The Curious Case of A New Player for Podcast Advertising

As podcast growth strategists here at Podder, we are continually testing and optimizing emerging audio advertising platforms to uncover the most efficient channels and tactics to help shows expand their reach.

One channel showing early promise is - a new podcast app rewarding listeners with cryptocurrency incentives for engagement behaviors like clipping and sharing episodes, following other users, and providing direct feedback.

Intrigued by this unique listener value exchange driving organic virality, we decided to run an experiment sponsoring our own podcast on Fountain's built-in advertising platform. Our goal was assessing whether whisper-low CPMs were achievable at scale given high affinity user segments.

We invested $100 into a 20 day sponsored podcast campaign to garner learnings around total impressions, cost per listen, pacing, creative performance and more. The results provided promising benchmarks for both the efficacy of Fountain itself as well as confirmations around our hypothesized best practices.

An Overview of

For those unfamiliar, Fountain is a new podcast player app that rewards listeners with satoshis (sats), the smallest denomination of Bitcoin, for engaging with podcast content. It's currently the only platform enabling this type of value exchange between podcasters and listeners.

Some unique elements of Fountain include:

  • Listeners earn sats for every minute they listen to podcasts
  • Ability to clip and share short segments from shows and earn sats when others listen
  • Social features like following friends and commenting
  • Listeners can "boost" shows by sending sats and comments to creators
  • Sponsorship opportunities for podcasters to get their shows featured and rewarded

Our $100 Test Sponsorship Campaign

To test out Fountain's advertising platform, we invested $100 to sponsor our podcast for discovery on the app. Here are the key details of our campaign:

  • Fountain took a $20 cut, so our working budget was $80
  • This equaled ~271,000 sats based on the exchange rate at the time
  • We capped earnings per episode at 200 sats for listeners
  • Campaign ran for 20 days before exhausting the full budget

So What Were the Results?

While our test budget was small, we were able to glean some solid insights from the experience:

  • Total Impressions: 5,201
  • Total Listens: 2,365
  • Cost Per Impression: 52 sats ($0.02)
  • Cost Per Listen: 115 sats ($0.03)

According to Fountain, the average cost per listen on their platform is around $0.08, so our campaign significantly outperformed that benchmark.

There was a 24 hour approval period before our budget started spending. Pacing was slow for the first 3 days before accelerating and peaking around days 4-5. It then maintained near peak performance for the remainder of the 15 day duration.

Key Takeaways

While our test was small, the results suggest Fountain may be a cost-effective emerging podcast advertising option, especially while competition is lower in these early days. Some key takeaways:

  • CPMs are competitive, likely due to minimal advertiser saturation right now
  • Strong listen through rates, indicating engaged audience base
  • Unique value exchange and social dynamics could drive loyalty
  • Get in early before more advertisers discover the platform

For podcasters looking to diversify their advertising mix, Fountain seems worth testing out, especially with smaller budgets to assess performance. As with any emerging ad platform, results may fluctuate over time. But the cryptocurrency twist provides enough of a unique angle that it's worth monitoring and optimizing if the returns look favorable.

Testing out new platforms like Fountain can reveal opportunities to get your show discovered by engaged listeners interested in supporting creators directly. While results will vary, being among the first to experiment with innovative emerging players in the space will give you a leg up on the competition.

Get $50 voucher for ads on

The Fountain campaign provided valuable insights into the viability of cryptocurrency-based podcast advertising early on. As the platform matures, it may well emerge as a strong channel for shows aiming to diversify their listener acquisition sources.

For podcasters lacking the bandwidth to continually assess and optimize across new podcast ad platforms, our Podder Growth Plan essentially automates this entire process.

Our AI Assistant built on the back of 100,000+ hours of advertising data handles the heavy lifting of precisely modeling and iterating campaigns tailored to each show’s audience, positioning, and goals.

Growth Plan members also receive:

💰 $50 free advertising credit on Fountain itself to activate your optimized campaigns along many other perks.

📈 Simple prescriptive recommendations each week to achieve aggressive yet efficient listener acquisition goals.

Ready to leverage unfair data advantages to put your podcast’s advertising on autopilot? Experience Podder's AI Assistant risk-free with 100% money-back guarantee for 3 months. Let's uncover your channel for exponential audience expansion!

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Dimitar Petkov
September 15, 2023