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How to Create & Record Read Ads Successfully for Monetization

Learn how to record read ads for your podcast strategy. We cover types of ad-reads, why you should use them and how to create one in 5 easy steps!
Lisa Harroy
Creator Partnerships Lead
Last Updated:
December 25, 2022
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

One of the best ways to generate an income through podcasting is by doing ad reads. Partnering with brands will help you increase your profit through promotions. You might even get the chance to work with companies you already know and love.

You’re probably wondering how you can get started with ad reads. That’s where we come in. We’ll help you get to grips with recording professional ad reads and turning a profit from reading ads in your podcast. Some of the most successful podcasts today make their money through promoting ads, and understanding their methods can lead you to success.

What is an ad read?

An ad read is an advertisement that is read out loud on a podcast or radio station. Ad reads are different from other adverts because they are typically solely audio based.

Usually, an ad read involves two different parties working together. First, there is the broadcaster, such as a podcast. The podcaster works with a company that wants to advertise a product or service through the show or broadcast.

Sometimes podcasters will include ad reads for free to build up a relationship with certain companies. However, normally a podcaster will be paid for the ad reads they include in their episodes.

What is host read ads?

Host ad reads specifically mean adverts that are read out by the host of a show. This could be a radio or podcast host. The ad reader will typically receive a script from the company that wants to be advertised. The host will then read that script out on their show, to promote what the company is offering. Sometimes, the host will also give their opinion about the product, ad lib, or tell an anecdote about using the product. 

Types of ad-reads

There are two types of ad reads: host ad reads, and pre-recorded ad reads. So, what’s the difference between them? We’ve covered that host ad reads are advertisements read out by the host of a show.

Pre-recorded ad reads, on the other hand, are audio clips provided by a company that wants to promote its products. In this case, the company, themselves, will write, read and record the advert, and it will simply be played on a podcast.

Host-read vs pre-recorded ads

As it should be clear by now, the main difference between host-read and pre-recorded ads is the voice presenting the advert. In the case of host-read ads, the advert is read aloud by the host themselves. There may be possibilities to ad lib during the reading, but companies generally require the host to say specific sentences.

Pre-recorded ads are different because they are read in a voice likely unknown to the podcast listener. The company providing the ad will arrange to have it read and recorded either by a member of their team or a voice actor. This advert is simply played during a podcast, without the host’s involvement.

Advantages and disadvantages of host-read ads

The main advantage of host-read ads is that the advert is read in a voice familiar to the audience. Particularly for podcasts that have a close relationship with their listeners, this can be a great way of including monetized promotions without losing some of the charm of the show.

Listeners may also respond better to ads that are read by a host that they like, as this can encourage them to check out the product being offered. A host can introduce an ad by giving a personal anecdote, such as a time they used the product they are promoting. This can create a sense of trust with their audience, as they are shown to have already vetted and enjoyed the product. 

However, the downside of host-read ads is the time it takes to prepare them. After receiving a script from the affiliate company, the host needs to record a good take of them reading out the ad. This may involve a few tries to get right, changing the tone of voice and reading speed each time. It can be difficult for a host to make an ad feel upbeat and interesting to listen to, so it requires some practice to perfect this skill. 

Where can you buy or sell ad-reads?

Although there is no virtual marketplace where you can buy and sell ad-reads, there are many ways to do so. A common method of buying an ad read involves reaching out individually to podcasts where you’d like your advert read out. You will want to choose podcasts with the biggest following that your budget affords, as this will promote you to many people. Most podcasts have email addresses where you can contact them for business discussions.

When it comes to selling ad-reads, there’s nothing stopping you from using the same method. If there’s a product you already know and love, and have perhaps mentioned before to your listeners, it’s worth asking the company who makes it if they would pay you for an ad read. However, in most cases, companies choose the podcasts they work with rather than the other way around. By using a podcast directory like Apple Podcasts and Spotify you can make your podcast accessible to potential sponsors, who can then contact you for an ad read.

Read more: Podcast Advertising: The What, Why & How of Podcast Ads 

Why should you record ad reads for your podcast?

Recording ad reads is one of the best ways to profit from your podcast. You can get paid either as a flat fee for including an advert, or receive a cut from every listener who uses your affiliate link.

Recording ad reads rather than using pre-recorded ad reads can feel more personal for your listeners. Are you the kind of podcast host who is chatty and informal with your audience? Your connection with your listeners will make them more likely to listen to an advert. Besides, by recording your own ad reads, you can keep some creative control over your show.

How to record an ad read professionally

So you’ve decided to record an ad read, but how do you do it? 

The process you follow is important, as you’ll need to take the right steps to get a professional result. We’ve written a handy guide to make recording your ad read simple and straightforward. All you need to do is follow the steps below, and by the end you should have a great recording!

Step 1: Write a script

If the company you are working with has already provided you with a script, you can skip this step and go straight to the next one. However, if you’re going to promote a product or service and don’t have a script ready, it’s worth taking the time to write one. 

You may need to include specific sentences or facts that the company wants to share. Aside from that, the tone of your script should match your podcast. If you have a comedy podcast, try making the sentences light-hearted and fun. Don’t make your script too long, as most ad reads are less than 30 seconds long.

Step 2: Practice the script

Read your script aloud at least three times. Make sure you pronounce everything correctly, particularly the names of any products or companies that you mention. This will be important in showing your professionality. Try out a few different ways of reading the sentences – faster and slower, more upbeat or serious, until you land on a style that fits both the podcast and the advert best.

Step 3: Use recording software

Recording software is a very helpful tool for professional podcasters. Once you’re ready to start creating your ad read, you’ll likely want to find and make use of recording software. These platforms help you capture content seamlessly and often provide you with features that can improve your recordings.

Fortunately, there are many options available. With a platform like Riverside you can capture recordings at up to 4K video and 48kHz audio resolution, making it an ideal choice for creating professional content. Riverside offers separate track recording for up to 8 participants to give you more editing control, and we also protect  your recordings from internet issues with local recordings. This means all your tracks are captured directly on your device, instead of relying on your internet. 

Riverside also offers a solution if you’re looking to add pre-recorded ad reads to your podcast live. You can upload your ad to our Media Board and play it while recording or even while hosting a live podcast. And if you'd like to completely polish your audio on one platform, you can try Riverside's text-based audio and video editor.

Learn more about what Riverside offers here, or sign up to start recording!

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Step 4: Record several takes

You should record more than one version of the ad read with your chosen recording software. This is because, with each recording, you can read your script slightly differently. You can even ad lib. to add some extra flair. Record these versions back to back, and in post-production, you can listen to them and choose your favorite. Then all you need to do is cut out the versions you’re not going to use. 

Step 5: Edit your recording

Editing is an important part of the process, as it can make your recording sound slick and professional. Cut long pauses or misspoken words from your recording. Remove any coughs or sneezes, as well as any ad-libbed lines that sound stilted. This will leave you with a clear, slick final product.

You can also insert your ad read into your podcast during post-production. If you record an ad read separately to the rest of your podcast, look for a good place to add it into your recording. This could be after you’ve finished discussing a topic, and before you’ve moved on to the next one. Some podcast hosting platforms will even allow you to automatically include an ad at a certain point in an episode. 

For Podcasters: Tips on securing profitable ad-reads

Ad reads are a great avenue to explore to increase the profits of your podcast. Securing a lucrative ad read can feel challenging, especially if you haven’t done so before. There’s no need to worry though, we’ve got some great tips for generating profits through recording ads.

  • Request to be paid a flat fee for your ad read. This is a great option for smaller podcasts still growing their audience. You will be paid a lump sum for featuring an ad read on your podcast. You may be paid a CPM fee, which means that the amount you earn will depend on how many people listen to the ad read. Usually, the company will set a cost for every 1,000 people who listen to the podcast episode. The bigger your audience, the higher your payment will be.
  • Request an affiliate link from the company you’re working with. An affiliate link can be used by your listeners to access the company’s site and buy their products. You can request to get a cut of the profits each time a listener uses your affiliate link. This is a great long-term option to continually profit from an ad read.
  • Build your portfolio. This is particularly important if you’re new to ad reads. Consider taking lower-paid jobs at the beginning so that you can build a reputation as a podcast with great ad reads. This will attract higher-paying companies to contact you in the future.
  • Work consistently with the same brand. If you complete a successful ad read for a company, suggest a long-term contract with them. This could involve reading an ad for them once a week. This will help you build strong industry connections with the company, and secure regular work.
  • Increase your rate. This tip is often overlooked but is essential for healthy profits. Once you have a strong portfolio of at least five ad reads, you should consider charging more for your work. Your podcast’s audience will likely have grown during this time, and you will have become a more experienced ad reader. These factors increase your value, and you should charge accordingly.

FAQs on Recording Ad Reads

What does ad read mean?

An ad read is an advert that is read aloud on a podcast or radio station. A variety of companies pay to promote themselves on audio platforms. An ad read can be done in the form of a script read out by the host of a podcast. Alternatively, a company may have a pre-recorded ad that they pay to have played on another party’s podcast. 

How do you write a podcast ad script?

Keep ad scripts for podcasts short, simple and attention-grabbing. Ad reads are usually no longer than 30 seconds long, which is around 75 words. Your script should include the brand’s name as well as information about the product or service they are promoting. Importantly, your ad read should blend well with your podcast. Is your hosting style funny or serious? Your ad read script should reflect this tone, so it doesn’t feel out of place. 

Does Spotify have podcast ads?

Podcasts on Spotify can include ad reads. These are embedded in podcast recordings and are often featured either at the very beginning of episodes or halfway through.

How long should read ads be? 

If a company hires you for ad read, they will usually specify how long it should be. They may also provide you with a script that can give you a sense of the length of the recording. Ad reads can be as short as 10 seconds if they are only a sentence or two. Usually, ad reads are no longer than 30 seconds long. 

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