Dynamic Ad Insertion Explained Simply

The Podcast Accelerator, Learn How to Grow Your Podcast

22-11-2021 • 26 mins

As a serious independent podcast creator, it’s important that you have a https://www.captivate.fm/features (full toolkit available to you) to help you to grow your podcast’s audience and to monetize your show(s) in diverse ways. There are so many options available to audio influencers and podcast creators that it can be hard to figure out which range of options to incorporate into your monetization strategy but, inevitably, the subject of sponsors, ads and ad partners will present itself, often sooner rather than later. In short: dynamic ad insertion, or “DAI”, is the process of recording your audio and publishing your podcast episode as normal, then marking areas within that episode where advertising will be inserted by a piece of software after the episode has been published – often with ever-changing parameters, which constitutes the “dynamic” part of the acronym. Dynamic Ad Insertions vs “Baked-In” AdsTo better understand dynamic ad insertion, we first have to look at its opposite number: “baked-in” ads. “Baked-in” refers to the practice of advertisements being read out by the podcast creator during the recording of an episode. Once published, these advertisements are ‘baked-in’ parts of the audio and removing or replacing them typically involves re-recording and/or re-editing the entire piece of content, a time-consuming process that is often too cumbersome to achieve and hinders monetization opportunities for audio creators. For example, a podcaster might secure a deal with a local or niche sponsor to partner with them on four episodes and where the podcaster sells them a “pre-roll” and a “mid-roll” ad slot per episode. The podcaster will then agree on a script and a call to action with the sponsor (usually asking the listener to go to a page on a website) and, as the podcaster records their episode, they’ll read the scripts at the relevant places whilst doing the recording. They then go ahead and publish that episode as normal and the ads are “baked-in” to the audio content. This is a really common way that serious independent podcasters make money: they’re leveraging their audio influence to close a deal and then offering a host-read advert, or multiple adverts, in their content. Dynamic ad insertion gives you the opportunity to achieve the same outcome but also opens the door to various other opportunities, too. Pre-Roll, Mid-Roll & Post-Roll Podcast Ads ExplainedAds are usually sold in “slots”. A “slot” is just a location within your episode that an ad will appear. There are three types of ad location that you might hear about in podcast advertising: Pre-roll – ads are placed before your episode content begins and before any audio from your episode is played. Mid-roll – ads are interspersed within your content. We call these “mid-roll, in-content” here at Captivate because we think it’s a little more obvious. Post-roll – ads are placed after your episode content has finished. There’s a little flexibility in these terms that you might come across, too. For example, a true pre-roll plays before any other content but for a podcaster who sells ads themselves and reads them out (either baking them in or dynamically inserting them later), they may class an ad within the first few minutes as a pre-roll because it comes before the main content of the episode. The same goes for post-roll: where true post-roll plays after all other audio has finished, a podcaster who has sold a post-roll ad to a sponsor directly may class an ad after their content, but before their outro, as a post-roll. The important thing to remember here is that there is no right or wrong or need to worry about that jargon too much, you’ll work with sponsors and ad partners to make sure that the ads are in the right place. Speaking of jargon, there is one more acronym that you need to know: CPM – this stands for “cost per mille”.