On Monday, the IAB announced a podcast advertising statistic that shocked no one in the industry. The podcasting ecosystem is heating up, and heating up fast.

In 2021, podcast advertising reached $1.4B, up 72% year-over-year. It’s growing 2x faster than the total internet ad market, according to IAB’s report. It’s not surprising. We’ve heard from our podcasters often that they’re looking for new, efficient, and powerful ways to monetize their content. As the podcasting industry matures, so too must its advertising tools.

Over the last few months, we’ve spoken to creators large and small about what matters most to them. One thing shines. Creators are looking for ways to monetize their content and their audiences. Brands are seeking new advertising opportunities that promise guaranteed impressions, high efficiency, and large ROIs. The focus is on making audio an effective and efficient advertising medium.

Today, we are excited to share our complete ad stack available to creators, publishers, and networks of all sizes.

How to monetize your podcast with Sounder Ad Solutions

In 2021, Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI) accounted for 84% of advertising revenue. We believe it is the future of audio advertising. Every audio ad should be dynamically stitched into audio rather than being baked into the content. DAI enables creators and networks to operate at scale. Gone are the days of recording an ad in your audio content (baking it in), getting paid for it once, and having it play for years to come.

Fundamentally, creators should be paid for every ad impression. For the most engaging podcasts, back-catalog content can accumulate a sizable amount of audience. That’s why we’ve built Sounder Ad Solutions around the power of DAI. Every stream deserves to be and should be monetized. Simply put, creators can make more money through Sounder Ad Solutions.

With Sounder Ad Solutions, we’ve built a robust suite of tools that increase creator efficiencies, maximize revenues (especially for your back catalog content), and improve ROI. Plus, our team is always here to help—we work with many creators, publishers, and networks to help them create and refine their audio monetization strategy.

We offer creators the ability to run direct ads through Sounder Campaign Manager. Creators, publishers, and networks can set pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll ad breaks and dynamically deliver promotions based on set delivery schedules, preferred number of impressions, and a specific group of episodes. Of course, we offer impression and revenue reporting so brands can understand their ROI from these campaigns. In many cases, the sales team at Sounder can work on a creator or publisher’s behalf to broker ad deals.

Sounder Campaign Manager can be used for several, powerful use cases:

  • Top podcasters can broker their own advertising deals with brands looking to advertise on audio. Given these are host-read ads, they demand high—and growing—CPMs. The current average is between $10-30 depending on the ad’s position. With Sounder Campaign Manager, creators can set their own price, and monetize how they see fit.
  • Growing creators can pursue cross-podcast promotional swaps with other genre-relevant podcasts on a weekly or monthly basis. Rather than baking in the promotion to their audio file (and having it live there forever), creators can upload a promotion once, dynamically insert it into all their content, and swap it for a different promotion the next week.
  • Creators can promote their own products at scale with Sounder Campaign Manager. Say, for example, a creator wants to promote her new online course. She could record an audio ad one time, stitch it into her entire catalog and swap it out once she launches her next course. Building a personal monopoly is easy when you have the tools to do so efficiently.

In addition to dynamically inserted direct ads, we also offer dynamically inserted programmatic ads as part of Sounder Ad Solutions, too. If there’s no direct ad available for a given ad break, we work with different advertising partners to ensure we give your content the best chance to be monetized as possible. Or, if you’re not yet in a place to run direct ads on your content, we offer every creator the chance to monetize through programmatic ads. You set your own ad breaks and, rather than filling those ad breaks yourself, leverage our technology to fill those ad breaks automatically through our growing list of demand sources.

What’s ahead for Sounder Ad Solutions

The IAB’s report indicates this rapid growth is due to more podcast listeners, more engaging content, the rise of dynamic ad insertion, and increased ad spend across already active publishers. The team at Sounder believes the report is missing the impact that automated brand safety and contextual targeting tech will have on the ecosystem. While the IAB report projects U.S. podcast advertising to reach $4B by 2024, we think it’s an underestimate.

Automated brand safety and contextual advertising will increase sell-through rates, CPMs, and advertiser ROI. It’s a flywheel destined to drive increased focus and investment in podcast advertising. At Sounder, we’ve been focused on building these tools to enable networks, publishers, and platforms. This will offer new advertising experiences for brands looking to broadcast their marketing messages to engaged audiences. Calls for increased privacy and a cookie-less future are becoming louder. Safe and powerful contextual targeting will become table stakes for any content creator looking to monetize.

We’re excited to continue working with our brand and content partners to design the future of audio advertising. We plan to incorporate our automated brand safety and contextual targeting solutions into our ad stack—helping networks sell contextual ads across their entire content catalog dynamically.

At Sounder, we’re happy to help you monetize your content in the way that works best for your content and monetization goals. If you’d like to learn more about our advertising tools, please feel free to reach out at advertising@sounder.fm. And, if you’re a marketer or business owner reading this, please feel free to learn more about Sounder Ad Solutions.

Here’s to making more money doing the things we love.