Podcast Advertising

man wearing headphones

Podcasts are continuing to grow in popularity with more and more active subscribers and listeners. According to MarketingProfs, nearly 30% of Americans now listen to at least one podcast on a regular basis, and more than 70 million people actively look for engaging podcast content.1 Podcast advertising presents some unique opportunities for your brand to reach targeted audiences and position your company as an industry leader.

To better understand the opportunities podcast advertising holds, let’s take a look at some of the key points driving podcasting growth. First, podcasts are convenient for listeners. People can tune in to podcasts while they work, travel or exercise. Podcasts are another form of mobile-friendly content that is easily accessible by listeners’ mobile devices. Secondly, most podcasts are centered around a niche or specialized topic. Audio listeners like the fact that they can quickly tune into content that is highly relevant to them.

The Unique Opportunities of Podcast Advertising

With many podcasts revolving around niche topics, there is a unique opportunity for brands to leverage podcasts to reach their core audience. Podcast hosts are generally subject matter experts sharing tips, insights, experiences and helpful advice to subscribers who have a high level of interest in that specific subject matter. Whether it’s bowhunting, growing forage crops, or DIY home improvement projects, if a listener is tuning in to a podcast about the subject, you know they have a high level of interest.

The podcast advertising concept is similar to that of Influencer Marketing. The goal is to explore these niche topic areas and uncover active audiences that are already in place consisting of the target audience for your brand’s products or services. With around 700,000 podcasts currently airing,2 there are likely several podcasts in place with audiences that are very similar to your target audience. This can provide you a new way to reach and activate new, highly-targeted customers.

Another reason there is a unique opportunity now with podcast advertising is that podcasting is still fairly young, and expected to continue to grow substantially over the next several years. According to Marketing Dive, the 70 million American podcast listener audience is projected to grow 81% by 2022.4

In addition, podcast advertising generated $402 million in revenue in 2018, and revenues are expected to reach over $650 million in 2020.4 So with fairly low advertising competition now, compared to the expected growth, now could be a great time to leverage podcast advertising to differentiate your brand.

Along with podcast growth and low advertising competition, another reason to consider podcast advertising is that it resonates very well with listeners and produces great results. Here are a few podcast advertising stats to consider:

  • 78% of listeners approve of podcast advertising,
  • 67% of listeners could recall products and brands featured in podcast ads, and
  • 61% of listeners paid for a product or service they learned about on podcasts.4

How to Advertise on Podcasts

Podcast advertising can be very effective, but buying podcast media can be a challenge to navigate. Just like purchasing any other kind of digital media, there are several ways to go about it and the best approach can vary based on your goals, your product or services, your audience, your budget and other factors.

The average podcast has three advertising slots. The first is called pre-roll which is the first 15 to 30 seconds of a podcast episode. Mid-roll ads are typically 60 to 90 second ads that run about halfway through a podcast. Last, post-roll ads are usually around 15 to 30 seconds at the end of a show.

Just like any kind of digital media, pricing will vary based on a variety of factors including audience size and downloads, and if you’re buying podcast ads as part of a package with email newsletter, social media or other digital components. Pre-roll and post-roll ads average around $18 per 1,000 CPM. Mid-roll ads are a little higher because they are typically longer in length and listeners are typically very engaged in the middle of an episode. Mid-roll ads average around $25 per 1,000 CPM.3

To purchase podcast media or sponsorships, you can go through podcast advertising networks or purchase it individually. A good place to start is to visit a podcast directory like iTunes or Podnova and see what podcasts are out there that would be a good fit for your brand based on their subject matter. If a podcast you would like to advertise on is part of a podcast advertising network, then you should be able to purchase through that network, as long as there is space available. However, some podcasts may not be affiliated with a network. This can be the case for some of the really niche subject podcasts. To advertise on these, there will be a little more legwork required, as you will have to contact the podcast host or owner directly to see what options are available.

The best performing podcast ads are typically host-read ads. Since podcasts often revolve around specific topic areas with the hosts being subject matter experts, their endorsement of your product or service provides a value similar to the concept of earned Public Relations for your brand. If you’re utilizing host-read podcast ads, it’s a good idea to have talking points outlined to provide to the host, so you can be sure they will cover the points you’d like to be made. However, there’s a fine line here because you want the ad to sound as authentic and unscripted as possible, to provide the most value.

Another way to maximize your investment in podcast advertising is to create a promotional offer and a unique landing page with a vanity URL and incorporate it into your ad. This provides listeners an incentive to immediately go to your website to take advantage of the offer. It also helps you measure the impact and results from your podcast ads.

Podcast advertising could be just what your brand needs to take it to the next level. Now is a great time to get out ahead of the curve and connect with new customers, differentiate your brand and position your company as a leader in your industry.

1 Why Podcasts? Why Now? How to Leverage the Power of Podcasts for Your Brand – Marketing Profs
2 10 Reasons Why You Need to Add Podcasts to Your Content Strategy – SEJ
3 Podcast Advertising 101: 4 Tips to Get You Started – WordStream
4 Is podcast advertising effective? – Marketing Dive