The Complete Guide to Podcast Advertising

The Complete Guide to Podcast Advertising

Whether it’s comedy, news, crime, or storytelling, podcasts have become an essential way that people consume media. To date, there are over half a million active podcasts in rotation with over 18.5 million episodes streaming. With the amount of content hitting the waves, there’s only one word that comes to mind, advertising. Podcast advertising has become one of the most lucrative ways to market your brand or products via your favorite platform or podcast channel. Whether you’re a new brand, startup, author, or blogger, podcast advertisements have shown to be extraordinarily effective methods for engaging with listeners. So how many people are truly tuning into podcasts? According to PodcastInsights currently “50% of all homes are podcasts fans, which is an estimated 60 million homes. This upward trend is predicted to continue as more marketers are leveraging the power of podcast advertising to promote their products, services, or personal brand.

Today we’re going to discuss the growing impact of podcasts and how you can get a worthwhile return on your investment.

Why Podcast Advertising Works


Podcasts are engaging channels where the listener pays attention to the host, making them a great channel for brands to deliver messages and promotions. They have the ability to generate sales, brand awareness, and introduce your business to a steady stream of new prospects. Brands are willing to pay more money for podcast advertising because traditional marketing strategies have been dwindling over the years. Billboard, print ads, and commercials haven’t been able to provide the same ROI for businesses as we’re seeing an increasing amount of interest in streaming services and alternative media like podcasts. Podcast advertising is a more effective way for brands to get a consumer’s attention because it is a highly engaging medium for delivering messages, regardless of the genre.

For a marketer, finding a good podcast to run ads on means finding someone the listeners already respect who will be promoting your brand. Consequently, your target audience will be much more receptive to your messaging. Similar to other content strategies, marketers have to leverage the power of podcasts by working with existing podcasts that are ideal partnerships for the brand. Listeners hang on to every word of a podcast whether it’s their favorite celebrity, true crime story, or self-help tips. Advertisers do not have to worry about written text, SEO keywords, or managing the content via a social platform. Instead, they can organically fit their brand persona into the podcast narrative, with little to no interruption for the listener. Similar to their favorite gym, grocery store, or clothing store, consumers have proven to be very invested and committed to their podcast hosts and are more receptive to the brands they endorse on the show.

Comparing Podcast Ads to their Alternatives


Comparing Podcast Ads to their Alternatives


If you’ve consumed any media online in the past decade then you are familiar with #ads. Whether you’re streaming your favorite Netflix show, watching a YouTube video, or seeing banner ads on the side of your web browser, ads are everywhere. This constant cycle of ads that touches every point of our media experience has desensitized most consumers to the point where they are tuned out. While click-through rates on banner ads can vary depending on the display style and industry, overall most people do not really engage with them enough to generate significant ROI. Compared to most advertising channels, podcast ads give them a run for their money because they are shown to generate two to three times more engagement than radio ads, and currently 60% of listeners are shown to take action after hearing a podcast ad. 

If you’re looking to incorporate podcasts ads into your marketing strategy, here are a few data points we’ve found that might make you consider podcast advertising:


  • Over 80% of podcast listeners pay attention when an advertisement is being played on a podcast.

  • Over 50% of listeners are more likely to consider using or purchasing from the brand being advertised.

  • 45% of monthly podcast listeners have a household income over $75K – vs 35% for the total population.

  • 75% of the US population is familiar with the term “podcasting” – up from 70% in 2019 (Infinite Dial 2020).


So who is listening to podcasts enough to make marketers implement it into their strategies? Millennials. Most Millenials are well-educated with considerable income and respond better to quick, on-demand content that caters to their specific interests. The beauty of podcasts is that there is literally a buffet of options for every single user. Podcast advertising has proven to be a lucrative investment for many businesses and with the proper strategy can help take your brand to the next level.

Industry-Standard Rates for Podcast Ads


Before you can start running ads, you have to know that there are two types of podcast ads that advertisers can run: the 15-second pre-roll and 60-second mid-roll. You can use a calculator to get a more accurate prediction for the rates you’re looking at for your campaign, but the average costs for running a podcast ad, per Single Grain:


  • 30-second ad: $18 per 1000 listeners
  • 1-minute ad: $25 per 1000 listeners


Now that we’ve discussed the average costs, it’s important to understand the difference between each podcast ad. Pre-roll ads are placed before the host dives into the content and typically include a conversation about the advertiser’s product or service. Mid-roll ads are placed during the middle of the show typically after a listener has heard between 40%-70% of the podcast content. 

Another contributing factor to the cost and placement of an ad is the number of listeners that podcast has. A podcast that is more popular can be more expensive because they have more reach and can leverage higher rates. A podcast that has under 1000 listeners per episode may ask for $23 per 1000 listeners, while a podcast with 30,000 listeners may ask for $30/1000.

Marketing professionals are still learning the intricacies of building effective strategies to maximize podcast ad campaigns. However like any ad campaign, there are certain ways to do it right and maximize your ROI. That begins with identifying the right podcast and platforms to place your ads on. 

Find the Right Podcasts to Promote Your Brand

Find the Right Podcasts to Promote Your Brand


In order to maximize the reach of your campaign, you want to start by finding podcasts whose audiences align with your brand’s target audience. If you’re unfamiliar with your current audience interests and demographics, you can use helpful tools like Instagram Insights to see what content performs best with your audience. This tool can provide a good demographic breakdown, but shouldn’t be the only research you do to identify your target audience. Once you identify your target audience and begin building your campaign you can identify that and cover the content that interests them.

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