There are over 2 million podcasts globally, making it one of the most powerful mediums to consume content on. The sheer ease of listening to podcasts while travelling, doing household chores, driving, or walking make it very accessible and popular too. Podcasts work well for information dense content. One just has to plug in earphones and listen.
For publishers, podcasts are a great medium to engage with their target audience. These are easy to produce and can help build subscribers. Once you have established your podcast by posting quality content consistently, you can look at generating revenue from this medium.
There are several ways to monetise your podcast. Remember, the more popular your podcast, the easier it is for you to make money from it. Furthermore, advertisers are now seriously looking at podcasts. Podcast advertising spending is expected to grow steadily in the near future, with 2022 figures estimated at 1.73 billion dollars. By 2024, these are expected to surpass 2.5 billion dollars.
Once your podcast is popular, advertisers seek you for advertising instead of the other way around. For example, the Joe Rogan Experience, is one of the most popular podcasts, currently distributed exclusively on Spotify. It generates 30 million dollars annually. Advertisers are always in the race to get featured on this podcast via Spotify.
Yet, without being that popular, there are ways in which you can get deals and monetise your podcast. So let’s look at some of these methods in detail.
Sponsored podcasts have brands as producers or partner with the podcast host to produce a podcast which will enable them to promote their product indirectly. One example is of the podcast LipStories. When beauty brand Sephora launched its new lipstick collection, it partnered with Girlboss Radio Network to come up with this podcast. They interviewed guests who spoke about their life stories and where they felt beautiful, powerful or like their best selves.
Ads During Podcast
This is the most common and viable way to get revenues through podcasts. If you are an avid listener of podcasts, you must have come across ads during an episode. Now there are three types of ads: pre Roll (at the beginning), mid roll (in the middle) and post roll (after the episode is over). Almost all popular podcasts such as New York Times’s The Daily or NBC’s Dateline have these kinds of advertisements during their podcast episodes.
In affiliate marketing, the podcast partners with a particular brand, and offers their listeners a discount code. This discount code is advertised during the podcast and is also present in the description. The podcast makes money via commission, when the listeners transact using the discount/ coupon code. There are several affiliate networks from which podcasters can choose to do affiliate marketing. Furthermore, it is important to promote a product relevant to the topic of the podcast. This is because only relevant topics will attract target audiences. For example, a tech podcast called Accidental Tech Podcast (ATP) has provided affiliate links to Squarespce and Kolide in one of their episodes.
Sell Podcast Merchandise
Another way of making money through your podcast is by selling podcast specific merchandise to your listeners. This involves a bit of effort and investment on your end, but many podcasters try this method too. An example is What The Hell Navya podcast hosted by Navya Nanda. The podcast with three women of different generations of the Bachchan family aims to provide safe space for women to discuss various significant topics. They have launched their merchandise site too, where they sell products with podcast branding.
Podcast Advertising Network
Podcast advertising networks act as brokers between the podcasters and brands. They connect the podcast to the appropriate brands by keeping in mind the target audiences. However, to get into podcast advertising networks, you need a sizable number of listeners. Some advertising networks are Ad Results Media, Adopter Media, AdvertiseCast, True Native Media, Midroll, and Podcorn.
User Sponsored Podcast
What if you want to keep your podcast ad and affiliate free? Would you still be able to make money? The answer is, yes. There are platforms like Patreon which help you host user sponsored podcasts. Yet, for this to happen, you will also have to put out some free content. That will act as a hook to get subscribers who will pay for your exclusive content. Your paid content should have more in depth information so that the subscribers get some value for their money. One example of this is The Minimalist Podcast hosted by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. The podcast helps people to find more happiness with less stuff. They have free podcasts available on all podcasting platforms and also The Minimalist Private podcast on Patreon which is for paid subscribers.
These were some ways to monetise your podcast. But before you rush to monetise it remember that it is important to keep the quality of the podcast higher than the monetisation aim. With good quality, you can drive more revenue easily.