How do podcasts make money?

Earn money with your podcast - that's how it's done!

Listeners become supporters

What's the obvious way to make money from your podcast? Right, with your listeners: inside! You shouldn't get caught up in the misconception that you are "pulling the money out of your fans' pockets" or be afraid to ask them for support. After all, you're delivering high-quality content for them and there are more people willing to pay for it than you might think.

There are several ways in which you can turn listeners into paying supporters. One option is to add a monthly donation to ask, which is not linked to anything in return. This way you keep your podcast free from advertising and sponsors, you are independent and at the same time get something in return for your work. An example of this is the lawn radio, which is completely financed by the Supporters Club. Host Max introduces some of the supporters by name in each episode.

Another option is the so-called Crowdfunding. Creatives can get financial support from their supporters via platforms such as Patreon or the German alternative Steady and set funding targets. Usually there are so-called "tiers", ie memberships with different contributions, for which there are different considerations.

For example, some podcasters offer their paying supporters one second podcast feed with exclusive episodes how you can create it with us at LetsCast.fm. Others send out merchandise such as t-shirts or stickers, depending on the animal. You can also publish postings on the crowdfunding platforms (and should do so) in which you give your supporters personal insights into your everyday podcasts. This creates exclusivity and an additional incentive to support you. For an example of a crowdfunding campaign, check out the Mindcast Patreon page.

Effective and accepted: native advertising through host reads

If you want to go the "traditional" way instead of crowdfunding and earn money with your podcast, this is the one for you Search for sponsors at. You either look for companies as a cooperation partner yourself or, in the best case, you will be contacted by them to place products in your episodes. The best form of sponsorship are the so-called Host reads, also known as native spots.

These are product or service recommendations that you submit yourself and the content of which, in the best case, comes from yourself. Because the host reads are particularly impressive because of their high level of acceptance among listeners. In Podstars.de's 2021 podcast survey, 82.4% of respondents said they found podcast advertising spoken by the host itself appealing. Host reads are usually between 30 and 60 seconds long.

The key word here is: authenticity. If you describe a product in your own words and, at best, even use it yourself, this has a credible effect and, in the best case, your listener can even do it offer added value. However, that does not mean that native spots are a sure-fire success. Your community notices when you are not behind a product presentation yourself or only read a marketing text peppered with buzzwords. When choosing your cooperation partners, make sure that they suit you and your podcast.

Often you will also find partners who are you for so-called Presenter pay. A company or a brand sponsors one of your episodes and is announced by you at the beginning of the episode, for example with the classic "This episode is presented by ...". The opposite of Host Read is the classic audio spotsas you know them from radio advertising. However, their acceptance among the listeners is lower. In the Podstars survey, only 24.73% of listeners found audio spots inside to be appealing. Usually audio spots are used by advertising networks as part of the so-called dynamic ad insertion, which we present to you below.

Dynamic Ad Insertion & AdServer: Let your podcast be marketed

If you don't want to take care of sponsors and advertising partners yourself, you can do your show with one of them Podcast advertising network submit to make money on your podcast. The marketing agencies check your podcast for advertising potential and then offer their customer network advertising space in your episodes. Depending on the advertising network, these can be audio spots as well as host reads recorded by you.

In order to simplify the display of the advertising for you, the agency and the company, there is usually a so-called AdServer for use. Your podcast feed is redirected to the ad server, which checks whether there are any line items and dynamically adds them to your episodes. You will probably have heard it before: the procedure is called Dynamic ad insertion. Dynamic Ad Insertion has several advantages:

  • You can not only market your episodes once, but multiple times, because the advertising can be exchanged as you wish.
  • Your podcast will be more interesting for businesses with limited-time promotions.
  • The placement effort is less for you because audio spots or host reads are automatically imported into the respective episodes by the AdServer.

However, dynamic ad insertion and ad networks also have disadvantages:

  • Acceptance, especially of audio spots, is lower among listeners.
  • Depending on the advertising network, the companies advertising there may not suit you and your target group.
  • You cannot place the sponsorships in the context of the episode as they will be exchanged automatically after the campaign ends. For example, organic transfers from the content to the advertising partners are not possible.
  • As a podcast with a short reach, you have a harder time finding advertising partners because the companies represented in the network can choose from a large number of podcasts.

And where are you now placing your advertising partners?

Have you found companies and sponsors who want to advertise in your podcast? Excellent! Then all that remains is to clarify where you can place host reads or audio spots. In the podcast marketing landscape, these three points have become commonplace for placement:

  • Intro / pre-roll
  • Mid-roll
  • Outro / post-roll

Intro & pre-roll

Do you sell that Intro As an advertising space for your podcast, you would yourself introduce the advertising partner at the beginning of your episode. This can be done in the form of the already mentioned presenting, but also as a native ad directly at the start. The Pre-roll is also at the beginning of the episode, but before the start of the official content. Here the delivery usually takes place as an audio spot via an ad server. Listeners: inside get to hear the commercial before you and the right episode start.

Mid-roll

The Mid-roll is in the middle part of the sequence and is the advertising space with the most attention. The listeners have already delved deep into the topic of the episode with you and are eagerly listening to you. In addition, smartphones, tablets or mice are not within easy reach, so that advertisers don't bother to skip spots. Therefore, you should call the highest price for the mid-roll.

Outro & Post-Roll

In the outro you name your advertising partners again at the end of the episode. The post-roll is behind the end of the actual episode and is mostly played via dynamic ad insertion by the ad server in the form of audio spots. You can already guess: The Listeners attention span: inside has already sunk here. Some fans may already have finished the episode. Therefore, the advertising space is less interesting for many companies, but conversely, it is also cheaper.

The dear money: What do you earn with your podcast?

Finally, of course, you want to know how much money you can make from your podcast, right? The short answer: It's complicated! Because although Podcasts are booming, marketing in this medium is still in its infancy. This is mainly due to the fact that pricing often happens behind the scenes.

Podcasting is an open system, so there is no central platform that, for example, collects statistics or does a large part of the marketing (greetings to Google Ads). It is difficult to find out how many downloads the big podcasts have or what the prices are for them so that you can orientate yourself.

However, there are guidelines you can use to drive the pricing of your podcast. We have already talked about one point above: You should offer the mid-roll the most expensive and the post-roll the cheapest. You can use several strategies to measure the price for which you offer the advertising blocks:

  • Some podcasters charge a fee per listener: in. So if you calculate each: n listener: in, for example, at € 0.50, a placement with 500 listeners will cost you € 250.
  • The second option is the calculation using the so-called Thousand contact price (CPM). Here you set a fixed amount per 1,000 listeners: inside and scale your prices with increasing follow-up. The standard prices in the USA are for a 60-second mid-roll, for example, at a CPM of $ 25, in Germany between € 20 and € 40, depending on the range.
  • You can also settle with your sponsor according to the so-called Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) arrange. This means that your advertising partner will pay you for actions your listeners took as a result of the podcast advertising. This can be a registration for a newsletter or a purchase with a special discount code.

No matter which form or remuneration option you choose, we wish you every success in monetizing your podcast. And if you don't have a podcast yet, register now and test LetsCast.fm for 14 days free of charge.