Your complete guide to podcast sponsorship pricing

Podcast sponsorship pricing is influenced by whether an ad is pre or post roll and host-read, and whether it appears on a popular podcast. Here’s what to expect.
Podcasts sponsorship pricing: woman reading a script while recording

Have you ever seen a game show when a customer had to pick between one of three different doors— two with a prize and one with nothing?

Sometimes, podcast marketing can feel that way. Acquiring and reaching customers can be a challenge, and some sponsorships may be more lucrative than others.

One way to begin to understand if the podcast sponsorship is right for your brand is to consider how it factors into your marketing budget. What would be your projected cost per acquisition (CPA)? What’s the average cost per mille (CPM) for that channel? As you evaluate podcast sponsorship pricing, you should consider all of this and much more.

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about podcast sponsorship pricing models, so you can plan your next podcast advertising campaign without exceeding your budget.

Why you should sponsor a podcast

Partners throwing money GIF

There are so many different channels: display networks, social media, email, search, out-of-home, radio. On top of that, there are many different types of audio ad opportunities, ranging from streaming radio to podcasts. Let’s talk about why podcasts deserve a second look.

As you might know, podcasts are having a bit of a moment. In the United States alone this past year, it is estimated that more than 120 million people listened to a podcast. In addition, researchers estimate that listeners will increase to more than 164 million podcast listeners in America by 2024.

With this growth, it makes sense to take advantage of this audience and get in front of these engaged listeners. Well, it gets even better. For each podcast, there are different types of sponsorships, offering unique opportunities to portray your brand in different meaningful ways. 

Most importantly, though, podcast sponsorships are effective. In a recent study, more than half 70% of listeners agreed that their awareness of a specific brand had been increased after hearing a podcast advertisement.

Collectively, the mix of consumer behavior paired with the various sponsorship options and overall effectiveness of the tactic make sponsoring podcasts a slam dunk investment.

But how does the pricing break down by ad type? Let’s take a closer look.

The variables that impact podcasts sponsorship pricing

Podcasts sponsorship pricing: 2 people recording a podcast

If only there was a one-size-fits-all pricing sheet for all podcast sponsorship. However, pricing and sponsorship opportunities will vary by podcasts. 

In fact, there are so many different variables that will impact the price of the sponsorship. These could include:

  • Number of downloads: How popular is the podcast? How many downloads or listeners does it currently have for each recording? Of course, the more popular the podcast, the more expensive the ads.
  • Number of listens: Not all listeners download their podcasts, making the total number of podcast listens (or overall listenership) another key metric that can impact ad price.
  • Ad spot availability: If demand increases for a limited number of spots the increased competition can cause the price to increase as well. 
  • Ad placement: Are you running a pre-roll ad or a post-roll ad? Since listener levels fluctuate at both of those points, the price will too.  
  • Type of ad: Are you producing it or will it be a host-read ad? The type of ad will play a role in how much it costs you to launch.

With this information and a podcast’s media kit, you can know the right questions to ask. A media kit is a document or slide deck that the podcast or publisher will compile to showcase the sponsorship opportunities available as well as key demographic data about their target audience. This information can help you compare sponsorship opportunities on different podcasts or podcast networks.

Sample podcasts sponsorship pricing

Podcasts sponsorship pricing: woman with question marks around her

Know what you want? Let’s see if you have enough moolah to get it.

Although each sponsorship price will vary by podcast, we can still provide an average of what different types of podcast sponsorships may cost.

Let’s review some of the most common types of podcast sponsorships and what they’ll usually cost:

Pre-roll ad

Pre-roll advertisements play before the podcast show begins. This is when the listeners are often most engaged since they are tuned in and waiting for the show. That’s why this type of podcast sponsorship typically costs the most. It’s such a desirable time slot for marketers looking to increase their brand awareness prior to the show starting.

A 15-25 second pre-roll ad typically has a $15 CPM. CPM, or cost per mille, is the set price of the advertisement based on 1,000 impressions.This is great for brands who are the presenting sponsor of the show or a direct sponsor of that singular episode.

Mid-roll ad

Mid-roll ads play in the middle of the podcast during a commercial break. Since viewers are typically most engaged during this part of the show and eagerly awaiting more great content, these ads can be the priciest…and the most sought-after. 

A 30-60 second mid-roll ad typically has a $30 CPM, which is double what a pre-roll ad would cost you. 

Post-roll ad

Post-roll ads live at the end of the podcast. While this ad isn’t thought to be the most effective, you’ll be the last thing the listener will hear before the podcast ends. This might make a lasting impression, so make sure to have a compelling call-to-action (CTA) to instruct the listener on what to do next.

A 15-25 second post-roll ad typically has a $10 CPM. This type of ad is typically the cheapest since it’s played at the end of the broadcast after some listeners have dropped off.

Host-read ad

Don’t want to produce the ad yourself? No problem. You can enlist a podcast host to read your ad or talk about your product. This type of ad can be effective because it “borrows” the host’s credibility and extends it to your brand. 

Host-read ad pricing will vary by the host’s preference and degree of fame. This premium will often be applied to the CPMs listed above depending on when the sponsorship will occur in the broadcast.

Maximizing your podcast ad campaign

James talking to a woman from Children Ruin Everything GIF

Successful marketers are turning to podcast sponsorships to raise brand awareness in growing, engaged audiences. The podcast market is growing, ad spots are available on a variety of new podcasts. Most importantly: the medium is effective.

Understanding the podcast sponsorship market doesn’t have to be a challenge. There are so many different sponsorship types and pricing options to choose from, including pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll and host-read ads. 

Each will have their own CPM rate for the promo you’re looking to launch. Review the podcast’s media kit and show notes to make an informed decision on which is right for you.

Sign up for Decibel and launch an audio ad in minutes. With Decibel’s easy-to-use platform, you can go from script to a live campaign in just a few clicks. Want to get started right away? Read our blog post, “30-second radio ad script examples to inspire your own” and begin writing your advertisement today.

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