New ad revenues opportunities include audio, commerce, and influencer advertising

By Mark Challinor


London, United Kingdom


Welcome to the latest INMA Advertising Initiative from London, UK.

In this newsletter, I will cover there three new trends which are, as I see it, giving momentum regarding new revenue opportunities for news media in the advertising space.

One of those three areas (spoiler alert) is podcasting, and I will also go in depth on why podcasting particularly matters to media sales teams, my seven top tips for getting into the arena, and some suggestions for selling podcasts to advertisers. 

There are big opportunities out there if we want to see them.

Top 3 new revenue and engagement sales opportunities 

Media sales teams today have a number of new opportunities to sell to advertisers in 2023 and beyond. Arguably the most significant ones to come “on stream” in recent times. Three new opportunities have dominated my thinking recently as being currently underutilised:

Commerce media

This fairly new type of advertising allows brands to reach consumers at the point of purchase. This is done by placing ads on e-commerce platforms, e.g. Amazon, and other Web sites where copycat processes and setups, which now give what I believe is a fresh approach to consumers who are already shopping.

Commerce is a growing way news publishers can bring in new revenue and engage readers.
Commerce is a growing way news publishers can bring in new revenue and engage readers.

Commerce media is a rapidly growing market, presenting a significant opportunity for media sales teams — be it owned or earned (owned or recommended by media but appearing as earned by our advertisers as content is created about them, like reviews, social posts, and now e-commerce by media). 

Influencer advertising

This type of marketing that involves working with social media influencers to promote advertiser products or services. Influencer advertising can be an effective way to reach a new or specific target of consumers as influencers come with a built-in audience of followers who trust their recommendations.

Ad sales teams can help advertisers partner with the right social media influencer for their brand.
Ad sales teams can help advertisers partner with the right social media influencer for their brand.

A messiah complex if you will? Media sales teams should be able to help advertisers identify and partner with the right influencers as part of their campaigns where it is deemed appropriate.


In my opinion, the most significant promising trend, currently, is audio. I’m thinking podcasting and the huge opportunity around this important arena for media and its sales teams. Here’s why publishers should be grasping this space if they are not already.

From an advertising perspective, podcasts are a great platform for advertisers and sponsors for a number of reasons. Here are my top seven reasons to get into the podcasting world from a new revenue and relationship development point of view with our advertisers:

1. Podcasts are a very targeted medium: There are podcasts on every imaginable topic, so advertisers can easily find podcasts that reach their target audience. Media covers such a broad church of subjects — from news to fashion, gaming to crosswords, sports to weather, etc. There are many opportunities here if we want to see them.

2. Podcast listeners are highly engaged: They are typically paying close attention to the content they are listening to, which means they are more likely to notice and remember any of our advertiser ads.

3. Podcasts offer a personal and intimate listening experience: This makes them a great platform for advertisers to build relationships with potential customers.

4. Podcast listeners are loyal: People who listen to podcasts tend to be loyal to the shows they enjoy. This means that they are more likely to hear an ad or sponsorship tag line multiple times, which, of course, can help to increase brand awareness and ad recall.

Podcasts offer multiple positives for news publishers.
Podcasts offer multiple positives for news publishers.

5. Podcast listeners are usually more affluent: Studies have shown podcast listeners tend to be more affluent (see below) than the general population. This means they are more likely to be able to afford the products and services that are being advertising.

(A U.S. study by Edison Research found 45% of podcast listeners have a household income over US$250,000, compared to 24% of the general population. Also, a study by Nielsen found podcast listeners are more likely to be college graduates and to have a more professional occupation than the general population. Finally, a study by Chartbeat found podcast listeners are more likely to be interested in luxury brands and to spend more money on discretionary items than the general population.)

6. Podcast advertising is cost-effective: The cost of advertising on a podcast can be very affordable, especially compared to other forms of advertising, such as television and radio, and from a publisher perspective can help finance any podcast dalliance.

7. Podcast advertising is measurable: You can track the effectiveness of your podcast advertising by measuring things like click-through rates, conversion rates, geographical listener data, and brand awareness.

Overall, podcast advertising can be an effective way to reach a targeted audience, build brand awareness, and drive sales for our advertisers — especially if they are our own podcasts.

Podcasts footnote: Who are podcast listeners?

The research highlighted above together point out interesting facts:

  • 50% of Americans between 12 and 34 years old surveyed listened to a podcast in the last month.
  • 40% of those under age 55 listen monthly.
  • 67% of podcasts produce an audience between the ages of 18 and 44.
  • 50% of monthly U.S. podcast listeners are aged between 12-34, 43% between 35 and 54 years old, and 22% are aged over 55.

Additional tips for media sales teams 

  • Help your advertisers choose the right podcast: Not all podcasts are created equal. When choosing a podcast to advertise on, make sure it is relevant to their target audience and has a good audio following.
  • Tailor your client’s ad/sponsorship to the podcast:The best podcast ads are tailored to the specific podcast they are being played on. Take the time to understand the podcast’s audience and what the advertiser’s customers would be interested in hearing about.
  • Ensure the client makes any ads creatively engaging: People are more likely to pay attention to ads that are creative and engaging. Suggest/use humour, storytelling, or other techniques to make your client’s attachment valued and stand out from the crowd. 
  • Track the results: As mentioned above, it is important to track the results of your podcast advertising campaign, thus helping you determine which are most effective and make necessary adjustments to your client’s campaign. Unique insights only you can collate and will therefore be seen as highly valued by the advertiser.
  • Drive sales and leads: Podcasts can also be used to drive sales and leads. For example, an advertiser could sponsor a discount code to your listeners or include a link to their landing page in the ad. This could encourage listeners to visit the sponsor’s Web site and learn more about their products or services.

Helicopter view on new opportunities

Finally, I want to leave you with what I think are some important suggestions on how media sales teams should sell these new opportunities to advertisers (be it podcasts or whatever). 

Do try and educate advertisers about the new opportunities. Many may not be familiar with them. Media sales teams need to (authoritatively) educate advertisers about the benefits of these new opportunities and how they can be used to reach their target audience. 

In doing so, we need to create custom built solutions for those advertisers. Media sales teams should work with advertisers to create bespoke solutions that meet their specific needs.

This may involve developing a combination of different advertising products, new and old, to create a campaign that is both effective and efficient with all the appropriate ongoing KPIs in place, tracking campaign results to demonstrate the impact and value of our products and services. 

This will help media sales teams maintain and develop closer relationships with advertisers and ultimately win a bigger share of the ad spend.

INMA audio report

INMA has recently published a new report on podcasting and audio investment. I encourage you to read it.

The report says that although audio isnt new, the increasing number of formats coupled with advancements in technology have created the perfect storm for audio to thrive. 

Further, as younger audiences grow up with audio, the platform can provide access to audiences that print or digital publications may not appeal to — and it has the added benefit of being a format audiences trust. Read various great case studies from Prisa, Funke, VOL.AT, News Corp Australia, Stuff, Kvartal, Stampen Media, and Svenska Dagbladet, which show how audio is being experimented with, implemented, and embraced throughout the news industry.

Further reading

About this newsletter 

Today’s newsletter is written by Mark Challinor, based in London and lead for the INMA Advertising Initiative. Mark will share research, case studies, and thought leadership on the topic of global news media advertising. Sign up for the newsletter here.

This newsletter is a public face of the Advertising Initiative by INMA, outlined here.

E-mail Mark at with thoughts, suggestions, and questions or follow him on Twitter (@challinor).

About Mark Challinor

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