Podcasts Ads are Underpriced in 2018

This summer I was working technical sales for a chemical engineering company in Florida. I was a intern from May to August. I came in at 9 a.m and was there till 5 p.m. Most of my work was dealing with their database. (Some of you might be familiar with the site named Netsuite) After the first week I had started my routine. I needed something to keep me occupied while I was doing database maintenance. Podcast. Podcast. Podcast.

I found several podcast that caught my ear. I found a mystery podcast, a sports podcast, and a comedian podcast. As I listened to all these podcasts I started to realize that these podcasts had short ads. Usually these ads would make me dissatisfied on other platforms, but this time it was different. The ads on the podcasts pertained to the material I was listening to. This is what sets podcasts apart from the competition.

Screen Shot 2018-04-22 at 2.16.00 PM.png.

Oxford Dictionary

“A digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or a mobile device, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically.”

In recent years podcasts have exploded and continue to grow. Why are they getting so big? Easy.  Podcasts are very interesting because they are not as pushy as the other marketing tactics. People can be working out, driving, or doing homework.

Length of Podcast Ads

  • Pre-roll, which is a short 15-second ad slot played at the start of the podcast.
  • Mid-roll, which is a longer 60-second ad often played at the middle of the podcast.


Podcast advertising is sold on a CPM basis, which means it’s sold by the thousands. CPM stands for “cost per mille.” (Mille means “thousand” in Latin.)If a podcast’s CPM is $25, that means you pay $25 for every thousand listens an episode receives. (A unique download or stream counts as a “listen.”)

  • For example: X-Pod has 10,000 listens per episode. Divide by a thousand, and multiply the 10 by the $25 CPM. This works out to a $250 cost per episode.


Podcasts are especially attractive because they don’t cost much to produce (in terms of time or money). Anyone with a decent microphone and knowledge on a particular subject can talk for an hour and release an episode (though high-quality podcasts take more effort, as we’ll see), and if you can build up a big enough audience, you’ll see a surge of traffic to your site, or a new stream of revenue from advertising opportunities, or both.

Gary Vaynerchuk on Podcasts