The Basics to Monetize a Podcast

Advertisements, Sponsorships and Products, Oh My!

Money coinsThere are loads of websites and services to help you make money with your podcast. While there are too many programs to cover in one blog post, we can share with you the three main methods used by individual podcasts. This can help you decide how to best monetize your show.

These three methods include advertisements, sponsorships and selling products.

Advertisements or ‘Ads’

You can make money from your podcast by allowing others to put announcements or notices in your show. People are familiar with ads since this monetization tactic is widely used on television and radio. These announcements are usually brief in length and are intended to raise awareness. The good news is finding an advertiser is pretty easy. There are many, many new websites and companies created to connect advertisers with podcasters.

How much money you make through advertising generally depends upon two factors. The first factor is how many people listen to your show and the second is the rate the person or company pays you to place the ad on your show. On the downside, the revenue generated by the average podcaster with this method of monetization is not remarkable. The prevalent rate for advertising on podcasts currently is $25 per thousand downloads of your show. If you know how many downloads your podcast gets per month, you can figure out how much money you will make through advertising.

Two ways for you to make more money from advertising require a little additional work. The first is by working to increase your number of downloads. More downloads means more money, right? Also, you can search for and find advertisers that pay above the going rate. Finding campaigns that are interested in advertising on your podcast may be difficult, but it could be worth the extra effort since they could pay up to $40 per thousand downloads or more.


You can maybe best understand what a sponsorship is by mentally replacing the word ‘Support’ every time you see the word ‘Sponsorship.’ Having a sponsor just means that someone is giving you financial support for you to do your podcasting. Your sponsor may request that you mention their sponsorship, but they usually do not place other requirements to receive their sponsorship. And, sponsorships usually pay more than advertising. The challenge is that finding one, perfect sponsor for your show could be difficult.

The good news is there has been a recent boom in the ‘micro-sponsorship’ industry that might make this a good monetization method for you. If you have listened to most any podcast recently, you have heard the host ask you to become a patron, a partner, or ‘one of the gang’ and financially support the show. Many podcasters find success with this monetization model, simply replicate what others are doing.


You can make money from your podcast by selling products (and services) on your show. The key difference between this monetization model and advertising is that you only receive payment if a listener buys what you mention on your show and tells the seller that they bought the item because of you. With this model, think about what you want to sell. Selling other people’s products and services is most often called affiliate marketing.

The good news is there are many, many affiliate programs available to you. Simply google ‘Affiliate Program’ and choose an affiliate program with a product or service that closely matches the topic of your podcast (learn more about Blubrry’s Affiliate Program here). With this monetization model companies pay podcasters either a percentage of the total purchased by the referral or a flat rate per sell. Usually the amount that the podcaster is paid is much higher than with advertising, there is no guarantee that you receive any money if a sale is not made.

The better news is you can also make money with your podcast by selling your own products or services. By selling your products and services, you make a higher percentage from each sell. That just makes sense. Hypothetically, let’s say you are part of an affiliate program that pays you 15% for every $100 item you sell. You are going to make $15 dollars from each sell, right? Well, if you create a $100 item or charge someone $100 for a couple hours of work, you get to keep the entire $100 (minus the transaction fees and taxes). Sounds good, right? The struggle is that you have to create the product or service and then create the financial and delivery system for your future sales. Even with the initial hurdles of this monetization model, many people choose this method to make the most money from their podcast.

If monetizing your podcast is a goal for you (and it does not have to be), consider which — if not all — of the above three monetization models is best for you. And if you are a pro at monetizing your podcast, please share any tips and tricks you have over in the Blubrry Podcasting Group on Facebook.

Good luck!

Troy PriceTroy Price is the co-founder of Front Porch Studio in Berea, Kentucky. He has been involved with podcasting for over a decade. Listen to his show Podcasting Tips from the Front Porch here.

Contact Troy by email at