On brand vs direct podcast ads

Y’all know I love Seth Godin. But, I had a bit of a chuckle this week with his Akimbo podcast’s episode titled Meta.

In it, he’s talking about podcasts. Among the broader topics, there’s a discussion of advertising on podcasts, and the differences between brand and direct advertising.

Seth suggests that brand advertising is something podcasts should aspire to, as it provides more of a patronage model and allows them to focus on their art.

I found this really interesting as Seth has been changing sponsors for Akimbo. For the first season, there was a brand sponsor for the entire season. Season two has free advertising solely promoting non-profits, mostly brand advertising. Season three and four had brand advertising from Lenovo and LinkedIn.

Now, here in season 5, we find new, direct marketing ads for the first time (some kind of toothbrush subscription).

Of course, direct marketing often gets higher pricing, as it can be measured more easily, so that may be the reason for the switch; or it just might be that the majority of podcast advertising is direct marketing. I just found it humorous that he was promoting the concept of brand marketing patronage at the same time as there’s direct advertising on his podcast for the first time.