Use ads in podcasts

Business Benefits

Create new revenue streams.

Join a third-party podcast advertising network that provides dynamic ad insertion, like AdvertiseCast, Midroll, Podcorn, or PodGrid.

Dynamic ad insertion (DAI) is more streamlined than ads read by a podcast host within the actual podcast content:

  • You provide keywords and content categories for your podcast, as well as individual episodes.
  • The podcast advertising network tracks your listener size and demographics.
  • The network matches you with interested brands.
  • The brands’ ads are automatically inserted into your podcast, similar to a commercial break on traditional television shows.

All advertisement management is handled for you, and you have automatic access to a large pool of prospective advertisers. However, the networks take a significant cut of the money you make (sometimes up to 30% of your advertising revenue), many advertisers on these networks are looking for mid- to large-sized podcasts with 5,000 subscribers or more, and the generic, less-tailored approach can annoy up to a third of podcast listeners.

Join a podcast sponsorship network like Ad Results Media, Adopter Media, AdvertiseCast, True Native Media, or Midroll.

If you’re an avid listener of podcasts, you’ve likely heard a podcast host say something like, This episode is brought to you by [third-party brand name]. With a sponsorship, each episode you record promotes only 1-3 third-party brands, and the host of your podcast reads an ad and weaves it organically into the podcast.

You can keep all of your ad revenue, you create a more organic experience for your listener, and many sponsors are happy to work with smaller podcasts who might not yet have the audience size that DAI-based ad networks require. However, it’s more work on your end, and your episode can quickly become outdated if an ad is very time-sensitive or seasonal

Populate your ad network profile with clear listener demographics, audience metrics, and your content focus.

Most networks have the same requirements and want you to outline key information that advertisers need to know, such as your audience size, your audience’s geographic region, the general age and gender of your audience, and the types of content you talk about on your podcast.

Complete your profile fully, as the platforms’ algorithm that matches you to third-party advertisers or sponsors is dependent on the completeness and accuracy of your profile.

Set your preferred advertising rate based on your audience size, niche, and the type of ads you’re using.

Use this equation to estimate how much you would like to charge:

Cost of Sponsoring 1 Episode = (# of Downloads per Episode / 1000) X CPM

According to AdvertiseCast, the current industry average rates for podcast ads are:

  • $15 for a 10-second ad CPM.
  • $18 for a 30-second ad CPM.
  • $25 for a 60-second ad CPM.

Manually reach out to indirect competitors and brands in your niche or industry for personal sponsorship pitches.

If you’re waiting for the third-party networks to match you with advertising opportunities, or if your podcast audience is still quite small but you’re still seeking monetization opportunities, try pitching for personal sponsorships:

  • Address your email or social media message to the person responsible for advertising and marketing
  • Highlight your podcast’s benefits, such as audience size, number of reviews, or how your audience demographics match the potential advertiser’s own audience
  • A call to action to learn more.

Don’t get into pricing and contracts in the initial pitch - leave this for follow-up discussions.

If you’re adding a host-read sponsorship ad to your podcast, write and record an ad script.

The better your ad, and the better the results for your sponsor, the more likely that you’ll have repeat sponsorship business and attract new advertisers to your podcast.

  • Request all key details from the sponsor about timing, products or services, and calls to action.
  • Identify non-negotiables and what is still within your creative control.
  • Make it clear that this is an ad.
  • Tie it to your personality as a host, the content of your podcast episode, or the theme of your podcast itself. For example, host Dax Shepard on his podcast The Armchair Expert regularly mentions his own experiences with a sponsor’s products and how he uses them himself.
  • Drive to a clear CTA, whether a website URL or a specific coupon code.
  • Repeat or spell out key details that are easy to miss when not being read, such as the spelling of a coupon code.

Continue investing in creating quality content and building your audience reach.

Podcast advertisers want to see:

  • Consistent, quality output.
  • Increasing download or listen metrics.
  • Positive reviews from listeners.

While many podcasters might focus on how to find more advertisers, a better long-term strategy is focusing on how to expand your podcast’s content and reach. This, in itself, will draw in more third-party advertisers and sponsors.