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Podcast advertising: Your startup’s next secret weapon


On Wednesdays, we startup.

To celebrate our women-identifying founders, we’ve put together ‘On Wednesdays, we startup’, a blog series dedicated to putting women founders center stage to acknowledge their work, complexities and wins!

We hope to push women-founder stories forward and share lessons learned and insights for other aspiring women entrepreneurs.

For this week’s feature, we handed the reins to Rand Abou Ras, the Founder and CEO of uCast and expert in startup development, to learn about podcast advertising and why more startups should be turning to the underrated advertising method.

Guest blog: By Rand Abou Ras, Founder and CEO of uCast

Podcast advertising is not new, but it has become increasingly popular as more people have turned to podcasts as their choice of media throughout the pandemic. I’m sure my fellow podcast junkies have heard a GoDaddy or Better Help ad once or twice while listening to their favourite series.

Podcast advertising is a great way for startups to get visibility. In this blog, I’ll share more about how podcast advertising works, why startups should consider leveraging it, and how uCast makes podcast advertising easy.
podcast station with imac headphones and microphone

Podcast advertising 101

There are a couple of different models to consider when exploring podcast advertising rates.

  • CPM (Cost Per Mille), the most common model, is a host-read ad that’s determined by the show’s number of listeners and their rate per 1000 listeners. A CPM campaign is shown to generate the highest conversion rate over time because of its direct ‘host-to-consumer’ approach.
  • CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) is an affiliate model that larger retail and consumer brands most commonly use. With CPAs, a podcaster is paid a commission for every sale they secure through the use of promo codes. While this may be seen as a ‘safer’ avenue, results show that CPA models lead to low conversions.
  • Hybrid is the ideal model for startups that are new to the space and are looking to experiment. The hybrid model consists of a CPM fee and commission for each secured sale. So, startups would be paying a fixed fee for the campaign, and commission on each conversion made by the host.
  • Programmatic advertising is a model that automates the buying and selling of online ads. This is the same model YouTube adopts for their ad campaigns. Ads are inserted into the podcast audio randomly for each individual listener based on their demographics.

Startups and podcast advertising

Podcast listenership is growing at a steady pace, and the pandemic has supercharged its growth. Podcast advertising is a great way to get your message in front of an audience who will actually listen. Today, 78% of podcast listeners approve of podcast sponsorships and 67% can accurately recall the brands featured.

Podcasting has created a community amongst consumers and offers a personalized experience, making it the ideal environment to target ads to your audience. Plus, it’s still in its infancy, which diminishes ad avoidance and competition. For startups, it’s one of the most cost-effective and best-converting forms of advertising. Other advantages include story-telling capabilities, cross-promotion opportunities, and high audience engagement.
two women sitting at a podcast table with a microphone and laptop with flowers in the background

Where uCast comes in

 uCast is a marketplace and ad management platform for podcasters and advertisers to launch ad campaigns quickly, safely, and accurately. Our mission is very straightforward; we aim to simplify how podcast advertising works today.

It should be easy for podcasts to sell ads, and it should be even easier for advertisers to find the right podcast to advertise on. We plan to be the go-to marketplace for podcasters and advertisers of any size and on any budget.

Our platform uses a matchmaking algorithm to connect the right advertiser to the right podcaster with the highest ROI potential. With the majority of existing solutions solely focused on maximizing revenue, uCast helps advertisers maximize ROI, and addresses common pain points for advertisers and podcasters like ghosting, lack of communication, ‘scammy’ behaviour, and trust.

We are redesigning the podcast advertising process. uCast is designed to instill trust, communication, and provide a ‘podcast-advert’ fit. We focus on matching campaigns with podcasts that will generate the highest ROIs based on numerous factors. Furthermore, we are investing in a rating system for podcasters and adverts to provide transparency for both parties.

Join uCast’s waitlist to access over 15,000 podcasts, and get your first two episodes for free by filling out this form.


You can also head over to our website to learn more, or reach out to Rand directly here.