Your Guide to Podcast Ad Formats ✨

Podcast listeners are some of the most responsive ad audiences given the unique advantages of the podcasting medium and the feelings of loyalty that listeners have with podcast hosts[1]. Almost 70% of podcast listeners agreed that podcast ads made them aware of new products or services[3].

With that in mind, podcast advertising is skyrocketing and many marketers are starting to take advantage of this emerging market, but the question remains: which podcast ad format is right for your campaign?

At a high level, there are two primary types of ad spots on the market right now for the podcasting format. They are referred to as “baked in” ads and “dynamic ad insertion.” Read on for details, advantages, and drawbacks for each so that you can make a well-informed decision for your next podcast ad campaign.


Baked-in advertisements become a core component of the episode’s audio file. These advertisements are also known as “embedded” or “evergreen” ads. They are placed on the episode’s main audio file and stay there for an unlimited period into the future.

Baked-in ads are evergreen, staying on the podcast episode ad infinitum.

A “feed drop,” in which an entire episode of a program is released on the RSS feed of another show, is also regarded as a baked-in advertisement. Baked-in ads are typically host-read and somehow integrated into the programming of the podcast episode.


Advertisers that are looking for more changeable, dynamic campaigns can turn to dynamic ads. In simple terms, dynamic ad insertion (DAI) allows advertisers to create time-sensitive content, and remove the ads from the podcast episodes once the campaign is over.

Dynamic ads can be taken out of the podcast episode after the campaign ends.

DAI enables the transmission of an advertisement via an ad server. Brands can dynamically insert any pre-produced audio ad, a personal testimonial, or other customized piece of content to the server, along with a set of campaign parameters unique to the campaign. 

When the podcast listener tunes into their favorite podcast from their player, the server searches for the most appropriate advertisement to play depending on the listener criteria and the parameters set by the advertiser.


There are four main factors attract advertisers to the baked-in format:

  1. They Maintain Flow Of The Podcast

Baked-in ads become a genuine part of the program. It’s a one-of-a-kind format because the host can customize the content of the ad to match the content of the episode and the podcast’s theme in general, making the brand more familiar to the listener right off the bat. Random advertisements that interrupt an episode with a new sound or voice may be startling to the listener.

2. Each Baked-In Ads Can Tailored To The Podcast Episode

Podcasters can customize the baked-in ad each time they create a new ad for the campaign. They typically plan this in conjunction with the planning of their show’s schedule so that they can place the ad on an exciting upcoming guest interview, or a conversation about a topic relevant to the brand. That improves the read of the ad and prevents the listener from tuning out, as opposed to hearing the exact same ad, not in the host’s voice, with DAI.

3. Baked-In Ads Provide Personal Experience

The podcast host will also likely have personal experience to personally attest to the quality of the brand within the baked-in ad spot. This personalized recommendation creates much stronger brand recall and a higher likelihood conversion, given the loyalty and connection that listeners feel with their favorite podcast host[3].

4. Lift Continues Into The Future

Because baked-in ads stay in the episode, your brand w1ill continue to get exposure as the podcast grows over time. As new listeners find the show, many of them “binge-listen” and go through the back catalog, listening to older episodes and responding to the brands mentioned on past episodes[1].


Because baked-in ads are stitched into the show, it is more difficult to create time-sensitive content with this type of podcast advertising. 

For example, if you’re looking to promote a limited-time offer or promoting a specialized product/service that won’t always be available, baked-in spots may not be for you. If you need to pull your campaign after a set amount of time, DAI might be a better option.


The primary advantages of the dynamic ad insertion format have to do with content control and brand campaign timing:

  1. DAI Ads Are Created By The Brand

Unlike baked-in ad spots, which are usually created and produced by the podcasters themselves, brands have more control over the content of the DAI spot because they create it themselves before it gets sent out to multiple podcasts.

2. Ad Content Can Be Updated

If a new offer, product or service comes out that you want to highlight, you can change the content of your dynamically inserted ads to reflect those changes.

3. Ad Spot Can Be Pulled At Any Time

Let’s say you find a typo in your offer code, or there is some other issue with the content of the ad spot itself. The spot can be pulled from the server and edited, giving the brand a bit more control over the content.


While brands have more control over DAI, that may not necessarily lead to more conversions or trust from the podcast listening audience. Podcast listeners have a very close relationship with their favorite podcast host[2]. Dynamically inserted ads that are not in the host’s voice and interrupt their episode may actually make them skip through the ad completely to get back to the content they love.

You also lose some potential exposure and conversions with a time-sensitive campaign. While most podcast listeners tune in weekly, about 30% of them listen to their favorite shows monthly[4]. Having the ad spot baked-in on the show increases your potential reach.

Keep in mind that many podcasters exclusively opt for baked-in ad spot insertion and do not take DAI on their show due to the factors above, so you may lose a potential talent pool as well with DAI. Podcasters want to make sure they maintain the integrity of their relationship with their listeners, approving brands that they would genuinely recommend rather than leaving it up to chance. 


With all of this in mind, you can make the ultimate decision about what’s best for your business. Here’s a quick summary the information above to reference:



Dynamic Ad Insertion



Pre-produced by brand


Evergreen content


Time-sensitive content


Ongoing exposure



Ossa is a women’s podcast community and ad booking platform on a mission to increase the visibility, influence, and earning power of women in podcasting. We believe that podcasting has the power to elevate underrepresented voices on a global scale. Ossa unites a growing community of creators who are using podcasting as a tool for connection, self-expression, growth, and empowerment. 

With over 1200+ shows on our network created by women, our audience represents 85% of household buying power. Do you represent a brand looking to try podcast advertising? Learn more and get started: https://ossacollective.com/brands/


[1] Spotify/Magna, “Digital Audio Expansiveness: Growing Landscape & Opportunities.”

[2] Buffer, “Why Micro-Influencers May Be the Most Effective Influencer Marketing Strategy” 

[3] Podcast Insights, “2021 Podcast Stats & Facts (New Research From Apr 2021)”

[4] Oberlo, “10 Powerful Podcast Statistics You Need To Know In 2021”

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