What’s all the hype about podcasts? In terms of media, podcasts continue to show steady growth. More than 197 million Americans listen to podcasts. That number is expected to grow in the coming years.
People love podcasts as it’s the only form of media they can passively consume.
Take in your favorite podcasts while in the shower, driving the car, or working from home.
Without a doubt, you can’t go wrong listening to podcasts.
But what about the other side? Some podcasts are simple one-person shows or interview-style setups like The Joe Rogan Experience, or The Tim Ferriss Show.
Others, like Serial, are intricate events involving scripts, characters, and Top of the line sound effects and editing.
Who pays for all of these things?
How do podcasts make money?
If done well, podcasts can be a great monetization tool. Here are five ways a podcast makes money for your business.
More and more businesses are investing heavily in Content Marketing or Inbound Marketing.
According to Hubspot:
“Content marketing is the process of planning, creating, distributing, sharing, and publishing content to reach your target audience. As a business, this tactic can help you improve brand awareness, boost sales, connect with your target audience members, and engage prospects and customers.”
Marketing companies like Hubspot and Digital Marketer have long spoken about the Content Marketing Funnel or Content Lifecycle. Take a look at the image below from Digital Marketer:
Without getting into too much detail about Content Marketing, content like blogs, social media, and podcasts rest at the Awareness stage. The Awareness stage is also called the Top Of the Funnel or TOFU stage. The podcast will turn some listeners into engaged subscribers. Engaged persons will turn into buyers. By using Call To Actions on your podcast pages and during the audio, you can then encourage them to purchase your product or service at a later date.
Chances are you may not have your product or service yet. You are the business, and the podcast brings awareness to you and your channel. The podcast will eventually become a lead-generation tool.
For now, the listener is the customer!
Until then, the second way to make money will apply to you and existing businesses with podcasts.
Like print media, radio, and television, podcasts primarily make money through advertising. As podcasts grow, digital marketers will want to get their products in the minds of listeners.
They will seek out podcasts to advertise their products on their episodes. Listeners will often hear advertisements at the start and middle of the podcast. According to Advertisecast, smaller podcasts can make between $13 and 25 per ad for every thousand listens. Great podcasts and publications are reported to make millions each year in advertisements alone. Most podcasters use Ad Networks like Midroll, which provides them with a host of products and services they can advertise, once they hit a set number of downloads per month.
Other podcasters will reach out to companies directly for ad opportunities. Businesses don’t mind advertising other companies’ products as it’s a great way to add to revenue.
If advertising is not your cup of tea, then you can try affiliate marketing. Affiliate Marketing is the process of selling another business or individual product. As a result, the salesperson receives a percentage of the sale. Affiliate marketing is a lucrative business model, as some companies can receive 50%, 75%, or more of the sale. It’s famous for websites, and YouTube, however, podcasts can still pull big commissions.
Podcast hosting companies like Buzzsprout have an Affiliate Marketplace where podcasters can select a product of their choice. Affiliate marketing is a great way a podcast makes money without having to grow to tens of thousands of listeners to qualify for ads. Affiliate Marketing is an excellent way for businesses and individuals to sell products that align with their brand and earn money in the process.
There’s strength in numbers, right? Unlike affiliate marketing, joint ventures occur when two companies team up to promote a product or service.
Each podcaster or business promotes through an interview on each other’s podcasts.
Joint ventures are a great way to expand a network and build great relationships. It’s also a way to build an audience quickly. If a new podcast can secure a joint venture with a massive show, it gets into the ears of thousands, leading to new listeners.
Joint ventures mean you double the exposure that can pay off for years to come.
Have you considered selling the podcast itself? A podcast is not only part of the Content Marketing funnel. It is a sellable asset.
Just ask Joe Rogan, who moved his podcast to Spotify for a rumored one hundred million dollars. Or Bill Simmons, who sold his podcast company for around the same amount.
Yes, you can sell your podcast this way, but with hundreds of thousands of podcasts around, the chances are slim. What you can do is set up a podcast paywall. A paywall allows you to charge customers for Premium access and episodes. Paywalls have been quite successful in print media. Companies like Medium.com, Wall Street Journal, and Harvard Business Review use some form of paywall.
For a podcast, this could be interviews with thought leaders or exclusive insight not available to unmetered listeners. Only consider this revenue stream if you’ve built a solid reputation for creating remarkable content. Content that people will be willing to pay for.
A podcast is a great way to share content about your business. For individuals, it’s a great way to build a brand and grow the business of YOU.
When it comes to it, podcasts are a powerful marketing tool.
But it can be so much more.
A podcast can branch off into multiple streams of income.
These are just some of the ways a podcast makes money for your business. We haven’t touched on creating your product, donations, and sponsorships.
Feel free to mix and match different revenue streams. See what works for you, without deviating from the core of your business.
Podcasts are just one of many avenues you can use to gain new leads and grow your revenue. Creating content can be an overwhelming task, but the results are tremendous. Subscribe to my list here. I’ll share ways you can grow your business on platforms like LinkedIn, social media, and podcasts.