How Do Podcasters Make Money?

How Do Podcasters Make Money?

What Generates Revenue for Podcasters?

For years people have asked me – how do podcasters make money? Truth be told – the possibilities are endless and the terrain is not nearly as defined as people think it is. Top Podcast is here to teach you the many ways that podcasts can be monetized. 


The most traditional way to profit off of expression is through advertisements. Along with the invention of media came the popularization of advertisements. Advertisements and content have been tied at the hip since they were invented. 

In podcasting, advertisements are typically priced by the thousands of listeners that may listen. This figure is referred to as a CPM, which stands for cost per thousand impressions. M is the roman numeral for 1,000 – to clear up any confusion. National advertisers will likely begin to bite on your podcast if you can prove that your show gets 30,000 to 40,000 listens monthly. Locally focused advertisers may be interested in locally relevant shows with just 5,000 monthly listeners and may be more open to collaborate. alt money pic

National brands and large media companies can utilize programmatic advertisements offered through large podcast distribution companies. Distribution companies are linking with major brands and corporations to automatically serve ads on many of America’s favorite podcasts.


Not into advertisements? Try out Patreon or Indiegogo! If a podcast has a strong enough following or draw – it can go behind a paywall where dedicated fans pay to support their favorite creators. Many popular podcasts release one show weekly to a free mass audience with advertisements and then release a second episode free of ads behind a paywall to their loyal paying audience. 


You’re just as likely to see people wearing Barstool Sports t-shirts as you are to see them wearing band tees. Podcast listeners feel intimately connected to their favorite shows and thus are more likely to support their favorite creators. From “Call Her Daddy” Hoodies to shirts that simply say “friend of the pod,” clothing items offer high profit margins on relatively low sales and offer burgeoning creators an opportunity to make money.   

Distribution / Networks

If your podcast becomes large enough, you can develop a network of similar or like-minded podcasts. This is the exact strategy that rappers use to build labels and that Marvel is using with superhero properties. Look no further than Barstool Sports, SB Nation, Chapo Trap House, or NPR to see podcasts diversifying into multiple instances to make their revenue more dynamic. 

Networks like Earwolf and Mid-Roll grew large enough to be sold to a larger company for a profit. Similarly, the distribution rights to podcasts like the Joe Rogan Experience have been sold based on their massive audiences.