OK, so you have a podcast that’s really popular with thousands of listeners and you want to start making some money out of it. There are lots of options!

Do you get a sponsor? Do you play radio style ads? Do you sell native ad reads?
The third choice is getting more and more popular.

Reel to Reel

Native ad reads are where you, as the podcast host read an ad and make it sound natural and hopefully not like and ad, even though it is an ad!

It’s not a new concept. I remember back in my radio days of the early 90s doing what we called ‘Live Reads’ at the end of normal commercial breaks and they used to be a natural(ish) sounding 30 second or 1 minute presenter read ads.

We also used to have some fun with them. I distinctly remember doing a live read for Fire Safety Week when one of the other presenters ran into the studio and set fire to the script as I was reading it!

Oh the fun we had!!

From what I can tell there are two distinct styles of native read.

The one that sounds just like an ad.

The first is where the host just reads an advert like an advert. It’s just a basic ad. There’s no personalisation to it, nothing about the host “having used the product for years”, it’s just an ad.

The one where the presenter says they used the product.

The second is where the host says they use the product, like the product and try and sell it to you. Like they recommend a book and say they’ve read it and love it even if they don’t!

This style seems to be more popular but how does it sound to you?

The first thing that always jumps into my mind when I hear someone say they use and love a product which they are advertising is “I don’t believe you”.

Am I being cynical?

It’s like you just happen to sleep on the mattress that you’re advertising or using the software from the company who are paying you to read their ad.

I understand that companies give products away for testing and reviews but what if you actually hate the mattress? Are you going to say that and turn away the money or are you just going to take the £s or $s and read the ad!

Am I being cynical?

In concluding my semi-rant I prefer the first option and I like my ads to sound like ads. I can then skip them like everyone else does and listen to the actual podcast.

What style of native ad read do you prefer?

What I’m listening To

Right now I’m listening to Firebug from Truth Media. It’s a fascinating story from the 80s and 90s about a bunch of arson attacks that left a number of people dead.

I’ve not finished the series yet but from what I’ve read a manuscript of a novel ends up leading investigators to the arsonist… Don’t tell me the end if you’ve binged them all!


For ten years, a fire bug terrorized Southern California, burning down businesses in broad daylight. Four people had died. Then a manuscript for a novel leads investigators to the last person they would have ever suspected. Host Kary Antholis goes on a journey to figure out where fiction meets reality.

Death in Ice Valley