Are you considering advertising on your podcast? If so, you’re not alone. Many podcasters are interested in monetizing their content through ads, but how do you do it effectively? On this episode of the Business Podcast Blueprint Show, I interview Heather Osgood, founder of True Native Media, about how to structure podcast episodes for effective ads. Heather explains why podcasting is such an effective medium for advertisers, due to the high engagement and intentionality of podcast listeners. She also discusses the different types of advertisers and industries that are interested in podcast ads, as well as the technology behind dynamic ad insertion. If you’re interested in monetizing your podcast through ads, don’t miss this insightful episode.

Heather Osgood is an expert in podcast advertising and the founder of True Native Media, a podcast representation agency that connects podcasters with advertisers. With over seven years of experience in the industry, Heather has helped countless podcasters monetize their content and has worked with a wide range of advertisers, from direct response companies to those targeting niche audiences. Heather is passionate about the engagement and intentionality of podcast listening and believes that podcasts provide a unique opportunity for advertisers to reach their target market. 


You’ll hear us talk about:

  • Many podcasters consider advertising at some point for monetization and sustainability. 
  • “The reason that advertisers have a tendency of gravitating toward podcasts and having a lot of success is because of the engagement that happens with the podcast audience,” Heather says. 
  • People are very intentional about the podcasts they listen to, so the audience is usually highly engaged. “The other thing that is really fascinating about podcasts,” Heather tells me, “is time spent listening. So the average podcast is really about 40 minutes long. The average listener listens to about 80% of the podcast.” 
  • This makes podcasts an excellent choice for advertisers to get in front of their target market. 
  • There are several types of advertisers that succeed in the podcast space. Direct-to-consumer and financial products are popular. Software does particularly well. Heather says, “I would say software works exceptionally well in podcasts because the other thing to think about with podcasts is that they are global… Somebody can listen to a podcast anywhere in the world. And one of the things that’s great about software is in most cases people can buy software anywhere on the planet.”
  • Podcasts are a global platform and can offer localized ad placements. Dynamic ad insertion technology allows for better targeting of ads to specific listeners. 
  • Announcer-read ads are typically programmatically inserted into a podcast, while host-read ads are advertised by the host of the show. Announcer-read ads are usually placed by large advertising agencies to reach specific targets.
  • An effective transition in a podcast will avoid the listener feeling there are too many ads. I like the cliffhanger method as an effective way to keep listeners engaged during ad breaks. Heather also recommends using music to create powerful transitions.
  • Ads can be created to serve as content, creating a win-win situation for the podcast, audience, and advertiser, Heather says. “The thing that always really drew me into podcast advertising from the get go was how creative a host could be with an ad and how entertaining an ad can actually be. And when we can make ads as content and make them something that the listener wants to see and listen for, to me, that’s where the win is and that’s where the gold is across the board.”
  • What makes a podcast commercially attractive to advertisers? 
    • Quality, consistent content is crucial. Creating seasons and being transparent with the audience can be a good way to avoid burnout and take breaks.
    • The quality of your audience. Be clear about who your audience is.
    • At least 1,000 downloads per month. If you want companies to sell their products on your podcast, you should have at least 10,000 downloads a month. Video is a great addition to podcasts.
  • If you want to offer ads, start your show with that in mind and structure your show to have ad breaks in them. Create a plan and have a clear idea of your audience size and demographics before monetizing your podcast.
  • Podcasters can start with affiliate opportunities to practice doing ad reads and to see what kind of response rate they can get from their audience.
  • Sponsors like integrated packages that include podcast ads, video, as well as ads on social media and e-newsletters. They prefer reinforcement through other forms of advertising since podcast listeners cannot click on ads.


  • If your podcast gets 30,000 to 50,000 downloads per month or more, Heather would love to represent you. You can fill out the podcast questionnaire on the True Native Media website for more information.



“With podcasts, people are…there because they want to hear the content. And that creates this engagement, which then allows this advertiser to really align themselves well with that content and reach the target market that they’re looking to reach.” – Heather Osgood


“When we can make ads as content and make them something that the listener wants to see and listen for, to me, that’s where the win is and that’s where the gold is across the board.” – Heather Osgood


“Size really does matter…I think that we have to be really honest with ourselves about who is actually listening to the podcast and how many of those people are listening.” – Heather Osgood



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