How Much Does Podcast Advertising Cost? The Answers Might Surprise You

It is no secret podcasts have become more popular as many are hoping to become a superstar podcaster.

One sure way of achieving podcast success is to make sure you have something to say that people want to hear and tune into regularly.

Since podcast have become the "in" thing, podcast listeners have more than doubled in the past decade according to some reports. This means if people are tuning in, there are advertising options, too. Note: According to this report, businesses are expected to spend over $500 million on podcast ads by the year 2020.

Effective, Powerful

There is little doubt podcasts have emerged as effective and popular channels for consumers to find information, products, advice, and much more.

However, it is not always simple for advertisers to know where they should spend their budgets in hopes of capturing and keeping the attention of the right buyers. Here are some things to consider as you plan your podcasts and take time to create an advertising strategy.


Whether you are a top-notch podcaster already or simply starting, it is important to know or refresh yourself with the terms of podcast advertising lingo if you hope to attract advertisers in the future. Here are a few examples to explore and/or get reacquainted:

Pre-roll: an ad that is mentioned at the start of a podcast

Mid-roll: an ad that plays during the middle of a podcast.

Outro: the last few words of a podcast where the advertiser can state a final call to action.

Offer code: a coupon code a host gives to the audience to track conversions directly to the ad campaign.

Native ads: advertising that matches its delivery platform.

Podcatcher: the platform or software used to play a podcast.

Direct response: marketing or advertising that can be measured and tracked—for podcasts it is typically a URL or offers code.

CPM rate: an ad expense measurement of the “cost per mille” (or per thousand) listens of a podcast.

CPA rate: a measurement of the “cost per acquisition,” or cost to acquire one new customer because of an advertisement.

Listen to Others and Rates

A good way to learn about podcast advertising is to tune into successful podcasts. Here are 18 of the top marketing podcasts, and publishes a searchable ranking of the top-rated podcasts.

In terms of ad rate, AdvertiseCast, reports the industry average rates for podcast advertising are:

$15 for a 10-second ad CPM

$18 for a 30-second ad CPM

$25 for a 60-second ad CPM

Since CPM is the cost per mille or cost per 1,000 listeners, advertising costs will go up depending on how many listeners the podcast attracts.

To help, AdvertiseCast offers a cost calculator to aid in estimating total costs. To break this concept down, for example, if you have an advertiser run a 60-second spot on your podcast with 100,000 listeners, expect them to pay about $1,500.

How about strategy? Here some ideas to get you on the right path to a successful podcast and hopefully attract some advertisers.

Know Your Market

About 75% of podcast listeners not only pay attention to podcast ads but keep track of certain “calls to action” after hearing them.

The important part is to connect to your audience. For instance, if you are selling perfume and have a female audience you do not want to have advertisements directed toward men.

Make sure you learn about your audience before you start buying ads on your own and wasting money on the wrong ones since the audience you are targeting is the key to podcast advertising success.

Thanks to new tools and better analytics, advertisers looking for a good podcast to advertise on have had time to learn more about the actual business of podcasts advertising.

Types of Podcast Ads

Ready to start looking for ads to buy or hit up some advertisers to start advertising on your podcast? There are two types of podcast adverts, according to

Baked in: Ads that are part of an actual podcast and usually read live by the podcast host. These are permanent within the podcast content. As a result, everyone who listens and downloads the ad all hears the same thing.

Dynamically inserted: These ads are inserted after the podcast concludes, via an ad server. Not all users will hear the same dynamically inserted ad when they download a podcast.

Stats suggest dynamically inserted ad spend increased by 51% for a year, according to a 2017 podcasting revenue study. Additionally, baked-in ads, live, host-read ads continue to be the favored delivery type.

Bottom line: There isn’t a one-size-fits-all way to decide, however, some groups have measured CPA (cost per acquisition) rates between the two ad types, and learned baked in ads are about 3.5 times more efficient than dynamically inserted ads, even though there has been an increase in dynamic ad spending.

Define your investment

Podcast advertising can be a great arsenal in your strategy for a successful podcast —but it is not free.

For most podcasters, they use either a CPA or CPM formula for advertising rates, although some may offer a flat fee. CPM is the most common.

Before you approach a potential advertiser have a clear picture of your podcast strategy, know ahead what your goal is with the podcast.

If you are buying ads create a budget that works within your means and figure out how much it will cost to obtain a successful podcast.

Ways to Get Your ROI

To get the data needed to get the return on your advertising investment, create some form of tracking into the ads you either purchase yourself or get from others.

Try adding a vanity URL, meaning a short, easy-to-remember web address to take listeners to a landing page.

Additionally, think about mentioning a promo code in the ad so listeners can apply it when they buy.

Ask buyers or subscribers how they learned about your brand when they sign up or buy something. It could help show you where the leads are coming from if not vanity URLs, promo codes, but instead resulted from a podcast ad. Growth Marketing Pro estimates a 30% response rate, on average for survey responses.

All Ears

Podcasts seem to be the way to go as millions of Americans tune in to listen to their favorites week in and week out to get the info and/or entertainment they want and seek.

But in the end, remember without doing your research and planning, it will be hard to know what podcast is best to attract advertisers, and/or deliver your message, product, or brand.

Understand where you fit in, what kind of ads will echo in the ears of your listeners, and how to invest in the right resources to reap the rewards of a successful podcast.