The Power of Podcast Advertising

Podcasts have become a buzzword today, with India having 57.6 million monthly listeners, as per the Media and Entertainment Outlook 2020 report by PWC.

The podcast market is expected to rise to 170.6 million listeners by 2023.

In 2020, Anchor added more than 25,000 podcasts, with a Spotify survey suggesting that 41% of podcast listeners have reported trusting ads more if heard in a podcast and 81% of podcast listeners taking action after listening to a podcast ad.

Index: Everything you need to know about podcasts covered:

  1. What is a Podcast?

  2. Podcast Advertising - The new revolution in advertising.

  3. Impact of Podcast Advertising.

  4. Advantages of podcasts that contribute towards its popularity.

  5. 5 tips for effective podcast advertising.

  6. My all time favorite podcasts.

  7. The way forward.

  8. Podcast apps to get started with.


‘It’s downloadable niche talk radio’ or 'It’s like Netflix for audio’. - pretty much sum it up.
  • In India, the audio concept isn’t something new, as radio has had loyal patrons for a long time now. Today, to make the most of the growing digital shift, brands are starting to explore new options within the virtual realm - with podcasts being on top of their list.

  • India ranks number three, following the US and China in terms of consumption of podcasts.

  • Apple dominates the global podcast market, followed by Spotify. Closer home, music streaming platforms like Gaana, JioSaavn and have also started tapping into the podcast market.

  • Not only this but the increasing demand for smart speakers has also been an important reason for the growing enthusiasm around audio content.


  • While users have accepted podcasts with open arms and more creators are exploring the new medium, are advertisers following?

  • ‘YES’ - Although podcast advertising is at a nascent stage in India, it has already started making a great impact on businesses today.

  • Podcast advertising quite literally allows marketers to speak to their customers in a one-to-one setting by reaching their highly engaged audience in screen-less environments.

In podcast advertising, there are three different types of ads:

  1. Pre-roll ads: occur at the beginning of an episode.

  2. Mid-roll ads: occur in the middle or as a break during the show, hence they are the most effective.

  3. Post-roll ads: occur after the episode.

Now that you know the different type of ad options, here are the 2 main ad categories:

  1. Baked in: These ads are part of the actual podcast and are often read live by the podcast host. They will live on for eternity inside the podcast content. Everyone who downloads the podcast hears the same ad.

  2. Dynamically inserted: These ads are inserted after the podcast ends, via an ad server. Not all users will hear the same dynamically inserted ad when they download a podcast.

Here are a few examples of host-read and host-endorsed podcast ads.

If done well, the host-read integrated ad can be one of the most effective styles of podcast advertising because it feels so genuine.


  1. Unique opportunity for brands to connect with their audience- Unlike passive forms of media like TV and radio, people are more likely to search for and subscribe to podcasts— repeatedly coming back for more. Hence, the ads will actively engage with the audience when they are ready to hear their message.

  2. Podcast advertising provides friendly or warm leads- This makes customers more likely to purchase your product or service. These leads are similar to those of affiliate marketing or word-of-mouth advertising.

  3. Exclusive offers- The brands must also provide listeners of that specific podcast with an exclusive discount in the form of a code. This is a great way to both incentivize listeners to consider their company and gauge the effectiveness of their ad on that podcast.

  4. Podcast ads are extremely flexible as well- A podcast’s ad campaign can be comfortably turned around in 24 hours, which helps with any useful last minute messaging or adjustments. Today there are limited media channels offering this service whilst delivering in a high-trust, high-reach environment.