Podcast sponsorships that delight and garner top dollar CPM

Sean Howard
3 min readMay 10, 2020


We started the Fable and Folly Network with a vision of a world where audio fiction producers could make a living from their work.

In contrast to today, when most audio fiction producers are unable to pay a living wage to anyone involved in their shows, including themselves.

And while every podcast creator must learn to develop multiple sources of income, there is one source in particular that most of us have been unable to master: advertising and sponsorship.

Let’s be frank; 99% of podcast advertising is dreadful. The industry is overrun with placement agencies focused on volume over quality. Secure a podcast sponsorship deal and you’ll likely be tossed some bullet points in a google document and told to, “have fun with it.”

As podcast listeners, each of us has heard every bullet point about a certain mattress or food delivery service at least a thousand times. These ads quickly become irritating, or worse, noise.

At Fable and Folly, we expect that many marketers aren’t too thrilled about this either. Some companies now want to ship product to podcasters. It’s less about the bullet points and more about capturing the natural excitement in our voices when we open the box or try out the service for the first time.

But is this all that sponsorship can be? What happened to brands wanting to build experiences that drive new customers while building brand equity? Why have we forgotten everything we learned from the early days of radio?

We’ve been avid fans of Death by Dying for some time. It is created by Evan Gulock and Niko Gerentes. It is Lemony Snickett’s A Series of Unfortunate Events meets Pushing Daisies or, as they put it:

Mystery and misfortune lurk behind every corner in this absurdist dark comedy fiction podcast about an obituary writer who investigates delightfully grim deaths in the small town of Crestfall, Idaho.

The format of the show is that of an obituary and most episodes feature the main protagonist, the Obituary Writer, reading the latest condolences sent in by the townsfolk. Not the first place an outsider might think to run a sponsorship, but for everyone who is a fan of the show, this is the perfect placement.

We asked Evan and Niko to put together a spec ad. We wanted something that would demonstrate what is possible while also showcasing the creativity that our producers can bring to podcast sponsorship. They did not disappoint.


This spot transports the brand into the world of Crestfall, Idaho and uses storytelling to delight listeners and showcase the brand in a truly memorable way. Evan and Niko are able to evangelize the aspects of Allbirds that resonate with them, knowing these will also resonate with their listeners.

This is what the Fable and Folly Network was built to do.

We want bigger and better things from advertising and sponsorship.

If you would like to hear what we can do for your brand or company, please reach out.


Sean is the co-founder of The Fable and Folly Network and a co-creator of Alba Salix, Royal Physician and Civilized. He can be reached via Twitter or email.



Sean Howard

Sean is a brand marketer, podcaster and co-founder of Fable and Folly. https://fableandfolly.com/