Podcast Advertising Guide


Podcasts have rapidly increased in popularity over the last few years, making them a great platform for brands to advertise. Podcast advertising can help brands reach a new target audience, and it can be tailored to match the needs of any business. With the right approach, podcast ads can hugely impact a brand’s success.

In this guide, we will discuss the basics of podcast advertising and provide tips on how to make the most of this marketing strategy:

Definition of Podcast Advertising

Podcast advertising is the process of promoting your business, products, or services on streaming audio programs. This type of advertising allows businesses to reach their target market directly and cost-effectively. Podcast advertising offers more than just physical advertisements; it also provides audio impressions, which can create a more personal connection with the listener.

Podcasts can be marketed through several channels—from traditional radio placements to online streaming platforms such as Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

For businesses seeking new avenues to increase their brand visibility, podcast advertising could be viewed as an essential tool to explore. Advertisers can choose which podcasts they wish to promote their product, allowing them greater control over who hears their message. This tailored approach will enable advertisers to incorporate affirmative messaging and create meaningful relationships with the listeners that may not be achievable through other platforms.

Moreover, podcast ads do not come off as invasive or disruptive. As long as the message is carefully crafted for each podcast (or audience), these ads can be helpful and informative without feeling intrusive or overwhelming for your potential customers. Finally, podcast ads tend to see higher engagement rates than other digital campaigns because listeners are most likely already interested in what’s being said on the show—making it easier for audiences to pay attention when an ad comes on before or during a show episode.

Benefits of Podcast Advertising

Podcast advertising is a highly effective, cost-efficient way to reach a captive audience. It offers some distinct advantages over other forms of advertising, from its ability to create stronger connections with potential customers to its potential for high ROI.

With podcast ads, brands can send personalized messages directly to their target audience. This technique enables them to create more meaningful campaigns that deliver maximum impact. Because the medium is so intimate and engaging, consumers tend to remember the message and take action when prompted by the advertisement. In addition, podcast listeners are often passionate about their interests and more likely to respond positively to a brand’s message than radio or television viewers.

Furthermore, podcast ads are often less expensive than traditional techniques like TV and radio spots due to lower production costs. They also have remarkable reach; most episodes are downloaded multiple times after release and have no restrictions regarding where they can be heard or viewed. Podcasts make social media callouts easier, which adds more excellent dimensions when it comes time to market products and services – amplifying ROI while increasing your customer base exponentially!

Types of Podcast Ads

Podcast advertising is one of the fastest-growing segments of the digital marketing landscape. Many podcast ads are available depending on your objectives, audience, budget, and marketing strategy. In addition, podcasts offer a wide range of opportunities to get your message heard, from pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll to branded content and audio sponsorships.

Let’s explore the different types of podcast ads available:

Pre-roll Ads

Pre-roll ads are the most common type of podcast ads. Also known as “host-read” or “host-delivered” ads, pre-roll ads are audio advertisements that are read by the host of a show and presented at the beginning of an episode. They typically start with a short introduction – such as “This episode is brought to you by…” or “We’d like to thank our sponsor today….” – then transition into a script provided by a third-party advertiser. Pre-roll ads usually last anywhere from 10 to 90 seconds.

Typically, pre-roll podcast ads provide detailed information about the brand’s product or service and may also include details on special offers, discounts, etc. Advertisers have many options at their disposal when crafting a pre-roll ad, including:

  • using sound effects
  • using background music
  • using special guests
  • using custom graphics

Depending on the production capabilities of their chosen podcast network or media partner. Advertising in podcasts is becoming increasingly popular for businesses of all sizes due to its ability to reach new audiences who may not be exposed to traditional forms of advertising like radio and TV commercials.

Mid-roll Ads

Mid-roll ads are inserted into a podcast episode somewhere after the introduction, usually when the host discusses the topic of their show. Common mid-roll ad types include audio clips, live reads, tag mentions, and host endorsements.

Audio clips are pre-produced auditory pieces that feature music, sound effects, and/or vocal dialogue. Some podcasters create custom audio clips for their advertisements to make them stand out in a busy podcasting landscape. Live reads are also part of mid-roll ads – these are more casual than audio clips and feature hosts talking about advertiser brands in their style and naturally integrating them into conversations about topics relevant to their show content.

Tag mentions refer to concise audio calls to action that only last a few seconds long and may be tacked on to another advertisement or read at a later point within an episode timeline. Finally, host endorsements give ad brands a way to reach audiences through famous podcast personalities who briefly discuss or mention products or services during their shows (usually near the end).

No matter which type of ad you use for your mid-roll placement, it’s important to keep your audience engaged throughout your desired duration with creative visuals, strategic timing, and carefully crafted messages that make listeners want to act on what they’ve heard. Doing so will help ensure success for both brands and podcasts looking to benefit from the latest advertising opportunities within this ever-growing industry.

Post-roll Ads

Post-roll ads are placed at the very end of a podcast episode. The timing makes them an ideal choice for brands that want to get in front of listeners who have made it to the end of the episode. Since post-rolls are typically among the last impressions listeners form, they can be incredibly effective in helping advertisers make a lasting impression and seal their message with consumers.

Another benefit of post-roll ads is that they don’t require any changes vs. pre-rolls to production elements, such as intro music and bumpers. The more time you spend upfront production and editing, the post-roll ads can help maximize your ROI without taking away from creative control or workflow for podcasters.

Post-roll technology also provides reach-frequency optimization capabilities, allowing advertisers to optimize campaigns and targeted messaging based on frequency requirements compared to other podcast platforms.

Sponsored Segments

Sponsored segments are pre-recorded ads that your host reads or plays. It can be a private sponsor hosting a unique segment within the show or one advertiser promoting their product or service in a single segment. These ads are usually added at the end of the podcast episode but can also be inserted at certain points throughout the episode.

The primary benefit of sponsored segments is their blend into the creative content of your show. Often, they’re conversationally woven into your podcast flow – allowing listeners to stay engaged with your content while being exposed to the message from an advertiser. As a result, they’re ideal for companies targeting precise audience segments or those seeking to record longer-form messaging.

Additionally, you can use sponsorship swipes at the beginning and end of episodes as acknowledgments for sponsorships and for advertisers who already have an existing audio asset library ready to go on their end; therefore, sponsoring segments should always include:

  • audio copy plus
  • host messaging/read as part of any sponsorship campaign they launch with you.


When it comes to targeting the right podcast audience, firstly, you must decide what audience you want to target. You can use many criteria to narrow your audience, such as age, location, interests, etc. However, it is important to have a clear targeting strategy to ensure that your podcast advertising is effective.

Let’s take a deeper look at how to podcast targeting works:

Demographic Targeting

Demographic targeting is an effective way to create an audience segment and optimize the effectiveness of podcast ad campaigns. Unlike behavior-led targeting, demographic targeting is primarily based on who your audience is and what they have in common (e.g., age, gender, location). By accurately defining a target demographic, podcast advertisers can better speak to the needs of a specific listener base and tailor their messaging accordingly.

When determining which demographics to target, advertisers should choose characteristics that will help them better understand their desired audience. Popular demographic features include gender, age group, marital status, income range, job title/occupation/industry, and city or region. Advertisers may also target by ethnicity and sexual orientation in some cases.

It’s important to note that specific demographics may be more receptive to different message types than others – it’s best practice for podcast advertisers to review any data they have access to on their demographics before they begin creating content or deploying campaigns. Armed with this knowledge, they can develop content that resonates most with their desired demographic group(s) and refine their messaging over time as needed for more tremendous success.


Geo-targeting refers to targeting an audience by their geographic location. It is a practice used by digital marketers and advertisers for identifying the physical areas of internet users and delivering location-specific content and advertising.

Once implemented, geo-targeting can be applied to various forms of digital marketing, including mobile advertising, affiliate marketing, SEO, behavioral targeting, and display advertising. For example, with geo-targeting, you can narrow your focus to specific countries, regions, or local areas to identify the best target segments and deliver more tailored or relevant advertisements to the target audience. It can also be used with other techniques, such as demographic or psychographic targeting.

Using geo-targeting with podcast advertising can help brands hone in on a population by narrowing down a specific region where podcast listeners are located. In addition, this method helps audio advertisers customize their messaging more effectively for potential customers based on location. Brands can also create regional campaigns for different areas of the country instead of spending money on large national campaigns that may not always be effective at reaching their target audience.

Behavioral Targeting

Behavioral targeting is targeted advertising that uses tracking data and signals from a person’s online activity to create targeted messages for them. It is highly effective in targeting specific audiences and allows for increased personalization and engagement of potential customers.

Traditionally, advertisers had no real idea who their audience was or where they were located geographically. However, with behavioral targeting, brands now have access to more sophisticated data, which allows them to tailor their messages to individuals most likely to be interested in their products or services. This information can come from past purchases and activity on different websites or devices.

Behavioral targeting also helps ensure that the right people are exposed to ads – those who may be interested in what the brand offers because they have expressed similar interests before. Additionally, this type of targeting creates an opportunity for brands to collect valuable insights about their targets’ buying behavior which can be used for further segmentation and optimization.

For podcast hosts and advertisers, behavioral targeting enables podcasts with tightly-defined target audiences (like fitness podcasts or business podcasts) to better understand and target potential listeners by understanding what topics resonate best with certain types of listeners. In addition, it helps ensure that viewers not just see but engage with podcast advertisements – increasing overall visibility for the advertisers and beneficial for audience members hearing valuable promotions relevant to themselves!


Podcast advertising can be a great way to promote your business and reach a large audience. The pricing of a podcast ad can vary greatly depending on the show, the number of episodes purchased, and the target audience. Let’s take a closer look at the various pricing options for podcast advertising:


Podcast advertising is often sold using the cost-per-download (CPD) pricing model. CPD, known as the “cost of delivery” in industry terminology, is the rate to deliver an ad to each podcast listener. This number varies greatly depending on various factors, such as podcast category, audience size and quality, offer structure, geographic targeting (if applicable), and budget.

CPD rates are typically calculated by taking the total media-to-buy rate for a given ad campaign and dividing it by the total number of downloads obtained during the corresponding podcast campaign period. For example, if you buy an ad spot at $1000 for a single episode with 10k downloads, your CPD would be 10 cents per download ($1000 / 10k = 0.10). The most common range would be from one to three cents per download, but it may vary depending on audience loyalty and reach (number of downloads).

The CPD metrics are helpful for various purposes – from monitoring how well campaigns are performing compared to other media buys or determining which shows have proven effectiveness against others. Also, note that an effective monetization strategy needs to look further than just CPD – thoroughly assessing all potential revenue streams within an organization or campaign can make all the difference in ensuring maximum ROI/ROMI success while providing optimal targeting capabilities through location descriptors, the device reaches data and segment insights.


Cost per thousand, commonly referred to as CPM, is an advertising metric used to determine the cost of a particular advertisement. It simply means how much a company must pay for every thousand unique views or impressions it gets. For example, CPM helps podcast advertisers determine how much they should pay to reach their desired target audience.

To calculate CPM for podcast ads, you first need to know the total number of impressions your ad will receive during its campaign. Then divide that by 1,000 and multiply it by the rate for each impression within your budget. If calculated this way, higher turnovers result in lower costs per impression and higher revenue from your ad campaigns.

For example, let’s say you are running a podcast ad campaign that receives 10,000 impressions at a rate of $5 per 1,000 impressions—your CPM would be $50 (10 000/1000 × 5). This metric allows businesses to understand what they spend on an advertisement before placing an order and track their expenditure versus returns over time. Insights on metrics such as CPM provide valuable data points which enable podcast advertisers to make better decisions with their budgets moving forward.


The cost-per-click (CPC) pricing model is typically used in podcast advertising. In the CPC pricing model, the advertiser pays for each person who clicks on their ad and visits their website rather than just for displaying the ad itself. This pricing works well for advertisers because it allows them to only pay for actual leads and interest generated by the ad rather than just viewership or listenership.

To calculate CPC, divide the total cost of an ad campaign by the number of clicks it generates. For example, during a podcast advertising campaign, you might use CPC to measure performance and determine how much audience engagement and interest your ads generate with various audiences. Different types of ads might have different CPCs since they have different levels of engagement or appeal; looking at CPC can also help you determine which ads impact your target audience most.

For example, suppose your video ads have a higher average CPC than your audio ads. In that case, that could indicate that your video ads are reaching more people and/or generating more interest from prospective customers than your audio ads are.


Measuring the effectiveness of any advertising campaign is key to success. Therefore, it is important to understand the metrics and analytics associated with podcast advertising. Doing a podcast advertising campaign without knowing how to measure and analyze your results is like setting out on a journey without knowing where you are going.

This section will discuss how to measure and analyze your podcast advertising campaign:

Track Downloads

It is essential to measure the success of your podcast accurately. Tracking downloads and subscriber numbers will give you a clear indication of how successful your podcast is. In most cases, tracking downloads should be done in real-time so that you can identify listenership and interact with them as quickly as possible.

Listenership data should also be tracked over longer periods to determine which episodes and topics resonate more deeply with your audience. This data can help guide long-term decisions about the content of your podcast, such as which segments or topics should be cut or expanded upon.

To track downloads, use a podcatcher service or software such as:

  • Apple Podcasts
  • Google Play Music
  • Spotify
  • Stitcher Radio
  • TuneIn Radio
  • and many others.

This software lets you see who is downloading and subscribing to your podcast and individual downloads per episode. These software platforms also allow you to offer exclusive features such as ad-free subscriptions, early in-episode access, or bundle sponsorships with other programs you are affiliated with.

Track Website Visits

Advertisers rely heavily on analytics to measure the reach and effectiveness of their marketing initiatives. Advertisers need to track traffic sources to precisely count the number of website visits generated from podcasts.

One of the most effective ways to track website visits is through tracking codes. A unique tracking code is assigned to each link in an advertisement. The advertiser can then use it to ensure they can accurately measure which visitors came from the podcast and how they interacted with their website pages.

Tracking codes give marketers and advertisers more precision when gauging their podcast ad’s impact on website visits, users per session, other critical actions, and overall website performance. Using this feature, you’ll be able to identify which podcasts are bringing in valuable traffic and reward them appropriately with bonus giveaways or higher payouts if they continue providing such results.

Track Engagement Metrics

It’s essential to track the engagement metrics of your podcast advertisers. The metrics provide valuable insight into their performance and how effectively they connect with your target audience. In addition, measuring and assessing these engagement metrics—such as downloads listens, time spent listening, and clicks through links—can offer feedback on what segments or formats work best for you and the advertiser.

The listener response to each campaign will not be uniform. However, by measuring and tracking user engagement, you can gain insight into which ad delivery times yield the highest return on investment for your partnerships. Similarly, you can use these metrics to understand which content resonates best with your audience so that you and your advertisers can continue improving their campaigns.

In addition to analyzing click-through rates or time per session, tracking other qualitative insights, such as listen-through rates (the percentage of people who complete a recording), is another valuable way to gauge how successfully an advertisement is resonating among listeners. Discovering these data will provide helpful information that empowers advertisers to create better-performing campaigns while helping podcast hosts capture additional growth opportunities from loyal listeners who are attentive enough to listen past the duration of an ad section.

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