Elsewhere on FiveThirtyEight, Stan Alcorn reported on the podcast advertising market and what a census of one week’s worth of podcasts revealed. The file above is a mashup of podcast ads, all from Squarespace, all from episodes in the iTunes top 100 that week.
While you listen, you’ll notice some of the basic elements of a podcast ad:
- The same ad copy is distributed to all the hosts. It’s one thing to hear the same language over one or two podcasts. It’s a little jarring to hear it filter out over a dozen or more shows.
- Often a podcast advertiser will buy an ad before the show (the “preroll”) and an ad in the middle of the show (the “midroll”). Typically, the preroll is more of a formal-sounding ad and the midroll is a little casual and personal.
- While companies like Squarespace send along language, many advertisers like it when hosts ad-lib and personalize the pitch. You can hear Roman Mars (“99% Invisible”) do it here — Scott Aukerman (“Comedy Bang! Bang!”) too. Podcasts in particular hinge on a listener’s connection with the host. If the host is delivering the ads in her own words, all the better.
- Even though podcast advertisers are comfortable with hosts straying from the script, they will often include certain “must read” language. In this case, it seemed to be a mention of a few Squarespace 7 features and a plug for Jeff Bridges’s Super Bowl ad.
- And, of course, there’s that podcast ad staple: the promo code. It’s a way for the advertiser to track how much business is being driven to the site and, in turn, a way for podcasters to negotiate for higher rates. You’ll also notice that some shows get a promo code and others get a custom URL.
That’s how a podcast ad comes together. We do it for the sponsors of our sports podcast “Hot Takedown.” Now, go build yourself an all-in-one website. And don’t forget that promo code.
Podcasts featured in the clip above: Science Friday, 99% Invisible, America’s Test Kitchen, Comedy Bang! Bang!, This American Life, Snap Judgment, Radiolab, How Did This Get Made?, The New Yorker’s Political Scene, StarTalk, On Being, Stuff You Should Know