The Business Sense In Podcasting?

Podcast Business Sense

Last Updated on December 18, 2020

Sometimes it seems like everyone and their brother have launched podcasts in the last year or two. While a significant amount of podcasters do it out of passion for their subject matter, many other podcasters get into it with the hope of creating a hit show that will let them quit their day jobs. On the other hand, some podcasters want to at least cover their expenses and production costs. And at meetups and podcasting conferences, the business sense of podcasting and monetization comes up frequently.

Is There Any Business Sense In Podcasting?

“When you start talking about podcasting, it doesn’t take long before someone asks how you can make money from it.” Click here to view original article at

Our Take on Whether Podcasts Make Business Sense

If I had to summarize it, I would put it in a way that asks the question differently:

The simple truth is that unless you are a media celebrity, YouTube star or have a large social media platform, podcasting is an unlikely way for most individuals to create significant income. At least not the sort of income to retire on in a few years.

New podcasters may make next to nil when they create their initial episodes and work on building listeners. For example, The Jerry Banfield Show creator reported earning $188.73 for 74,080 plays, meaning he’s earning about $2.55 for every 1,000 people who listen to his broadcast, although sponsors on the platform tend to pay more, Banfield reports. Click here to see the article at Listen Notes

How Podcasts Contribute To Your Business

Ask Not How To Monetize Your Podcast, Ask How Your Podcast Monetizes Your Business
Photographer: Nastuh Abootalebi | Source: Unsplash

That said, podcasting as content strategy does make business sense and is an excellent contributor to attracting and retaining clients. Inbound Marketing is all about getting potential customers to know, like and trust you, and nothing does this better than podcasting. We talk to so many business owners who share amazing stories about how their initial conversations with prospects has changed because of their podcasts.

  • The whole feel of an initial conversation with someone interested in your business changes if they have already listened to your podcast.
  • In many cases a podcast builds a connection and understanding of how your service, business or product fits their needs. And all this happens before the first conversation.
  • For interview shows, often the relationships established with your guests become an important asset.

Alternatives To Monetization Through Ads

Do ads make business sense for podcasters?
Do ads make business sense for podcasters? Photographer: Joshua Earle | Source: Unsplash

That said, many podcasters do not have a business associated with their show. And for them it is important to earn a little income from the podcast to offset or even pay for the production costs and listener growth.

There are many more elegant alternatives to podcast monetization than playing programmatic ads on a podcast. The best 3 approaches of late are sponsorships, memberships and guesting.


You can work out a deal for "host read promos" for select sponsors, all without accepting programmatic advertising placed on your show with little input from you.

  • Your sponsors contribute a negotiated amount of funds or resources for a period of time, in exchange for host read ads on your show.
  • It helps to have a DAI (dynamic audio insertion) capable podcast host, more on this in upcoming posts. This simply means you can add and remove sponsor promos throughout your back-catalog of episodes, even after publishing, and there is no “hard coding” of promos.


The other effective model of creating some income from your podcast listening audiences is through membership models. There are an increasing number of platforms around this, Patreon being the one that has been around the longest.

  • The most effective membership programs are around offering a combination of premium content, access to a membership group and personal access to you, the host.

Podcast Guesting

Guesting as a podcast growth strategy is pretty well known. Usually the term “guesting” is thought of as appearing on other podcasts, in order to grow a podcast’s own listener base. But there are also ways in which booking the right guests on a show can lead to financial success:

  • Guesting as monetization strategy involves reaching out to interview potential high profile clients in your niche.
  • Usually an interview podcast promotes their guests, and allows the host to outreach to people they would otherwise be shy to contact.
  • We have seen it time and again, recording a podcast together can quickly establishes a close relationship with potential clients one would not have otherwise have even met.

Podcast Monetization Blog Series

Coming up: We are about to launch a blog article series on podcast monetization, sponsorship models, guesting and podcast membership models. We will explore the following in more detail:

  • What are the best monetization options today?
  • The business sense of in-house promos delivered via DAI (Dynamic Audio Insertion), and how average podcasters can take advantage of it creatively, for pre-roll, mid-roll promo slots
  • Why dynamically updating a back-catalog of episodes can bring your old episodes back to life
  • How to structure DAI campaigns with in-house promotions even when there are no sponsors involved
  • Planning and executing on membership models, including the latest apps and solutions to deliver premium content
  • Guesting and outreach as part of a monetization strategy.

So stay tuned, and let me know your questions and comments!