Podcast Ads Aren't Commercials—They're Part of the Story

Podcast Ads Aren't Commercials—They're Part of the Story

How National Public Media helps brands create ads that don't disrupt the show

Gina Garrubbo
President and CEO
National Public Media (NPM)
Bryan Moffet
National Public Media (NPM)

National Public Radio has been in the podcast game for more than a decade, and as its audiences grow, so does advertisers' desire to reach them. But NPR's priority is respecting the listener.

eMarketer's Jasmine Enberg spoke with Gina Garrubbo, president and CEO of National Public Media (NPM)—a subsidiary of NPR responsible for sponsorship sales on NPR's platforms and across public TV stations—and Bryan Moffet, NPM's COO, about how the company works with advertisers to create organic ads—not commercials—that don't take away from the listening experience. The interview was conducted as part of our August report, "Podcast Advertising 2018: The Power and Potential of Storytelling for Brands."


What types of advertisers does NPR work with?

Bryan Moffet:

When we launched podcasts at NPR, our first sponsor was Accuron. After about four or five years, the big direct-response advertisers came. Then, maybe three years ago, the arc started to swing back toward Fortune 500 companies and brands.

Right now we are 40% brand and 60% direct-response advertisers. Direct-response advertisers only spend where their ads work, so the fact that they've stayed in podcast advertising for that long and are still heavily present is a sign that the medium is effective.

Gina Garrubbo:

Many of our current direct-response advertisers are B2B brands like Squarespace or ZipRecruiter and other young companies looking to establish themselves directly with consumers. In terms of industries, financial and technology are big ad categories for us, but CPG brands are also becoming more and more interested in podcasts.

Interview conducted on July 27, 2018

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