A black podcast microphone.

Podcast Advertising 101

While podcasts as a medium have been around for about twenty years or so, the past five years have really seen podcasts come into their own.  More and more Americans are regularly tuning into podcasts, and they’re not just flipping through like channels on the radio. Podcast listeners seek out quality content on specific topics.  They listen to them in full and engage with it. This type of audience presents a unique opportunity for advertisers. If you are considering getting into podcast advertising but are not quite sure where to start, read on to learn the basics of podcast advertising.

Who Listens to Podcasts?

Lots of people listen to podcasts!  In fact, a recent study by Edison Research found that roughly 67 million Americans ages 12 and older listen to podcasts on a monthly basis.  Compare that to the average American, these listeners are more likely to be full-time employees, hold a four-year degree, hold an advanced degree, and make more than $75,00 a year.  That makes for a pretty valuable target audience. As listeners, they are far from passive. They have sought out a podcast and tend to actively listen to it.

Because they invest in their listening, 85% of listeners listen to all or most of a podcast.  Recent data from Apple shows that the average completion rate of a podcast is 90%. So if you place an advertisement within one, you can feel confident that listeners will hear it in its entirety. As a matter of fact, listeners often hear out advertisements even when they are at the end of an episode.  Podcast listeners understand that the money has to come from somewhere. Advertising dollars are necessary in order to keep a podcast free.

How To Place a Podcast Ad

There are two main factors to consider in placing a podcast ad: target audience and ad timing within the podcast.

Target Audience

Consider whether your ad campaign should target a broad, general audience or a more specific audience.  A product of a broad appeal should be advertised through more generic podcasts. Products that are only of interest to a specific group should seek out a podcast content leader in what’s known as a podcast content vertical–groups of podcasts surrounding specific topics such as technology, business, marketing, security/defense, and law.  Content leaders tend to have tens or hundreds of thousands of listeners per episode and are highly regarded in their field. Advertising placement on these podcasts piggybacks on the credibility of the host.


Another critical factor in podcast advertising is where in the segment to place your ad: mid-roll, pre-roll, or post-roll.  If you plan on short, simple ads or ads designed to increase overall brand awareness, pre- and post-roll ads are the most effective.  If your campaign requires longer ads, especially those with a direct call-to-action for listeners, consider mid-roll placement. Direct response campaigns provide listeners with a code or special URL that provides them with a discount.  Wherever your ads are placed in the segment, plan to run the ad campaign for at least five episodes. Listeners need to hear about your product over a period of time for maximum effectiveness.

Podcast advertising can be an effective way to reach an engaged, interested audience and inform them about your product.  The marketing specialists at Web Content Development are ready to put together a specialized podcast campaign for you today.  Give us a call!

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About the Author

Erica D’Arcangelo – De Silva

Erica D’Arcangelo – De Silva has worked in the Internet marketing industry for the last 20-years. Erica is the top-secret SEO weapon to marketing and advertising agencies in the world. She has generated over 300+ million in revenue for high-value brands such as Walmart, Pottery Barn, iRobot, Cutting Edge Firewood, Kelley Blue Book, and many more. Erica has custom-created more than 1,000 content, SEO, and marketing strategies which held the key to doubling and tripling online traffic, and marketing ROI. She has also authored a series of online publications including The Digital Branding Survival Guide, Million Dollar Marketing, 5 Steps to Increase Web Traffic by Blogging, and Repairing Your Online Reputation.