How To Use Programmatic Advertising For Podcasts

April 1, 2020

By: Alison Osborne | January 2020

When it comes to podcast advertising there has been a new term that we’ve seen pop up quite frequently and that’s programmatic advertising

Podcast advertisers are beginning to become more familiar with the benefits of this form of advertising and we can expect to only see it grow in 2020.

But to begin, let’s define what programmatic advertising even is. Basically, it’s the use of AI and algorithms to buy and optimize ads in real-time. Using this type of automation for ads is much more efficient, leading to higher conversions and lower customer acquisition costs.

Programmatic Advertising and Podcasts

Overall, podcast listeners tend to be more welcoming to ads. One of the key reasons being that they’re read by the host of the series, an individual that listeners already feel a connection towards. Through programmatic ads, podcasts can deliver listeners even more targeted and relevant ad content. Matt Turck from Megaphone states that: 

“We will see a real push into programmatic buying in 2020. It’s a small portion of buying today; however, it will have the fastest growth rate of any segment in the space doubling to tripling in scale. The winners buying this way will develop creative specifically for the podcast medium, respecting the listener with an inclusive conversational tone.”

Additionally, Spotify just announced the release of Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI) on its platform in 2020. Advertisers and podcasters will be able to use Spotify’s streaming capabilities to have more targeted and relevant ads placed into their content for listeners. This also opens the door to key data like ad impressions, frequency, reach, anonymized age, gender and device type - information that has not been available to podcasters before. 

To begin, Spotify will be testing SAI on their own original series since they have access to the backend of the content and the data that it collects. But, expect this service to hopefully open to general podcasters in 2020! 

Platform
Price
Pro’s
Con's
Anchor

Free

  • Easy to use
  • Automatically distributes your podcast to major platforms.
  • Embed media player.
  • Great if podcasting is a
    side hobby
  • Very basic editing
  • Since it’s a free tool, you don’t have full control over the monetization of your podcast.
  • Not the right platform for people taking podcasting seriously
Buzzsprout

Free for 2 hours of content per month

$12 for 3 hours per month

$18+ for 6 hours and up

  • Very user-friendly
  • Caters to both long term and beginner podcasters
  • Advanced analytics
  • Easy distribution of your episodes
  • They measure their size requirements to hours not megabytes
  • Bonus: get a free $20 Amazon gift card when you sign up for any paid hosting plan!
  • Advanced features like dynamic ad insertion need some work
Libsyn

$5/month for Monthly Storage 50mb

  • Oldest podcast hosting site.
  • Easy distribution to major platforms and great for scaling once your podcast gets bigger.
  • Hosted over 35,000 podcasts.
  • An iTunes Podcast partner.
  • Allows you to publish your podcast to specific directories.
  • Embed media player.
  • Price is based on storage
  • 50mb storage for $5 won’t be enough if you are publishing weekly so you’ll end up with a higher price point
Podbean

Unlimited audio package: $9/month

Storage space:

Unlimited

  • Great support & customer service features
  • Unlimited audio.
  • Pages are easy to customize
  • Can schedule podcast release dates.
  • Easy to use.
  • Uploads and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions are automatic to Spotify.
  • Embed media player.
  • Simple Analytics
  • Analytics aren’t as advanced as other platforms
  • Upload and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions take a day to change on iTunes.
  • Not an iTunes podcast partner.
  • The process to send a podcast to iTunes is more tedious. But, you will still be able to get on the platform.
Blubrry

Classic

$5/month

Monthly Storage

50mb

  • Podcast Wordpress plugin and management.
  • If you want to record a new introduction or conclusion, add in a sponsored ad or upload a new version of a podcast, it doesn't count towards your storage usage per month.
  • Blubrry allows a 25% storage overage each month
  • Prices are based on storage.
  • Usability is okay.
SimpleCast

Starting: $15/month

Recommendation: $35/month

Monthly Storage: Unlimited

  • Hosts your audio files no matter what the size!
  • Dynamic insertion for podcast ads or edits.
  • Incredibly detailed analytics including number of episodes completed and listener location tracking.
  • Embed media player.
  • Easy to use.
  • Great distribution! Easy access to all major podcast platforms.
  • Customizable podcast
    website.
  • Prices are slightly higher than other platforms, but well worth it especially if you have a branded company podcast!