Anchor Sponsorships makes it really easy to make money by getting your podcast sponsored. Getting matched with a sponsor, recording and publishing a great message, getting paid — it’s all built directly into Anchor, streamlining the entire podcast advertising process.
Even with the right tools available, using advertising to make your podcast really profitable takes thoughtful strategy, and we’re here to help by evolving the Sponsorships product to be as simple and efficient as possible. Starting today, anyone can add multiple sponsored messages to their episodes (up to three per episode), effectively tripling the amount of money that can be made from your podcast using Sponsorships.
Setting yourself up for more Sponsorships
Sponsored segments work as placeholders in your podcast episodes, dynamically updating automatically whenever you publish a new campaign (they also clear out automatically whenever a campaign ends). This is helpful for long-term revenue because it allows you to consistently generate money by running new campaigns, even across older podcast episodes…forever.
Because these segments act as placeholders, any active campaigns will fill the open spots as needed, and empty segments won’t be heard by the listener — the system will automatically skip past them. Think of it as having segments in your podcast that are “on call” for when they’re needed, and invisible when they’re not.
This also means you’re able to add up to three placeholders for sponsored segments into your episodes even if you’re not already matched with three sponsors. The more Sponsorships segments you have available, the more likely it is you’ll get matched with additional sponsors.
Here’s what it looks like:
Every podcast is different and it’s entirely up to you — the creator — to decide the balance that allows you to both maximize your podcast income and deliver a great show to your listeners. If you want to place three unique, original sponsored messages in your episodes, great! Or if you want to stick with just one 30-second spot, also great.
There *are* some tried-and-true best practices for putting this cycle into action. In the past months of seeing Sponsorships in action, we’ve gained a lot of insight into best practices and ways podcasters are implementing sponsored messages in their shows.
Where to place your sponsored messages
We recommend placing all three Sponsorships segments in a row within your episode. This minimizes the need for you to transition to the break more than once, and establishes a frame of reference your listeners can come to expect across episodes (plus, it’s super easy to add on more segments this way for episodes where you already have Sponsorships activated).
It also takes advantage of the fact that Anchor will only publish and distribute the segments that actually have ads in them — if you do have any empty Sponsorships segments, the player will skip right over them and cut back to your show.
Income for the long haul
The fastest way to take advantage of Sponsorships is to place as many sponsored segments as possible across your entire show. Most podcasts get a lot of plays on their back catalog, not just on their newest episodes, and we built Sponsorships to capture that audience. Because the segment you’re adding to each episode is read as a placeholder segment by the system, we’re able to automatically update the content every time you have a new Sponsorships campaign. So if someone wants to listen to your episode from two years ago, they’ll hear the sponsored message you recorded yesterday — and you’ll get paid for that listen.
Because of this, we recommend activating Sponsorships segments across your entire catalog of episodes. This creates an exponential increase in opportunity, and is an easy way to continue to monetize your work over time.
Using CPM to your advantage
CPM (Cost Per Mille, or cost per thousand plays) is the standard metric used across the podcast industry to determine rates for advertising. To get even more granular, CPM can change based on where sponsored messages are placed within an episode. Mid-roll advertisements, or those placed in the middle of an episode, typically command the highest CPM rates because they make for the most engaged listener experience.
Many sponsors on Anchor have either set their campaigns to require mid-roll placement, or will pay a higher CPM for any sponsored messages played as a mid-roll. Safe to say we recommend placing your Sponsorships segments as mid-rolls as much as possible.
Pre-roll and post-roll, while they have their own advantages, typically have slightly lower average CPMs because they’re easier for listeners to skip. In fact, brands using Anchor overwhelmingly favor mid- and pre-roll spots, so post-roll segments are currently not available for Sponsorships campaigns.
Going by this system, placing three segments all together in the middle of your episodes is, for most podcasts, likely going to be the most efficient path to profit. But we encourage you to get creative and do whatever works best for your show! If you’re in need of inspiration, check out our tips for recording great sponsored messages here. We can’t wait to see what you create.
Haven’t started your own podcast yet? Check out our handy How to Start a Podcast guide for tips and tricks on how to make something awesome with Anchor. And as always, we’d love to hear your feedback, via email or on Twitter.