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How to make money from podcasting

  • December 29 2021
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How to make money from podcasting

By Fergus Halliday
December 29 2021

Podcasts have grown in both quality and quantity over the last 15 years. 

How to make money from podcasting

How to make money from podcasting

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  • December 29 2021
  • Share

Podcasts have grown in both quality and quantity over the last 15 years. 

How to make money from podcasting

While many content creators produce podcasts as a hobby, more are looking to make it their side-hustle. Here’s what you need to know to monetise your podcast:

How much is the podcast market worth?

PWC has estimated podcast ad spend in 2020 was US$800 million. They predict that this figure will double to US$1.7 billion by 2024.

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In Australia, podcasting revenues are expected to reach $50 million by the end of the year, with Delloite predicting that 1.6 million Australians are now downloading podcast content each year.

“Podcasts are outgrowing their niche status to emerge as a substantive market in their own right,” Delloite said.

How much can you make from podcasting?

Even if you approach your podcast as an enterprise rather than a hobby, the odds are that you might not make a single dollar from it. Podcasts are more popular than ever, but most aren’t profitable and those that are, vary wildly in their revenues.

While some estimates have suggested that popular podcasts like The Joe Rogan Experience can make as much as $800,000 per episode, they’re the exception, not the rule.

An audience of a thousand listeners might sound high, but if you’re only getting 1 per cent of that to support you on Patreon or purchase something via an affiliate program, then you’re only going to be generating somewhere between an extra $10 and $100 of income each month. That’s not nothing, but it’s not quite enough to live on either.

However, as your podcast grows in scale, your monetisation opportunities become a bit more generous, and you’ll be able to charge a bit more for ads.

How to make money from podcasting through sponsorships

The first and most common form of podcast monetisation is sponsorship. Through this business model, podcasters sell to advertisers looking to reach their audience.

In most cases, podcasters have several advertising slots to offer with each episode, such as the intro or intermission. If you’ve ever listened to a podcast that starts with an ad, you’ll know what to expect.

The positives of this model are that it’s fairly established and easy to implement.

Unfortunately, there are a number of negatives. For one, the onus is on you to seek out and find advertisers. This is especially problematic for smaller operators, who usually have a smaller audience and fewer resources to devote to finding advertisers.

How to make money from podcasting through subscriptions

With the rise of creator-based subscription platforms like Patreon and OnlyFans, it’s become increasingly common to monetise podcasts through premium subscription.

Some podcasters lock their entire archive behind a paywall, while others opt to reserve exclusive content for premium subscribers.

Earlier this year, two of the biggest names in podcast distribution – Spotify and Apple Music –- announced changes that made it much easier to make money from podcasting through subscriptions.

The Apple Podcasters Program allows podcasts to offer both monthly and annual plans across three pricing tiers. Apple podcasters are able to monetise their content around both freemium and paid subscription tiers, offering paid subscribers perks like ad-free listening, additional or early access to episodes.

Meanwhile, Spotify’s paid podcast plans are built into their podcast creation and distribution app, Anchor. Like Apple’s take on premium podcasting, Spotify’s paid subscription offering allows you to grow your subscriber base by offering unique perks like merch, promo codes and exclusive episodes.

How to make money from podcasting through affiliate marketing

The third major way that podcasts can be monetised is through affiliate marketing. As with traditional advertising, affiliate marketing is a bit more of a hands-on approach to monetisation.

There are a number of different affiliate marketing platforms and services out there, but they all basically work the same way.

After partnering with a platform like Amazon or a vendor directly, you simply include a promotional discount code or a link in episodes of your podcast. When listeners use the discount code or link attached to your podcast to spend money, you – as the affiliate – get a cut.

The upside here is that affiliate marketing streams can be more lucrative than the other options if your podcast doesn’t have the volume to command large ad deals or subscription revenues. It’s also fairly easy to set up.

The downside is that your success can vary, and you have to be careful about the products you promote as an affiliate. If you promote a product or service that ends up disappointing your listeners, it could cost you listeners.

How to make money from podcasting
How to make money from podcasting
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About the author

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Fergus is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He likes to write about money, markets, how innovation is changing the financial landscape and how younger consumers can achieve their goals in unpredictable times. 

About the author

author image
Fergus Halliday

Fergus is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He likes to write about money, markets, how innovation is changing the financial landscape and how younger consumers can achieve their goals in unpredictable times. 

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