PODCAST ADVERTISING: Types, Costs and Best Practices

podcast advertising

It’s estimated that by 2023, podcast ad income would top $2 billion. What’s more, it’s predicted to continue on the same track to reach approximately $3 billion in 2025. To put this into perspective, podcast statistics projected that it was “only” $1.3 billion in 2021. Thus, there’s a lot of money to be generated by way of podcast advertising.
If you’re a brand, you’ll be glad to know that it’s effective. According to statistics released by SEMrush, over 20% of individuals are considerably more likely to consider supporting a brand if it’s mentioned on their favorite podcast. What’s more, 60% of listeners reported that they really sought a product after it was featured on a podcast.
Whether you’re searching for a new channel where you may advertise your business or want to make money via your own podcast, we’ve scoured the web to prepare this complete guide about the ins and outs of podcast sponsorship. From the many sorts of ads to average ad pricing, here’s the most crucial information you need to get started.

What is Podcast Advertising?

Podcast advertising is podcasting as a medium to promote a particular product, service, or business. This involves podcast adverts which are the advertising breaks in podcast material where the host reads an advertisement for a brand. In certain circumstances, the ad is a pre-recorded message injected into the audio.

Podcast advertising can occur through podcast sponsorship, where businesses pay for their product, service, or business to be advertised during a podcast in the form of an advertisement. A podcast ad usually contains information about the product or service, along with any personal experiences the host has had with the product. The ad may also contain promo codes or discounts that the listener can use to get a deal when they try the product or service.

Companies can even establish their own branded podcast broadcast where the sole premise is to promote their business. Although the overall purpose of this form of program is to promote a product or service, branded podcasts also offer listeners value-rich content that helps to develop the brand’s reputation and credibility and improve brand recognition.

Podcast Advertising Terminologies

Before we explore the ins and outs of podcast advertising, let’s examine the terms you need to know before reaching out to podcast hosts and networks.

  • CPM Rate: CPM stands for “cost per mille.” The CPM reflects the flat standard rate marketers pay for every 1,000 impressions.
  • Host-Read Ad: a pre-recorded ad that is voiced by the host(s) of the podcast.
  • Dynamic Insertion: the use of software to automatically place advertising into pre-existing podcast audio. These adverts can be simply altered across a podcast’s entire collection without making changes to the original audio file.
  • Programmatic Ad: pre-recorded adverts that do not feature the original host of the podcast. Programmatic advertising is often deployed utilizing dynamic insertion.
  • Pre-Roll Ad: an ad placed at the beginning of a podcast episode.
  • Mid-Roll Ad: an ad put near the middle of a podcast program.
  • Post-Roll Ad: an ad placed at the end of a podcast episode.
  • CTA: Call to action; unique URLs and discount codes are typically included in podcast CTAs to measure the performance of an ad’s effectiveness on a particular podcast.
  • Downloads: how many times a podcast episode has been downloaded from a podcast hosting service? The most used statistic to determine the impressions/listens of a podcast.
  • Live-Read Ad: an ad that is performed live during a podcast episode, as opposed to being scripted and edited or dynamically inserted into the episode.

Now that you’re familiar with the required vocabulary, let’s examine how to identify and sponsor podcasts.

Different Forms of Podcast Advertising

Before looking at the numerous types of podcast ads, you need to know that the majority of podcasts give three spots for commercials. Your ad can display in the first 10% of the episode (known as a pre-roll ad), in the middle of the episode (known as a mid-roll ad), or towards the end of the program (known as a post-roll ad) (known as a post-roll ad).

Mid-roll commercials are normally lengthier (they can be as long as 90 seconds), but pre-roll and post-roll ads are usually roughly about 30 seconds long. Also, post-roll ads are often the least enticing as you incur the chance that many listeners won’t listen to the very finish. Then again, some claim that the most ardent listeners will listen right till the finish and they’re actually the ones whose attention you want to catch. Additionally, as post-roll advertising is normally significantly cheaper, it can end up being more cost-effective.

Advertising can also be dynamic (also known as dynamic insertion advertisements) or baked-in. If it’s dynamic, the ad is distinct from the original episode’s recording. This means that the ad’s location can shift from pre-roll to mid-roll to post-roll. Or, it can be dropped altogether at a later time.

On the other hand, baked-in advertising constitutes part of the original episode’s recording. This means that they will be part of the show forever and can’t be replaced with a new promotion of a different brand.

From a podcast producer’s point of view, dynamic ads are more attractive as they give them more chances to take advantage of sponsorship. This implies that it’s easier for them to obtain continuing ad money.
From a brand’s point of view, baked-in ads are better. Firstly, their commercials will never be swapped out for another brand’s ad.

#1. Native ad

Native advertising is extremely prevalent and is made by the business for the podcast to discuss the product or offer information about a promotion. This type of ad is typically 30 seconds long and airs before or halfway through the podcast (in other words as a mid-roll ad).

#2. Product promotion

Product placement advertisements are rather basic. In a nutshell, it’s when a brand buys a podcast to advertise its product during an episode. It’s frequently done in an unsavory manner.

#3. Direct response advertisement

A direct response ad is a hybrid of a native ad and a product placement ad. The podcast host acknowledges that the advertisement is sponsored and reads the script produced by the brand (including the call to action).

#4. Advertised content

In this case, the brand will compensate the podcast in exchange for providing content on a relevant topic. Sponsored content, unlike native advertising, does not always immediately mention the product or brand. Instead, the podcast’s host will indicate which brand sponsored that particular episode. The usefulness of sponsored content is that it can help to increase brand awareness.

#5. Paid interview

Rather than a quick mention or placement, this type of ad gives the brand a lot more exposure. When choosing a paid interview, the brand will pay the podcast to interview someone associated with the brand (usually the interviewee will be some sort of expert).
It’s a win-win situation for everyone. Because it is a sort of content cooperation, the podcast host does not have to generate a complete episode from scratch, while the company gains the opportunity to improve brand awareness and trust.

What Is the Best Way to Promote Podcasts?

There are various rules to follow when placing advertisements on podcasts. We’ve produced a checklist for you to follow to guarantee that the procedure runs smoothly. Therefore let us check them out.

#1. Have a look at the demographics.

Podcasts, unlike TV series, do not capture the interest of diverse audiences. Yet, podcasts provide a wonderful opportunity to attract educated people looking for new knowledge. You have a tremendous opportunity to target the most active audience – millennials — with podcast ads. These are the ideal age, income, and educational level. These consumers are likely to be interested in your goods and able to afford them.

#2. Take note of the cost.

You should understand the basic pricing to avoid misunderstandings and overpricing when paying for a podcast ad slot. Although you may believe that some platforms can charge you considerably more than you expect, this is not the case. The vast majority of podcast hosts use the same price guidelines. These networks use the same formula to calculate the estimated cost of ad space. Some websites even provide a calculator to help you estimate the cost of an ad slot.

#3. Select a podcast that matches your needs.

If you want your ad to be successful and attract people who could be potential clients, you should make an informed decision. Choose a podcast that is relevant to your product. There are numerous podcasts and ways to engage with niche audiences. Your objective is to insert your ad in the appropriate episode so that it appears more natural and relevant to the theme.

#4. Select numerous podcasts to promote your ad on.

There’s no reason to spend your money on just one pricey podcast. It is preferable to place adverts on the most appropriate and popular podcasts. Remember that even though prominent podcasts have millions of listeners, people will not remember your brand if they only hear it once. You’ll have to play your ad multiple times before you get a total cost. If the ad fails, you will lose a lot of money as well as the opportunity to reach people and increase ROI. Prospects and conversions will come from several advertisements on lesser podcasts.

#5. Choose the best sort of advertisement for your goods.

Podcast advertisements can vary. You can buy a native ad and have it play at the beginning, middle, or conclusion of an episode, or you can ask the creators to develop sponsored content. The ad can even be read by the podcast host at the most appropriate time throughout the show. It is determined by your budget, tastes, and ultimate goals.
Now that you know how to advertise on podcasts, it’s time to learn how to evaluate the results.

How Can the Effectiveness of Podcast Advertising Be Measured?

An impression is a key indicator for measuring the effectiveness of your advertisement. In the case of podcasts, it is determined by the number of downloads — the more episodes with your ad that are downloaded, the better the performance. For example, if the podcast’s episode was downloaded 230,000 times, that means that your ad received 230,000 impressions. Afterward, you can decide whether or not the results met your initial expectations.

Promo coupons can also be used to track performance. You can publish different promo codes in different episodes and watch if people buy and apply the coupon to obtain a discount or a gift. You’ll be able to determine which podcasts and episodes are the most successful this way. You can use “How did you hear about our brand?” queries in addition to promo codes. Customers who find you through podcasts will let you know.
It’s time to figure out how much a podcast ad slot costs.

What is the Cost of Podcast Advertising?

The cost of a podcast ad spot is determined by the platform, ad length, and ad type. Podcast advertising has a pricing structure that you should be aware of in order to estimate the approximate cost of your ad each day, month, year, and so on. To sell ad slots on their websites, many platforms can use either cost per mile or cost per acquisition rate. The first is based on the cost of 1,000 impressions or downloads. The second is the cost of acquiring a single new consumer.

A 30-second ad cost per mille is $18, while a 60-second ad cost per mille is $25, according to Advertise Cast. The market for podcast hosting services is large, and you’ll find a location for your ad based on your budget and requirements. In general, an ad slot on a basic platform will cost between $100 and $500. Popular podcasting hosts with a large audience may cost you more than $2,000. It is your responsibility to perform research and discover podcasts that suit your company’s objectives and fee expectations.
Now that you have an idea of how much an ad space costs, let’s look at some examples for inspiration.

Podcast Advertising Examples

You can hear dozens of advertisements while traveling to work or returning home while listening to a podcast. They are one-of-a-kind and are intended to reach and resonate with their target audience. It’s time to learn how to do it with podcast ads.

#1. EightSleep and The Adam & Dr. Drew Show

The most crucial thing for the podcast is to effectively transition into the ad. The Adam & Dr. Drew Show did a great job promoting EightSleep. The host began by emphasizing the importance of mental health before concluding that it is influenced by a variety of circumstances. Dr. Drew advises adequate rest and all of the necessary components. EightSleep, a startup that sells smart mattresses, has arrived. This is an excellent option for folks who value their sleep and mental wellness.

#2. Toyota RAV4 and Gimlet Media

The well-known car company prefers to employ native adverts on Gimlet podcasts. The advertisement is only 30 seconds long, but it is really educational. The announcer goes over all of the benefits of purchasing such a vehicle. The car’s distinctive characteristics keep the driver secure and comfortable. Because the ad lacks specifics and the name of the podcast, it can be utilized for a variety of podcasts and platforms.

How Long Do Podcast Advertisements Last?

Podcast commercials often range between 15 to 60 seconds, depending on whether they are pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll.

According to Ilyas Frenkel, a former Squarespace Growth Manager, the optimal frequency for testing advertising performance with a podcast is once a week for each show.
You’ll be able to discern which episodes produced the best results in 8-12 weeks, and you’ll be able to concentrate your emphasis on the highest-performing podcasts after that.

What Are the Demographics of Us Podcast Listeners?

In the United States, the average podcast listener is a middle-class white man with a college degree. Statistics from Podcast Insights reveal that for Americans:

  • Males account for 51% of podcast listeners.
  • 45% of monthly podcast listeners earn more than $75,000 a year.
  • 27% of podcast listeners in the United States have a four-year college degree.
  • White people account for 63% of podcast listeners.

How To Sell Advertising Space (for podcasters)

The name of the game for podcasters trying to land a podcast sponsorship contract is audience size. If you have a large enough subscriber base, you’ll be more appealing to businesses, which makes sense because they won’t invest money in your show until enough people hear their advertisements to justify the brand’s investment.
If you’ve established a decent following, the easiest approach to sell ad space is to deal directly with brands, join a podcast network, or join an affiliate program. Each method will be discussed in detail below.

#1. Have direct contact with brands

If you have your heart set on working with a specific company or brand, why not contact them directly? This method is not always successful, and you may face some setbacks before reaching the jackpot. The benefit is that you retain control over who you deal with and what you advertise.
Do some research to locate the perfect businesses to pitch. You may:

  • Look into additional podcasts in your field: What brands are already promoting themselves on these shows?
  • Evaluate your target audience: What products or services are they likely to be interested in?

Create a list of potential brands that appear to be a good fit based on these criteria. Pitch these companies with a sponsorship pitch that emphasizes the value your show can provide to the company.

#2. Join a podcast advertising network.

If you want to sell ad space but don’t know where to start, consider joining a podcast ad network. They will assist you in connecting with firms wishing to purchase ad space.
Midroll, AdvertiseCast, and PodcastOne are podcast networks that enable advertisers to locate podcasters to advertise with.

Joining a network will expose you to more firms and make it simpler to be approached about sponsorship opportunities. Of course, this benefit comes at a cost; most networks charge fees ranging from 5% to 30% of your revenue.
Please keep in mind that this strategy works best for larger, more established podcasts with a large following.

#3. Participate in an affiliate program

There are numerous affiliate programs available that you may join right immediately. They are a quick and effective way to employ ad space on your podcast, with little emphasis on whether or not your promos are effective.


Many were quick to disregard podcasts when they first appeared on the scene. After all, how can a medium devoid of pictures capture and hold people’s attention in this day and age?
Podcasts, on the other hand, have proven the pessimists incorrect. Because of their growing popularity, they provide a valuable marketing opportunity for businesses and creators. If you’re a brand, placing podcast ads can help you raise brand awareness and revenue. Nevertheless, because podcasts are highly targeted, they can be an excellent way to engage with a certain audience.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like