Podcast Terms to Know

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The podcast space has been rapidly expanding and evolving, but that doesn’t mean it should be complicated to navigate. We’re bringing it back to basics by breaking down the key terminology all brands should know.

Pod Dictionary: Terms to Know

Pre-roll: An ad at the opening of the podcast. It can be a full length host read (30–60 seconds), a pre-recorded (traditional audio) ad or a shorter “this show is brought to you by”. There can be multiple pre-rolls in 1 episode.

Mid-roll: These segments occur periodically throughout the episode. Typically, these range from :30-:60 seconds, but can be any length.

Post-roll: A brief ad at the end of the content, during which the host can urge listeners once again to check out the company or simply remind them of the sponsorship.

Offer code: Most podcast ads offer listeners a unique promo code and/or dedicated website to visit, which allows sponsors to track how many conversions they’re getting.

Podcatcher: Or podcast client is a program or app used to download podcasts. Apple Podcasts reigns supreme, but others include Stitcher, Spotify, RadioPublic, and Pocket Casts.

Download: The current standard unit of audience measurement. Most podcasts are sold based on total average downloads per episode. A download counts each time there’s a request for a file (i.e. the episode). The general formula for calculating total downloads looks at bandwidth consumption per file, session length of a download, and similar factors. Some vendors may allow buys based on impressions, which are calculated based on downloads.

Host (the tech kind): Referring to a content hosting platform such as Megaphone, Libsyn, Soundcloud, or PodBean where creators can upload their content feed for distribution and consumption. While irrelevant to the listener, the hosting platform can make a difference to an advertiser in regards to what technology is available for campaign execution (more on that coming in part four).

Baked In: “Baked in” reads are native host-read ads recorded into the content and live in the show in perpetuity. Good for branding campaigns and for tapping into the power of the personality.

Dynamic insertion (DI): Pre-recorded reads (host/announcer read OR canned audio from the advertiser) are seamlessly integrated into natural breaks within the content. Ads are inserted on-demand allowing for audience targeting, full impression tracking, and the ability to swap creative at any time.

Dynamically-served impression: Standard unit of measurement for DI ads. Impressions can be tracked for all ad units (pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll).