There are two different “mid-roll s” out there. ✌️ One is where you’re kind of stuck in the middle of a somersault and you’re thinking, “wow this was easier and less embarrassing when I was nine years old.” The other is an advertising break during a podcast.
We’re going to focus on the podcast kind, but we certainly wish you the best of luck with the somersault one. Always remember to stretch first! 😉
What is Mid-Roll Advertising
Mid-roll advertising is advertising in the middle of a podcast episode.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be in the exact middle. Usually it is somewhere between 40-70% of the way through the episode. This distinguishes it from pre-roll or post-roll ads. As you may deduce, pre-rolls play before the podcasts’ content and post-rolls play after the podcasts’ content. 🤓
Mid-roll ads are considered the most valuable, pre-roll the second most valuable, with post-roll ads coming in third.
Mid-roll gets the highest ranking because in the middle of an episode, listeners are probably busy with an activity, like cooking dinner or working out, and they are less likely to click ‘skip’ through the ad content. 😁
Pre-rolls are still considered pretty valuable because while people may still be closer to their media playing device as soon as they click ‘play’ on an episode. And therefore be more likely to click ‘skip’ during an ad. At least there is a good chance they will just let the ad play since it is leading up to the episode.
Post-rolls are of the lowest value because listeners are likely to turn off their media playing device as the episode closes, especially if they are just listening to a single episode. However, post-rolls are not completely value-less. Just like mid-rolls, often people still have their hands full with whatever they were doing while they were listening to the podcast. They would rather just have the ad play through, letting the next podcast episode automatically start than click ‘skip.’
Now that we’ve established that mid-roll advertising is the highest value for in-media ads, let’s talk about what makes for a good mid-roll ad.
What Makes for Good Mid-Roll Advertising
Mid-rolls are typically around one minute long. ⏰ If they take much less time than that, it may be too easy to skip with one click. If they take much more time than that, they could frustrate the listener. There may be a single one-minute ad or two thirty-second ones. Sometimes the host of the podcast episode will do a live-read of the ad content, but most of the time it is recorded completely separate from the podcast.
There are ad agencies that specialize in creating audio ads, but you don’t necessarily have to use one. The benefit of going through these agencies is that sometimes they have connections to networks so they can place your ad in multiple podcasts. You may have heard of the names of some of these network: SXM, Midroll, etc.
A good mid-roll ad first and foremost has high quality media. 🤩 Obviously audio quality comes first, but if the mid-roll ad is a video, establishing a high-quality, engaging visual immediately is important.
Secondly, the content of the ad needs to repeat the important information without coming across as repetitive or boring. Repeat the product’s or brand’s name multiple times as well as the call-to-action. The call-to-action may be to visit the product’s or brand’s website and use a certain promo code. 🚀
That means the website address and the promo code need to be repeated a few times throughout the ad. If possible, this information should be listed in the show notes too so people can read it as well. That may not be possible, or it may be an additional cost, but it is worth checking out!
Finally, the most important thing about creating a mid-roll ad is that it speaks to the podcast’s audience, both in terms of the product or brand the ad is marketing, and in terms of how it communicates.
If the mid-roll ad content doesn’t line up with the podcast’s established audience, it isn’t very valuable.
We’ll talk more about this in the next section.
How to Make Money With Mid-roll and Advertising
As a podcaster, you may purchase advertising in other podcasts to market your own podcast, or you may offer mid-roll ad space for others to buy. As the buyer or the seller, there are key things to keep in mind. To keep things clear as we explain, we’re going to focus on being the seller.
Being a podcaster is already great. 🤩 You get to produce content you are passionate about and create the media you want to see in the world. Now imagine if on top of all this, you could also make money. Mind blown, right? 🤯
The most important tool in making money through advertising on your podcast is the dynamic insertion tool. We have this tool built into our hosting platform Ausha 💜.
A dynamic ad insertion tool makes it so that ads don’t have to be baked into your episode. You create and publish your episode just like you typically would. Then you can insert the ad media wherever it fits best.
Even more importantly, the dynamic insertion tool will go back through your old episodes and add the advertisement. That way when a new listener starts your podcast from the beginning, or even just a few episodes earlier, they will hear the inserted advertisement.
So with dynamic insertion, you can reach backward in time, and on our platform you can reach forward in time too. On our platform we have an ad campaign feature where you can set the automatic end date for the ad. In other words, you set a beginning date you want the dynamic insertion tool back into for old episodes and you set an end date where you want the dynamic insertion tool to automatically stop placing the ad in the future. 🚀
As a podcaster selling ad space, this is a critical tool. You can go to advertisers and give them prices based on a specific timeframe. This is helpful to advertisers as they figure out their budget, but of course what they really care about is your audience. 🎧
High Value Audience
If you want to make money selling ad space, you have to show potential advertisers that your audience is the perfect subset of folks for them to promote their product to. You need to be able to show them data of who your listeners are and how they are engaged in your content. The more detail, the better. On our hosting platform, we give podcasters very detailed numbers and data on their listeners for this exact reason. 💪
At the end of that ad campaign, you will want to show the advertisers the fresh data and how their ad was successful- the number of folks who heard their ad, any sales completed (promo codes help track this), etc. That way they will buy another ad campaign with you! 💰
Earn Your Money, Keep Your Money
As you think about selling ads, keep in mind that at Ausha, with manual monetization, we don’t take a single penny from your revenue. You collect 100% of the revenue you generate. Other platforms may take a fee or percentage so just be sure you check as you map out your options.
So what are you waiting for? Put together a pitch. Show the company or organization you are pitching to that your podcast is THE place to connect with their ideal customers. ✌️ Make sure to include lots and lots of data, and select key indicators to highlight. Offer them mid-roll spots, pre-roll spots, and post-roll spots with prices for each. The deal will be too good for them to pass up!
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