Podcast Advertising Glossary

A guide to understanding keywords related to podcast advertising.
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Podcast Advertising

Your brand/product/company gets mentioned on the podcast.


A digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or portable media player, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically.


A podcast player or software used to play podcasts. Apple's iTunes podcast player is the original and by far has the most market share in the industry, but many others exist such as SoundCloud, Stitcher, OverCast, DownCast, Spreaker, Clammr, Pocket Casts, and others. Spotify and even Google will soon be adding podcasts to their library. You're also seeing independent podcasters and artists make their own player apps. All of this is exciting as they all provide distribution channels to get podcasts to the ears of more potential listeners.


The company or individual that pays the podcaster money to mention their ad.


The podcast host.

Billboard Ad

Short 10-second ad that gets mentioned during the beginning, middle, or end of a podcast.

Ad Spot

Ad products the podcaster sells to the advertiser.

Pre-Roll Ad

The ad gets mentioned at the beginning of a podcast.

Mid-Roll Ad

The ad gets mentioned during the middle of the podcast.

Post-Roll Ad

The ad gets mentioned near the end of the podcast.


The last words of the podcast where the podcaster can give one more shout-out about the ad. Remember to visit Advertiser X and Save up to 50% all items with code X.

CPM Rate

Cost per mille (CPM) Cost per thousand listens. In podcast land, the average CPM rate according to sources is approximately $18-$25. Some popular and well produced shows are seeing CPM's up to $100. We recommend you price closer to the industry average when starting.

CPM's are calculated as:
Cost / Downloads * 1000

CPA Rate

Cost per acquisition (CPA) Cost to acquire 1 customer.

Listener Count

Average number of downloads each episode of your podcast receives. We measure this in a span of the first month and recommend the podcaster under forecast and over deliver their download numbers. Your podcast hosting provider should have this data available for you.

Download Numbers

This is synonymous with listener count on our platform. Advertisers require a data point that gives them an engagement metric of how many listeners your show receives on average, so they can make an educated decision on whether to advertise with you or not. But technically download numbers are different than listens in the podcast hosting world because downloads is determined by how many times the requested media file is requested from the host. So one person could download the file to multiple devices (hence counting as 2 downloads), but this would only constitute as one listen. It goes the other way too where you could download the file one time and have multiple people listening in your car or cafe. But with all of this said, we believe that one download = one listen +/- 10%.

Ad Inventory

Refers to all of the ad units you have for sale.

Ad Campaign

An advertising campaign is a series of advertisement messages that share a single idea and theme which make up an integrated marketing communication.


How many ad spots are available to order within the given timeframe. This is closely related to your publishing frequency and how many ad spots are available per episode. For instance if you publish a new episode once per week and offer one ad spot per episode, then your availability would be 1 per week.

Delivery Time

The amount of time that is required by the podcaster to complete the ad unit. This is the time it takes from when the advertiser purchases an ad unit(s) to the time you complete it and the ad is live. If you have a back log of orders, you will need to take this into consideration and adjust your turnaround accordingly.

Live Read Ad

Podcast host reads your ad live during his/her show. In most cases your ad will be permanently recorded.

Ad Script

The written words of your audio ad. If the podcaster has a 60 second audio ad, you will need to write down enough content to create a 60 second audio ad.

On Script (Exact Read)

The podcast host must read your ad script verbatim (exact).

Off Script

The podcast host can read your ad using their own words.

Talking Points

Podcast host just requires a few bullet points about your product or service and they will fill-in the rest.

Pre-Produced Ad

Podcaster requires an audio file that is already composed. You must supply this file (usually a mp3 file) to the podcaster and then they stitch it into the episode.

Permanently Recorded

Your ad is included in that podcast episode forever.

Limited Time

Your ad is included in that podcast episode for a period of time.

Back Catalog

Previously recorded podcast episodes.

Evergreen Content

Content that is sustainable and lasting, remains relevant over time.

Show Notes Page

The podcaster's web page that describes that specific episode.

Listed in RSS Feed

Podcaster mentions your ad in the episodes RSS feed. This shows up as text on podcast players when playing the episode.

Direct Response Marketing

Marketing/advertising that can track results. In most cases advertisers drive traffic to a unique traceable URL or a unique coupon code.

Direct Response Offer Codes

A coupon code that the podcast host mentions to the listening audience. Audience members then enter the code during checkout which then is used to measure the effectiveness of the advertisers ad campaign by totaling how many coupon codes were redeemed.

Brand Awareness Ads

Larger brands wanting to get their brand in front of larger audiences and generate buzz and create awareness. They don't track results for these type of podcast ads.

Native Advertising

A type of advertising, usually online but possible elsewhere, that matches the form and function of the platform upon which it appears which in our case is podcasts.

Programmatic Advertising or Dynamic Ad Insertion Technology

Programmatic advertising typically refers to the use of software to purchase and insert ads in a particular medium, as opposed to the traditional process that involves RFP's human negotiations and manual insertion orders. It's using machines to buy and insert ads.

Podcast Ad Platform

Libsyn Ads is the first self-serve online advertising platform for podcast advertising. We simply provide a marketplace for podcasters to sell ad spots to advertisers. Improves communication and efficiencies.

Podcast Advertising Agency

A company that acts as a liaison (middleman) to connect advertisers with podcasters.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

A request for proposal (RFP) is a solicitation, often made through a bidding process, by an agency or company interested in procurement of a commodity, service or valuable asset, to potential suppliers to submit business proposals.

Rate Card

A rate card is a document containing prices and descriptions for the various ad placement options available from a media outlet. This is generally the maximum price that one may pay.

Blue Chip Advertiser

A large corporate advertiser. Think Ford, Pepsi, Procter & Gamble.

Branded Content

Branded content is a form of advertising that uses the generating of content as a way to promote the particular brand which funds the content's production.

Buying Wide vs. Narrow

Buying wide simply means buying podcast ads across many different categories. Buying narrow means buying ad packages around a certain niche.

Length Flights

The period of time your advertising appears.

Insertion Order

An insertion order is the final step in the ad proposal process. When signed, it acts as a commitment that the advertiser will run a campaign or ad spot on the podcasters podcast. Our platform automatically takes care of this for you.