Insights & Trends

Podcast Advertising – Streaming On Demand Audio

December 16, 2022

We are in the midst of planning season, which means we take a hard look at what has worked over the past year, what didn’t, what we recommend continuing with, and where we want to mix things up. Another part of the planning process is evaluating emerging platforms, and identifying which ones are worth a test for the upcoming year. While not new, podcast advertising is definitely worth a closer look – errm listen- for many brands.

Podcast advertising offers brands a dynamic opportunity to provide full funnel support for their products and services. The host helps build awareness as listeners are introduced to a new product or brand. The host’s recommendations, and built-in trust, lead many listeners to the consideration phase. Finally, many podcasts utilize promotional codes and offers which can be tracked to easily measure the return on your investment.

There are five key advertising advantages to podcast advertising:

1. Scale with access to a wide range of audiences

2. Opportunity to align with niche content to find ideal consumers

3. Devoted, attentive listenership

4. Credible hosts + loyal followership = Trust

5. Ability to provide full funnel support from awareness building to consideration and conversion

Podcasts are available for just about every topic and market that you can possibly think of. While this can sometimes be overwhelming as a listener, as a potential advertiser it means that odds are you will be able to find multiple shows that align with your brand, products, and customer personas. The specialized nature of podcasts is comparable to blogs, except instead of reading, consumers are listening. The niche content helps to ensure that the listeners are really engaged, whether that means learning more about a topic they are interested in or entertained by a specific genre.

Over half of listeners say they have acted on host-read ads they heard during a podcast, either by researching a product or service, connecting with a brand on social media, discussing a product with a friend, or making a purchase. And 49% believe podcast hosts actually use the products and services recommended, giving further credence to the trusting relationships that podcast hosts develop with their listeners.


This sets podcasts in the unique situation of providing full funnel support for a brand. The host helps build awareness as listeners are introduced to a new product or brand. The host’s recommendations, and built-in trust, lead many listeners to the consideration phase. Finally, many podcasts utilize promotional codes and offers which can be tracked to easily measure the return on advertisers’ investments

So, where exactly do ads go within a podcast? There are three primary types of ad placements, and as they say in real estate, it’s all about location, location, location.

  1. Pre-roll spots run at the start of the show capturing the greatest share of listeners, and are therefore highly effective.
  2. Mid-roll spots are most valuable as listeners most engaged at this point and less likely to skip an ad.
  3. Post-rolls are generally least desirable as users are more likely to end the podcast before listening to an ad at the very end.

In addition to ad placements, it is also important to consider the different ad types:

  1. Baked-in Live Reads – The podcast host integrates the brand or product into the episode content, so it becomes an inseparable part of the episode. These spots are often improvised, in their own words, and offer a heightened sense of trust and credibility. This also helps to ensure that every episode listener hears the spot.
  2. Pre-Recorded Reads – As the name suggests, in this ad type the host pre-records a spot, which is then inserted post-production into a specific slot – pre-, mid-, or post-roll. As with the baked-in spots, every episode listener hears the same spot.
  3. Sponsor Produced – This is similar to a traditional radio spot with high production value. By self-producing, the sponsor or brand can run the same spot across multiple shows, providing the ability to control the schedule. The ad spot is inserted into the podcast post-production and can be served to some or all episode listeners.
  4. Streaming Insertions, aka, Dynamically Inserted Ads – This ad type is also pre-produced. It differs from a sponsor produced ad in that it is dynamically inserted post-production by an ad server. Dynamic insertions provide the opportunity for episode listeners to hear different advertisements depending on when they listen to the episode.

So which ad type is best? Each type serves a different purpose, but our recommendation is that baked-ins are generally best, especially when targeting a podcast with a stable demographic that closely aligns with your ideal consumer. Keep in mind that evergreen messaging usually works best for these types of spots.

We recommend Dynamically Inserted Ads when targeting podcasts with a diverse listener base and you need to narrow your targeting. These campaigns are typically seasonal with time-sensitive messaging.

How will you be able to tell if your podcast advertising campaign is a success? You can track performance measurement in a few different ways, depending on how your campaign is set up. Tracking exclusive offer code redemptions, trials and discount incentives, vanity URLS, and referral traffic from show notes will provide a robust report.

Jess Cote

Associate Media Director

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