What happens with all internet based entities has finally happened to podcasts, after years of people screaming “how can we make money off this?” multiple revenue streams have showed face. Many of these terms will be familiar, as podcasts are now being regarded as content worth paying for. These are the same ways that radio shows, television shows, and online content is made profitable. Take all of these ideas into account when creating your podcast.
Simple and straightforward, if you have the ability to attract sponsors to your series, do it. Remaining an independent endeavor funded by outside companies will allow for your creative freedom to remain unimpeded. Proving the value in your podcast can be rather difficult, but the growing popularity of podcasts helps your sales pitch. Think locally if you’re hyper-focused locally. Think internationally if you have a wide audience. Be creative.
There’s a mad scramble by media companies to scoop up valuable content. Reach out to media companies in your area. Speak to radio stations, newspapers, podcast studios, and anyone collecting content to see if their interested. This allows a media company to signal boost your series, provide validity, and offer expertise on the production side.
Coincidentally, this is a great turnkey solution for media companies. Rather than developing a series from scratch they can signal boost an already established brand, attach ad partners, and rake in profits.
Events & Merch
Live podcasts exist. They are high energy events full of surprises and production value. Nobody wants to see one guy quietly talk into a mic, figure out how you can bring your podcast to life. Get involved with events that are already planned or book a stage and make your podcast a live event.
Merch is a money machine. The host of Comedy Bang! Bang! Has an on-going bit, whereafter a comedian says something funny he’ll say “That’s a shirt.” This became such a ubiquitous catchphrase that he eventually sold “That’s a shirt!” printed on a shirt. Mugs, pens, magnets, and shirts, can all be created and sold through online platforms without podcasters having to do much more than designing the product.
The paywall is a newer concept. HBO and Netflix popularized the subscription service model, but podcasters have been keeping “premium content” behind a paywall as a way to profit off a larger fan base. This can be tricky, because oftentimes producers over value content. Make sure you incentive people to pay, or else you’re just burying your content to never be seen.
Unlike a blockbuster film, you cannot simply sprinkle Coke cans throughout your set. Product placement is done subtly within a podcast format. Talk about trending topics often? Slip some sponsored talking points into the mix. This is prevalent in radio, for example, Popeye’s could sponsor a radio show frequently and make sure the hosts talk about their new chicken sandwich. This can work for movies, products, other content platforms, and has the added bonus of hitting the listeners with an ad that doesn’t feel like an ad.
Sell out-right. Only needing to conform to one sponsor has its ups and downs. While it provides a steady flow of income, it may give a single sponsor too much control over your production. However, the benefits include partnering with one company heavily invested in your success. Look for like-minded companies with similar demographics that you can reach.
Lastly, it’s only going to get easier to profit off of your creations in the near future. Creative ideas take the cake, think outside of the box, hone your craft, and recognize what you bring to the table.