How Effective Are Podcast Host Read Ads?

As marketers, we know that it is becoming increasingly challenging to reach consumers with ads.

As marketers, we know that it is becoming increasingly challenging to reach consumers with ads. The on-demand generation chooses to pay for subscriptions just to avoid them. People are less tolerant of being interrupted by five popup ads during a YouTube video. But when it comes to host read ads from their favorite podcast host, they are far less likely to fast forward or skip. Why? Because it doesn’t feel like an ad. It feels like a friend giving them a recommendation of something they have tried that solves their problems.  

Get five insider tips about podcast advertising to take to your next marketing meeting (and look like a pro). Plus, a list of objections with answers that will impress your CMO.


My daughter, who is twelve years old, loves YouTube and podcasts. They are two very different mediums, so I asked her the other day if she preferred one ad experience over the other. She said, “ I love watching videos, but I hate being interrupted with ads. It distracts me, and I don’t even remember what the ad was. I know there are ads in the podcasts I listen to, but they don’t bother me. I like getting advice about products.”  

There is no competition; host read ads work. A recent study from Podsights shows a 7.5% conversion rate for podcast ads. 66% of podcast ads are host read ads.

host read ads favored in podcast advertising

Source: IAB


A host read ad is an ad recorded by the podcast host (sometimes the producer) and inserted into the podcast episode. An advertiser sends the host a sample of their product or service. The host uses the product and creates an authentic organic ad read based on the advertiser’s talking points. It allows the podcast host to include the unique selling propositions that are most important to the advertiser but gives the host freedom to put their unique voice and perspective into the read. 


Influencers are a huge part of our modern culture. Podcast hosts fall into the influencer category but are not necessarily considered traditional influencers. 

Listeners connect with podcast hosts in a much more intimate way because of how they consume podcast content. They invite the host to fill their ears with experiences that they relate to. The audience values the hosts’ opinions because they know, like, and trust them. 

They also make a conscious choice to consume the podcast, raising their engagement level with the ads that occur within that content. 

Unlike radio ads, there is flexibility with podcast ads. The average mid-roll ad in a podcast is sixty seconds. Because the podcast host controls the ad, many of them will extend their ad length giving your product more airtime at no extra cost. 


As a society, we’ve created so many mechanisms to avoid ad exposure: ad blockers, streaming audio subscriptions, and on-demand TV. Hub Entertainment Research Group says 61% of Americans watch their shows on-demand. 

But, 78% of podcast listeners say they don’t mind hearing a host read an ad. So, why is it that podcast listeners are bothered? The differentiator in the space is the host read ad. 

People want to purchase products and services that will illuminate their lives. Listeners understand that buying a product endorsed by a host helps the host and helps themselves. 


Podcast hosts will turn down advertisers because they don’t think the brand is a good fit for their audiences. They have spent a tremendous amount of time cultivating their audiences and delivering interesting ad content. Their dedication to the listeners further demonstrates the value of host read ads.  

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True Native Media is a podcast representation and advertising agency that specializes in connecting brands with podcasters to develop engaging content hand-crafted for audiences around the globe. LEARN MORE.

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