Podcast Advertising: Taking Advantage of High CPMs

Guess what, CPMs are on track to increase by 20% in between now up until the end of December 2021. That’s huge. So how can you take advantage of these high CPMs in podcast advertising and make money off of your podcast? Let’s get into it.

If you didn’t already know podcast ads are based on a CPM (“cost per mile”) model of advertising. A CPM is the cost of 1,000 ad impressions (or plays). Podcast advertising is sold on a CPM basis. This means that it is not sold per single listen/download but instead is sold by the thousands.

As you may or may not know, CPMs are always at their highest for the months of September through December. And this year we expect an increase of 20% in CPMs between September and December.

This means that if you are publishing less content during the final months of the year due to holidays and events such as Black Friday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, then you are definitely leaving money on the table. It’s normal to take time off during this period but, unfortunately, reducing the amount of published content at this time meant some of our users missed out on hundreds and even thousands of dollars in previous years. 

There’s a lot of terminology in podcast advertising that’s thrown around, mostly because there are so many different ways that podcasters can make money from podcasting. If you want to learn more, read our article: Podcast Monetization: What You Need to Know

So, why do CPMs increase so much? 

The main reason CPMs increase so significantly at this time of year is that companies allocate the largest portions of their budget to holidays and events such as Halloween, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. This increases the competition for advertising spots and therefore increases the CPMs. 

Another reason is that companies strive to spend all of their annual advertising budgets before the end of the year. Why? So that the following year’s budget doesn’t get reduced. In other words, there is a lot of money left in budgets that must be spent. As a result, companies begin pumping money into campaigns which in turn pushes up the CPMs. 

So how do you use this to your advantage?   

You definitely don’t want to be missing out on hundreds or even thousands of dollars in revenue this year, so how can you take advantage of these high CPMs? Well, let us tell you:

Ensure your podcast is always on

Always on means you publish episodes consistently and avoid taking unusual breaks. For example, if you release podcast episodes daily or twice weekly, make sure this schedule is always maintained. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t take a vacation, it just means you need to prepare, pre-record and schedule your publishing. 

Plan to publish more content during this period

There is huge potential to earn lots of money during the year’s fourth quarter. By publishing more content than usual you will proportionately grow your downloads and subsequently increase revenue during this period due to high ad fill and CPMs.  

Increase the number of ad spots in your content

You can significantly increase your revenue at this time of year by adding an extra midroll or two into your back catalog and new episodes. You will see a big difference in your revenue by doing this. 

Podcast Advertising: tips for maximizing your earnings

  1. Schedule your episodes to be published using our scheduling tool to ensure you are consistent. 
  2. Increase the number of ad spots (especially midrolls) you are using compared to normal, users expect to hear ads at this time of year.
  3. Publish more content! You can create extra episodes by recycling content for example;  ‘a round-up of the best moments of 2021’, ‘2021 highlights’, ‘the best bits of your podcast’, or by simply republishing an old episode you think new listeners may have missed with a few current updates. 
  4. Include relevant keywords in your episode title and description such as; holidays, Christmas, Black Friday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Gifts, etc. This helps our sales team to search for and include your podcast in proposals for direct campaigns which command higher CPMs. 

From now until the end of 2021 it is high season.

This means that it is the best time to make as much money from your podcast as possible due to the CPMs and ad fill. Due to seasonality, once January comes the market always sees a decrease in CPMs. So get it while it’s hot folks!  

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