What is Podcast Advertising and Why Is It Growing?

What is Podcast Advertising and Why Is It Growing?

Listening to podcasts is an excellent pastime for people to do at the gym, in their cars on the way to work, at lunchtime, or even when they first wake up in the morning to get their day started. With millions upon millions of podcast episodes available, podcast advertising has become a way for people to endorse their brands and be heard worldwide.

Podcast advertising grew by over 50% in just this last year alone and is projected to go even higher this year, exceeding its value. It is by far one of the highest return on investments (ROI) within the digital ad industry and continues to grow.

Because of this, marketers and companies have been looking into how they can utilize podcast advertising in their product or service strategy campaigns for brand awareness. They can easily target placements in podcasts that will appeal to their exact demographic.


A podcast advertisement is when you (or typically, the host of a podcast) will advertise a brand or company in a short, thirty to sixty-second sound bite audio ad. The advertisement usually occurs during the beginning of the podcast or sometimes right in the middle of the podcast (kind of like a set break).

The advertisement usually provides listeners with short and in-depth information about a service or product, sometimes tied to a raving review about the product/service. The host can insert their own experience with the service or product and provide listeners with things like discounts or codes to use when purchasing.

Typically the ads are placed in the Pre-roll (before), Mid-roll (middle), or Post-roll (end) slots of the podcast. Regardless of the ad’s position, there was a study done by IAB that showed inserted ads accounted for over 48% in the last year, which is up from just over 41% in 2017.


This is a relatively new format in advertising. It allows for marketers to speak directly to their prospective consumers in an intimate, one-on-one setting. Laying on specific metrics or targeting tactics such as specific locations, age, and gender, you can work to refine the audience you want to reach. Then you can customize or tailor the advertisement based on user interests, hobbies, and more, which can appeal on a larger scale.

Podcasts are growing in consumption for those 18 and up as an audio source in their cars. Podcasts reach millions of people daily and weekly. Having the ability to listen to something while taking on another task simultaneously actively is convenient - multitasking.

Podcast advertising revenues are also expected to grow as the industry has discovered this newfound way of advertising. Marketers have found a way to spend a little bit of money to reach potentials in the millions.


Utilizing your product or service to advertise in podcasts is typically why many people start a podcast, to begin with. A person has a service or product that can be valuable to others - it could be knowledge or an actual tangible product; it doesn’t matter what, exactly. Podcasts have become a wonderfully easy way to get the word out about this “thing” and entice others to find value in it as well.

Leveraging podcast advertising can help business revenues to grow drastically. With direct response ads, you can also track the results of campaigns. Using promo codes with a specific URL link is how typical advertisements are launched. It is an easy way to see who uses that specific link and/or promo code to purchase and makes tracking much easier.

Marketers should pay attention to podcast trends, including how to advertise because there are multiple ways for listeners to tune into podcasts. Applying metrics to stream podcasts on other platforms, such as YouTube, and utilizing those metrics in shortening a YouTube URL can help monetize the podcast and broaden your reach with the advertisements.


There are a couple of important elements you should be sure to include when developing your podcast advertisement for a host:

  • the creation of something that is engaging to peak interest, and
  • a cost-effective marketing strategy that will assist in building your audience.

You don’t want it to be more than a 60-second blurb because this is just an ad, but it has to pack a punch - in other words, it should have meaning and be relatable so that it can spark listeners to try out your product/service, or at the very least visit your URL or website to see what it’s all about.

Your marketing strategy is also important, which is where tracking and metrics also come in. If you cannot track whether or not you’re pulling in more people through the podcast advertisement, you will not know if this investment is worth the risk.

Podcasters, even those new to podcasting, can also leverage their podcasts to get more ROI by locating services or products in their key demographic. Those podcasters who are interested in giving their own reviews can add a great engagement tool for listeners. Since the podcast host they love is raving about this product or service, it’s more likely that the listeners will also scope it out to consume.

One last thing to remember is to listen to your podcast ad once it is created. Ensure that you are thrilled with the result before committing and that nothing sounds out of place or too sales-like sounding. Make it clear that the product or service you offer adds a great value for the customer rather than just a sales pitch.

You can always go back to re-record and fix problem areas within the advertisement with the host if you’re not satisfied. Don’t think that just because it has been created that it is set in stone.

Podcasts have become a vast growing category for digital audio, and the convenience of advertising this way is also increasing. Marketers have recognized the value in reaching out to customers who are tuning into podcasts to engage their minds and this sort of mindset is exactly what will help leverage and grow your own brand when utilized.

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