The DOs and DON’Ts of Writing Host-Read Ads - Carney
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The DOs and DON’Ts of Writing Host-Read Ads

The trick to podcast ads is to make them sound like a natural extension of the show they are listening to. But how the heck do you do that? Host-read podcast ads are a great way to add that layer of endorsement from the host, but it has to sound authentic.

SXM Media (the owners of Pandora, Sirius XM, and Sticher) gave all the things when it comes to host-read podcast ads. Let’s break them down:


Intro + Overview + Personal Experience + CTA

  • Intro: What is your product/service/brand? Any problems it solves?
  • Overview: Why should listeners care? If you didn’t cover what solutions it can be in your intro, now is the time.
  • Personal Experience: What did the hosts think about it? This is what makes a host-read ad so great!
  • Call-To-Action: Where can you direct listeners?


DO give your hosts plenty of broad bullet points that hosts can use, but don’t get too bogged down with details. Keep it to the essentials only.

DO fit the show. If you’re advertising on a true-crime podcast…read the room on how they approach their content. If it’s light-hearted, your ad can be, too. If it’s serious, avoid anything leaning too far into comedy.

DO remember the POV. Your ad is coming from the host, not from your brand directly.


DON’T try to control the host(s)! Help your ad stay genuine by providing copy points that give hosts the framework to speak naturally.

DON’T shy from announcer-read spots. Announcers are still essential to a podcast and listeners expect them to be ingrained in the show as well. You just may need to switch from a first-person perspective for the reading.

Check out SXM Media’s full post for real copy examples!


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