Podcasts Rise in Popularity, Funded by Advertisers and Listeners: http://www.npr.org/2014/11/30/367544553/as-podcasts-rise-in-popularity-advertisers-pay-attention
This struck a chord with me, I've been thinking about advertising in podcasts a lot lately. While I've been on the Southern Fried Security Podcast for about three years now, we've only ever had one sponsor, and even there it was only briefly. But I've been listening to a lot of podcasts that do use advertising extensively, and it's interesting.
From everything that I've found, advertising on podcasts can be pretty beneficial for both parties. I wish I could find who it was that was talking about it, but the "click through" rate for advertisers is something absurd, like around the 40% mark, which is pretty unheard of. I think part of that success rate is that advertisers can appeal directly to their target market, e.g. domain registrars advertising on a tech podcast, etc. Combine that with hosts that are often already using the products they're advertising, and you end up with an incredibly attractive relationship for advertisers.
The problem is when shows don't manage to hit the mark of being genuine, and that sponsorship transitions back into being a more "traditional advertising" thing. The moment that happens, (and it does, often) I find myself mashing the 30 second jump forward button, often multiple times. It's a delicate line to walk for podcasts.
I'm not sure that anyone does it perfectly, but with all the talk going around about podcasts no longer being amateur hour, it's definitely something for podcasters to consider if they are the sponsorship type.