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How to Monetize a Podcast? 24 Ways, Advice & Questions

Written and researched by experts at AvadaLearn more about our methodology

By Sam Nguyen

CEO Avada Commerce

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Have you ever listened to a podcast?

Some may say YES, but some say NO.

With the development of technology, there are numerous new ways to earn money that has never been thought about before, named from video, social networks, or podcasts. Perhaps people are familiar with monetizing a video or a social network account but do you know that producing podcasts can also bring you money, even lots of them.

In fact, monetizing a podcast is an emerging trend nowadays and is predicted to reach $863 million in 2020. If you are looking for an innovative way to earn money, exploiting podcasts will be a good idea. So, what should we prepare before starting to produce podcasts? How can we earn money from podcasts? What should be done, and what should not? Everything will be solved in this post!

A checklist for podcast monetization

A checklist plays a crucial role in the process of monetizing a podcast since with it, you can make sure that you have already completed all the necessary steps to develop sustainably, increase the demand, and more. Possessing a podcast monetization checklist is also a visible evidence showing that you understand thoroughly and have a clear strategy to get money from podcasts.

List out all the popular podcast platforms
List out all the popular podcast platforms

The first step is to create a list for yourself, including all the big directories in the world like Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, TuneIn Radio, etc. With it, you will quickly look through all the directories when necessary and figure out the most suitable directories for your campaign in the shortest time, which help your fan find your podcast and subscribe with ease.

Focus on targeted audience

Perhaps it seems counterintuitive, but focusing on 1 targeted audience instead of the wrong 10 is a great option since the wrong 10 often access your podcasts at once. However, the targeted one will visit frequently and tend to listen to all of your podcasts. Consequently, it is good to concentrate on creating a show with helpful and interesting content about the topic you choose to satisfy your targeted audience.

Exploit social media to attract your audience

Make use of social media
Make use of social media

By creating an account on social networks, you will be able to engage your audience, get their feedback, or comment on your podcast, or directly communicate with them. This will help both you and your audience understand each other more deeply. You can then take advantage of this feedback to modify your podcast to live up to their requirement. Also, social media is a valuable source to learn about your audience and inspire you to create necessary content for your listeners.

Write show notes for your podcast

It will be a pity if you don’t make use of this feature. It will be much simpler to share your show’s links to the merch, Patreon page, and other websites. If you haven’t used show notes before, let’s get started, and you will see the result immediately.

Establish a website for your podcast

Create your own website
Create your own website

This step is not compulsory for every podcast campaign, but it is required with some campaigns, it is required. You will have to set up a site to upload your podcasts and sell your items or services. There are a variety of sites available for you. You can create on your own or exploit a full site like WordPress, Squarespace. This is up to you! With such sites as WordPress, it is advisable to read through the guide before starting, and you can sell your products or online courses there.

Give your audience some free gifts

Giving free gifts is a great way to gain more listeners for your podcasts since hardly anyone refuses free gifts. Therefore, when people receive your gift, it means you approach them closer and have more chances to monetize via podcasts.

These gifts can be many things which are a short guide, extra podcast episode, or anything related to your podcasts. And when they use your give-away, they will be impressed by its quality and will be eager to purchase the paid content. It is also an effective way to build your lead lists and increase the customers’ loyalty.

This even works more effectively when you have just started your business in this field. When no one knows about you, it is pretty hard to persuade them to pay for your content just through some ads. But with free content, things will be different! They experience your services on their own, you build a certain status in their mind, and they will be ready to pay money if they think it is for them.

The 10 innovative ways to make money with podcast

There are plenty of ways to earn money from podcasts available for people, and due to its diversity, podcasters, particularly the freshers, will feel overwhelmed and don’t know which one is suitable for them. Hence, in this section, we divide them into two groups: directly and indirectly so that you will have a clearer understanding of methods to get money from podcasts.

Monetize a podcast directly

If you prefer to earn money right from your work - podcasts - a way to monetize podcasts directly will be exactly what you need. It is also the option chosen by more podcasters. So, let’s explore these 5 ways following to see which one is for you.

Offer premium content

If free content is a great way to gain more audience, premium content is an effective means to get money from your podcast. When people are interested in listening to your podcast, it’s time to monetize. You can offer them premium episodes which require you to pay money to be able to watch. These episodes can be anything but keep in mind that it satisfies your audience.

There is some advice for your paid content which are further interviews (like you provide your listeners with a part of an interview and if they want to watch fully, they have to purchase the premium plan), behind the scenes, Q&A with special guests, the ability to listen to podcasts with no ads, or access to your episodes earlier than people listening free.

As a beginner, you can learn more about it from various podcast creators which can be named as The Daily Wire. This site sells premium content which includes many things like livestream episodes, tumbler, video versions of the podcasts with only 10 dollars per month. And, the benefit will be much more if listeners purchase the annual subscription.

Get sponsorships and advertisements

Get sponsorships
Get sponsorships

Getting profit is a great idea chosen by multiple companies to maintain their businesses like Facebook, so there is no reason for you to ignore it. In fact, every one among us at least listens to a podcast and hears the saying that “This episode is brought to you by. And if you want to look for…”. This is exactly what happens when you get sponsorship.

To sell sponsorships or ads, you don’t have to invest anything, but the critical point is that the number of listeners to your podcast directly affects your revenue. If it increases, you get more money and vice versa.

However, it doesn’t mean that you are unable to access the business with relevant products to your listeners in order to ask for sponsorships or advertisements. There are a variety of networks to help you advertise yourself and get ads like AdvertiseCat, Libsyn, True Native Media, Adopter Media, and Ad Results Media (this platform is pretty slow in the payment process but you can get big deals for advertising there). Yet, you will have to pay about 20 to 50 percent for each ad gotten from these platforms. Otherwises, you can take advantage of such large networks like Midroll, Authentic, or any site of podcast hosting businesses.

To decide the money used for sponsorships and advertising, companies often depend on two models named Cost Per Mille (CPM) model and Cost Per Action (CPA) model.

In the CPM model, the money will be calculated for each 1000 listens your episode gets. Thus, it seems to be more suitable for podcasts having around tens of thousands of downloads per episode. More than that, the kind of ads you select also play an important role in deciding how much you get.

With pre-roll ads which plays at the beginning of the podcast in about 15 seconds, the rate will be $18.

If your option is mid-roll ads displayed in the middle of the show, what you receive will be $25. This type of ad is the one that gets the most money since the time is much longer (60 seconds), and you have to advertise the products by reading scripts or sharing your personal experience about it. Nevertheless, your flow will be interrupted, so choose your sponsors carefully to make sure that it will not make your listeners confused.

The last one is post-roll ads with the rate of 10 dollars. In this kind, ads will be shown at the end of the episode and often last 20 to 30 seconds. Since the time played the ads, this kind is the one that helps you earn the least money.

In the CPA model, podcasters will be offered two options: get the commission or the flat rate for each listener purchasing the item that both sides agreed before. In fact, this model is not too different from the model of affiliate partnerships, and podcasters, particularly the fresh one will find it simpler to start with this kind.

Allow listeners to donate

Ask for donations
Ask for donations

Asking for donations is a common way to earn money that many podcasters use since it is very simple to start; you don’t have to invest anything to receive money apart from an account on a platform receiving money. By allowing your audience to donate, you can freely create your podcasts with no burden of finance. However, to do that, you have to possess a solid fan base and desire for your new content.

In this content, we highly recommend you<>Patreon - a popular platform for accepting donations. Not only podcasters but also creators in every field exploiting this platform such as video makers, musicians, visual artists, writers, video game creators, etc. are users on Patreon.

On Patreon, you will be charged 5 percent of the fee for any credit card payment. Also, it is completely perfectly possible to receive the same amount of money with free fees. Nevertheless, things will be more complex; you have to organize a donation campaign for yourself on this platform but don’t worry, there are some beautiful and interesting social proof factors that you have the right to use when running your own campaign.

Some outstanding examples for it are Joshua Sheats from Radical Personal Finance. He holds a killer show almost every day and asks his fans to send him money each month to maintain his channel. Up to now, he has more than 200 backers and receives approximately the monthly amount of $1200 a press time.

Of course, there is no problem if you choose to get your fan’s donation on other platforms like PayPal, Zelle, Venmo, or even the traditional mail. However, keep in mind that you need to remind your listeners about the donation smartly. Announcing at the beginning of the end of the podcasts is the option chosen by most podcasters, but you can freely put the content anywhere in your episodes.

Besides, with loyal fans who send you donations every month, you can send them some small gifts to express your gratitude and encourage them to donate more. These small gifts can be anything you think they will like; it is up to your podcast’s content.

Upload your podcasts to Youtube

Upload to Youtube
Upload to Youtube

By uploading your podcasts to Youtube, you can gain money from its views. To do this, you can access a website named TunestoTube.com. With the Google account, you can login and upload their MP3 to Youtube via several clicks.

Also, there is no need to worry about the visual of your videos. You only need to add an image to your MP3, and this video will be ready to be published. More than that, paying attention to SEO on Youtube, it is the best way to help your videos appear on the top in the search result and get as many as possible.

In terms of money from Youtube, it varies among different users, videos, and regions. You need to have at least 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours within 12 months to be eligible to participate in its Partner Program. Besides, what you will be paid also depends on your views, the time people watch, the fact that they skip the ads, and whether they click on the ads. However, the rate is ranging from $0.50 to $2.00 each view.

More videos mean more views, so your mission is to create more interesting and helpful videos to earn more money. A tip for you is that when uploading your video on Youtube, you ought to divide your podcast into smaller segments. Also, creating attractive titles by adding questions will encourage more people to click on your video. Thus, you can make more videos with one podcast without spending too much time and confusing your viewers.

Offer repurposed content

Even when you have no listeners, you still earn money by selling repurposed content.

Choosing several podcasts belonging to the same topics and then transcribing them like an eBook. Actually, if you don’t like it, you can hire a third party to help you stranscire your content instead of conducting on your own. You can also add some new and valuable information, edit and package them together into an eBook.

To make your eBook more professional-looking, hiring a professional designer from such large companies like Fiverr or 99Designs will be a good idea for you.

When everything is done, you can post and sell its PDF file on marketplaces like Amazon. Selling your repurposed content on marketplaces will be more effective than on your own platform since the traffic driven to these websites will be much higher than yours, especially when you are still growing. And, you can advertise your eBook on your podcast to encourage your listeners to purchase it.

Monetize a podcast indirectly

Selling premium content, asking for donations, or any ways above are what cross people’s mind first when thinking about how to get money from your podcast. But, have you ever thought that there also exist many additional ways to monetize with the same amount of money as what mentioned above but in an indirect manner?

Sell online courses

Offer online courses
Offer online courses

This is one of the popular choices for podcasters. Actually, when a person listens to your podcast, it means they find your content helpful to them: it may entertain them or teach them new things, new skills and they trust what you provide. Thus, it is a good base to help you create online courses and get learners.

The content of your online course should be similar to the topics of your podcast. And, if you face trouble in choosing the suitable content, you can exploit your audience, communicate with them via surveys, Q and A, or social media to get to know their demand. Then, you can combine with what you have already owned to help them deal with their difficulties.

Furthermore, it is advisable to publish your courses on third party platforms like Udemy,Coursera, Skillshare, etc. These websites possess their own customers who are willing to learn online and when uploading your course there, podcasters can save time spent building functional systems at first.

You can then send your listener’s emails to advertise your online courses to increase the number of enrollments. Otherwise, you can make use of webinar platforms like Eventbrite, ClickMeeting to promote your own course. Webinar platform is a great tool to earn money from coaching sessions, live Q&A, as well as exclusive classes for learners from any corner of the world.

On these platforms, users are allowed to organize paid and live events for their listeners. You can hold a show in about 45 minutes to introduce the value and the need of skills or information included in your courses and then offer it at the end of the show.

Give speech to live audience

With your fame for podcasts, public speaking will be a good option for you. Instead of recording and editing in advance, you will have to speak with your live audience. If you are confident in speaking among the crowd, this will become a simple way to monetize. Public speaking will become as easy as a piece of cake when you prepare carefully; you need to have careful preparation before the speech.

In terms of price, there is no fixed rate for public speaking since it is based on numerous factors. The rate can be several dollars which is only sufficient to pay the bill of hotel and travel. However, it can be six figures or even more.

Some podcasters can receive the invitation to speak somewhere, but you can approach the event organizations and offer public speaking at one of their events. To do that, your first step is to seek groups on social networks with relevant topics to yours. There, you can find people who often hold events. Choose a person whom you think suitable, contact them, and offer to present a topic. You need to inform them of your intention to plug your podcasts. If you are accepted, of course, the final step is to prepare scripts and visuals for your presentation.

Don’t expect that there will be lots of people to fill the stadiums or auditoriums in the beginning. Perhaps only 8 - 9 people are attending to listen to your speech. Nevertheless, it is no problem; you can exploit these opportunities to improve your presentation skills and build up networks.

Sell physical items

Higher Primate - Shop of podcaster Joe Rogan
Higher Primate - Shop of podcaster Joe Rogan

When people listen to your podcasts, they will be more likely to trust what you say and purchase what you introduce to them. Therefore, it is a wonderful opportunity to earn money from your podcasts by selling physical products like T-shirts, mugs, stickers, and so on. No matter where these products are from, it is all ok.

If podcasters directly produce and sell their products, they can secretly insert some content related to their products in the podcast, like a repeated phrase or a joke. Whenever your listeners come across a person wearing or using your products they will immediately realise it through the podcast’s name, the phrase or the joke.

One famous example is Joe Rogan, the owner of the podcast named “The Joe Rogan Experience”. Besides his channel, he possesses a store selling plenty of products that he wears and uses like T-shirts, backpacks, socks, bottles, and etc.

In case you are not good at managing eCommerce stores, there is another option for you, which is print-on-demand. In this model, you can integrate with some platforms like Teespring which enables you to design and display your image. Only when there is a new order is the product produced and delivered to the buyer. Or you can set up a drop-shipping store which does not store any products as traditional stores. Instead, it will be taken from another shop and will be automatically shipped to buyers when they purchase. Oberlo is a good choice for you in this case.

If you don’t like monitoring a store, you can access a shop selling related products to your podcast and sell their merchandise to get the commission.

It seems pretty simple to sell physical items on podcasts, but there is a note that should be kept in your mind: don’t make your podcast become a channel to sell products. You want to sell products on your podcast to earn a living, that is ok, no problem, everyone can understand. But don’t forget that your main task is to create podcasts. So, try to sell the product suitable for your content and audience.

Offer coaching and consulting service

Coaching and consulting is also a way to help you earn money from your listeners - people trust you. So what coaching or consulting session looks like? In fact, it can be anything, which is a phone call, video chat, or even a one-by-one meeting. However, the format of your coaching session will depend on you and your customer’s demands and the type of problem they are encountering.

This doesn’t mean that you can help people solve every problem in their lives; the problem you can deal with should be around what you concentrate on your podcast channel. People who want your consultation are often your audience; they listen to your podcast content, respect you, and think that your knowledge and opinion will help their situation. So don’t go too far beyond your topics on podcasts.

For instance, if your content is about health and fitness, you can offer a coaching service to help people keep fit more quickly, and it will be a bad idea if you consult people about how to deal with people’s mental problems. Perhaps you are excellent or even have a degree in this field, but people come to you, not for it but the information about health and fitness on your episodes.

It takes time to get started this way since it only works when your fan’s community is large enough; you are known and trusted by many people. Then you can introduce to them your counseling, coaching, or consulting service. You can set up a landing page which allows people to fill the form of booking coaching session, or make use of such platform as Clarity, and Premium to give advice to your clients online or a tool for booking directly like Calendly.

Organize events

Host an event
Host an event

When deciding to host an event, you can select between options: online and offline. Based on your audience and our podcast content, these events can be held in the form of a lecture, workshop, or group discussion. Also, you can take advantage of such sites as Evenbrite to sell your event’s ticket. If your audience is local people or those who don’t like going for it, you can organize a live event and sell tickets right in your neighborhood.

To be honest, this way is not easy since this only works well with your loyal listeners. Asa result, your event should be held with the size of small groups of people rather than thousands of them. A big event will be extremely complex and sometimes is not as profitable as small one.

In case you are looking for a new city to host your event, don’t forget to analyze the place having most of your audience. This data can be found simply via the analytics on the dashboard and the geographic reports. It would be silly to hold an event in a place that is far from your listeners’ location.

The Walker Stalker conference is a great example that podcasters should be used as a reference when intending to host an event. Hosted by Pat Flynn, this podcast channel gets started with the content about the TV show named The Walking Dead. Now, they organize events all over the world with a huge profit. These events sometimes have the involvement of actors.

Another famous one is Sam Harris’. Instead of holding traditional events, he decided to organize the online one with the combination of Patreon. Every step in his event almost happens on Patreon, like selling tickets or hosting online events.

Some advice for monetizing a podcast

To be able to earn money from podcasts, only acknowledging the popular techniques is insufficient. Applying or even combining the techniques effectively is more important. So, let’s explore 8 advice and practical examples to help you monetize a podcast more simply.

Podtrac - A podcast network
Podtrac - A podcast network

There are multiple networks welcoming podcasters to promote their podcasts like Mevio, Podtrac, and Wizzard Media. With your podcasts, these networks can sell advertising against it and get profit. They collect the shows, put them into different categories and then sell advertisements according to the basis of CPM or CPA. According to Adam Curry, President Mevio, his company is seeking for podcast creators who fit their audience and motivate them. Podcasters are allowed to use the company’s show programming or social media to promote their show-specific coupon codes for their sponsors. And they will be paid each time the coupon code is used. Curry also stated that podcasters on their platform receive from $500,000 to $1,000,000 each year.

Exploiting popular networks to promote your podcast channel is not always the best choice. Sometimes, things will be better if you sponsor your podcast by yourself.

Kevin Kastner, owner of Scott Slone Photography reveals that he left Mevio after using it for a time since he is not satisfied with the money he received and the vagueness of the deal. He said he had no idea about the money the advertisers pay Mevio for his show and thought it would be better to sponsor by himself. This will help him get the entire money without sharing it with a third party.

And, he did it. The revenue increased to 200 - 300 percent, but along with it, the workload also increased by about ten fold.

Beg for donations

Like public TV, you can attract your listeners’ attention and gain a certain amount of money by beginning for donations. This amount can be big and small, but it will support you in some aspect of your life, reducing the financial burden.

Royce Hildreth and his wife, host of the podcast Pregtastic (a podcast created by and for pregnant women), add a button for listeners to send donations and instruct the podcast host to say that they need donations to maintain their show. They, then, receive the donations from their audience. Although it is not too much, it is enough for them to hire a babysitter who can help them take care of their baby when they are occupied with producing podcast episodes.

Produce free podcasts at first


People are often attracted by free things, so that offering them free episodes at first is an efficient way to gain more listeners. The time beginning is never easy since you have no fame in this field so by allowing them to listen free, people will be willing to listen to your podcast. When you achieve considerable fame, it is time to offer paid episodes. At that time, your listeners, especially the loyal ones, are willing to pay money to access your podcast.

Applying this technique, Don McAllister, who produces the podcast “ScreencastsOnline”, gains considerable success. His podcasts are the tutorial of Mac software, which helps people use devices of Apply effectively. He offers several free episodes. When it becomes famous, people have to pay for the rest, which is $57 for the first six months. By this subscription, his listeners can access additional content as well as the hi-res videos.

However, users are unable to charge for podcasts in iTunes. Therefore, podcasters have to integrate with another platform like Premiumcast to produce paid episodes. When using this service, personalized RSS feeds will be generated, allowing people to control the relationship between podcasters and subscribers, and provide different content like PDFs, videos, audio, etc. In addition to this, it also helps you distribute the time easily and stop the ability to access to feed if subscribers don’t pay the bill.

Offer free access for a part of your podcast episodes

Instead of offering completely free or paid episodes, providing users with partial podcast episodes is smart to earn money from podcasts. When listening to a part of the podcast, people’s likelihood of subscribing to the paid content increases since they are curious about the rest. The first part also indicates that the podcast content is excellent.

Jimmy Pardo who is a comedian in Chicago, owns a podcast channel called “Never Not Funny”. He also applies this strategy to his podcast and gains lots of success and money from it. His podcast often lasts 90 minutes and in the first 20 minutes, people are able to listen to it with no fee. However, if they want to continue watching, paying the subscription fee is compulsory. The subscription fee is divided into 2 packages for a season of 26 episodes which are in audio and in video. If you prefer only listening and select the audio package, you have to pay $19.99. Otherwise, you can select the video with $24.99 for each season.

Nevertheless, Jimmy Pardon didn’t use this technique at the beginning. In the early days, he and his partner Matte Belknap produced around 100 free podcast episodes for audiences. When their show became famous, the change to the partial free episodes and then completely paid episodes. And the result demonstrated that what he did is exact: about 35% of their listeners are paid subscribers!

Focus on building your brand

One outstanding example for this is John Jantsch, the host of the “Duct Tape Marketing”. He is also a coach in marketing and digital technology. When starting podcasting, no one knows about him but an advantageous decision changed his work in podcasting completely which is the interview with famous social media types Guy Kawasaki and Seth Godin. With their name in his profile, his career improved significantly: his consulting business raised 5 times and he instantly received the sponsorships with six figures.

Unlike Jantsch, Mike Auzenne, co-producer of Manager Tools, chooses to provide free content and refuse all the invitation of sponsors. His concentration is to create helpful podcasts to support people in trying to be a better manager. After several years, his podcast channel has become a trustworthy source in this field, which brings him a lot of clients for the coaching service. People come to him to listen to his advice, and his business has increased by 1000%.

Sell an app with your podcast

Sell apps
Sell apps

Instead of offering paid content to monetize, Elsie Escobar, host of the podcast named “Elsie’s Yoga Class Live and Unplugged” earn money in a different way. She creates free podcasts which are about her yoga classes but she still gets a large amount of money from it which is by selling an app on iPhones. Developed by Wizzard Media, this $3.99 app empowers podcasters like Escobar to provide value add content for their podcast. She also makes use of this app to add the PDFs about routine sequences and access to her 70 yoga classes quickly.

Establish your own media network of podcasts

Perhaps building a network of TV or radio is out of hand, but it is not too hard with podcasts. With clear and specific strategies, owning a media network of programming is possible for you. By establishing your podcast network, you can sell advertising against it.

In fact, many people gain some considerable results in building up their own podcast networks like Personal Life Media, ESPN, etc.

Managed by Susan Bratton, Personal Life Media is a network of blogs and podcasts about all the aspects of personal life such as love, health, finance, and career. In this network, the podcasts and its brands will be controlled carefully, and the advertising package will be sold in different categories. It depends on the monthly download and ranges from 100,000 to 250,000.

Another successful case is the one of ESPN. Actually, this network already has its brand and a radio station before starting to build a podcast network. So instead of beginning from zero, their way is much easier: modify their available system. At first, they intended to repurpose the podcast content for websites, but they realized that generating original podcasts would be much better. And they are true! Up to now, there are more than 100 podcasts on ESPN, and advertisers can find a variety of integrated sponsor packages across numerous media channels there which consists of the picture of advertisers displayed on the show’s icon in the podcast directory of iTunes.

Common questions about monetizing a podcast

Can people earn money from podcasting?

Yes, they can
Yes, they can

Of course, yes!

Perhaps the revenue from most podcasts is insignificant but it still brings a certain amount of money for their owners. To be honest, the key point in podcast monetization is to get listeners. This is also the hardest part in podcasting. However, multiple examples mentioned above indicate that it is achievable.

At the beginning, you should not pay too much attention to financial issues. Instead, try your best to attract as many listeners as possible by your content. Podcast monetization only works well when you have a stable fanbase.

Is it a good idea to podcast just to earn money?

Although the information admits that it is possible to get money from podcasts, it is not advisable to podcast just for the financial purpose.

The critical point of podcast monetization is the loyal listeners, and the main reason people become a podcast’s channel is not the name of the host but its content. The content has to be interesting and helpful for listeners. If you only focus on money, you will never create enough interesting content to attract your audience. Passionate is the primary factor for it. You can think about your hobby or advantage before choosing the podcast topic. It will bring you unlimited passion. So if you only want to earn money, think about other ways.

Which methods do podcasters use to monetize?

Earn money from a podcast
Earn money from a podcast

It is quite hard to say which methods that podcast creators use to earn money, but we can look at the survey done by Matt Wolfe and Hoe Fier (published inPodcast Magazine) in 1,000 podcast creators to see how many techniques are used as well as the rate of each one:

  • 54% of podcasters earn money by selling sponsorships and advertising through the Internet
  • 42% of podcasters monetize by selling premium content for their subscribers via such platforms as Patreon
  • 35% is the ratio of podcaster get income when their listeners drive leads to their business
  • 18% of podcasters sell online courses and information products in their podcasts to get money. It is also the percent of podcast producers selling product of the third party as an affiliate and receives money
  • 15% of podcasters get income from public speaking and hosting event
  • 14% sell items related to their content in each podcast episode
  • 5% of podcasters sell guest spots in their show to earn money
  • 3% get money from selling newsletter related to their show or asking for donations
  • 1% sell the permission to use their content to a third party like the radio station

How much money can podcasters earn?

It is pretty difficult to calculate how much money a podcaster can earn since it depends much on their listeners. More than that, the cost also varies when they can earn money in more than one way. Some people can get an enormous amount while others receive a little or even nothing.

However, it is possible to estimate the average amount of money earned from one monetization technique. According to a research named “Podcast Advertising rates 2020” of AdvertiseCat, a 30-second podcast ad CPM will bring its owner $18 with every 1000 listeners and in 60 seconds, the rate will be $25.

Consequently, if the average number of listeners in each of your episodes is around one million, you will receive $18,000 for a 30-second ad and $25,000 for a 600-second ad. Of course, if you find sponsors via the ad agency or network, a part of your revenue will be used to pay for them.

How many listeners are needed to start monetizing?

Podcast listeners
Podcast listeners

The suitable number of listeners to start monetizing is pretty flexible since the podcast’s topic and the techniques you select to monetize play a crucial role in deciding which one is suitable. In general, it is said that 3000 to 5000 listeners (or 400 - 500 downloads) for each episode is the required number to ask for sponsorships from advertising agencies.

However, it doesn’t mean that you will not be able to negotiate when your listeners are below this number. Even when 1000 to 2000 people listen to your podcast, there are still chances for you to succeed, especially when they are devoted audiences in a niche industry.

When is the suitable time to start monetizing?

There is no specific number or period of time to start podcast monetization. No listeners means no revenue so time for monetization will be decided by their fan base.

You may plan to earn money from podcasts even before actually starting to make your first podcast episode but your most important mission at first is to increase your audience, particularly the loyal one. They will be the key factor to know when you can start your journey in earning money from and how to get it. So research and think carefully about your topic, style, format, content and targeted audience, they will support you a lot in launching your podcast monetization plan.

In case, you are interested in sensitive or controversial topics, keeping in mind that it may attract a theplora of people to access and listen to your episodes but it can be the reason why a specific group of sponsors refuse you. They are hot but can bring about the bad image of the brand, so be conscious. Stating that doesn’t mean that you have to avoid these topics: the industry of podcasts has been developing. So in some where, there still exist several sponsors willing to work with you, to speak to your niche listeners.

A small tip for you is that your first 10 - 12 episodes should be concentrated on the sole goal: to build up a listener base.

Final Thoughts

In short, it can’t be denied that podcast monetization is an appealing way to earn money in modern life. Yet, to be able to reach success, podcasters need to have smart strategies with specific steps and goals and especially the creativity and passion. You will never succeed if you mindset when podcasting is only about getting money. Focusing on attracting audiences first and success will come to you!

Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.