Podcast Advertising

As the podcasting industry grows, the benefits of advertising in the still-nascent industry have started to become clearer. Heard of SeatGeek? MailChimp? Casper mattresses? If you have, chances are you’ve heard about them through a podcast, or at least that’s how your friends might recognize them. These advertisers, like many others, have jumped on board to capitalize on the early beginnings of a growing industry. Here’s why:

According to Edison Research’s The Podcast Consumer, podcast consumption grew from 39 million monthly users in 2014 to 57 million in 2016, while awareness of the term “podcasting” grew 6% this past year alone. Despite the clear growth of the industry, in February the Wall Street Journal accurately pointed out “advertisers are still wary about committing serious portions of their marketing budgets toward the medium.” It’s a new industry after all, and people are often cautious about something they don’t understand, and there are certainly aspects of podcast advertising that differentiate it from traditional advertising.

Most podcast listeners are mobile. They listen to their daily or weekly dose of podcasts while getting ready for work in the morning or during their commute. Given the pure audio nature of the medium, there are no opportunities to measure clicks, nor present your product or service with relevant visuals. There are, however, a few main reasons why you would choose to advertise on podcasts.

Lack of Competition

Currently, there are very few advertisers who have capitalized on the new opportunity, so you won’t find much competition. Seven out of eight podcasters don’t even have sponsors, and the other eighth only use a small portion of their total sponsorship slots. For companies who want to branch into podcast advertising, the sooner you can get your feet in the bigger heads start you’ll have.

Relative Cost

Though the standard CPM in the podcast industry can be around $15-$30 for the majority of podcasts, this is incredibly cheap for a personal endorsement of a product or service. Most traditional forms of advertising are pre-produced and plopped wherever there is space—it would cost a fortune to buy a personalized ad that weaves into the content. In podcasts, however, that is the only kind of advertisement. Given the intimate nature of ad reads, this CPM is a very modest price.

Passive Engagement 

On the topic of the personal nature of podcasting, this is perhaps the most compelling reason to advertise your brand through podcasts. It is widely known that the vast majority of audiences pay little attention to traditional online ads—flashing banners across websites (which 99.8% of people ignore) and youtube’s skippable ads have become part of our everyday routine. The rise in ad-blocking software doesn’t help either.

Podcast ads are different. Firstly, given that most listeners are mobile, it is difficult for them to skip over ads to begin with, yet the majority of them don’t want to. They actually enjoy the ads. The act of listening to solely the voice of the podcaster as they recount a story or have an engaging conversation is not only an intimate experience, but it allows audiences to build trust and respect for their podcasters. If the host endorses a product or service genuinely, audiences will pay close attention and feel as though their friend is recommending a brand, rather than some self-interested marketer.

On top of that, when you advertise on podcasts you know exactly who your listeners are. There is truly a podcast for everything. If you’re a company that wants to market a programming platform, there are plenty of podcasts that already have the exact audience you’re looking for. Even though only .25% of Americans work in marketing, if you have a product designed for marketers there are a slew of podcasts that would be perfect to advertise on.


Lastly, podcasters often already have a substantial following: 93% of them are on social media, and many of them have successful businesses with popular websites. This translates to huge benefits for advertisers as they can negotiate with their hosts to endorse them across a multitude of platforms, rather than the traditional ad which appears on one channel on one publication once. As whypodcasts.org points out, “a podcast is so much more than just a podcast.”

If you still need more convincing, head over to whypodcasts.org. They have a beautifully designed website with relevant data that will persuade any lagging party that this is the place to be for advertising.

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