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Ian Feil Jul 17, 2019 10:30:00 AM 3 min read

Podcast Advertising: What You Should Know

 Ian    by Ian Feil

- 3 min read -

Microphone and title, "Podcast Advertising"

Podcast advertising

It seems like yesterday that I was tuning into my first episode of the Joe Rogan podcast… fast forward 38 episodes and I’m still excited to tune in. There are podcasts for everything. There is always something new and exciting to talk about, no matter what you are interested in.

Podcasts have taken the world by storm and advertisers (like us) are taking note. According to a new WARC study, podcast advertising is set to double over the next three years. This post will give you a snapshot into the world of advertising on podcasts.

The Audience

As a marketer, we all want to know what kind of a person is actually tuning in. Let’s take a look at who is listening to podcasts:

  • Almost one fifth of the US population listens to a podcast monthly (that's more than 73 million people!!) - E-Marketer 
  • Generally speaking, the podcast listener skews younger, more educated and affluent. This is primarily due to the time they spend consuming media across multiple subscriptions and devices. – E-Marketer
  • Podcast listeners are EXTREMELY active on social media. 94% of listeners are active on at least one platform. - Podcast Insights
  • When comparing podcast ads to other forms of media, trust and brand recall are extremely high. - E-Marketer
  • The most common place listeners tune in is at home (49%), with the second most common being while driving (22%). - Podcast Insights
  • 50% of all US homes are podcast fans – that is over 60 million homes. - Nielsen

A podcast conversation

Advertising on Podcasts

If you have listened to podcasts in the past, you are probably somewhat familiar with the fact that the hosts bring up brands at some point. As an avid Joe Rogan listener, I always spend the first 30 seconds listening to Joe chat about Squarespace

Types of Ads

Singlegrain fills us in on the two types of podcast ads that advertisers can run:

  • 15 to 30-second pre roll.
  • 30 to 60-second mid roll.

Pre-roll ads range between 15 and 30 seconds. They take place before the podcast gets started, where the host will talk about the advertisers product or service. 

Mid-roll ads take place around the middle of the show. The host will chime in with a pitch about the advertisers product or service. 


Podcast advertising commands some of the highest CPMs (Cost-Per-Thousand) due to the medium's desirable demographic profile and effective advertising format. The format allows advertisers to narrow their focus versus terrestrial radio while gathering measurable data. 

According to John Lee Dumas, podcast advertising rates that hosts typically charge are as follows:

  • A 15-second Pre-Roll commands $18 per 1000 CPMs (listens).
  • A 60-second Mid-Roll commands $25 per 1000 CPMs (listens).
  • A 30-second Post-Roll commands $10 per 1000 CPMs (listens).

Mid-roll spots are the most expensive for a couple of reasons:

  • Duration - They are the longest form of advertising on the podcast.
  • Engagement – Listeners are far more likely to be engaged in the content at this point and are less likely to skip over the ad.

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The Future

The future of podcast advertising has a lot of people curious. Global Ad Trends: Podcasts breaks down the rapid growth of the podcasting market.

Here are some key takeaways:

  • By 2022 podcasts could account for 4.5% of global audio advertising spend, a total of $1.6bn.
  • 22.0% weekly podcast penetration in the US, equating to 62m Americans.
  • 33.5% monthly podcast penetration worldwide.
  • 41.7% share of podcast ads which are added dynamically, at the point of download.
  • 53.0% share of listeners who use YouTube for podcasts, compared to 28.8% for Apple and 28.3% for Spotify.
  • 78.0% proportion of listeners who do not mind ads as a means of supporting podcast content.

As a higher education marketer, I am excited about the opportunities podcast advertising offers to the higher ed realm. As more podcasts enlist on ad-exchanges offering increased targeting, the ad purchasing will become extremely convenient. Think programmatic display for podcasts.

Some may say radio is dead, but podcasts are proving to be a new way to leverage the power of audio ads.

Contact Glacier if you'd like to chat. 

P.S. Follow us on LinkedIn for tips, tricks, and industry updates.

We collected insights from 1,700 high school students on their media preferences for higher ed advertising. Access Report.