Podcast Advertising – How It Works In 2019

Mack Weldon, a company that specializes in men’s socks, underwear, and shirts, spends 25% of their monthly ad budget on podcast advertising.  Why?

Because they doubled their sales with a singular ad on the comedy podcast Comedy, Bang! Bang!  

That’s right.  Doubled.

The ad itself is a live read during one of their shows, and featured Collin Willardson (Mack Weldon’s marketing manager) playing as an underwear model while comedian Paul F. Tompkins pretended to be a Mack Weldon executive and poked fun and teased him.  The live read is over seven minutes long, but despite its length, it sent listeners in droves to the Mack Weldon website.

So now a quarter of their monthly budget goes to podcast advertising.  They still use visual ads, of course, but there’s an added facet that drives them to continue to use it – including the lack of competition for attention during the ad slot itself.

“We paid for native and display ads on online publications before, but we found that readers could easily get distracted by 48 things on the homepage,” says Willardson.

But monetization has more effects than just hyping up the person who is sponsoring you.  Take a look at the popular sci-fi radio-drama podcast Wolf 359.  At its height, it was pulling in $3,500 a month (enough to pay its voice-acting crew and pay for the studio space), but by monetizing their podcast they were also able to grow as a people beyond their podcast.  “I’ve gotten some of my best paid voiceover gigs because someone knew my name,” says Zach Valenti, one of the main voice actors for the show.  Even Welcome to Night Vale, one of the longest-running sci-fi podcasts, started as three guys recording with Audacity in someone’s apartment and grew to a show that tours internationally through the power of podcast advertising and monetization.

There are millions of reasons to monetize your podcast, but that should never be the question.  Your question should be, “What can I do to make sure my advertising is as beneficial as possible?”

At A Glance

In its current state, podcast advertising is a market that can only grow.  According to a study done by WARC data, spending is expected to increase to 1.6 billion dollars by 2022 if it keeps track with its yearly 4.5% growth from 2018 to 2019.  Compared to 2017-2018’s growth of a mere 1.9%, it’s clear that it is profitable enough to have advertisers and sponsors make more room for it in their budget.

Podcast advertising adspend and share of audio, US millions, current prices

(source)

But what are the listener’s opinions?  1 out of 3 people listen to podcasts worldwide, with varying degrees of the same stat across generational lines.  And most listeners have stated that they’ve taken some form of action after hearing podcast advertising, from purchasing or investigating a product to reaching and following a brand on social media.  The podcast as a medium is changing how people consume and interact with content, and that extends out to how they consume and interact with the advertising.

As stated before, it should never be a question as to why you should consider this – monetization is its own reward, after all – but what is the best way to do it?  It is, after all, another level of responsibility beyond just producing your podcast, and you’d hate to put in a whole lot of work just to find out that there might’ve been a different path to take.

Thankfully, that’s where this article comes in.

Finding an advertiser

One of the first steps to advertising is to find someone to advertise on your podcast.  There are two main routes to go for when it comes to podcast advertising: you can either find a sponsor on your own, or you can have your hosting website help you find advertising.

The one that’s easiest for newcomers would be to have your host site help you find the advertising.  Hosting sites like Podbean offer something akin to an ads marketplace, where you can opt in to the service and have the ads inserted at points in your audio preselected by you.  There is a cost, but it’s usually just a cut of the generated ad revenue, so at no point will you be in the negative for running podcast advertising.

The next option would be to search for sponsors on your own.  This is generally more intensive than joining ad marketplaces through your podcast hosting site, but it allows you more freedom in how you want to run your ads.  The best way to go about this is to take a look at podcasts that discuss the same topics you do and see who’s advertising with them. Chances are, they’d be ready and willing to sponsor your show as well.  

With your own sponsor, you’ll have to figure out how you’d like to insert your ads.  You can either read them organically during your recording of your audio, or you can dynamically insert them after the recording.  Dynamic insertion is discussed later in the article.

How does podcast advertising work?

Podcast advertising can run in three different spots in your content: preroll (before your audio plays), postroll (after your audio plays), and midroll (a set point during your content).

Preroll and postroll audio sort of run the same route, and tend to run 15-30 seconds on average.  Midroll ads, on the other hand, run 30-90 seconds on average, and have the added benefit of letting control how the ad flows in your content.  Not to imply that you can’t control the flow of your preroll or postroll ads, or that the flow is automatically there if you choose to to insert your ads at the midroll point, but there are unique opportunities that make the midroll ad a more desirable slot for advertisers and sponsors.

In fact, that spot is so desirable that the industry standard pay for a midroll slot is about $25-$50 per CPM, while the standard industry pay for preroll and postroll ads runs about $18-$25.  Not solely because it’s longer, but because it has the chance to be more smoothly inserted in your content to explain its story and invite a call-to-action that’s less rushed than the preroll and postroll slots.  

Quick sidenote: what’s CPM?  CPM is basically advertising slang for 1000 downloads or impressions.  So when a sponsor offers a 40-second midroll slot for $35 per CPM, that’s $35 paid to you for every 1000 downloads or plays of the content that the ad plays in.  So if your podcast episode gets a solid 2000 plays and has just the one ad, that’s $70 for that ad for that episode.

This could also include if your content is downloaded and only partially played through.  Studies show that the majority of people finish a podcast episode they start, so it might not be something to worry about, but if for any reason they episode only partially plays it still counts towards that CPM.  

How to manage your ad campaign and insert your ads

Your advertisers will pay for campaigns that run a specific length – say, for eight episodes, or for all the episodes of a two-month period.  There are different ways to insert your ads, but the two main ways to do it would either be dynamic insertion or host-read.

Host-read advertising is recorded inside the content at the same time as the podcast.  It’s incorporated into the script to match the same tone and flow as the episode, and works in the same way as Mack Weldon’s ad in Comedy, Bang! Bang!  The downfall is that the content is permanently part of the content, and can’t be switched out or removed as the episode ages.  This could lead to confusion with listeners over deals, promos, or discount codes offered.

Dynamically-inserted ads can be read/recorded by the host, but they differ in that you can insert them after they’ve already been uploaded to your host website.  You preset specific times for the ads to be inserted, or even insert the ads as you upload the episode. This allows you to change the ads as the episode ages, or even monetize your back episodes.  This option works best for those who have their own sponsors found outside of the ad marketplaces within hosting sites, or for podcast networks that wish to cross-promote across multiple channels.

There is also a chance that your chosen hosting site might charge a fee for dynamically inserting the ads, but they’re usually minimal and take from the money per CPM the ad is paying.  (Podbean, for example, only asks for $1 per CPM for the dynamic ad insertion.)

Preparing your podcast for ads

Even if you don’t plan on monetizing your podcast tomorrow, it bodes well to plan on doing it at some point in the future.  Not only does it give you the chance to practice how you want to prepare for your episodes, it gives you the option to monetize your back episodes.  You will already have done the footwork of making sure there’s a specific spot to insert the ad, so when the time comes all you have to do is opt it in for dynamic insertion, or manually insert the ad.

The best way to prepare your podcast for advertising is to keep in mind where the natural breaks of your content lie, and to make sure you’re not cutting your content in a way to make it sound disjointed upon playback with the podcast ads.  By giving yourself that clear break, and making sure it’s clean and doesn’t cut off any speech in your audio, you make that episode a good candidate for monetization in the future.

Ten years ago, five years ago, even one year ago, podcast advertising was a mere shadow of what it is now.  It’s ever-growing, ever-increasing in leaps and bounds. Willardson of Mack Weldon even said that this 25% they now spend each month on podcast advertising is 100 times what they spent this time last year.  It’s changing the way people think of advertising and marketing, and how they tell the story behind their services and products. And it can change the way you think about your podcast.

With podcast advertising and monetization, you can turn your podcast into something that supports itself and in time, supports you – in more ways than one.  

Podbean Launches PodAds — The SaaS for Podcast Advertising

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Podbean makes dynamic ad insertion and an advanced advertising management system available to podcasters without cutting ads revenue

NEW YORK, NY (MAY 30, 2019) – Podbean, one of the leading podcast hosting sites, is excited to unveil PodAds, their new SaaS (Software as a Service) for podcast advertising. PodAds simplifies advertising management. Podcasters simply set the start and end date for their ad campaigns, select ad placements (setting which podcasts, episodes, slots and timestamps for ads to run), and upload their ads. PodAds will take care of the rest, saving podcasters time and increasing earning potential. PodAds can even be used to run geo-targeted ads.

PodAds disrupts the traditional podcast advertising service model by offering podcast advertising technology as a Software as a Service (SaaS). Instead of taking a cut of ad revenue, Podbean provides an advanced podcast advertising platform with a flat service fee for use. Podbean will only charge a flat $1 CPM rate for the use of the service, with no setup fees.  Podcasters simply pay as they go, letting them focus on creating great content while PodAds helps automate their ad campaigns.

PodAds is available to Podbean Unlimited Plus and Business plan users immediately, and Podbean plans to expand services to more podcasts in the future. It will be a boon for any podcasters in search of a way to step up their advertising.  To learn more about how the PodAds system works, check out the how-to guide.

Watch the video “how to create a dynamic ad insertion podcast advertising campaign in PodAds“.

Upgraded Podcast Matching System for Podcast Advertising Marketplace

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Podbean’s podcast advertising marketplace has been given an upgrade to better meet the needs of advertisers and help podcasts bring in more revenue. Advertisers now have increased targeting options and a better review process for starting campaigns.

About Podbean’s Ads Marketplace

Podbean’s Ads Marketplace is a programmatic ads marketplace, where advertisers of all sizes can reach their ideal audience with the power of podcast advertising. By matching advertisers to listeners over a range of podcasts, Podbean’s Ads Marketplace makes podcast advertising more efficient and opens revenue opportunities to smaller podcasts. Podbean’s Ads Marketplace also allows advertisers to target appropriate listeners by geography, thus making podcast advertising more effective for regional and even local businesses.

The Simple Steps to Set Up a Podcast Advertising Campaign

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Podbean’s Ads Marketplace takes all the hassle and wasted time out of the podcast advertising process. Advertisers can have a campaign ready in minutes, and running within a day or two. Here are the simple steps with the recent upgrades:

1. Fill in the basic information for the campaign. Here, the advertiser can target their ideal listeners by setting preferred podcast categories, targeted geographies (down to the city level), and keywords (newly added, input 3-10 keywords). Advertisers can set a daily budget cap, CPM (cost per mille, i.e. advertising rate), and campaign start and end date (end date is optional, newly added in this upgrade; campaigns can also be paused or stopped at any time).

2. Next, the advertiser will select the podcasts for their campaign. Podcasts that best match to the keywords, category, and geo will be listed on the top and marked as “Recommended”. The list may contain additional podcasts for them to review and invite as well.

3. The advertiser then clicks on “Save and Continue” and the campaign will be created. They will need to authorize their payment method. After authorizing, the campaign will be “under review” by the Podbean team. Typically, your campaign will be up and running within 24 hours.

Advertisers can “manage campaigns” to add more podcasts, pause/stop the campaign, and view the detailed results of ad impressions served.

Learn more about Ads Marketplace and start running a campaign.

How Can Podcast Advertising Help Small, Local Businesses?

Podcast Advertising Help Small, Local Businesses

Local media can play an important role in promoting small, local businesses. It can be a great way to target a narrow market with relevant messages. Many small businesses put advertising dollars toward local radio and newspapers. They may try billboards, flyers, local community boards or websites.

Small business owners need to be smart about their marketing and advertising efforts. Typically, they’ll be looking for effective, low-cost solutions but it can be hard to find that perfect combination. Sometimes local media exceeds the budget of a new or growing business. And, many businesses are finding that what’s worked in the past is no longer so effective. In recent years, many have turned to online advertising that allows targeting and provides delivery analytics. Another benefit is the simplicity and ease of getting campaigns running quickly.

Few local business owners will have considered podcast advertising. But now, some platforms are offering programmatic podcast advertising that targets only listeners in certain areas. So, podcasts can be a new form of local media for your small business to tap into. Fortunately, podcast advertising also has the potential to deliver more for less cost too. A small company can “sound big” without spending a lot. It’s a lot like what websites have done for small businesses in leveling the playing field.

Your Potential Customers Are Listening to Podcasts

According to a report from Edison Research, 21 percent of Americans (age 12+) will have listened to a podcast in the last month. To put that into perspective, that’s the same number of Americans who use Twitter and 8% more than use Spotify.

Podcasts tend to have affluent, educated audiences. 85% of podcast listeners have a college education and 36% make more than $75K/year.

Podcast Advertising Effectiveness

Research shows 62% of podcast listeners report making a purchase as a result of an ad they heard on a podcast. A study on NPR podcasts showed even higher results, with 75% of listeners taking action on a sponsored message. Podcast listeners are highly engaged, with 88% of them subscribing and listening to most or all episodes. Because podcasts are not heavily saturated with ads, listeners have high brand recall (over 70%).

New Technologies Increase Targeting and Ease

Programmatic ad buying now makes the process of purchasing podcast advertising much easier. A small business can buy ads directly, without a lengthy process or large ad budget necessary to work with an agency. The process is similar to setting up Google or Facebook ads (maybe even easier).

And, the technology now supports more targeting. So, for example, you can run ads to be served up only to listeners in your state or metro area. This effectively makes podcast advertising a new form of local media, but available on a smaller budget. For example, one recent campaign run via Podbean’s Ads system resulted in 100,000 targeted impressions for the business for $300.

To learn more about podcast advertising for your local business, read more. You can set up a campaign in minutes and give it a try! You set budget caps, and can modify or stop a campaign any time so it’s low risk with potential for high reward.

Get a high return on investment for your small business: get started with Ads today

The Best Way to Promote Your Podcast

The Best Way to Promote Your Podcast

There are a million ways to promote your podcast. Some are effective, while others might be a waste of time (and money). And, of course, what works is dependent on “where your audience is”. This is why promoting on other podcasts might just be the best way to grow your audience.

Why is podcast cross-promotion one of the most effective podcast marketing strategies?

  • Podcast listeners already know how to listen to podcasts, which removes one big hurdle you may encounter when you promote elsewhere.
  • Listeners love content suggestions. This type of marketing comes across as helpful information and listeners pay attention.
  • You can target listeners who already like similar categories of shows. This solution brings you right to where your potential audience is.
  • They can subscribe/download your show right away. They’re in the midst of listening, so it’s not something they have to remember to do later.

Why use Podbean’s ads marketplace to promote a podcast?

Cross-promotion is effective. A lot of podcasters are already doing it. We see many discussions about it in Facebook groups and hear the promo spots often. However, it takes a lot of time to set this up (networking, contacting podcasters, sending your promo, discussing details..and typically, arranging and running the other podcaster’s promo on your show). With Podbean’s ads marketplace, you can have promo spots running within minutes. Yes, you’ll need to spend some money. But, you’ll save valuable time. You can also reach a broader range of listeners than it might be possible to get via personal connections.

Fortunately, you can set a daily budget cap so you don’t have to spend a lot. You can view your analytics to see just how your ads are delivering. And, you can modify, pause or stop your campaigns at any time.

If you’re spending any money on Facebook ads or other promotions (or considering it), take a look at Podbean’s ads marketplace first. Podcasters tend to get a much higher return on investment (ROI) from these campaigns.

How to Use Podbean’s Ads Marketplace: Three Simple Steps

  • Sign up as an advertiser: https://sponsorship.podbean.com/. If you’re already signed up to receive ads on your podcast, you’ll need to create an account with a different email address.
  • Create your campaign. Provide basic information (contact info, website, description, copy), set your budget and start date. Select categories (and geographies, if desired). Pick ad slots and set pricing. Upload your audio file. Add your payment method.
  • Run and manage your campaign. Once approved, your ads till begin running within 24 hours of your start date. You can review the list of podcasts and remove any of them at any time. Check your campaign’s results as it progresses: see impressions and amount spent. Pause or cancel campaigns whenever you want.

Sign up for ads marketplace today and give it a try! You can set a daily budget cap of as little as $10 (that’s the cap, often the actual spending will be less depending on your specs). Check out our Advertiser FAQs here or contact us if you have questions.

You can also sign up your podcast to receive ad revenue. Learn more here.

Podbean’s Ads Marketplace to Expand Podcast Advertising Opportunities

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Podbean launches programmatic podcast advertising platform

Dover, DE – May 31, 2018 –Podbean has officially launched their supply-side programmatic ads platform. This platform, known as Podbean’s Ads Marketplace, will allow brands and media buyers to easily create podcast advertising campaigns to reach their target audiences. The system then dynamically inserts the ads into the podcast episodes and advertisers can monitor delivery statistics to analyze their campaign’s success.

Podbean’s Ads Marketplace works like AdSense for podcasts. Podcasters can focus on creating amazing content and Podbean’s Ads Marketplace will help them auto-monetize their podcast by inserting matched ads into slots they make available. Podbean’s Ads Marketplace makes running podcast ad campaigns much easier. Advertisers can set an ad budget, select the podcasts matching their geographic and category targets and launch a campaign in minutes.

“We wanted to eliminate the friction involved in the usual podcast advertising process. The idea is to reduce the time and difficulty in matching advertisers to podcasts and running the ads. Not only does this make it easier for brands to run podcast advertising, but it provides opportunities for podcasts of all sizes,” shares David Xu, Podbean CEO.

Advertisers in a wide range of industries are tapping into the power of podcasting. U.S. podcast advertising spending is estimated to reach 256 million U.S. dollars in 2018, up from 133 million in 2015. And, this is only a drop in the bucket when considering the potential. 44% of the US population has listened to a podcast, a number that continues to grow each year. 16 million people in the US are “avid podcast fans”. Podcasts show rapid growth in markets all over the world as well. And, podcast listeners are engaged, educated, affluent and act on the information they hear in podcasts.*

Podbean’s new marketplace aims to help more brands reach that huge potential market. The Podbean’s Ads Marketplace system removes barriers on both the advertiser and podcaster side to expand podcast advertising access.

How it Works

Podbean podcasters opt in to the Podbean’s Ads Marketplace and select their available ad slots. When chosen for a campaign, they’ll be notified and can opt out if desired. Podcasters can join for free.

Potential advertisers can set up an account at https://sponsorship.podbean.com/. It’s a simple three-step process to have a campaign up and running.

*Information from Infinite Dial 18 and Neilson Q1 2018 Podcast Insights

New! Podbean Podcast Advertising Marketplace

Podbean is excited to announce the beta launch of the Podbean Podcast Advertising Marketplace.

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Podbean’s Podcast Advertising Marketplace aims to revolutionize podcast advertising. It offers the easiest way for advertisers and podcasters to connect.

  • It brings opportunities to advertisers to connect with highly effective podcast advertising for engaging ads that reach their target consumers.
  • It brings opportunities to podcasters to get funding to support their creative, hard work.
  • It brings opportunities for individuals (referral agents) to earn ongoing money by referring businesses to the marketplace to advertise.

It is FREE to join the Podbean Podcast Advertising Marketplace. Podbean hosted podcasts automatically have access to the marketplace and will receive notifications when there are ad opportunities for their podcasts. Any podcaster can “join as podcaster” from the advertising page to get verified and start receiving ads opportunities.

Podbean is currently seeking advertisers and referral agents to join the program. Podcasters and advertisers should visit https://sponsorship.podbean.com/to learn more about this exciting opportunity and get started.