Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular by day, and there is a relatively low barrier for entry if you want to get in on the action.
But, how much money do podcasts make?
Asking can you make money with a podcast is important to know before you start investing the time and money into starting a podcast with income intentions in mind.
One of the most important aspects is understanding how do podcasts make money. We’ll dive into those details below.
Highest Paid Podcasters
Is there really money in podcasting? If you want to find out how much money do podcasts make, a great place to start is seeing what some of the top podcasters make.
One of the highest-grossing podcasts is called the Joe Rogan Experience. It’s become well-known recently for controversy, but it’s still an extremely popular podcast.
In fact, Spotify paid $200 million to feature the Joe Rogan podcast.
That’s quite a lot of money. There are many other podcasts that also bring in loads of money, too.
Here are some of the highest-grossing podcasts:
- Chapo Trap House – This podcast focuses on political humor and rakes in $1.8 million per year
- True Crime Obsessed – This podcast discusses true crime stories and brings in about $1.2 million per year
- Smart Passive Income – Learn how to earn money from home by listening to this podcast, which makes roughly $1.2 million per year
- Doughboys – Comedians Nick Wiger and Mike Mitchell review fast food chains in this comedy podcast, which brings in about $696,600 per year
- Last Podcast on the Left – This podcast talks about real and made-up horror stories, and brings in about $670,000 per year
- Tiny Meat Gang – Comedians Noel Miller and Cody Ko host this funny podcast, which brings in about $615,000 per year
One of the keys to a successful podcast is continuously practicing communication, a well known high income skill.
Tactic for Success
One of the best things you can do when starting a business is to model yourself after other successful businesses. In this case, if you want to be a successful podcaster, take tips from some of the people above. They’ve built successful empires, and you can follow some of their paths to success.
How much money do podcasts make?
So, if you start a podcast today, will you instantly make as much as some of the top podcasters above? Not likely.
But, don’t get down on yourself and quit before you even start. You can still make great money starting a podcast.
Just keep in mind that it’s not a quick and easy way to become a millionaire, and that starting a podcast is a lot like working at a startup.
The most successful podcasts don’t just come up with a great idea and then attract a lot of listeners. They capitalize on the audience they have and diversify their income streams.
Also keep in mind that many podcasters won’t make any money initially.
That’s because you need to build an audience before you can create income streams, very similar to how to make money on twitter.
In fact, you may even need to spend some money marketing your podcast before you even bring in any income. But after podcasts build up a listener base, they are able to do things such as offer membership sites.
Some have earned more than $150,000 in revenue over just a few years.
How many listeners do you need to make money on a podcast?
Just like blogging or vlogging, there really is no minimum number of listeners you need to have to make money doing a podcast.
If you have 10 active listeners, for example, and they each pay for a subscription to your podcast, donate to your cause and buy swag from you, that’s income.
It may not be a lot of income, but it’s income nonetheless.
That being said, if you want to make a decent amount of money on a podcast, you should figure that you’ll need at least 5,000 to 10,000 listeners on a monthly basis.
This is about the amount that advertisers and sponsors look for when they want to spend money on a particular podcast. Although starting a podcast is a job without a CV, you will need to prove yourself in other ways to earn real money.
Trend on the Rise
As of last year, 78% of U.S. adults were aware of what podcasting was. It was estimated that there were 120 million podcast listeners in 2021, and that’s expected to rise substantially in future years. So, don’t think that you’re behind the eight ball if you haven’t started your podcast yet.
Once you hit that number of listeners, it could open up the possibilities of you joining advertising networks such as Midroll and Authentic, which specialize in advertising for the podcast industry.
There are many ways that you can increase your listener base.
You can create social media pages for your podcast and then link to those pages through your personal social media pages.
Ask friends, family members and colleagues to listen and share it if they like what they hear.
You could take it a step further and do some paid advertising on social media and even through search engines. Another great idea would be to start a blog where you write about some of the similar topics you talk about on the podcast.
That way, you’ll have other pieces of content that you’ll be able to market online, and hopefully climb up the search engine rankings on Google, Bing and more.
This all sounds like a lot of work, but it can be done on your own schedule and even become that job that doesn’t work weekends that you’ve always dreamed of!
How do podcasts make money on Apple iTunes?
In the last few years, Apple broke off podcasts into an entirely separate category.
Now, instead of podcasts being available on Apple iTunes, they are available in a completely separate app called Apple Podcasts. Through this, podcasters have a lot of opportunities to make extra money.
In addition to advertisers, sponsors and affiliate marketing companies they can partner with directly, podcasters can also sign up for a subscription service through Apple Podcasts.
Apple Podcasts actually gives podcasters three options for hosting their shows there.
They can offer completely free options, Freemium options where the shows are free but people can subscribe for added benefits, or Paid options where listeners have to pay to hear the show. Podcasters who go through the subscription service will earn 70% of the price of subscription for each billing cycle.
After a podcast is with Apple Podcasts for one year, their net revenue from this will increase to 85%.
A great part about Apple Podcasts is they won’t take any money from a podcast’s revenue that come through direct marketing, advertising or other sales. All you have to do is create a channel and sign up for the Apple Podcasters Program.
Trend on the Rise
Apple Podcasts have more than 2 million podcast titles, with around 880,000 with at least four episodes. That’s a significant number, and it’s only increasing. If you start a podcast, this is a great place for you to publish your episodes.
How to Make Money Podcasting
Now that you know generally speaking how much money podcasts can make, you might be asking how can you make money with a podcast.
This question is actually probably more pertinent than the others. If you don’t know how do podcasts make money, after all, it doesn’t really matter how much you could possibly make.
There are many different ways that you can make money through podcast. Some common ways include:
- Affiliate Marketing – You advertise the services of other companies, and each time someone makes a purchase using your “promo code,” you get paid a percentage
- Advertising and Sponsors – Companies pay you to plug their products, just like on traditional radio, which would pay you up to $50 CPM
- Swag – You can sell t-shirts, hats and any other swag products that have your podcast name on it
- Books – Once you have a solid podcast, you can write a book about the topics you discuss or your experience as a podcaster, and then sell that
- Consulting – If you become really successful, you could serve as a consultant to others who want to do the same
- Donations – When you’re starting out, you could take donations or start a crowdfunding campaign to bring in some money
Podcasts are extremely popular in the United States and across the world, and they are a fun way that you can make money on the side.
If you build a large enough listener base and get creative with your revenue streams, you could also make podcasting your primary career.
Tim is a classically-trained journalist who loves to share knowledge and information with others. In the past, he has worked in TV, online and print media, and currently works with companies to help design, create and strategize their messaging.