podcasters

Getting Started with Gumball

LightningPay: Expediting Payment for Creators

Last updated 10/24/2022

Podcast sponsorship payment terms often involve long windows where creators can go months without being paid for their work. LightningPay allows creators to get paid as soon as their ads are delivered in full, rather than waiting until advertiser payments are collected and processed.  We built LightningPay to reward creators of all sizes for their hard work, promptly and consistently. With LightningPay, Gumball builds on its mission of supporting creators and leveling the playing field for creators big and small.  

How do I become eligible for LightningPay? 

To be eligible for LightningPay, you will need to meet the following criteria: 

  1. Your podcast is hosted on a platform that supports Gumshoe
  2. Implement either the Gumshoe Prefix or Gumshoe Pixel based on Ad Delivery
    1. Embedded Ads will require the Gumshoe prefix to be added to your RSS Feed
    2. Dynamic Ads will require the Gumshoe pixel to be installed per dynamic ad campaign/order
  3. Select “LightningPay” as your preferred method of payment on your Show Settings page under “Payment Schedule Options”   
  4. Upload the aircheck within 24 hours of your ad’s drop date

When do I get paid? 

Payments will be delivered after Gumshoe verifies an ad was delivered in full and all other criteria above have been met. For a dynamic ad, payouts may be issued as soon as seven days. For an embedded ad, payouts may take between seven and 30 days. We aim to pay out all verified ads every Friday.  

Is there a cost associated with using LightningPay? 

A 5% service fee will be deducted from the Creator’s Net Revenue to use LightningPay. 

Gumshoe: Gumball’s Campaign Tracking Solution

Last updated 11/28/2022

Gumshoe is a campaign tracking solution — which follows IAB’s Podcast Measurement Guidelines — to confirm ad impression delivery for podcasts sold on Gumball. Gumshoe enables Advertisers to track the progress of their campaigns and expedites payments for Creators via LightningPay once verified. 

 

What is the difference between a prefix and a pixel? 

Gumshoe generates two types of URLs depending on the ad format: a prefix (generated for embedded ad format) and a pixel (generated for dynamic ad format). 

  • What is a prefix? A prefix is a short trackable URL that can be attached to your show’s RSS feed to provide independent insights into your show's download analytics. While most hosting platforms support third-party tracking solutions, there are some exceptions. Find your hosting platform below to learn how you can seamlessly implement Gumshoe into your podcast.
  • What is a pixel? A pixel is a unique URL that allows advertisers to track ad delivery on an audio campaign that’s dynamically inserted. Each pixel generated by Gumshoe is unique and cannot be used across multiple ad reads or multiple campaigns. 

Most hosting platforms should accept third-party prefixes and pixels, please confirm below and/or inquire with your provider today. 

 

What is Gumshoe’s prefix URL?

The prefix URL is: 

https://2.gum.fm/

 

What is Gumshoe’s pixel URL?

Gumshoe will generate a unique pixel for each dynamic ad placement. This pixel is located at the bottom of each Script page in Gumball. 

 

What data does Gumshoe track? 

Gumshoe measures ad impression delivery for all podcasts that have implemented either prefix or pixel through their hosting provider.

 

What is the benefit of implementing Gumshoe? 

The relationship between brands and podcasts, facilitated by platforms like Gumball, is built on trust. Gumshoe is a critical layer that increases ad performance transparency and allows creators to work with more potential brands that increasingly require an independent source of truth. Creators on Gumball will also no longer need to report campaign delivery to Gumball support through email — Gumshoe will make this data available to creators, advertisers, and the Gumball team in real time.

 

Do I need to implement both Prefix and Pixels on my podcast?

If you sell dynamic ads, we prefer that you utilize both prefix and pixels on your podcast. However, we can accept implementing just a pixel at the campaign level.

If you sell embedded ads, you only need to install our prefix on your podcast.

 

How can I access the data that Gumshoe is tracking?

Gumshoe will not immediately be available to creators, but we do plan to make this available in your dashboard soon. 

 

How does Gumshoe protect listener privacy?

We care about protecting listener privacy, and Gumshoe treats podcast download information with care. Gumshoe doesn’t use cookies to follow listeners and doesn’t have any information about individual listeners beyond their IP address. Additionally, these IP addresses are hashed (coded into an unrecognizable jumble of numbers and letters), and deleted after a year.  Listeners who don’t want their data to be part of Gumshoe will be able to request that it be deleted.

 

How do I set up Gumshoe on my podcast? 

For guidance on how to implement the Gumshoe prefix and/or pixel on your podcast, find your show’s hosting platform in the list below. If you need further help, please reach out to help@gumball.fm with your questions. 

 

* * *

 

  Hosting Provider

Gumshoe Prefix Support

Gumshoe Pixel Support

  Acast

  Anchor

  Art19

  Audioboom

  Blubrry

  Buzzsprout

  Captivate

  Libsyn

  Megaphone

  Omny Studio

  Podbean

  RedCircle

  Simplecast

  Spreaker

  Transistor

 

* * *

 

Acast 

❌ Prefix: Acast does not support the use of third-party prefix URLs at this time. We recommend contacting Acast to request this feature, as this is a standard solution that should be available on any modern hosting platform. 

Pixel: Acast supports the use of some third-party tracking pixels. Contact Acast to confirm if they support Gumshoe. Learn how to implement them here.

 

Anchor

❌ Prefix: Anchor does not support the use of third-party prefix URLs at this time. We recommend contacting Anchor to request this feature, as this is a standard solution that should be available on any modern hosting platform. 

❌ Pixel: We can’t confirm if Anchor supports the use of third-party tracking pixels at this time. Please reach out to their support desk to be advised.

 

Art19 

Prefix: Art19 does support the use of third-party prefix URLs. To implement Gumshoe, please send the following email to support@art19.com: 

Hello, 

Can you please install the following analytics prefix to my podcast?

The prefix URL is: https://2.gum.fm/

Thank you!

Pixel: Art19 supports the use of third-party tracking pixels. Learn how to implement them here

 

Audioboom 

❌ Prefix: Unfortunately, Audioboom does not support the use of third-party prefix URLs. We recommend contacting Audioboom here to request they enable this feature, as this is a standard solution that should be available on any modern hosting platform. 

Pixel: Audioboom supports the use of third-party tracking pixels. Contact Audioboom to learn more about how to implement this feature.

 

Blubrry

Prefix: While Blubrry does support the use of third-party prefix URLs, they do not support prefixes globally, meaning you will be required to add Gumshoe to every media file you post on Blubrry. Before publishing to Blubrry, add https://2.gum.fm/ in front of each media file media.blubrry.com/yourpodcast.mp3. Once you’ve verified that the URL works, you may save and schedule your episode.

❌ Pixel: We can’t confirm if Blubrry supports the use of third-party tracking pixels at this time. Please reach out to their support desk to be advised. 

 

Buzzsprout 

Prefix: Buzzspout does support the use of third-party prefix URLs. To implement Gumshoe, please send the following email at support@buzzsprout.com:

Hello, 

Can you please install the following analytics prefix from my sales partner, Gumball, to my podcast?

The prefix URL is: https://2.gum.fm/

Thank you!

❌ Pixel: We can’t confirm if Buzzsprout supports the use of third-party tracking pixels at this time. Please reach out to their support desk to be advised.

 

Captivate 

Prefix: Captivate does support the use of third-party prefix URLs. Please reach out to their support desk to be advised. 

❌ Pixel: We can’t confirm if Captivate supports the use of third-party tracking pixels at this time. Please reach out to their support desk to be advised.

 

Libsyn 

❌ Prefix: Libsyn currently does not support the use of the Gumshoe prefix. Please reach out to their support desk to be advised.

❌ Pixel: Libsyn currently does not support the use of Gumshoe pixels. Please reach out to their support desk to be advised.

 

Megaphone 

Prefix: While Megaphone does support the use of third-party prefix URLs, please be aware that Megaphoe does not support the use of multiple prefixes on a single RSS feed. Further instructions can be found here and below.

  1. To start, navigate to your podcast and then click the gear icon in the top right corner. On the Podcast Settings modal, click the “Megaphone Settings'' tab. 
  2. At the bottom of that page you will see a “Custom Prefix” section — click enable — and enter https://2.gum.fm/ into the prefix field. 
  3. Once you’ve entered the prefix, hit save at the top of the page. Megaphone also recommends asking a Live Chat agent to confirm it was implemented correctly. 

Pixel: Megaphone supports the use of third-party tracking pixels. Learn how to implement them here.

 

Omny Studio

Prefix: Omny Studio does support the use of third-party prefix URLs. Further instructions can be found here and below. 

  1. To start, navigate to your Organization Settings (many podcasts) or Program Settings (one podcast)
  2. Click “Customize Settings for this Organization/Program” and then paste https://2.gum.fm/ into the field.

If you need to support multiple prefix URLs, separate them each with a “/” and drop the “https://” of subsequent URLs after the first prefix. For example: https://2.gum.fm/chtbl.com/track/11597G/.

Pixel: Omny Studio supports the use of third-party tracking pixels. You can implement a pixel by taking the following steps: 

  1. Create/open the campaign’s Flight
  2. Scroll down to the Creative(s) section
  3. Paste the pixel in the Third-party impression tracking field
  4. Click Update flight to save changes

 

Podbean 

Prefix: Podbean does support the use of third-party prefix URLs, but you will need to submit a support ticket to enable a prefix URL on your RSS feed. You can use the following information to do so here:

 

Subject: Add Gumball Prefix URL to RSS FeedHello, can you please enable the option to add an analytics prefix URL in my Podbean account? Thanks! Once this has been enabled, navigate to Settings > Feed and click on the Advanced Feed Settings dropdown. 

Scroll down and find the URL Prefix field. Enter https://2.gum.fm/ into the field and click “Update Options.”

❌ Pixel: We can’t confirm if Podbean supports the use of third-party tracking pixels at this time. Please reach out to their support desk to be advised.

 

RedCircle  

Prefix: RedCircle supports the use of third-party prefix URLs for creators on their Pro Plan or Enterprise plan . We recommend creators have their accounts upgraded to the Pro Plan or higher to implement. 

❌ Pixel: RedCircle supports the use of third-party tracking pixels for creators on the Pro Plan or higher. We recommend creators have their accounts upgraded to the Pro Plan or higher to implement following these steps: 

  1. Create a Custom Audio Block. To create a custom Audio Block, you first need to create Custom Audio. Click on the red Add New Audio button near the top-right side of the page. The audio creation widget should pop up on the right side
  2. Enter your pixel in the Tracking URL field. 
  3. Click Save to save changes. 

 

Simplecast 

Prefix: Simplecast does support the use of third-party prefix URLs. 

To implement Gumshoe on Simplecast as a single prefix: 

  1. Click on the Gear Icon in the drop-down menu in the top-left corner of your dashboard
  2. Select Distribution in the lefthand-side menu
  3. Click Advanced Settings beneath the Main Feed URL
  4. Locate the ‘Analytics Prefix’ field and enter Gumshoe’s prefix URL https://2.gum.fm/ into the field
  5. Click ‘Save’ to register the update to your feed.

To implement Gumshoe on Simplecast as part of multiple prefixes:

  1. Click on the Gear Icon in the drop-down menu in the top-left corner of your dashboard.
  2. Select Distribution in the lefthand side menu
  3. Click Advanced Settings beneath the Main Feed URL
  4. Enter https://2.gum.fm/ in the 'Analytics Prefixes' field and include https:// and be sure to leave the trailing backslash at the end (/)
  5. Enter any additional URL Prefixes without the https:// in the 'Analytics Prefixes' field directly after the first URL backslash (/). Leave the backslash (/) at the end of the last URL Prefix entered
  6. Click 'Save' in the top-right corner when finished.

Further instructions can be found here.

Pixel: Simplecast supports the use of third-party tracking pixels. Learn how to implement them here.

 

Spreaker 

Prefix: Spreaker does support the use of third-party prefix URLs. Further implementation instructions can be found here and below:

  1. First of all, starting from the CMS, access the RSS Customization section of the podcast you would like to track, and set that to Manual
  2. Enter https://2.gum.fm/ on the Tracking URL prefix field, at the bottom of the page
  3. Click Save.

Pixel: Spreaker supports the use of third-party tracking pixels (3 maximum). Learn how to implement them here.

 

Transistor 

Prefix: Transistor does support the use of third-party prefix URLs. To implement the Gumshoe prefix on Transistor:

  1. Click into your Show Settings, and scroll down to ‘Advanced Settings’
  2. Under ‘Third party analytics prefixes, click the ‘Gumball’ checkbox to enable

❌ Pixel: We can’t confirm if Transistor supports the use of third-party tracking pixels at this time. Please reach out to their support desk to be advised.

Import Your Show

Last updated 3/16/2022

You've just been approved to join Gumball which means it's time to import your show(s) to the platform in three easy steps by clicking Add a Show.

1. Find Show

Get started by searching for your podcast's name, or entering the RSS feed or iTunes link in the search bar. This allows Gumball to populate some preliminary info into your profile (title, description, categories, etc). All of this info will be editable in your settings and you can find out more about how to Set Up Your Show below. 

Once you've found your show, check to confirm that you're authorized to sell ads on the show and will be able to verify with your onboarding contact that it gets more than 10,000 downloads per episode.

2. Setup Schedule

Next you'll need to set up your schedule. Gumball requires shows to be on a regular release schedule so that advertisers can purchase future episodes reliably. Using your RSS feed, Gumball automatically pre-fills this with our best guess of your release schedule, but please adjust to make it as accurate as possible. If yours doesn't quite meet these settings, please reach out to your onboarding contact. 

In this example, If I Were You releases one episode a week on Mondays.

3. Ad Placements

Finally, you'll need to configure your ad placements by choosing the types of ads you want to make available to advertisers. 

We've set a temporary placeholder by pre-populating a typical ad schedule of one, minute-long embedded pre-roll ad and two, minute-long embedded mid-roll ads. This means that for each episode of your show that airs, you can insert up to one embedded pre-roll and two embedded mid-rolls that are a minimum of one minute each.

To reconfigure to match your ad schedule, we recommend canceling the pre-configured ads and starting from a blank slate.

To add your own ad slots, click the drop-downs to find your preferred ad type--Embedded or Dynamic Pre-roll, Mid-roll, and Post-rolls. To learn more about these ad types, head to our Glossary!

Then, select your typical ad length: a minimum 15 second, 30 second, or minute long ad.

Once you've configured your first ad placement, click the + Add button to have it show up in the schedule.

Continue adding spots as needed until you've correctly configured a typical episode's ad availability. In the If I Were You example above, the show sells a max of one dynamically inserted, minute-long pre-roll and two dynamically inserted, minute-long mid-rolls per episode. Only add as many spots as you're willing to run in a single episode.

If you have any questions about this process, reach out to your onboarding contact for assistance, otherwise, if you're ready to confirm your show click Continue. You'll be sent to your show's Settings page to confirm the information is correct. Check out this article on how to Set Up Your Show.

 

Set Up Your Show

Last updated 3/16/2022

Congrats and thanks for joining Gumball! We're excited to help start selling your show. In order to make sure we can match you with great brands, you'll need to update your Settings page and make sure all your show's info is correct. These sections can be edited again at any time!

General

  • Show Title: This will auto-populate based on your RSS feed.
  • Description: This will auto-populate based on your RSS feed, but feel free to add any additional info that would be useful to advertisers browsing your show.
  • Default Promo Code: This will default as a hyphenated phrase (like MY-LITTLE-TEST-SHOW for the example above), but update this with the promo code that you'd like advertisers to use for your show. Some examples of show codes are MIGHTY for High & Mighty, IFIWEREYOU for If I Were You, and WHM for We Hate Movies.
  • Categories: This will auto-populate based on your RSS feed, but fill this out with up to 3 best-fitting categories to help advertisers find good matches for their product.
  • Audience Demographics
    • Age Ranges: Check up to four of these boxes based on what you know to be your audience's age demo. An easy place to pull this information from is Spotify's Podcaster Dashboard.
    • Gender Balance: Adjust this slider based on what you know to be your audience's gender balance. Note that the slider moves in increments of 10. An easy place to pull this information from is Spotify's Podcaster Dashboard.
    • If this is a brand new show, take your best guess! These can be easily adjusted as the show acquires an audience. 

Profile Page

  • Website URL: This will auto-populate based on your RSS feed.
  • iTunes ID: Add your Apple Podcasts link.
  • Spotify ID: Add your Spotify link.
  • Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: Add your show's social media links, if applicable!
  • Ad an audio clip: Upload an example ad, highlight reel, or segment that you think exemplifies your show. 

Ad Types

Based on your selections during the sign-up process, these are the ad placements currently for sale in every episode of your show. If you need to update any of the information here (ad type, your default cpm, impressions sold, etc.), please contact us. Keeping your impressions as up to date as possible is particularly important and will help ensure your ads perform well.

Episode Blackouts

  • Delete Button - Deletes an entire episode from your show’s schedule. This should be used if your show is going to be skipping a week completely.

  • Blackout Button - Use this feature to block out an ad slot on the associated drop date. This should be used if you have another advertiser scheduled outside of Gumball or are running an internal promotion that needs to take up one of your ad placements. To help us avoid booking advertisers that conflict with those you’ve booked outside of Gumball, please select a category from the dropdown that best matches the brand you're working with.

Please note, you will not be able to delete an episode if there are any ads that have already been booked on that drop date, and will not be able to blackout a specific placement if it's already been booked. If you need to skip a week or can't accommodate ads that have been booked, please reach out to our team to discuss rescheduling.

  • One-off Episodes: Planning an additional episode that you'd like to monetize? Use this feature to add a date to your schedule. This date will auto-populate with your default ad-placements. If you’re adding a bonus episode or trailer that you don't need ads sold on to your feed, you do not need to use this feature.

If you need to edit ad slots or drastically modify your schedule, please contact us.

Campaign Exclusion

Campaigns can be blocked from buying new ads on your show. Use this when certain ads aren't right for your show, or if you have an exclusive deal with an advertiser in the category. Ads that are booked already won't be affected by this setting.

 

 

Payments

To get paid, you need to connect a bank account via Stripe by clicking the Connect to Stripe button. Stripe can only accommodate one payee, so whoever clicks the stripe integration will be in charge of the account. You will need to choose a point person OR set up a legal entity for all members.

 

Your First Ad

Last updated 3/28/2022

Congrats on booking your first ad with Gumball! Here's a checklist of steps to ensure a smooth start. 

  • Record your ad.
    1. Go to your Gumball Dashboard and click "Read Script" to find copy for the spot. 
    2. Check out this article for best practices on How to Read Ad Copy. 
    3. Does your Dashboard say "Waiting on script from advertiser"? Copy should be available at least 7 days ahead of your scheduled spot as advertisers cannot make updates less than a week out from the airdate. If copy is missing and your spot airs in less than 7 days, please reach out to help@gumball.fm
    4. Extra tips: 
      • If more than one ad for the same brand is on your schedule, each spot is expected to be a unique read even if the script is exactly the same. 
      • Some advertisers do like to update copy between spots, so we recommend recording each ad as close to the air date as your schedule allows. 
    5. Do you have any conflicts with this ad?
      • If you need to reschedule or decline this spot (or any others booked in the future) for any reason, you’ll be able to do so within the 48 hour window after the ad is booked by clicking "Click here" next to the spot. Please note, the option to reschedule/decline will disappear after that 48 hour window expires. 
      • Once you’ve clicked into the reschedule/decline option, you’ll be able to provide more insight as to why you need to reschedule/decline. Please provide us with a reason from the dropdown so we can help you reschedule or avoid scheduling ads that don’t work for you in the future.
  • Schedule the ad in your hosting platform. 
    1. Check your Dashboard for details about the scheduled spot. You'll need this information as you set up the ad in your show's hosting platform.
    2. Is the ad scheduled as a Dynamic or Embedded spot?
      • Dynamic - inserted into the newest episode on the drop date a spot is scheduled for along with the entire back catalog until fulfilled
      • Embedded - baked into the episode’s content, lives there for at least 30 days or indefinitely
    3. Is it a Pre-Roll, Mid-Roll or Post-Roll? 
      • Pre-Roll - should play in the first 10% of the episode
      • Mid-Roll - should play in the middle 40-60% of the episode
      • Post-Roll - should play in the last 10% of episode
    4. How many listeners should the ad reach? 
      • Dynamically inserted ads should run until the number of listens noted next to your ad is met.
      • Embedded ads’ listener counts are based on the amount of listens the specific episode receives.
    5. Is your show simulcast on YouTube? If so, make sure this spot goes live in the corresponding YouTube episode as well.
    6. Do any details outlined for the spot look incorrect based on the way your show serves ads? Reach out to our team at help@gumball.fm immediately.
  • Upload your aircheck.
    1. Has your ad gone live as scheduled in Gumball? Head to your Dashboard and click “Upload Ad” to upload an aircheck.
    2. What’s an aircheck? An aircheck is a clip of your ad read used to verify that the spot has been recorded and is being served in the correct episode via your show's hosting platform. Once uploaded, these clips are available for the advertiser to listen to and provide feedback on when necessary.