Why You Can’t Have Back-to-Back Ads in Podcast Advertising

"We try, at AudioBoom, to keep it to keep it to 12-minutes of content for every one ad."

Technically there’s no max amount of ads you can put in a podcast episode, but that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be. 


Understanding the way a podcast audience consumes content is essential to determining the number of ads you should run in one podcast episode. If you’re not sure where to start, you’re in the right place. 


Earlier this month, True Native Media founder Heather Osgood sat down with the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) at AudioBoom, Thomas Mancusi. In his episode of The Podcast Advertising Playbook, Thomas shares his secrets for creating successful ads. 

Want to hear his tips straight from his mouth? Make sure you check out the newest episode of The Podcast Advertising Playbook.

I just heard someone call an ad “faked-in” for the first time. What does that mean?

The term “faked-in” ads usually refers to ads that convert to DAI after a couple of days. 


Here at True Native Media, we’ve always been huge supporters of dynamically inserted ads, but that isn’t to say there isn’t value in baked-in ads. One tip Thomas Mancusi shared is that, at AudioBoom, they let their baked-in ads run for 90 days, and on day 91, they come out automatically to hit the programmatic bucket. 


Just like content, the ads you create are ever-changing.

“So, like, I don’t even write evergreen anymore. I don’t believe in it, I always used to believe in it, but now that the tech has met, it’s like, okay, now it’s time to play the game.”

Does the placement in an episode affect the success of my ad?

Another hot tip from Thomas Mancusi? Your ads should be running between 10 – 80% of the content.

“And we all know in the podcast space from your own listening consumption or the Spotify or the Apple Dashboard that about 65-75% of people get to the last bit of the content.”

Understanding how a podcast audience is consuming a podcast episode is essential to running a successful podcast advertising campaign. 

I feel really good about this show; how many ads are too many?

Yes. There is such a thing as too many ads. 


When deciding on how many ads to put on one episode, it’s important to remember you don’t want to burn out your audience. If they hear the same ad over and over, they’ll stop listening. 


Podcasting and radio are two very different things, but we can learn a thing or two about the way radio and ads have transformed over the year. It seems like, at times, radio has become a 15-minute ad. That’s exactly what we want to avoid with podcast advertising.

“We don’t run a lot of units, so that’s part of the ad effectiveness. I’d rather sell four units at a $35 CPM than five units at a $20 CPM.”

One rule of thumb from AudioBoom? 12 minutes of content for every one advertisement.

What’s a sonic identifier? Do I need one?

A sonic identifier is an audio representation of a brand. Think the Afleck duck, McDonald’s jingle, or Netflix thuds – when you hear the noise, you automatically think of the brand. 


A sonic identifier can be a great option for a preroll ad. Instead of running a 30-second ad before the podcast episode starts, consider playing your sonic identifier and having the host say, “this episode is sponsored by XYZ.” 


We’ve said before that we’re not a fan of hosts that start an ad read by saying, “and now a thank you to our sponsors,” but doing this as a preroll is different. The sonic identifier already made the listener think of your brand, the host reconfirms this by mentioning your brand name, but then it’s over. This is a quick way to make sure you’re at the top of mind for your consumer.

“I don’t remember what I was listening to the other day, but I heard, you know, one [sonic identifier], and I was like, ‘oh! We need more of that in podcasting because it instantly brings you to that brand.”

What’s next for podcasting?

We might not have a crystal ball that can predict the future, but we do have Thomas Mancusi to share 

“[Podcasting is] gonna grow. It’s gonna forever grow, but I think the listening experience isn’t gonna be what it used to be due to the dilution of ads.”

Being cautious of how many ads you have running in a single episode is essential to the success of podcasting as a whole. Too many ads back-to-back will cause your listener to experience burn-out, which leads you to unsuccessful ads. 


One thing in particular that Heather and Thomas agreed on is that podcasting is a great space to be in. Everywhere you look, there’s someone willing to share their tips or help you out. 

“And for me, it all gets back to that at the end of the day in this industry, and what I know we all really wanna preserve is just that, that connection between people that is so strong right now.”

Do you have any predictions for what podcasting will look like in the new year? Let us know in the comments!

If you are interested in buying podcast ads but have no idea where to start, read this article, Podcast Advertising Best Practices Every Marketer Should Know, and contact us at truenativemedia.com.


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