Monetising audio content has become a crucial aspect of online streaming, allowing content creators and broadcasters to generate revenue while delivering their content to listeners. With SharpStream's ad insertion and ad replacement technology, monetisation becomes easier and more efficient. In this support article, we will explore the key aspects of monetisation and how it works within the SharpStream ecosystem.


How monetisation works

Types of Monetisation

There are two primary types of monetisation available with SharpStream:


Preroll advertisements are played when the listener connects to the audio stream. These ads create an opportunity for advertisers to reach listeners right from the beginning.


Midroll advertisements are inserted into the stream at specific intervals using ad triggers. This can be done through either ad insertion, where additional adverts are added at chosen intervals, or ad replacement, where the original content between two markers is entirely replaced with ads.

Monetising through ad triggers

To enable ad triggers and ensure smooth ad-insertion technology integration, SharpStream collaborates with customers during the setup process to fine-tune ad triggers and troubleshoot any problems faced.

SharpStream works with advertising partners who supply the ad creatives for monetised streams. While SharpStream facilitates the relationship, setup, and payment for the monetised streams, the selection and control of ads placed within the streams rest with the advertising partners.

Revenue Variability

The revenue generated from monetisation varies based on monetised impressions as well as the CPM (Cost per Mille) - the price advertisers pay per 1000 impressions. The CPM depends on factors such as territory, time, date. The ad-insertion partner measures these impressions and communicates the results to SharpStream approximately two weeks after the end of each month.

Metrics and Reports

SharpStream provides customers with reports received from the ad-insertion partner, containing essential metrics to measure monetisation success. These metrics may include Sales Channel, Impressions, Insertion Rate, Reach, eCPM, Revenue, and Payout amount. SharpStream does not have visibility into the number of impressions beyond what is included in these reports.

For more information on what Impressions, Insertion Rate and eCPM mean, please visit What does Impressions, Insertion Rate and eCPM mean?

How your stream gets monetised 

To understand monetisation within the SharpStream ecosystem, it is essential to grasp the overall audio streaming workflow. The process involves various stages, as illustrated below:

The playout system generates live audio for the content producer and sends it, along with metadata, to the encoder. The encoder then converts the live audio into multiple formats and bitrates, creating a live stream. This live stream, along with all its metadata, is pushed to the SharpStream CDN via the internet. SharpStream optimizes the stream and distributes it to third-party platforms specified by the customer. Listeners can then connect to the live stream through these platforms.

Monetisation occurs when the audio stream from the encoder is transmitted through the SharpStream Network. SharpStream's load-balanced clusters ensure reliable delivery without any single point of failure. The following illustration depicts how triggers are processed by the ad-insertion technology running on SharpStream clusters, highlighting the monetisation workflow:

Popular terms explained


 In audio streaming, impressions represent the number of times an audio ad is served or played to listeners. Each time an ad is successfully delivered and starts playing, it counts as an impression, regardless of whether the listener consumes the entire ad.

Insertion Rate

 The insertion rate for audio streaming indicates the percentage of delivered ad impressions out of the total available ad opportunities within the audio stream. It is calculated by dividing the number of impressions by the total available impressions. A high insertion rate suggests that a significant portion of available ad inventory was utilized.


Reach in audio streaming refers to the total number of unique listeners who were exposed to an ad campaign during a specific time period. It represents the size of the audience reached by the ads within the audio streaming platform.


In the context of audio streaming, eCPM (effective cost per mille) represents the estimated revenue generated per thousand ad impressions. It is calculated by dividing the total revenue earned from the campaign by the total number of impressions, and then multiplying by 1000.