Can You Make Money Podcasting? By Andy Meadows

There are still a lot of my radio colleagues who look down on podcasting. Many within our industry think of it as just a hobby for people who don’t have their own radio show, or station. Even when you point out the statistics showing the annual growth in listenership, they’ll still brush it off as a passing fad. But, by far, the biggest push back I get when encouraging radio people to podcast is this, ‘There’s no money in it.’ However, that simply isn’t true. In 2020 podcast advertising was a $758 million dollar industry and that’s expected to rise to $2.4 billion by 2025

The question is, how do we get a piece of those billions in such a crowded marketplace? After all, there are an estimated 2 million podcasts worldwide and only a handful of those dominate the podcast charts every week getting the bulk of the downloads and revenue. But, the fact is, it doesn’t take a hundred thousand downloads to start making money. The current average cpm (cost per thousand) for podcasting ranges from $15 for a :10, $18 for :30s and $25 for :60s. Meaning, once we’ve built up 10,000 downloads per episode, each sixty second spot on our podcasts would be worth roughly $250. I know that may still sound like a tall hill to climb, but by those metrics, even a 1,000 downloads per episode would be worth $25 per 60. 

Plus, the ads within the podcasts are only one of the ways to make money from podcasting. There’s no point in podcasting if you’re not going to promote said podcast and one of the best ways to do that is through boosted and sponsored posts on social media. If a title sponsor or two is included within those promotions, that just adds to their impression count and raises the value of their ad package. We can also add a few cameras, (I prefer Mevo Start cameras for broadcasters, but there are a whole host of affordable options), to create a video version of each episode complete with all the in-podcast advertising as well as sponsor overlays and product placement. In addition, many of the popular podcast hosting sites offer revenue sharing programs so we’re at least making something as we build it up. Here are the five podcast hosting sites I recommend for broadcasters. 

All of this applies whether its done through the radio station with a cut or talent fee paid to the on-air personality or if the podcast is done directly by the on-air talent on their own. Obviously, if it’s done through the station other things can be bundled into the advertiser’s package like on-air mentions, on-air promos, web posts and social through the station pages. If you need help creating podcast advertising packages, let me know. 

What do you think and have you had any success driving revenue with podcasting? Comment below or email me at andy@radiostationconsultant.com.

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