Why Podcast Advertising Rates Vary and What to Expect

podcast advertising rates - Podbean

Many businesses are incorporating podcast ads into their marketing budgets and using the new medium. If you’re a media buyer or run advertising for your business, you know that buying ad slots is not a cheap venture. 

Fortunately, podcast ads tend to be more cost-effective than traditional advertising mediums like radio and TV. Like any ad slot, podcasts advertising rates can vary and, if you’re new to the medium, it can be tricky at first. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. 

Here at Podbean, we work with podcasters and advertisers worldwide. We’ve compiled a list of five factors affecting podcast advertising rates to help you know what to expect when you start running podcast ads

1. Podcast popularity: Our top factor affecting podcast advertising rates

First and foremost, your rate will heavily depend on your niche and the podcaster you choose to work with. Similar to radio and TV ads, higher listener numbers translate to higher ad costs. 

Podcasters with large listenerships typically have more expensive ad slots than shows with smaller audiences. For example, buying ad slots on channels airing the Super Bowl is much more costly than a slot on a Monday at 3 am. 

Podcast popularity often dictates the cost. Why? Large shows can afford to charge more since advertisers are willing to pay for the ears of their target audience. 

2. Types of podcast ads you run

Another factor affecting podcast advertising rates is the types of ads you choose to run. Unlike radio or TV ads, the podcasting medium offers the potential for various ad types. 

Dynamic vs “Baked-in” ads

Podcast ads take on one of two forms, dynamic or baked-in

A baked-in ad is a traditional way of podcast advertising. These advertisements are embedded or “baked” into the podcaster’s script, so even if you listen to the same episode months later in a different geographic region, it will still be in the same spot. 

Baked-in ads typically provide more value for the sponsor as they can never be replaced. As such, requesting this type of ad will probably cost more. 

Dynamic ads, however, are recorded separately from the podcast and can be placed anywhere during the show. Most podcasters prefer dynamic ads as they allow them to run more ads on their shows from various companies without altering their episode script.

Dynamically-inserted ads help podcasters and advertisers target ads for clients in specific geographical locations. This can be helpful if your company spans more than one region and has separate ads for each. Podbean Ads Marketplace runs dynamic ads which can target multiple locations simultaneously.  

3. Host-Read ads vs Announcer read ads 

You can produce your own ads with a voice actor or have the host read your ad script. If you opt for host-read ads, prepare to pay more. Like baked-in ads, these require more effort from the podcaster so the podcast advertising rate will be higher. 

Important Note: most baked-in ads are host-read, but not all host-read ads are baked-in. Podcasters can create separate recordings that can be dynamically inserted anywhere in the podcast but sound baked-in. 

Both host-read and announcer ads are effective. The 2019 Podcast Consumer survey revealed that 54% of monthly listeners said they would be more likely to purchase a product if they heard it advertised on a podcast. 

Many businesses prefer host-read ads since they use influencer marketing and the ad becomes like a recommendation instead of a sponsored advertisement. If your product or service doesn’t involve too much technical jargon and you trust the host to deliver the information and give their personal experience with your product or service, host-read might be the way to go. 

4. Ad placement 

Ad placement, or where the ad runs during the podcast episode, is another key factor for determining the advertising rates on podcasts. Ads can be: 

  • Pre-roll. These ads play before the podcast begins. Here, listeners are settling in and are excited for what’s to come in the episode. These are commonly 15 to 30 seconds and can fall anywhere between $15 to $20 each. 
  • Mid-roll. These are the most costly since they run during the main podcast content. Viewers are the most engaged at this point therefore, podcasters typically will charge the most for these ad slots. On average, these cost $25 to $30 or more, depending on the podcast.   
  • Post-roll. These are typically 30 seconds to a minute and run after the main podcast content or right at the tail end of the episode. Post-roll ads are typically cheapest to buy averaging at $10 since some listeners tend to drop off around this time. However, advertising towards the end still carries value.  

5. Payment model

Your podcast ad rate will vary depending on your chosen payment model. The payment model will have to be agreed upon in a contract between the podcaster and you as the advertiser. Here are the common models: 

  • CPM (Cost Per Mille). This is the most common payment model in the industry today; most standard podcast advertising rates are in CPM. Advertisers pay for every thousand downloads or listens of an episode. 

For example, if a podcaster with 100,000 downloads on an episode charges $25 CPM for a mid-roll ad, you would pay $2,500 for the slot. 

  • Value-based. This model will involve a set rate for a specific number of ads or ad slots. This can be more flexible as some podcasters have bundles.  
  • Affiliate or Cost per click. This is where you only pay a commission for every purchase made using a link you give them. This works best when paired with host-read ads and personalized promotions of the product. 

How do I start podcast advertising? 

If you’re a media buyer interested in podcast advertising but don’t know where to start, here’s how: 

Pitch to a podcaster

Yep, that’s right! The classic business pitch still applies in the age of podcasting. Find a podcaster who suits your niche and reach out to them. Many podcasters are honored to have sponsors reach out to them directly. 

Keep in mind that some podcasters may prefer to be approached through a network. 

Join a podcast network or marketplace

Networks and platforms like Podbean Ads Marketplace make it easier to match with the right audiences for your brand. Once you submit your business and campaign profile, Podbean will match you with podcasts within your niche. 

You can choose from the hundreds of suggestions or select which podcasts you want to run ads on for customizable targeted ads. 

Is advertising on a podcast worth it? 

Yes, most advertisers would say that running podcast ads is worth it. Depending on your slot and format, they can be pricey, but the advertising rates podcast hosts charge are usually cheaper than traditional radio or TV ad rates. Also, targeted ads help cut marketing (research) costs. 

Think about it, radio or TV ads get shown to a wide audience and the return on investment isn’t as guaranteed. With podcast ads you can target your audience and even have an influencer in the niche promoting your product or service. 

Advertise with the top ads marketplace in the industry.  

Wanting to lower advertising and marketing costs and have a higher return on investment? Try running podcast ads. Podbean Ads Marketplace helps hundreds of businesses worldwide to boost brand awareness and affinity through podcast advertising. advertising

Sign up today and join our marketplace to start harnessing the power of podcasts. 

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