Frequently Asked Questions
Are you marketer whose company is looking to get into the podcast advertising game? Or perhaps you're a podcaster with a growing show who wants to find advertisers? Below we've answered some common questions that sponsors and podcasters often have for us. If you have a question not covered here, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us through our contact form.
Click on a question below to read the answer.
I'm a podcaster looking for advertisers.
I'm a company looking to advertise.
+ What is a podcast?
A podcast is a pre-recorded, on-demand audio file distributed over the Internet through a channel called an RSS feed. Podcasting technology has come a long way - most listeners today access their podcasts through a variety of smartphone apps, and the only thing you need to start listening is an Internet-connected device. We give a more detailed background of podcasts as a medium on our blog here. We also describe the most popular types of podcasts here.
+ What is a podcast ad?
A podcast ad is an ad spot that runs between 10 and 90 seconds. It can come in at the start of the episode (a pre-roll), during the episode (a mid-roll), or at the end of the episode (a post-roll). We dicuss the different types of ads in depth here
+ What will the ad sound like?
The majority of podcast ads are host-read and will either consist of the podcast host reading from an ad script or giving an ad-libbed personal recommendation.
+ What do I need to provide Backyard Media for the ad?
Generally, an ad campaign will require either an ad script for the host or directions regarding what selling points the host should cover. Most campaigns will also need a promotional code or website URL from the sponsor that will be referenced during the ad. But don't worry, we'll be sure to walk you through the whole process, start to finish.
+ How can I make sure my ad sounds great?
We will work with all new sponsors to make sure their ad's content is maximally effective for a podcast listening audience. We have outlined a few helpful steps that sponsors can take to improve their ads here.
+ How does pricing work?
Podcast ads are priced in CPM (cost per thousand impressions), a common metric for digital advertising. A podcast's exact CPM can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the podcast's popularity, the demographics of its audience, the ad's placement within the episode, and the length of the sponsor’s ad buy. Once that CPM dollar amount has been set, the total amount the sponsor will pay is the CPM price multiplied by the number of thousand downloads the podcast episode receives. For instance, if a sponsor purchased one ad on a podcast with a CPM of $25 and that episode received 20,000 downloads, the sponsor would pay $500.
We share our podcast partners' CPMs with prospective sponsors before any ad sale. To learn more about more about podcast CPMs, contact us
+ How often should my ad run?
Research shows that podcast ads are most effective when they run for multiple podcast episodes (with five or more ads being the most effective frequency). For more information about podcast ad campaigns, contact us or see our blog post about campaigns here.
+ Who listens to podcasts?
Lots of people! In 2017, a full 42 million Americans reported having listened to a podcast in the last week, a 100% increase from 2014.
Podcast listeners are an ideal group of consumers. They're well-educated - 51% of them have a college degree, compared to just 36% of the general population. They also have above-average incomes, with a median annual income of $63,000 and 15% of listeners making over $150,000. Research also shows that listeners are intellectually curious, with high rates of media consumption.
When compared with other digital media audiences, podcast listeners are uniquely loyal and engaged, as measured by their podcast listening habits and responsiveness to podcast ads.
We've covered in our blog the habits of podcast listeners, the habits of podcast evangelists known as "super" listeners, and some of our podcast hosts' experiences with their listeners.
+ How do I know the ad will work?
There's lots of research showing that podcasts are the most cost-effective digital marketing tool out there. 61% of podcast listeners report they've purchased a product after hearing an ad, and podcast ads on average lead to a 55% increase in unaided brand awareness. A sponsor can immediately see the ROI of their podcast ads because most ads include trackable codes provided to listeners - we talk more about these "direct response" ads in a blog post here.
For more research regarding the effectiveness of podcast ads, take a look at some of our analysis here. You can also check out our Resources page for more studies looking at podcasting and podcast ads.
+ Okay, I'm interested in buying a podcast ad. How do I start working with Backyard Media?
Great! You can contact us with this form and we'll be in touch with you shortly.
+ How do I get sponsors?
There's no standard way to start attracting sponsors, but there are a few best practices that all podcasters who are interested in sponsorship should follow:
- Create a quality show: Your show should sound good - episodes should feature high quality recordings with minimal background sound. Hosts should be engaging and easy to listen to throughout the episode. Your show’s sound should be well-mixed, with a consistent volume level. Any included music should add to the content of the show and not be distracting.
- Release consistently: When a sponsor agrees to buy an ad spot, they need to be able to buy inventory on a certain date. That means that it's important your show posts episodes on a regular schedule, without large or unexpected gaps between episodes.
- Build a sizeable, engaged listener base and know who's listening: Sponsors want to have a good idea who they're reaching when they buy an ad spot - that means consistent listenership for each episode (ideally in the tens of thousands of downloads). It also means building reliable data about your listeners. First steps here include tracking listenership on Podtrac or another measurement service and conducting a listener survey at least once a year. Sponsors considering advertising on a podcast want to know listeners’ ages, approximate income levels, professional backgrounds, geographic locations, and interests.
+ How do sponsorship deals work?
Sponsors will buy a run of ads across multiple upcoming podcast episodes - typically between four to six ads at a time. Usually, they purchase either preroll or midroll ads (or both), schedule an introductory phone call with the podcast host(s) to help them understand the product, and provide them a set of talking points to use as they craft ad copy. We dicuss the different types of ads in depth.
+ How do I price things?
Podcast ads are priced in CPM (cost per thousand impressions), a common metric for digital advertising. Your podcast's exact CPM can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the podcast's popularity, the demographics of your audience, the ad's placement within the episode, and the length of the sponsor’s ad buy. Once that CPM dollar amount has been set, the total amount the sponsor will pay is the CPM price multiplied by the number of thousand downloads the podcast episode receives.
For instance, for a podcast with a CPM of $25 that features one ad and receives 20,000 downloads, the sponsor would pay $500.
If you’re getting started with podcast advertising, Backyard Media can help you figure out your CPM. Contact us to learn more.
+ How do I make an effective ad?
The majority of podcast ads are delivered by the host(s), with a list of talking points provided by the sponsor that guides them through the main selling points. Typically, the more the host makes the ad their own, the better. Sponsors may also provide hosts with the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the product or service so that they can draw upon personal experience. When necessary, Backyard Media will help facilitate this connection so that hosts can test out products and confidently recommend them to their listeners.
You can hear some recent ads from our podcast partners here.
+ What will working with Backyard Media be like?
At Backyard Media, we know running your own podcast can be a lot of work. That’s why we try to make partnering with us as easy as possible. We’re a boutique firm focused on creating quality partnerships with the best independent podcasts out there. We take the time to get to know you, understand your content and who your audiences are. Then, we advocate for you as we pitch your show to sponsors. We work to find sponsors that are the perfect fit for your show.
You’ll always have access to our team when you have questions, and unlike with other advertising firms, you’ll never feel like another line item on long list of podcasts.
+ Okay, I'm interested in advertising with Backyard Media. How do I get started?
Great! You can contact us with this form and we'll be in touch with you shortly.