Are you looking to advertise your brand or show on a podcast? Or have you been successfully podcasting and building your tribe but wondering how to price sponsorships?

Today, we share everything you need to price or choose an ad slot like a pro! Below you’ll find how the podcast industry prices audio ads, industry terminology, advertising a brand or show on a podcast, and running ads on your podcast.

For anyone with an existing show, to monetize you can have it as part of your marketing funnel with a clear opt-in, have ads on your podcast, or both! But in this post, you’ll have everything you need to know about pricing ads on your show.

Traditionally, podcast ads land in one of three places, before your intro (pre-roll), in the middle of your episode (mid-roll), or at the end of your episode before your outro (post-roll). How you price them will depend on your average number of downloads in the first seven days, the length of the ad, and what you consider a premium ad slot (and why).

How To Calculate The Price of Podcast Ads

Podcasts, podcast networks, and podcast ad services use the same method to determine ad price. 

Cost of Ad Per Episode = (# of Downloads per Episode/1000) X CPM. 

The average CPM for an episode in the podcast industry is: 

  • 30 Second Ad: $18 – $25
  • 60 Second Ad: $25 – $50 
  • Pre-Roll: $25 (higher end for a 30-second ad)
  • Mid-Roll: $25 – $50 
  • The greater number of downloads you generate per episode, the higher CPM you can charge. 

Podcast Advertising Industry Terminology

Knowing the correct terminology will help you understand how to price and where to run your ads.

Familiarize yourself with podcast advertising terminology to price ad slots correctly and fully understand what an advertising service might be asking you.


  • CPM Rate: This stands for “cost per mile” and represents a flat standard rate advertisers pay for every 1,000 impressions. For the podcast industry, you use downloads as the metric for “impressions.”
  • Downloads: The key metric for the podcast industry is how often a podcast episode is downloaded from a podcast hosting site. This is the most common metric for “impressions/listens.”  
  • CTA: Call to action. The call to action in a podcast ad will include an offer, URL, discount codes, and will be used to measure the ad’s performance. 

Ad Types:

  • Host-Read Ad: Pre-recorded ads read by the host(s) of the podcast.
  • Live-Read Ad: An ad read live during a podcast by the host that is unedited, dynamically inserted, and often unscripted.
  • Programmatic Ad: Pre-recorded ad that the podcast hosts do not record. Programmatic ads are usually run with dynamic insertion. 

Ad Placement:

  • Pre-Roll: Ad that comes before the episode introduction or at the beginning of the episode.
  • Mid-Roll: Ad that airs in the middle of the episode. 
  • Post-Roll: Ad airs at the end of an episode, often before the outro.
  • Dynamic Insertion: Software that automatically airs ads into pre-existing podcast episodes. Dynamic ads are easily changed across an entire catalog of episodes without making changes to original audio files.

The Key To Running Successful Podcast Ads

Whether running ads on your show or promoting your brand on a podcast, the number one success factor will be how relevant the ad is to the listener.

Relevance and a solid call to action are difference makers. Without one or the other, an ad will fail. To know if an ad is relevant to listeners, you need to understand the show’s demographics and the ad’s ideal customer. For the ad to be successful, the demo of the show and the ideal customer will match up. 

Keep in mind, a clear and strong call to action should also be measurable so advertisers can track ROI.

How To Run Podcast Ads For Your Brand (or Show) 

Use a podcast advertising service: 

One way to run podcast ads for your show (or brand) on a podcast will be to use a service. Podcast networks, like Spotify, offer advertising opportunities, as do platforms like Podcorn which matches brands with shows.

Research podcasts with a similar target audience: 

You can reach out directly to podcasts, but make sure you vet their numbers. Scope them out on all podcast platforms, social media, and their website. Working directly with a podcast can be great, but you must confirm their credibility to get a good MROI. Remember, their audience demo needs to match yours.

How To Run Ads On Your Podcast

Use a podcast advertising service: 

Platforms like Podcorn will match shows and brands. You’ll produce native ads for your podcast that are either added by episode or through systematic programming in your hosting. 

Reach out to your network:

Many non-profits and creatives already have a network of professional relationships. You can leverage those relationships to generate sponsorship opportunities for the podcast. For these relationships to be mutually beneficial, your listeners and the brand’s ideal customer must align. 

How To Write A Successful Podcast Ad

Leverage your storytelling skills to write successful podcast ads. Host-read ads are compelling because listeners TRUST the host. If you are an HC blog reader, member, or subscriber, you’ve heard that podcast is personal and requires vulnerability. The brand sees greater conversion when a host uses this superpower in ad creation. 

Keep in mind that ad length is critical as well as the call to action. The call to action is used to measure the success of the advertisement. Therefore, it must be clear, compelling, and aligned with the listener’s needs. Remember to mention your CTA more than once and spell out a URL or discount code as necessary for the listener. 

Formula for success: Only available to HC members.

How To Create A Pre-Roll Podcast Ad

Your pre-roll ad is the first thing listeners hear. It airs before your introduction. So while it’s a shorter ad slot, it has the opportunity to gain a premium price because it cannot be ignored. 

How you create your ad will depend on whether you are writing the ad or you are running an ad through an advertising platform, which will dictate copy and process. 

  • Length: Under 30-seconds
  • Price: Premium ad slot. Based on your average downloads in the first seven days.
  • Formula for success: Only available to HC members.
  • Example: “This episode of Back To Ballet is brought to you by Bloch, Samantha’s favorite pointe shoe and every professional’s go-to choice for gear.” 

Many pre-roll ads are sponsorships ads. This creates another opportunity for pricing. Rather than selling one ad on one episode, you can charge a brand to sponsor # of episodes or an entire season. More extensive sponsorship packages might also include an ad mix (mix of pre-roll, mid-roll, and even ad spots on your website or email list).

How to Create A Mid-Roll Podcast Ad

Mid-roll ads air in the middle of your podcast and should roughly be about one minute long. 

How you create your ad will depend on whether you are writing the ad or you are running an ad through an advertising platform, which will dictate copy and process. 

  • Length: One-minute ad or two 30-second ads
  • Price: Average ad price. Based on your average downloads in the first seven days.
  • Formula for success: Only available to HC members.

Mid-roll ads are often higher priced because they are longer. If you are writing your ads, leverage storytelling and the best practices mentioned above. You will keep people engaged during a longer ad by using storytelling. 

You can charge a premium price for a mid-roll ad simply because it is longer. Another way to leverage the mid-roll ad space can be to sell two back-to-back 30-second ads. 

How To Create A Post-Roll Podcast Ad

Post-roll ads air at the end of your episode, typically before the outro. There are a few ways to think of a post-roll podcast ad; one is that it will be listened to by a highly engaged listener, or two, it is a cheaper ad slot because it’s at the end of an episode, and people might skip right over it.

  • Length: Roughly 30-seconds
  • Price: Cheapest ad spot. Based on your average downloads in the first seven days.
  • Formula for success: Only available to HC members.

10-Day Podcast Growth Challenge | Free Download

There is no secret sauce! Podcast growth is simple, but it’s not easy.

This ten-day challenge will ask you to drill down on your audience and the value you deliver. The truth is if you don’t have a clear message that solves a problem for a specific group of people, it won’t matter how much money you spend or how balls-to-the-wall you go with tactical promotion – your podcast won’t see long-term subscriber growth. This challenge best suits transformation podcasts trying to take someone from A to B.

Grow your podcast and yourself in this ten-day challenge.