strategic partnership, Blue Wire will begin handling distribution, sponsorship sales and promotion for Fubo Sports’ podcast roster as networks look for additional ways to monetize their content.
FuboTV’s main business revolves around a $75/month live streaming TV bundle, but it has also expanded into original sports content, including TV series featuring three-time NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas, five-time NFL All-Pro Terrell Owens and other former pros. Much of that content is then repurposed for audio consumers.
“Blue Wire is known for its expertise in podcasting, and we’ve tapped their knowledgeable team to help maximize the exposure and reach of Fubo Sports’ podcast network,” Pamela Duckworth, head of Fubo Networks and originals at FuboTV, said in a statement. “Our original series have taken off and we’re aiming to supercharge that success across audio podcasts.”
Blue Wire will sell ad packages that include airtime on Fubo’s TV shows as well as the more than 300 podcasts already on Blue Wire’s roster. The companies will also explore cross-promotional opportunities, including recording Fubo content from Blue Wire’s Las Vegas studio.
“We’ve seen this tactic work for us,” Blue Wire SVP for business development Maggie Clifton said of offering expansive bundles to ad buyers. “We’re able to both gather scale in an efficient way as well as offer more custom, bespoke campaigns for advertisers that are looking for either key markets, or key audience demos, or topics like football or fantasy or chess even.”
While Fubo is looking to increase its audio revenue, many Blue Wire shows are also thinking about growing their video audiences. Successful shows these days often find audiences in podcast apps, on YouTube and across social media platforms. Others have added live audio components to the mix as well. “That cross-platform approach is going to continue to be utilized and it’s something we’re looking at closely here,” Clifton said.
Blue Wire, which has built an internal sales staff of six, is now interested in offering business development services to networks beyond Fubo as well.
“We see this as a strategy growing forward where we can drive these strategic partnerships to add value to each other’s business,” Clifton said.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to a boom in new shows that has since receded, but industry experts are still expecting the podcast ad business to grow in 2023, even if other ad spending categories trend down this year.