Are you a podcaster with a following? Selling premium podcast subscriptions directly to your own audience can be a more effective way to monetize than selling advertising.
Making money from podcast ads takes serious listener volume. You need a large size of audience to earn advertising revenue of any meaningful magnitude. Let’s do the math.
Say you have 1000 regular listeners. According to AdvertiseCast, the industry average CPM (cost per 1000 listens) for 30 second ads is $18. If you have a weekly podcast and inserts two 30-sec ad per track, your monthly earnings would be just $144. ($18 x 4 x 2 = $144).
In contrast, you can sell premium content to your own audience for, say, $10/month. If just 10 percent of your listeners buy the subscription, your monthly earnings would be $1,000 ($10 x 1000 x 10% = $1000). You may not get 10 percent of your listeners to sign up for the premium podcast on day 1, but it’s a realistic goal if you continue producing quality content and nurture your community over time.
Making money from sponsorship means your income is tied to the marketing decisions of a few companies. If they decide not to run ads on your podcast next month, you’d need to scout for replacement, or there would be no income.
When you sell premium subscriptions, each subscription costs relatively little and has only a marginal impact on your overall income. Subscription payments are predictable, so unless your audience decides one day to unsubscribe en masse, (which is unlikely to happen unless there’s an alien invasion) you can expect that regular income each month.
If you hire an agency to find sponsorship for you, there are minimum audience size requirements (typically over 50,000 downloads per month) which is a high bar for most independent podcasters. If you have a smaller audience and decide to hunt for sponsorship yourself, your valuable time is spent hustling, doing outreach and sales, rather than creating the podcasts both you and your audience love.
In contrast, when you sell paid podcasts, there is no minimum requirement. Every subscription counts and you can start even with one listener. You can begin immediately and nurture your listener relationship at your own pace, and focus on content creation and building listener loyalty, which is your most valuable asset over the long term.
Let’s be honest, ads are annoying. That’s why a large percentage of listeners fast-forward right past them, even if the ads are entertaining. Regular podcast listeners hear the same companies advertised on all the different podcasts they listen to, and each time they hear a company reappear they roll their eyes.
Once you read an ad, you’re perceived as implicitly endorse that brand. Yet you have absolutely no control over the brands you are promoting. If something goes wrong with them, you lose some of the relationship capital with your listeners that you worked so hard to build.
With ad reads, you spend time promoting other brands when you could be promoting your own. You pull the listeners out of the flow of your podcast, diluting the listening experience.
In contrast, with paid podcasts, you offer your dedicated listeners premium content they’ll adore and be happy to pay for, with no more annoying ad breaks. Your premium podcast is a natural extension of your brand and an opportunity to take your relationship with your community to a deeper level.
Best of all, by charging for your content, even a small amount, you know the people listening are invested in you and what you share. They are targeted, qualified audience, to whom it’s easier to sell your other higher-end products (e.g. coaching, mastermind groups, events, physical products).
Instead of piecing together 5-6 tools to handle audio hosting, content promotion, payment processing, secure delivery, access control, and even editing for your podcast, Soundwise gives you everything you need in one place to launch your paid podcasts, in as little as half an hour. We take care of the tech, so you can focus on creating awesome podcasts.
Your paid podcasts, including all future content updates, are delivered to your listeners’ account automatically through our secure mobile and web apps as soon as they purchase. There’s no need for your listeners to copy and paste private RSS feed links, which is a major hassle, can be very confusing for listeners, and requires educational effort from you. With Soundwise, your audience simply need to purchase —> log in to Soundwise —> listen. That’s it.
Not ready to create paid content yet but still want to monetize? We got you covered, too. On Soundwise you can set up multiple subscription options for your podcast, including both free and paid options. Simply direct your listeners to your podcast’s landing page on Soundwise.
And when they subscribe, your listeners can choose whether they want to contribute to your podcast or listen for free.
Send emails or in-app messages to your listeners with news and updates. Use the comment feature on the app to start discussions around your track content. Listener avatars and bios allow your community to get to know each other without ever having to leave your content.
Soundwise integrates with 1500+ online tools via Zapier. Connect Soundwise with the tools you already use, such as Mailchimp, InfusionSoft, ActiveCampaign, Shopify, to create your own efficient workflow for audience management.
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