Podcasting is fun. It’s also hard work. Not surprising that since the dawn of this medium, podcasters have been crafting ways to make the fun pay off. Traditional advertising methods work for a select few - an estimated 0.05% of podcasters monetize their show via direct sponsorship - and finding vertical opportunities by leveraging your own business works for others. But what about those who neither have a large online listenership nor a business directly tied to their podcast?

I am a skeptic when it comes to anyone offering a chance to make money podcasting - by any method.

Enter AdvertiseCast.

From the company: Our team is on a mission to create better technologies for podcasters and advertisers. We see a future where brands build long-lasting relationships directly with podcasters. Our unique platform makes this possible and also facilitates the entire process from shopping and ordering sponsorship packages, signing of contracts, handling of assets, communication, payments, stats, and more.

What promises to be a chance to earn advertising dollars by simply submitting your show to a directory for advertisers to peruse, certainly has its appeal. That said, I am a skeptic when it comes to anyone offering a chance to make money podcasting - by any method. With that, I’ve sent out some feelers and will indeed try this platform myself.


What the founder says.

I’ve been having a back-and-forth with Trevr Smithlin, CEO of AdvertiseCast. Though we do plan to meet in person at Podcast Movement in a few weeks, he was kind enough to send over some preliminary information.

“AdvertiseCast was created to help you monetize your podcast and help you make a part-time or full-time living from the craft you love. We understand the more money you make, the more time, energy, and resources you can invest in your podcast thus helping you create better content. Creating better content is the key to your success and enriches the podcast medium as a whole. Our platform was created for everyone, as any podcaster can join (no matter how many downloads), we don't hold you to a non-exclusive contract, and you communicate directly with the advertiser (no middleman agency interference). Who represents your podcast better than you, no one!”


Fine copy to be sure, but how does this work?

AdvertiseCast is a media buying marketplace and ad agency. Companies wanting to tap into the advertising space of podcasts without making a hefty investment can shop for “ad packages” in their online store. This is a well-thought-out directory of current podcasters who are open to advertising on their shows. On the surface, one can choose a show appropriately matched to their product or service, view upfront the size of the audience, and the cost per mille and ad packages available. With a slick interface, quick filters, and lots of heads-up information, this appears to make finding the show and making the buy seem like a breeze. More info for media buyers can be found here.


OK, but what about the podcasters?

As a podcaster myself, the notion of simply putting my show into a marketplace and attracting potential sponsors sounds intriguing. That said, I’m pretty old-school when it comes to earning money - and procuring clients. Podcast advertising is hard work. I know, I have had many sponsors for several shows that I personally have hosted. Finding the right company, closing the sale, and waiting on a net-ninety payment is a grind. Advertisers want to know, “How many people heard our ad this week?”, “How long should we expect some leads from the media buy?”, “When is the show going to be released, and what are you doing to market it this week?”. All this and more months before you actually get paid.

So, is there any chance that I can simply put my show up on this platform and let sponsors just come to me? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Podfly client, Juicing Radio, has been listed on AdvertiseCast for some time. With over 4000 weekly listeners and a reach of over 100,000, I was curious how their account has worked so far.

Sadly this has not converted for us. As far as I know there have not been any enquiries.

I think it is because even though we are in health/wellness we are in a narrow niche so we will really only be attractive to a limited numbers of sponsors.

Champion Juicer pay us a yearly five figure sum but we found that ourselves...we interviewed them about their juicer and they loved it so much they approached us about sponsorship.

We ran a 3 month trial and they then agreed to another 12 month deal. We did not work on a cost per download model but charged a flat fee. Mainly because no other podcast can out that product in the ears of such a targeted audience i.e. juicers.
— Shane Whaley, Juicing Radio

With only one anecdotal testimonial to date, I look forward to hearing back from some other podcasters currently listed on the AdvertiseCast directory, and will amend this article accordingly. I also look forward to getting more direct data from Mr. Smithlin himself in a few weeks.


The jury is still out, but I’m optimistic.

There is no shortage of companies looking to capitalize on the recent popularity of podcasts. That said, there’s a long row to hoe for those looking at what we used to call in the radio biz, “micro buys”. Jessica Rhodes and I are scheduled to speak with Jessica Kupferman, founder of J/K Media Agency, in an upcoming episode of our podcast, The Podcast Producers. I’ve also enjoyed a call with Lex Friedman, executive vice president of sales and development for podcast advertising network Midroll.

 Lex Friedman, executive vice president of sales and development for podcast advertising network Midroll.

 Lex Friedman, executive vice president of sales and development for podcast advertising network Midroll.

With each viewing this from a bottom up and top down approach, respectively, there is indeed a need for what may reside in the middle. It remains to be seen if the fast-growing AdvertiseCast is cultivating that middle market opportunity for podcasters. Trust that Podfly will be watching with keen interest.