You may or may not be familiar with the annual cycle of advertising. In general, advertisements tend to reach a peak around December with the last holidays of the year. After brands have spent their annual budget, they spend the first few months of the new year figuring that budget. What does this have to do with podcasting? Well, podcast advertising follows these same natural ebbs and flows, which can have an impact on your revenue. Not to worry, though! We’ll discuss what this all means in this article!
The First Few Months of the Year
Brands have just finished spending their annual budget. So, by the time January rolls around, they’re busy figuring out the year’s budget. What does this mean for you as a podcaster? You may notice a small decline in both Host-Read Ads and Programmatic Ads. This is expected! Brands tend to have smaller budgets for the beginning of the year compared to the end of the year, especially since the biggest purchasing holidays are in November and December.
This is most easily seen in Programmatic Ads, where the offerings dip in January and start to pick up again in the following months. Host-Read Ads are typically a bit more stable throughout the year, but you’ll still see more Host-Read opportunities closer to the end of the year.
You can maximize your revenue during the beginning of the year by first ensuring you have ads in all of your episodes. You’d be surprised how much revenue you may be missing out on by excluding older episodes in your catalog. Plenty of listeners go back to old favorites, especially if your show tells a throughline story.
Another way to earn revenue during these months is to take advantage of our Donations and Exclusive Content features. The latter allows you to place specific episodes behind a paywall so listeners need to subscribe in order to access them. This is a great way to share bonus content with your listeners!
The Middle of the Year
Here’s where both Programmatic Ads and Host-Read Ads start to pick up again. Brands have settled on budgets, they have targets and goals in mind, and they have a solid plan for the rest of the year. Now is the time for them to start executing!
However, there is also a small dip in midsummer as these same brands are preparing for the holidays at the end of the year.
To maximize revenue during the middle of the year, be sure you’re accepting Host-Read Ads when they reach your inbox! You may end up losing a campaign if you’re too late in responding. Luckily, our system sends you notifications whenever you have a new opportunity.
It’s also key to ensure you have at least 1 Pre-Roll, 1 Mid-Roll, and 1 Post-Roll Audio Block in each episode. Mid-Roll is especially important as it typically provides the highest CPM (cost per 1 thousand downloads).
The Last Few Months of the Year
This is when you’ll most likely see the most opportunities and revenue. Brands have spent the year planning for the last few months and are committed to their campaigns. This part of the cycle starts to pick up in September and goes through the end of December. Because this is the most popular time for campaigns, it’s generally recommended to wait until the new year to migrate your shows to new platforms to ensure you’re getting the most revenue.
These last few months are a great time to add a few additional Insertion Points and assigned Audio Blocks to ensure you’re maximizing your revenue. But be careful not to add too many breaks! As we mentioned in our blog on ad breaks, there is a key number of ads you should have in your show depending on the length of your episodes.
Check out our Help article for more information on how to maximize your revenue throughout the year!
Interested in earning money while podcasting? We can help you monetize without compromise.