Announcer & Host-Read Podcast Ads: Which is Right for Your Local Brand?

Feb 22, 2022

Each has its strengths, and they can both help you reach your target customers and achieve your campaign goals.

If you’ve ever listened to a podcast, you’re probably familiar with the beloved host-read ad, where the host reads a brand’s advertisement, injecting their own personality into the copy.

But that isn’t the only format available. You can take an approach that allows for additional targeting by using pre-produced ads recorded by a voiceover artist, aka “announcer-reads.” 

Both have their place in marketing budgets for local and small-to-medium-sized businesses. Read on to learn more about each format, and which one is right for your brand.

Announcer-Read Ads: Scale & Precision

The foundation of a podcast advertising campaign is the same as any other marketing channel, in that it’s anchored in age, gender, or geographic targeting. And this is made possible by running pre-produced ads across our podcast network. 

Brands can set those targeting parameters—as well as audience segments, genre category, and more, and insert the ad across multiple shows. (Learn more about our podcast targeting capabilities here.) Since podcast fans often listen to multiple shows a week,1 using a network approach means you can make sure your message reaches your listeners no matter what show they’re tuning in to. 

When listeners turn on a podcast, they enter a different mindset and listen intently, which has big benefits for brands. In a study by Edison Research, 52% of podcast listeners reported they paid close attention to ads.2

At SXM Media, we have our very own audio-first creative consultancy, Studio Resonate. This team can create podcast ads, which we call announcer-reads, to fit your campaign and create the best listening experience. The voiceover artists we utilize have been hand-picked for podcast listening based on their distinctive vocal qualities, delivery style, and proven effectiveness—proven to drive purchase intent lifts of 18-22%.3

Host-Read Ads: A Trusted Partner

As for host-reads, brands can leverage a listener’s affinity to that specific show. The podcast host breathes life into your brand as their personality shines through, with genuine reactions to the product or service—and maybe even gives a personal story. These ads can be very impactful since the listener has a positive relationship with that host, sometimes spending dozens of hours tuning in. In an MRI-Simmons study, 67% of listeners said they felt close to the podcast host.4 For this reason, podcasts are a more intimate experience compared to scrolling on social media or listening to a song in the background. 

Can Both Formats Be Used Together? You Bet.

Depending on your budget and needs, it’s a good idea to use announcer and host reads in tandem to cover all areas of the podcast ecosystem.

This type of approach would work well for a regional brand who wants to advertise locally. You can target your high-priority local markets first with the foundation of age, gender, or geo targeting. And to get even deeper listener engagement, we can suggest nationally popular podcasts that fit your audience. Advertising on a single show can be the final piece in a rock-solid podcast advertising plan that drives awareness, positive brand affinity, and consumer action.

Reach Millions of Podcast Listeners Today

As you can see, there are multiple types of ad formats and targeting abilities that allow your brand’s message to reach your best-fit customers at scale. At SXM Media, we can help you find success in the growing podcast industry, leveraging our leading audio brands SiriusXM, Pandora, and Stitcher, which reach 55M podcast listeners monthly.5

To learn more about our offerings and audio-first creative consultancy, Studio Resonate, contact us today.


1. Edison Research, The Infinite Dial 2021, Base: Total U.S. Population 12+; Smart Speaker Owners 12+

2. SXM Media, GroupM, and Edison Research, Audio Content Day in the Life study, Q2 2021

3. Veritonic Announcer Testing, 2021

4. MRI-Simmons 2020 Podcast Study

5. Q3 2021 Internal Metrics from Podcast User Logs

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