These days, it can seem like everyone has a podcast. Comedians, writers, and even hairdressers have popular podcasts. This medium has revolutionized the way that people interact with the world. Podcasts have uncovered markets that the mainstream media passed by for years. They’ve shown that people are hungry for intimate, unique, and engaging content. 

For years, it was a challenge to monetize podcasts. Early success stories in the podcast world were often self-launched. Today, networks are starting to form. There’s structure and advertising money in today’s podcasts. What’s more, projections show that advertising investment in podcasts will only continue to grow.

In fact, advertising in podcasts is expected to more than double proportionally by 2022. Market research has shown that listeners don’t mind ads in podcasts. Part of the intimate feeling of podcasts means that listeners want to support the show. These listeners aren’t just scanning through the radio dial, after all. They’ve tuned in specifically to hear a personality they like discuss a topic they’re interested in.

In 2018, podcasts accounted for just 1.9 percent of audio ads placed. By 2022, that is projected to grow to 4.5 percent. Advertisers have been quick to realize the power of the podcast. Over 62 million Americans tune into podcasts in any given week. That’s more than 20 percent of the population. What’s more, the audience for podcasts is the one that advertisers most seek to attract: the coveted 18 to 35 demographic.

Podcast advertising also works differently from television and radio ads. Podcast advertisements are typically read by the host, and often are inserted right into the content. This can feel seamless to listeners. Contrast that with the advent of adblockers online, or TiVo style commercial-free TV viewing. Like the radio shows of the 1930s and 40s, podcasts feel like an intimate fireside chat. The baked-in advertising is a part of that. 

Other podcast ads are inserted dynamically. That means that when a podcast is downloaded, ads are attached at that point. What happens is the ads are pre-recorded, and attached as a mini-roll by an editor. Some analysts believe this style of advertising will ultimately take over the podcast sector. At the present time, it accounts for just over 40 percent of podcast advertisements.

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash