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Podcast Ads 101: In-depth Guide For Beginners [in 2024]

July 18, 2024 Deciphr AI
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As a seasoned podcaster, you know the importance of monetizing your show. Enter: advertising. But how exactly do podcast ads work, and how can you implement them effectively? This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know as a beginner.

What is Podcast Advertising?

What is podcast advertising?

Podcast advertising is the art of integrating commercials into your podcast. 

Advertisers pay podcasters to promote their products, featured in ad spots in episodes. It's a smart way to monetize. But it's not just about making money — it's about adding value and promoting products that resonate with listeners.

The global podcasting market was valued at $13.70 billion in 2021 — it’s also expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 31.5%. Now’s the perfect time to capitalize on this booming medium with podcast advertising.

What are the Benefits of Podcast Advertising?

List of benefits that podcast advertising brings


There are many unique benefits that make podcast ads worthwhile for advertisers. 

Highly engaged, attentive listeners

People who choose to listen to podcasts are more focused on the content. They consciously decide to tune in and hear what you have to say. A whopping 67% of participants could remember specific product details from a podcast ad.

Targeted niches

From true crime to woodworking, podcast fans can curate their listening to match niche interests. Advertisers can zero in on specific, relevant audiences.

Trust and intimacy

Podcasters build relationships over time. Listeners begin to know, like, and trust their recommendations. This transfers over to podcast ads, giving them higher credibility. And it goes beyond that: 61% of Black weekly listeners even recommended a product to friends or relatives.

Ad customization

Podcast ads can be delivered conversationally in the host's own tone and voice. They don't sound overly salesy or artificial.

Native listening environment

Podcasts feel like hanging out with friends versus an interruption. Listeners are more open to podcast ads as part of the natural flow. 

Measurable results

Advertisers can track real-time stats. This includes listens, conversions and promo code usage to optimize future buys.

How Do Podcast Ads Work?

Podcast ads integrate seamlessly into episodes like any other piece of content. The host simply records the ad copy provided and inserts it at the agreed upon points in the show.

Listeners then hear the host present the ad in their own unique voice. This native delivery blends podcast ads into the program for a less disruptive experience.

Why is Podcast Advertising Effective?

Why is podcast advertising effective?


Here are the key reasons podcast ads convert so well:

  • Focused listeners. They choose to tune in so they're not passively hearing ads like on the radio. This translates to higher engagement and recall.
  • Ads are relevant. Niche targeting means products match the listener's interests, making them more receptive.
  • Custom scripts. Conversational ad copy in the host's tone resonates better.
  • Built-in trust. Listeners see hosts as genuine friends whose recommendations they value.
  • Performance is measurable. Advertisers can track real metrics on ad ROI unlike traditional radio. This enables optimization.

Don’t think you’re ready for podcast advertising? Here are five other ways to monetize your show.

6 Types of Podcast Ads

6 types of podcast ads


There are a variety of podcast ad formats to choose from.

Pre-roll ads

These 5-15 second spots play before each episode begins. They're great for capturing immediate attention. 

Example: A quick mention of a sponsor before the episode starts.

"This podcast is brought to you by XYZ company, delivering meals to your door overnight. Use code 'PODCAST15' to get $15 off your first order."

Mid-roll ads

These play during natural breaks in the middle of an episode, usually 30-60 seconds long. These ads can be more detailed, taking advantage of the listener's engagement. 

Example: A one-minute narrative about a product during a natural break in the episode.

"... and speaking of environmentalism, we're taking a quick break to tell you about EcoClean, the revolutionary new home cleaning solution. Imagine being able to deep clean your home without harsh chemicals. That's what EcoClean offers. 

Just last week, I managed to remove tough stains from my carpet using EcoClean, and it was effortless. And for our listeners, there's a special offer. Visit EcoCleanSolutions.com and use the code 'GreenPod' for a 20% discount. Don't miss out on this eco-friendly opportunity!"

Post-roll ads

These come at the end. They're less intrusive but can be effective for listeners who stick around. Post-roll ads can repeat key messages to drive conversions.

Example: A brief thank you to a sponsor with a call-to-action as the episode wraps up.

"As we wrap up today’s episode, we want to thank our sponsor, BookEnds. If you're a book lover like us, consider checking out BookEnds' subscription service. 

Visit BookEndsClub.com and remember to mention 'LitConvo' for an exclusive offer. Thanks for listening and see you next time!"

Host announcements

These are live endorsements read by the host, adding a trust factor to the ad. A Nielsen study actually found that host-read ads outperformed those done by non-hosts.

Example: The host sharing a personal story related to the sponsor. 

"Before we dive into today's topic, I want to share something personal. Recently, I've been using ZenFit, a fitness app, and it's honestly changed my approach to wellness. A month in, and I feel more energetic and focused. 

If you're looking to start a fitness journey, I can't recommend ZenFit enough. Check them out at ZenFitApp.com. Now, let’s get back to our show."

Branded segments

This integrates the sponsor's content into the podcast, like a mini-show within a show. 

Example: A five-minute interview with an expert from the sponsoring company.

"Now, we’re excited to bring you a special segment sponsored by TechTrends. We have Sarah from TechTrends here to share insights on the latest in smart home technology.” 

[Proceed with a 5-minute interview on Sarah's expertise. Highlight TechTrends' innovative smart home products].

“Presenting” sponsorships 

Have you ever listened to a show that was "brought to you by" a specific mattress company for an entire season? This format offers one or more advertisers the exclusivity of all ad units in a show for a set duration. 

Example: The sponsor gets prominent mention as the main supporter of the podcast. 

"Welcome to Global Talks Podcast presented by Journey Coffee. Journey Coffee has been instrumental in bringing you today's episode. They're leaders in sustainable coffee sourcing and roasting, and we're proud to have them as our main supporter. 

Check out JourneyCoffeeCo.com to learn more about their commitment to eco-friendly coffee production. Now, let's jump into our episode."

How To Place Podcast Ads in Your Show

Once you've secured advertisers for your podcast, you need to seamlessly insert those ads into episodes. 

Podcast ads can be as diverse as podcasts themselves. They range from simple mentions to detailed discussions about a product or service. The key is to integrate them seamlessly into your content so they don't take away from the listener’s experience.

There are two ways to approach this - baked-in or dynamically inserted.

Baked-In Ads

You can pre-record ads and physically edit them into each episode file as you produce it. This gives you full control creatively but is time consuming.

Dynamically Inserted Ads

These ads pop in when someone downloads or streams an episode, so you can match the ad to what you know about the listener. A listener in New York might hear an ad for a local event, while a listener in Los Angeles hears about a different local promotion. 

Just upload clean episode files, then ad technology inserts ads when each one is downloaded. 

The challenge is these ads feel less personal. To make them sound less out-of-place, make sure the ads are of top-notch quality and actually make sense for your podcast's crowd.

Choosing the right podcast ad placement method depends on your goals and resources as a host. Many creators use a mix of both approaches.

How to Get Podcast Ads for Your Show

Once your podcast grows an engaged audience, there are several avenues to explore for generating ad revenue:

  • Google Ad Manager - Great for beginners. Uses programmatic ads served based on your podcast content and audience demographics.
  • Advertising Agencies - Many agencies represent brands who want to advertise on podcasts. They connect shows with relevant sponsors.
  • Direct Sponsorships - Reach out to brands you think align well with your podcast to pitch collaborations directly.
  • Affiliate Marketing - Promote products you love in exchange for commissions on any sales driven.

Hot tip: Growing an engaged audience makes it easier to get podcast ads for your show. Consider using Deciphr AI to expand your reach, making your podcast a prime choice for advertisers.

How To Measure the Effectiveness of Podcast Ads

Unlike traditional media, you can track measurable data to optimize your podcast ad performance:

  • Unique download numbers to see reach
  • Who's listening - location, platform, etc
  • When listeners drop off from episodes
  • Clickthrough rates on special landing pages
  • Promo code usage for purchases/trials
  • Surveys with listeners to get feedback

Conclusion

Blog conclusion


The world of podcast ads offers unique opportunities to monetize.

Focus on providing value, building trust, and growing an engaged audience. When you have those elements in place, you can offer advertisers access to a highly targeted market ready to hear what you recommend.

At the end of the day, it circles back to having an engaged audience. It’s what helps you earn, and it’s what makes your podcast appealing to advertisers.

Tip: You can use Deciphr AI to get one-click marketing content that grows listenership.

Get out there, start growing an engaged audience and let podcast advertising be part of the show.