There are 4.2 million podcasts in the world. Figuring out ways to grow your show while retaining current listeners can be tricky, even for the most experienced podcasters. Fortunately, there are plenty of options available to podcasters! One is paid podcast promotion. But what exactly is paid podcast promotion?

With so much information, we wanted to take the time to list all the options available to podcasters. Why? To help podcasters make the best decision for them. We simply want to empower podcasters to understand how dollars spent can impact podcast growth.

This blog will explain all the options available to podcasters regarding paid podcast promotion. We will also highlight some tools and companies that can help. Consider this a comprehensive guide to paid podcast promotion.

What is Paid Podcast Promotion?

Before we get too into the weeds, let’s first establish what paid podcast promotion is. 

Paid podcast promotion is when podcasters pay to increase their visibility, audience, and engagement. It is a form of digital marketing and a common practice in the creative world.

Paid podcast promotion is an umbrella term that encompasses different marketing strategies and activities. The primary goal of paid podcast promotions is to grow a podcast while retaining an existing audience.  

As paid podcast promotion is a form of paid marketing, it is competitive. Effectiveness can vary from podcast to podcast based on factors such as targeting, selected platform(s), budget, and content quality. 

Types of Paid Podcast Promotion

Regarding types of paid podcast promotion, podcasters have plenty of options! This section will outline all the many different forms paid podcast promotion can take.

Programmatic Ads

Programmatic advertising is automating a media buying process through digital ads. It allows you to set targeting parameters that allow online tools to promote your podcast dynamically. 

Programmatic ads are a great way to boost your traffic and find new ears on the web. Because you can set targeting parameters, programmatic ensures your content only reaches ears that meet your crafted profile.

Some platforms allow for direct linking to help increase retention. Direct linking enables podcasters to funnel traffic wherever they want. Select platforms even offer custom tracking abilities. This helps podcasters measure things like clicks and traffic, which helps podcasters attribute growth and retention.

Programmatic ads are highly effective. They leverage specified targeting parameters with timeliness to create an engaging ad experience for listeners. Programmatic ads fuel growth by adding a layer of relevancy listeners do not experience with other ad types.

Social Media Ads

If you have social media, you’ve seen some targeted ad. 

Social media ads come in many forms and vary from platform to platform. Social ads are digital advertising assets that social media channels use to show content to target audiences. 

Paid podcast promotion on social media allows for robust targeting options. Depending on the platform, you can get hyper-specific to target niche audiences. This helps increase the likelihood of conversion—like acquiring a new listener (while retaining them!).

One of the biggest reported downsides to paid social is the ad dashboards. Even the most experienced marketers find these dashboards tricky, and they change from platform to platform. Before working on a paid campaign, checking out self-service help articles listed in ad learn centers across the different apps may be a good idea. This will inform you of best practices and help maximize dollars spent.

If you’re looking for information on starting paid podcast promotion on social media, check out this awesome, FREE tool from Chime House Media


YouTube is the number one platform for podcast discovery. As a company, YouTube is continuously investing resources into better-supporting podcasting. With this, YouTube is opening opportunities for monetization and paid promotion.

Paid advertising on YouTube works a lot like social ads, but the key difference is YouTube requires video. Fortunately, especially for audio-only podcasters, YouTube provides easy-to-use, self-service tools.

Paid Search 

Paid search involves advertising to people searching for a group of targeted keywords. You’ve likely seen paid search in action if you’ve noticed “Sponsored” above the search engine results page (SERP).

Paid search podcast promotion is great for podcasts without a large web presence. It allows podcasters to strategically target things people are searching for related to their podcast. Paid search podcast promotion helps podcasters quickly climb search rankings and increase visibility in targeted search patterns. This is especially true for podcasters who target low-competition keywords

One GREAT way to start thinking about keyword targeting is to use free tools like Google Ad Words or Google Trends. These tools allow you to do keyword research for free. Later, you can use this research to build lists for a paid podcast promotion search campaign.

How Paid Search Works

Paid search works by triggering an “auction” for keywords on a SERP. Once a user clicks “enter,” several things start happening behind the scenes. Search engines will start weighing content quality against budgets to determine what ads appear in what spots. The auction determines where you fall amongst competing search campaigns in page rankings.

(P.S. If you’d like to learn more about Google Ads, there is a podcast for that!)

Sponsored Content 

Sponsored Content involves paying to have a podcast mentioned or featured. Sponsored Content is an effective, proven form of paid podcast promotion. Overall, listeners respond favorably to paid podcast promotions and are receptive to ad messaging. 

For example, a recent study conducted by Veritonic found that 61% of podcast listeners reported discovering new podcasts from in-show ads. Separately, 81% of podcast listeners reported being more likely to listen to a new podcast if they felt the ad was tailored to their interests. 

Another study conducted by Research Expert Michele Majidi found that 39% of podcast listeners are willing to “go out of their way” to support content advertised on podcasts. Additionally, 45% of listeners reported enjoying podcast ads the most. 40% reported finding ads relevant to the listener.

As a form of paid podcast promotion, sponsored content can effectively reach targeted ears and has a higher likelihood of “success” than other promotional forms.

Types of Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content in paid podcast promotion can come in various formats. The three main formats we will discuss are host-read Sponsored Content, pre-recorded sponsored content, and branded Sponsored Content. 


Host-read Sponsored Content is read by a show’s host(s). This could involve the host reading a branded script, shouting out your show, or creating their own ad written in the style of the host’s podcast. 

The primary benefit of host-read content is that it is extremely trustworthy and establishes a strong connection with listeners. In fact, 87% of listeners report paying closer attention to a host-read ad when compared to other podcast ads. 

Pre-recorded (aka Produced ads)

Pre-recorded ads are ads recorded separately from the show and then added in during the editing process. They can appear at any point on the show. They can even be dynamically inserted using AId or ad software tools. 

Although they are considered less effective when compared to host-read ads, pre-recorded ads are still great forms of paid podcast promotion. Pre-recorded ads are still considered trustworthy and perceived well by listeners. 

Branded Content

The most diverse ad type in the scope of Sponsored Content! Branded Content weaves promotional messaging into existing content. 

This form of paid podcast promotion leverages all the benefits of other ad forms but is more fluid in style and outcomes. Branded Content can range from simple, subtle shoutouts in messaging to entire sponsored series.

As Branded Content is most fluid stylistically, it is important to dig into specifics to ensure you get what you’re paying for. 

Where Sponsored Content Can Live

Ads can live anywhere in a podcast! This section will walk you through all the different spots and placement options available to podcasters. 

  • Pre-Roll – Pre-Roll ads are played at the beginning of an episode. These are most likely to have the highest return as they are typically the most listened to. 
  • Mid-RollMid-roll ads can be placed anywhere in the episode. They function similarly to TV commercials and help to break up content or signal switches in topics – especially if baked in by the editor/host. 
  • Post-Roll Post-roll ads are placed at the end of the episode. These typically have the lowest return and listen rate as the podcast is perceived as “over” by the listener. 
  • Branded Content Co. – Because Branded Content is more fluid, it does not necessarily subscribe to what we think of as typical ad placement. Branded Content can truly occur at any point in a podcast or related, promotional content. 
  • Marketplaces – Podcasters can create and submit ads to marketplaces. Marketplace networks help you place your ad on other shows. They use parameters set by both you and the buyer (hosting show) targeting parameters. Marketplaces are great for getting mass exposure and increasing your RIO on single ad efforts.

How to add Sponsored Content: ads 

Sponsored Content is either added dynamically or is run as “baked-in” content. 

  • Dynamic ad insertion – Dynamic ad insertion refers to the process of inserting ads into podcasts in real-time or on-demand as the podcast is being downloaded or streamed. This means the ads can be tailored to the individual listener based on various factors like location, listening device, time of day, etc. Dynamic ads allow for more customization, flexibility, scalability, and timeliness. 
  • Baked-in ads—Baked-in ads are manually added to the podcast. They are constant and become a permanent part of the episode. Baked-in ads allow for the most control and personalization for podcasters.

How podcasters can take advantage of different ad types

Podcasters can create Sponsored Content to help grow their audience and promote their pod using other podcasts!

Ads as a form of paid podcast promotion can promote your podcast in-show. Not only is this an effective way to market your podcast, but you can increase your pod’s reach through evergreen and/or dynamic content. 

Who can help 

Now that you know all about the different forms of paid podcast promotion, let’s learn about some of the companies and services that can help you achieve your goals! 

This section is intended to assist you in your research. The companies listed below are not an exhaustive list. If you would like to submit a tool or company for consideration, please email us.

  • Acast – Acast boasts a wide range of tools designed to help podcasters grow their audience. Acast primarily helps podcasters connect with their target audience via self-serve ad campaigns on listening platforms. Acast has the resources to help podcaster create and design effective campaigns. 
  • Ad Results Media (ARM) – Ad Results Media is the world’s largest podcast advertising agency. ARM helps creators of all sizes harness the power of audio and video platforms. 
  • ADOPTER Media – ADOPTER Media is a full-service podcast agency. They connect brands with podcasts to create podcast ad campaigns. 
  • AdsWizz – AdsWizz helps podcasters monetize and manage their content. They provide targeting solutions to help optimze revenue and scale growth. Via their ads marketplace, AdsWizz creates a curated digital exchange platform for buying and selling audio ads. 
  • Amaze Media Labs – Amaze Media Labs offers programmatic ad services to digitally insert ads into podcasts. Amaze uses machine learning to help target and even retarget podcast listeners. They are a comprehensive media buying solution available to help podcasters reach and grow their audience. 
  • Audioboom – Audioboom offers podcasters and advertisers two ways to help promote content and scale their audience. With Audioboom, podcasters can create, find, and get their ads into podcasts. 
  • AudioGO – AudioGO allows podcasters to create targeted audio ads.  
  • Authentic Shows – Formally Podtrac, Authentic Shows help connect advertisers to podcasts. Authentic also assists in the creative process and oversees campaign design. 
  • Beacon Digital – Beacon Digital is a marketing agency that specializes in podcasting! Beacon creates, produces, and promotes podcasts specifically for B2B companies. 
  • BurstMarketing—BurstMarketing is a podcast agency that helps create, produce, publish, and promote professional and non-profit podcasts. They specialize in SEO and paid discovery for podcasts. 
  • Buzzsprout Ads: Promote your podcast inside Buzzsprout’s network over over 120,000 active podcasts. Buzzsprout Ads start at $200 and allow you to target specific podcasts in your niche, so you’re reaching the right audience. 
  • Caspian Studios – Caspian Studios produces podcasts. They also specialize in paid growth marketing via targeted ad campaigns across digital platforms.  
  • Dillie—Dillie is a podcast marketing agency that connects podcasts to podcasts. By leveraging its extensive media network, Dillie helps book and market podcasts as a form of paid podcast promotion. 
  • FRQNCY—FRQNCY is a media podcast company that assists in branding, production, and marketing services. They offer custom solutions to meet podcast and brand needs. 
  •— helps podcasters do what they love most—podcasting, of course—while making monetization easy. With, podcasters, and advertisers can connect to create host-read ads and promote podcasts. 
  • Headliner – Through their programmatic ad tool, Podcast Promo, Headliner helps podcasters grow their podcast in a transparent way. Podcast Promo leverages Headliner Publisher Network to get podcasts in front of new audiences at a time and place when they are most receptive to new ideas, topics, and messaging.
  • kevel – kevel uses podcasting platforms to place programmatic ads. By leveraging audio ad networks, kevel enables advertisers and publishers to buy and sell ads. This means podcasters can dynamically insert ads into other podcasts in a targeted way! 
  • Libsyn – You may know Libsyn as a host platform, but did you know they also offer different ad solutions? Via the Libsyn Ads Podcast Network, podcasters can shop and order ad spots. Brands can also work with podcasters to create host-read ads.  
  • Listen Network – Listen Network gives podcasters precision targeting for listeners and followers who match your ideal profile. Campaigns are made using business-class data. This means you will only pay for successful performance. Listen Network delivers all that, for podcasters, podcast agencies, and content marketers who want to boost promotional results.
  • Lower Street—Lower Street helps concept, produce, and promote podcasts. It functions as a marketing agency specializing in marketing strategy for growth solutions. 
  • Megaphone – Megaphone by Spotify offers several options to help podcasters grow their audience. Leveraging Spotify’s reach, Megaphone is able to help podcasters garner high-intent listeners via Podcast Streams and widget embeds to help boost discoverability. 
  • mowpod – mowpod functions as a programmatic ad tool that helps get podcasts in places ears are. They offer a “Boost” self-service option as well as custom enterprise solutions for large podcasts. 
  • Pacific Content – Pacific Content designs and creates podcast ads and short-form content to help promote podcasts! 
  • Podbean – Podbean offers comprehensive solutions for podcast marketing as well as paid podcast promotion. Via the Podbean Ads Marketplace, podcasters can leverage programmatic ad tech to dynamically insert ads into their content. Podcasters can also pace their own content on the marketplace for paid promotion solutions. 
  • PodcastOne – PodcastOne is an ad-supported, on-demand digital audio network. They offer a “360 degree” solution to support podcast growth. 
  • Podcorn – Popcorn connects podcasters and brands. Podcorn is a collaborative platform that allows for easy, free campaigns. 
  • Podsicle Media – Popsicle offers comprehensive solutions for podcast marketing and growth. In terms of paid podcast promotion, Popsicle offers custom solutions to help podcasters vault the charts. 
  • Podspike – Podspike is a marketing agency that specializes in marketing for branded and indie podcasts. Podspike helps optimise, showcase, and boost podcasts through paid podcast promotion.  
  • Simplecast – Simplecast provides tools to help publish and monetize your podcast. Their paid plans include options like guaranteed downloads, widget embeds, and web tools. 
  • SiriusXM Media – SiriusXM offers a wide range of options to podcasters looking to get into paid promotion. By leveraging the SiriusXM Podcast Network, SiriusXM helps place ads on podcasts. 
  • Socially Powerful – Socially Powerful is a podcast marketing service agency. They assist with podcast strategy, production, marketing, sourcing, and paid social solutions. 
  • socialfix– socialfix is a marketing company that offers solutions for podcast strategy, creation, and distribution. They help build relations and engage target audiences. 
  • Sookio—Sookio is a digital marketing agency that guides podcasters through every step of the podcasting process and creates targeted marketing campaigns designed to grow podcasts. 
  • Spotify—Spotify Ad Studio is a self-serve advertising tool that gets ads in the app and in the stream. Campaigns start at $250. Spotify can also help with the ad creation process! 
  • StackAdapt – StackAdapt offers audio ad solutions to engage listeners by leveraging podcasts, audiobooks, and streaming platforms. They offer programmatic ad solutions to support rapid, targeted growth.
  • Sweet Fish Media—Sweet Frish is a podcast agency that produces and promotes interview-based podcasts for B2B and HR teams. 
  • Trailergram – Trailergram is a programmatic ad tool that helps promote podcasts across their publisher network. Their goal is to help podcasts get more downloads!
  • True Native Media – True Native Media is a podcast representation agency. They help advertise and monetize podcasts. 

Paid Podcast Promotion is an Effective Tool for Growth

Regardless of what form you choose, paid podcast promotion is an effective tool for growth. Paid podcast promotion helps podcasters everywhere increase their visibility, boost their reach, increase traffic, and gain listeners.

If you’re a podcaster and have questions about paid podcast promotion or would like to add another company to the list, we’d love to chat! Email us at A member of the Headliner team will be in touch soon. 🙂