How Do Podcasts Make Money? How To Make Money From A Podcast

Podcasts make money in several ways. The primary sources of revenues from podcasting come from affiliate marketing, advertisements (in the form of pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll), sponsorships, selling your own products, or by using podcasting to sell consulting services. Podcasting is an effective marketing and distribution channel, and it can be integrated within a business model.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing describes the process whereby an affiliate earns a commission for selling the products of another person or company. Here, the affiliate is simply an individual who is motivated to promote a particular product through incentivization. The business whose product is being promoted will gain in terms of sales and marketing from affiliates.

Affiliate marketing basically is a digital marketing model that businesses employ, which involves paying a third party (a person or a business) to promote their products and services on their website, blog posts, Vlog, Podcasts, and other content creation, and rather than pay for clicks, the business pays a commission to that third party, for traffic or sales that have been referred by that third party. In this case, you are a third party.

You can advertise for businesses that render services related to your Products. For example: if your Podcast reviews cars you sell, you can be an affiliate partner with an auto repair service provider. Everyone who books a session with them using your unique link gets some sort of discount when they visit the auto repair. Now, the way you can make money from this is on a commission basis; on every person that visits their shop, you get a 4-5% of the revenue generated, or you just get a fixed amount, depending on your deal with the business owner of course.

You can also be an affiliate marketer for goods that you do not personally sell, maybe because you do not have a manufacturer for it yet. You don’t just want to add it to your portfolio for many reasons, you can decide to sell via affiliate marketing. If your Podcast talks about fashion – which of course, should be in your line of business, you can have an affiliate link for selling clothes, shoes, bags, and other fashion items from websites like Amazon that reward you for driving sales traffic to their website.

On websites like Amazon, you get a specific link tailored for just you, which ensures that as long as the customer follows your link, you will get the commission for the sale, even if the buyer closes the browsing session and resumes later, as far as the buyer doesn’t clear his internet cookies. Cookies are small bits of files on your browser that holds tiny bits of data usually specific to the website, accessible to your computer and the web server. There are a million products on Amazon. If you want to do affiliate marketing, select a product that matches your podcast topic.


Modern advertising was born back in the early 1900s intended as the use of madd media (from Radio going forward) enabled companies to communicate at scale with a simplified message. With the advent of the Internet, digital advertising with all its facets took off, and it enabled companies to reach small audiences with customized messages.

This is also a popular way to make money off your Podcast, although it is something you should consider only when your Podcast has grown to a sizeable level because adverts ruin the pleasure of the Podcast. It can get annoying when you have to lose your small listeners because of adverts, hence putting the real reason you started the Podcast (your business) in jeopardy. Companies also typically contact podcasts with many listeners and subscribers for advertisements as it will give them a better reach due to a larger audience. In today’s market, an advertisement can make you a minimum of $70 per month on a weekly show if you have 1,000 listeners; of course, this number grows exponentially with more listeners, so you can make over $700 in a month if your weekly show can boast of 10,000 listeners.

There are three kinds of adverts that you can provide on your Podcast. They are:

Pre-Roll Ads

These ads, typically 15 seconds long, are usually played at the beginning of a podcast. Standard rates are worth $18 per 1000 downloads

Mid-Roll Ads

These ads, typically 60 seconds long, are usually played midway through a podcast; it can sometimes be annoying to the listener. It breaks the flow of information, especially when the listener is not interested. Although the listener is interested, it easily catches their attention because the listener is deeply listening with almost no distraction, increasing the chances of the ad to stick. The standard rate for a mid-roll Ad is $25 per 1000 downloads.

Post-Roll Ads

Typically, 30 seconds long, these ads are played at the end of a podcast. They are worth $10 per 1000 downloads.

The counting system typically works with downloads; whether or not the episode was played after the download doesn’t matter; as long as that episode has been downloaded, it makes a count.


Sponsorship is a mouthwatering way of monetizing your Podcast, as there are thousands of potential sponsors looking for a way to increase their reach. The difficult part is looking for a sponsor that fits in the narrative of your Podcast and, at the same time, strike a deal good enough for you. Sponsors always want to ensure that they don’t give you money and products without getting any tangible increase in revenue in return. Sponsors can come on your show at any time. Still, it is usually better for you and the sponsor to have a decent amount of audience before inserting adverts from your sponsors to your show, as it could cause a U-turn in the entire monetization goal.

There are a few ways to get sponsors for your Podcast, some of which include:

Actively selling yourself to brands

As a small podcaster, you most likely will not have sponsors knocking around your door, looking for advertisement opportunities. Instead, you can pitch yourself to them, showing them statistics from your Podcast, which tells them that you are a growing brand, and in no time, you will be bigger than you are, which is why analytics is an important service podcast host needs to render you. This will help you convince the brand that investing in you holds financial value and will not be a waste, with statistics to back you up.

Podcast Networks

You can join a podcast network that links up sponsors with podcasters, which exposes your content to more brands, and the ones who love your content and feel their services are a fit for your audience will reach out to you. Although you have to split your earnings with the network.

Read Next: Marketing StrategyBusiness StrategyBusiness Models.

Published by

Gennaro Cuofano

Gennaro is the creator of FourWeekMBA which reached over a million business students, executives, and aspiring entrepreneurs in 2020 alone | He is also Head of Business Development for a high-tech startup, which he helped grow at double-digit rate | Gennaro earned an International MBA with emphasis on Corporate Finance and Business Strategy | Visit The FourWeekMBA BizSchool | Or Get The FourWeekMBA Flagship Book "100+ Business Models"