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Is Dynamic Ad Insertion Right for Your Podcast Advertising Campaign?

It’s been well documented at this point that podcast advertising is effective. Advertisers are spending more and more money every year and show no signs of slowing down. So now that podcast advertising has become more established, there’s another question to answer. Not just if you should advertise on podcasts, but how you should. Simply put, what type of podcast ads are most lucrative?

Today, we’re looking at the latest podcast advertising strategy, dynamic ad insertion, and how it compares to the traditional model of podcast ads.


Table of Contents:


What is Dynamic Ad Insertion?

“Baked-in” – Traditional Model

To best describe dynamic ad insertion in podcasting, we need to compare it to the traditional method — “baked-in” advertisements — or occasionally “evergreen” or “embedded”. 

Baked-in advertisements insert into the podcast episode file before publishing, and stay there permanently. If a listener downloads the episode tomorrow or a year from now, they will hear the same advertisement. This is important because 48% of podcast downloads are of old episodes. With baked-in advertisements, your campaign has the potential to be outdated by the time it reaches your desired audience.

Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI)

Instead of the advertisement remaining the same forever, dynamically inserted ads are added to the episode at the moment of download by the listener. 

Not only are dynamically inserted ads more timely, but they are more targeted. At the moment of download, the ad insertion program uses four pieces of information about the listener to choose which ad to serve them

  1. Listeners IP address (approximate location) 
  2. Their device (phone, laptop, etc.) and listening application
  3. The time and date
  4. What podcast they are downloading

Benefits of Dynamic Ad Insertion

There are two huge benefits of dynamic ad insertion: targeting and scale. Let’s discuss them in more detail.

Targeting

Dynamically inserted advertisements provide unprecedented targeting opportunities for podcast advertisers. Not only are you provided with the four new methods of targeting mentioned earlier, but also the ability to optimize your campaign in real time.

Traditional podcast advertisements are slow to maneuver. Whenever you need to make a change, you need to contact hosts and discuss. Only then can you implement it in their next episode. On the other hand, if your DAI campaign isn’t performing well, you can instantly adjust and target different podcasts with just a few clicks.

Scale

The nature of baked-in advertisements is that they are more bespoke. If you want to adjust your baked-in campaign, it can be slow to talk to hosts, make new creative, and then finally implement your changes in the next episode. And even then in that scenario, you’re still missing out on the 48% of listeners who are downloading old episodes.

DAI allows you to make big changes with little effort. Theoretically, you could record a 30-second ad today and place it on millions of podcast episodes tomorrow. No other method of podcast advertising gets even close to that scale.


Considerations with Dynamic Ad Insertion

With all that being said, DAI is not for everyone. There are a few considerations to make before going all in on programmatic audio.

Price

To maximize the benefits of DAI, you need to advertise at a large scale. Advertising on many podcasts at once can be cost prohibitive depending on your organization’s budget. If you are a small to midsize advertiser, you may want to consider baked-in ads, and perform the targeting yourself. You need to find podcasts in your niche, vet the show with demographic data, and finally reach out to the podcasts you’d like to work with. This all may seem like an overwhelming amount of work, and you’d be right… if Podchaser Pro didn’t exist.

Podchaser Pro unlocks access to truly one-of-a-kind podcast data, making it incredibly easy to launch baked-in advertisements. With Podchaser Pro, you’re just a few clicks away from knowing almost every podcast’s contact information, sponsor history, reach, Power Score™ (cross-platform popularity), demographics, and more. If DAI is beyond your budget, Pro will help you find, vet, and reach out to podcasts perfect for your campaign in minutes with its advanced search filters. 

Personalization

Baked-in advertisements are almost always host-read, where the host is given a loose script and encouraged to improvise with their own personality. The authenticity host-read ads provides has traditionally been the edge podcast ads have had over other mediums. In fact, when done correctly, many podcast listeners seek out podcast advertisements instead of avoiding them as they would on TV, radio, or streaming.

DAI, by its very nature, has to be pre-recorded and not host-read. So to achieve the targeting and scalability of dynamically inserted advertisements, there’s a potential you are losing the advantage of authenticity. It is important to keep in mind that this dichotomy is not set in stone. Because podcast advertising is always growing and changing, we are gathering new data every day. In fact, as one recent study found that dynamic ads and host-read ads performed very similarly, as long as the content was high quality.


How to Get Started with DAI

There are multiple companies with DAI technology who connect advertisers and podcasters. Here are a few of the best.

Acast

acast logo

Acast is the world’s leading independent podcast company. They provide hosting to podcasters, and encourage advertisers to utilize DAI on their thousands of podcasts. (Full disclosure, Acast is also our parent company).

To advertise with Acast, you can get in touch with them here.

Podbean

podbean logo

Podbean similarly hosts podcasts and courts advertisers to work with their shows. Register an account with them to get started. With their tools you can decide which locations your ad plays in, and on what genre of podcasts.

SXM Media

sxm media logo

Another large player in the ad space, SXM media is quite experienced with all kinds of podcast advertising, including dynamic ads. You can learn more, watch a demo, and read their ad specs here.


Conclusion

It’s undeniable that DAI is becoming the hottest trend in podcast advertising, but it might not be right for everyone. Traditional baked-in advertisements have proven to be extremely effective for companies with smaller advertising budgets who cannot take advantage of the scalability that DAI offers. For those advertisers, Podchaser Pro is your easy and budget-friendly solution for finding, vetting, and reaching out to podcasts. But to know which method works best for your company, you must experiment.

Or, Sounds Profitable provides another option; they think that to receive the benefits of both styles, you should do both over the course of a campaign. First, baked-in host-read ads to build the trust and personal relationship, then dynamic ads to explain features in more depth.

If you want to dive deeper into podcast media buying, you can read our ultimate guide and learn how to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your podcast ad campaigns.