How can I advertise on podcasts? What are ad rates for podcasts?

Podcast Sponsorships provide new advertising opportunities for local businesses.

From nationally known shows like Joe Rogan and Ben Shapiro, to niche programs catering to a specific audience, podcasts are officially a thing. As of fall 2019, 51% (144 million) of the US population had listened to a podcast, and 21% listened weekly.  While podcasting has largely been a national play, it’s now to the point where an increasing number of opportunities are becoming available to local advertisers.  

Before we jump into costs and specifics, let’s look at why you may want to consider podcast advertising for your business.

  • Podcast listeners listen to an average of 7 different shows per week (up from 5 in 2017).
  • 80% listen to all or most of each episode (fewer ads and lower tune-out)
  • The most popular age group for podcasts listeners is 25-44 which make up 49% of total listeners. 56% of podcast listeners are male.
  • 45% of monthly podcast listeners have household income over $75K – vs 35% for the total population
  • 27% of US podcast listeners have a 4-year college degree – vs 19% for US pop
  • Podcast listeners are much more active on every social media channel (94% are active on at least one – vs 81% for the entire population)
  • Podcast listeners are more likely to follow companies and brands on social media
  • Podcast listeners are more likely to subscribe to Netflix or Amazon Prime (meaning they are less likely to be exposed to TV advertising)
  • 69% agreed that podcast ads made them aware of new products or services. (source:2020 podcastinsights)

So how is podcasting different from radio?

Podcasting might look like radio. But where radio is mass media, podcasting is very personal and intimate for the listener.

  • Podcast audio content gives listeners the ability to dive into topics without having to set aside time to read or watch a video. Podcasts also offer articles in smaller bite-sized chunks perfect for daily commutes or busy routines.
  • Podcasts tend to be highly engaging mediums for delivering messages. Given the audio nature of podcasts, listeners tend to hang on to every word, making them an excellent audience for advertisers who are trying to get their brands known. You don’t have to worry about them tuning out your ad like they do in many other mediums.
  • People listen to podcasts because they have deep respect for the host. And since they put their trust in the hosts of their favorite podcasts, they’re much more receptive to the brands that these hosts decide to endorse. (1)

Where can you advertise?

In 2019, the top five categories for podcasts were society & culture, business, comedy, health, news & politics.  The most popular podcast publishers today are iHeartRadio and NPR with some of the most popular podcasts, including Stuff You Should Know, Planet Money, and TED Radio Hour. (2)

But that’s just the beginning.  As of this writing, there are over 700,000 active podcasts and 29 million podcast episodes available. Here in the Seattle market for example, there are podcasts to support practically every local sport (Seattle Mariners, Sounders, Seahawks Man2Man, Seattle Sports Saturday and more) as well as a wide variety of local topics. Many local radio, tv or other personalities also produce podcasts as well.

So How Do You Buy Ads on Podcasts

The consensus among speakers at Podcast Movement is that “to effectively sponsor a podcast, you need an ad approach that integrates with the show” meaning traditional commercial-style advertising and jingles don’t work. Show hosts, especially local ones, will usually agree to read your ad or even endorse your store. If that’s not possible, find an announcer with a distinct voice and use them consistently.  Another benefit of a simple approach is ease and low cost to make copy changes which allows you to keep your message fresh and engaging to the listener.

Podcast audience size is determined by how many downloads each episode receives on average over a 30-day period.  As of Oct 1, 2019, the industry average, based on cost per 1,000 listeners, is $18 for a 30-second ad CPM and $25 for a 60-second ad CPM. (3) 

Steenman Associates is a Seattle based media buyer/broker that purchases Podcast advertising for a variety of local and regional clients. Our team is available to provide more information on Podcast advertising and current rates for your business at no cost or obligation to you.

citations source: (1) singlegrain.com (2) podcast insights (3) AdvertiseCast