Podcasts are one of the most effective marketing and advertising tools for businesses. Podcast sponsors have two main goals when working with a podcaster: to sell a product or service or increase brand awareness.
Since podcast audiences are pretty niched down, it makes a highly targeted customer base. The Nielsen 2021 podcasting report indicates that podcast listeners earn an average of $80,000 annually. As such, they have disposable income and buying power. You should leverage sponsors as one way to monetize your podcast.
This article will discuss who sponsors podcasts, how to find sponsors for your podcast, sponsorship pricing, and more to help you get the sponsors you need to keep producing high-quality engaging content.
Table of Contents
Who Sponsors Podcasts?
Podcast sponsors range from big fortune-500 companies to small and mid-size online companies. Small online companies and independent creators are the most accessible clients for podcasters.
You want to go for an online company if you have a wide geographical reach as it can deliver products online. If your podcast is aimed toward a specific location, work with a local company.
How to Find Podcast Sponsors
The easiest way to find sponsors is to look at the type of businesses in your niche. You can research such companies through a simple Google search or search on social networks such as Facebook and Pinterest. Etsy is a good place to look for prospective independent creators.
You could also listen to similar podcasts as yours to get a sense of the type of sponsors they work with. Better yet, ask your audience about what products and services they would be interested in.
Advertising Marketplaces: Podcast Sponsors
Another place to look is podcast advertising marketplaces. Most are free to list on, and all you are required to do is submit your podcast and provide details about your listenership. Since you will be competing with many other podcasts, ensure your profile and pitch are clear and have a clear value proposition. The marketplace earns a commission (10-30%) on every sponsorship you get.
The top podcast advertising marketplaces include:
- Advertise Cast
- Anchor Sponsorships
Alternatively, some podcasters opt to work with agents at a fee or commission. The agent takes over finding podcast sponsors and negotiating the terms of engagement.
Getting Sponsors for Podcasts
Below are steps for getting sponsors for your podcasts:
1. Identify Prospective Podcast Sponsors
Come up with a list of prospective sponsors. Identify at least 20 companies that would be a great fit for your podcast, then reach out to them. You will need a well-crafted pitch or email template to work with.
2. Craft a Pitch
Come up with a well-crafted pitch that includes details about your audience, how often you put up a podcast episode, the length of your podcast, information about the host and team, and your guests. Give detailed audience demographics and relevant analytics. You may also incorporate messages or quotes from your listeners.
Provide your contact information, including an easy-to-reach phone number, an alternative phone number, and email addresses. Ensure to provide a link to your podcast, your podcast website (if you have one), and social media pages.
Make your pitch as eye-catching as possible. You can use websites such as Canva to make a colorful and well-laid-out podcast profile. Or, use Powerpoint and download it into a PDF that you send to prospective sponsors. Remember to customize your pitch for every sponsor.
3. Come Up With a Rate Card
Come up with a rate for your ad spots. You can either provide a range or an exact number. This range gives the podcast sponsor a leeway to negotiate, but it should not be so wide that it’s difficult to narrow down to a specific number. If you choose an exact number above the market average rates, ensure that it is justified regarding audience engagement, buying capacity, or targeting.
Provide a rate for pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll, and pre-and mid-roll combo. If you offer sponsors the option for a paid interview, indicate your price too.
4. Write an Engaging Pitch Email
You need a concise email to go with your podcast profile to answer questions the sponsor will ask. It should summarize your podcast profile and tell the sponsor what value you would bring to them. Include a link to your podcast and all relevant contact information. Don’t forget to attach your podcast profile and rate card.
5. Follow-up on Your Emails
Let’s be realistic, not every prospective sponsor will respond to your email. Odds are you will have a 10% or less response rate. Some companies may simply be uninterested, while others may be a maybe. Or, the person you had written to may have missed your email or forgotten about it.
Writing a follow-up email provides a gentle nudge to the possible sponsors and brings your pitch to the surface for those who may have missed it or forgotten about it.
You want to maintain a balance of politeness and persistence in your follow-up. Do not send a follow-up email sooner than one week after sending the first email; however, don’t wait longer than two weeks.
Send only one follow-up email. It should be brief and indicate that you are open to future collaboration. A prospective sponsor may not be ready for a partnership now, but they may be ready later.
If you get some interested sponsors, take the conversation further to clarify your expectations of each other and come up with a concrete pricing model. Come up with a contract detailing your terms of engagement and ensure that both of you sign it. Follow through with delivery of the podcast ads as per sponsorship package.
Podcast Sponsorship Pricing
There are two main sponsorship pricing models: Cost per Mille (CPM) and Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). The right model depends on several factors, including:
- Your audience size and engagement
- Your preferred pricing model
- The sponsor’s preferred pricing model
- Sponsor’s marketing goal
CPM refers to the cost per 1000 impressions. In this case, per 1000 podcast listens, downloads, or video views (if you post your podcast on YouTube). To get the actual price, divide the cost by impressions and then multiply by 1000.
The CPM sponsorship pricing model is most effective if:
- You are starting with your podcast
- The sponsor’s main goal is to build brand awareness
On the other hand, if you employ the CPA pricing model, you will be paid per number of sales or sign-ups. The CPA could be a percentage of the product price or an agreed referral fee.
As such, this pricing method is most preferable if:
- You are a small or large podcast with a highly engaged audience
- The sponsor’s main goal is to sell their product or service
Name the Price
Although it is not very common, this pricing model works for podcasts with a hyper-targeted and engaged audience. Specifically, if you have a strong relationship with your audience and they trust your recommendations, you will have a high conversion rate, which translates to unmatched value for your sponsors. In this case, you determine your rate for sponsorships, and the client either agrees to it or leaves it. This model also works best if you are receiving numerous sponsorship offers.
How Much Do Podcasts Pay for Sponsorships?
There are no set industry rates for sponsorships. You have to reach an agreement with the sponsor depending on their marketing needs and budget and your reach and audience engagement.
With that said, CPM rates typically average $15-$25 per 1000 listens, and CPA rates average $15-30 per sign-up or sale. If the campaign was effective, the podcast sponsor may renew, and you may have an opportunity to renegotiate your rate.
Note that the ad spot rate can vary depending on its placement within an episode. The most common placement options include pre-roll (at the beginning of the episode), mid-roll (midway), or post-roll (at the end of the episode). Most podcast advertisers prefer pre-roll and mid-roll placement with an average CPM rate of $18 to 20 and $23 to $25, respectively. Post-roll ads cost $10 per 1000 impressions.
Let’s say your podcast gets 10,000 listens per episode. If you agree with the client on a $25 CPM for a mid-roll ad spot, you will make $250 per episode. If you have an episode each week and the sponsorship is for four episodes, you will have made $1000 that month.
The sponsor can also opt for a pre-roll ($15) and mid-roll ($25) combo for each episode. This arrangement works out to $400 per episode and $1600 for the month. Here is a free Podcast Sponsorship Calculator that you can use to estimate your sponsorship revenue.
The key to successful sponsorships is to build a loyal and engaged audience. That way, when you recommend products, they know that you have their best interest at heart and are eager to buy.