As podcasting continues to grow in popularity, many are looking to join this growing field in hopes of monetizing their knowledge or passions. From hobbyists looking to share their interests and earn extra income, to business owners looking to expand their customer base and claim their expertise, podcasting offers broad appeal.
Podcasting audiences have grown significantly over the past year, according to The Podcast Consumer 2019 report by Edison Research and Triton Digital. Fifty-one percent of Americans aged 12 and over said they have already listened to a podcast. of these in the last month, and 22 percent in the last week. While all major demographics have grown, there has been significant growth among listeners aged 12 to 24.
Even small podcasts can make money through many different sources of income—popular methods include advertising, affiliate marketing, crowdfunding, selling merchandise, and hosting live events. Major platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts allow users to upload their shows, which can help create audience and attract more advertisers – a key source of income.
How do podcasts make money?
Advertising is one of the most effective ways to generate income from podcasts, although building an audience that attracts the attention of potential advertisers can take time.
Ads are typically sold at CPM, or cost per mille, that is, per 1,000 listeners. AdvertiseCast, an ad buying and management platform, sets industry average podcast ad rates at $18 for a 30-second CPM ad and $25 for a 60-second CPM ad .
Selling ads usually happens either directly between the brand and the podcast, or with the help of an agency as a broker or marketplace.
Commissions from affiliated products or programs are another common source of income for podcasters. Hosts can mention products on their show and link listeners to a specific discount. The podcast then receives a percentage of every sale made using its unique URL.
Rather than include ads, some podcasts choose to sell subscriptions to their shows, leaving some or all of the content behind a paywall. Crowdfunding platforms like Patreon allow subscribers to choose their donation level to receive various benefits such as exclusive content or early access to episodes. .
Most of the above methods are more financially beneficial when you have a larger audience. While this is certainly beneficial, a large number of subscribers is not necessary in order to make money from podcasting. Later, we will discuss podcast monetization opportunities that are not directly related to audience size.
Expand your audience to attract advertisers
Podcasts are an increasingly sought-after advertising medium for brands. U.S. podcast ad revenue will grow by 14.7% in 2020, according to IAB U.S. data. PwC Podcast Ad Revenue Study. The study reported $708.1 million dollars in podcast ad revenue in 2019, up 48% from 2018.
While advertisers also look at other factors such as audience demographics, engagement, and interest groups, audience size is a key factor. In the beginning, it’s important to focus on attracting and expanding your audience, which in turn will help you attract advertisers.
There are a few key components to focus on in order to build an audience and build your podcast.
The target audience
Define your target audience and keep them in mind throughout the process. Every time you release an episode, make a marketing plan for it – who are you trying to connect with and how will you reach them?
Always keep the user experience in mind. You want to make it as easy as possible to find and listen to your podcast. Apple Podcasts marketing tips suggest optimizing your show for mobile platforms. Make sure your logo looks good in a small thumbnail and your site is mobile friendly, for example .
The visual and written aspects of your podcast should convey the same theme and tone as the show itself. Your platform should have a cohesive look and feel—things like the cover art, website design, and social media activity should consistently represent the personality of the podcast.
Collaborating with other podcasts can be a way to grow your audience – guest on other shows and cross-promotion with other podcasters. Inviting big-name guests to your show or mentions from influencers can also expand your circle of subscribers.
How to use Spotify and Apple to make more money?
Submitting your podcast to major platforms such as Spotify and Apple Podcasts will help make your show more accessible. Below are the basic principles for submitting your podcast to these sites; more information can be found on their websites.
If your hosting platform is one of Spotify’s aggregation partners, it will provide instructions on how to submit your podcast to Spotify; otherwise, you can do it manually by signing up for Spotify for Podcasters. Even if your host has automatically distributed your show to Spotify, you still need to sign up for Spotify for Podcasters as this will give you access to a dashboard with show statistics and notifications. After you send a podcast, it may take several hours before it appears in the app.
To submit a podcast to Apple Podcasts, you must have a Podcasts Connect account and an RSS feed that includes the required tags, at least one episode, and artwork. Submit your RSS feed URL to Podcasts Connect, Apple’s podcast portal, where you will check the RSS feed your podcast to ensure it meets the technical requirements, has the required tags, and shows the show artwork and episode media. Once reviewed, submit your podcast for review, which can take up to five business days.
While hosting your show on major platforms can offer many benefits, such as greater access to listeners, marketing tools and resources, and the ability to be featured on websites, be sure to consider the limitations before deciding if this is right for you. all the requirements can be a tedious process, and both Spotify and Apple Podcasts have policies on the content they allow on their sites.